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Planning Board Minutes 07/23/2014

P.O. BOX 602
(508) 696-4270
Fax (508) 696-7341


DATE:           July 23, 2014   
TIME:                   6:35 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex

ATTENDANCE:     Doble, Peak, Robinson, Stephenson, Thompson
ABSENT:         Seidman

BILLS:          UPS Store……………………………$28.00

MINUTES:                As referred in the July 16, 2014 Meeting Agenda
                        16 July 2014    m/s/c   3/0/1    C. Doble abstained


6:30 PM Public Hearing (Cont.): Mirkwood Lane Subdivision, AP 26D18.1
                Attendance: Mary Ellen Larsen, FinCom; Andrea Cranston-Flaherty, abutter

H. Stephenson, Planning Board Co-Chairman opened the continuation of the public hearing at 6:35 PM with all members present with the exception of D. Seidman. Board members were advised that the applicant had submitted revised plans reflecting the contour lines in the Road Plan and Profile on July 17, 2014 that were absent in the submittal that was presented to the Board at the continuation of the hearing on July 16, 2014.

Board members were informed that the board secretary had prepared a draft special permit and decision based on the discussions and votes taken on June 25th and July 16, 2014.  H. Stephenson referred to the draft Decision dated 16 July 2014 and read the document into the record of the minutes in its entirety.  Board members were advised that the bold print in the document flagged topics requiring further discussion.

H. Stephenson noted a few typographical errors on reading the draft decision for the subdivision and asked C. Gilstad if the applicant had a storm water management plan to submit. C. Gilstad replied that the topography and surrounding terrain would retain storm water on the locus.  L. Peak thought the Board could add a condition requiring the applicant to remediate run-off if it presented a problem.  The board secretary recalled the Board inquired about a deep spot at the bend of the road. C. Gilstad indicated that the broad grass shoulders at the bend would absorb the runoff, as specified in Finding No. 3.

H. Stephenson believed Finding No. 4 applied to the application and recommended retaining the language. He did not believe Finding No. 5 was required because the subject was addressed in the previous finding.  B. Robinson concurred and recommended deleting the 5th Finding.

A. Peak recommended revising  the word “site” to state “sight” in Finding No. 6.~ C. Gilstad inquired if the sight distance requirement from the apron looking up and down the road. A. Peak replied in the affirmative, adding that there was some underbrush within the layout of the road at its entrance that had to be removed.~ C. Gilstad did not think it would be difficult for the developer to address.~ L. Peak added that it could be cleared out from the town road layout as well.~ H. Stephenson inquired for a recommendation. L. Peak replied that the Board could add a condition stating, “to assure sight lines the existing greenery will be trimmed within the intersection of the subdivision road and the town road layout and back from the road as necessary to ensure public safety”.

H. Stephenson noted a grammatical error in Finding No. 7.~ Mr. Peak concurred. The board secretary recommended a minor modification.

L. Peak recommended adding language to Finding No. 8 to explain that the developer had moved the traveled way off the centerline of the road layout on the northern side of the turnaround.~ He increased the southern shoulder of the road to permit the planting of a buffer of evergreen trees.

H. Stephenson inquired if they defined the term “buffer”. L. Peak replied that the applicant offered to protect the trees with a minimum diameter of eight inches and clearing the underbrush within the buffer.

A.Cranston-Doherty, an abutter was concerned about the eastern views from her house and asked the Board if they could have the applicant to plant evergreens along the border to screen the houses from her view.~ L. Peak inquired if there was an intervening lot. A. Cranston-Doherty replied that the yard was very narrow. She did not understand why the applicant had to clear the undergrowth. H. Stephenson noted that the applicant offered to clear out the invasive species, and to protect the trees not less than a certain diameter in width within a 10 ft. buffer.~ A. Cranston-Doherty reiterated that she did not want to see any of the houses. B. Robinson indicated that the properties would re-densify overtime as the property owners landscaped the lots.~ She thought the applicant should plant Leland Cyprus trees.

