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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 04/26/2012

Zoning Board of Appeals
Middleton, MA
April 26, 2012

The Middleton Zoning Board of Appeals met at a regularly scheduled meeting
on April 26, 2012 at the Fuller Meadow School,
143 South Main Street, Middleton, Massachusetts at 7:00 PM.

The following board members were in attendance:
Chairperson Lynn Murphy, Clerk Anne Cote, and members Craig Hartwell (arrived late),
James Fox and Jeff Garber

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

Chairperson Lynn Murphy called the meeting to order at 7:02 PM.

37 Maple Street, Map 25, Lot 113-Dana and Pauline Caldwell-Appeal of Building Commissioner’s Decision-Application #928
(Hearing continued from 1/26/12, 2/23/12, and 3/22/12, Site Walk conducted on 1/29/12)

Attorney John Keilty was not in attendance.  He requested a continuance pursuant to correspondence dated 4/23/12.  (Letter on file)

MOTION: Made by James Fox to continue the hearing to May 24, 2012.  Motion seconded by Jeff Garber.  Vote unanimously in favor, motion carried.

65 North Main Street, Map 17, Lot 96-Town of Middleton Police -Minor Site Plan Modification
Chairperson Murphy stated that another Board Member was needed for the petition.  Craig Hartwell arrived at 7:04 pm.  This hearing was not advertised because the petitioner considers the changes to be a minor modification.  If the Board agrees that the modification is minor and approves the changes, a formal set of plans will be submitted to the Building Commissioner to reflect the new site plan.  If the Board feels the changes are not minor a formal petition will have to be filed for an advertised public hearing.

Chief James DiGianvittorio appeared on behalf of the petition.  A rendering of the changes was distributed to the Board members.  The changes to the site plan include a modification to the proposed archway to be located at the front of the building which has not been constructed.  After the addition to the building was in place it was discovered that the proposed ramp could be shortened approximately six (6) feet and still be ADA compliant due to the site elevations.  Because of that change, the arch could also be shorted and a roof would be added over the walkway.

In response to a question from Mr. Fox about the flat roof, Chief DiGianvittorio stated that the Architect DeNisco Design approved the roof which would have a built-in drainage system.

MOTION: Made by Lynn Murphy that the Board find that the changes requested pursuant to the revision dated April 9, 2012 constitute a minor modification not requiring a formal advertised hearing.  It was further motioned that the Board approve the proposed changes.  Motion seconded by Craig Hartwell.  Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.

323 North Main Street, Map 9, Lot 29-Richard D’Angelo-Special Permit & Site Plan Modification-Application #931
(Hearing continued from 3/22/12, Site Walk conducted 4/22/12)

Chairperson Murphy stated that at the previous hearing Jeff Garber had recused himself due to a possible conflict of interest which has since resolved itself and gave the petitioner the option to have Mr. Garber sit in on the hearing.

Attorney Jill Mann did not have any issues continuing the hearing with Mr. Garber.  As a result of the last meeting a traffic report was prepared by Rich Williams and submitted to the Board.  Comments from the hearing, as well as some comments from the site walk were taken into consideration and some changes were made; a revised plan was submitted to the Board.  A copy of the traffic report was also forwarded to Mr. Richardson.  The changes to the plan include a slight relocation of the crosswalk.  The sidewalk comes out and forces a hard turn and stop after exiting the pick-up window before continuing to the exit of the parking lot.  A request had been made to bank the last two parking spaces which will be accomplished by striping them.  If there is a future demand for parking the petitioner would come back to the Board to request the additional parking spaces.

Chairperson Murphy asked Attorney Mann to review the changes requested by the ICDRC.

Attorney Mann explained that the ICDRC had requested plantings in the island that designates the drive-through lane.  The DPW Director did not want the plantings because it is such a small island the plantings would be hard to maintain.  The island will be more of a rumble strip (pavers) to simply designate the lane.  Another change requested by the ICDRC was the decrease to the driveway opening.  Attorney Mann argued that decreasing the driveway size would make entering and exiting more difficult and less safe.  The last change requested was removal of the existing concrete walkway which is under the overhang of the building and part of the architecture.  Attorney Mann reviewed that area of the plan and explained that removal of the concrete would not be feasible.  The addition of no parking signs out front was requested by the DPW Director and has been added to the plan.

Engineer, Rich Williams explained that there is no height to the island.  It is a textured surface that is flush with the pavement and is easier for maintenance of the site.  The “stop bar” is a painted line.

Mr. Fox expressed concern over the cars exiting the drive-through across the path of incoming traffic.  

Attorney Mann explained that the only access for the drive-through would be via Rockaway.

Chairperson Murphy suggested the driveway for the exiting drive-through traffic be an exit only driveway.

Attorney Mann felt that making that change would be disastrous because people that did not want to use the drive-through would still try to go into that driveway.  In reference to the anticipated business increase, it is anticipated that there will be a 30% increase for the drive-through 15% will be new customers and 15% will be a conversion from the existing walk-in customers.

Chairperson Murphy pointed out that the other Dunkin Donuts on 114 near the Danvers line has vehicles backed out onto 114 in the mornings.

Attorney Mann explained that their back up was due to a four car queue line, this facility has an eleven car queue line.

Jeff Garber suggested that moving the pick-up window back would be safer.

Attorney Mann stated that moving the window back would shorten the queue line.

Craig Hartwell pointed out that only one lane is crossed by the vehicles entering the site from the traffic traveling east; there is approximately 40’ from the edge of 114 to the stop bar location.  He suggested that there is adequate distance to safely enter the driveway.  With the banking of parking spaces #7 & #8 there will be more room for cars queuing to exit onto 114.  He also suggested moving the crosswalk up so that it would go straight across the parking lot rather than be at an angle.

Attorney Mann agreed with the relocation of the sidewalk.  In response to comments from the Board on the two traffic studies, Attorney Mann reiterated that the site exists and the increase in new business is expected to be only 15%.

Chairperson Murphy called a five-minute recess, back on record at 8:11 pm.

MOTION: Made by Lynn Murphy that the Board find that the adverse affects of the proposed use will not outweigh the beneficial impacts to the Town and/or the neighborhood in view of the particular characteristics of the site and the proposal in relation to the site.  In so finding, the Board has considered the community need for the service, the traffic and pedestrian flow on site, including parking which the Board has found sufficient based upon two traffic reports.  The Board finds that the utilities for the site are adequate and that there will be no negative impact to the neighborhood or the natural environment.  Motion seconded by Craig Hartwell.  Vote unanimously in favor, motion carried.

MOTION: Made by Lynn Murphy that the Board grant the petitioner’s request for a Special Permit pursuant to Section 3.1.2 of the Middleton Zoning Bylaw in accordance with the Table of Use Regulations for the Modification of a previously approved Site Plan to permit the addition of a drive-through to the existing Dunkin Donuts with the following conditions:

  • Parking Spaces #7 & #8 will be banked and striped to indicate that they will not be used.
  • In the event that the space #8 is needed, the petitioner will submit a certified letter to the Building Inspector to be kept on file.  The change will be a minor modification not requiring a formal hearing.
Motion seconded by Craig Hartwell.  Vote unanimously in favor, motion carried.

Approval of Minutes-March 22, 2012
MOTION: Made by Craig Hartwell to accept the meeting minutes of March 22, 2012 as written.  Motion seconded by James Fox.  Vote unanimously in favor, motion carried.

MOTION: Made by James Fox to adjourn at 8:15 PM.