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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 02/23/2012

Zoning Board of Appeals
Middleton, MA
MINUTES OF THE MEETING
February 23, 2012

The Middleton Zoning Board of Appeals met at a regularly scheduled meeting
on February 23, 2012 at the Fuller Meadow School,
143 South Main Street, Middleton, Massachusetts at 7:00 PM.

The following board members were in attendance:
Chairperson Barbara Lynn Murphy, Clerk Anne Cote, and members Barbara Piselli, Craig Hartwell, James Fox and Jeff Garber

Others present:
Richard Bienvenue, Building Commissioner, Karen Matsubara, Recording Secretary

Chairperson Lynn Murphy called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

70 Maple Street, Map 25, Lot 202–Marie, Oreste and Joel Magliozzi-Use Variance and Site Plan Approval-Application #927
(Hearing continued from January 26, 2012.)

Chairperson Murphy announced that the petitioners withdrew their petition without prejudice the day after the previous hearing.


37 Maple Street, Map 25, Lot 113-Dana and Pauline Caldwell-Appeal of Building Commissioner’s Decision-Application #928
(Hearing continued from January 26, 2012, Site Walk conducted on January 29, 2012.)

Attorney John Keilty appeared on behalf of the petitioners.  Evidence was presented at the last hearing in support of the home being used as a multi-family dating back to 1959 as evidenced in the Polk Directories.  When the Caldwells purchased the property in 1982 the property was then a three-family.  Some long-time residents have suggested that at some time during the 40s and 50s the property was used as a nursing home.  The home was originally built in 1918.  In July of 2010 there was a fire in the home, after which the Caldwells put the home on the market.  When they went to the Building Commissioner to obtain permits to repair the damaged unit it was discovered that no permits had been pulled to convert the home from a single family to a multi-unit dwelling.

The petitioner is seeking an opinion from the Board that the home has a pre-existing nonconforming status based on the evidence provided.  That would allow the Caldwells to rebuild the third unit and bring everything up to code.  In 2000 a new septic system was installed.  The Health Agent at that time noted that the home was an eight bedroom, four-unit apartment building.

Chairperson Murphy stated that the Board was looking for evidence that would show that the home as a two-family was established prior to the change in zoning which was in 1955.

James Fox questioned whether there was more than one family living at the home at the time it was sold in 1959.

Attorney Keilty replied that there was not more than one family; the directory in 1959 showed the property was occupied by Earl Jones and one vacancy.  The neighborhood is comprised of single and multi-family dwellings.

Barbara Piselli asked for clarification on the number of units the petitioner is trying to establish.

Attorney Keilty stated that the petitioners would like to have three units.  The earliest evidence they have seems to suggest that the home had two units.  He requested a continuance to the next hearing to try to find evidence prior to 1955 to support a multi-family use.

MOTION: Made by Craig Hartwell to continue the hearing to March 22, 2012.  Motion seconded by Jeff Garber.  Vote unanimously in favor, motion carried.

149 South Main Street, Map 29, Lot 68-Sita Van-Special Permit, Application #929
Clerk Anne Cote read the legal notice and confirmed that the abutters had been notified.

As abutters to the property, James Fox and Jeff Garber are recused from this hearing.

Sita Van, owner of Middleton Karate Academy & Fitness explained that he was seeking a Special Permit to operate his business at 149 South Main Street in the space formerly occupied by Fitness Together.

Building Commissioner Bienvenue explained that the fitness use is an allowed use at the facility but the Karate use needs a special permit.  

Barbara Piselli asked what type of services/classes would be offered.

Mr. Van replied that because of the zoning they were now focusing on private fitness training, and if they receive the special permit will move forward with cardio kickboxing, martial arts training and other cardio classes.

Chairperson Murphy called a five minute recess; back on record at 7:29 pm.

MOTION: Made by Lynn Murphy that the Board find that the petitioner’s request for a special permit pursuant to Section 3.1.2 of the Bylaw in accordance with the Table of Use Regulations to operate a martial arts group training facility will not outweigh the beneficial impact to the town in view of the particular characteristics of the site and the proposed use in relation to the site and the Board further find that the use will fulfill a community need.  There will be no negative impact on the traffic or pedestrian flow on site.  The use will not adversely impact the neighborhood characteristics, as the plaza in which it will be located has a mix of retail and service related tenants.  There is adequate parking.  There will be little if any impact on the natural environment.  There will be no negative impact on the Town’s services.  Motion seconded by Craig Hartwell.  Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.

