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Town of Hampden

Regular Meeting of Planning Board

7:30PM at the Hampden Town Hall

Nov. 10, 2004

 Approved Dec. 1, 2004 


Members in Attendance: John D. Flynn, Chair, Melissa Reeves, Joseph Kruzel, Robert Majkut, Joseph “Charlie” Dolben


Meeting Opened 7:30

MINUTES -Minutes were approved for the Public Hearing for October 27 with the spelling correction for the word swale. The Regular Meeting for October 27 were approved.

WORKSHOP FOR TOWN EMPLOYEES- John Flynn would like to see some kind of a workshop set up for Town employees. There are many questions about what is legally binding for Boards. Do minutes have to be signed or can they be accepted by the Board unsigned. The question of e-mail from Board member to Board member was also discussed. Is it violating the open meeting law discussing anything through e-mail? Where is the line drawn? It would be beneficial to the Town Boards to run a workshop.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS- Three Associate Member Applicants were asked to come to the meeting and answer four (4) questions.

The first applicant was Anthony Bongiorni, 252 Scantic Road. The role of the Planning Board, according to Bongiorni is to guide the development of Hampden. The Planning Board was the original zoning board. He has no personal experience in zoning. There would be no conflicts with family or friends when it came to the zoning bylaws. Bongiorni has taken a class on urban planning. When asked if there would be any scheduling conflicts, he felt there would be none. Flynn asked if he lived at home with his parents. The answer was yes. Flynn proceeded to ask if his parents built down the road or moved out of town would he go with them. Bongiorni stated he would like to stay in town if at all possible. Bongiorni is a business communications major. He works at Mass. Mutual. Flynn explained the role of an associate member would be to fill in for members from time to time when one of them must be out of town. Wilbraham has interns on their planning board maybe that would be something to look at in the future. The Special Permit process is the only time the Planning Board is not totally black and white; that is when it can be difficult knowing the applicant. You must stay fair for all. Flynn asked Bongiorni if he had any questions for the Board. He wanted to know who writes the zoning bylaws. Flynn answered the Board usually does but anyone can write a bylaw. Bongiorni had no more questions, thank the Board for there time and left.

The next applicant was Bob Briotta, 346 Bennett Road. Briotta felt the main focus of the Planning Board is the zoning bylaws, the development of the town and the safety of all residents. When Briotta built his house on Bennett Road he didn’t have much interaction with the Planning Board. His only experience is some minor contact over the years. Briotta feels he has nothing pending and therefore should be no conflicts being an associate member to the Board. He has no background in zoning or planning. He is retired from Aetna Life and Casualty. There are no foreseeable scheduling conflicts for Briotta. When it comes to dealing with people, Briotta feels his wife is better at it than he is. Flynn then went over the Special Permit process with Briotta, and what is expected in the role of an associate member. Briotta had no questions for the Board. Thanked the Board and left.

The final applicant for the evening was Fred Frangie, 38 Thresher Road. Frangie asked the Board how the position of associate member opened up. Flynn explained the Board changed the bylaw to create the position. If a Board member had to be out of town the associate member could fill in not holding up the Special Permit process. The process has time constants the Board must meet. Frangie felt the role of the Planning Board is to protect the charm of the town but embrace growth.  He felt he had no conflicts of interest if he were put on the Board. Frangie is an employment attorney and has some zoning cases in the beginning of his career but no long does any of that. Frangie talks to many people in one day because his office has an eight hundred (800) number. He must try and please most people. Frangie should have no traveling conflict because he has a two (2) year old and a four (4) year old. There does not seem to be any issues on Thresher Road to be concerned with. Flynn asked Frangie if he had any questions. Frangie wondered when a decision would be made. The Board felt it should be wrapped up by Christmas. Frangie thanked the Board and left.

BILL ST.CLAIRE – Bill St.Claire, St.Claire Landscaping, 28 Commerial Drive, presented the Board with a plan for a hoop greenhouse on his property. The greenhouse would house plants to protect them over the winter. It is up in the air, St.Claire stated as to whether he would take down the structure in the spring or leave it up year round. The Board felt if St.Claire leaves it up all year round then it becomes a permanent structure and will need a Special Permit. If it is taken down by May 1st then it is a temporary structure and does not require a permit or a site plan review. Robert Majkut asked about the size of this greenhouse. St.Claire stated it will be sixteen (16) feet wide and eight (8) feet tall. St. Claire told the Board the structure would come down by May 1st. The Board informed St.Claire the temporary structure must be twenty five feet from the side property line.If St. Claire changes his mind and decides to leave up the structure year round he will come back to the Board for a Special Permit and Site Plan Review. Flynn asked if St.Claire would be taking down the temporary sign on the corner of Commercial Drive and East Longmeadow Road. St.Claire stated it would be coming down. St.Claire said he is working on changing a bylaw for signage. Flynn gave him a timeline for the Town Meeting and getting it on the warrant.

SCANTIC MEADOWS UPDATE: Melissa Reeves reported Caferelli’s office returned her call. They are not planning on submitting anything until they are through with the Conservation Commission.

SHADOW WOOD UPDATE: Joseph Dolben reported the Tighe and Bond bill has been paid. The building site has been reported to have an endangered species on it. Gary Weiner, Ecotec Environmental, 180 Denslow Road, East Longmeadow, came to the Board with a written request for an extension of one hundred and twenty (120) days. The date for that extension would be March 19th. The Board voted unanimously (5-0) in favor of the extension.

ZONING VIOLATION: Flynn spoke to Don Schmidt at the state who said if someone got a building permit for a structure and it shouldn’t have been issued, if six (6) years pass, the structure can stay. If someone builds a structure without a permit, in violation of zoning, for a use, such as an accessory apartment, after ten (10) years, the structure is allowed to stay. However, the use is never allowed and must cease.

Meeting adjourned 8:40

Submitted by Jane M. Budynkiewicz, Clerk