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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 08/12/10
Minutes of Meeting— August 12, 2010
The Hudson Board of Appeals met in the Selectmen’s Hearing Room, Town Hall, Hudson, Massachusetts.  At 7:30 p.m., Vice-Chairman Joseph Peznola called the meeting to order.
Present:        Joseph Peznola, Dorothy Risser, Todd Petrasiak, Christopher Tibbals, Patrick Manzo, Jennifer Burke, Planning Director and Teresa Vickery, Clerk.

Petition 1016:  104 Forest Avenue, Special Permit
Present was:    Matthew Heinecke, Applicant
Joe Peznola convened the public hearing

Dorothy Risser  read the Right of Appeal.

Mr. Heinecke has applied for a Special Permit under Section to allow for an auto body shop with the addition of a paint spray booth in an existing garage bay.  He explained that he would like to move his facility from Marlboro to Hudson.  He will be performing light repairs as well as custom spray painting.  Because of the nature of his work he only works on approximately one to two cars per month.  

Mr. Peznola asked if there is ever a need to store cars outside of the garage.  Mr. Heinecke said yes and stated that he would be willing to erect a fence if need be and then asked if a car port would be sufficient as the vehicles are only visible at the back of the property.  Mr. Peznola informed him that all disabled vehicles must be screened and the screening is not only for the front of the building but also there needs to be screening from the abutting properties.

Ms. Risser noted that the plan does not show any parking spaces.  The applicant informed the Board that he is still negotiating with the property owner.  The owner has assured of three spaces for his customers.

The applicant explained how the spray booth would operate regarding containment of the paint overflow.  He noted that that there are no drains in the floor.  The paint would not come into contact with the ground as there is a slab which catches all the paint and then is emptied.  

There was no input from the public.

Dorothy Risser, seconded by Todd Petrasiak, made a motion to go into deliberative session.

Vote:  5- 0-0, Unanimous

Mr. Peznola said that this is a straight forward request and has no issues with it, the rest of the Board agreed.  He did note that screening must be added as a condition of the special permit.  

Joseph Peznola, seconded by Dorothy Risser, moved to approve a Special Permit under Section to allow for auto body use by the addition of a paint spray booth in an existing garage bay based on the following findings:

  • The Petitioner has standing to bring the Petition, and;
  • The subject property is located in the M-5 Industrial District, and;
  • The use will not have an adverse effect on present and future dwelling in the vicinity in that all activity will be in the building or screened from abutting properties, and;
  • The use will not create traffic hazards or volume greater than the capacity of the streets affected in that the applicant estimates 1-2 vehicles a month additional.
And with the following conditions:

  • All disabled vehicles are to be screened from abutting lots or exterior streets by a solid landscaped screen and/or fence at least 5 feet but no more than 7 feet in height.
Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous

Joe Peznola, seconded by Dorothy Risser, made a motion to come out of deliberative session.

Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous

Proposed Wireless Communications Facilities By-Law Amendment

Ms. Burke informed the Board that she has made some changes to the existing By-Law and will be submitting it for the November Town Meeting Warrant.  She had the Board review the proposed changes for their input as well as their sponsorship.

Mr. Peznola explained that it is unusual for the Zoning Board sponsor an article for Town Meeting.  He went on to say that it is typically the Planning Boards roll to designate zones in town.  He noted that this is a special case and due to the nature of the changes and the Zoning Boards previous involvement they would consider sponsorship.  He noted three major changes that need to be considered.  First, he noted the ambiguity of the “twice the height” issue and stated that it needed to be reworded as it does not implicitly state that the tower needs to be in the center of the lot.  Secondly, he noted the issue of height.  Currently a tower cannot exceed 100 feet in overall height and must be designed to accommodate the maximum number of foreseeable users (usually 3 carriers to be technically practical).  Due to the height restrictions second towers have needed to be erected recently.  Mr. Peznola feels that these proposed administrative changes are needed and making the tower even 20 feet higher would accommodate at lease one additional carrier.  The third issue is the inclusion of attachments to other structures in the districts.  

Ms. Burke informed the Board that she held a public hearing to discuss the changes.  Citizens, who in the past, had shown interest in the topic were invited to the public hearing.  Several citizens were in attendance and the meeting was quite productive.  The one issue remaining after the meeting was to specifically prohibit the erection of any further towers on the Murphy and Saratoga water tank sites.

Ms. Burke noted that the proposed by-law is introducing new and more practical locations and would make it more difficult to erect a new tower as there are now many more options to exhaust before this could happen.  Ms. Risser agreed and went on to say that these new areas are evenly spread throughout the Town allowing for many more options.  

Alan Manter, 2 Chestnut Street stated that he thinks the ZBA should not sponsor this proposed article as this is the job of the Planning Board.  He went on to say that the Zoning Board’s job is to simply deal with any denials from the Building Inspector.  Ms. Risser noted that under Massachusetts General Law the ZBA is deemed as one of the municipal boards that can legally sponsor legislation.  

Andy Massa, 15 Michigan Drive asked why the Planning Board did not choose to sponsor the proposed article.  Ms. Burke stated that there were some conflicts as some members of the Planning Board  own property that could financially benefit from the changes.  Another reason she cited was that the Planning Board did not have any other meetings scheduled before the warrant closes on September 3rd.  

Mr. Massa noted that he would like the proposed by-law to specifically state that no new towers are to be erected at Murphy and Saratoga.  Ms. Risser explained that section three states that no new towers are to be erected until all existing locations are being used.  Mr. Massa asked what is to stop the cell tower companies from claiming they cannot get service in the proposed locations.  

John Parent, 27 Causeway Street asked if it is legal for the Town to restrict locations, per the Federal Communications Act of 1996.  Ms. Burke has asked this question of Town Counsel and is awaiting an answer.  

Mr. Peznola suggested the last line from section four be stricken from the proposed amendment.  This would require that the applicant get a variance instead of a special permit.  By striking that sentence the Board has more control over the number of towers per site.  It was suggested that the height be reduced to 120 feet.  This should be sufficient to accommodate three carriers above the tree line.  

Joseph Peznola, seconded by Dorothy Risser, made a motion to sponsor the Wireless Communications Facilities By-Law Amendment for inclusion in the November Town Meeting Warrant with changes to the height of the tower and the exclusion of the last line of section 4.

Vote:  5-0-0, Unanimous


Joe Peznola, seconded by Dorothy Risser, made a motion to accept the minutes of June 10, 2010, as written.

Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous


At 8:45 PM, Christopher Tibbals, seconded by Todd Petrasiak, moved to adjourn.

Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous  

Document List August 12, 2010

Proposed Wireless Communication Overlay District By-Law
Planning Office
Special Permit Application – 104 Forest Avenue
Planning Office
Minutes of June 10, 2010
Planning Office