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Zoning Board of Appeals 12/20/12

Minutes of Zoning Board of Appeals Public Meeting
Date:               December 20 2012
Time:              7:00 PM
Location:        Wellfleet Sr. Center
Attendees:     Bruce Drucker, William Nicholson, Manny Heyliger, Mick Lynch, Roger Putnam, Sharon Inger, Sibel Asantrugrul, and Christine Bates, Committee Secretary
Regrets Vern Jacobs and Robert Hankey
Acting Chair Drucker called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm and stated the meeting was tape recorded.                   
94-08 B           Z Donut Company, 2393 State Highway, Map 23, Parcel 211:  Request for an Amendment to Special Permit 94-08 to add drive-up window service.  Acting Chair Drucker explained the procedures for the meeting and informed the audience he would set the Board, the applicant would make a presentation, the decision would be based on the Wellfleet Zoning By-Laws, letters would be read into the record, the audience would be allowed to make comments, and the Board would proceed to have a discussion regarding the case.   Mr. Drucker stated everyone on the Board has patronized Dunkin Donuts. Mr. Drucker also explained the materials that the Board has reviewed in advance of the hearing. The Board consisted of Bruce Drucker, William Nicholson, Manny Heyliger, Roger Putnam and Sharon Inger.  Attorney Ben Zehnder, George Zagrafus, owner of Dunkin Donuts and Jeffrey Derrick, who performed the traffic study all appeared for the applicant.  Attorney Zehnder stated he has made a formal request for a continuation of 60 days due to a meeting he had with the Eastham Fire Chief, Wellfleet Police Dept and Mark Vincent of the Wellfleet DPW.  It was suggested there be a reworking of the entryway(s) to benefit the traffic flow.  Attorney Zehnder stated he met with Mr. Zagrafus and Mr. McGregor, owner of the property, to discuss changing the access and work with a single access into both properties.  He stated this will take some time to re-engineer and allow the owners to make a decision if the proposed work is financially feasible.  Attorney Zehnder stated he will make a brief and general presentation on the current plan and listen to the audience as well as the Board to take back for discussion with the owners
Attorney Zehnder reviewed all the paperwork which has been submitted in the application.  There will be no physical changes to the easterly side of the building.  The existing window will be changed slightly in order to pass items through.  He stated this matter was before the Board one year ago and the new plan addresses a significant concern  with cars exiting the parking lot onto  Cove Road.  The original plan of 2011 had an opening from the parking lot to Cove Road which has been eliminated.  There has been a change with the entrance to the drive-thru window so that room for stacking of cars is increased and there will be no backing up to Route 6.  The closing of the access from Cove Road will eliminate cars driving through the parking lot to the Post Office.  Access to Mass Appeal will be via a separate lane.  The owner is allowing an easement for Route 6 for turning into Cove Road.  Tree screening and fencing is being proposed along the north side of the property to reduce noise and views.  There is a proposal for a pedestrian walkway from Cove Road to the Post Office.
Acting Chair Drucker requested Attorney Zehnder to explain how this request fits with WZB 5.3.2. Mr.  Zehnder stated this is a request to change the original application, which did not include a drive-thru or drive-in but did have indoor and outdoor use as a restaurant in 1984 and he is asking for an amendment as to how the food is served, and adding a drive-thru window will not change the use of the restaurant.  
Mr. Drucker stated the menu board is illuminated from within and is prohibited by the Wellfleet Zoning Bylaws.  There is also a WZBL limit of signage on property and asked the applicant to provide the amount of signage.  
The traffic study was in conflict with Wellfleet Police records.   Mr. Derrick stated he used the data from the MA DOT and stated it is not uncommon for the disparity on the numbers.  The study was done in June 2011 from which Mr. Derrick made calculations on what it would be at the high season. Mr. Derrick stated they reviewed queue length, speed of traffic, and delays of traffic.  He stated bikes and pedestrians were counted and that there are no facilities for bicyclists making the road inadequate.  Traffic at the Post Office was not included in the traffic report.   Peak hours on route 6 are on a Saturday between 11:00 and 12:00.  Mr. Derrick stated all traffic going off Cove Road to Cove Corners or the Post Office will have to go out to Route 6 now and not go through the parking lot.  Mr. Drucker stated this would be the only drive-thru for approximately 26 miles on Route 6 and questioned what  the standard would be.  Mr. Derrick stated it would be 25 miles.  Manny Heyliger stated he uses Cove Road and questioned why should the Town pay for the widening of the road and feels it works well now.  Sharon Inger stated she would like to see a traffic study done in July or August during the hours of 11:00 am to 2:00 pm for accuracy.  
Acting Chair Drucker read letters of opposition from the following people:
Dan Silverman and Janice Gray,   Deborah Freeman, Barbara Gray, Kathy Lanning, Suzanne Gray,
Jan Morrisey, Betsy Williams, Katy Rose, Alexandra Grabbe, Donald Thimas, Louise Johnson and Jill Havens.   
