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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 09/27/2012
Zoning Board of Appeals
Middleton, MA
MINUTES OF THE MEETING
September 27, 2012

The Middleton Zoning Board of Appeals met at a regularly scheduled meeting
on September 27, 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 Piselli, Clerk, Anne Cote, and members Craig Hartwell, James Fox, Nicholas Yebba and Jeff Garber

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

Chairperson, Barbara Piselli called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. and announced that the Board would resolve some scheduling issues as one of the voting members is ill.

10 Village Road, Map 20, Lot 23, Map 21, Lot 16 and Map14, Lots 46 & 51-Ferncroft Holdings LLC & Knoll Holdings LLC-Special Permit Modification-Application #935
Jeff Garber is recused from the hearing.

Chairperson Piselli reviewed the voting members for the petition-Craig Hartwell, Robert Aldenberg, James Fox, Anne Cote and Barbara Piselli.  She appointed Mr. Yebba as an alternative voting member.

Attorney Jill Mann agreed to a continuance to the next meeting when there would be a whole compliment of the Board and asked if it would be possible to schedule a special meeting prior to the end of October.  If the Board was inclined to schedule an earlier hearing Attorney Mann asked that the hearing remain open until that date had been set for continuance.

Chairperson Piselli stated that no evidence would be taken and there would be no discussion for this hearing.

165 South Main Street, Map 29, Lot 64A –Revolution Industries Inc.-Special Permit and Site Plan Approval
Chairperson Piselli announced that three of the Board members are recused from this hearing because they are abutters, leaving the petitioner with a four-member board one of which is ill and not in attendance this evening.  

Attorney Mann representing the petitioner requested that the hearing be opened so that a site walk could be set if necessary.

Clerk Anne Cote read the legal notice and confirmed that the abutters had been notified.  

Ms. Piselli questioned the nature of the petition because of the existing special permits and site plan approval for the property and asked whether a rescission of the previous decision is being sought.

Attorney Mann stated that only a site plan approval existed for the property and that if the property owners decided to go forward they would have to come back for a modification of the site plan approval.

MOTION: Made by Craig Hartwell to schedule a site walk.  Motion seconded by Anne Cote.  Vote 3-0 in favor, motion carried.  Site walk set for October 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm.

Chairperson Piselli announced the voting members for the petition-Craig Hartwell, Anne Cote, Robert Aldenberg and Barbara Piselli.

1 Central Street, Map 25, Lot 160–Paul Richardson-Special Permit

Chairperson Piselli announced the voting members-Nicholas Yebba, James Fox, Craig Hartwell, Anne Cote and Barbara Piselli.  

Clerk Anne Cote read the legal notice and confirmed that the abutters had been notified.

Paul Richardson presented the petition to allow a tutoring business at one of the units at 1 Central Street.  There will be no changes to the interior or exterior of the building.  The space has previously been used as an office for computer programmers.  

In response to a question on the hours of operation from Mr. Fox, the proposed tenant Eve Anderson stated that classes would be held after school to early evening and did not anticipate operating after 9:00 pm.  Ms. Anderson stated that she was the only tutor at this time but additional staff could be added if necessary.  The tutoring would be private sessions and small group classes.  The maximum size of the group class would be five students with ten students as a maximum number at the facility at one time.  In addition to tutoring a two-hour after school homework help session is being proposed.

MOTION: Made by Barbara Piselli that the Board make a finding that the proposed petition, based on the information provided by the petitioner and business owner, satisfies a community need in that she will provide tutoring services to the children of Middleton.  This is an especially appropriate location based on its proximity to the Howe Manning School.  Further this fills a vacant office in a business property in the community.  The proposed petition has no adverse effects on vehicular or pedestrian traffic flow or safety.  There is adequate on-site parking.  There are no anticipated changes to the traffic pattern.  There has been no evidence presented that the proposal would have any impact on Town utilities or public services.  The use is clearly consonant with other uses within the Central Street development.  Motion seconded by Nicholas Yebba.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.  

MOTION: Made by Barbara Piselli that, based on the findings and the evidence presented, the Board grant the requested Special Permit to operate a tutoring business in an existing building.

After some discussion the Board decided that they would not impose restrictions on the class sizes or hours.

Motion seconded by Nicholas Yebba.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.

209 South Main Street, Map 26, Lot 1-Attorney Arthur Carakatsane-Appeal-Application #937
Clerk Anne Cote read the legal notice and confirmed that the abutters had been notified.

Chairperson Piselli announced the voting members for the petition-James Fox, Craig Hartwell, Anne Cote, Nicholas Yebba and Barbara Piselli with Jeff Garber as an alternate.  She informed the petitioner’s attorney that it is the Board’s practice to do site walks for petitions such as his where the inside of the dwelling will be viewed.

Attorney Carakatsane stated that his client Mr. Fitiles was unable to attend the meeting because of a family emergency and agreed to schedule a site walk with the Board.

