Planning Board, Middleton, MA
MINUTES OF THE MEETING
March 27, 2013
The Middleton Planning Board met at a specially scheduled meeting on March 27, 2013 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
Karen Matsubara, Recording Secretary
Chairperson Christine Lindberg called the meeting to order at 7:31 pm
Public Hearing-Zoning Amendment Recommendations-Citizens Petition
Clerk Leah Moreschi read the legal notice and confirmed that notices had been sent to the abutting towns and the regional planning agencies.
Arthur Carakatsane presented the proposed changes to the Board. He reviewed the issues with the current sign bylaw with regard to temporary signs including enforcement and aesthetics.
Narissa Parisi of Tesoro Boston, located in the Teresa’s Plaza explained that the temporary signage is very important for her business. The A-frame signage accounts for bringing in 80-90% of new business. Neither the internet nor print advertising is as effective as the a-frame signs.
Liz White of Mason & Madison also spoke in favor of the proposed sign bylaw changes. She felt that the lack of compliance with the existing bylaw was due to a lack of awareness. She explained that the a-frame signs inform the public of the goods and services that are provided by the local businesses and in the case of some of the plazas, awareness of the location of the businesses.
George Dow explained that he had always been opposed to the a-frame signs but has since been convinced that they are needed for the local businesses.
Sandy Gove, owner of Marvin Design demonstrated that the services and products offered by the larger chain establishments in Town are well known by the general public but the smaller independent stores don’t have the same opportunities for advertising which makes the a-frame signs so important for them.
Mr. Carakatsane explained that this is the fourth board that the sign bylaw changes have been presented to and each board has different issues. The original intent was to propose the changes through the Bylaw Committee, but they felt that more work was needed on the proposal and were unable to issue a report for Town Meeting because of time constraints.
Chairperson Lindberg opened the hearing for Board member questions and comments.
Mr. Leary commented on the sign that belongs to the library which has been lying on the ground for a week. He felt the business community needs to police itself and make sure the signs are in compliance.
Ms. Popielski noted that there are a-frame signs that are still out after the business has closed for the evening which is a violation of the existing bylaw.
Ms. Moreschi commented that the people that are in attendance this evening are the people that care and have helped create what they feel are reasonable regulations for the temporary signs.
Ms. Lindberg explained that she had already reviewed the proposal as it was presented to the Selectmen as a citizen’s petition. She had hoped that the proposal would have been presented through the Bylaw Committee because as a citizen’s petition the Planning Board does not have the authority to change any of the language. Ms. Lindberg expressed concern that portions of the proposed changes would not make things better and suggested that the Board take no action and table the matter so that the Bylaw Review Committee could work on a more cohesive bylaw proposal that everyone would be onboard with.
Mr. Carakatsane stated that some of the businesses have said that if the attitude in Town doesn’t change then they will leave.
Ms. Lindberg felt that the Town is business friendly and has always worked with the Board of Trade. She thought there would be another Town Meeting in the fall and that a proposal could be put together between the Board of Trade and Bylaw Committee to be presented at that meeting.
Warren Kelly explained that he does not like a-frames but they serve their purpose. He felt the real problem was enforcement. There are a few violators that are hurting the whole business community.
Chairperson Lindberg called for a motion with a roll call vote.
MOTION: Made by Leah Moreschi to make a positive recommendation for the Citizen’s Petition for amendments to the sign bylaw. Motion seconded by David Leary.
David Leary-No. Mr. Leary felt that the proposal is not finished. The business community can continue under the current bylaw until a better proposal can be made.
Beverly Popielski-No. Ms. Popielski also thought the proposal needed more work.
Christine Lindberg-No. Ms. Lindberg voted against the proposal for reasons that she had already stated. The Planning Board will notify the Board of Selectmen to give direction to the Bylaw Review Committee to continue to convene and work with the Board of Trade to address this matter and keep it moving forward for the Fall Town Meeting.
Leah Moreschi-Yes. Ms. Moreschi stated that she sees the need for the proposed changes.
George Dow suggested that the Board amend their vote to take no action rather than giving an unfavorable recommendation.
MOTION: Made by David Leary that the Board take no action on the Citizen’s Petition. Motion seconded by Beverly Popielski. Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.