Additional discussions ensued and C. Doble inquired if they could require the applicant to provide the Planning Board a list of the plantings within the buffer. B. Robinson thought they could ask the applicant to maintain the understory within the 10 ft. buffer.~ C. Doble noted that the 10 ft. buffer was intended to save the mature trees; it did not include a screen to protect views.~ L. Peak did not think they could isolate the properties from each other. It was not the nature of the area. H. Stephenson inquired if they should require the developer to develop or maintain a screening buffer, with the appropriate planting.~ C. Gilstad did not believe the developer would entertain the recommendation beyond the trees within the 10 ft. perimeter and the one screened buffer.~ A.Cranston-Doherty believed the evergreen trees would solve the problem. H. Stephenson asked C. Gilstad if the developer would entertain the recommendation. C. Gilstad replied in the negative, and thought the protected trees sufficed.~ B. Robinson noted G. Sourati agreed to an evergreen buffer to protect the property owners on 123 Greenwood Ave. and inquired why the applicant would not consider a similar arrangement for another abutter. H. Stephenson replied that the area did not have any vegetation and was wide open. B. Robinson believed the neighbors would eventually find a solution with their landscaping designs.

H. Stephenson resumed the review of the applicant’s draft decision to determine if the findings, conclusions and votes reflected their comments accurately. There being only minor grammatical corrections, H. Stephenson entertained a motion to close the public hearing and immediately enter into deliberations. L. Peak so moved. J. Thompson seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0  The Board resumed their regularly scheduled session at 7:15 PM

7:15 PM Deliberations: Mirkwood Lane Subdivision, AP 26D18.1

At the conclusion of the aforementioned public hearing, the Planning Board entered into deliberations. L. Peak recommended continuing the deliberations after they’ve met with their 7:15 PM appointment.  H. Stephenson concurred and entertained a motion to continue the deliberations later in evening at 7:45 PM. L. Peak moved to continue the deliberations until 7:45 PM at the Town Hall Annex. J. Thompson seconded the motion. 4/0/0   The Board resumed their regularly scheduled session at 7:17 PM.

7:15 PM Public Hearing (Cont.): Dunn Family LLC, AP 09B18 & 09B19.19

The continuation of the public hearing duly opened at 7:18 PM.  H. Stephenson, Planning Board Co-Chairman read the public hearing notice into the record of the minutes and granted L. Peak the opportunity to make an announcement.

L. Peak entered the following statement “After working with the material involved in this application for the last three weeks, I have come to the conclusion that I have an irreconcilable conflict between what I could be potentially be called upon to do as an elected official and member of the board, and what I feel I would be prepared to do for personal reasons. And therefore I do not feel I can be object, and continue to be involved in this matter in going forward. And with that said, I feel I should properly recuse myself from this hearing, proceeding and meeting. I am sorry. Have a good evening”.  L. Peak departed at 7:19PM

H. Stephenson informed the applicant and board that in L. Peak’s absence the public hearing had to be terminated for lack of quorum.  R. McCarron, the applicant’s attorney noted that his client would like to withdraw his application, and asked the board to accept the request. He thought the majority was sufficient for the vote.  H. Stephenson entered a motion to accept the applicant’s request to withdraw his application. The board secretary cautioned the Board to confirm with town counsel whether they could entertain the request at this time. R. McCarron believed a motion to withdraw was appropriate at any time prior to the vote of the board.  J. Thompson recalled that the MV Commission allowed Stop & shop to withdraw their application prior to a vote. R. McCarron suggested that the Planning Board vote on the request, pending confirmation from town counsel that it is authorized. H. Stephenson thought it was a reasonable suggestion, as a practical matter, since they were in a situation where they had to terminate the hearing. He felt they had to make some decision on the application, and confer with counsel to make sure it was valid.

H. Stephenson entertained a motion to accept the applicant’s request to withdraw his application for a special permit, pending confirmation from town counsel.  C. Doble so moved. J. Thompson seconded the motion.  3/0/0

H. Stephenson entertained a motion to close the hearing at 7:25 PM. C. Doble so moved. J. Thompson seconded the motion, and the motion carried. 3/0/0  

The applicant, Reid A. Dunn indicated that he would like to re-apply so that the Board could schedule the hearing as soon as possible. He asked H. Stephenson if he would be available for the hearing. H. Stephenson replied in the negative, noting that the associate member could participate in the public hearing process. The board secretary noted that B. Robinson’s participation would still afford the applicant only four members, since L Peak could not participate. The Board would have to advertise the vacancy or vacancies, if B. Robinson considered the possibility of serving on the board as a full member to provide the five (5) members.  The process would took some time.

