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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 01/10/13
Minutes of Meeting— January 10, 2013
The Hudson Board of Appeals met at the site of the Cabot Ridge Apartments, Hudson, Massachusetts.  At 7:00 PM, Lawrence Norris called the meeting to order.
Present:        Lawrence Norris, Joseph Peznola, Todd Pietrasiak, Jill Schafer, Christopher Tibbals, Dorothy Risser, Aldo Cipriano, Town Counsel, Jennifer Burke, Planning Director and Teresa Vickery, Clerk.

Petition 1038: 141 & 153 Broad Street, Special Permit, Cont.
Present was:    Jack Sargent, Wildwater Development, LLC        
Dottie Risser recused herself and left the room.

Mr. Norris read a letter from Sandy Bouchard, 18 Overland Street, dated January 2, 2013 into the record.  Ms. Bouchard is requesting that the Board not grant the special permit without addressing the following concerns.  First, she requests that the square footage of the watershed protection district not be included as this would decrease the number of allowable buildable units.  Secondly, the condition of the sewer line on Overland Street should be upgraded.  Lastly, Ms. Bouchard noted that this development will cause the amount of harmful chemicals draining into the vernal pool to increase dramatically.  This overflow will adversely affect the abutters and their property values.  

A letter from Dan and Kathleen Hansen, 17 Overland Street dated January 10, 2013.  The Hansen’s noted concern for the Overland Street sewer line.  They feel that the additional flow coming from the proposed units that this will cause a back flow problem.  If this special permit is granted Mr.  & Mrs. Hansen are requesting that the sewer be repaired and/or replaced.

Wildwater Development submitted a letter dated December 26, 2012 responding to comments made at the previous public hearing.  Revised plans reflecting the comments were submitted.  The plans show the rear cantilevered decks on the apartments, notes on the shielding of the deck lights and the addition of evergreen trees to shield the Bouchard residence.  Mr. Sargent noted that the Board of Health requested a crosswalk on Broad Street to the cemetery.   He believes that this is something that should be discussed with the Police Department and the DPW.  There was a request to physically connect all the entrances to the Broad Street sidewalk.  There is not a workable solution to connect all the sidewalks.  The Board of Health requested site amenities be included on the site.  Mr. Sargent stated that the project is too small to justify the construction of a swimming pool, tennis courts, etc.  The large wetland area provides natural walking trails within the site.   

Mr. Sargent commented on the issue of traffic brought up at the last meeting. He noted that as only 33 units are being constructed the impact to traffic will be negligible.  

Some of the abutters have stated that this development will adversely affect their property values.  Mr. Sargent argues that with the proposed demolition of two of the homes on Broad Street which are in disrepair will improved the property values as well as the removal of the trash that has been deposited in the wetlands.  

Mr. Sargent gave the Board a review of the plans and presented an overview of the newly added modifications.  

Mr. Peznola asked that the applicant submit architectural plans for the 2 unit buildings.  Mr. Sargent stated that the exterior of the 2 unit buildings is the same as the others but he will provide them to the Board.  

Elaine Fallon, 135 Broad asked whether there were designated visitor parking spaces.  Mr. Sargent said that there are approximately 15 visitor spaces on the site.  

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Joe Peznola, made a motion to go into deliberative session.  

Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous

Mr. Norris read the requirements regarding the conditions for a special permit in the watershed protection district.  

Mr. Pietrasiak, Ms. Schafer and Mr. Tibbals all stated that based on the criteria none of them had any issues with regards to granting the special permit.  

Mr. Peznola stated that he does not like this project as it is too dense and does not benefit the Town in any way.  He referred to faults in the zoning by-laws which allow this type of development.  With this being said he did state that he would vote in favor of the special permit.  

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak, moved to grant a Special Permit under Section (a) to demolish two existing buildings and construct two multiple dwelling buildings in the commercial zone with a total of 33 apartments based on the following findings:

  • The Petitioner has standing to bring the Petition, and;
  • The subject property is located in the C-6 Commercial 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 great than the capacity of the streets affected.
And with the following conditions:

  • All the parking spaces must comply with the requirement that they be 180 square feet.
Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak, moved to grant a Special Permit – Watershed Protection District  under Section 3.3.10 to demolish two existing buildings and construct two multiple dwelling buildings in the commercial zone with a total of 33 apartments within the Watershed Protection District based on the following findings:

  • The Petitioner has standing to bring the Petition, and;
  • The subject property is located in the C-6 Commercial District, and;
  • The use in is harmony with the propose and intent of this by-law and will promote the purposes of the Watershed Protection District as outlined in the project plans, and;
  • The use is appropriate to the natural topography, soils and other characteristics of the site to be developed, and;
  • The use will not have an adverse environmental impact on any water body or course in the district or the existing water supply.
And with the following conditions:

  • The applicant will stake the limit of work along the 25 foot buffer zone before any earthy disturbing activities and notify the Planning Director one completed.
  • The project must comply with section 3.3.10 IV A (2) as interpreted by the Building Commissioner.
Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Joe Peznola, made a motion to come out of deliberative session.

Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous

Ms. Risser returned to the meeting.

Petition 1036: Cabot Road, Comprehensive Permit, Cont.
Present were:   Paul Giannetti, Esq.
                Paul Feldman, Esq.
                Joseph D. Lynch, Senior VP, Conroy Development Corp.
                James J. Devellis, Engineer, Devellis Zrein, Inc.
                Shaun P. Kelly, Senior Project Manager, Vanasse & Assoc., Inc.
                Kenneth Hysczzak, Architect, KH Architecture

Atty. Feldman explained that at the last public hearing there were approximately ten items that the Board wanted addressed at the next meeting.  These issues dealt with traffic, sewer analysis and sewer flow studies, secondary access, number and size of parking spaces, aisle width as well a reduction of the number of requested waivers.  The applicant looked at reducing the number of buildings by one with out losing any units by adding a fifth floor on the remaining buildings.  They are looking for feedback from the Board before they continue to put effort into an idea that the Board does not agree with.

Mr. Devillis stated that the drive aisles have been widened throughout the site.  The width of the parking spaces has been widened to 9 X 18.  Carports have been added throughout the site as well.

Parking spaces were added due to the change in the foot print.  Seven or eight spaces have been added bringing the final parking ratio to 1.78.

Mr. Peznola asked if the car ports will affect the number of parking spaces.  Mr. Devillis said they will not.  Atty. Feldman explained that the structural columns necessary for the car ports will be designed to fit within the painted stripes of the parking spots.  Thus no spaces are compromised nor the size of the parking space itself.  

Mr. Peznola stated that there is very little space between the retaining wall and the edge of the parking spaces.  He asked that the applicant consider moving it.  He also noted that the snow storage is adequate however may not be practical.  He suggested they talk to conservation and see if there is a better option.  

Mr. Hysczzak explained that the elevations of the buildings to the ridge are 63.6 feet, this a 5.6 extra feet.  Rear balconies have been added to the two bedroom units.  The buildings are two sided which gives residents easy access in and out.  The outward appearance of all three buildings is the same.  

Mr. Peznola requested architectural peer review for this project.  Atty. Feldman stated that the applicant would not have any issue with this.  

The density of the project is approximately 20 per acre.  Atty. Feldman noted that this number is not to be exceeded per MassHousing regulations.  

Marco Brancato, 8 Westridge Road asked if the proposed development will be visible to the residents of Westridge.  He requested that the applicant submit a detailed scaled map showing what the development would look like from different areas.  

Mr. Norris asked that applicant supply perspective maps from around the site.

Mr. Kelly reported that since the last meeting an updated traffic study was submitted.  The traffic counts were originally done in July.  The comments from the Board were that there is less traffic in the summer months as school is out and people are on vacation.  A new traffic count was conducted.  This count showed that in the morning the traffic volume is higher however the evening traffic in July was higher.  The higher numbers were included in the study.  Forestvale Road has been analyzed and included in the study.  

Fred Estroskis, Westridge Road asked for clarification regarding the second access to Wal-Mart.
Mr. Devellis explained that testing was recently conducted on the sewer and the flow rates at the site.  The existing flows related to the capacity of the existing pipe in the tested locations are well under capacity.  The project will generate approximately 29,000 gallons per day which will still be well under the volume that the pipes can handle.  He also stated that they are still researching options regarding the I & I.

Mr. Peznola stated that he would like comments from the DPW regarding the recent flow tests.

Atty. Feldman reported that the water connection fees would be approximately $276,000, sewer connection fees would be $88,500, I & I would be around $87,000.  The total to connect would be $450,000.  The applicant is agreeable to the fees, however dependent on what concessions can be made in order to make the project economical.  

The Board informed the applicant that they like the idea of reducing the number of buildings and they believe they are moving in the right direction.

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Dorothy Risser, made a motion to continue the public hearing for Cabot Road until February 7, 2013 at 7:00 PM.

Vote: 6-0-0, Unanimous


Joe Peznola, seconded by Lawrence Norris, made a motion to accept the minutes of December 13, 2012, as written.

Vote: 6-0-0, Unanimous


At 9:45 PM, Lawrence Norris, seconded by Joe Peznola, moved to adjourn.

Vote: 6-0-0, Unanimous  

Document List January 10, 2013

Letter from Sandy Bouchard
Planning Office
Letter from Dan & Kathleen Hansen
Planning Office
Letter from Wildwater Development
Minutes of December 13, 2012
Planning Office