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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 12/10/15
Minutes of Meeting— December 10, 2015
The Hudson Board of Appeals met in the Selectmen’s Hearing Room, 2nd Floor, Town Hall, Hudson, Massachusetts.  At 7:00 PM, Lawrence Norris called the meeting to order.
Present:        Lawrence Norris, Todd Pietrasiak, Dottie Risser, Darja Nevits, Jill Schafer, Christopher Tibbals, Jason Mauro, Teresa Vickery, Clerk and Jack Hunter, Director of Planning & Comm. Dev.

Petition 1069:  542 Main Street, Cont. Special Permit 3.3.10

The Board is in receipt of an email from Christopher Yates requesting a continuance to the Boards next meeting scheduled for January 14, 2016 as the applicant has not yet gotten Planning Board approval.

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak, made a motion to continue the public hearing for 542 Main Street until January 14, 2016 at 7:00 PM.

Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous, Ms. Shafer & Mr. Mauro not voting.

Petition 1072:  131 Coolidge Street, Special Permit
Present were:   Steve Poole, Lakeview Engineering       
                Paul Carney, Pillar Realty, LLC.

Mr. Hunter explained that at the last hearing there were questions regarding what type of request the applicant should be making.  After a meeting with Jeff Wood and Steve Poole it was decided that the applicant will withdraw the request for a special permit and request a variance for the width of the access road and for a side set back.  

Mr. Poole stated that the variances would be under section and  

The drive-thru window was originally centered on the side of the building.  It has been moved to the front corner.  Some signage has been added at the entrance point and a no right turn sign at the end of the driveway.  Signs directed people back to route 62 were also added.  

Parven Patel, 121 Coolidge Street noted that his major concern is the traffic flow and the use of his easement for the patrons of 131 Coolidge Street.

The fire hydrant on the property will be relocated.  The HVAC unit will be moved onto the roof.  

Mr. Pietrasiak asked how high the retaining wall will be.  Mr. Poole stated that it will be approximately 4 ½ feet high.  Mr. Pietrasiak asked if the parking is conforming.  Mr. Poole explained that one space will be eliminated however two more spaces will be gained by moving the dumpster and restriping an extra handicapped space.  

Ms. Schafer asked what the hardship is for the granting of the variances.  Mr. Poole noted that the pre-existing nature of the building could be considered a hardship.  Mr. Carney cited a financial hardship as he is having a difficult time leasing the space.  However this is being done on speculation.

Ms. Risser asked where the snow storage area is as it is not shown on the plans.  Mr. Poole stated that it will be pushed off the lot or in the case of too much snow it will be transported off the site.  

Mr. Pietrasiak asked how many vehicles will be able to queue at the drive-thru.  Mr. Poole stated that there is room for three vehicles to queue.  

Mr. Patel cited concern for the amount of traffic that will be generated.  

Ms. Schafer reiterated that there are not any special circumstances regarding the topography and layout of the property and she feels that a variance cannot be granted without proving this.  Mr. Poole stated that the setback is a pre-existing non-conforming condition.  

Ms. Risser stated that she would be more comfortable if there were a proposed tenant.  She also stated that other than financially she does not see any hardship.  

Mr. Poole asked if the applicant will need site plan review.  Mr. Hunter stated that Mr. Wood does not feel this warrants site plan review.  There was some discussion regarding this as some Board members feel it does need to go before the Planning Board.  

Mr. Norris explained that only four members of the Board can vote on this petition, therefore the decision must be unanimous.  He feels that based on comments and questions from this evening that may not happen.  He outlined some options for the applicant.  

Mr. Poole stated that the applicant will opt to continue the public hearing in order to allow more time to resolve some outstanding questions / issues.  

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak, made a motion to continue the public hearing to its meeting of January 14, 2016 at 7:00 PM.  

Vote: 4-0-0, Unanimous, Mr. Mauro, Ms. Risser and Mr. Tibbals not voting.

Petition 1073:  1 Municipal Drive,  Variance &
Present was:    David McKinley, Kaestle Boos

Mr. Norris convened the Public Hearing.

Ms. Risser read the Right of Appeal.

Mr. Norris explained that this petition has not yet gone through site plan review which is not the normal course of a petition.  Mr. Moses explained the reason for this.  He noted that the Town is going out to bid for this project and the variance is a component of the bidding process.  

Mr. McKinley explained this plan is for the new Police / DPW Headquarters building.  The building will be a single level 25,965 square foot structure.  The applicant is seeking two variances.  One of them is will eliminate the requirement for wheel stops and the other will reduce the drive aisle widths to 24 feet.  

The curbs are asphalt Cape Cod style berm curbs.  They serve an important purpose regarding storm water management because there are break approximately every 50 to 60 feet along the edges which allows for water to go through them into a rip rap swale then induct into a grass swale for treatment making it a low impact development treatment system where the water will be traveling along that area.  From there it will be directed underground to a system which will treat it and then release it into the wetlands.  

Wheel stops are required at the head of each parking stall which Mr. McKinley stated that this would greatly impede snow removal on the site.  

The other variance is for the width of the drive aisle into the site.  Mr. McKinley sees this as a driveway however Jeff Wood believes it is a road and therefore requires a width of 30 feet.  The hardship is that there are wetlands in the vicinity and widening the road to the required width would further infringe on the wetlands.  

