APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

JOINT PLANNING BOARD MEETING with ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

September 6, 2012

 

The Chairman Peter McNamara called the Planning Board meeting to order at 7:00 pm. 

 

The Secretary Paul Dadak called the Planning Board roll:   

 

Planning Board:

PRESENT:

Peter McNamara, Roger Montbleau, Paul Dadak, Paddy Culbert, Tim Doherty, Alternate Joseph Passamonte, Planning Director Jeff Gowan

 

ABSENT:

 

Jason Croteau, Selectmen Representative William McDevitt, Alternate Mike Sherman

 

Zoning Board of Adjustment:

PRESENT:

David Hennessey, Svetlana Paliy, Peter McNamara, Alternate Chris LaFrance, Planning Director/Zoning Administrator Jeff Gowan

 

ABSENT:

 

Kevin O’Sullivan, Robert Molloy, Alternate Lance Ouellette

 

 

Also Present: Conservation members Glennie Edwards and Karen MacKay

 

 

Mr. Passamonte was appointed to vote in Mr. Croteau’s absence. 

 

Prior to calling the Joint Meeting to order, Mr. McNamara announced that the following case would be date specified:

 

Case #PL2012-00012

Map 41 Lot 6-130 WAKEFIELD ENGINEERING/33 BRIDGE STREET, LLC – Pulpit Rock Road / Bridge Street – Site Plan Review of Proposed 25’ x 150‘ addition to an existing building NOTE: Applicant has requested continuance to the August 6th Agenda and will NOT be heard at this meeting.

 

The applicant’s representative Herbert Associates submitted a request that the case be postponed to September 17, 2012.  This case was date specified to the September 17, 2012 Planning Board meeting.

 

 

JOINT CASE of PLANNING BOARD and ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

 

Mr. McNamara called the Joint Meeting to Order at approximately 7:06pm

 

Planning Board Case# PL2012-00018 (Site Plan Review and Special Permit)

Zoning Board of Adjustment Case #ZO2012-00019 (Variance)

Zoning Board of Adjustment Case #ZO2012-00020 (Equitable Waiver)

 

Map 1 Lot 5-107   TRACY PELHAM, LLC  -   3-5 Dick Tracy Drive

 

Seeking a Variance concerning Article III Section 307-7, Article VII Section 307-39 & 307-41 Subsection B of the Zoning Ordinance to permit a portion of an existing structure (941SF) and shed (180SF) to remain in the Wetland Conservation District and a portion of an existing shed (593SF ) on the site to be moved and placed in the Wetland Conservation District

 

Seeking an Equitable Waiver concerning Article III, Section 307-12 of the Zoning Ordinance to permit an existing building with a height of 22.93ft. to have a front setback of 51.5FT where 68.79ft. is required and for a building with a height of 23.94ft. to have a side setback of 26ft where 47.88 is required.

 

Seeking Site Plan Review from the Planning Board of a Proposed 5,000SF addition to existing building, removal of two existing sheds, relocating of existing 20ft.x50ft. building to new location on lot, relocating of existing fuel station, relocating of existing septic system to new location and Seeking Special Permit for Wetland Conservation Impact.

 

Mr. Dadak read the list of abutters aloud. There were no persons present who did not have their name read, or who had difficulty with notification.  The reading of the abutters list was considered as being incorporated into the three hearings to follow. 

 

Mr. McNamara explained the procedure and process by which the Joint hearings would be conducted.  He understood that the Conservation Commission didn’t have a quorum.  The two Conservation Commission members present were invited to participate and ask questions during the hearings. 

