May 6, 2015 Zoning Board Meeting

Moderator: Maria Lajoie

May 6, 2015 Zoning Board Meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:01 pm


A meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) was held on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Mr. Heney called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM in the Community Meeting Room.

PRESENT: Daniel Heney (Chairman), Pamela Holmes (Vice Chairman), John Bombara, Leonard Demers, Sean Holland, Michael Fitzpatrick (Alternate) and Maria Lajoie (Administrative Secretary)

Mr. Heney opened the public hearing. Mr. Bombara recused himself. Hearing the case was Mr. Heney, Ms. Holmes, Mr. Holland, Mr. Demers and Mr. Fitzpatrick. Imad Zrein, P.E. of DeVellis Zrein, Inc. joined the meeting to present the proposal. Also present was Dr. Khalid Sadozai, President of the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester, board member Mohammad Elresaej, their legal counsel Atty. Richard Simonian and realtor Allan Marble.
Mr. Zrein reviewed the proposal. He described the parcel. The applicant is proposing to install a cemetery behind the existing gas easement. They will be crossing some wetlands. The cemetery will not be visible from the road and will be built in phases over the years. The full proposal includes a 20 foot paved roadway with a cul-de-sac at the end. They propose a 15’ to 20’ buffer around the entire perimeter with untouched and supplemented vegetation. Headstones will be flush to the ground. There will be no lighting, buildings or fencing. There will be a sign. It is not known at this time exactly how many 3’ x 9’ graves there will be.
Mr. Heney read some correspondence from the Douglas Planning Board which has reviewed the zoning bylaws had no objection to the request. Correspondence from the Douglas Board of Health (BOH) requested that the hearing be continued in order for the BOH to review the material and further research cemetery rules and regulations. Mr. Zrein stated that they will have to comply with all the State rules and regulations for a cemetery.
No correspondence was received from the Cemetery Commission because they were not notified. Ms. Holmes suggested notifying the Cemetery Commission for their input. Mr. Heney agreed.
Mr. Heney reviewed the public hearing procedure. Mr. Fitzpatrick asked about security. Mr. Zrein stated that the cemetery would be wide open, but they would be able to install a gate.
Ms. Holmes asked about traditions for visiting the deceased. Mr. Zrein stated that during some holidays, the deceased may be visited more often. Ms. Holmes asked about a plan for parking. Mr. Zrein stated that they plan to utilize the driveway. They will have a temporary cul-de-sac for use during the various phases. Mr. Heney recommended consulting the Fire and Police Depts. for their input.
Mr. Heney stated that the area is a registered RA zone. He would like to see a No Disturb Zone of 25’or greater. Mr. Heney had a copy of an approval for a cemetery that was recently approved in Mendon. Ms. Lajoie will forward copies of that approval to the ZBA members, the BOH and the Cemetery Commission.
Adelle Reynolds, Building Commissioner, asked about the process for the paved roadway and temporary cul-de-sac. Ms. Reynolds asked the applicant to have that and the buffer zones shown on the plan for the next meeting.
Atty. Simonian stated that the parishioners are very respectful. He asked for the ZBA to put their needs and expectations in writing. Mr. Heney suggested that the applicant contact the BOH, Cemetery Commission, Police, Fire and the Highway Depts. Atty. Simonian feels the cemetery would bring in patrons for local businesses.
John Bombara, 288 Northwest Main Street, would like to see 25’ setbacks, a paved asphalt roadway and cul-de-sac. He would like to see those items on the plan.
Richard Sims, 176 West Street, asked about the maintenance on the property. Mr. Heney stated that a maintenance plan will be required. Ms. Holmes does not know if the Town has the professionals needed to comply with all State and Town laws regarding cemeteries. She stated that they may need a 53.5 account.
Mr. Heney asked Ms. Lajoie to ask the BOH to the next ZBA meeting. Mr. Zrein stated that they will be flagging the property on Monday and will be filing with the Conservation Commission. They will be going before the Planning Board for a site plan review.
Steve and Sherri Bloem, 164 West Street, asked about the setback and what was being planned to protect their privacy. Mr. Zrein suggested amendments to the curve of the driveway. The applicant is willing to address privacy measures.
Colin Postma, 176 West Street is concerned about the possible effects on his well. Mr. Heney encouraged Mr. Postma to attend the BOH meeting.
Atty. Jay Talerman, Town Counsel, recommended that the applicant show some stable area on the plan for overflow parking. Ms. Holmes does not want parking allowed on West Street. Atty. Talerman stated that the BOH has a role in the permits etc. that go along with management of gravesites and management of the deceased. The Cemetery Commission can provide input, but has no jurisdiction over privately run cemeteries.
Atty. Talerman spoke about the Dover amendment. A religious organization is entitled to protections under zoning. The ZBA can reasonably regulate it, but cannot deny it.
Ms. Holmes made a motion to continue the public hearing, Islamic Society of Greater Worcester, 170 West Street to June 3, 2015 at 7:00 PM. Mr. Demers seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