Reid A. Dunn understood they had to advertise for two consecutive weeks in the local paper, and believed the hearing notice could be in the Times by next Thursday.  The board secretary advised the applicant that she had to advertise the vacancy to secure an additional member on board to provide the five members he had requested. He had to give the board the opportunity to solicit a response from the community. R. Dunn was concerned that it would take months. The board secretary advised him that they always listed a deadline.

R. McCarron inquired if they could include the ability to transfer the special permit to Mary and Jackson Kenworth, who were interested in purchasing the restaurant, so that there was one special permit application as opposed to two consecutive applications.  The board secretary advised R. McCarron that the zoning regulations prohibited the transference of a special permit.  R. McCarron inquired if they could file concurrent applications. The board secretary thought it was possible, and offered to verify the information as soon as possible.

R. Dunn noted that L. Peak was appearing before the Board of Selectmen next week with questions he had generated for town counsel.  He assumed that they were being addressed for tonight’s discussion, and was upset that they had yet to be referred to town counsel. He did not understand why the Board had not pursued their inquiries earlier, and only requesting access to town counsel at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting .  The board secretary advised the applicant that L. Peak had communication with counsel to refine the Board’s questions for the referral to town counsel.  R. McCarron inquired if it was appropriate for L. Peak, after having recused himself to be posing those questions to town counsel.  The board secretary replied that the questions were not L. Peak’s alone.  D. Seidman had inquiries about the application. R. McCarron thought it unusual for a board member to inquire about an application in advance of the public hearing process. R. McCarron explained that he did not know if they were L. Peak’s questions or the board’s questions.  He understood some of the questions pertained to the use of the various parts of the condominium, which appeared to be “way far field” of the issues that were before the board.  It also concerned him that it would hamper the application process. R. Dunn thought it presented another delay that was prejudicial to him and the potential buyers.

H. Stephenson noted that they did not have an application before them, or in a public hearing process. He questioned whether they could have an opportunity to converse about the application, the issues, etc. in an informal manner to “get a handle on the issues”. Board members did not think it would be appropriate since it was tied to the application.
R. McCarron thought they could have a discussion at a site visit that was part of the public hearing process.  

Discussions ensued with regard to the process. It was noted that the Board had to advertise for the vacancy (ies) to obtain a fifth member on the board, because the applicant expressed concern with an existing board member, with whom he had a business relationship.  R. Dunn expressed concerned over the delay in the administration of his application, but did not want to risk moving forward on a process that in his opinion “may end badly”.  The discussions closed at 7:47 PM.

7:47 PM Deliberations: Mirkwood Lane Subdivision, AP 26D18.1

The continuation of the 123 Greenwood Ave. Trust’s deliberations were duly opened at 7:47 PM.  L. Peak noted that the Board was discussing the changes in the road layout just before postponing the session, and wanted to recommend adding a Finding as 7(e), to state the following:  the traveled way was moved within the road layout so as to be further away from the abutters to allow room for the buffering trees as referred in 7(d).

L. Peak recalled that they wanted to address storm water, and recommended adding a condition to the draft decision stating, “Should storm water prove to pose an unanticipated problem, the applicant will be responsible for future remediation”.

B. Robinson thought the Homeowners Association or Road Association should be responsible for maintaining the road once it is constructed.  L. Peak clarified that the condition pertained to the wear and tear of the traveled way that resulted from storm water due to a structural flaw in the road within the first year of construction. Once the developer no longer held the majority interest in the development, the homeowners assumed the responsibility.  The documents obligating the homeowners had to be submitted at the end of the 20 day appeal period before the Planning Board signed the applicant’s subdivision plan.   

There being no further comment, L. Peak moved to accept the draft decision for the Small Project application as amended. J. Thompson seconded the motion, which motion carry. 4/0/0

H. Stephenson advised the Board that they had a draft decision for the special permit that needed to be reviewed for its accuracy.   L. Peak recommended revising the language in the section entitled Background to state “road lot”.

