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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 10/25/2012
Zoning Board of Appeals
Middleton, MA
MINUTES OF THE MEETING
October 25, 2012

The Middleton Zoning Board of Appeals met at a regularly scheduled meeting
on October 25, 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, Robert Aldenberg, and Jeff Garber

Others present:
Karen Matsubara, Recording Secretary

Chairperson, Barbara Piselli called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm.

209 South Main Street, Map 26, Lot 1-Attorney Arthur Carakatsane-Appeal-Application #937
Chairperson Piselli announced that there was a continuance request for the petition because the Building Commissioner is out of Town

MOTION: Made by Robert Aldenberg to continue the hearing.  Motion seconded by Jeff Garber.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.  Hearing continued to the next regularly scheduled meeting on November 15, 2012.

250R Maple Street, Map 19, Lot 148-Gino Leone-Variance-Application #943
Clerk Anne Cote read the legal notice and confirmed that the abutters had been notified.

Chairperson Piselli announced the voting members, Anne Cote, Craig Hartwell, Robert Aldenberg, Jeff Garber and Barbara Piselli.  Ms. Piselli explained to the petitioner that it is the practice of the Board to schedule a site walk to view the property.

The petitioner Gino Leone reviewed his petition.  Currently the only way to access the basement from within the home is through a trap door located in a bedroom closet.  He proposes to construct a small addition for an interior stairway in place of the current deck and outside stairway to use as access to the basement/garage.

Betsey Hardwick of 250 Maple Street, direct abutter to the subject property, stated that she and her husband were in favor of the proposed addition and felt that it would be an improvement to the Leone’s property.  The improvements would afford the Hardwicks more privacy as well.

MOTION: Made by Craig Hartwell to schedule a site walk.  Motion seconded by Anne Cote.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.  The site walk was scheduled for 11/11/12 at 9:30 am.

Ms. Piselli advised the petitioner to prepare to explain to the Board the hardship that would exist if the variance was not granted and the unique aspects of the property that require a variance.

MOTION: Made by Robert Aldenberg to continue the hearing.  Motion seconded by Craig Hartwell.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.  Hearing continued to the next regularly scheduled meeting on November 15, 2012.

172 Essex Street, Map 10, Lot 20 –D.U.C. Residential LLC-Special Permit-Application #942
Clerk Anne Cote read the legal notice and confirmed that the abutters had been notified.

Attorney Nancy McCann appeared on behalf of the applicant.  The project engineer, Scott Cameron was also present.  Attorney McCann presented the petition to allow earth removal in conjunction with the construction of an approved 5-lot subdivision on 6.5 acres at 172 Essex Street.  The petitioner hopes to be able to keep all materials on site and is applying for the special permit as a precaution at the suggestion of the Building Commissioner.  There is one abutter to the project that may want some of the excess fill.  In response to a question from Anne Cote as to where the fill would go, Attorney McCann explained that the fill would probably go to the developer’s other project in Salem.  

Scott Cameron of MacKenzie engineering explained that the roadway construction would begin mid-November and expected the overall project to be complete within a year.  

Ms. Piselli questioned the hours of operation and the route of travel.

Attorney McCann replied that the hours of earth removal would be those of typical construction 7 am-4 pm Monday through Saturday and Mr. Cameron stated that the route of travel would be Essex Street to Rte 114 to Salem.

Mr. Hartwell suggested adding Rte 62 to the route of travel.

MOTION: Made by Robert Aldenberg to grant the requested special permit for earth removal for the property located at 172 Essex Street with the following conditions: the earth removal is permitted from 7 am – 4 pm, Monday through Saturday; the route of travel will be Essex Street to Route 114 and Rte 62; and the permit is confined to the matter of the earth removal only.

Abutter to the project, Carol Ciacera of 16 Eddington Street stated that she had gotten approval from the Conservation Commission to fill in a portion of her property and had spoken with the developer to purchase fill from the subdivision construction for her property.

Ms. Piselli stated that this was not a matter for the Board and that Attorney McCann had mentioned fill for an abutter during her presentation.

Attorney McCann confirmed that the Ciaceras are the abutters she had mentioned earlier.

Motion seconded by Anne Cote.  Vote 5-0 in favor, motion carried.


165 South Main Street, Map 29, Lot 64A –Revolution Industries Inc.-Special Permit and Site Plan Approval-Application #941
Jeff Garber is recused from the hearing.

Chairperson Piselli stated that the petitioner had submitted a request to withdraw the application without prejudice.

MOTION: Made by Robert Aldenberg to allow the petition to withdrawn without prejudice.  Motion seconded by Craig Hartwell.  Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.

