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Planning Board Minutes 09/12/2012
Planning Board, Middleton, MA
September 12, 2012

The Middleton Planning Board met at a regularly scheduled meeting on September 12, 2012 at the Fuller Meadow School, 143 South Main Street, Middleton, Massachusetts at 7:30 PM.

The following board members were in attendance:
Christine Lindberg, Chairperson
Leah Moreschi, Clerk
Beverly Popielski
David Leary
John Knott

Also present:
Robert LaBossiere, DPW Director
Karen Matsubara, Recording Secretary

Chairperson Christine Lindberg called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm.

Minutes 8/8/12
MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to accept the minutes as written.  Motion seconded by Leah Moreschi.  Vote 3-0 in favor, motion carried.  John Knott and David Leary abstained from the vote as they did not attend the August 8, 2012 meeting.

Tri-Partite Extension Request-Ryebrooke IV-Ryebrook LLC
Jan King of the Jones Agency on behalf of Ryebrooke LLC requested a two-year extension to the current tri-partite agreement that is set to expire November 2012 and gave a brief overview of the progress of the development.  She confirmed that the Salem Five Bank is still party to the tri-partite and that the amount is the same in response to an inquiry from Ms. Popielski.

MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski that the Board sign the Tri-Partite Agreement for the amount of $157,506.00 extending the agreement to November 10, 2014.  Motion seconded by David Leary.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.

Ms. King agreed to deliver an original tri-partite extension agreement to the Planning Board office for the Board to sign.

ZBA Recommendation-206 South Main Street, Map 26, Lot 3-Special Permits (3) & Site Plan Approval
Attorney Jill Mann appeared on behalf of the three individual applicants.  206 South Main Street LLC is acquiring and renovating the existing building.  Currently there are two tenants that will be located at the rear of the building.  Some sight plan changes are needed to accommodate the tenants.  Those changes include some increased parking, the addition of three exterior overhead doors, two pedestrian doors and a pedestrian walkway.  In addition to Site Plan Approval, 206 South Main Street LLC is seeking a Special Permit to modify a pre-existing legally nonconforming structure.

Allied Collision will be renting approximately 12,000 sq ft and is seeking a Special Permit to allow an auto body repair facility in the M-1 district.

Nature’s Tree is an arborist facility that will be renting 5,000 sq ft of space.  They have company owned vehicles which will be parked overnight at the location.  The use for a landscaper’s office with indoor/outdoor storage also requires a Special Permit in the M-1 zone.

Attorney Mann explained in further detail the current setback and open space requirements which are not met with the existing building that dates back to the 1950s.  The proposed changes will not cause the property to be more nonconforming than it is currently.  It is also anticipated that a full site plan for the front of the building will be filed within the next few months once a tenant is acquired for the space.

Attorney Mann reviewed the architectural plans for both proposed tenants.  Allied Collision will have an office, waiting and reception areas.  There will be no outside overnight parking of cars waiting for repairs; customer vehicles will be stored inside the building.  Allied will have 18 dedicated parking spaces as part of their lease.

Nature’s Tree will have a small sales office and a manager’s office.  They do not anticipate customers at the facility; almost all customer service is done at the customer’s properties.  Nature’s Tree will have 12 dedicated parking spaces.

In response to a question regarding access to the rear of the property, Attorney Mann explained that there is a deeded easement.

Mr. Leary suggested that the applicant work with the owner of the easement to make improvements to accommodate the added vehicular traffic from the rear tenants.

Ms. Popielski expressed concern over damaged parts being stored outside awaiting salvage pick up.

Attorney Mann stated that the tenants have an agreement to store everything inside.

MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to give a favorable recommendation for the petition of 206 South Main Street LLC.  Motion seconded by David Leary.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.

MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to give a favorable recommendation for the petition of Nature’s Tree.  Motion seconded by David Leary.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.

MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to give a favorable recommendation for the petition of Allied Collision.  Motion seconded by John Knott.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.

