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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 04/03/08
Hudson Board of Appeals
Town Hall
Hudson, Massachusetts 01749

Minutes of Meeting – April 3, 2008              page 1
Minutes of Meeting— April 3, 2008
The Hudson Board of Appeals met in the Selectmen’s Hearing Room, Town Hall, Hudson, Massachusetts.  At 7:30 p.m., Chairman Lawrence Norris called the meeting to order.
Present:        Lawrence Norris, Joe Peznola, Dorothy Risser, Christopher Tibbals, Darja Nevits, James Smith, Teresa Vickery, Clerk and Jennifer Burke, Town Planner.
Petition 2008-02, 71 Parmenter Road – Special Permit
Present were:   Tom Voltero, MediaFLO, USA, Inc.
                Margaret Smith, MediaFLO,USA, Inc.

Lawrence Norris convened the public hearing.
Dottie Risser read the Right of Appeal.

The applicant is seeking a special permit under the section and 5.9.3 to install an antenna attachment to the existing tower and associated ground equipment located at 71 Parmenter Road in an M-6 Industrial District.  Mr. Voltero addressed the Board.  He explained that by co-locating the equipment on the existing tower MediaFLO will be able to close coverage gaps in their service.  MediaFLO is a new wireless company that is offering new services to cell phone customers.  They are in the process of trying to build out their network in this area.  

Mr. Voltero gave the Board a brief overview of the technology and explained that the signal transmission is one way.  MediaFLO uses a broadcast antenna, which needs to be installed at a high altitude in order to provide an adequate signal and comply with FCC regulations regarding radio frequency waives.  MediaFLO is also proposing the installation of a backup generator.  

Mr. Voltero stated that this site is a large parcel that is well screened by natural vegetation barriers.  The broadcast antenna will have minimal visual impact because of its height.  A sound study was conducted and demonstrated that the increase in the noise level of the area will not be greater than Massachusetts’s standards.  The sound equipment impact will only add 1 decibel to the ambient noise level.  The generator, which would only be used temporarily, will only add 3 decibels to the noise level.  The Massachusetts regulation is that anything above 10 decibels is a nuisance.  

Mr. Norris asked whether MediaFLO negotiated an order of conditions at the site plan review with the Planning Board.  Mr. Voltero stated that they had.  

Mr. Norris asked how many antennas would be installed.  Mr. Voltero said that only one would be need in Town.  

Ms. Risser asked if a certified structural analysis had been done.  Mr. Voltero said that it had and it was provided to the Planning Board.  Ms. Risser then requested that a copy of this analysis be added to the file.  Mr. Norris agreed.

Mr. Peznola had a question with regard to process.  He stated that the applicant had filed under two separate sections of the zoning by-laws and he feels that MediaFLO only needs to proceed under section  Mr. Voltero stated that he would prefer to only have to file under one section, however, if it were deemed necessary he was prepared to respond to both sections.  It was agreed that the applicant would proceed under section  

Mr. Peznola asked how the applicant considers this an expansion of the existing use when there are no satellite dishes presently on the tower.  Ms. Voltero explained that the antennae is only receiving transmissions, not transmitting them and the Town’s ordinance does not concern transmission.

Mr. Peznola would like a time designated when the generators will be tested.  Ms. Smith suggested that they could be tested at 10:00AM on Monday mornings.  The Board agreed.  Mr. Peznola asked about the fuel storage for the generator.  Mr. Voltero stated that a 214-gallon tank of diesel fuel will be stored at the belly of the tank.  He went on to say that the tanks are double line and spill proof.  

Ms. Burke informed the Board that this area is part of the watershed protection district and therefore the storage of diesel is undesireable at this location.  Mr. Peznola agreed and instructed the applicant to use a natural gas emergency generator.  Mr. Voltero seemed hesitant to agree to this condition and underscored the fact that the applicant is here simply to obtain a special permit and he believes that MediaFLO has met all the requirements.  Mr. Peznola explained to him that under the guidelines of a special permit the Board has the authority to require certain conditions.  

