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Planning Board Minutes 03/14/2012
Planning Board, Middleton, MA
March 14, 2012

The Middleton Planning Board met at a regularly scheduled meeting on March 14, 2012
at the Fuller Meadow School, 143 South Main Street, Middleton, Massachusetts at 7:30 PM.

The following board members were in attendance: Chairperson Christine Lindberg, Acting Clerk Leah Moreschi, and members Robert Aldenberg and David Leary.

Others present: Richard Bienvenue, Building Commissioner, Robert LaBossiere, DPW Director and Karen Matsubara, Recording Secretary

Chairperson Lindberg called the meeting to order at 7:32 PM.

Definitive Subdivision Signing-70R East Street, Map 14, Lots 12 & 13-Olde Boxford Estates LLC
Attorney McCann presented the covenant, easement for the roadway connection to the abutting undeveloped land at 84 East Street and the “Certificate of No Appeal.”  The Board of Selectmen assigned the roadway names, Norma Way and Kassiotis Lane.

Planning Board members signed the subdivision mylars.

ZBA Recommendation-Special Permit & Site Plan Modification-323 North Main Street, Map 9, Lot 29-Richard D’Angelo
Attorney Jill Mann gave a brief history of the property.  In 2003 the ZBA granted a special permit and site plan approval for the construction and operation of the Dunkin Donuts with a convenience store on the nonconforming lot.  Previously, drive-through facilities were only allowed for banks and pharmacies.  In November 2011 an amendment to the Middleton Zoning Bylaw was approved by Town Meeting and went into effect in February after approval of the Attorney General.  The modifications to the site plan include the addition of the queue line for the drive-through which will be accessed via Rockaway Road, the sign board for ordering, a cross walk from the store to the parking area and changes to the landscaping.  There will be no expansion to the interior of the existing structure.

Mr. Aldenberg suggested adding a signature block to the site plan for the ZBA to sign if approved.

Attorney Mann agreed to add the signature block as well as signs indicating the entrance and exits as suggested by Ms. Lindberg.

Mr. Bienvenue asked if the deliveries could be scheduled at off hours.

Ms. Moreschi expressed concern over the vehicles exiting the drive-through and crossing the path of incoming traffic.

MOTION: Made by Leah Moreschi to make a favorable recommendation for the special permit and site plan modification for 323 North Main Street to permit a drive up window at an existing Dunkin Donuts.  Motion seconded by David Leary.  Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.

Chairperson Lindberg called a recess until 7:55 for the advertised public hearing.

Public Hearing-Two-Family Special Permit-144 North Main Street, Map 17, Lot 46-Prime Investment Forest Street LLC
Acting Clerk Leah Moreschi read the legal notice and confirmed that the abutters had been notified.

Attorney Jill Mann appeared on behalf of the applicant.  A modification to a previously approved two-family special permit is being sought for a change in the design of the dwelling.  The proposed change is a primary home with a smaller footprint connected by a breezeway to a garage with living space above.  All other criteria relative to the lot are the same as previously approved.

Mr. Aldenberg stated that the proposed change does not fit the spirit or definition of a two-family in accordance with the Zoning Bylaw, which states that a two-family is one structure.  The building code requires dwelling units to be connected by fire separation walls, not breezeways.

Attorney Mann argued that there were other similar structures in Town, one on Peabody Street and one on Lake Street.  She added that the Bylaw is not declarative that a two-family has to be a duplex dwelling.

Ms. Lindberg pointed out that the plan does not indicate how the garage will be connected to the septic system.

Mr. Bienvenue agreed with the points made by Mr. Aldenberg and suggested that approving the proposed plan would be setting a precedent.

MOTION: Made by David Leary to grant the requested modification to the previously approved two-family special permit.  Motion seconded by Robert Aldenberg.  Vote 4-0 against, motion failed.

Public Hearing-Definitive Subdivision-East Meadow Farm-122 East Street & Gould Road, Map 13, Lots 101 & 102 and a portion of Map 13, Lots 72 & 100-East Meadow LLC
Acting Clerk Leah Moreschi read the legal notice and confirmed that the abutters had been notified.