ZBA Recommendation-165 South Main Street, Map 29, Lot 64A-Special Permits & Site Plan Approval
Attorney Jill Mann appeared on behalf of Revolution Industries, Inc. and reviewed the requested Special Permit to allow a “cigar bar” to be located in what was a two-story home located in the business district on Rte 114.  The Special Permit is required for the proposed changes to a nonconforming building on a nonconforming lot.  A Special Permit is also required to have entertainment at the premises.  The proposed entrance will be on the side of the building.  A large open deck and patio that can only be accessed by entering the building will be built at the rear of the building.  The doors to the existing garage will be relocated to the side of the garage and will be used for employee vehicle parking.  There is sufficient proposed parking and overflow parking.

Mr. Leary commented that today at the existing Old Cuban Cigar shop there were 12 cars and the proposed plan for the new location only has 10.

Attorney Mann stated that the overflow parking can accommodate 15 additional vehicles.  It is not shown on the plan because it is a separate parcel of land.  If more parking is needed the petitioner can negotiate more spaces from the adjacent land owners.  Attorney Mann also reviewed the landscaping and lighting proposals.

Ms. Lindberg questioned the maximum occupancy of the building and the basis for calculating the parking.

Attorney Mann replied that they estimated the maximum load for customers and employees to be 40 but the numbers would be confirmed by the Building Commissioner and that the zoning code dictates the number of required parking spaces.  The second floor of the building will be used for storage and an office which is currently used as the office of the petitioner.

MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to give a positive recommendation for the petition of Revolution Industries Inc.  Motion seconded by David Leary.  Vote 4-1 in favor, motion carried.  Beverly Popielski voted against.

ANR-34 School Street, Map 11, Lots 4 & 5-Middleton Real Estate Group LLC
David Leary is recused from the hearing.  Engineer Scott Cameron of McKenzie Engineering presented the ANR plan to re-subdivide two existing lots into three lots.  All lots will meet the current setback and dimensional requirements of the R1-b Zoning District.  One lot has an existing single-family dwelling that will remain.  The other two lots will be developed for single family dwellings.

MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to approve the ANR for 34 School Street.  Motion seconded by Leah Moreschi.  Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.

Definitive Subdivision-Ridgewood Estates-84 East Street, Map 14, Lots 20 & 20T-LAR Realty LLC
Clerk Leah Moreschi read the legal notice and confirmed that the abutters had been notified.

Attorney Jill Mann appeared on behalf of the applicant.  The project engineer Chris Sparages was also present.

Attorney Mann reviewed the subdivision plans.  The subdivision will be accessed from Towne Road via the easement formerly used for the JCC camp access.  In addition to that access there will also be connections to each of the two adjoining subdivisions which were recently approved.  The project consists of a total of 54 lots and will be constructed in phases.  As with the adjoining subdivisions, there is a lot along the riverfront that will be deeded to Essex County Greenbelt or other entity and subject to a conservation restriction.  Attorney Mann suggested scheduling a site walk in conjunction with the Conservation Commission which is set for September 23, 2012 at 10:00 am.  The project will be staked so that the cul-de-sacs and connections points will be clearly identifiable.  In addition, the Conservation Commission will be viewing the two wetland crossings, storm water areas and the lot along the riverfront.

Chairperson Lindberg questioned the varying widths of the conservancy lot.

Attorney Mann explained that the parties are still in the process of working out the final configuration of that lot because of the constraints of the project’s storm water management.  The project is so large that a response has not yet been received from the Town’s third party review engineer.  Essentially, it is anticipated that there will be a lot of revisions made to the original plan.  The goal for tonight’s meeting was to present a general overview to the Board and abutters and schedule a site walk.

Tony Mastromattei of Towne Road asked if there would be another presentation.

Chairperson Lindberg stated that the Board would be voting to continue the hearing to the next meeting and would be meeting for the site walk on September 23rd.  

DPW Director LaBossiere suggested that if anyone had concerns or questions about the project they should voice them now so that they can be addressed during the review.

John Duval of East Street asked if most of the truck activity during construction would be through Towne Road.

Attorney Mann explained that at the present time they would only be using the access over Towne Road.  Also the expected build out is a minimum of four years; there will be periods of high activity and periods of low activity, it won’t be a constant flow.

David Leary suggested construction of a sidewalk along East Street from Towne Road to the intersection of Maple Street and along one side of the streets in the subdivision instead of constructing sidewalks on both sides of the subdivision as proposed.

