11/13/2007 - Meeting Minutes

11/13/2007 - Meeting Minutes

Postby Maria Lajoie » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:43 am

The meeting of the Planning Board was called to order at 7:06 PM.

Richard Vanden Berg (Chairman), Mark Mungeam, Ernest Marks, Linda Brown, Eben Chesebrough, William Cundiff (Town Engineer), Stephen Zisk (Planning/Conservation Agent) Lisa Lannon (Recording Secretary). Absent: Roy Swenson, David St. George. Also present were the Board of Selectmen, Adam Costa and Lisa Mead (Blatman, Bobrowski & Mead), Jonathan Eichman (Kopelman and Paige), Catherine Welch (43D Coordinator).

Clarification of the Zoning Bylaw Amendments approved at the October 23, 2007 Planning Board Meeting and possible floor amendments were discussed with the Board of Selectmen, Town Counsel and Special Counsel. Mr. Cundiff noted that there are three options here for the direction which the Board takes on this at this time: (1) Leave the Bylaws as presented; (2) Make amendments that deal with the red line edits; or (3) Defer to the Spring Town Meeting.
It was noted that on the edited version presented there were red line edits as well as blue line edits. This is due to the red lines edits being edits made by Adam Costa and the group from Blatman, Bobrowski & Mead, LLC in response to the comments/suggestions made at the Public Hearing on October 23, 2007. The blue line edits are a result of discussions with Jonathan Eichman from Kopelman and Paige.
Mr. Costa was welcomed to answer any questions presented. He explained that the 120-day deadline is a time period in which the municipality must review its rules, regulations and bylaws and so forth and make any required changes necessary by Chapter 43D to expedite permitting for priority development sites. That means that there are proposed changes that would require that all the processes required would take place within 180 days following the submission of a complete application. The changes here are changes that are not necessarily required by 43D. Some of these changes allow for a new tenant to come onto a site and move forward without going through an entirely new permitting if they meet certain criteria. This Board would certainly be within its authority to push this off to a later Town Meeting.
There have been a large number of changes made. One of the biggest areas of concern was Insubstantial versus Substantial Changes. Language has been included to make this clearer. Mr. Cundiff noted his concern is that there are a number of changes being considered and due to the complexity of these changes and the likelihood of whether or not they are approved at a Town Meeting; it might be more prudent to put off to the Spring Town Meeting. The Town would still be compliant with 43D and the Board would have more time to more fully refine the edits.
Mr. Costa noted there are three groups of changes under Article 12 and they are to Sections (a), (b) and (c). He feels that the changes in (b) and (c) are changes that need to be put forth at the Town Meeting next week As for Section (a) there is no time requirement.
Members of the Board of Selectmen were present to comment. Mike Guzinski felt that since Section (a) is not a requirement of 43D the Planning Board should feel comfortable with the language and if not, he does not see a problem putting it off until the Spring Town Meeting. Mitch Cohen suggested putting forth at the Town Meeting with the understanding that it will be amended at the Spring Meeting. At least the rules will be in place. Paula Brouillette agreed the Board should bring to the meeting next week only those changes necessary to comply with Chapter 43D given the magnitude of the changes in Section (a).
The 180-day time limit was questioned and what would happen if decision is not made within that time. It was explained that should a decision not be made then it would be deemed constructive approval. It was further explained that the 180-day time does not begin until an application is deemed entirely complete.
Jonathan Eichman was introduced. He noted again that Section (a) changes are not necessary to comply with Chapter 43D. He indicated that there might be issues with some of the changes complying with some of the zoning that is already in place.
Some discussion was held. Some Board members felt that it should go before the Town Meeting in its entirety others felt that (a) should be further refined and brought in the spring. It was questioned if holding off until spring would incur further costs from the consultants of Blatman, Bobrowski & Mead. Mr. Costa indicated that the Town would not incur further costs from them. He also noted that it was not his feeling that any of the changes would not comply with present zoning bylaws. Lisa Mead reiterated that putting this off until spring would not incur more costs. She also indicated that they have no concerns regarding conflict with what is in place. Mr. Eichman indicated that he still does have some concerns but that he feels can be easily resolved.