Attorney Jill Mann appeared on behalf of the applicant.  Also present were the LLC principal, Tom Ford and project engineer, Peter Ogren.  A 21 lot subdivision is being proposed with access off East Street.  The plan was sent to the Town’s third party engineer, DK Engineering for comments which were not received in time to respond and update the plans prior to tonight’s meeting.  Attorney Mann requested to set a site walk for the project in conjunction with the Conservation Commission’s site walk; they are available either March 25, 2012 or April 1, 2012.

Peter Ogren reviewed the subdivision plan.  The access will come in from East Street, close to where Gould Road is now.  The proposed roadway will be 2500’.  The west side of the property is bordered by the floodplain of the Ipswich River and the river itself, to the north is conservation land, the east is bordered by East Street and the south is bordered by the land formerly the Jewish Community Center.  The project has been before Conservation for a determination of the resources.  Perc tests have been conducted.  The public waterline is proposed to be extended 1200’ down East Street to the development.  Mr. Ogren reviewed the drainage design.  The highest elevation in the subdivision is 130’ and the lowest elevation is 54.5’ – 55’ at East Street.

Ms. Lindberg commented that the cut and fill for the subdivision appears to be quite extensive and asked if any of the materials would be taken off site.  She also questioned the location of the culvert from the “pocket wetland.”

Mr. Ogren felt that all the materials would be used on site and stated that there is an existing culvert that goes under East Street.

Mr. Riddle, abutter to the project asked if the culvert was sufficient in size.

Mr. Ogren confirmed that it was sufficient, and added that the meadow was a large storage area for run-off.  There are two easements provided, one mowing easement for the meadow and a conservation easement along the river.

Ms. Lindberg stated that she was not in favor of the lots extending back to the river.  She felt that there should be an open space lot created along the riverfront which would not be limited access for only the homeowners in the subdivision.  The Board would like to create a public corridor along the riverfront.

Mr. Ford explained that he had developed subdivisions in Hamilton which had equestrian and pedestrian easements along the river but the lots did extend down to the river which has worked out well.  He does not have an issue with the proposal of an open space lot but feels there is better policing on private property.

Mr. Aldenberg asked about the connection to the JCC property and also asked why the road could not be looped back to the subdivision roadway instead of being a cul-de-sac.

Mr. Ogren explained that the grades are too difficult to be able to loop the roadway and pointed out the easement for the connection to the former JCC property.

Mr. Aldenberg stated that the connection had to be part of the subdivision roadway.

Attorney Mann confirmed that a separate lot would be provided for the roadway connection to the abutting property.

In response to a question from Ms. Lindberg on a waiver for storm drain velocity, Mr. LaBossiere stated that he would discuss the issue with DK Engineering.

Pike Messenger of 32 Boston Street reiterated the importance of the buffer along the riverfront.  He and the Stream Team feel the riverfront should be open to the public and that it would be well cared for, adding that there are no problems with the properties owned by Essex County Greenbelt.

Bob Riddle of 121 East Street stated that Gould Road now comes out close to his driveway and asked for assurance that the catch basins and pipe will accommodate the run-off, citing serious run-off when there is heavy rain with the existing conditions.

Gaylen Kelley of 10 Lebeau Drive also spoke in favor of maintaining the corridor along the river.

Sandy Rubchinuk of 3 Circle Street commented on the importance of maintaining the open space and education of the public.

Steven Lightbown of 4 Lindberg Avenue stated that there has always been a problem with the water on Gould Hill which they have been trying to manage for years.

The site walk was scheduled for March 25, 2012 @ 9:00 am and would be open to the public.

MOTION: Made by Robert Aldenberg to continue the definitive hearing to the April 11, 2012 Planning Board meeting.  Motion seconded by David Leary.  Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.

Chairperson Lindberg called a recess at 9:04 pm; back on record at 9:10 pm.

Preliminary Subdivision-84 East Street, Map 14, Lot 20-LAR Property Management LLC
Attorney Jill Mann appeared on behalf of the applicant.  The LLC principal, Anthony Roberto and his associate Charles Cambria, as well as the project engineer Rich Williams were present.

