Category Archives: Zoning

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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ZBA vacancy

 

Medfield Zoning Board of Appeals Vacancy

The Town of Medfield Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is seeking to fill a vacant Associate Member position.  Anyone who may be interested should submit a letter of interest to Evelyn Clark at eclarke@medfield.net in the Board of Selectmen’s office by August 9, 2018. For questions regarding the ZBA or this specific position please contact Sarah Raposa, Town Planner at sraposa@medfield.net.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is an appointed board and acts as a quasi-judicial body deciding whether or not to vary from the Zoning By-Laws. The Zoning Board is empowered to act on appeals, special permits, variances, modifications and comprehensive permits, in accordance with applicable sections of Massachusetts General Laws and the Town of Medfield Zoning By-Laws.

Virtually all matters which come before the Board are initiated by residents or businesses seeking relief from the Zoning By-Law. Each application is processed in accordance with the legal requirements and timetables established under the Massachusetts Zoning Act, the ZBA Rules and Regulations and the Medfield Zoning By-Laws.

The Zoning Board of Appeals holds public hearings on applications for zoning variances, special permits and decides appeals of administrative decisions of the Building Commissioner. Hearings are generally held on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm in the Chenery Room in Town Hall, 459 Main Street.

Letters should describe your interest in the ZBA as well as any professional experience or other qualifications that will complement the Board. Additionally, please contemplate the following in your letter of interest: Land use boards such as the ZBA do not always have the kind of discretion to approve or deny a specific project that residents often think they have. It is important to recognize and avoid any conflict of interest; not to pursue special privileges, and maintain confidentiality. Are you prepared for being thought of as a villain by some and a hero by others?

 

BoS agenda for 6/5

The two files linked below have the background and informational materials for the 6/5 meeting of the Board of Selectmen next Tuesday.  Look at the detailed documents produced by both the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Medfield for the 40B projects and the Conservation Commission on the applications before them – that is a lot of volunteer time and input to make our town be well run.

20180605-materials

20180605-Information

TOWN OF MEDFIELD MEETING NOTICE POSTEC (μ..J)---TOWN CLERK POSTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF M.G.L. CHAPTER 39 SECTION 23A AS AMENDED. Board of Selectmen Board or Committee PLACE OF MEETING DAY, DATE, AND TIME Town Hall Chenery Meeting Room Tuesday June 5, 2018 @7:00 PM AGENDA (SUBJECT TO CHANGE) Announcement Disclosure of Video Recording We want to take a moment of appreciation for our Troops serving in the Middle East and around the world Citizen Comment Appointments 7:00 PM Economic Development Committee, Pat Casey Downtown Medfield Parking Study Presentation Committee Appointment Discussion 7:30 PM Public Hearing I Verizon Contract renewal William Solomon, Consulting Attorney 7:50 PM Pocket Park Study Committee, Jean Mineo Committee Appointment Discussion Action Items DPW Director Maurice Goulet requests the Selectmen vote to sign two Chapter 90 Project Requests: • Paving Main Street from Causeway Street to Millis Town Line $113,000.00 • Paving North Street from Pine Street to Dover Town Line $330,000.00 DPW Director Maurice Goulet requests the Selectmen vote to sign contract with Vanasse, Hangman, Brustlin (VHB), Wethersfield, CT for professional engineering and material testing services for one year and in the amount of $25,000.00 Vote to award Medfield State Hospital Landscaping Bid to Shady Tree Landscaping for a two year period and in the amount of $93,500 Facilities Director Jerry McCarty requests the Selectmen vote to award and sign contract with Dynamic Cleaning Company MINUTES Acceptance and/or correction of minutes for December 5, 17, 19, 2017; January 2 and April 10, 2018 Licenses and Permits (Consent Agenda) Cystic Fibrosis Foundation requests permission to ride through a part of Medfield on Saturday October 6, 2018 for their 21st Annual Charity Bicycle Ride Charlie Harris, organizer of the Medfield on the Charles Car Show requests permission to place two directional signs at Route 27 and Hospital Road June 10 to June 24. Also requests a one-day liquor license for the event Town Administrator Update Selectmen Report Informational Thank you letter from New Life Furniture Bank regarding 1 st SK Trail Run at hospital site OSHA, another unfunded mandate Copy of Zoning Board public hearing notice regarding 45 West Street ZBA decisions number 1330 and 1336 Packet of information from Medfield Conservation Commission - _.. . ex> c_ c: 0 z I :?» ~ ::c -.. (;.) e920180605-agenda_Page_2