Mr. Bombara rejoined the meeting. Mr. Heney opened the public hearing. Mr. Heney, Ms. Holmes, Mr. Holland, Mr. Demers and Mr. Bombara heard the case. Mr. Fitzpatrick participated. Jonathan Shenian, 121 Franklin Street joined the meeting and stated that he is trying to acquire a license to sell used cars, perhaps selling only eight cars per year. There is a welding shop at the location now.
Ms. Reynolds stated that the plan states that no more than four cars would be allowed on the lot at any given time. This would be reflected on the license. The parcel (137 South Street) is zoned RA with a pre-existing, non-conforming use.
Ms. Holmes stated that she visited the site today and there is not a lot of room for used cars nor is there room for many patrons to park. Mr. Shenian would see patrons by appointment. No body work or major repairs on the cars would be done on the site.
Ms. Reynolds presented her history of working with Mr. Shenian. She stated that the owner of the property, Denis Bouthiller, is allowing Mr. Shenian to use the office and garage so that Mr. Shenian meets the requirements for a Class II license. Mr. Shenian’s use would be an extension of the pre-existing, non-conforming use.
Mr. Demers also visited the site, and he felt that there is enough room for four cars for sale and for parking for patrons. He does not have any concerns about granting the Special Permit.
Tom George, 6 Arch Street stated that he has no problem with four cars for sale, but would not want to see more than that and parts cars gathering on the property. Ms. Reynolds stated that the ZBA can put a limitation on the maximum number of cars for sale. There cannot be any outside storage. Mr. Shenian still has to go through the Board of Selectmen (BOS) for a Class II license, and they could not add more cars to that maximum limit.
Mr. Bombara made a motion to close the public hearing, ZBA Case #2015-05, Jonathan Shenian, 137 South Street. Mr. Demers seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Mr. Bombara made a motion to open a decision meeting, ZBA Case #2015-05, Jonathan Shenian, 137 South Street. Ms. Holmes seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Mr. Holland is concerned that the available hours for meeting patrons during the week may disturb abutters. A discussion was held regarding business hours and employees. Ms. Reynolds stated that a Class II license needs to be renewed every year and the conditions can be changed.
Mr. Bombara made a motion to approve the Special Permit for Jonathan Shenian, 137 South Street, with the conditions of no more than three employees, a maximum of four cars, and business hours to be 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM seven days a week. Mr. Demers seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

1. Vote: Re-Appointment of Pamela Holmes. Mr. Heney stated that the BOS requested a recommendation on the re-appointment of Ms. Holmes.
Mr. Bombara made a motion to recommend the re-appointment of Pamela Holmes to the Zoning Board of Appeals to the Board of Selectmen. Mr. Demers seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.
Mr. Heney reminded the board members that the ZBA reorganizes after every Town Meeting.
2. Request for Project Review: Earth Removal Special Permit, Phase 2/Pyne Sand & Stone, Northeast Main & Davis Streets. Ms. Lajoie stated that the applicant will be coming before the Planning Board again to start Phase 2. Mr. Demers saw an excavator very close to the house on Northeast Main. Mr. Heney stated that the applicant has purchased that house, and he gave some background on the project. Ms. Holmes was concerned that egress off Davis Street would be a problem. The ZBA would like the Planning Board to address public safety off Davis Street.
3. MINUTES: April 1, 2015
Ms. Holmes made a motion to approve the April 1, 2015 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting minutes as presented. Mr. Demers seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous, Mr. Heney and Mr. Bombara abstained.

For informational purposes, in the packet was correspondence regarding a court case and a letter from the Building Commissioner regarding unregistered vehicles.

Mr. Bombara made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:28 PM. Ms. Holmes seconded the motion. Vote: Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
Posts: 601
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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