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Town of Hampden

Regular Meeting of Planning Board
7:00PM at the Hampden Town Hall
October 8, 2003

Approved October 22, 2003

Members Present: Chair John D. Flynn, Joseph A. Dolben, Joseph Kruzel, Melissa Reeves, Robert Majkut

Member Absent:

Also attending: Conservation Commission Chair Michael Gerrard, Carrie Polci, 663 Main St., Judy Duncan, 28 Colony Drive, Reporters Doug Farmer, Times; David Martin, Reminder

(1) Due to posting for Sept. 24 meeting being less than 48 hrs., the material in the minutes of Sept. 24 was reentered at tonight's meeting. The minutes of Sept. 10 as submitted by member Dolben were accepted as read.

(2) Unscheduled discussion - Person who came in Oct 1 during Stormwater Meeting and Clerk reviewed file copy of Knode property with him and noted that Sherman & Woods drew up plan. Question involves large lot and the possibility of creating two “substandard frontage lots”. Opinion was given that were a common driveway used, this could be a possibility.  (AMES RD PROPERTY)

(3) Unscheduled Review - ANR for Scott Humphries - next to 77 Carmody Rd. Map 6-20.  Humphries obtained a Special Permit for a Common Driveway with the Bethel residence in April and has been working with the Conservation Commission since then to allow the building of a home.  An “Order of Conditions” and File No. 173-152 were given on July 22, '03. This now falls under the Natural Heritage and Endangered Wetlands Program and, excluding the lot being cut out, the remaining land is to be donated or restricted in use. Since this falls under the R-6 District, the line needs to be redrawn to be certain it conforms. Clerk has the $35 check as this was not filed with the Town Clerk as yet.

(4) Appointment Cecile & Harvey Smith, 69 Colony Drive

Smith wrote a letter to the Board on 9/24 regarding his objection to the location of the driveway accessing lots 9 and 10 on the Scantic Meadows Subdivision Plan. He also left a message on the office phone, which was returned by Chair. Included with his letter was a “marked print” of the area.   Smith again voiced his objection and Cecile presented a memo she had put together with her thoughts and suggestions.

Chair explained that the Public Hearing on Sept. 17 was for the road, not the lots and additional hearings will be held prior to those lots being developed. He added that one option would be to have the developer leave a buffer of trees.

Cecile understood and stated that she wanted this information noted up front.

Smith asked if he could bring up another issue, which he had commented on at the Public Hearing without a successful response, and that is Pipeline Safety. He added that "Cross Country pipes rust and people get killed."

Chair noted that at this time the Public Hearing was closed and the Board can not receive additional information without another hearing. Since this issue was brought up at the Public Hearing and the Town's Consulting Engineer stated that he had not as yet received comment from Tennaco, this will be looked into.

Should there be a substantial change and the road is recontoured, there will be another hearing.

(5) STORMWATER MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Joe Kruzel is the Planning Board representative to this Committee and at the Oct. 1 meeting, he was named CHAIR. This is a 5 yr. plan and this year the Committee was formed. The next meeting is set for Tues., Oct. 21. They must. present an annual report in May and Tighe & Bond has monies to do this. Kruzel noted that the members seemed to be interested and at the meeting Dana Pixley gave an overview of the project and what he has been doing to date. The Eagle Scouts have been working on mapping. Year two will require the Planning Board to draft bylaws.

(6) SPECIAL TOWN MEETING OCT. 27 - Warrant Articles

Since there wasn't time to hold a Public Hearing on the articles prepared for the Warrant, Chair arranged with the Selectmen's Office to have them pulled and resubmitted for April. The deadline is January.

7) MINI MALL

It was noted that the bicycle racks are at the Mini-Mall and are not attached. Michael C1mm1no is the new owner of the mall. The Allen St. entrance will be widened to work on the problem of flooding in that area.

(8) GREEN MEADOWS SCHOOL - Expansion Project - Earth Removal

Flynn got involved with the earth removal issue as he had wanted to see the fill used on the ball fields. In discussing it with Mark Feeney, he (Mark) said that when a contractor bids the job, he plans on selling the earth for part of his profit. A permit is needed if it is taken out of Town. Flynn reported that Gary Weiner of ECOTEC has been hired to get the Permit.

(9) E. O. 418

Melissa had planned to attend a meeting to work on the Housing Update, but due to lack of prospective attendees, the meeting was cancelled. Kathy Kroll will be doing it through the mail.

(10) STREET ABANDONMENT - Howlett Hill

Majkut and Flynn attended the meeting at the Selectmen's office. Monson has 850' of that road, which was more than they thought they had. Majkut noted that 150 people had attended the Stafford meeting and no vote to close the road was taken. This is a tri-town matter and Hampden was tailgating action from Stafford. The issue is to try to protect abutters from nuisance. If closed, it's felt that traffic won't go away and illegal dumpers will still arrive. There is a sign which states, Unimproved, Travel at Your Own Risk. It was suggested that the owner harvest the hemlocks that shade the street.  As of now the street is not abandoned.

(11) RIDGELINE & HILLSIDE

Ames Rd. Committee went up to review the site, however there were no markers to denote site of house. Gerrard stated that where they are looking to build is outside the jurisdiction of the Conservation Commission.  It is being suggested that they apply to the Bd. of Appeals for a Variance of 15' closer to the road to avoid slope issues. The driveway is fine. R & H will meet on site again.

(12) CPA – Flynn noted that the Cemetery will be the recipient of $7,000 for work due to a 10 page presentation done by the Historical Commission.