 

Mr. Peter Zohdi and Mr. Shayne Gendron of Herbert Associates, representing the applicant, came forward for the Joint Board hearing.  Mr. Zohdi provided the Board with an overview of the existing conditions on the site being reviewed.  He pointed out the location of the buildings currently on the site and the fuel station and leach field.  He noted where the edge of the wetland was previously located when he came in front of the Board with a previous applicant.  Since that time, the wetland had changed/increased.  The plan in front of the Board showed the previous and current wetland lines.  Mr. Zohdi showed the area that the applicant would like to construct a 5,000SF addition to the existing building.  While working on the plan it was realized there were problems with the building setback; an Equitable Waiver has been applied for with the Zoning Board.  He then addressed the three existing sheds; two would be removed and one would be relocated on the site.  The sheds being removed were made of steel fabrication.  Moving these sheds would allow for tractor trailer traffic to better access the site.  Mr. Zohdi pointed out a portion of the existing foundation that would be taken down.  The applicant would like to keep the remaining portion because it acted as a retaining wall. 

 

Mr. Zohdi showed the close proximity of the existing leach bed to the wetland.  The proposal was to move the leach bed to a location in front of the building; the applicant agreed to the cost of doing so.  He noted that the new site access would enter through an existing gravel drive from the street and would travel to the paved portion of the site traveling (in a semi-circle) back to the front of the site at the street.  Traffic would flow in a one-way in and one-way out pattern.   

 

Mr. Zohdi showed the Board a plan that depicted what the site looked like prior to the present owner purchasing the property.  He showed the location of an existing retaining wall and noted that a portion of the proposed driveway was located in the Wetland Conservation District (‘WCD’).    

 

In Mr. Gowan’s view  the plan was complete and ready to be accepted for consideration by the Board.  Mr. McNamara said the plan was complete subject to the approval of the Variance, Equitable Waiver and Special Permit.  Mr. Gowan said it was a complete plan, but agreed that the Planning Board couldn’t make any final decision until those items listed by Mr. McNamara were in place.  He believed the Board would also be referring the plan to Keach-Nordstrom (Board’s engineering review firm).   

 

MOTION:

(Culbert/Passamonte) To accept the plan for consideration.

 

VOTE:

 

(6-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

Mr. Culbert questioned how far the property line was located from point of the Equitable Waiver request.  Mr. Zohdi showed the front setback of the existing office building where they requested 51.5ft and 68.79ft. and is required.  The height of the existing building requires a side setback of 47.88 and the applicant is requesting a setback of 26ft.  The portion of the building not in compliance is a shed structure similar to a temporary building.  There were no problems with the rear setback.  The proposed building will comply with the setback requirements.  Mr. Zohdi pointed out that there was a 12ft. difference in height from the front of the existing building to the rear of the building.  He discussed this with Mr. Gowan and in an effort to get all the buildings on the site acceptable to the Town’s rules (under the worst conditions using the lowest elevations), he submitted the request for Equitable Waiver. 

 

Mr. Culbert asked for the distance between the edge of the wet area and the proposed shed.  Mr. Zohdi scaled it at (the narrowest point to be) approximately 15ft. from the edge of the new wetland; it was approximately 25ft. from the old wetland.  Under the existing conditions, the shed was currently in the ‘new’ WCD.  The total impact for the sheds and the existing building is 1,724SF.  Mr. Culbert asked what mitigation would be done.  Mr. Zohdi replied that his client owned additional land that would not be altered.  He noted that the present access area was gravel and would continue to be so.  Mr. Culbert reviewed the plan and wanted to know if the stone wall marked the edge of the wet area.  Mr. Zohdi said the stone wall, which was 4ft-5ft in height, was outside the wetland.  When the stone wall was built (by the previous owner in 1997/1998) the wetland was in a different location (farther back).  The wetland changed due to beaver activity.  Mr. Zohdi commented that there were no plans to alter the existing stone wall.  Mr. Culbert believed the stone wall impinged upon the wetland; he took a closer look at the larger, colored plan being displayed and was satisfied with no further questions. 

