Walpole Planning Board
Walpole Town Hall
August 9, 2016, 2015 Minutes
Presiding Members: Robert Miller (Vice-Chair), James Aldrich (Secretary), Steve Dalessio (Selectboard Representative), Dennis Marcom, Jason Perron, Jeff White. Alternates: Ed Potter and Joanna Andros. Absent: Jeff Miller (Chair).
Recording: These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the August 2015 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.
Meeting Opened: Mr. R. Miller called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
Roll Call: Five members were present at the time of roll call, which was sufficient for a quorum. Mr. Potter walked in shortly after the minutes were accepted as written, so he was asked to sit as a board member. Mr. Perron and Ms. Andros arrived a few minutes later.
Minutes: Mr. Dalessio made a motion to accept the July minutes as written. The motion was seconded and passed by the board.
Public Hearing No. 1. Aquilla and Shirley Gorton, Lot Line Adjustment. Town Map 8, Lots 118 and 118-1 in the rural/agricultural zone. Lot 118-1 is 10.9 acres and will have .1 acre annexed from Lot 118 to make a total of 11 acres. Frontage 250 feet on Kingsbury Road.
Mr. Gorton explained what he planned to do by using a map. Originally, the lot was 10.9 and he wanted to increase it to at least 11 acres. The lot is mostly surrounded by family-owned property with the exception of two abutters. The dotted line showed where the extra land would be taken, making Lot 118-1 now 11.03 acres. Mr. Marcom asked if the road shown on the map was Kingsbury Road. Mr. Gorton said it was.
Mr. R. Miller asked if there were any questions or comments. There being none, Mr. Miller closed the public hearing. Mr. Marcom made a motion to approve the Lot Line Adjustment as stated. The motion was seconded and approved by all at the meeting.
Fuzzy Bros. LLC, special exception recommendation. Ben Northcott. Map 13, Lot 34-5, rural/agricultural district. Change of use. The Fuzzy Brothers want to use the property to repair and store large earth-moving equipment. Fuzzy Bros received conditional approval from the ZBA. There were three conditions:
That they store and repair only Fuzzy Bros equipment.
That they plant trees so passers-by cannot see the equipment.
That they receive a recommendation from the Planning Board.
Mr. Ben Northcott distributed pictures of existing conditions of the property. He said he was not planning on changing very much. He would paint the barn and do some driveway work. Things that had been neglected were being fixed, but there were going to be no major changes.
The land is a subdivision. a five-acre section of what was a larger piece of land. There would be two barns being used – the large red one and another one – for shop space and repair. The other buildings are basically sheds, he said. He will use the area behind the buildings as storage mostly during the winter months..
Mr. Dalessio asked what the special exception was for. Mr. Northcott said change of use in rural ag.
Mr. Marcom noted the three ZBA conditions. Mr. Northcott said he would plant trees between the barn and the driveway and some of the few treeless spots that are viewable from the road.
Mr. Aldrich said he wouldn’t go out of his way to plant all those trees. There are other places in town where equipment like his can be seen from the road. There’s a junkyard on Valley Road that doesn’t have trees. “I think this is an undo hardship. It’s going to be a hardship on Fuzzy Bros. who can only work on their own equipment.” If a neighbor’s tractor breaks down, why can’t they fix it? If a piece of the Highway Department breaks down, it might be cheaper to have them fix it. I think the Zoning Board is overstepping its bounds by putting hardships on people coming before their board. “
Mr. Northcott was asked about fixing only Fuzzy Bros. equipment. “I don’t know,” he said. “ I assumed if a family member’s car broke down, we could fix it.”
Mr. Dalessio said, “Not according to the special exception. This is the problem with these types of special exceptions.”
“Anyway, it’s not enforceable,” Mr. Aldrich said. “Who’s going to monitor it. …….This is where the Zoning Board is stepping out of bounds.”
Mr. Dalessio said to Mr. Northcott that he could go back to the Zoning Board to clarify what he can do. The trees, he said, were actually something the Planning Board had suggested.
Mr. Northcott said, “I don’t have any problem with the trees. We have plenty of equipment to move trees and we have plenty of trees there. It’s not as if we’re going to go out and buy trees.
Mr. Marcom asked, “So you don’t see that, as respect to the trees, as a hardship?.” Mr. Northcott said no.
Mr. Miller asked, How close are your nearest neighbors? Mr. Northcott said it would probably be the Pickerings across the street. On one side is pasture. Later he said the area where we will be working is about 200 feet from the road and they would not be working out front on the property but behind or in the barn.
Anything that Ben does to that property would be an improvement, Mr. Dalessio said. Mr. R. Miller said but he was just looking at the map and didn’t personally know the property. It’s cleaner now than it has been in years, Mr. Dalessio said.
Mr. Dalessio made a motion to request a non-binding recommendation to the Zoning Board. It passed 6-1 , with Mr. Aldrich saying no.
Voluntary Merger – Sidney Craven, Map 22, Lots 16, 100 North Road LLC transferred.
Mr. Dalessio and Mr. Marcom were wondering what the two lots were that were being merged. There is only one mentioned in the document that was provided and there was no one at the meeting to explain. The Voluntary Merger was passed over.
Walpole Fire Department: Additon to their building on the side abutting the Chocolate Factory.
Mr. Dick Hurlburt explained the addition and gave out pictures of the fire station. The colored ones were the current facility; the black and white show the addition.
By statute, municipal buildings are exempt from site plan review so the building committee heard about the addition and just want to know what the fire dparrtment was going to do. The Board appreciated someone from the fire department taking the time to explain the addition.
Mr. Hurlburt said it would be on the north side of the buidling. – the one next to the chocolate factory – and eveything would match what was already there – the brick, the trim, the roof pitch. The reason for the addition is that the fire department has seven (7) trucks and sometimes the one that’s needed is stuck between two other trucks. Work on the additions is starting on Thursday.
Zoning Board Conditions: Ms. Myra Mansouri, chair of the Walpole Zoning Board, said that we don’t make conditions just to make conditions. This is what people who come to Board request. In one of the latest meetings that conditions were made was a person was appearing for a special exeption to get a firearms license. He requested those conditons, Ms. Mansoouri said.
So these were his conditions, Mr. R. Miller asked. Ms. Mansouri answered yes.
Mr. Dalessio said he wanted to reprhase that. He didn’t ask for them to be conditons. He simply made statements during the meeting and the Board imposed or read them as conditions.
Ruggerio appeal: A court meeting held this week was to hear an appeal for an amendment to the Ruggerio appeal. The appeal was about the petition that was passed in March. Mr. Dalessio said the meeting was to combine the two appeals, one for denial of the site plan and one for the amendment on the petition. Mr. Dalessio said this consolidates the two cases. He said it was routine and took only a few minutes.
Detached Dwellings: There was spirited discussion of the pros and cons of detached dwellings and where these dwellings should be allowed in the town. Some agreed that lot size in the village made it difficult to have detached housing on those lots. But other situations, where there are many acres, may be ideal. The topic will be revisited.
Workshop: A workshop was scheduled for Tuesay, August 23 at 7 pm in the basement conference room.
Marilou Blaine, secretary