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Planning Board Minutes 03/11/2015


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


DATE:           March 11, 2015  
TIME:           6:00 PM

PLACE:          Town Hall Annex, 66 High Point Lane

ATTENDANCE:     Doble, Peak, Robinson, Seidman, Thompson

BILLS:          Verizon……………………………..$   67.99
                        MV Times…………………………..$171.00

MINUTES:                As referred in the February 25, 2015 Meeting Agenda
                        18 February 2015 and 25 February 2015- AVAILABLE


6:12 PM Bill Austin, VLS&E Re: Form A –Robert L. Snider et al, AP 23A09

D. Seidman noted for the record that the applicant or applicant’s representative did not make the appointment to present the proposed division of land.

L. Peak advised the Board that the applicant was dividing parcel #2 into two lots (Lots 2 & 3). In the reconfiguration, Lot 2 was designed to have frontage and access on the private road identified as Heath Hen Lane. The Planning Board had to determine if the private road was adequate for ANR purposes.

C. Doble inquired if the applicant’s intent was to redesign the access into Lot 3 from Heath Hen Lane. L. Peak recommended contacting the applicant or his/her agent to request a copy of the deed for Lot 2 to determine if the lot has rights on the private road, and to re-schedule his appointment to respond to their questions. He thought the board secretary should advise him to add a note on the plan affirming the frontage and access for Lot 2.  D. Seidman suggested postponing the discussions until March 18, 2015.

6:15 PM Public Hearing (Cont.) – Form C Application by Paul D. Adler – 14 Pine Street Realty Trust, AP 24A24
D. Seidman, Planning Board Chairman opened the continuation of the public hearing at 6:18PM and entered the following correspondence into the minutes of the record:
1.  Jack W. McAninch, dated 02/26/15 in opposition to the proposal due to the noise and environmental pollution, additional traffic and invasion of privacy,
2. Angela Cywinski, dated 02/26/15 – Said letter was accompanied by several photographs of the topography between the applicant’s property, hers and that of an abutter. A. Cywinski opposed the proposal, and hinted at the potential for a lawsuit if the Planning Board approved the subdivision.
3. Maura Valley, Board of Health Agent Assistant, dated 03/10/15 noted that the applicant submitted information from two independent studies demonstrating that the ground water flow from the applicant’s property did not flow into the Lake Tashmoo Watershed, so that subdivision would not be contributing nitrogen to the Lake Tashmoo watershed.

D. Seidman indicated that he wanted to discuss with the Board the possibility of referring the proposal to the MV Commission. He explained that he was considering the referral because of the proposal’s issues with public health & safety, traffic, density and the overall opposition to the subdivision.  L. Peak thought D. Seidman should consider the applicant’s testimony before they entertained his recommendation. D. Seidman agreed.

D. Hoehn informed the Board that the applicant was prepared to submit the information the Board had requested. He added a buffer zone on the site plan and added leaching catch basins (to catch the sand and dirt before the storm water traveled to the retention areas), a note for the possible installation of bio-retention areas and drainage reserve areas (if needed) and buffer zone on the overlay plan.  D. Hoehn submitted Richard Barbini, PE’s drainage calculations for a system designed to accommodate a 25 year storm intensity level, above the subdivision’s minimum requirements (20 year storm). Board members were referred to D. Barbini’s calculations (2 page document) which included a safety factor of 1.75, and informed that the proposed system overdesigned by 25% even at the 25 year storm intensity level. D. Hoehn deferred to the applicant with regards to the covenants.

P. Adler indicated that he had not received any comments from the Planning Board regarding his covenants, and reiterated an invitation to provide him with the modifications they wanted him to incorporate into the document. L. Peak indicated that he had reviewed the document and forwarded his corrections to the Board Secretary.  And a copy of the revisions was given to the applicant.  P. Adler was advised that he did not have to submit a final document for their approval until the appeal period.

P. Adler believed he had addressed everyone’s issue with storm water drainage with the overdesigned system. The additional catch basins and proposals for a bio-retention drainage area and drainage reserve area were additional measures he was willing to employ just in case it was required.  He had exceeded the town’s minimum requirements, eliminated guesthouses and created a one acre lot for the existing house, the latter of which he was restoring because its historic value to the community. He questioned concerns regarding the subdivision’s impact on existing traffic conditions in a neighborhood with 2000 existing home sites.  The impact would not be significant with the eight additional lots.