 

Mr. Doherty questioned if the existing sheds (that were to be moved) were currently located on a gravel surface.  Mr. Zohdi answered yes.  They were being proposed to move onto an existing paved area.  Mr. Doherty said moving the sheds to a paved area would not create a net gain of impervious surfaces.  Based on the proposed plan, there would be no gain to impervious surfaces.  Mr. Zohdi reiterated that the leach bed would be moved to the front of the building making it further away from the WCD and wetland.  He drew a line on the plan being displayed to clearly indicate the edge of the existing pavement area and told the Board they weren’t adding new pavement to the site. 

 

Mr. McNamara opened the hearing to the Conservation Commission members in attendance. 

 

Ms. Edwards asked for the composition of the existing shed.  Mr. Zohdi had a picture board that he circulated for the Board that depicted the existing structures on the site.  He said the shed was a temporary structure that had no foundation.  Ms. Edwards asked if there was a brook nearby the site.  Mr. Zohdi said there was an area with Hydric A soils (a wetland that contained vegetation for that wetland).  Ms. Edwards recalled there had been some disturbance in the wetland approximately 20 years ago by one of the owners of another building.  She said that may be one reason for the increase in the wetland.  Mr. Zohdi said he was hired by the previous owner and started the job for the site in 1996.  At that time they flagged the wetland, but couldn’t recall if the Boards walked the site.  He took the previously approved plan and updated the information with the current conditions.  Ms. Edwards wanted to know if there was any possibility that waters could rise up to the temporary building during a heavy rain.  Mr. Zohdi replied that the site was not within the 100-year flood area.  Ms. Edwards made people aware that the stone wall had been in existence ever since Industrial Drive was a thought. 

 

Ms. MacKay asked for clarification of the colored areas on the displayed plan.  Mr. Zohdi showed where the leach bed would be placed and indicated that the area would be a grassed area (where it currently was gravel).  He said they would be installing a state of the art septic system.  When the (8ft deep) test pit was dug they didn’t hit a seasonal high water table or any ledge.  The Town Deputy Health Officer inspected the test pit and approved the septic design; the applicant also received approval for the septic from the Department of Environmental Services.  Ms. MacKay asked if the whole area of the leach bed would be vegetated.  Ms. Zohdi said it would be seeded/grassed.  The area on the opposite side of the gravel road would not be altered.  Ms. MacKay asked what was stored in the existing sheds.  Mr. Zohdi was not familiar with steel fabrication operations.  Ms. MacKay was concerned with what could possibly be running off from the buildings and entering the wetlands. 

 

Mr. Gowan told the Board that the Conservation Commission Chairman Paul Gagnon knew he wouldn’t be available for the joint meeting.  He and Mr. Gagnon walked the site and spoke about a possible opportunity to create a swale on the edge of the project side of the stone wall that would have the ability to intercept any runoff from equipment etc.  He believed Keach-Nordstrom (Board’s engineering review firm) would arrive at that opinion on their own.  He said the applicant may want to consider options in advance of Keach-Nordstrom’s review.  He stated there was some value in trying to intercept an unintended spill.  Mr. Zohdi said they would work with Mr. Gowan and Keach-Nordstrom to create a solution that would satisfy concerns. 

 

Mr. Will Soucy of Soucy Industries came forward to answer questions.  He stated his constructional steel business had been in Town for approximately 4.5 years.  He said the sheds housed ladders, staging, old machinery, nuts and bolts, cables, wires etc.  Mr. McNamara asked if the new building was proposed because there was an increase in business.  Mr. Soucy said when he moved his business to Town the space was a little small, but with the economy it worked out fine.  He’s requesting the proposed changes in hopes that when the economy turns around he’ll be poised to accommodate increased business.  He discussed the types of projects his business had been involved with and products used to complete such. 

