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Planning Board Minutes 05/02/2012
Planning Board, Middleton, MA
May 2, 2012

The Middleton Planning Board met at a specially scheduled meeting on May 2, 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, Clerk Beverly Popielski and members Robert Aldenberg, David Leary and Leah Moreschi.

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

Chairperson Lindberg called the meeting to order at 7:31 PM.  This meeting is a continuation of the public hearing from April 11, 2012.

Article #8-Amend Zoning Bylaw 9.5.1-Site Plan Review

Mr. Aldenberg stated that the proposed bylaw amendment only affects those petitions before the Board of Appeals and does not include special permits before the Planning Board.  He stated that there are a lot of issues in the Bylaw that need correction and suggested that the Zoning Bylaw Committee be re-established to review the current Bylaw and make the necessary corrections to be presented at the Fall Town Meeting.

Mr. Bienvenue agreed with Mr. Aldenberg’s suggestion.

MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to take no action on Article #8.  Motion seconded by Leah Moreschi.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.  Article #8-The Planning Board is recommending No Action at Town Meeting.

Article #7-Amend Zoning Bylaw-8.1-Floodplain Overlay District

Chairperson Lindberg reviewed the FEMA requirement for adoption of the new floodplain maps by July 3, 2012.  If the maps are not adopted, those people eligible for national flood insurance would not be eligible.  There is very little change from the last set of maps which were last updated in 1980; most of the changes are in the coastal communities.  The Conservation Agent did review the maps and submitted a summary of the changes which was made available to everyone on the Town website.

Mr. Richardson had concerns at the last meeting but has since been able to review the maps and agreed that there was very little change from the previous flood maps.

MOTION: Made by Robert Aldenberg to give a favorable recommendation for Article #7.  Motion seconded by Beverly Popielski.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.  Article #7 was recommended by the Planning Board.

Article #30-Accept Warren Drive as a Town Street & Article #31-Accept Ross Lane as a Town Street

Chairperson Lindberg explained that it has been a number of years that these two streets have been proposed to be accepted by the Town.  The issue has been tabled a number of times because of concerns over water and drainage.

Aaron Walsh of 44 Peabody Street, abutter to the subdivision, explained that he and his wife have come before the Board twice regarding the flooding issues on their property from the Smith Farm subdivision and since last year nothing has been done to fix the problem.  Although some work was done on two of the catch basins two weeks ago, some of the water is still bypassing them.  In addition, there is one catch basin that the engineer from Hayes and engineer John Morin stated was a problem which was not touched.

Laurie Arrizi also of 44 Peabody Street added that no one had provided them data so that their engineer could review the changes to show that they were done properly.

Mr. Walsh also noted that Mr. LaBossiere had told him on February 1, 2012 that the road would not be accepted unless there was a culvert under the roadway; there is no culvert.

Mr. LaBossiere disagreed with Mr. Walsh in regard to the culvert.  He explained to the Board that there is an as-built of the subdivision on file, but not an accepted as-built.  Two catch basins and the surrounding pavement were lowered to fix the problem with the water going around the basins.  When it was pouring he had gone out and videotaped the water going directly into the basins.

Ms. Arizzi stated that she had also gone out when it was pouring and noted that some water was still bypassing the two basins that had been lowered.

Mr. Leary commented that he had been to the site three times when it was raining.  He noted that there was a change to the detention ponds, before only one of the ponds had water, this time both had water in them.

In response to a question from Ms. Popielski, Ms. Arizzi clarified that the portion of land they have always been discussing is the side of her property that stretches along Ross Lane.  She added that there are other issues along Ross Lane that affect her neighbor Mrs. Wissa which have not been discussed.

Mr. Walsh presented photos from two days ago which show water going around the 3+90 basin.

Mr. LaBossiere stated the bypassing water is picked up by the next basin and that it all outlets to the same place.