Attorney Mann presented the preliminary subdivision plan to subdivide the 87 acre property located off East Street which will be accessed over Towne Road.  Additional dedicated right-of-way connections are proposed to connect the subdivision to the adjacent subdivisions at 70R East Street and East Meadow Farm.

Engineer Rich Williams reviewed the proposed 53 lot subdivision which will have a series of 26’ paved streets in 40’ rights-of-way.  Public water will be brought in from Towne Road with loops provided through the adjacent subdivisions where possible.  Most of the lots have been perc tested.  There are a series of wetlands that exist on the Towne Road side of the property which discharge toward the Ipswich River.  The requests of the other subdivisions for the corridor along the riverfront have been observed and will be worked on for the definitive filing.

Mr. Aldenberg asked about the road lengths and questioned the ability to eliminate some of the cul-de-sacs by connecting roadways.

Mr. Williams reviewed road lengths and explained that he didn’t think that they would be permitted to connect the roadways because of the location of the wetlands.

Mr. Leary felt that the residents of Road “D” would access their homes via the adjacent 70R East Street subdivision.

Ms. Lindberg asked if they had considered cluster zoning.

Mr. Williams replied that they had looked at it but it is difficult to use because of the septic system requirements, especially with the soils on the subject property.

The Board took no action on the preliminary plan.  Attorney Mann stated that she would be back to the Board with a Definitive Subdivision submittal.

Other business-

1. Schedule public hearing for recommendations to Town Meeting for zoning bylaw amendments

Chairperson Lindberg stated there are two proposed bylaw amendments which require Planning Board public hearings.  One article is to adopt the new FEMA flood maps.  The other article is to amend the Zoning Bylaw to clarify that site plan approval is also required in conjunction with a use variance, variance or special permit.  The public hearing was scheduled for April 11, 2012.

2. Discussion-paving of Thunderbridge Lane

Chairperson Lindberg stated that DPW Director Robert LaBossiere had received a request from Mr. Trodella of Thunderbridge Lane regarding the paving of Thunderbridge Lane.  He was told that there is a mechanism to petition the Town to have the road paved, where the Town pays half the cost and the property owners pay the other half.

Mr. Trodella stated that the cost for the paving is too high going through the Town because of the standards that must be met when using public money.  The residents would like to have the road paved to a lesser standard on their own.

Ms. Lindberg explained that the roadway has to be constructed to certain standards to ensure proper drainage and proper construction.

Mr. LaBossiere stated that the Town would not be responsible for maintaining the roadway if it were paved by the residents.  He added that there have been three new houses built on Thunderbridge without any improvements to the roadway.

The residents stated that road improvements were supposed to have been done for those homes but they were unsure as to why no improvements were done.

After additional discussion between the Board and the residents, Mr. Aldenberg suggested that the residents have a plan drawn showing the drainage, 2.5” binder and 1.5” asphalt to bring back to the Board.

Mr. LaBossiere added that the plan needs to meet new storm water management requirements and to meet with the Conservation Agent for approval.

The discussion was continued to the April 11, 2012 Planning Board meeting.

3. Definitive Subdivision Signing-Pheasant Ridge (77 South Main Street)-Yvonne & John McAuley

Attorney John Andrews appeared on behalf of the developers.

Janet Parker, abutter to the property, expressed concern regarding the access to her property for all utilities from the Pheasant Ridge subdivision which was granted by a past court decision, including access to the water line.

Attorney Andrews stated that there was no question that his clients would honor the utility access.  A copy of the 1992 agreement that is recorded with the Registry of Deeds was presented to the Board to be kept on file with the subdivision.

Chairperson Lindberg explained that the subdivision had not been approved by the Planning Board because they felt there was a safety issue with the subdivision roadway not lining up with Orchard Circle.  That decision was appealed to Land Court by the McAuleys.  The judge found in favor of the petitioner and ordered that the plan be signed by the Board.

Attorney Andrews added that the judge’s decision was based on the definition of roadway in the Planning Board Rules and Regulations; Orchard Circle is a driveway, not a roadway.

The Board signed the subdivision mylars.

MOTION: Made by Robert Aldenberg to adjourn.  Meeting adjourned at 9:57 pm.