 

Mr. Montbleau asked what would be stored in the shed that was being relocated.  Mr. Soucy said the contents of the shed wouldn’t be changing.  He was moving the shed to make truck traffic flow easier on the site.  Mr. Montbleau asked Mr. Gowan if he felt the proposal would be a better use of the site.  Mr. Gowan said when he came on as Planning Director the site was virtually an abandoned site.  He was delighted, from an economic development perspective, to have someone take an unfinished/wasteland site and complete the building and have a successful business.  He felt there may be some opportunities to make the situation even better in terms of intercepting harm to the wetlands.  Although he didn’t consider himself a wetland scientist, Mr. Gowan believed it was obvious that the wetland wasn’t old based on the vegetation and trees.  He said the wetland had filled in around the area.  He felt a joint site walk would clearly show the boards what was on the parcel and how the area would be affected.  He said even though an expansion is being proposed, it would be an improvement of what was previously on the site when Mr. Soucy brought his business to Pelham. 

 

Mr. Doherty commented everything the applicant was doing appeared to be making the property better.  He said they weren’t creating more impervious surface that would affect the wetland.  He wanted to see what the applicant would propose prior to having them spend money on another engineering firm reviewing the plan, which he didn’t feel was necessary at this point. 

 

The Board reviewed the submitted waiver request.   Mr. Zohdi explained the manufacturing facility had nineteen parking spaces required; however, they were requesting twelve parking spaces.  This would maintain less pavement on the site. 

 

MOTION:

(Montbleau/Culbert) To accept, for consideration, the waiver request to Site Plan Regulations 248:32 – manufacturing facilities to allow the site to have twelve parking spaces as opposed to the required sixteen spaces. 

 

VOTE:

 

(6-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

Ms. Edwards commented that the site had been an eye sore in the past and the proposal would be quite an improvement.  She would like to see the proposal move forward. 

 

The Planning Board members stepped down and the Zoning Board of Adjustment members came forward for their hearings.  Mr. Hennessey commenced the Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting at approximately 8:02pm.  Ms. Paliy stepped in as the acting Secretary and called the roll.  With four seated members, Mr. Hennessey reminded the applicant that they would need three out of the four members to vote in the affirmative to proceed with the Variance.  He asked if the application would like to proceed with their hearing. 

 

 

Mr. Peter Zohdi and Mr. Shayne Gendron of Herbert Associates came forward to discuss the requested Variance and Equitable Waiver.  Mr. Zohdi said they would proceed. 

 

Mr. Hennessey reiterated that the abutter’s list announced during the Planning Board hearing was incorporated into the Zoning Board of Adjustment’s hearing.   The earlier presentation of the proposal was also incorporated into the hearing.

 

Mr. Gendron addressed the variance request and read the criteria into the record as submitted with the application. 

 

The photographs of the site were circulated to the Board members.  Mr. Zohdi showed the area where the shed was proposed to be placed. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. David Riccio, Lawrence Corner Road was concerned with the potential for water runoff due to the proximity of his well to the site.  Another concern was for noise pollution.  He said there was currently noise pollution and the proposal seemed as though it would be an expansion to business that would lead to additional noise.  His lot directly abutted the applicant’s parcel.  He spoke about the current noise pollution indicating activity as early as four in the morning and after five in the afternoon.  Mr. Riccio was concerned that the proposed expansion would exacerbate the problem. 

 

Mr. Zohdi told the Board that one reason for the expansion request was that the applicant wanted to move his operations inside the building.  With regard to runoff, he stated they were not adding impervious area to the site.  The normal operating hours are proposed (as a note on the plan) to be 6am-6pm Monday – Friday and 8am- 12pm Saturday.  The proposed hours represented an expansion of what the applicant was currently doing.  Mr. Hennessey said testimony was given that there were operations as early as four in the morning.  Mr. Riccio said he had heard trucks and machinery as early as 4am-4:30am; the noise varied.  He said there were also various occasions that noise continued after five o’clock on various occasions. 

 

Ms. Paliy commented that the only item in front of the Board was the shed being moved; the Planning Board was reviewing the whole project.  Mr. Riccio retracted his comment about the hours of operation, but maintained his concern about the potential runoff. 