MOTION: Made by Barbara Piselli to set a site walk.  Motion seconded by Craig Hartwell.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.  The site walk was set for October 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

MOTION: Made by Craig Hartwell to continue the hearing.  Motion seconded by Anne Cote.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.  Hearing continued to the next regularly scheduled meeting on October 25, 2012.

206 South Main Street, Map 26, Lot, 3-206 South Main Street LLC-Special Permit and Site Plan Approval-Application #938

Clerk Anne Cote read the legal notice and confirmed that the abutters had been notified.

206 South Main Street, Map 26, Lot 3-Allied Auto Body-Special Permit-Application #939

Clerk Anne Cote read the legal notice and confirmed that the abutters had been notified.

206 South Main Street, Map 26. Lot 3-Nature’s Trees Inc.-Special Permit-Application #940

Clerk Anne Cote read the legal notice and confirmed that the abutters had been notified.

Chairperson Piselli announced the voting members for the petition-James Fox, Craig Hartwell, Nicholas Yebba, Anne Cote and Barbara Piselli with Jeff Garber as an alternate.

Attorney Mann appeared on behalf of the petitioners.  The property has an existing 40,000 sq ft building which has been pretty much vacant for the last five to six years.  206 South Main Street LLC is in the process of purchasing the property and is seeking to get two tenants into the building but will be back for further site plan approval once another tenant is found for the front of the building.  The building is a pre-existing nonconforming use; it does not meet the open space or current setbacks.  The proposal has gone before the ICDRC and the Planning Board.  

Nature’s Tree is proposed to be located at the very back of the building.  Attorney Mann reviewed the proposed floor plan.  One of the rear overhead doors will be used for vehicles to access the space.  There will be indoor material storage and outdoor commercial vehicle storage.  Nature’s Tree is an arborist company which cares for trees, not a landscaping business.

Allied Collision will be located next to Nature’s Tree.  There will be two overhead doors for access to the interior space; one door in and one door out and will be installing floor drains.

The changes requested by the ICDRC were reviewed.  The changes included removing part of the chain-link fence that runs along the property line next to the access road down to the end of the building, in that space shrubs will be added, parking spaces will be added in place of one overhead door on the side of the building, some trees will be removed on one side of the building and added to the other side.  In addition there were some shrubs in the rear of the building that will be maintained.  The rear of the building is accessed via an access road that runs between the subject property and Teak Imports down to the rear property which is used for industrial purposes.  The rear parking lot of the subject property will be fenced in and gated.

Chairperson Piselli called a recess; back on record at 7:53 pm.

ICDRC Chairman Paul Richardson commented on the changes presented.  He stated that the three parking spaces added on the Teak Import side of the building had not been presented to the ICDRC and therefore was not recommending in favor of them.  He noted that no loading docks were being provided for the front tenant and that the sign should be relocated because it is not on their property.

Tom Schank confirmed that the operations of the proposed tenants will be conducted inside as he was concerned on the impact to Teak Imports but was otherwise in favor of the project.

Clerk Anne Cote read corresponded dated September 20, 2012 from the Planning Board for each of the petitions (letters on file.)

Chairperson Piselli expressed concern over the piece mail nature of the proposals approving only portions of the building.

Mick LaFata principle of 206 South Main Street Realty LLC explained that he was interested in developing the property for industrial and retail space because he didn’t have any space left at either of the two industrial parks that he owned in Town.  Originally there was a tenant for the front part of the building who backed out 3-4 months ago.  One of his main concerns is getting the construction work, including connecting to the water main for the sprinkler system.   The cosmetic upgrades to the façade will not take place until a tenant is found for the front.  In response to a request from the Building Commissioner, Mr. LaFata explained that he was the developer of the industrial park on DeBush Avenue and the Middleton Industrial Park which he developed with a partner.

In response to comments made by Mr. Fox regarding the setback on the west side of the building, Attorney Mann explained that there is a setback.  The current setback requirement is 25’ and 20.7’ to 24.5’is provided.

Attorney Mann reviewed the Allied Auto petition in more detail.  She explained that work to the vehicles would be done inside the building.  The cars would be brought into the building, repaired and would not sit outside until their body work was completed.  There is no outdoor storage of vehicles which are damaged or still in process of repair.  The majority of the 12,500 sq ft space is open bay work areas.

Nicholas Yebba questioned the adequacy of the parking for the front of the building if it is to be used for retail purposes.  

Attorney Mann stated that all employees for the retail space will utilize the back for parking and that the amount of parking will dictate the tenant that will locate in the front space of the building.

Mr. LaFata added that he may have a tenant that will be using 9,000 sq ft for storage only and will not utilize any parking.

Barbara Piselli asked what the procedure would be for weekend drop off at the auto body location.

Chris Gangi, one of the principles for Allied Auto explained that there would be a night drop and because he lives nearby, he would come down to move the vehicles inside.

After some discussion regarding scheduling of a site walk, the members agreed that they would view the site independently and then notify the Zoning Secretary if it was found that the formal site walk would be needed.  A tentative site walk was set for October 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm.

