WELLESLEY PLANNING BOARD
REGULAR MEETING AND CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING
TUESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2007, 7:30 p.m.
GREAT HALL – TOWN HALL
Present: Mr. Frisardi, Ms. Donahue, Mr. Chazen, Mr. Chan, Mr. Meade ……………….. ……………………………………………………………………Ms. Conlon, Mr. Brown.
Judith Hull; David Elsbree; Lorraine Gilmore; Mike Plusch; Jennifer Lim; Joanne Locke; Janet Z. Giele; Lawrence McNally; Susan D. Kunk; Joel Slocum; Lynn Latham; Linda Buffum; Helen Robertson; Robert McConnell; Dona Kemp; Claire Benfatto; John Benfatto; Jeffrey Mitchell; Suzan Stamas; Chris Stamas; Elevera Howard; Richard Howard; Maureen Febiger; David Daly; Cynthia Solarz; Michael Connolly; Ben Chirco; Paul Shellito; Tom Ruddy; Mary K. Sullivan, Ken Baer, Advisory Committee.
1. Neighborhood Conservation Districts – Historical Commission – Joel Slocum
The Board met with Mr. Slocum and other members of the Historical Commission and the Denton Road Neighborhood Association (DRNA) to discuss the proposal to establish within the Town Bylaw authorization for Neighborhood Conservation Districts (NCD).
Mr. Slocum explained the background of the proposal. He indicated that the article has been through many drafts and praised Meghan Conlon for her assistance and guidance in the effort. He mentioned that Mr. Robinson has seen the article and has made some preliminary edits. He noted the NCD provisions in Lincoln and Cambridge that have been used as models for the draft. He said that Lincoln Planning Board member Joel Friedman had attended one of their meetings and provided valuable input.
Mr. Frisardi asked if any other neighborhood has expressed an interest. The answer was “not thus far.”
Mr. Slocum was asked how large a district could be. He responded that it could be a few to several hundred houses as in Cambridge.
Mr. Frisardi emphasized the importance of “getting the word out.”
Mr. Chazen expressed a concern about possible legal challenges in the event someone in a district is prevented by the NCD Committee from implementing a residential project. Mr. Slocum said that there is a right of appeal provided in the proposal. Mr. Chazen felt that new buyers may be unaware of the provisions. Ms. Kunk said that the districts will be on the Zoning Map and will be on file with the Registry of Deeds.
Ms. Giele said DRNA has been wary about suggesting a design orientation to NCD. The “problem” is seen as houses that are out of scale in neighborhoods. She said that there will be a meeting of DRNA on Wednesday evening in the basement of St. Andrews Church.
Mr. Frisardi asked if a meeting had been scheduled with the Advisory Committee. The response was “not yet.”
2. 61 – 65 Washington Street Rezoning Proposal – Michael Joseph Connolly
Mr. Frisardi introduced this topic and indicated that the public hearing to discuss this proposal and the other zoning articles is February 6th. He said that he would take some questions of clarification but comments should be held until the 6th.
The Board met with Mr. Connolly and his architect Cynthia Solarz to discuss his proposal to rezone from the Single Residence District to either the General Residence District or the Multi Family Residence District three parcels of land totaling approximately 39,000 square feet located generally at the intersection of Hillside Road and Washington Street. Mr. Connolly owns two of the three lots which total approximately 31,000 square feet. These two lots are vacant. The third lot, owned by a different individual, contains an existing multi family building. Mr. Connolly’s development proposal involves only the two vacant lots. In discussion he said that the third lot was included to avoid the image of “spot zoning.”
Ms. Solarz explained the proposed project for constructing two duplex buildings on the site.
Ms. Donahue asked about topography.
Ms. Solarz described the topography and showed a contour plan. She presented photo boards showing existing site and the architecture of other buildings in the area, a site plan, floor plans and a colored rendering of the finished project. She said that two garage spaces would be provided for each unit. Plans will have to be revised to provide the required 30 setback to the garage doors. She said, in response to a question, that they would try to retain as much existing vegetation as possible.
There was some discussion of grading and the elevation of the buildings in relation to the street grade.
In discussion the possibility of a development agreement was mentioned. In response to a question Mr. Connolly said that he intends to work with Town Officials to conclude a development agreement to lock this project into the presented plan. Mr. Frisardi mentioned the possibility of Inclusionary housing.
Mr. Chazen asked about on-street parking. It was noted that it is not allowed on Washington Street. No overnight parking is allowed on Hillside Road.
Mr. Plusch offered that perhaps the Warren Building (across the street) lot could be used for guest parking.
Ms. Kemp asked about the square footage of the units. Mr. Connolly indicated that they would be approximately 2,300 square feet.
Mr. Shellito asked if there would be any balconies. The response was “no.”
Mr. Ellsbree asked about the third lot. Mr. Connolly said that he is not aware of any plan; but the owner of that lot wants to be included in any rezoning.
Mr. Plusch stated felt that the owner of the third lot should improve his property.
Ms. Gilmore felt the third lot is a zoning violation.
Mr. Howard agreed that the third lot typically has many cars parked, as many as 10 or 12 at night and felt it will be a detriment to the Connolly property.
Mrs. Locke asked about the building height. Ms. Solarz did not have a definitive answer. Mrs. Locke felt that the colored rendering does not accurately reflect the topography or the exact design shown on the floor plans and the site plan. Ms. Solarz agreed indicating the rendering was done as the other plans were being developed and that there is some artistic “license.”
Mrs. Febiger asked which of the two proposed zones listed in the article is desired. Mr. Connolly said “Multi Family” since the dimensional requirements of General Residence will not work with the project. Mrs. Febiger asked if Mr. Connolly has done other projects. He responded that he has done projects in Delaware, Falmouth, and Milton. She asked him if he would provide details on these.
Mr. Mitchell asked if he would retain the two lots or combine them. Mr. Connolly said they would be combined.
Mr. Meade asked about his plans for the land if the rezoning is not adopted. Mr. Connolly indicated that he did not want to discuss that at this time and wants to focus on the rezoning proposal.
3. Unaccepted Street Review – 28 Twitchell Street – Ben Chirco
The Board met with Mr. Chirco and his client Mr. Ruddy. The Board received a report containing a cost of work estimate from the Engineering Division of $9,898.63 including contingency. After a brief discussion the Board moved, seconded and voted unanimously to find this section of way adequate based on completion of the work in accordance with the estimate and to set the bond at that stated amount.
4. Zoning Proposals for Height and Bulk
Mr. Chirco mentioned to the Board that two of the proposed zoning articles are of concern to him, building height and bulk factor. He has been for some time working on a house design for Mr. Ruddy. He indicated that he is not certain that he would be out of compliance with the proposed zoning.
Mr. Brown said that in conversations with the Building Inspector he learned that the proposed regulations would not be enforced until adopted by Town Meeting. Mr. Chirco said that for the Ruddy project the time frame is too tight to get a permit in time based on the closing date and the demo schedule. Mr. Brown suggested that he come to the Town Hall and discuss the details with the Building Inspector.
5. Wellesley Inn
The Board received a request from the applicant to continue the hearing until February 13, 2007. The Board opened the hearing and without discussion or testimony being taken moved, seconded and voted unanimously to continue the hearing until February 13, 2007.
The minutes of January 9, 2007 were approved as amended.
Next Meeting: January 25, 2007 with ZBA
January 27, 2007 with Advisory
February 6, 2007 Public Zoning Hearing
Meeting Adjourned: 9:45 p.m.
Richard H. Brown