 

Mr. Zohdi spoke with the applicant and learned that there were times truck drivers started vehicles because they had to drive to a distant location.  With regard to the runoff, he said they weren’t adding runoff to the site and would work with Mr. Gowan regarding such. 

 

Ms. Paliy commented based on the photographs she reviewed and given the shed was being moved to an area that was already paved, she didn’t see that any impact was being caused. 

 

Mr. Hennessey believed the question to be answered first was if a site walk was needed or if the Board had enough information to vote.  Mr. McNamara said he would like to review the site from a planning and zoning perspective, but felt he would still be able to vote in the event a site walk was not set.  Mr. Hennessey saw the proposal would be an improvement to what was currently on site.  He appreciated the abutter’s concern about noise, but that was not the Board’s purview.  Ms. Paliy didn’t feel a site walk was necessary for what they had to decide.  Mr. Hennessey agreed.  He said for purposes of the variance a site walk was not necessary; however, he felt planning should walk the site. 

 

Case #ZO2012-00019- Variance

BALLOT VOTE:

 

Mr. Hennessey – Yes to all criteria

Ms. Paliy – Yes to all criteria

Mr. McNamara – Yes to all criteria

Mr. LaFrance – Yes to all criteria

 

VOTE:

 

(4-0-0) The motion carried.

 

 

VARIANCE GRANTED

 

The Zoning Board then addressed the request for Equitable Wavier. 

 

Mr. Shayne Gendron of Herbert Associates reviewed the applicant’s request and the criteria for an Equitable Waiver.  The non-conformity was discovered by Herbert Associates while in the process of permitting a new addition to the existing building.  

 

Mr. Gowan told the Board that the request was properly before them as an equitable waiver.  He said when the building permit came in to complete the building the height may have been an oversight by the Planning Department in terms of signing off on the permit, however, it was already in existence and full inspections had already been done.  In his review of the spirit and intent of the ordinance, there are two major components: 1) street scape/scale in terms of how the industrial park looked, and 2) height from a fire/safety point of view.   He said the street scape looked better now than the previous condition when the building shell was previously in place.  He noted that the building didn’t exceed two stories.  The other issue was the building height to grade; Mr. Gowan would argue that the building height should be taken from the street grade as opposed to (in the case of a slope) the back grade.  This goes with the spirit and intent of how properties look from the street.  Mr. Gowan said until there was a clearer definition to zoning, for this case he felt what they built and the setback issue was benign. 

 

Mr. Hennessey wanted to be clear that the testimony was that the structure had not been in existence for more than ten years and the discovery was made after the structure was substantially built.  Mr. Zohdi answered yes. 

 

There was no public input. 

 

 Case #ZO2012-00020- Equitable Waiver

BALLOT VOTE:

 

Mr. Hennessey – Yes

Ms. Paliy – Yes

Mr. McNamara – Yes

Mr. LaFrance – Yes

 

VOTE:

 

(4-0-0) The motion carried.

 

 

EQUITABLE WAIVER GRANTED

 

The Zoning Board of Adjustment hearing was adjourned.  The Planning Board resumed their meeting. 

 

Mr. McNamara commented that the Planning Board had accepted the plan for consideration and accepted the waiver request.  He asked that the Special Permit be addressed. 

 

Mr. Zohdi said he was trying to get the site in compliance with the Town’s Zoning and Site Plan Regulations.  Everything on site was already in existence; they were moving a shed and seeking approval for an addition.  He said they received a variance for the building setback, which was measured using the worst case scenario.  They were not proposing additional pavement/impervious surface.  The Special Permit was being requested for an area that was already disturbed. 

 

MOTION:

(Montbleau/Culbert) To accept, for consideration, the Special Permit request.

 

VOTE:

 

(6-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

Mr. McNamara stated that the Board wouldn’t act upon the Special Permit until comment was received from the Conservation Commission. 

