September 13, 2017 ZBA Meeting

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September 13, 2017 ZBA Meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:52 pm


A meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) was held on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Mr. Heney called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM in the Community Meeting Room.

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

Mike Yerka of Civil Site Engineering joined the meeting. He stated that the applicant is looking to add an attached garage to his home. The applicant was asking for variances for the side and front setbacks. A jog in the foundation has since been made, which eliminates the sideline variance. They now are only asking for a variance for the front setback to allow 43.8’ from the corner instead of 50’.
Ms. Holmes is concerned that the existing older abutting home’s foundation will be impacted by a large amount of excavation happening so close to it. Mr. Yerka stated that there will be a foundation wall. The foundation will be stepped to match the grade.
The applicant is proposing a 4400 sq. ft., two-story garage. What has been proposed is 2200 sq. ft. The ZBA would like to see a set of architectural plans.
Ms. Holmes made a motion to continue the public hearing for Henry LaBonne, Jr, 56 Martin Road (#2017-04) to October 11, 2017 at 7:00 PM. A set of architectural plans are to be submitted at that time. Mr. Holland seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.

7:17 PM NORTHBROWN, LLC: North Village.
Atty. Ed Taipale joined the meeting. He presented the updated Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan. Mr. Cundiff asked for a cover letter stating the submittal’s purpose and the condition that it is intended to satisfy (condition #33). The Town Engineer and Town Counsel had indicated that they wanted to pursue the local preference. DHCD is pursing that. The housing plan has been submitted.
William Cundiff, Town Engineer, received a proposal from Elizabeth Ross. She has not been given a notice to proceed, however she felt comfortable proceeding at her own risk to justify a need for local preference for the affordable units, pending approval from the Town Administrator. Ms. Ross has been hired to do this at the applicant’s expense.
Mr. Holland made a motion to accept the proposal for the Town of Douglas local preference justification of ECR Enterprises. Mr. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.
Mr. Heney asked Ms. Lajoie to forward the Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan electronically to all the members. The ZBA would like input from Town Counsel, therefore it was decided to place this item next month’s agenda at 7:15 PM.

7:33 PM CASE #2017-05 PUBLIC HEARING: REAL LIFE REALTY, Maple Street, Map 194, Parcel 13.
Mr. Heney opened the public hearing and recused himself. Ms. Holmes took over as Chair. Hearing the case will be Ms. Holmes, Mr. Fitzpatrick, Mr. Holland and Mr. Tusino. It will take the approval of all four remaining members to pass. If it does not pass, it could not come before the ZBA for two years. The applicant decided to move forward.
Nevin Wenger recently purchased the lot in June. The variance expired in July. There was not enough time to have their engineering done. There was previous approval and he is requesting the same. Mr. Wenger stated that the industrial lot in the rear of his lot is not usable because it cannot be accessed through a residential area. The house, and any construction, would remain on the residential portion of the lot, however the entire lot would need to be residential in order to proceed with the construction.
Jaime Russo of166 Maple Street stated that the pipeline company has not been notified for approval and there is only 50’ of frontage, which would abut up to her property line. Travis and Jaime Russo do not feel that the construction would fit in with the design of the current homes on the street.
Mr. Wenger reached out to the engineer of the pipeline who said that he would be on site when the driveway is installed. Most of the trees will remain and there will be natural vegetation on both sides of the driveway.
Helene Bouchard of 178 Maple Street asked how big the house will be. Mr. Wenger stated that it will be a two story, four-bedroom colonial. The property is 4.57 acres.
Mr. Cundiff asked, if that portion of the industrial zone could be segmented off from the property, would a variance be needed. Mr. Wenger stated that there would not be enough residential area to use the lot.
The industrially zoned area is approximately 2 acres. 90,000 sq. ft. (approximately 4 acres) is required for the lot frontage plan. A discussion was held.
Mr. Holland made a motion to accept the variance for Real Life Realty, Maple Street, Map 194, Parcel 13 for the plan dated June 30, 2017 as proposed. Mr. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.
Mr. Heney rejoined the meeting and took over as Chair.

7:57 PM CASE #2017-06 PUBLIC HEARING: DAVID BRANAGAN, JR., 215 South Street.
Mr. Heney opened the public hearing. Mr. Branagan joined the meeting. The “trailer park” contains seven mobile homes, minus the one that collapsed seven years ago. The three-year grandfathering for replacement of a mobile home for a pre-existing, non-conforming use has passed. Mr. Branagan is asking for approval to replace the mobile home on the same footprint. A discussion was held.
Mr. Heney read a statement which stated that there is no hardship for the applicant, other than financial.
Mr. Branagan stated that the septic that was previously there has been filled in. If he gets ZBA approval today, he will hire an engineer to design the septic. If he has enough room, he will bring in the septics from the trailers on either side.
Kathleen Stewart of 36 Hillside Drive would be the tenant in this mobile home, and she stated that she has a hardship. She plans to retire to this mobile home. She stated that it is very difficult to find an open lot in Massachusetts.
Walter Howard of 217 South Street asked if Mr. Branagan checks the background of his tenants. He and another abutter are concerned about the lot maintenance. Mr. Branagan stated that lot maintenance is the responsibility of the tenants and is spelled out in their contract. He will clean up the lot if it will once again have a mobile home on it. Ms. Stewart described her plans to enhance the property.
David Chupka of 225 South Street asked if excavation for septic would change the grade of the land. Mr. Heney replied that the Board of Health would have to make that determination.
Susan Chupka of 225 South Street stated that there is a tremendous amount of water on their front lawn. They are concerned about anything that would worsen that situation.
Larry Lench, Building Inspector stated that the ZBA could determine when the use would have stopped. Mr. Fitzpatrick feels that the date of the demolition permit would be the date that the pre-existing, non-conforming use stopped, which is in excess of three years.
Mr. Cundiff stated that if a well services 25 persons or more on any given day during the year, the DEP public water supply requirements are triggered. That number includes transients.
Anna Howard of 217 South Street echoed the upkeep issue. Many mobile homes already look abandoned. Furniture has been left at the end of the street all through the winter.
Ms. Holmes made a motion to close the public hearing for case #2017-06, David Branagan, Jr., 215 South Street. Mr. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.
Mr. Holland spoke about the opportunity the ZBA has to craft a variance which would require upkeep of the property. If nothing is done, then the circumstances do not change. Mr. Branagan stated that he will hire a company to upkeep the properties and raise the tenants’ rent. A discussion was held.
Mr. Holland made a motion to approve the variance for case #2017-06, David Branagan, Jr., 215 South Street as submitted. Ms. Holmes seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-1, No-4.

1. ZBA Fees. The ZBA reviewed the schedule of fees and schedules from other surrounding towns. There is a separate fee schedule for 40B applications. Mr. Cundiff feels that Douglas’ fees are on the low end of the range of fees charged by the towns surveyed. He asked that the Board be aware that there are regulations relating to fees. A discussion was held.
Mr. Holland made a motion to hold a public hearing on November 8, 2017 to discuss the ZBA fee schedule. Mr. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.
This public hearing will include the hearing regarding the change in the drive-through window bylaw.
2. MINUTES: August 9, 2017.
Mr. Fitzpatrick made a motion to defer approval of the August 9, 2017 minutes of the ZBA meeting to the next meeting. Mr. Holland seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.

Mr. Holland made a motion to adjourn the ZBA meeting at 8:52 PM. Ms. Holmes seconded the motion. Vote: All-Aye.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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