Category Archives: Downtown

ZBA says no to LCB

LCB

The Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Medfield voted to deny a special permit to the proposed LCB assisted living facility on Main Street, whose application has been pending for two and a half years.  The entire decision is available here 20180621-ZBA.LCBdecision), and the essential excerpts appear below.

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TOWN OF MEDFIELD
Office of the Board of Appeals on Zoning

NOTICE OF DECISION

APPLICANT: LCB Senior Living
DECISION DATE: June 21, 2018
DATE OF FILING DECISION: June 27,2018
DECISION NUMBER: 1339

  • While the Applicant has provided sufficient evidence to warrant a number of positive findings, the Board has concluded that it cannot make one of the key findings. Section 14.1 O.E(3) requires that we determine that the proposed use is architecturally and aesthetically consistent with other structures in the neighborhood.
  • Section 14.10.E(l) requires that we determine that the proposed use will not result in a public hazard due to substantially increased vehicular traffic or parking in the neighborhood. While the proposed project would provide 51 parking spaces, we are concerned that that level of parking may not be adequate. . . Section 14.10.E(l) requires that we determine that the proposed use will not result in a public hazard due to substantially increased vehicular traffic or parking in the neighborhood. While the proposed project would provide 51 parking spaces, we are concerned that that level of parking may not be adequate.
  • Section 14.1 O.E(2) requires that we determine that the proposed use will have no adverse effect upon property values in the neighborhood. . . we do not believe that we can make the required finding that the proposed use will have no adverse effect on property values in the neighborhood.

 

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LCB restart

LCB

The permitting for the proposed LCB assisted living facility behind the Clark Tavern on Main Street with the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board is starting up again with a Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on 5/23 at 7PM at the Blake Middle School auditorium.  In advance of that ZBA hearing Town Planner, Sarah Raposa circulated the most recent peer review by the town’s engineering consultants, BETA Engineering, dated 4/19/2016, which gives a summary of where things stand.

20160419-BETA-Medfield Senior Living Peer Review (002)

 

Also, I believe that there are still two outstanding and as yet unresolved apeals by LCB of the wetlands determination issues by the Town of Medfield Conservation Commission.  I understand those appeals are pending with the state DEP and at the Norfolk Superior Court.  The ConCom determined that Vine Brook is a “perennial stream” (i.e. it flows year round) and as a result that building setbacks are subject to the 200′ Rivers Act requirements.  I believe that LCB takes the position that Vine Brook is only “intermittent,” and that therefore the Rivers Act setback do not control.

 

Below is Sarah’s transmission email to town department heads –

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LCB is coming back from continuance-hiatus next Wednesday night (5/23) with the ZBA. I wanted to refresh your memories on the project and where Beta is at with the reviews. The application and plans may be viewed here: Dropbox Link

Attached is the most recent civil and traffic engineering review from Beta.

 

For some departments, your predecessors submitted comments on the project. Previously submitted comments are HERE. You may wish to update departmental comments, if so, please provide written comments by next Wednesday at 10 am.

 

Looking closely, I don’t having anything from the Fire Department (though I know Chief Kingsbury reviewed the plan).

 

I did not include the COA and School Dept. in 2015 but feel free to submit if you have any comments for the ZBA.

 

I do have several documents from the Historical Commission that I didn’t attach here but are online. I know you’ll be at the meeting on Wednesday to submit comments in person.

 

All are welcome to the public hearing session: Wednesday, May 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm at the Blake Middle School Auditorium.

 

Thank you,

Sarah

 

 

Sarah Raposa, AICP

Town Planner
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA  02052
(508) 906-3027
sraposa@medfield.net

 

Take the parking survey

From Sarah Raposa –

parked in no parking zone with available parking nearby

Reminder!

The Economic Development Committee (EDC) and their consultants from Nelson\Nygaard are requesting public input in formulating strategies for a parking management plan for downtown Medfield.

Please take our survey: www.surveymonkey.com/r/MedfieldParking

The survey closes Monday, March 26, 2018 at 8 am. Thank you!

 

 

Sarah Raposa, AICP

Town Planner
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA  02052
(508) 906-3027
sraposa@medfield.net

www.town.medfield.net

 

5G may look different in Medfield

Medfield already has one Verizon permitted antennae on a light pole, in front of Palumbo Liquors, and according to this article, we may be seeing many more.  The Board of Selectmen were told when presented with that pole antennae application, that in Massachusetts Verizon had the right to install on an existing pole.  The town gets no revenue from that antennae.  By contrast, the antennae on our two water towers pay, from memory, about $30K/year /antennae).