 

There was a brief discussion regarding scheduling a site walk and obtaining comments from the Conservation Commission.  Mr. Zohdi asked that the hearing be date specified to the next Board meeting.   Mr. Gowan commented that the Conservation Commission Chairman, although not available for the site walk or next Conservation Commission meeting, had visited the site.

 

Mr. Gowan questioned if the Board would like Keach-Nordstrom to review the plans.  Mr. McNamara believed the Board would like to see what the applicant proposes.  Mr. Gowan said Keach-Nordstrom has an approach when reviewing plans to recognize areas that may need specific focus.  He suggested the Board engage Keach to conduct light review and possibly attend the site walk so by the next Board meeting that review could be in hand and not hold the applicant up. 

 

The Board would like limited engineering review by Keach of the swale and the location of the shed.  Mr. Zohdi had no objection.    

 

A site walk was scheduled for Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 9am.

 

The hearing was date specified to the Planning Board’s October 1, 2012 meeting; they will be placed first on that agenda. 

 

JOINT DISCUSSION with PLANNING BOARD and ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT and members of the Conservation Commission

 

Discussion regarding cutting on Tobacco Junction – Map 41, Lot 6-124 (Route 38)

 

Ms. MacKay left the meeting.

 

Mr. Gowan stated he was seeking a consensus of the three Boards.  He provided a brief history of the plan and site fka Patel Plaza now known as Tobacco Junction.  The former building was sitting virtually entirely in the Wetland Conservation District (‘WCD’).   The applicant proposed to move the building forward out of that WCD area and received a Variance approval to do so.  The plan went to the Planning Board for Site Plan Review; that approved plan clearly showed limits of cutting, wetland, WCD and the allowed encroachment area.  To Mr. Gowan’s surprise, the owner of the property (at no fault of Mr. Zohdi of Herbert and Associates) didn’t think they had good enough sight distance from Route 38 heading South so they had a crew come in and cut the trees that were in the wetland.  He said it didn’t constitute a Department of Environmental Services violation because the cutting didn’t ‘muck’ up the soils; but the cutting was a violation of both the approved Variance and of the Planning Board’s Site Plan approval. 

 

Mr. Gowan informed the property owner that they must engage their engineer to show a plan illustrating what was cut in the overall area and to engage a qualified wetlands company to determine the extent of the cutting and recommend a replanting.   

 

Mr. Peter Zohdi of Herbert Associates showed the edge of the WCD that had been flagged at the time the applicant went in front of the various boards.  He showed the location where cutting had occurred.  He said as soon as he was notified cutting had occurred he contacted a professional (Gove Environmental Services) to assist in creating a restoration plan.  A copy of the Alternative Restoration Plantings, dated August 30, 2012 drafted by Gove Environmental was provided to the Boards for review.  There were sixty-six plantings being proposed.  Gove suggested having smaller plants (reduced height) because of the sight distance.  Mr. Zohdi asked the Boards how they would like to proceed.

 

Mr. Gowan appreciated Mr. Gove’s input, and pointed out that the Planning Board considered the sight distance during their Site Plan review.  There was no determination of there being a sight distance problem, there may have been a visibility problem from the standpoint of the applicant.  He said he could send the applicant back to the Zoning Board to amend the Variance and then send them to the Planning Board to amend the Site Plan.   He felt it might be a better solution to require the re-planting prior to allowing the business open.  He was having Keach-Nordstrom (Planning Board’s engineering review firm) look at the recommended plantings and estimate a reasonable bond that would remain in place for a period of time to ensure the plantings survived. 

 

Mr. Gowan noted when the applicant was finished with the (Tobacco Junction) project they planned to come back to the Board to renew their application for the R&B Superette project, which had more sensitive WCD impacts and proximity to wetlands.  It was important for the property owner to understand the gravity of the situation and not repeat the same mistake in the future.  He wanted to know if the Board’s supported this approach prior to authorizing plantings. 