P. Adler indicated that he spoke with the Town Administrator, J. Grande about the town’s interest in the purchase of the property.  He was advised to continue with the Form C review because process for any major town purchase would require time.  He spoke against a referral to the MV Commission, because he did not believe the proposal triggered any of the checklist items. P. Adler thought the Planning Board had sufficient regulations in place to make a determination, and believed the subdivision was within the scope of their address. Based on past experience, he had to increase density on a couple of his projects to satisfy cross-town’s requests for affordable housing for the benefit of their constituents.

C. Young, a renter indicated that he has been looking for a home for years and thought it unreasonable to be critical of a proposal or to be an opponent of a project that provides a much needed commodity, e.g. housing when it is a recognized need island wide.  He noted that all of the opponents were all homeowners.

S. Jones, a town resident residing on the corner of Summer and Pine Streets noticed a significant increase in traffic down the muddy road behind Norton Lane from the ongoing construction of one house.  The traffic from the commercial vehicles was troubling because it was part of route neighborhood residents, including children used. It was a concern she had with the subdivision, because of its location relative to the school.  It also infuriated her to see that people were not considering the protection of the oak trees in a development that was designed to accommodate eight  high end houses, when the need was for more affordable homes.  She opposed the proposal and hoped the land would be purchased and kept natural.

E. Wessel, a resident on 61 Summer Street purchased his home in 2002. He described Summer Street as being extremely busy and dangerous from speeding motorists. He couldn’t leave his dog out alone, or cross the street without looking both ways.  He used the same description for the intersections of Lake Street & Pine Street,  Pine Street & Spring Street and Center Street & Pine Street.  E. Wessel added that he fished at Lake Tashmoo and was concerned about the watershed’s health, when he heard about the Mass Estuaries Project report.  He thought the town had to ease the pollution, and do everything to protect their precious resource, especially “when it was at the borderline of tanking out”.

H. Lee, a resident living on Franklin Street complained of the traffic on an abutting private road identified as Old Hedge Row.  He thought the residents abutting the subdivision road were more than likely going to have a similar experience once the lots got developed. He was especially concerned about the commercial vehicles (landscape and dump trucks) going downhill to a well traveled road e.g. Pine Street that is also heavily used by pedestrians and school aged children.  Motorists tend to speed up down the road because it is open, and appears to be relatively safe. H. Lee thought the development P. Adler envisioned was not suited to the neighborhood. It was also his opinion that the Greek Revival building’s splendor and historical significance would be detracted from the eight generic structures in the rear of the property, so that it would no longer be pristine.

S. Zablotny, a resident living on State Road inquired about the construction schedule. D. Seidman replied that the developer was allowed to develop one lot per year.  Other discussions ensued with regards to the town’s interest in the property, the town’s options, and the applicant’s financial investment in the property. P. Adler recommended approaching the town and the MV Land Bank if they were interested in purchasing the property. As a private developer his intent for purchasing the property was to develop the land.  With that in mind, he has complied with the town’s regulations and has accommodated the Board’s request to decrease density by eliminating guesthouses from the proposal, relocating the subdivision road, adding a buffer zone,  locating and protecting as many trees as possible, etc.

P. Artru, an immediate abutter was concerned about the trees on the property, and wanted the applicant to save the 250 year old oak tree close to his property. P. Adler promised to protect as many trees as possible, with the understanding that some would have to be removed when he developed the lots.  He added that the wood from the trees was set aside for firewood.

M. Jardin inquired about the town’s plans for the property if they were to purchase the land. He thought he there was some discussion about affordable housing.  D. Seidman understood that the town was contemplating a pocket park or as a potential site for a new town hall. P. Adler noted that in his conversation with the Town Administrator, J. Grande could not say for certain what the town would eventually use the property, which could include open space, affordable or senior housing. He encouraged the Board to meet with the Town Administrator to verify the information. Additional discussions ensued with this regard, and D. Seidman redirected the discussions and opened the floor to the members of the public.

S. Delaney spoke against the proposal because she felt the development would ruin the integrity of the Greek Revival property, increase traffic and remove a significant number of the old oak trees that would ruin the overall integrity of the property as a whole.