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

 

ZBA approves Hospital Road 40B

40b

The Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Medfield yesterday approved and today released its decision on the Larkins’ 49 units (with 13 affordable units) Country Estates 40B project, granting approval subject to pages of conditions.  This link goes tot eh full decision – 20170406-ZBA-1300 – Country Estates – Hospital Road – Comp Permit

I know that blasting was a special concern of the neighbors, especially given the amount of ledge, and this is the blasting condition and the final conclusion:

=================================================================

G.l 7. Blasting – Pursuant to 527 CMR 1.00, Chapter 65, a licensed blasting professional
shall perform all blasting on the Property after proper pre-blast inspections and
surveys have been conducted and all required permits have been obtained from
the Medfield Fire Department, and such work shall be performed in accordance
with all local, state and federal requirements. Prior to any blasting or rock
removal, the Fire Chief shall review and approve a plan, including a schedule, for
such drilling, blasting, and hammering. No blasting shall take place before 10:00
a.m. or after 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The plan and schedule shall be
provided to the Board two weeks before commencement of drilling, blasting, or
hammering.
G.18 Rock Crushing. No onsite rock crushing shall be conducted except for that
necessary for use onsite from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ,Monday to Friday. All
other rock shall be crushed offsite.

===================================================================

V.       CONCLUSION

For all the reasons stated above and pursuant to the Board’s authority found in G.L. c.40B, §§ 20-23, the Comprehensive Permit application is hereby APPROVED WITH CONDITIONS by a vote of 3 to 0.    The Board reserves the right to cause this Decision to be recorded at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds.

ZBA & PB vacancies

This Christmas, give our town the gift of your services.  This from Town Planner, Sarah Raposa –

planning

Medfield Planning Board Vacancy

The Town of Medfield Planning Board is seeking to fill a vacant Associate Member position.  Anyone who may be interested should submit a letter of interest to Evelyn Clarke at eclarke@medfield.net in the Board of Selectmen’s office by October 1, 2015.  For questions regarding the Planning Board or this specific position please contact Sarah Raposa, Town Planner at sraposa@medfield.net.

The Planning Board is an elected town board of five members, each with a five year term. The purpose of the Planning Board is to guide the development of the Town in the best interests of all its residents. The Board has very specific responsibilities and authorities as granted by Massachusetts General Laws and the Medfield Zoning By-Laws.

The Planning Board is responsible for the review and approval of all subdivisions (the division of a tract of land into two or more lots) through a comprehensive process involving review by relevant regulatory agencies, public hearings, covenants with developers, performance bonding, and ongoing compliance monitoring.

Under “Site Plan Approval”, in the Zoning By-Laws, the Board also has the responsibility to assure that prior to any new construction or significant changes to an existing structure, other than single family dwellings, such factors as community needs, abutters’ concerns, visual amenities, safety issues, and environmental and historic features on the site and in adjacent areas are considered.

Any requests for Zoning By-Law changes or amendments are also reviewed by the Board. Public hearings are held to allow input from any abutters or other interested citizens. The Board is required to provide a recommendation on any Zoning By-Law amendment at Town Meeting, where a two-thirds vote is required to approve the change.

The Planning Board serves as a resource to assist interested individuals with the process of proposing plans or projects under the Zoning By-Laws. Communications are maintained on an ongoing basis with related Town agencies including the Zoning Board of Appeals and other planning groups within the Town such as the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee.

Letters should describe your interest in the Planning Board as well as any professional experience or other qualifications that will complement the Board. Additionally, please contemplate the following  in your letter of interest:

  • Do you have ideas about the direction the Board should be headed? If so, have you thought about integration of those ideas (meaning how the idea coalesces into existing regulations or whether new regulations would need to be created)?

 

  • Land use boards such as the Planning Board or ZBA do not always have the kind of discretion to approve or deny a specific project that residents often think they have. It is important to recognize and avoid any conflict of interest; not to pursue special privileges, and maintain confidentiality. Are you prepared for being thought of as a villain by some and a hero by others?
  • Planning Boards wear two hats, proactive and reactive, and the schedule is robust. The proactive hat is devoted to long-range planning and is often difficult to quantify as the effects aren’t recognized for several years, if at all. The reactive hat focuses on subdivisions and site plan review and the effects are more immediately seen and felt in the community. How would you rationalize your reactive hat with your proactive hat? Do you see an overlap?

