The Raynham Planning Board meeting on Thursday, December 6, 2012, at Raynham Veterans’ Memorial Town Hall, was opened at 6:00 p.m. by Chairman Daniel Andrade.
Board members present: Daniel Andrade, Burke Fountain, Christopher Gallagher, Russell Driscoll, Henry Ellis
Staff present: None
6:00 p.m. – Gatsby Gardens site plan: Attorney Ed Brennan appeared to discuss Lot 4 at Gatsby Gardens (located off Middleboro Ave). Also present were Nyles Zager, P.E., Outback Engineering, and Marcus Baptiste, property owner. A site plan for two eight-unit condo buildings on Gatsby Drive was approved in 2004, and the first building was constructed. Mr. Baptiste has since purchased Lot 4 and built the second building. Attorney Brennan asked the Board to approve a Certificate of Occupancy for Mr. Baptiste’s building so he may take advantage of tax breaks before the end of the year.
Attorney Brennan explained that everything is done at Lot 4 except for the final topcoat, the perimeter landscaping and the pad for the dumpster, which will all be completed this spring. Mr. Andrade stated the project should be finished before the Board signs off on an occupancy permit. Attorney Brennan suggested the Board could hold a surety bond on the project until all is completed so the occupancy permit can be issued before year’s end.
Mr. Zager reviewed the plan, indicating where the landscaping will be finished this spring. He noted the slopes were stabilized when the first lot was completed. The pad for the dumpster was discussed. Mr. Baptiste noted the dumpster is now in place without the cement pad; the pad will be poured in the spring. Mr. Andrade suggested that the dumpster area be fenced now. During discussion, it was noted Mr. Baptiste’s building is rental units, not condo units.
Mr. Gallagher noted he does not like signing an occupancy permit before a site is completed but he recognized the owner is trying to get as much done by the end of the year.
It was agreed to request a cost estimate from Nitsch Engineering to establish a bond amount and to hold a cash bond once the amount is set. The matter was continued to December 20, 2012, 6:05 p.m.
6:20 p.m. – Metro West VW public hearing for special permit for parking reduction was opened. Mr. Gallagher read the hearing notice. Attorney Daniel Vieira, Easton, MA, Brian Dunn, MBL Land Development, Easton, MA, and Dominic Grieco, Metro Motors, were present. Correspondence dated December 4, 2012 was received from Highway Superintendent Roger Stolte.
Mr. Andrade noted that at the last meeting, the Board, with only three members present, approved the Metro West VW site plan subject to a special permit for parking reduction being granted. He noted the Board determined extra spaces were available to VW on adjacent sites but they wanted to know the location of the spaces. Letter dated November 14, 2012 was received from Michael Grieco, Sr., stating that 59 spaces for Metro VW will be provided on the adjacent Metro Ford/Kia site. The Board and Mr. Dunn discussed where the 59 spaces were located. Mr. Gallagher asked that a parking summary be provided to the Board showing the allocation of parking spaces at all the dealership sites.
Mr. Fountain and Mr. Ellis questioned if a special permit was needed if an easement is granted for access to the extra 59 parking spaces. During discussion, it was noted the three dealership lots are separate but held in common ownership. Attorney Vieira spoke on the issue of common ownership. Mr. Dunn pointed out the property lines shown on the plan. Mr. Gallagher noted that according to Raynham zoning by-laws, access to any lot may only be through its street frontage. It was noted easements may be needed for access.
The Board discussed rescinding the site plan they approved in 2011 for a Metro Kia building that was not built. They discussed that an affidavit of common ownership of the properties involved is needed, and a permanent easement may be needed if, in the future, the lots are not held in common ownership.
The Board discussed whether or not to vote on the special permit before a Certificate of Action is drafted. Mr. Grieco told the Board he hoped they would vote and then sign the approved Metro West VW plan tonight so he can apply for a building permit. The Board agreed to vote on the special permit tonight and sign the Metro West VW site plan. The hearing was recessed to give Attorney Vieira and his client time to prepare a draft of the conditions that were discussed.
General Business: Letter dated October 26, 2012 from Michael and Rebecca Rogers, requesting return of project review fees for Roger’s Way Extension, was discussed. Mr. Gallagher noted the easements required by the Certificate of Action (COA) for Roger’s Way Extension were recorded in Land Court. It was not known if Parcel 2 was placed in a permanent conservation restriction, as required by the COA.