Many factors contributed to the hardship some of which are the location of the wetlands, the location of the forced water main, financial restraints and of course the location of the building.

There are 95 parking spaces for the Police and DPW.  There are two covered car ports as well as a six bay out building for storage and impound.  

There was no input from the public.

Darja Nevits, seconded by Dorothy Risser, made a motion to go into deliberative session.

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous

The Board had no issues with the plan as it meets all the criteria.

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Dorothy Risser, made a motion to grant a variance under section  to eliminate the required wheel stops at the site and to reduce the width of the road to 24 feet with the following findings:

  • The Petitioner has standing to bring the Petition, and;
  • The subject property is in the M-5 District, and;
  • That owing to circumstances relating to the soil conditions, shape and topography affect this land but not generally affecting the rest of the zoning district, and;
  • A literal enforcement of the zoning by-law would involve substantial hardship to the developer, and;
  • Relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially derogating from the intent and purpose of the by-law.
Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous, Jill Schafer and Jason Mauro not voting.

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak, made a motion to come out of deliberative session.

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous

Petition 1074:  26 Pierce Street, Special Permit
Present were:  Jose Moreira, Atty. at Law
                 Dioclecio Gomes, Applicant

Mr. Norris convened the Public Hearing.

Ms. Risser read the Right of Appeal.

Atty. Moreira stated that the applicant is seeking a special permit under section of the zoning by-laws to construct an accessory dwelling unit within his home.  Mr. Gomes purchased this single home dwelling in 2007.  The property is raised ranch with two driveways.  The main living area is on the raised part of the home.  The property is serviced by public water and sewer.  

Mr. Gomes admits that he had made some changes to the home without permits in the past.  Mr. Gomes was contacted by Mr. Wood and at this time he was told that he would need to request a special permit for the ADU.  The unit will consist of a kitchen, bathroom, one bedroom and a small office space.  The habitable space is 639 square feet.  A door to the unit will be added to the left side of the rear of the house.  A parking plan has been submitted.  

Mr. Gomes’ son and his wife will be occupying the unit.  

Ms. Risser asked if there will be any extension of the footprint of the house.  Atty. Moreira stated that it will not and the only change will be the inclusion of the door at the back.  

Judith Rice, 25 Pierce Street spoke against granting this special permit.  She explained that she has had nothing but problems since Mr. Gomes purchased this property.  She stated that there have been up to 17 people living in the home at once.  He has been running numerous businesses out of the house, which is not allowed in this zoning district.  She cited many other issues as well.  She has called the Police on several occasions.  

Richard & Marilyn Cunic, 27 Pierce Street noted that he has lived in this neighborhood for the past 43 years and has many concerns regarding this petition.  He reiterated many of the comments made by Ms. Rice.  Mr. Gomes has constructed two retaining walls at the back of his property without permits.  

Margaret Theodoss, 291 Cox Street also spoke out against this petition.  

Mr. Gomes admits that he has made mistakes in the past and stated that he is trying to correct all of this and try to be a good neighbor.  

Mr. Pietrasiak cautioned the applicant that the parking at the back of the house can only be used for the ADU.  He stated that the special permit will increase enforcement power over the property.  The Board agreed to add this as a condition of approval.  

There was some question as to which unit Mr. Gomes will occupy.  The by-law does not state which one, only that the owner must remain in one of the units.  Ms. Rice asked if Mr. Gomes resides in the ADU how many people can live in the main part of the home.  Ms. Risser stated that only four unrelated people can live in the primary domicile.

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Dorothy Risser, made a motion to go into deliberative session.

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous

Ms. Risser stated that the petition meets all the criteria of the by-law and does not feel that the Board can do anything beyond making sure that the applicant conforms to the by-law.  

Mr. Pietrasiak thinks granting this special permit will put further restrictions and enforcement on the property.  

Ms. Schafer stated that her only concern is that applicant comply with the by-law regarding the number of people who will occupy the ADU.  

Mr. Norris cited concern for the increase traffic volume this may create however he is not sure this can be proven.  

Ms. Schafer noted that if the parking is enforced it could decrease the potential for increased traffic on the road.  

Todd Pietrasiak, seconded by Dorothy Risser, moved to grant a special permit under section of the zoning by-law based on the following findings:

  • The Petitioners has standing to bring the Petitions, and;
  • The subject property is located in the SB 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 street effected, and;
  • The Petitioners has provided an affidavit stating intent to occupy one of the dwellings.
And with the following condition:

  • Parking designated for the Accessory Dwelling Unit as shown on the submitted parking plan will be for residential parking only not commercial parking.
Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous, Jill Schafer and Jason Mauro not voting.

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak, made a motion to come out of deliberative session.

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous


Lawrence Norris, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak, made a motion to accept the minutes of November 12, 2015, as written.

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous.


At 9:15 PM, Lawrence Norris, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak, moved to adjourn.

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous  

Document List December 10, 2015

Petition 1073 – 1 Municipal Drive
Planning Office
Petition 1074 – 26 Pierce Street
Planning Office
Minutes of November 12,2015
Planning Office