Attorney Mann stated that she would present the suggestion to the owners.

Mr. Mastromattei asked about the tree line separation between Towne Road and the new subdivision.

Attorney Mann pointed out the wetland that runs along the rear of the Towne Road properties and explained that they would try to maintain a buffer between the subdivisions.

Steve Lightbown of Lindberg Avenue asked about the cost of the homes to be built at the subdivisions.

Attorney Mann did not have a definitive answer; the cost is dependent on the buyers of the lots.

Chris Sparages stated that the footprint of the proposed homes is between 4,200 and 5,000 sq ft as represented on the plans.

Attorney Mann added that the purpose of putting the proposed home footprint on the plans is for storm water management figures.

Mr. LaBossiere commented that a hydraulic study needed to be done for the water distribution system for the new subdivisions.  

MOTON: Made by Beverly Popielski to schedule a site walk for September 23, 2102 at 10:00 am.  Motion seconded by John Knott.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.

MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to continue the hearing to the next Planning Board meeting on October 10, 2012.  Motion seconded by John Knott.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.

Definitive Subdivision-Essex Crossing-172 Essex Street, Map 10, Lot 20-D.U.C. Residential LLC
Beverly Popielski is recused from the hearing.

Attorney Nancy McCann appeared on behalf of the applicant.  Project engineer Scott Cameron of McKenzie Engineering was also present.

Attorney McCann reviewed the definitive plan.  The property consists of approximately 6.6 acres which is currently improved with a single-family home and various outbuildings.  A five-lot residential subdivision is proposed.  Since the August meeting, revisions have been made to the plans based on the recommendations from the Design Review Committee.  An order of conditions has been received from the Conservation Commission for the roadway and utility work.  A final letter from DK Engineering dated September 11, 2012 indicating that all concerns have been addressed was submitted to the Board.

Scott Cameron of McKenzie Engineering reviewed the definitive plans in more detail.  The five house lots along the 40 foot right of way vary in size from 40,000 sq ft to 69,000 sq ft.  The applicant has agreed to repair the catch basin on Essex Street that currently does not work because it is either collapsed or unable to be cleared out; this will help with drainage for the entire area.  There is a hatched area on the plan that represents an area for an endangered species habitat.  Mr. Cameron reviewed the reasons for the requested waivers.

Eric Rines of 174 Essex Street, direct abutter to the project, stated that his septic pipe is only 3-5 feet off the property line and expressed concern over lights and water from the subdivision going onto his property.

Mr. Cameron stated that the developer could work with Mr. Rines to provide adequate screening.  Regarding the drainage, an oversized culvert is proposed at the low point.  The water that is currently flowing onto the Rines property from the subdivision land will be cut off and redirected toward the roadway.  Mr. Cameron confirmed that the roadway will be elevated above the Rines property.

Chairperson Lindberg stated that she would like to do a site walk of the subdivision with a focus on the high point of the subdivision, the buffer for the Rines property, and the location of the street lights and walls.

Attorney McCann verified that the waiver for no plantings in the cul-de-sac was acceptable to the Board.

In response to a comment from Ms. Lindberg on the 24 foot pavement width, Mr. LaBossiere did not have any issues because it is only a five lot subdivision that has no connections to any other property.

MOTION: Made by Leah Moreschi to schedule a site walk for September 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm.  Motion seconded by John Knott.  Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.

MOTION: Made by Leah Moreschi to continue the hearing to the next Planning Board meeting on October 10, 2012.  Motion seconded by John Knott.  Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.

Roadway Improvement Plan-Summit Avenue, Map 13, Lot 64A-George Collins
Attorney McCann appeared on behalf of the applicant.  The applicant had appeared before the Board informally at the beginning of June to discuss the process and was directed to file a road improvement plan in accordance with the Adequate Access Regulations.  The plan drawn by Scott Cameron of McKenzie Engineering provides access to Mr. Collins’ lot from Lindberg Ave, up Metcalf Ave and over Summit Ave.  A package including the letter application, road improvement plan, property deed and 1927 subdivision layout of the area was submitted to the Board.  Mr. Cameron has been working with the Fire Department and Police Department to get input for the roadway design.