After discussion, the Board agreed to contact Attorney David Gay, applicant’s representative at the Roger’s Way Extension hearing, to confirm if conditions of the COA have been fulfilled.
General Business: As-built plan for Aspen Hollow was received. The plan will be sent to Nitsch Engineering for review.
Metro placeWest VW special permit hearing was reconvened. Attorney Vieira noted the conditions drafted were that the applicant shall provide a written request for revocation of the site plan approval issued for Metro Kia on Map 16, Lot 55-8; the applicant shall provide an affidavit of common ownership of the Metro properties involved; and, the special permit being issued shall terminate and become null and void if the lots involved are not held in common ownership unless a permanent easement is provided.
Mr. Gallagher requested that a parking summary be provided. It was agreed that Attorney Vieira will draft the COA with the above conditions along with the Board’s standard conditions and forward it to Mr. Fountain for review.
Mr. Gallagher moved to grant the special permit for parking reduction subject to the conditions outlined between the Board and Attorney Vieira; second by Mr. Ellis. Mr. Fountain moved to amend the motion by adding the special permit is for the proposed Metro VW dealership; second as amended by Mr. Ellis; motion passed by unanimous vote. It was noted there is an appeal period for the special permit.
The Board signed the approved Metro West VW site plan.
7:16 p.m. – Public hearing for 855 Broadway site plan/special permit for parking reduction was opened. Mr. Gallagher read the hearing notice. Attorney Daniel Vieira, Easton, MA, Brian Dunn, MBL Land Development, Easton, MA, and applicant Yiannis Davos were present. Correspondence dated December 4, 2012 was received from Nitsch Engineering; e-mail correspondence dated December 4, 2012 from Highway Supt. Roger Stolte.
Attorney Vieira gave a brief history of the site, noting it was built in 1986 and pre-dates site plan review in Raynham. He explained that SNAP Fit gym will be a new tenant at the retail plaza and will occupy a 3200 sq. ft. unit and operate 24 hours daily.
Mr. Dunn explained that the property owner applied for a building permit for renovations to the unit and the permit was denied by the Building Inspector due to lack of sufficient parking spaces. Applicant met with the Town Planner and the Building Commissioner to discuss the matter. Applicant subsequently submitted a plan to the Building Inspector that improved the traffic circulation on site and provided additional parking spaces and was advised a special permit for parking reduction would be needed. Applicant filed the special permit application and application for site plan review, paid the necessary fees and the plan was sent to Nitsch for review.
Mr. Andrade questioned who authorized sending the plan to Nitsch for review. Mr. Gallagher noted the plan should have come to the Board first to determine if it could have been done as abbreviated site plan without review from Nitsch. Mr. Dunn said he did what he was told to do.
Mr. Andrade noted a lot of properties in Raynham were developed prior to site plan review and by-law changes, and he questioned the need for updated site plans if the square footage of a building does not change. He questioned what triggered site plan review, why this plan was before the Board and if the Board would be seeing more of these plans. Mr. Ellis noted the Gilmore Street entrance is being changed. Mr. Fountain questioned if site plan would be required if a restaurant received a liquor license, which would change parking requirements.
Mr. Andrade noted the site has issues but no addition to the building is being proposed as has been the case at other sites. He noted the issue should be discussed for the future. He said he was not comfortable with the special permit request. Mr. Ellis asked if Mr. Andrade was saying the plan does not belong before the Board. Mr. Andrade said he did not agree that a waiver of parking spaces is needed. Mr. Gallagher said the plan belongs before the Board but not to this extent.
There was brief discussion of the businesses at the plaza and the parking spaces used.
Mr. Andrade questioned again why the plan was sent to the Planning Board. Mr. Ellis said it was because of the changes to the Gilmore Street entrance.
Derek Dagesse, direct abutter at 38 Gilmore Street, addressed the Board. He explained that his property line goes through parking spaces at the rear of the plaza and there is a dumpster located on his property as well as cement and other debris from the plaza. He noted that shortly after he purchased his property the vegetated buffer disappeared, and half the buffer is now just tree stumps and he can see the rear of the plaza, which he could not see before he bought his house.