C. Creanga , a resident on 129 Spring Street indicated that he had to remove most of the trees on his property (1/3 acre lot) to accommodate his new home and septic system (5 bedroom home).  He asked the Board about the process that obligated the developer to abide by the specifications for the road construction, storm water design, the preservation of the trees, according to the covenant. D. Seidman replied that they had to rely on the applicant to rely to perform according to the covenant and decision.  D. Seidman noted that the applicant wanted to control the architectural design of all of the buildings until they were all developed. L. Peak indicated that it was a subject the Board had to discuss, given that the local subdivision rules and regulations gave each homeowner an equal and undivided interest in the subdivision road.  P. Adler would retain control over the road and lots until he no longer owned the majority of the lots. At the point he no longer owns the majority number of lots, the control transfers to the members of the homeowners’ association. He advised D. Seidman that the language in the subdivision’s covenant ran contrary to the regulation, and it was a subject they had to discuss.

C. Creanga  was concerned that the applicant may not abide by the plan he submitted to the board.  L. Peak replied that the applicant had to complete the construction of the road, the storm water management system and all other conditions specified in their written determination before they released the lots.  Without the release (Form O) the applicant would not be able to convey the lots.  P. Adler stated that he preferred maintaining control over the architectural design of the houses, because on the one occasion where he relinquished the control over the architectural style of the houses, the homeowners departed from the architectural design to the detriment of the development.  L. Peak thought the applicant could specify that he was going to build on the lot the prospective buyer was interested in purchasing. D. Seidman was not certain that the restriction applied if the prospective homeowner wanted to hire another contractor.  P. Adler indicated that he was only interested in maintaining control over the architectural designs.  L. Peak thought the applicant could apply the restriction in the deed.

H. Lee believe it was “the wrong location for the development” , and had the potential of destroying the property’s value . He asked the applicant if he would consider holding off on the development to give the town the opportunity to move forward on its proposal to purchase the property.  P. Adler was open to the suggestion, but was concerned about the time factor. He did not want to experience a situation he encountered in West Tisbury, where after waiting for 3 years, “he ended up doing the original proposal”.  He also assured everyone that the houses would not be visible from Pine Street because he was keeping the trees in the 10 ft. buffer zone.

H. Lee mentioned that he had to remove several trees from his property to accommodate his house due to the configuration of the lot.  Because the lot was deep, he was able to keep all of the trees in the rear portion of the lot, which has provided a haven for birds, deer, etc.  He believed the applicant had to wipe out the vast majority of the trees to accommodate the eight houses.  By denuding the lots he would be changing the ecosystem and the views to the property, which would look barren. H. Lee reiterated his question to the applicant, and asked if he would give the town the opportunity to purchase the property.  

S. Zablotny inquired about the deadline if they campaigned and started fund raising.  D. Seidman indicated that there was an article on the warrant to purchase the property.

R. Shea inquired about the town’s minimum lot size and the sq. ft. for a house.  P. Adler replied that the zoning district required a minimum lot size of 10,000 sq. ft.   He limited the size of the houses to 18,000 sq. ft.   

B. Smith spoke on behalf of Mr.  & Mrs. J. Corbo and noted that his clients were committed to restoring the house, and have invested a significant amount of money to its restoration, which may not make it feasible for the town to purchase.  It was his clients’ intent to bring the building to its former glory.

E. Wessel noticed that the town had not adopted guidelines to address the aesthetics of a development.  It appeared as if the topic in general was completely ignored. It frustrated him, because he curious about the views he will be seeing once the building sites were developed.

Discussions ensued about the possibility of purchasing the rear lot for open space and not including the house lot, so that it could be restored privately. Additional discussions followed about the existence of a warrant article requesting $??? to purchase the property.
It was subsequently confirmed that there was a draft article on the warrant that was to be voted on by the Board of Selectmen on March 16 or March 17, 2015.

B. Robinson noted that the Planning Board’s scope of address is limited to the subdivision rules and regulations. What little he knew of the applicant’s work, P. Adler did good work, and did not doubt the applicant’s commitment to maintaining the same quality of standard for this project.


1. Beach Road Improvement
A.  Letter
B. Drawing

2. Vision Planning
RE: C. Doble’s Report

3. Larry Gomez, Finance & Advisory Committee Chairman
Re: March 12, 2015 appointment – BI District Bylaw

4. Affordable Housing Committee Meeting
RE: Invitation to meeting on March 18, 2015 at 4:30 PM


1. Joao S. Barbosa
RE: Request for a portable toilet (Owen Little Way)

2. MV Commission
RE: 06 March 2015 Extended Schedule

PRO FORM        Meeting opened, conducted and closed in due form at 9:45 P.M.   (m/s/c  5/0/0)          
Respectfully submitted;
Patricia V. Harris, Secretary

APPROVAL:       Approved and accepted as official minutes;

______________  _________________________
Date                    Daniel Seidman