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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 01/14/16
Minutes of Meeting— January 14, 2016
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, Darja Nevits, Jill Schafer, Christopher Tibbals, Jason Mauro, Pamela Cooper, Teresa Vickery, Clerk and Kristina Johnson, Assistant Director of Planning & Comm. Dev.

Petition 1068:  542 Main Street, Cont. Special Permit 3.3.10
Present was:    Christopher Yates, Atty. at Law
                Scott Hayes, Foresite Engineering

Mr. Norris convened the Public Hearing.

Mr. Pietrasiak read the Right of Appeal.

The applicant is seeking to construct a 5,500 square foot one story industrial / office building within the Watershed Protection District (WPD) in the M-6 Industrial district.

Mr. Hayes explained that the 5,500 square foot building will be erected across from Brook Street and the Sauta Farm condominium complex.  The driveway entrance / exit will be direct across from the entrance to the condos.  The lot is approximately one acre it currently undeveloped.  The soil is all sand and gravel and drains very well.  There will be 27 parking spaces on the lot.  

The plan has been previously approved by the Internal Traffic Committee and the Planning Board.  

The storm water system has been designed to infiltrate the roof run off.  Infiltration beds at the front of the building will clean the water that runs from the roof.  The storm water from the paved surfaces is collected into one catch basin on the site that will into a storm scepter.  This hydrodynamic separator separates oil and grit from storm water prior to discharging it into an infiltration bed at the rear of the parking lot.  There are not discharges into the public drainage system.

A twelve inch gate valve is being proposed between the catch basin and the storm scepter that can be manually closed in the case of a spill in the parking lot.  The flow would be cut off before reaching the infiltration bed.  

Mr. Pietrasiak noted that there is a new hydrant that looks as if it may be in the middle of the proposed driveway.  Mr. Hayes stated that it would need to be relocated if it is in the way of the parking lot.  

Atty. Yates explained that site plan had been previously approved in 2007 by the Planning and Zoning Boards.  However, the approval expired as construction never began on the project.  

He stated that the building being proposed will not adversely affect the WDA.  The building will utilize town water and will be on septic.  

Ms. Cooper asked if there is a tenant for the building.  Atty. Yates stated that there is no tenant yet.  

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak, made a motion to go into deliberative session.  

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous.

Ms. Nevits suggested that the conditions that were set forth in the 2007 be included in today’s decision.  Atty. Yates agreed.  

Esmat Ezzat, 35 Hummock Way cited concerns for the traffic this project will generate.  

Darja Nevits, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak, made a motion to approve Petition 1069 and grant a special permit under section 3.3.10 to allow the construction of a 5,500 square foot one story industrial / office building within the Watershed Protection District based on the following findings:

  • The Petitioner has standing to bring the Petition, and;
  • The subject property is lo9cated in the M-6 Industrial District, and ;
  • The use is in harmony with the purpose and intent of the 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 as there is little change to the existing topographic features and the solid characteristics have been considered by the applicant in the appropriate design of the septic and drainage design and as further protected through conditions herein;
And with the following conditions:

  • The septic loading will be limited to 383 gpd.
  • For any snow storm over 12 inches within 24 hours, the owner will be required to remove snow from the site and dispose of it properly.
  • The owner will implement environmentally friendly lawn care in accordance with DEP guidance as outlined in a memo from DPW dated December 6, 2006.
  • The use of sodium based de-icing chemicals is prohibited.  
  • The Petitioner will coordinate with DPW regarding the potential relocation of the fire hydrant by the applicant at the front of the property.  
Vote: 5-0-0, Unanimous, Mr. Mouro and Ms. Cooper not voting.

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Darja Nevits, made a motion to come out of deliberative session.

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous.

Petition 1072:  131 Coolidge Street, Variances
Present were:   Steve Poole, Lakeview Engineering       
                Paul Giannetti, Atty. at Law

Atty. Giannetti stated that he has submitted a second amendment to the plan narrative as well as a topographic plan of the site of the proposed drive up window in order to prove the hardship for the variance.  The plan shows an existing retaining wall along the property line that is approximately a foot high.  

When the building was built the required distance of a side lot setback was 15 feet.  This is what currently exists from the existing building to the easterly edge of the retaining wall.  The by-law requires that a passage way be 15 feet wide.  However what does not able the applicant to comply with the by-law is the fact that there must be a retaining wall there.  

The elevation increases as one moves westerly along the property and the retaining wall will need to be built higher than the existing wall.  Because of this Mr. Hunter recommended that the wall be brought in an additional distance and include a landscaped area of 2 feet down from the wall to the existing edge of pavement at 121 Coolidge Street.  This only leaves a width of 12 feet for the passage way with curbs on both sides.  This ultimately leaves 10 feet of width for the passage way.  Atty. Giannetti believes this is a safe distance to create one-way access going into the drive-thru window.  

Additionally, there is a need for a canopy for the drive-thru.  The applicant is proposing a 4 foot canopy.  

Atty. Giannetti feels that this plan improves the internal passage way and traffic flow through the site and connects the front parking lot with the back parking lot.  

Mr. Carney has been trying to lease this vacant space and has been approached by banks however without a drive-thru they will not lease the space.  The applicant believes he can market the space successfully with the inclusion of the drive-thru.  

Atty. Giannetti reiterated that the topography of the site limits the applicants ability to use the full 15 feet available from building to lot line, thus the need for a variance for the ten foot wide passage way.  

Mr. Pietrasiak noted that the parking is not adequate as only 46 parking spaces are supplied and the requirement is for more.  He suggested that a condition of approval be that no parking spaces will be eliminated from what is existing.  Atty. Giannetti agreed that the net parking spaces will not change and agrees to the condition.

Mr. Pietrasiak asked if the open space is being reduced.  Mr. Poole noted that the open space is currently 30.1% and will be reduced down to 26.9%.  The required open space is 35%.  

Ms. Schafer is asked what makes this lot unique with regards to the topography.  Atty. Giannetti states that the grade decrease between the two properties.  He feels if the space between them was level they could build a 15 foot wide passage.  

Mr. Mauro asked whether this change would require site plan approval.  Ms. Johnson noted that Jeff Wood has submitted a memo to Mr. Hunter stating that site plan approval is not required for the requested changes to the site.  

Ms. Nevits believes that due to the reduction in open space that the applicant will need a variance under section  The Board agreed.  

There was no input from the public.

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak, made a motion to go into deliberative session.  

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous.

Mr. Norris stated that enough testimony has been taken to prove the hardship as well as the uniqueness of the site.  The Board agreed.

Lawrence Norris, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak, moved to grant Variances under sections to allow the reduction of the side yard setback and to allow a reduction in the width of a one way interior travel lane from the required fifteen feet to ten feet and a Special Permit under section to allow the further reduction of open space based on the following findings:

  • The Petition has standing to bring the Petitions, and;
  • The subject property is located in the LCI Commercial 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 in that it is a corner lot, 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.
And with the following condition:

  • No parking spaces be eliminated from the current existing net 46 spaces.
Vote: 4-0-0, Unanimous, Mr. Tibbals, Ms. Cooper and Mr. 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 December 10, 2015, as written.

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous.


At 8:05 PM, Lawrence Norris, seconded by Todd Pietrasiak, moved to adjourn.

Vote: 7-0-0, Unanimous  

Document List January 14, 2016

Amendment to narrative and topographic plan – 131 Coolidge St
Planning Office
Minutes of December 10,2015
Planning Office