Mr. Andrade asked Mr. Dunn if he agreed with what the neighbor said; Mr. Dunn said yes. Mr. Andrade stated this might be a legal issue between the parties. There was discussion of the buffer between the properties. Mr. Dagesse presented a copy of a Board of Appeals’ variance decision, which allowed the buffer between the business and residential properties to be located on the residential property. Mr. Fountain noted the ZBA decision stated there should be a 25 ft. evergreen, sight impervious buffer, and he would not vote for the proposed plan unless the buffer trees were put back.
Mr. Andrade discussed the plan, noting he liked the Building Inspector’s suggestions for traffic flow. He noted he does not agree with the need for parking reduction, but if it is granted, there are issues that need to be fixed. Mr. Gallagher noted the plaza was not built in accordance with today’s standards.
Mr. Andrade stated the proposed plan should be a minor modification and not a special permit/site plan. Mr. Ellis noted there is no original plan to modify.
Attorney Vieira explained that the other changes to the plan arose after the parking reduction. He noted applicant is now adding 10 parking spaces, but did not set out initially to make all the changes proposed.
After discussion, Mr. Fountain moved to approve the site plan with waivers, keeping in mind the pre-existing commercial project, and approve the parking/traffic layout subject to eliminating the parking spaces not on their property and fixing the buffer; second for discussion by Mr. Ellis.
Mr. Gallagher stated he had minor changes. He suggested moving the telephone pole at the Gilmore Street entrance, adding to the radius at both entrances and creating a left turn lane at Rte. 138 entrance. Mr. Andrade read letter dated December 3, 2012 from Building Commissioner Dennis Machado. After discussion, it was agreed the parking spaces at the side of the building will be changed from angled to straight; the width of the travel lane throat will be reduced from 24 feet to 22 feet; employees will park behind the building; and, the parking spaces not on the business property will be removed.
During discussion, it was noted there are no bollards but there is a raised sidewalk between the parking spaces and the storefronts.
Mr. Andrade informed the Board he will not be voting on the project as he does not feel the Board’s approval is needed because there is no new building at the site. Mr. Ellis noted applicant has already done the work; Mr. Fountain noted substantial changes were made to the parking lot. Mr. Andrade noted the changes were made because of the building permit denial by the Building Commissioner. Mr. Ellis noted improvements to the existing site are being made. Mr. Fountain noted the neighbor should be considered.
After discussion, Mr. Gallagher moved to amend the motion by adding that the trees in the buffer should be planted in the spring and the debris be removed from the residential property. There was further discussion about the buffer being cut. Mr. Andrade said it is a legal issue.
It was noted a project review fee was filed and inspection will be done when changes are made. There was discussion of a surety bond. No bond was set.
Mrs. Dagesse, 38 Gilmore St., spoke about the trees in the buffer being cut without regard to the owners. Mr. Davos noted some trees were cut because they were dead and dangerous. Mr. Andrade stated trees on another person’s property cannot be cut. He noted the plan does not show there are multiple dumpsters on site.
Mr. Fountain moved to approve the special permit for parking reduction/site plan for 855 Broadway subject to the modifications as discussed and approved by the Board; second by Mr. Gallagher. After discussion, Mr. Ellis moved to amend Mr. Fountain’s motion to clarify that both the special permit and site plan are approved; second by Mr. Fountain; motion to amend passed by vote of four in favor and Mr. Andrade abstaining. Motion to approve as amended passed by vote of four in favor and Mr. Andrade abstaining. Attorney Vieira will prepare a Certificate of Action and forward to Mr. Fountain.
General Business: Letter dated November 21, 2012 received from Kevin J. Perry and Robert Barboza requesting release of all surety funds held for completion of Route 44 Hyundai. Letter dated September 5, 2012 was received from G. Lopes Construction regarding drainage structure cleaning at the site. Mr. Andrade informed the Board he drove by the site and determined the landscaping has been completed.
Mr. Fountain moved that based on the outstanding issues being completed the Board release the surety bond for Rte. 44 Hyundai; second by Mr. Driscoll. Motion passed by unanimous vote.
There was no further business and the meeting adjourned.
Christopher J. Gallagher, Clerk