Scott Cameron reviewed the plan.  He explained that the existing homes in the area gain access from East Street over McLean Court to Lindberg Ave.  The roadway improvement is proposed to begin on Lindberg from the point where the pavement currently ends.  The existing access varies from 15 feet to 18 feet in width.  Oversized turns would be constructed at the corners from Lindberg to Metcalf and Metcalf to Summit for emergency vehicle turning movement.  The road will be super-elevated and will slope to one side, rather than having a crown with gutters on the sides.  That will allow the installation of country drainage swales along the perimeter of the road and mimics the existing drainage and is low maintenance.  There are some small depressions at the end to accommodate additional run-off from the roadway.  A hammerhead turn-around will be provided.  The plan was reviewed by Fire and Police to show that there was adequate turning for emergency vehicles.  A water line is proposed to be brought up from East Street which will provide fire protection for the neighborhood.  In addition, all the streets will be signed to meet 911 requirements.

Chairperson Lindberg asked why they were only proposing 18 feet of pavement within the 40 foot right of way.

Mr. Cameron replied that 18 feet is adequate and exceeds the 16 foot minimum.

Mr. Leary stated that anytime there are new road improvements the minimum is 20 feet.

Mr. Cameron explained that the existing pavement varies from 15 feet to a maximum of 18 feet at the end.

Chairperson Lindberg agreed with Mr. Leary’s comments and also asked that the road be widened to 20 feet.

Attorney McCann said that if the pavement width could be increased and it made sense to increase it, then they would; the improvement is coming off an 18’ paved surface.

Mr. Leary added that two cars can hardly pass each other on an 18 foot wide street.

Ms. Popielski commented that there are many other lots that are undeveloped in the area and once the roadway is improved there is the potential that those lots will get developed.

Ms. Lindberg stated that most roadways are 26 feet in width but the Board has allowed 24 feet.  The Essex Crossing subdivision only has five lots and the Board is allowing a 24 foot wide roadway for them; there is a potential for much more than five homes to be constructed in this area.

Mr. LaBossiere noted that the last two road improvements approved by the Board had a paved width of 20 feet.

Mr. Cameron mentioned that the State Fire Safety Regulations require a minimum width of 18 feet for emergency vehicle access.

In response to a question from Ms. Popielski about the need for a guardrail, Mr. Cameron pointed out two areas on the plan where guardrails will be located.

To avoid waiting another month, Attorney McCann suggested that the Board vote on the road improvement plan with the 20 foot paved width.  The plan would be revised by the engineer and delivered to the Planning Board office for review by Mr. LaBossiere before being signed by the Chair and the written decision will be filed with the Town Clerk.

Mr. Lightbown of Lindberg Ave stated that he has maintained the roadway for twenty-seven years and is in favor of the proposed improvement.  He asked who would be maintaining the road.

Chairperson Lindberg explained that the roadway will still be a private road and that it is up to the property owners to maintain the roadway.  If the roadway was built to full Town specifications, the owners could petition the Town to accept the roadway as a public way.

MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to approve the roadway as shown on the plans for improvements for portions of Lindberg Avenue, Metcalf Avenue and Summit Avenue with the condition that roadway pavement will be no less than 20 feet wide.  Motion seconded by David Leary.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.

Roadway Improvement Plan-Pine Street, Map 18, Lot 63-Alan L. Grenier
Chairperson Lindberg read a letter from the applicant dated September 11, 2012 requesting a continuance to the October 10, 2012 Planning Board hearing.

MOTION: Made by David Leary to continue the hearing to October 10, 2012.  Motion seconded by John Knott.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.

Other Business-

  • Olde Boxford Estates-Mr. LaBossiere stated that the developer is under the belief that he doesn’t have to do anything for the connecting road to the adjacent property.
Chairperson Lindberg stated that he has to build out the connecting roadway to the property line.

  • Master Plan Committee representative-Ms. Lindberg asked if any of the Board members wanted to be the Planning Board representative on the Master Plan Committee to fill the vacancy left by Mr. Aldenberg.
Chairperson Lindberg volunteered to be representative.

MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to adjourn the meeting at 9:52 pm.