 

 

Medfield Zoning Board of Appeals Vacancy

The Town of Medfield Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is seeking to fill a vacant Associate Member position.  Anyone who may be interested should submit a letter of interest to Evelyn Clark at eclark@medfield.net in the Board of Selectmen’s office by March 1, 2017.   For questions regarding the ZBA or this specific position please contact Sarah Raposa, Town Planner at sraposa@medfield.net.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is an appointed board and acts as a quasi-judicial body deciding whether or not to vary from the Zoning By-Laws. The Zoning Board is empowered to act on appeals, special permits, variances, modifications and comprehensive permits, in accordance with applicable sections of Massachusetts General Laws and the Town of Medfield Zoning By-Laws.

Virtually all matters which come before the Board are initiated by residents or businesses seeking relief from the Zoning By-Law. Each application is processed in accordance with the legal requirements and timetables established under the Massachusetts Zoning Act, the ZBA Rules and Regulations and the Medfield Zoning By-Laws.

The Zoning Board of Appeals holds public hearings on applications for zoning variances, special permits and decides appeals of administrative decisions of the Building Commissioner. Hearings are generally held on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm in the Chenery Room in Town Hall, 459 Main Street.

Letters should describe your interest in the ZBA as well as any professional experience or other qualifications that will complement the Board. Additionally, please contemplate the following in your letter of interest:

  • Land use boards such as the ZBA do not always have the kind of discretion to approve or deny a specific project that residents often think they have. It is important to recognize and avoid any conflict of interest; not to pursue special privileges, and maintain confidentiality. Are you prepared for being thought of as a villain by some and a hero by others?

Planning Board on assisted living bylaw change

planning

At the planning board last night there was a hearing held on the annual town meeting (ATM) warrant article that I suggested and wrote, which had been approved by the full board of selectmen, that effectively undid the 2012 annual town meeting vote that changed our zoning bylaws to permit assisted living facilities in the RS district (residential with 20,000 sq. ft. lots) by special permit. My proposed warrant article was an inelegant, mechanical rollback to the prior dated zoning language.  In an impressive bit of drafting and leadership in front of a room full of 50 intensely interested citizens, Wright Dickinson, skillfully revised the language of the proposed warrant article on the fly in a way that both dramatically improved it as a zoning article, and satisfied those who had come to the hearing.

The zoning article in question was a change at the 2012 annual town meeting that made assisted living facilities permitted in the RS zoning district by a special permit issued by the Zoning Board of Appeals, and which LCB is currently using to site its proposed facility. The procedural problem at the 2012 ATM was that the description of the zoning article that was published in the ATM booklet mailed out to residents prior to the town meeting did not clearly describe that particular change. To actually understand the full import of the zoning change, one had to consult documents only available in the town clerk’s office.

Since I believed that the 2012 ATM process had failed the residents by not being either explained or transparent enough, I suggested and tried to craft a zoning article for the upcoming annual town meeting that would allow the residents to indicate anew whether they are in favor of the 2012 zoning change or not. Town counsel told me that we could not undo, ab initio, the vote from 2012 so I thought the next best thing was to give people the opportunity to vote to change the zoning back to what it had been prior to 2012. However, much of the 2012 zoning change was an attempt to improve and modernize the old fashioned language in the zoning bylaw, and that was where Wright Dickinson was so successful in getting agreement from those gathered to the modernization language and only retaining the proposed warrant article’s reversion to assisted living in a RS the district as a “NO” instead of as a “SP” (special permit).  He also got agreement to assisted living being permitted in the B and IE districts where it had previously been prohibited.

The ultimate result of the hearing was a much improved warrant article for the town meeting, and, equally importantly, a group of residents in attendance who were mostly duly impressed with the forthrightness, diligence, and intelligent response of their volunteer planning board members to their concerns.  there will be follow up on whether to prohibit assisted living in the RU district, and several more details relating to the zoning issues.

Interestingly, after the hearing on the proposed warrant article, the bulk of those in the room went home, leaving just a half dozen of us to listen to the planning board discuss possible solutions to the issue of the excessively dense development in the downtown RU district, where many of the older homes have been turned into much larger 2-family houses or houses behind houses 2-family homes on the deep lots.

The planning board agreed to continue to look into several possible solutions, including:

•    Restricting the district to single-family homes
•    reconsidering anew the floor area ratio in the district
•    having a greater floor area ratio for two-family homes in the district
•    changing setbacks
•    crafting a definition of a 2-family house
•    considering implementation of design review
•    considering creation of a historic district

It was a truly successful evening for the planning board, who got to finally go home at about 10:30 PM.