(13) SCANTIC MEADOWS SUBDIVISION

Melissa presented the requested waivers for a vote:

5.7.3 Streetlights. Selectmen have historically not wanted street lights. It was moved and seconded to allow the streetlight waiver; the motion was approved unanimously.

5.8 Sidewalks: it was unanimously voted to table this waiver for further inquiry into a sidewalk revolving account.

4.3.2: Seeking a waiver from the scale as required in the Bylaw. It was determined that the drawings as submitted did not lose clarity and it was moved and seconded that the scale on the drawings be allowed as prepared. The motion was unanimously approved.

4.3.2.(1) Proposed House Numbers - the Building Inspector has requested that the house numbers be obtained at the time of'building permit application. It was moved and seconded that the waiver allowing that house numbers not be put on the Definitive Plan be allowed. Unanimously agreed to.

Appointment: Dan O'Brien

Also present: Bob Cafarelli, Ed Speight, Mr. & Mrs, Bob Kibbe

O'Brien brought in an extension letter requesting 90 more days for the Planning Board to issue its decision regarding the definitive submittal of Scantic Meadows. It was moved and seconded that the Board accept this decision. Approved unanimously.  (to January 10 - meeting on Dec.17 if additional extension needed)

Ms. Judy Duncan, 28 Colony Dr. asked to speak. She said that at the Public Hearing Flynn had indicated that there are “other houses in Town on the pipeline.”  John further clarified it that he meant lots containing houses, noting that member Kruzel lives on property with the electric transmission line in his back yard. This was not dismissed as our Town Engineer will be looking into it. 

Regarding the sight clarification from Field Rd. onto Somers Rd., the sight distances and curves in the Somers Rd. approach will also be looked at with Tighe & Bond.

Mike Gerrard said that there has been no presentation to the Conservation Commission as yet. O'Brien said he wants to be certain the drainage and the sedimentation basins are reviewed and acceptable to Tighe & Bond first. He went out and again located the water level after the last two storms. It was higher and the figures have been presented to Caffarelli to be figured.

He said he is awaiting a second review by Tony daCruz and will be back when Tony is satisfied.

(14) Appointment Connie Witt - Historical Commission re: Grant application

The Commission has started application to the Mass Historical Commission for grant monies to pursue a survey plan and preservation planning summary. A sample letter of support from the PVPC was given to us which highly praised Hampden's Historical Commission and their accomplishments. Witt said this is a no match grant. It does not mean there will be a historic district. Majkut stated he personally could not support regulating what persons owning a property could or could not do with their house. Witt said she has been approached by many people who would like regulations on what should be done with property such as a demolition delay. Chair stated that this Board would like to support the survey and he would draft a letter to go into their packet of submittal.

(15) SIDEWALKS

Flynn talked to Don Schmidt of the Mass State Dept. of Housing and Community development about putting in the Bylaws that a developer be required to submit monies for sidewalks into a fund so that instead of putting them in the develop­ment they could be put in other places of need around Town. Schmidt said you can't require a developer to do this. We need to develop a revolving account and a developer could volunteer to put the sidewalk monies in this – just don't give a sidewalk waiver.

John was researching this back when there was a Sidewalk Committee and it seems there may be interest in developing a new committee. The material to be used would need to be concrete.

Flynn will talk to the Selectmen about the fund and the start up of a Committee.

(16) LANTERN LANE

Town Meeting will be asked to borrow money to purchase this parcel of land consisting of 82.6 acres with frontage on Sessions Drive for conservation and recreational purposes. We will hold the bond briefly until the state transaction.takes over, and the grant will then cover the cost.

(17) ATTORNEY GENERAL'S REPLY - April 28 WARRANT

Article #24 Sec. 2 Non-Conforming Definition

This was disapproved and is to be deleted and needs to be rewritten using the suggestions provided. the rest of the section is approved.

Article #25 - Delete current 7.541 and replace with new 7.541

We assume this is approved, but is not mentioned specifically and is called Article #26 erroneously on the front of the letter. We will check with Town Clerk to get a determination re: Driveway Bylaw, Article #25.

(18) Resident Judy Duncan asked that the Agenda be posted the day of the meeting. It was explained that we have a lot of last minute inclusions and the Clerk has made it a habit of waiting until the afternoon of the day of the meeting to put it together. Other ways have been tried over the years, such as closing the Agenda on Friday, but this hasn't serviced the public very well. State law does not require that an Agenda be posted or made available before the meeting. We work from two week meeting and members have a good feel as to what to expect at the next meeting. The Board tries hard not to put people off until the next meeting, but at times if more information is needed, it is required. Chair also pointed out that the Clerk has worked without salary for three months and has been trying to find ways to cut to 7 hrs a week.

(19) Mike Gerrard asked to voice several concerns regarding lack of reporting of his comments in the minutes. In the Aug. 27 minutes on the topic of Mountain Rd., he wasn't fully quoted in stating that there was a safety issue with the width of the road, specifically at #155. The recap as noted by the Clerk was accepted as the Board could take no further action on that issue. A member filled in for the Clerk on Sept. 10 and in reporting the meeting failed to note that Mike Gerrard was present. Gerrard has several times stated that Carrie Polci is in conflict of interest sitting in with the Board at meetings. The Board would extend the courtesy to any interested party and sees no conflict due to her occupation. Reeves commented that we are eager to get interested parties looking to the future. The Board will present a Bylaw at the annual Town Meeting to provide for an associate member.

Clerk commented that sometimes she isn't listening to all discussions and has always gone above and beyond in reporting more than what is required by law, which is only issues needing a vote. Although Gerrard stated it was not personal, Clerk stated that she saw it as personal.

 

Submitted by Judith M. Jackson, Clerk