Meeting Minutes-February 20, 2013 & March 13, 2013
MOTION: Made by Leah Moreschi to accept the minutes of February 20, 2013 as written. Motion seconded by David Leary, Vote 3-0 in favor, motion carried. Beverly Popielski abstained.
MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to accept the minutes of March 13, 2013 as written. Motion seconded by Leah Moreschi. Vote 3-0 in favor, motion carried. David Leary abstained.
Bond Reduction-Essex Crossing, Map 10, Lot 20-D.U.C. Residential
Chairperson Lindberg explained that this matter was continued from the last hearing due to a lack of quorum. The bond estimate prepared by Robert LaBossiere reduces the current bond amount by $11,300, leaving a balance of $95,529.
MOTION: Made by David Leary to reduce the Essex Crossing bond to $95,529. Motion seconded by Leah Moreschi. Vote 3-0 in favor, motion carried.
Beverly Popielski was recused.
Definitive Subdivision Modification-Lewis Drive (f/k/a Pheasant Ridge) 75 & 77 South Main Street, Map 25, Lots 57, 58, 58A, 58B & 58C-John & Yvonne McAuley (continued)
Chairperson Lindberg informed the applicant that there was only a four member board available.
The applicant Yvonne McAuley agreed to go forward with her petition as she was concerned with the timing of the Rte 114 improvements and hooking up the water line for the subdivision.
Ms. Lindberg stated that concerns were brought up at the meeting before last with regard to the detention pond at the back of the property as well as concerns of the abutters.
Janet Parker, abutter to the property reiterated her concerns about headlights and the flow of water from the subdivision.
Chairperson Lindberg confirmed that the concern about the utility connection was resolved. DK Engineering reviewed the plans and said that in his estimation the proposed storm water management will be sufficient.
Project Engineer Vaclav Talacko added that the storm water management was designed for a 100 year storm; the standard design is for a 25 year storm.
In response to a question of maintenance of the detention area, Ms. Lindberg explained that the Town maintains the basins after the roadways are accepted. Ms. Lindberg called for a motion on the modification with one new waiver.
MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to approve the Modification of the Definitive Subdivision plan for Lewis Drive prepared for Yvonne McAuley by Hancock Associates, dated November 6, 2012 and revised through February 5, 2013 with additional waiver #10- Appendix Page (iv) B.5. – Where adjacent property is not subdivided, provisions shall be made for the extension of the drainage system by continuing appropriately sized drains to the exterior boundaries of the subdivision, at such size as will allow for their proper projection. Such drains shall be capped. Applicant proposed to not extend the drainage system to the boundaries of the subdivision. The Board grants a waiver to allow the drainage system to not be extended to the boundaries of the subdivision.
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
Chairperson Lindberg stated that Attorney Jill Mann had sent a letter requesting a continuance to the April 10, 2013 Planning Board hearing.
MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to continue the hearing for Ridgewood Estates to April 10, 2013. Motion seconded by Leah Moreschi. Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.
Public Hearing-Zoning Amendment Recommendations (continued from March 13, 2013)
Chairperson Lindberg explained that the proposed amendments were reviewed at the last hearing. The Board had questions and comments and a few of the proposals were sent back to the Bylaw Review Committee for further review. The Committee did make changes to the proposed amendments and resubmitted them for recommendation to Town Meeting.
1. Add new Section “Temporary Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers”
Representative of the Bylaw Committee, Craig Hartwell explained that the Committee amended the Moratorium to one year instead of two with a caveat that the moratorium would be extended for an additional year in the event that the State has not issued any permits for medical marijuana treatment centers by January 1, 2014.
Chairperson Lindberg felt that the caveat should not have been included and expressed concern that the Attorney General would reject the moratorium.
Mr. Hartwell stated that if no permits are issued by January 1, 2014 the added time will allow for a thoughtful review of the impacts of a medical marijuana treatment center on the community and allow the Bylaw Committee time to draft a comprehensive zoning bylaw for the use in Town.
MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to make a positive recommendation on the amended Temporary Moratorium. Motion seconded by David Leary. Vote 3-1 in favor, motion carried. Christine Lindberg voted against.
