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Raynham, Massachusetts.  Incorporated 1731

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Planning Board minutes May 16, 2013
The Raynham Planning Board meeting on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at Raynham Veterans’ Memorial Town Hall, was opened at 6:06 p.m. by Vice Chairman Burke Fountain.

Board members present:  Burke Fountain, Christopher Gallagher, Henry Ellis, Russell Driscoll

Staff present:  Administrative Assistant Maureen McKenney

6:06 p.m. – Reorganization of the Board:  Mr. Ellis moved to keep the Board organized as is, including subcommittees; second by Mr. Gallagher; motion passed by unanimous vote.

6:07 p.m. – Form A for King Street:– postponed to later date at applicant’s request.

6:07 p.m. – Forge River Park, Lot 10, site plan:  the public hearing was opened. Applicant George Turner, Two T’s Realty Trust, was present along with Todd Pilling, P.E., Pilling Engineering Group, Inc.  Comment letter dated April 25, 2013 was received from Highway Superintendent Roger Stolte.

Mr. Gallagher read the hearing notice.  Mr. Gallagher informed the Board that Building Inspector Dennis Machado mentioned that Lot 10 is located on the unconstructed portion of Forge River Parkway.  Mr. Gallagher told the Board he held off on reviewing the plan until the question of legitimate road frontage is determined.  Mr. Ellis noted the Board cannot approve the plan if there is not adequate access.

Mr. Turner informed the Board that this subdivision dates back to the 1980’s, the original developer defaulted, the Town took the bond to finish the road and eventually the road was accepted.  It was noted that Forge River Parkway was paved only to a point before Lot 10 and a bridge that was to connect Forge River Parkway to adjacent Commercial Street was never constructed due to wetland issues.

Mr. Gallagher noted Lot 10 has been released but he questioned if a building permit would be issued without proper frontage.  He suggested Mr. Turner discuss the matter with the Building Inspector before proceeding.  Mr. Turner noted he has paid taxes on Lot 10 as a buildable lot for several years.  He agreed to contact the Building Inspector to discuss the frontage issue.

Mr. Pilling briefly discussed the plan, noting the roadway will be paved to Lot 10; the proposed building will be 4,000 sq. ft., one story, commercial use, will have a low impact drainage swale; wall pack lights will be the only lighting used; and, the Conservation Commission hearing for the plan is still open.  Mr. Gallagher noted the Conservation Commission’s agent will review the drainage.

The public hearing was continued to June 6, 6:15 p.m.  An extension of time-to-act was signed.

General Business:

- Minutes of April 18, 2013 were received.  Mr. Fountain moved to waive the reading and accept the minutes; second by Mr. Driscoll; motion passed by unanimous vote.

- E-mail dated May 1, 2013 was received from Highway Superintendent Roger Stolte inquiring if the Board is holding any funds for Bayberry, Ramshead and Paddock Roads that can be used towards cracksealing the roads. Mr. Gallagher will contact Mr. Stolte to discuss further.

6:31 p.m. – Proposed rezoning of parcel of land on Broadway (portion of Lot 7, 190) was opened.  Mr. Gallagher read the hearing notice.  He noted the Planning Board hearing is a part of the rezoning process and the matter will be voted on by Town Meeting.

Attorney Matthew Costa, Taunton, MA, appeared before the Board representing the owners of the locus property.  Attorney Costa urged the Board to support the zoning change from Residential D to Business and cited the following reasons: the land has been owned and occupied by family since 1896; the neighborhood has dramatically changed over the years with many stores now located across the street; the property has over 5 acres but only 20,000 sq. ft. of it is zoned Residential D; an unoccupied house sits on the 20,000 square foot portion.  Attorney Costa read into the record a letter dated May 15, 2013 from himself and Attorney David T. Gay in support of the rezoning.

Michael Delaney, Arlington Street, Taunton, spoke and explained his family has owned the property for many years.  He noted the house is unoccupied now except for an occasional visitor, but it is maintained and the utilities are functioning.  He explained that large amounts of dust from the nearby Lopes business site accumulate in the house despite the Lopes attempts to sweep regularly.  He noted the view from the property is that of nearby businesses and the property cannot be sold as residential.  Mr. Delaney urged the Board to recommend rezoning of the parcel.  Mr. Fountain noted the property is zoned as Residential D and he asked if the owners attempted to sell it as that.  Mr. Delaney stated no.