 

Mr. Hennessey respected Mr. Gove, but felt he went beyond his area of expertise.  He read the proposal as providing the applicant with precisely the sight line they tried to get illegally and would benefit economically from that violation.  He didn’t feel it was punitive to ensure the applicant abides by the original approval of the proposal and not benefit from what they had done.  There was nothing in the report that indicated the applicant was incurring any kind of penalty for what they had done.  Mr. Hennessey wanted the applicant to come back before the Zoning Board and prove the statement contained in Gove’s letter: “Without providing visual site distance to the new store, a potential dangerous traffic situation could occur.”  He said that concern didn’t come to the Boards when the plan was being reviewed.

 

Mr. Doherty said it was definitely a misstatement about traffic but felt the site looked better.  He said the Boards had the potential to have the site look nice now that the mistake had been made given its location on Route 38. 

 

Mr. Hennessey recalled the site walk and the reference to the aquifer contained on the parcel that was not contained in the original presentation.  It was first stated during the site walk that the lot was on top of an aquifer.  The removal of the trees bothered him and he wanted to hear testimony as to whether the applicant was economically benefiting from their illegal actions.    

 

Mr. Zohdi said he didn’t know anything about what had occurred until Mr. Gowan contacted him.  Immediately he contacted his client and hired Gove Environmental to create a restoration plan.  He agreed that his client was wrong and was seeking to correct the problem. He said the applicant didn’t understand the WCD.  He said they would be glad to give a presentation to the Zoning Board.  He wanted to make a bad situation better.  Mr. Hennessey wanted to see an equivalent proposal in front of Zoning.  Gove Environmental’s proposal benefited the applicant not the Town.

 

Ms. Paliy asked for clarification of where cutting occurred and questioned if it was within the Department of Transportation’s (‘DOT’) right-of-way.  Mr. Zohdi said some of the cutting was in the right-of-way and reviewed the plan to show the location.  Ms. Paliy said she wanted the DOT’s opinion because sometimes they provide permits based on trees and their removal.  Mr. Zohdi replied that DOT had approved the site plan and entrance to the lot without mention of the trees; a copy of which was in the Planning file.

 

Mr. Doherty approached the plan and told the Board that during the review process sight distance on Cardinal Road had been discussed.  All the vegetation was removed in that area.  There had also been discussion about obtaining permission to cut an abutter’s trees down to gain additional sight distance on Cardinal Road.  Mr. Doherty felt it was possible that the applicant could have been confused about the sight distance discussion for Cardinal Road. 

 

Mr. Dadak said sight distance was a safety issue along Route 38, however he was unsure how cutting trees 50ft.-60ft. into the property affected sight distance.  He didn’t know why they had to cut that far back into the site if they were concerned with vehicles accessing the site. 

 

Mr. Gowan stated that the DOT would have to approve replanting within their easement; they were going to want a plan showing the replanting.  He spoke with the property owner early on in the project about the cutting referred to by Mr. Doherty that was located outside the WCD along Cardinal Road.  He said if there were any questions all the applicant had to do was call and ask.  He could have at that time conveyed not to ignore the site plan and drop trees on the silt fence.  However, despite those issues, they hadn’t received an estimate of the cost for the replanting.  He was unsure how a variance would be worded to go back in front of the Zoning Board.

 

Mr. Hennessey stated he voted against the proposal in the first place.  He said the Zoning Board didn’t get into equivalent restorations very often.  He saw nothing in the Gove proposal that reference ‘equivalence’ between what was being required of the owner and what was done, mitigation or full restoration.  He wanted something to that effect as a minimum.  Mr. McNamara asked if Mr. Hennessey wanted an independent expert provide review.  Mr. Hennessey answered yes.  Mr. Zohdi didn’t object. 

 

Mr. Culbert agreed with Mr. Hennessey’s comments.  Mr. Zohdi said the independent expert could possibly work with Gove Environmental to satisfy concerns.  Mr. McNamara agreed with a lot of what was being said.  His concern was that the applicant may be profiting from something that they knew or should have known was wrong and the end result being they got what they wanted. 