2. Amend Section 6.3.4-Driveway Grades
Chairperson Lindberg stated the Board had suggested that the Bylaw Committee revise the grades to mimic the road grades for major, minor and secondary roads. The Bylaw Committee was in agreement with the recommendation and revised the proposal.
MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to make a positive recommendation on the amended Section 6.3.4-Driveway Grades. Motion seconded by Leah Moreschi. Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.
3. Amend Table of Use Regulations, Section C-Commercial, Line 6-Nursing home, Line 7-Veterinary hospital, Line 8-Kennel and Line 9-Riding stable
Mr. Hartwell explained that currently the uses are allowed in the RA district by special permit, the proposed amendment will also allow the uses in the B and M-1 districts by special permit.
Ms. Lindberg stated that at the last meeting the Planning Board suggested removing the uses from the RA district for Nursing Homes-Line 6 and Veterinary Hospitals-Line 7 only. The Bylaw Committee revised the proposed amendment to remove the uses for Lines 6 and 7 as suggested.
MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to make a positive recommendation on the amendment to the Table of Use Regulations, Section C, Lines 6, 7, 8 & 9 as amended. Motion seconded by David Leary. Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.
4. Amend Table of Use Regulations, Section C-Commercial, Line 26-Educational use, non-exempt
Mr. Hartwell stated that the Bylaw Committee felt that the definition of Educational use was overly broad. The Committee voted to amend the regulations to allow the use in the M-1 district but thought that changing to allow the use by special permit through the Board of Appeals rather than by right would be best at this time. The Bylaw Committee will continue to work on Educational uses by breaking them down into separate categories and will propose that some of them be allowed by right.
Ms. Lindberg clarified that the proposed amendment will allow the use in the M-1 district by special permit through the Board of Appeals and removes the use from the RA district.
MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to make a positive recommendation on the amendment to the Table of Use Regulations, Section C, Line 26 as amended. Motion seconded by David Leary. Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.
5. Amend Table of Use Regulations, Section G-Accessory Uses, Line7-Adult day-care
Ms. Lindberg stated that the Planning Board had suggested that the use be taken out of the residential districts.
Mr. Hartwell commented that, again, the definition is broad; an adult day care could be a large facility or care of a single person in a residential home. The Bylaw Committee decided that the use should remain in the residential districts as it is now and add the use by special permit through the Board of Appeals in the B and M-1 districts as proposed.
MOTION: Made by Beverly Popielski to make a positive recommendation on the proposed amendment to the Table of Use Regulations Section G, Line 7-Adult. Motion seconded by Leah Moreschi. Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.
Discussion Road Acceptance-Smith Farm Estates, Ross Lane and Warren Drive
Chairperson Lindberg acknowledged that the interested parties were present. Attorney McCann had sent in a request to continue the matter. Ms. Lindberg wanted to brief the Board on what has occurred with respect to acceptance of the subdivision roadways.
Attorney McCann stated that the developer had been before the Board back in December. Since that time a full as-built plan has been submitted to the DPW Director, Robert LaBossiere for review. There is another piece of information that the project engineer, Peter Ogren is working on that was not ready for tonight and that was the reason that the continuance was requested.
Ms. Lindberg stated that the Board was not going to go into too much tonight. Mr. LaBossiere is not present tonight specifically because he was aware that a continuance had been requested. The as-built plans are being reviewed by Mr. LaBossiere and the Conservation Agent. The Board did receive notification that Ms. Arizzi and Mr. Walsh have filed an action in Superior Court against the developer. There is a place holder warrant article for the acceptance of the roadways should the matter get resolved prior to Town Meeting. The Board will not be giving their recommendation for the acceptance tonight. The recommendation will probably be given at the April 10, 2013 Planning Board meeting or, if necessary, at a special meeting prior to Town Meeting. Ms. Lindberg commented that she
intends to consult with the Town Administrator and Town Counsel prior to the next hearing with regard to the proposed roadway acceptance.
Abutter to the project Aaron Walsh asked to present correspondence regarding issues on his property that was prepared by the engineering firm Tetra Tech.
Ms. Lindberg advised Mr. Walsh to submit his documentation to the Public Works Director.
Chairperson Lindberg called for a motion to adjourn
MOTION: Made by David Leary to adjourn. Vote all in favor to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 9:15 pm.