Attorney William Rosa, Raynham, MA, addressed the Board as representative for Bellingham Land Co., LLC, who will purchase the property if the zoning change is approved. Attorney Rosa submitted letter dated May 13, 2013 with attached memorandum prepared by Pimental Consulting, Inc., Rhode Island, in support of the rezoning along with a photo taken of the property area.  Attorney Rosa discussed that the rear portion of the property cannot be accessed for business use through the 20,000 sq. ft. residential portion.~ He noted that Residential D does allow some commercial uses, which lends to the uniqueness of the property.  Bellingham Land Co. plans a “neighborhood mall” rather than a larger drive-to destination business so there will not be additional traffic but rather the business will come from traffic that already passes the site.~ Also, any plans for development of the site will be subject to scrutiny through site plan review and aquifer regulations.  Attorney placeRosa stated that a 2012 SRPEDD report recommended commercial development on Rte. 138, the zoning change makes sense and the Board’s endorsement would only be the first step in the process.

Laraine Nickerson, First Street, addressed the Board and stated it is incorrect that SRPEDD recommended business for the area but rather SRPEDD recommended an overlay district.  Mr. Gallagher said Mrs. Nickerson was correct.  Attorney Rosa agreed that Mrs. Nickerson was correct about the overlay district.

John Texeira, First Street, spoke and discussed his concerns that Rte. 138 is already busy, this rezoning will have a major impact on First Street and Chickering Road, and the development of the parcel will create one more cut out on Route 138.  He noted what is being proposed is actually a strip mall not a neighborhood center.  Mr. Texeira stated his concerns that the development would create water problems on adjacent property and the added traffic will not be insignificant. He suggested the property could be zoned Residential A for a housing subdivision.

Sylvia Cross, Chickering Road, spoke of her concerns with the effect the bad traffic will have on the safety of the children in the neighborhood who have to walk to Broadway to catch their school buses.

Caroline Karson, Chickering Road, spoke about her concerns for safety of children in the area, noting that students are now picked up earlier than usual because of the traffic and it can take 10 to 12 minutes to take a left turn onto Route 138. She noted there are water issues to consider.  She stated the quality of living for those in the area should be respected and she asked the Board to vote accordingly.

Russell Driscoll read into the record a letter dated May 16, 2013 from Raynham resident Edmund J. Brennan. Mr. Brennan’s letter urged the Board to vote negatively on the rezoning.

Mrs. Nickerson stated she was glad the question was asked about attempting to sell the property as Residential D.  She noted she sympathized with the Delaneys and that Bellingham Co. has been upfront with area residents.  Mrs. Nickerson said she served on the Route 138 zoning committee but the next phase on the Route 138 study has stalled until a Town Planner is hired.  She asked that the committee be given an opportunity to get to the next phase as planned, noting that a grant of $25,000 was received for the zoning study.

Mr. Fountain asked if a traffic count was done for the planned use.  Attorney Rosa stated it was early in the process so a study was not done yet but the plan will not be for a “big box” site.

Ed Pimental, Pimental Consulting, Inc., spoke in support of the rezoning on behalf of Bellingham Land Co., stating that the impact from the proposed business will be nominal.  He agreed that there were gap problems at First Street making it difficult to exit.  He noted the aquifer district limits the uses allowed and no use variances could be granted.  He stated it would not be good planning to deny and would be a travesty to the owner.  

Sylvia Cross asked Mr. Pimental to cite an example of a neighborhood use.  Mr. Pimental responded it could be a bank, a small “mom and pop” store, small office, drugstore, restaurant.  He noted the amount of impervious surface on the site will be limited.

Randy Karson, 126 Chickering Road, spoke of concern of a domino effect, water runoff and the possibility that an adjacent hill will be bulldozed to open the area closer to First Street.

Caroline Karson stated there could be an effect on the flood zone if water is redirected.  

Attorney Costa explained that water would not be allowed to shed onto other properties.  He stated this property is overburdened by commercial use and is not suited for residential use as a result.

Mike Morgis, First Street, spoke in opposition and asked when this property was purchased for the proposed use.  It was noted the property has not yet been purchased from the owners.

Ed Pimental spoke again in opposition to the rezoning.

Arthur Bendenelli, Superintendent of North Raynham Water District, addressed the Board.  He noted the water district is not associated with the Town but it is owned by the residents of the district.  He stated he is concerned with protection of the water supply and he will deal with this project the same as any other as the process goes along.  He noted he was neither in favor of nor not in favor of the zoning change.  He noted sensible development for the tax base is the key, and the district will protect their investments.