 

Mr. Doherty noted Mr. Gowan would be handling the situation by himself if they cut the area after they had received their occupancy permit and had been in business.  The only reason the applicant was back in front of the boards was because they didn’t receive their occupancy permit yet.  Mr. Gowan said if it was a project that was built and had a bond released, it would be a violation that would be sent to the Zoning Board to be cleared up.  The thing that makes the situation unique is the applicant’s poor judgment dealing with a plan that was still in front of the Planning Board in terms of meeting the requirements of the site plan.  He felt the Board should work with Keach-Nordstrom regarding the proposed plantings.  He said they may be able to improve the landscaping.  Mr. Zohdi said he would work with Mr. Gowan.

 

Ms. Edwards agreed with Mr. Hennessey that the issue was between Mr. Gove and the Zoning Board.  She also agreed with Mr. Doherty that a mistake had been made.  She liked the idea of satisfying the board by having independent review. 

 

Ms. Paliy commented that a lot of the proposed plantings were small and felt that larger trees planted a distance from each other would cover the area better.  Mr. McNamara said a landscape architect would be able to provide input. 

 

Mr. Montbleau shared Mr. Hennessey’s feelings and further believed that the mistake was intentional to enhance the view of the new business.  He didn’t like people breaking rules and making the boards look foolish.  He agreed with Mr. Doherty that the bad situation might be made good.  He believed the prudent thing would be to send the plan to a landscape architect to find out what could be done for the site.  He wanted to make certain what was done would be significant. 

 

Mr. Doherty said if no plantings were done the area would grow on its own.  The trees that were cut would bush out into an overgrowth. 

 

Mr. Culbert wanted to know the value of the trees that were cut for replacement costs. 

 

Mr. Hennessey wasn’t interested in punitive or punishment.  He was interested in a statement from Gove that the proposal would an equivalent of the approved plan.  He said the aesthetics was up to the Planning Board.  The proposal made by Gove was not the proposal approved by the Zoning Board.  He said when presentations are given to the board he tries to be fair to balance the needs of the community with the applicant’s needs and tends to accept proposals at face value.  He said the same applicant was going to be coming back to the boards on an even more sensitive site and felt it behooved the boards to ensure the applicant didn’t benefit illegally from the (Tobacco Junction) site before they accepted their testimony at face value for the next site.  He wanted to make sure the applicant did what they said they would, or the equivalent of such. 

 

Mr. Zohdi understood the concerns and would work with Gove Environmental, Mr. Gowan and Keach. 

 

Mr. McNamara said the board would direct Mr. Gowan to have Keach Nordstrom’s architect review the plan and contact Gove Environmental with any questions.  At that point the information could be directed to the individual boards.  Mr. Gowan said he would need to pull the DOT into the discussions and provide with a re-planting plan.  He wanted better articulation of the value for the re-planting.  He will have Keach establish an estimate for landscaping review and the cost for the plan.  Mr. Gowan intended to require a bond for the value of work and to put in the work.  This bond would be held possibly for three years to ensure the plantings survive.  There may also be an opportunity to have a few additional plantings on site to show good faith. 

 

Mr. Gowan said he would report back to the Board individually of the status. 

 

ADJOURNMENT OF JOINT MEETING

 

SITE WALK – September 8, 2012 9am

 

Map 1 Lot 5-107   TRACY PELHAM, LLC  -   3-5 Dick Tracy Drive

 

DATE SPECIFIED PLAN(S)

 

September 17, 2012

Case #PL2012-00012 - Map 41 Lot 6-130 WAKEFIELD ENGINEERING/33 BRIDGE STREET, LLC

 

October 1, 2012

Map 1 Lot 5-107   TRACY PELHAM, LLC  -   3-5 Dick Tracy Drive

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

Deferred – August 20, 2012

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(Montbleau/Doherty) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(6-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:30 pm.

 

                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                Charity A. Landry

                                                                                                Recording Secretary