173 South Main Street, Map 29, Lot 61A-Revolution Industries Inc.-Special Permit and Site Plan Approval-Application #944
Jeff Garber is recused from the hearing.

Chairperson Piselli reminded the petitioner that the matter would be heard by a four-member Board because of member recusal.  

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

Attorney Jill Mann appeared on behalf of the petitioner.  She explained that the proposed cigar bar business was presented in connection with the property at 165 South Main Street which was withdrawn.  It is believed that the new proposal is in a better location.  The Fuller Pond residents also submitted a letter in support of this location.

Ms. Piselli reiterated her concern over the existing site plan approval for the property which was issued by the Board in 2010.  

Attorney Mann explained that the prior approval is still in effect and not set to expire until 2014; because of the economy that project is not able to be built at this time.  When the 2010 project moves forward, this building will be razed.  Continuing the presentation, Attorney Mann explained that this location is currently used for retail sales of cigars; the petitioner proposes to renovate the interior of the building and expand the use by adding alcoholic beverage service and a light food menu with entertainment.  The addition of entertainment requires a special permit.  No exterior changes are being proposed.  A new septic system will be installed for the new use.  The parking plan showing a total 24 spaces was reviewed.  There is currently an outdoor seating area with a stone surface; a small wooden patio will be added.  The entertainment will not extend to the outdoor area.  

Jeff Garber of 22 Meeting House, appearing on behalf of the Fuller Pond Board of Trustees, suggested limiting the number of people allowed in the outdoor patio area.

Clerk Anne Cote confirmed that a letter in support of the petition had been received from the Fuller Pond Board of Trustees and read a letter of recommendation from the Planning Board dated October 22, 2012.  (letters on file)

In response to a question regarding the proposed entertainment, Attorney Mann explained that the entertainment would consist of TVs and recorded music, and maybe an acoustical guitar or piano on occasion; there will be no DJ.  There will be premade food available as there are no cooking facilities presently or proposed.  With this type of business cigar sales are required to be 51% of the overall sales for the business.  This requirement is enforced through D.O.R.  Currently there are four employees with an anticipated total of twelve with the expansion.

Robert Aldenberg expressed concern over the number of existing liquor establishments on Rte 114 and questioned the need for adding liquor to the store.

In response to a question regarding the use of the outdoor area, Mr. Giacalone explained that there are currently only eight seats outside that don’t get used very often. There are no speakers outside, nor any plans to add speakers. The doorway to the outside will be kept closed to mitigate concerns over noise.  The proposed hours are 9 am – 11 pm but alcohol will not be served before 11 am.

Mr. Aldenberg suggested that the capacity is being kept under 50 to avoid sprinkling the building which is an older wooden structure.  He also had concerns over the locations of the exits.

Attorney Mann explained that the capacity is fewer than 50 based on the square footage of the building.

Mr. Giacalone offered to move one of the seating areas to allow for an additional exit.

Attorney Mann pointed out the existing lighting and confirmed that there would be no additional lighting as part of the proposal.  She further explained that because there are no exterior site plan changes the petition did not go before the ICDRC for recommendations.

Mr. Aldenberg stated that some changes should be made to improve the look of the property and suggested landscaping in the front as it is not being used as parking.

Mr. Giacalone offered to put in planters and flower boxes at the front of the building.

Chairperson Piselli commented that the issue that is before the Board is very narrow and is limited to allowing entertainment for the business.  The petitioner is able to go forward with his plan to serve food, redesign the interior of the building and apply for the liquor license whether or not the Board grants the special permit.  Ms. Piselli also mentioned that one of the members had concerns that the Board did not have a letter from the Health Agent and that the Board was interested in conducting a site walk to view the inside of the property.

Attorney Mann stated that that she could have a letter sent to the Board from the Health Agent and that her client was in agreement with continuing the hearing and having a site visit.

MOTION: Made by Anne Cote to schedule a site walk.  Motion seconded by Robert Aldenberg.   Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.  The site walk was scheduled for 10/29/2012 at 6:00 pm.

MOTION: Made by Anne Cote to continue the hearing.  Motion seconded by Robert Aldenberg.   Vote 4-0 in favor, motion carried.  Hearing continued to the next regularly scheduled meeting on November 15, 2012.

Minutes-August 23, 2012 and September 27, 2012 Meeting Minutes
Chairperson Piselli announced that the approval of the minutes would be continued to the next hearing on November 15, 2012.

Craig Hartwell motioned to adjourn, meeting adjourned at 8:28 pm.