John Texeira asked if there are requirements to protect the water supply.  Mr. Bendenelli discussed that there are observation monitoring wells, sampling is conducted, infiltration systems are required for parking lots.  He noted the district requires reports from individual sites and site maintenance is done regularly.

Mr. Pimental noted that water purity and nitrates are two concerns and that he understands the impact.  Mr. Bendenelli stated that residences could be a worse situation; Mr. Pimental agreed.

Sylvia Cross asked if there were plans to widen Broadway to four lanes.  Mr. Gallagher noted Wal-Mart will be widening the road to up to King Philip Street but there would be no land takings.

There were no further comments or questions.

7:40 p.m. – The public hearing was closed.  Mr. Gallagher stated he agreed with Mr. Brennan’s and Mrs. Nickerson’s comments regarding allowing the zoning study to be completed.  He said he sympathizes with the Delaneys and he also knows the residents want to protect their neighborhood.

Mr. Driscoll said he is sympathetic to the owners of the property but a plan is in process to work on Broadway rezoning and he is leaning towards waiting for that to happen.

Mr. Ellis noted he was impressed by Mr. Brennan’s letter and that for now he will vote no.

Mr. Fountain said he is sympathetic to the owners of the parcel as the house is not usable, and he noted the First Street residents want to protect their property.  He said he will vote no at this time but may have to reconsider if the Broadway study is delayed or bogged down for some reason.  

Mr. Gallagher moved to not recommend rezoning of the Broadway parcel as described; second by Mr. Ellis.  There was no further discussion, and the motion passed by unanimous vote.

7:47 p.m. – Lincoln Woods subdivision:  Developer Todd Hamilton appeared before the Board to discuss the fact that he cannot get a building permit on Lot 16 Maple Street because of a frontage issue raised by the Building Inspector.  He explained that the subdivision plan was approved with a 30-foot wide strip of land extending from the cul-de-sac between Lots 16 and 17 on Maple Street and a similar strip off the Crimson Street cul-de-sac.  These strips were approved in order to provide adequate frontage for the abutting lots.  

Mr. Hamilton explained that Mr. Machado has determined that in order to properly use two roadway extension strips as frontage, the plan should be revised to remove a small piece of the cul-de-sac arc in order to show the 30-ft. strips as extensions of the subdivision roads.  He noted Mr. Machado also wants the Maple Street roadway extension improved.  

Letter dated May 16, 2013 was received from Matt Kashmanian, Maple Street, requesting that the Board allow the width of the road extension to be reduced.  (Mr. Ellis left the meeting.)  There was discussion on the width of Maple Street extension.

During discussion, it was noted the subdivision plan was approved by the Board as an alternative to a 40B plan.  After discussion, the Board agreed the roadway extension strips were approved to provide frontage for the abutting lots, and the requested modification to the plan is minor.  Mr. Hamilton agreed to revise the plan to show an arc piece removed from each cul-de-sac and to reduce the “roadway” width, as discussed.  Mr. Hamilton will return to the Board for a vote on approval of the modified plan.

7:56 p.m. – Metro Volkswagen site plan: Paul Boule appeared before the Board to request a  modification to the site lighting for the Metro Volkswagen site plan.  He explained that only the type of lighting will be changing and the overall pole height will remain at 20 feet.  Mr. Fountain noted that if the light poles are not taller and the lights will not be brighter, there should be no problem.  Mr. Driscoll asked if the plan was basically a change to LED lighting, and Mr. Boule stated yes.

Upon review of the plan, it was noted the revised plan showed the site entrance on Church Street was eliminated.  Board members discussed that they felt that might be a safety issue, and it would be better to provide customers access to the traffic signals at  Church Street.  They questioned if this change is more than a minor modification.  The Board agreed more  information is needed before voting on the proposed changes.  They requested that the applicant submit a written request for the modifications.  The matter was tabled.

General Business:

- Mr. Gallagher invited all to attend the dedication of the new veterans’ memorial at Town Hall, which is tentatively scheduled for June 22nd.  Mr. Gallagher noted several local businesses were helpful in the construction of the memorial and the help was much appreciated.

There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

Raynham Planning Board

Christopher Gallagher, Clerk

Town of Raynham 558 South Main St., Raynham, MA 02767
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