 

Why Cities Should Jump at the Chance to Add Cell Towers to Streetlights

COMMENTARY | In a contributed piece, the authors suggest compromises and efficiencies to ensure cities do not get left behind in the 5G revolution.

This is the first in two contributed articles on broadband access and local government’s role in building better connectivity for its citizens. Read the second one here.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. —  Numerous state lawmakers are filing bills to encourage or even compel large cities to incorporate cell towers into existing municipal infrastructures. Not everyone is sold on the proposition.

Wireless carriers want to install miniature cell towers on utility poles and streetlights to keep up with fifth-generation—commonly known as 5G—cell phone technology. Carriers plan to install more than 250,000 small cell sites across the U.S. in the next few years, but they require broad access to public property in order to proceed. Legislators have introduced wireless siting bills in 25 states so far this year, with hopes to begin work on installations in 2018.

In Illinois, for instance, legislation intended to streamline this process has enjoyed a cold reception. The Small Cell Wireless Bill passed the Illinois House and Senate during the 2017 veto session, though State Senate President John Cullerton decided to hold the legislation after public outcry from area communities. Policymakers said they hoped to negotiate with local officials who have called on Gov. Bruce Rauner to veto the bill.

 

Meanwhile, both sides of this ongoing debate have been clashing in California Gov. Jerry Brown late last year vetoed a bill that would have made it easier for telecommunications companies to install the small transmitters on public property. Brown argued the permitting process for new technology must be weighed against the right of local governments to manage public property under their jurisdiction.

Skeptics claim these small cell sites will be more of an eyesore than an asset, but city dwellers should welcome this beneficial blend of private tech and public property.

 

A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships

Opponents argue that this integration of street furniture and tech will harm community aesthetics and historical preservation. Local and state representatives who oppose the legislation, however, will cause self-inflicted wounds to the long-term prosperity of their communities.

By attaching small cell antennas to streetlights and other street furniture, carriers will be able to use 5G technology to deliver wireless data much more effectively. Wireless customers in affected areas will enjoy improved coverage, fewer dropped calls, and faster download speeds.

 

5G technology saw an informal test in Minneapolis during Super Bowl LII, after Verizon crews installed 250 of the small cell sites throughout downtown Minneapolis to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of out-of-town visitors for the big game. The stadium itself was blanketed in wireless signals, with antennas hidden in everything from handrails to small boxes scattered among the stadium’s seats.

As 5G technology gains traction, wireless carriers hope to eventually supplant cable as the primary provider of home internet service. Speeds on 5G networks are better than traditional cable internet, and the wireless service can compete with high-end fiber networks. Homes within reach of these small cell sites would no longer require wired connections, but the infrastructure for this sort of network does not exist in many communities. As a solution, carriers want to pepper small cell antennas on existing street furniture.

Critics contend the wireless industry’s initiative will roll back public efforts to expand broadband access to underserved and rural areas. In truth, the push to install cell antennas on public furniture would actually support these efforts by forcing cable providers to bolster their infrastructure and reduce their rates in order to remain competitive.

According to Deloitte, the U.S. must spend more than $100 billion over the next five to seven years to support fiber infrastructure demands. Wireless providers can ease this burden by densifying their networks, increasing consumer access along the way. Carriers would partner with municipalities to design, permit, and construct saturated wireless networks, benefitting all parties involved.

Residents want improved connectivity, but they fear unsightly additions to city structures. To mitigate this aesthetic issue, cities should require companies to shroud antennas and install non-transmitting equipment below ground.

In exchange, cities should agree to give wireless carriers and cable companies a free market in which to solve the digital divide. To build seamless networks, wireless companies will need to serve all high-density areas — including impoverished districts. By simplifying the installation and permitting processes, cities will be able to facilitate better services for their citizens with minimal effort.

Leaping from Legislation to Implementation

Before this technology can change things for the better, local leaders must modify municipal policies and procedures. Steep lease rates for cell towers on private property inflate the operating expenses of wireless carriers. Low-cost access to public street furniture would remedy this issue, reducing operating expenses for carriers and freeing up capital for infrastructure improvements and denser networks.

Many municipalities lack defined fee structures and approval processes for the corporate use of public property. By creating straightforward licensing procedures, cities can help carriers plan ahead for new networks. Public works departments should interfere as little as possible, only stopping proposals that overstep the common sense of aesthetics and function. If cities keep rates fair and permitting reasonable, carriers can pass their savings on to customers.

