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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 06/13/13
Minutes of Meeting— June 13, 2013
The Hudson Board of Appeals met in the Selectmen’s Hearing Room, Town Hall, Hudson, Massachusetts.  At 7:00 PM, Lawrence Norris called the meeting to order.
Present:        Lawrence Norris, Joe Peznola, Dorothy Risser, Jim Smith, Todd Pietrasiak, Christopher Tibbals, Darja Nevits, Jennifer Burke, Planning Director and Teresa Vickery, Clerk.

Petition 1036: Cabot Road, Comprehensive Permit, Cont.
Present were:   Paul Giannetti, Atty. at Law
                Paul Feldman, Atty. at Law
                Joseph D. Lynch, Senior VP, Conroy Development Corp.
                James J. Devellis, Engineer, Devellis Zrein, Inc.

Mr. Norris explained that the Board will be discussing the proposed decision this evening for the Comprehensive Permit.  The public hearing began on November 8, 2012 and was closed on May 9, 2013.

As the Board went through each condition they brought up questions or concerns had with certain conditions.  Ms. Burke noted that Ms. Schaffer had raised a question regarding the language of the affordable units in Section A #3.  Mr. Peznola finds the condition to be in good form and does not think it should be reworded.  

Mr. Peznola stated that he would prefer that the issue of the Wal-Mart emergency access drive be addressed in a condition and not as part of the preamble.  Ms. Risser noted that it is part of condition #21d.  The Board ultimately decided that the phrase “pending Wal-Mart approval” be removed from the evidence section of the decision as it could prove to be problematic if the access is not approved by Wal-Mart.  

The Board considered the waivers requested by the applicant as drawn up in the proposed decision.  

Mr. Peznola recommended to the Board that the I & I fees not be waived.  Mr. Norris did not agree citing the denial of the waiver as unnecessary.  

Joe Peznola, seconded by Dorothy Risser, made a motion to deny the waiver for the 25% of the I & I fees for the 44 affordable units.  

Vote: 4-0-1, Lawrence Norris opposed.

Joe Peznola, seconded by Dorothy Risser, made of motion to deny the waiver regarding the I & I fees for the proposed gallons attributable to the 44 affordable units.  

Vote: 4-0-1, Lawrence Norris opposed.

Mr. Peznola would like that the item regarding the so-called blanket waiver be removed as the Board would prefer any modifications to the approved project be brought before them for consideration.  The waiver states “In the event a particular zoning, general by-law or other regulation of the town which is not enumerated above would rend the Project unbuildable or not available for occupancy, a waiver is granted only to the extent necessary for the Project to be build and occupied.”

Joe Peznola, seconded by Dorothy Risser, made of motion to deny the blanket waiver.  

Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous.

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Dorothy Risser, made a motion to approve Petition 1036 to grant a Comprehensive Permit for Cabot Ridge Apartments subject to legal review for conformity to the Massachusetts General Laws as amended and discussed tonight.  

Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous.  

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Dorothy Risser, made a motion to come out of deliberative session.  

Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous.

Petition 1040: 2 Lakeside Ave., Administrative Appeal
Present were:   Nancy Hicks, Applicant
                Brian Hicks, Applicant
                Joe Moreira, Atty. at Law

Mr. Norris convened the Public Hearing.

Ms. Risser read the Right of Appeal.

The applicant is seeking to appeal the decision of the Building Commissioners denial of the allowed use of a dog walking and pet sitting business as a home occupation in the Single Family District in the SB Single Family District.  

Atty. Moreira explained that the applicant that Ms. Hicks has been a dog walker and pet sitter for approximately 4 years.  She presently owns five of her own dogs.  The dogs are primarily walked in other neighborhoods and sometimes in other Towns.  

Ms. Hicks has been cautioned that she may want to look into the liabilities that may arise due to her not only walking the dogs but also having some of them occasionally stay over night.  She is requesting that she be allowed to keep up to five additional dogs in her house during the course of the day as a service to her customers.  She would also like to be allowed over night visits for up to five dogs.   

Atty. Moreira likened this dog sitting business to a child day care center which is an allowed use in this district.  This was done with a petition that was brought before the ZBA in 1995.  Mr. Norris asked why the Building Commissioner denied the request.  Atty. Moreira believes that it is because it is not explicitly stated in the home occupation regulations.

Mr. Peznola noted that the entire basement is too large and would only like 200 square feet used for the purpose of the dog sitting.  If the entire home or a large portion of the home is attributed to business it is no longer a home occupation, it becomes a commercial business building.  

Ms. Risser requested that Ms. Hicks obtain a kennel license from the Town as this would allow Dog Officer to regulate and oversee the business.  Atty. Moreira said that Ms. Hicks had been told that if she licensed each dog individually this would replace the need for the kennel license.  Ms. Risser referenced a new law which took effect last October which would make the kennel license mandatory under these conditions.  

Karen Andrade, 4 Cold Spring Lane and Joseph & Claudine True, 594 Main Street spoke in favor of granting Ms. Hick the administrative appeal.  The Board is also in a receipt of a letter form Rachael Genova, 2 Cold Spring Lane who also spoke in favor of the petition.  

Daniel Dudley, Leominster is a dog trainer who works closely with Ms. Hicks to help her to socialize dogs with behavior issues.  He stated that Ms. Hicks is very good at what she does and believes that the Board should grant her request.  

Dorothy Risser, seconded by James Smith, moved to overturn the Building Commissioner’s decision to allow the petition to conduct a dog walking and pet sitting service as a home occupation at 2 Lakeside Avenue in Hudson, MA on the following findings:

  • The use, in the aspect of noise, space and exercise, is similar to a daycare center, which is an allowable use as a home occupation in the SB Single Family District.
  • The dog day care is in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the zoning by-laws.  It will not have an adverse effect on the neighborhood which is at the edge of an industrial area that had a lot of noise and traffic.
  • There shall be no increase in traffic.  The petitioner will be picking up and dropping off the dogs herself.  
And with the following conditions:

  • No more than 200 square feet in the home shall be used to operate the dog daycare.
  • An adult should be on the property at all times.
  • The number of dogs shall not exceed ten dogs, including the petitioner’s dogs.
  • The petitioner shall obtain a kennel license from the Town Clerk’s office after an inspection by the Animal Control Officer.
Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous.

Discussion regarding 141 & 153 Broad Street     

It has been brought to the attention of the Board that the project which was presented to the Board as Condominiums is now being marketed as for sale units.  Ms. Burke asked the Board if they wanted to have Mr. Sargent come before the Board to discuss this.  

The Board requested that Ms. Burke send Mr. Sargent a letter requesting his presence at it’s meeting of August 8, 2013.


At 8:50 PM, Dorothy Risser, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak moved to adjourn.

Vote: 6-0-0, Unanimous  

Document List June 13, 2013

Comprehensive Permit for Cabot Ridge Apartments
Planning Office / Town Clerk
Petition 1040 – Administrative Appeal
Planning Office
Minutes of May 9, 2013
Planning Office
Letter from Rachel Genova regarding Petition1040
Planning Office