There being just one typographical error noted and corrected, L. Peak moved to accept the draft special permit decision as amended. J. Thompson seconded the motion.  B. Robinson inquired if the two structures in 2014 had to be completed before 205. C. Gilstad understood that they had to pull the two permits before 2015. C. Doble indicated that as long as one of the structures was constructed by 2015, the applicant would not have more than two structures under construction per calendar year.

H. Stephenson inquired if there were additional questions. There being none, he entertained a vote. Board voted 4/0/0.

H. Stephenson entertained a motion to close the public hearing. L. Peak so moved. C. Doble seconded the motion, which motion carried.  4/0/0  The Planning Board resumed their regularly scheduled session at 8:14 PM
8:00 PM Douglas Hoehn re: Chris Dias, Form B Application, AP 20A01 (Canceled)


1. Visioning Planning
A. Draft letter to the Board of Selectmen
B. Progress Report

As the Board reviewed the draft document, C. Doble indicated that she had questions about the makeup of the committee and the balance between number of town officials, organizations and stakeholders.  L. Peak noted that she did not include a member of the Planning Board.  C. Doble replied that she envisioned the Planning Board involved in an entirely different capacity. She thought they would be responsible for preparing the materials and participating in the discussions, whereas the advisory committee would be responsible for developing the planning sequence, the activities, preparing the details and training the facilitators.

B. Robinson believed the steering committee could be more of an advisory committee to the Planning Board, which should be made clearer in the letter. He also noted that C. Doble listed eight potential participants, but allowed for a maximum of twelve. He thought she could fill the three vacancies with three members at large.  

L. Peak thought they should use the number the Board of Selectmen appointed for the parking committee. H. Stephenson noted that there were seven members, but that there were others who joined the discussions, so that it appeared to be as many as twelve.  L. Peak also thought it was important to set operational parameters from the beginning to control the discussions.

B. Robinson asked C. Doble if she knew who was going to select the committee members. C. Doble thought they should approach each of the organizations listed to discuss the qualities they were looking for in the individuals they could recommend.

H. Stephenson thought C. Doble should sign the letter and have a title of project coordinator.  ME Larsen agreed.

L. Peak recommended adding a paragraph before the last sentence to state “The Planning Board has chosen elected board member, Cheryl Doble to be the chairman of the committee and project coordinator for this undertaking. We feel it is important for the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen to jointly appoint members on the advisory committee”.

B. Robinson inquired if the Planning Board were going to organize the vision planning process at their regular sessions or hold separate work sessions. L. Peak would like to see the Board return to the weekly meeting schedule. If not, they could follow the Board of Selectmen’s lead, and schedule a work session when they need to focus on a specific subject. He thought they could consider having a work session every other week to facilitate this project for a period of time.

Additional discussions ensued with this regard, and C. Doble mentioned that she thought it would be helpful to work with the library, where they could hold a speaker series on some of the topics people are raising. She believed it was important to bring people to the island to discuss the ways other communities have handled similar issues.  She noted that there were many things they had to discuss, but they had to act quickly.

B. Robinson understood, and agreed that they had to start developing a master schedule with a timeline detailing the projects, etc. as soon as possible. He questioned whether they could meet two or three days for a couple of hours. L. Peak cautioned that they could not have a quorum; otherwise they would have to post the meeting. He did not see why he and C. Doble couldn’t meet for a couple of hours to starting etching out the details for their timeline.  C. Doble agreed, and asked the board secretary to join the discussions to help in the fact finding process.  B. Robinson and C. Doble agreed to meet on Friday, 25 July 2014 at the Town Hall Annex to start their project.

L. Peak asked the board secretary to email the revised document for the board’s endorsement. The letter as revised was fine with him.

2. L. Peak informed the Board that H. Stephenson indicated that he was going to resign in a fairly short order, and did not want to get embroiled in R. Dunn’s hearing process.  He thought it was important to ask B. Robinson if he was considering the possibility of submitting a letter of interest to fill the vacancy of a retiring standing board member. He explained that his decision would determine the number of vacancies they had to advertise.  B. Robinson replied in the affirmative.

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:10 P.M.           (m/s/c  4/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________  _________________________
Date                    Henry Stephenson