Communities that oppose the installation of 5G technology on their assets risk falling behind other municipalities that cooperate with carriers. Technology-fueled startups and participants in the gig economy prefer areas with better technology. If one city is saturated with high-speed wireless service while another avoids upgrades, startups are more likely to flock to the city with the better technological offering.

Fast internet service is the lifeblood of the global economy. In nations with fewer regulations on wireless infrastructure, carriers provide denser networks with better service at lower costs. Without reliable, affordable access to these advanced systems, American communities will trail behind their global counterparts.

To remain globally competitive, government officials must work with the wireless industry to rethink commercial access to public assets. By cooperating with carriers on permitting and reasonable use rates, municipalities can create room for compromise on the shrouding and location of new equipment. Opening city hall for business will create new economic opportunities for wireless generations to come

20180306-EDC-Downtown Parking Public Meeting Flyer 03-06-18

Downtown Medfield Parking Strategy Public Meeting

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Public Safety Building (First Floor Training Room)

The Economic Development Committee (EDC) and their consultants from Nelson\Nygaard will discuss and request in formulating strategies for a parking management plan for downtown Medfield. This process is funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative Technical Assistance (MDI) Program. The guiding principle of the MDI is to address economic and community development needs holistically and provide a framework of interrelated activities that promote positive change in a downtown to keep it healthy and prosperous. The EDC would like to hear from property owners, business owners, residents, and users of the downtown about locations and availability of spaces, walkability, safety, and signage.

 

Please take our survey: www.surveymonkey.com/r/MedfieldParking 

 

All are welcome to share concerns as well as ideas on how to improve parking management!

 

 

Sarah Raposa, AICP

Town Planner
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA  02052
(508) 906-3027

Autonomous vehicles arrive

We need to plan for the changes autonomous vehicles will make in town, and to new developments, such as at the former MSH site.  I think this will be a boon to older residents who are no longer driving themselves, and also as a way to network various parts of town to the downtown and to one another, and, also, to link us to regional transportation hubs.  This article is from Efficient Government  –

The Driverless Taxis Are Here — This Year

Driverless Uber taxi in Pittsburgh.

Image: Flickr

They are not the future, in some cities, driverless taxis are taking riders now. Auto manufacturers are also ramping up orders and requesting Federal approvals for autonomous level four vehicle production.

Driverless taxis are already on the road in Pittsburgh, and GeekWire is covering all the details of what’s happening at the facility where 200 Volvos, equipped with LIDAR cameras, drive themselves in and out. According to Uber’s website, the test drives are collecting data with real passengers excited to take their self-driving selfiies:

We’re piloting a program now where you can get matched up with a self-driving Uber when you request uberX. When you do, you get a glimpse of the future AND access to the selfie machine. Mind. Blown.

But it’s not just Uber, and it’s not just Pittsburgh. Driverless taxis are operating in Phoenix, Arizona, and coming to Greenville County, South Carolina, and at least to the seven states that have already authorized autonomous vehicle operation.

According to the Greenville News, the Federal Highway Administration awarded the county $4 million to develop a public automated taxi system that would be the first of its kind in the nation.

These funds will help Greenville County lead the nation into a future with more driverless vehicles, which will improve mobility for some and reduce traffic congestion for all,” Acting Federal Highway Administrator Brandye L. Hendrickson said.

According to ArsTechnica, Waymo, the company conducting the first U.S. public trial of self-driving cars in Phoenix, just placed an order for an overwhelming number of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. The Google-spawned company suggested it is moving beyond self-driving tests in Phoenix, Michigan and Atlanta and scaling up for wider autonomous vehicle operations.

With the world’s first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road, we’ve moved from research and development, to operations and deployment,” said John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo.

According to NBC News, General Motors (GM) plans is asking to sweep seven states with driverless taxis by 2019.

GM asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for waivers covering 16 regulations, said Kyle Vogt, the CEO of Cruise Automation, an autonomous technology company owned by GM. With Federal and state approvals, the company said it would produce 2,500 driverless Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles per year.

In addition to driverless taxis, cities like Las Vegas are testing driverless shuttles.

London’s Driverless Shuttle ‘Harry’ Begins Taking Riders

The GATEway driverless shuttle began taking riders around the Greenwich Peninsula in the U.K.’s first public trial of autonomous electric vehicles.