David Evans of 39 Peabody Street explained that he grew up on Mill Street and had played in the area of the subdivision.  He attended the first meeting of the subdivision and had told the developer and the surveyors that the elevations were not right and that the water would come down the road onto his property.  He was assured that all the drainage would be taken care of.  From the time the land was developed until the drains were lowered, about 95% of the water that came down the street went down the side onto the Arizzi property, filled in there and then came across the street onto his property.  The Arizzi property has always gotten water in that area in the spring and fall which went behind the wall to a small degree.  He did not feel the Town should accept the road until all issues have been resolved.

Mr. Walsh stated that the water goes behind the wall 40’ to 50’.

Mr. Evans agreed that the water did not go onto their property to that extent in the past.  Also, the berm added to that side of the road by the developer to direct the water does not work.  He suggested the catch basins needed to be increased to double their size.  The catch basins were lowered and are catching about 75% of the water, the rest is going around.

Ms. Popielski expressed concern over the effects of a heavy rain, citing that we have had a dry winter and spring.  She did not feel that any road should be accepted by the Town until there is an accepted as-built.

Ms. Lindberg questioned why the drainage system does not work when the developer’s engineer and the Town’s engineer both agreed that it should work as designed.

In response to a comment on the lack of soil data for the detention basin, Mr. LaBossiere explained that the subdivision was approved without the two basins at the front of the property.  The forebay was added at the front of the subdivision because of the concerns expressed by Mr. Evans.

Mr. Walsh stated that his engineer had requested soil test data and other information from Hayes but there was no data available.

Ms. Lindberg confirmed with Mr. LaBossiere that this forebay detention area was put in above and beyond what had been designed to meet storm water requirements.

Mr. Evans commented that the binder was down in the subdivision with burlap over the grates for a couple of years so the water never went in the basins, it always went around.  The top coat was put on but a berm was left around the drains so the water still went around.

Mr. LaBossiere added that some filling was done in an area that had previously accommodated some of the run-off from Peabody Street.

MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to amend the recommendation to Town Meeting based on new information received to take no action on Articles #30 & #31.  Motion seconded by Robert Aldenberg.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.  Articles #30 & #31-The Planning Board is recommending No Action at Town Meeting.

Paula Evans of 39 Peabody Street asked if the Town was still holding a bond on the subdivision.

Mr. LaBossiere replied that there is still a bond being held and that it is held for a year after the subdivision roadways are accepted.

Mr. Aldenberg asked where the Board stands on this issue; the engineer has said the subdivision was built in accordance with the plans.

Ms. Popielski stated that the engineer doing an as-built for any development is promising the Town and the Board that the road and the drainage have been built to specifications.  She requested that an engineer from Hayes come to the Board to address the drainage concerns.

Ms. Lindberg stated that the developer’s attorney should be contacted to request the attendance of the developer and his engineers at the next Planning Board meeting.

In response to a comment from Mr. Aldenberg, Mr. Walsh stated that a letter was submitted to the Board last year from the independent engineer that he had hired, however they have been unable to get certain information from the developer’s engineer.

Ms. Popielski stated that the developer does not have an obligation to provide information to Mr. Walsh but does have an obligation to give information to the Board.  If the developer wants the road to be accepted then he will comply, the next option is to take his bond and hire another engineer to get another opinion.

Mr. Aldenberg stressed that there needed to be concrete evidence that the problems on the Peabody Street properties are a result of the work done in the subdivision.  He also felt that any correspondence to the developer should be done through Town Counsel.

Ms. Lindberg stated that the Board was simply going to request Mr. Falite’s presence at the next meeting to answer questions as to why the drainage system is not working to specifications.

Mr. LaBossiere explained that a developer is only required to build according to the plan that was approved by the Planning Board, if it does not work then there would be a lawsuit against the engineers.

Minutes March 13, 2012 and April 11, 2012

MOTION: Made by David Leary to accept the Minutes of March 13, 2012 and April 11, 2012 as written.  Motion seconded by Robert Aldenberg.  Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.  Beverly Popielski abstained from the vote as she was not at the hearings.

MOTION: Made by Robert Aldenberg to adjourn.  Meeting adjourned at 8:38 pm.