Todd Pietrasiak, 4 Elizabeth Road asked how often does the fuel tank need to be refilled.  Ms. Smith explained that it depends on how often the generator needs to be run.  

Mr. Norris stated that he did not have any objections to the use of propane at this site.  It was also noted that 20-25% of the Town’s drinking water supply is located in the general area.

Tony Marques, 128 Parmenter Road, although Mr. Marques if the Director of the DPW he would like it stated for the record that he is in attendance and with concerns as a private citizen.  Mr. Marques asked questions regarding the height and size of the antenna, size of the building, the number of maintenance visits required within a month period as well as questions regarding the sound studies that were conducted.  Mr. Marques asked how many attachments were presently on the tower.  Mr. Voltero stated that there are five.  Mr. Peznola stated that the plans show 17 antennas.

Richard Pepper, 71 Parmenter Road, stated that there have never been that many attachments to the tower.  Mr. Pepper also went on to say that  he currently has 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel stored at this location.  

Lawrence Norris, seconded by James Smith, made a motion to go into deliberative session.

Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous (Christopher Tibbals not voting)

Mr. Tibbals and Ms. Nevits agreed that a condition should be added to set a time for the testing of the generator.

Mr. Peznola suggested that the following conditions be added to the general set of approval conditions.  The first is that no lighting be added to the antenna, the hours of construction are to be limited and the panel should be the same color and should be mounted flat to the tower.  

Ms. Risser stated that the use of an alternative fuel source be addressed.  Mr. Norris states that he has no preference to the type of fuel used for the generator.  Mr. Peznola believes that changing the fuel from diesel to either natural gas or propane would not be a great financial cost to the applicant.  Ms. Risser stated that in order to add a 10% capacity to the existing diesel fuel storage would require a yearly permit from the Board of Selectmen.  

Joseph Peznola, seconded by Dorothy Risser, moved to approve Petition 2008-02 and to grant a Special Permit under Section, to allow an antenna attachment to the existing tower and associated ground equipment as shown on the plan entitled “MFTS-Boston-007 Marlborough 71 Parmenter Road Hudson, MA Collocate” as drawn by Black & Veatch, Overland Park, KS dated March 6, 2008, based on the following findings:

The Petitioner has standing to bring the Petition, and;

The subject property is located in the M-6 Industrial District, and;

The use will not have an adverse effect on present and future dwellings in the vicinity, and;

The use will not create traffic hazards or volume greater than the capacity of the streets effected, and;

The use will not increase the non conformity which is the height of the structure, and;

The use is not substantially detrimental to the neighborhood in that the equipment is buffered and the addition to the tower is keeping with the massing of the tower.

And with the following conditions:

There will be no additional lighting on the tower unless required by applicable State and Federal regulations.

The Site Plan Review conditions of the Planning Board are incorporated herein.

The panel antenna will be similar in color to the existing tower.

The generator will be exercised only Mondays from 10:00am – 12:00 PM.

The emergency generator will be powered only by natural gas or propane given the site’s location in the Watershed Protection District.

Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous (Christopher Tibbals not voting)

Board Vacancy

The Board met with three of the applicants for the position of Associate Member to the Board.  They were Antonio Pinto, Jr., Todd Pietrasiak and James Freely.  Each of the applicants gave the Board a brief description of their qualifications and reasons for applying.  

Lawrence Norris, seconded by James Smith made a motion to recommend Todd Pietrasiak to the Board of Selectmen to fill the member vacancy.

Vote: 6-0-0, Unanimous


James Smith, seconded by Lawrence Norris, made a motion to approve the minutes of January 17, 2008, as written.

Vote: 6-0-0, Unanimous

Dorothy Risser, seconded by James Smith, made a motion to approve the minutes of March 20, 2008, as written.

Vote: 6-0-0, Unanimous


At 9:00 p.m., Joe Peznola, seconded by Lawrence Norris, moved to adjourn.

Vote: 6-0-0, Unanimous