Holiday Stroll this Friday, 4-9 PM

 

CAM Holiday Stroll Postcard-2017

 

Medfield’s Third Annual Holiday Art and Craft Stroll: Friday, December 1, 2017

(Medfield, MA): The Cultural Alliance of Medfield (CAM) announces its third annual Holiday Stroll on Dec. 1, 2017 from 4:00–9:00 pm. This is a festive family event that takes place at 14 venues along Main Street (Route 109) and the Dwight Derby House on Frairy Street. The Holiday Stroll includes cookie decorating, an outdoor ice sculpture, 40 juried artisans, carolers and M.E.M.O.’s outdoor tree lighting ceremony. All events are within walking distance, free parking nearby and FREE admission. For complete details and a list of artisans, visit www.MedfieldCulture.org

 

ARTIST’S SITES
United Church of Christ: 496 Main Street

  • 4:00–9:00 pm. Artisan’s work for sale
  • 7:30 pm. Community carol sing
  • 4:00–9:00. Kids craft station

Medfield Library: 468 Main Street

  • 4:00–9:00 pm. Artisan’s work for sale
  • 4:30 pm, Children’s performer Sarah Gardner; Warm Winter Sing-a-longs
  • 4:00–9:00 pm. Kids craft station hosted by MAP (Medfield Afterschool Program)
  • Visit the new Friends Bookstore for books, CDs, DVDs and audiobooks

 

Zullo Gallery: 456 Main Street

  • 4:00–9:00 pm. Artisan’s work for sale

 

FOOD AND DRINK:

The Hot Dog Wagon: 478 Main Street (Bank of America Lot)

  • 5:00–9:00 pm. Nathan’s All Beef Hot Dogs with condiments; chips and drinks also available

Blazing Hearth Pizza: 503 Main Street. (Just Ervin’s Barber Salon Lot)

  • 5:00–9:00 pm fresh gourmet pizza from their wood-fired oven

 

SPECIAL EVENTS:

Baxter Park: Corner of Main and Spring Street

  • 6:30–8:00 pm. MEMO Holiday Tree Lighting and Joy to the World Singing

Dwight Derby House: 7 Frairy Street

  • 6:30–9:30 pm. FREE PHOTOSwith Santa by photographers Theresa Knapp
  • 6:30–9:30 pm.  Hand-crafted items and paintings available for purchase.

In the Gazebo next to the library: 468 Main Street

  • 7:15 pm. Ice sculpture carving demonstration outside the Town Hall by Eyes4Ice

Brothers Marketplace: 446 Main Street

  • 4:00–5:30 pm. Caroling by Middle and High School chorus members
    4:00–9:00 Holiday cookie decorating

LOCAL TALENT

Be Charmed: 70 North Street

  • 4:00–9:00 pm. Locally-made jewelry, custom-sewn “ditty bags” using specialty fabrics.

Butterfly Tree  Boutique: 505 Main Street

  • 4:00–9:00 pm. FREE holiday-themed temporary tattoos.

Capsule Lifestyles, Inc: 70 North Street

  • 4:00–9:00 pm. Pearl jewelry and designer purses, organizers and accessories.

 Juice on Main: 479 Main Street

  • 4:00–9:00 pm. FREE tastings of organic, raw, cold-pressed juices and special holiday drink.

Larkin’s Wine & Spirits:  20 North Street

  • 6:00–8:00 pm. Sample beer from Medfield’s own 7th Wave Brewing and sip award-winning concoctions from Medfield’s AstraLuna Brands

 

FREE PARKING behind the Medfield Town Hall at 459 Main Street and at the Montrose School lot at 29 North Street (enter on Brook Street).

 

 

This program is supported in part by a grant from the MEDFIELD CULTURAL COUNCIL, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Thank you to our sponsors: 7TH WAVE BREWING; A & D APPLIANCE; ACMEWARE INC.; ASTRALUNA BRANDS; ALISON BROWN/COLDWELL BANKER; DOHERTY, CIECHANOWSKI, DUGAN & CANNON; LARKIN’S WINE & SPIRITS; MASS CULTURAL COUNCIL; MEDFIELD ORTHOPEDIC & SPORTS THERAPY, LLC; NEEDHAM BANK; NOSH & GROG PROVISIONS; MAP (Medfield Afterschool Program); M.E.M.O. (Medfield Employers & Merchants Organization); PARK STREET BOOKS; and STIRLING TECHNOLOGIES.

 

The Cultural Alliance of Medfield is a 501-c-3 organization established in 2015 to nurture, support and promote culture in Medfield.

 

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