MOTION: Made by Lynn Murphy that based on the findings, the Board approve the petitioner’s request for a special permit pursuant to Section 3.1.2.  Motion seconded by Craig Hartwell.  Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.

Shapner’s Pond Road, Map 9 Lots 24 & 36-Hawkeye LLC-Special Permit, Application #930
Clerk Anne Cote read the legal notice and confirmed that the abutters had been notified.

Eric DiGrazia, property owner, distributed a colored plan of the property to the Board members to help illustrated the areas that are proposed to be used by Hawkeye LLC for temporary outdoor contactor storage for the duration of the National Grid upgrade project expected to last approximately one year.  Some of the property is in North Andover and a permit has already been issued by them for the location of the office trailer and vehicles.  On the plan, the blue area indicates the area now being used and the pink indicates the area where they wish to expand to.  

Pat Quigley of Hawkeye LLC gave a more detailed description of the equipment and materials that would be stored in Middleton.  There are approximately 30 pieces of heavy equipment in use for the project, most of which will stay out on the lines.

Barbara Piselli questioned the traffic flow and times of operation.

Mr. Quigley explained that they start the day at 6:30 with a meeting, the materials are put together to go out into the field and usually leave by 7:00 am.  The work day ends between 4:30 and 5:30 pm.  All traffic enters and exits via Sharpner’s Pond Road.

Barbara Piselli asked if the same amount of equipment will be stored at the facility and will be enter and exiting the same way, regardless of whether the Board approves the petition or not.

Mr. DiGrazia confirmed that everything could be stored on the North Andover side but he would like to have some of the storage in Middleton because it would keep his property more orderly and have a better appearance.  He explained the on-site traffic would circle around the back side of the industrial buildings.

In response to a question about the project, Mr. Quigley explained that Hawkeye LLC is reconductoring the high-tension electrical wiring from Danvers to Boxford.  The project is expected to be complete by mid January 2013.

Ms. Murphy asked what would be used to contain the equipment and materials to the proposed areas.

Mr. Quigley explained that a temporary fence would be put up to secure the yard.

Ms. Murphy asked if the Board would be putting the petitioner at a disadvantage if the petition was continued to the next hearing so that a site walk could be conducted.

Mr. Quigley explained that there are reels being stored at a port in New York that are being assessed fines, also there is an outage scheduled with Middleton Electric Light’s sub-station off Sharpner’s Pond Road.  The project does tie in directly with the Middleton sub-station.  The outage plans have already been submitted to Middleton, Peabody and Danvers.  The purpose of the project is to double the size of conductor to meet demand and provide more reliable service.

MOTION: Made by Lynn Murphy that the Board find that the Special Permit being requested by the petitioner pursuant to Section 3.1.2 of the Bylaw in accordance with the Table of Use Regulations to use a portion of the subject property as a contractor’s yard for the duration of the National Grid upgrade project to last approximately one year, will not outweigh its benefit to the Town in view of the characteristics of the site and the proposed use in relation to the site.  This proposal will serve a community need.  The traffic and pedestrian flow concerns have been satisfied.  There will be no negative impact to the neighborhood characteristic as the site is very isolated and is not close to any residential neighborhood.  There will be no negative impact on the natural environment based on the representations of the petitioner.  There will be a positive economic impact for the Town.  Motion seconded by Craig Hartwell.  Vote unanimously in favor, motion carried.

MOTION: Made by Lynn Murphy that based upon the findings, the Board grant the petitioner’s request for a Special Permit pursuant to Section 3.1.2 and that the Board further condition that the Special Permit will expire in twelve months and the traffic flow will be around the rear of the industrial park onto Sharpner’s Pond Road.  Motion seconded by Craig Hartwell.  Vote unanimously in favor, motion carried.

Approval of Minutes-January 26, 2012
MOTION: Made by Barbara Piselli to accept the meeting minutes as written.  Motion seconded by Craig Hartwell.  Vote unanimously in favor, motion carried.

MOTION: Made by Craig Hartwell to adjourn at 7:55 PM.