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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 12/13/2012
Zoning Board of Appeals
Middleton, MA
December 13, 2012

The Middleton Zoning Board of Appeals met at a regularly scheduled meeting
on December 13, 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, Nicholas Yebba, Robert Aldenberg, Jeff Garber and Craig Hartwell (arrived late)

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

Chairperson, Barbara Piselli called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.

209 South Main Street, Map 26, Lot 1-Attorney Arthur Carakatsane-Appeal appeal of the Building Commissioner’s Decision that the home is a single-family dwelling only-Application #937
Chairperson Piselli stated that the hearing on the petition had been opened on September 25, 2012 and continued to the October 25, 2012 ZBA meeting; a site walk of the property was conducted on October 3, 2012.  The October 25, 2012 hearing was continued to November 15, 2012 at the request of the Board and the petitioner because of the unavailability of the Building Commissioner.  The hearing was again continued from the November 15, 2012 meeting to tonight at the request of petitioner.  Another continuance request has been submitted by the petitioner.

Clerk Anne Cote read the request dated December 11, 2012 into record.  (Letter on file.)

Chairperson Piselli announced the voting members: Robert Aldenberg, Anne Cote, Nicholas Yebba, Jeff Garber and Barbara Piselli.  She asked if the Board had any comments on the request for continuance.

Robert Aldenberg made a recommendation that the Board dismiss the action before the Board because the petitioner has not acted in ample time to try to resolve the issue.  He added that he had researched the property and had found that from the 80s on there is no indication that the home was occupied by more than one family on a continual basis.

Jeff Garber asked what other options the petitioner was pursuing.

Mr. Bienvenue stated that the property owner is trying to sell.

Mr. Aldenberg gave a brief history of the home.  The home was built as a single family home and occupied as such for many years.  At no time did the parcel qualify for a multi-family home.  He did not feel the Board should continue the matter.

Ms. Piselli explained that Attorney Carakatsane was advised of the fact that the matter was not going to be continued in advance and was going to be brought before the Board for consideration on whether or not to grant the continuance.  Ms. Piselli then read the response from Attorney Carakatsane.  Ms. Piselli stated that she was in agreement with Bob, the matter keeps being delayed and one of the reasons behind these particular enforcement actions is public safety concerns that arise because of illegal apartments.

Craig Hartwell added that unlike the other petitioners that have been granted many continuances while they gathered evidence to support their petitions, this petitioner has not provided anything showing efforts to put documentary evidence before the Board as to what has been done since September.

MOTION: Made by Robert Aldenberg to dismiss the appeal of the petitioner and uphold the decision of the Building Commissioner that the home at 209 South Main Street, Middleton Assessor’s Map 26, Lot 1 is a single-family dwelling, as the petitioners were unable to establish that the conversion of the home from a single-family to a multi-family dwelling was done legally.
Motion seconded by Anne Cote.  Vote 5-0 in favor of upholding the Decision of the Building Commissioner, motion carried.

1 South Main Street, 11 South Main Street, 4 Lake Street & 9 Pleasant Street, Map 25, Lots 74, 122 & 123 and Map 24, Lots 63 & 72A-Town Center and Town Common Committee-Site Plan Approval for Landscape Improvements & Special Permit for Electronic Message Board.  Application #945
Chairperson Piselli reviewed the voting members: Robert Aldenberg, Craig Hartwell, Anne Cote, and Barbara Piselli with Jeff Garber as an alternate.

Mr. Bienvenue stated that the temporary sign was relocated closer to the pole; that location has been designated for the placement of the permanent sign.  An as-built plot plan will be provided to the Building Department after the installation has been completed.

The Board did not have any further questions.

MOTION: Made by Robert Aldenberg that Board make the finding that the premises is an appropriate location for the proposed message board sign.  The conditions affecting the premises are different than those similarly situated properties located within the district and require special relief.  Specifically the premises is a Town owned property located in a highly visible and unique location in the center of town.  A sign in that location can provide emergency announcements, public safety notifications and other timely information to the area residents.  The sign will not negatively impact or be incongruous with the neighborhood or the surrounding zoning district.  There will be no nuisance or safety hazards in terms of pedestrian or vehicular traffic safety which was demonstrated by information presented to the Board by Town Administrator, Ira Singer and Building Commissioner, Richard Bienvenue who have represented to the Board that various Department Heads including representatives of the DPW and Fire Department have given recommendations on the placement of the sign.  Lastly, the sign satisfies all the dimensional and other criteria pursuant to Section 5.2 of the bylaws.  Based on these criteria the sign is in harmony with and does not derogate from the purpose of the regulations.  Motion seconded by Jeff Garber.  
Vote 5-0 in favor to make the findings, motion carried.
MOTION: Made by Anne Cote to issue the Special Permit to authorize placement of an electronic message board sign pursuant to Section 5.2.7 of the Middleton Zoning Bylaws.  Motion seconded by Robert Aldenberg.  Vote 5-0 in favor to issue the Special Permit, motion carried.

MOTION: Made by Craig Hartwell that the Board approve the Site Plan dated October 19, 2012, drawn by Marshall Gary LLC entitled “Site Plan, Town Center, Middleton, Massachusetts” for the placement of the electronic message board sign, increased parking, period lights, walks and landscaping.  Motion seconded by Robert Aldenberg.  Vote 5-0 in favor to approve the Site Plan, motion carried.

Minutes-August 23, 2012, September 27, 2012, October 11, 2012 & October 25, 2012
Motion made by Craig Hartwell to accept the minutes of August 23, 2012 and September 27, 2012, October 11, 2012 & October 25, 2012.  Motion seconded by Jeff Garber.  Vote all in favor to accept the minutes, motion carried.  (Barbara Piselli did not vote on the minutes of the October 11, 2012 meeting.)

Barbara Piselli motioned to adjourn, meeting adjourned at 7:19 pm.