Mr. Vanden Berg noted in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 41, Section 80-T and 81-U, and the Town Of Douglas Rules and Regulations Governing The Subdivision of Land in Douglas the Public Hearing is open on the application of Douglas Properties, LLC for the Definite Subdivision of Land entitled “Lakewood Estates” by Yerka Engineering, LLC. The site consists of 56 aces and contains 18 proposed lots. Located northerly – unknown owners, easterly by various owners and Wallum Lake Road, southerly by Massachusetts and Rhode Island Sates Lines and westerly by Nelson land, which parallels Shore Road.
A copy of the plan has been available for viewing in the Community Development Department during regular business hours. Mr. Vanden Berg noted that the Planning Board has 7 members and only 5 present. He indicated that it is their preference to continue the Public Hearing to another night when a full Board is present to hear the public’s comments.
Mr. Michael Yerka from Yerka Engineering addressed the group. He noted that because it is not a simple majority he has asked for a continuation of the Public Hearing to have more of the Board members present. Mr. Marks made a motion to put this on the agenda for the December 11 meeting at 8:30 PM. Motion seconded by Mr. Chesebrough.
Unanimously voted. It was noted that the Community Development Department is available to provide any information to the public.

Mr. Vanden Berg noted the Public Hearing is open for Mr. Hue Tieu and the application for an Accessory Apartment Special Permit. Mr. Tieu noted that Uxbridge District Court is granting him an appeal tomorrow morning. With Mr. Tieu’s agreement a motion was made to continue the Public Hearing to January 15 at 8:30 PM by Mr. Marks. Motion seconded by Ms. Brown. Unanimously voted.

Mr. Cundiff noted that the Planning Board received a letter from the Conservation Commission requesting that they consider waiving the application fees associated with the JK Realty Trust ANR/Lot Frontage Exemption Plan. He explained that John Gosselin of JK Realty Trust approached the Town of Douglas with a gift of land that is part of a flexible development subdivision. The Planning Board reviewed it and approved it for special permit as well as definitive subdivision. The units will go into half the parcel and the remainder gets deeded to the Conservation Commission. In addition, Mr. Gosselin will donate a 50-foot wide piece of property from one of his front lots to give to the Town access to the property being donated. In doing this his lot will have less than the 200-foot conventional frontage but will conform with the Lot Frontage Exemption Bylaw. Therefore, he is here for an ANR Plan and a Lot Frontage Exemption. Mr. Marks made a motion to endorse the ANR Plan and the Lot Frontage Exemption Plan and waive the application fee. Motion seconded by Mr. Chesebrough. Unanimously voted.

Attorney Debra Dunleavy was present to represent Eugene and Susan Morin regarding the Lakeshore Drive and to discuss the status of Lakeshore Drive being deemed a “way”. She explained that she is looking to get clarification from this Board for her client who is looking to do an ANR Plan. She noted that she has a list from the Town Clerk with Lakeshore Drive listed. The Board noted that there is some discrepancy as to whether or not that list officially makes the road a “way”. It was noted that when the Town adopted zoning it was for all the roads that are on the official Town Map and that Lakeshore Drive is not on that map. Therefore, it was felt that there had to be suitable legal documentation that this was a “way” prior to the adoption of zoning. In addition, it must have suitable grade, width and construction to be recognized as such. Ms. Dunleavy noted that the owner is willing to improve the construction if that is what it takes. She indicated that she has several other documents that would indicate it was a “way”. She would like a consensus from the Board as to what is needed from them to determine this “way”. Some discussion held. Mr. Cundiff suggested and it was agreed that that Ms. Dunleavy work with him to put a package together of some of these documents for the Board to review.

Mr. Daniel Heney was present to discuss a two-lot subdivision. He noted he couldn’t get an occupancy permit until some work is done on the road. He indicated that he currently has a buyer that is interested in just the lot. Therefore, he wanted to replace the covenant with a cash bond. However, if something should happen and the buyer backs out he wants to keep the covenant. It was noted that the process of releasing the covenant is to have the Board’s approval on a completed Schedule G. Mr. Cundiff indicated he could handle this with the Board’s authority. A motion was made by Mr. Chesebrough to authorize Mr. Cundiff to approve the Form G to replace the covenant for Cardinal Drive with a cash bond for $7,500 upon the request from Mr. Heney. Motion seconded by Mr. Marks. Unanimously voted.
Discussion held regarding the Exhibit A of the Quitclaim Deed of this property.
It was noted that this was recorded with the deed but never got the formal authorization from the Board. Motion was made by Mr. Chesebrough to officially endorse the language of Exhibit A of the Quitclaim Deed of the two lot Subdivision approved for Kenneth Ballou and now owned by Daniel Heney. Motion seconded by Mr. Marks and unanimously voted.