The concerns included
•       noise  
•       air pollution
•       congestion
•       change in character to the town
•       would be detrimental to the town and area
•       traffic
•       adverse affects on neighborhood
•       congested parking area creating a safety issue
•       traffic study is not accurate
•       idling vehicles
•       forcing vehicles to Route 6
•       does not benefit the town
•       owners want to increase revenue
•       will eliminate some people going into the center of town
•       large vehicles in the parking lot
•       access to Mass Appeal
•       headlights into abutters homes
In Favor:  Antero and Ann Mauricio
A letter from the Eastham Fire Chief dated Dec. 10, 2012 was read which included the following considerations:  sufficient turning radius, adequate signage and enforcement of fire lanes, appropriate protective fencing on the north west side, parking lot drainage in the north west section, effectiveness of the proposed changes considering the volume of traffic during peak seasons and has this type of design been tested in other locations and what was the outcome, and promote collaborative efforts with adjoining property with one common entrance and exiting strategy.
 A letter from Wellfleet Police Chief Fisette enclosed a traffic study on Route 6, accident reports, and recommended entrances be reduced to one entrance to allow the normal flow of traffic and the needs for emergency vehicles.      
The meeting was adjourned for a 10 minute break at 8:30 and resumed at 8:35 pm.    
Sibel Asantugrul asked Mr. Zehnder to review the benefits of the application and he responded he wanted to wait until the new plan is presented.  Acting Chair Drucker stated the Board will need to hear the benefits of the use permit and not necessarily just the traffic flow.  Attorney Zehnder stated he didn’t feel he could separate the benefits without a new site plan but stated the benefits will be:
•       It will allow persons who are unable to walk from their cars to the Dunkin’ Donuts the opportunity to purchase product from their cars.
•       The proposal contributes to the diversity of services in that it provides customers the choice to obtain Dunkin’ Donuts product without leaving their cars.
•       Approximately 2-3 additional employees would be hired for the drive up window.
•       The proposed site plan will move handicapped spaces from near Cove Road to the immediate front of the building.

Comments from the audience:
Becky Dalmas:  Convenience creates ignorance and stress
Ed Miller:  if there are traffic issues now, the owner should deal with them, but not through a special permit.
Susan Gross of Mass Appeal:  concerned with safety of customers and concerned with parking for her customers.
Sandy Wonders:  wants a traffic control officer on Route 6 at all busy times, not just Saturday am.
Louis Johnson:  Does not want a drive thru in her neighborhood.  Feels Board should listen to people.
John Polar:  wants to keep a “mom and pop” shop town, only benefit is to Dunkin Donuts, put bigger load on traffic
Marie Pellegrino:  lighting will be issue to her, noise of idling cars, music from cars, family will hear people ordering, fumes, negative impact on neighbors on Cove Road, property value will go down, referred to Cumberland Farms ZBA denial, accident report incorrect, doesn’t feel one access will be enough for all the businesses on the property, tips will be taken away from people working the window
Janet Morrisey:  Many urban areas have objections to drive-thru service.
Goos Draz:  Not being able to use the parking lot, don’t want it and ask applicant to withdraw
David Wright:  can’t use parking lot with new plan and it will be an inconvenience.
Lisa Toomey:  concerned with squawk box, lighting will affect her house, will be visible and affect her life, concerned with hours of operation
Dana Franchetti:  Concerned citizen of a democracy, this is corporate America at its’ worse
Dorothy Downs:  Don’t make Wellfleet like the city of Boston
Brent Harold:  Stated he has not seen any voices declaring there are benefits
Emmy McDonald:  doesn’t want to see Wellfleet turn into a convenience community
Nate Johnson:  speaker box is “gutting the town and personality”, not a personal experience
Richard Morel:  love of character of town,
Cedar Cole, keep the town as it is, no lights at night, etc. doesn’t feel fencing and trees will beautify the area
Fred McGee:  Aggressive behavior of drivers during the summer months which will change character of that area.
Attorney Zehnder requested a continuance to present a new site plan which will close off entrances and have one entrance only for the Post Office and shopping plaza.  That change will cost money for engineering and the owners have to approve the changes.  George Zagrafus stated he wanted to solve the problems identified by the police and fire department.  He stated over 1,000 customers have signed the petition for wanting the drive thru.  He wants to make this safer, make it right, and understands the concerns and wants the opportunity to come back.  
Pelligrino stated her grandparents bought the property in 1925 so the plaza wasn’t always there.  
Acting Chair Drucker asked the Board members if they were in favor of granting a continuation and the Board verbally said no.  The Board then stated they would be willing to accept a new application with the new plans but want to make sure all the background work is complete before coming back to the Board, such as working with the Dept. of Transportation and determining if the plan will go forward.
Attorney Zehnder requested the Board allow the application be withdrawn without prejudice.  Bruce Drucker explained to the audience how the ANR applied to freeze the zoning for 3 years, and explained how the applicant can request a withdrawal without prejudice; therefore, there is a three year freeze as of the january, 2011 ANR on prior bylaws.   
Bruce Drucker moved to allow the application be withdrawn without prejudice; seconded by Roger Putnam; passed 5-0.
Bruce Drucker moved to approve the amended Dec 6, 2012 meeting minutes; seconded by Sharon Inger; passed 5-0.
William Nicholson moved to adjourn at 9:50; seconded by Sharon Inger; passed 6-0.
Respectfully submitted,
Christine A. Bates
Committee Secretary