Chairperson Piselli called a recess; back on record at 8:39 pm.  She announced the voting members for the petitions of 206 South Main Street for the specially scheduled meeting-James Fox, Craig Hartwell, Anne Cote, Nicholas Yebba and Jeff Garber.  There won’t be an alternate voting member unless Mr. Aldenberg is available and has viewed tonight’s meeting.

MOTION: Made by Craig Hartwell to continue the three hearings for 206 South Main Street.  Motion seconded by Nicholas Yebba.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.  Hearings continued to the specially scheduled ZBA meeting on October 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm.

189 North Main Street, Map 18, Lot 81-Mutual Realty, LLC-Special Permit (s) and Site Plan Approval-Application #934

Chairperson Piselli stated that this matter had been continued from the previous hearing at which time evidence was presented and one neighbor had spoken of his concerns about the property.  The Board members attended a site walk of the property on September 17, 2012.

Attorney Jill Mann appeared on behalf of the petitioner.  She reviewed the proposal to redevelop the property located at 189 North Main Street.  The site walk for the property was conducted in conjunction with the Conservation Commission.  One of the Conservation concerns was the saving of two old oak trees.  One of the trees is in good shape and will be saved, but the other is dying and will not be saved.
The primary use of the building will be industrial but there will also be contractor’s offices.  There is 9,000 sq ft of garage space and the entire basement floor will be used for storage.  There is also going to be fenced outdoor storage at the rear property and will be heavily landscaped.  In response to questions from Ms. Piselli, Attorney Mann explained that there was no discussion in regard to increasing the height of the stockade fence and she reviewed the planting species.  Attorney Mann suggested planting 6 Arborvitae at the Rose of Sharon trees as added screening rather than increasing the fence height.

MOTION: Made by Barbara Piselli that based on the evidence presented at the hearing, the site walk conducted by the Board and documents submitted in support of the petition the Board make the following findings: the property is located in the M-1 zoning district therefore the proposed changes will be consonant with the neighborhood, the property abuts the DPW facility which has an equipment storage yard, the appearance of this portion of town will be enhanced by the proposed site improvements, including the proposed landscaping, the proposed exterior remodeling of the building façade, the proposed screening of the storage area, placement of the dumpsters, setback of the storage area and other modifications noted on the site plan.  The proposed petition will provide opportunities for new businesses to come to Middleton and create new job opportunities.  By offering office space and other business space within the building it would therefore stimulate the economy and would have a positive fiscal impact on the Town and would therefore serve a community need.  Further it appears at this point that based on the evidence submitted after the site walk and pursuant to the petition and the representations made by Attorney Mann as to her conversations with the Conservation Commission that this petition has minimal impact on the natural environment and based on the petition will have some benefit on the natural environment due to the storm water management system that will be placed on site.  There is no evidence to suggest that the petition would adversely impact public utilities or services or over burden them in any way.  There is evidence from the site plan that there is adequate parking and safe on site vehicular and pedestrian traffic flow.  The site has received approval from the Planning Board and the ICDRC.  No evidence has been presented that proposed reconstruction and redevelopment of the property would be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming structure.  Barbara Piselli further moved that the Board accept those findings.  Motion seconded by Craig Hartwell.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.  

MOTION: Made by Barbara Piselli that based on those findings and the evidence presented during the hearing and the site walk the Board grant the Special Permit under Section 9.4 pursuant to Section 3.1.2 and the Table of Use Regulations for the use and redevelopment of the property at 189 North Main Street for business offices for professional and construction development companies and for accessory indoor and outdoor equipment storage.  Motion seconded by Nicholas Yebba.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.

MOTION: Made by Barbara Piselli that the Board grant the Special Permit under Section 9.4 pursuant to Section 3.3.3 to authorize the reconstruction and redevelopment of the legally existing nonconforming use under 3.3.1 based on the Board’s findings.  Motion seconded by Nicholas Yebba.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.

MOTION: Made by Barbara Piselli that based on the aforementioned findings the Board grant Site Plan Approval as set forth in the proposed plans subject to the following conditions: the changes to the site plan as discussed at tonight’s hearing including the addition of trees, cleaning up of island, landscaping maintenance on the entire parcel.  Motion seconded by Nicholas Yebba.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.

10 Village Road, Map 20, Lot 23, Map 21, Lot 16 and Map14, Lots 46 & 51-Ferncroft Holdings LLC & Knoll Holdings LLC-Special Permit Modification-Application #935

MOTION: Made by Craig Hartwell to continue the hearing to October 11, 2012.  Motion seconded by Nicholas Yebba.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.

Chairperson Piselli announced the voting members for the petition for October 11, 2012-Anne Cote, James Fox, Craig Hartwell, Robert Aldenberg and Nicholas Yebba.

165 South Main Street, Map 29, Lot 64A–Revolution Industries Inc.-Special Permit and Site Plan Approval

MOTION: Made by Craig Hartwell to continue the hearing to October 25, 2012.  Motion seconded by Nicholas Yebba.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.

Approval of the July 2012 minutes was deferred to the next hearing scheduled for October 11, 2012.

Craig Hartwell motioned to adjourn, meeting adjourned at 9:10 pm.