Mr. Heney noted that at Summerlyn Estates, off Cross Street, the sidewalks have been worked on and the remaining 500 feet will be poured tomorrow. These sidewalks were secured with a cash bond, which he would like to get released pending the approval of Mr. Cundiff and Mr. Zisk at the completion. Mr. Marks made a motion to release the portion of the money used to complete the sidewalks upon approval from Mr. Cundiff and Mr. Zisk. Mr. Chesebrough seconded the motion. Motion unanimously voted.

Further discussion held with Adam Costa and Lisa Mead regarding the Zoning Bylaw Chapter 43D. It was agreed that Article 12 Subsection (b) and (c) be brought to the Town Meeting next week. Much discussion ensued regarding Subsection (a) and whether or not it should be brought to the Town Meeting at this time or further refined and brought in the spring. Ms. Mead noted that if the Board was reluctant to bring to the Town Meeting at this time due to the number of amendments she could fully understand. However, if there is any doubt as to this being compliant with Chapter 40A, she feels secure that that is not an issue.
Mr. Cundiff noted his concern for going to the Town now with a version that will need further refinement in the spring. He felt it best to bring a final version of that section before them. Procedurally and structurally the Board has to accept the methodology here. If there were a determination on substantial versus insubstantial, that determination would be made by the Zoning Board of Appeals. They would have authority over other Boards. The question comes up do we want to have a determination process in place if an applicant comes forward to the respective boards that allows those boards to make that determination. These are some of the things that should be further discussed.
Further discussion ensued. Some members of the Board felt that this has been reviewed enough and should be presented to the Town as is now. Mr. Marks motioned the amended version of the Article 12 be forwarded to the Board of Selectmen with Planning Board support for modification by floor amendment. Motion seconded by Mr. Chesebrough. Voted as follows: Yes – 3, No – 2. Motion so moved.

Mr. Cundiff noted he received a telephone call from Stephen Wallace regarding the Master Plan – Options for Improving East Douglas. He would like to come to a meeting to present the final report. It was agreed to have Mr. Wallace come to the December 11 Meeting at 7:00 PM.

Mr. Cundiff noted that he is working with Mr. Kevin Rafferty regarding Stone Gate Estates. He is looking for a Bond reduction for Phase I. Mr. Marks motioned to authorize Mr. Cundiff to work with Mr. Rafferty to reduce the Bond for Phase I. Motion was by Mr. Mungeam. Voted unanimously.

9:15 PM MAIL
Mr. Cundiff noted that we received a letter from Cliff Van Reed dated October 25, 2007 regarding the cost of certified mailings. He explained that in a typical submittal we would receive a standard application fee, in addition to a temporary deposit of $200. This is for advertisement and the Town holds that deposit until the advertisement has been paid and then returns it. There is also a certified abutters list we charge $5.00 for each abutter to cover the cost of mailings to them. Mr. Van Reed would like to have these costs returned to him: the abutter’s fees and a reimbursement of the Worcester Telegram’s fee. He noted that this is not something the Board has done in the past. These fees are in place to cover administrative costs. The Board agreed a letter be sent to Mr. Van Reed explaining that it is not the procedure to reimburse these fees.

Mr. Mungeam noted an applicant requesting a variance to build a single family dwelling on 88 West Street with a 15 foot set back from side bounds to 10 feet. The Board members have no objection to this.
Mr. Chesebrough noted a dwelling on Perry Street that the applicant wants to garage or park 4 vehicles for home occupation. The Board agreed this is lacking information as to type of vehicles, etc.

The Board reviewed the schedule of meetings for 2008 and discussed omitting the July 8 and December 23 meetings. Mr. Marks made a motion to omit July 8 and December 23 and accept the rest of the schedule as presented. Ms. Brown seconded the motion. Unanimously voted.

There was a review of the minutes of the October 9, 2007 Meeting and corrections were noted. A motion was made to accept the minutes as amended by Ms. Brown and seconded by Mr. Marks. Vote: Yes – 4, Abstained - 1. So moved.
There was a review of the minutes of the September 25, 2007 Meeting. Ms. Brown made a motion to accept the minutes as written. Vote: Yes – 4, Abstained - 1. So moved.

Mr. Zisk noted that paving has begun at Maple Heights Estates.

The next meeting will be on December 11, 2007.

Mr. Marks made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:06. Motion seconded by Mr. Chesebrough. Vote unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Lannon
Recording Secretary
Maria Lajoie
Maria Lajoie
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Community Development Department

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