WVN #502: More work on CVS plan
- Dear Wayland Voter,
The developer who wants to replace the cherished and well-landscaped Finnerty's Restaurant with a CVS drug store has responded to concerns from residents and officials. The latest plan is for a single square building, and even that requires more tinkering.
Also in this newsletter: The Board of Selectmen took another step toward building a new Department of Public Works garage and appealed a state decision against a Wayland bylaw to monitor NStar herbicide use.
LATEST FINNERTY'S PLAN NEEDS ADJUSTMENT
The "by right" application for a CVS at 150 Main Street is having difficulty satisfying Wayland's bylaws.
A "by right" development "refers to land uses that are allowed in a particular district without discretionary review" according to http://www.mass.gov/envir/smart_growth_toolkit/pages/mod-zoning.html.
Site plan review, being conducted by the Planning Board, "is meant to establish design standards for a development - not the use on a site." If a plan is by right, it eliminates the need to apply for any variances or special permits.
As the Design Review Board (DRB) and the Planning Board, aided by residents, peel back the layers, they discover shortcomings in the plan. Both boards this week have asked the developers for revised plans.
The architect, Kevin Paton of BKA Architects, has worked to remedy some less than attractive architectural features of the building but, despite repeated requests by the DRB, has not placed the loading area to the rear of the building, citing that trucks could not clear the overhang for the drive-through.
The most recent revelation was that the plan presented May 7 to the Planning Board does not allow for the required distance from the street curb to the parking area. This also relates to the requirement for adequate screening. Bylaws section 198.606.2.1.6 requires a project to "Screen objectionable features from adjacent properties and roadways." The proposed plan had 3 feet for planting area adjacent to the sidewalk on Main Street which could make it difficult for evergreens to survive.
However, resident Jeff Horan reminded the Board that bylaws require a 4-foot strip of grass between the sidewalk and the curb, a 5-foot sidewalk, and 4-foot buffer between the sidewalk and the remainder of the lot.
Town Planner Sarkis Sarkisian said the plan to use the existing asphalt sidewalk on Main Street was not in compliance and that the project requires a new sidewalk.
Developers were asked to prepare a plan that reflects these requirements. With a nearly square building of 12,000 feet, the town's requirement for 103 parking spaces and 13 feet of space to the street curb, plus the developer's insistence on a drive-through, it will be interesting to see how these different pieces fit.
When the DRB learned that the loading door was facing West Plain Street, it wanted the door moved to the rear in accordance with Bylaw 198.507.1 "Loading areas shall be screened from any view from a street."
At its May 6 meeting, the door was on the front corner of the building facing west to the next door neighbor. The DRB again said this was not adequate, and on the next night before the Planning Board, there was a trellis to screen the loading door.
Regarding deliveries to the proposed CVS, the Planning Board members visibly recoiled when they learned that 50-foot-long trucks would pull alongside the front of the building on the West Plain Street side to discharge cargo.
Ann Sobolewski, the developer's attorney, objected strongly to mitigation requirements recommended by the town's traffic consultant, Kevin Dandrade of TEC, which were largely the same as those for the previous multi-building plan -- traffic signal improvements as well as a pedestrian on-demand flashing light near the ballfield area.
Member Colleen Sheehan said it didn't seem fair to have as much mitigation required as the first project and to have only one building on this corner bear all the costs of signal upgrade. No one mentioned that the only other improvement on the corner generated significantly less traffic.
Member Kevin Murphy said he was sympathetic to the complaint that others on the corner wouldn't contribute to the signalization upgrade, and Board Chairman Kent Greenawalt called the requirement "slightly onerous." Resident Paul Bernotas asked the Board whether it would have the power to impose costs on town residents if it decides to ask the developer to pay only partial costs.
The town planner noted that if this were the first plan to come before the board at this site, the mitigation would have been the same. Associate member Bill Whitney said there is ample precedent in Boston that developers are asked to correct existing deficiencies.
There was considerable discussion between the board and the developer's attorney. The sense was that the attorney and town counsel Mark Lanza had agreed the "by right" site plan approval would be for the required 103 parking spaces and there would be a condition that not all spaces need be constructed. Chair Kent Greenawalt said he had thought there would be a willingness for a different parking configuration. However, he was told there was a fine line, and the developer wanted to stay within the purview of the "by right" approval.
The Planning Board will resume discussion on May 21.
To view the May 6 Design Review Board meeting on WayCAM:
To view the May 7 Planning Board meeting on WayCAM:
-- Molly Upton
WAYLAND SELECTMEN FILE LEGAL APPEAL
On October 3, 2012, fall Town Meeting voters approved a new herbicide bylaw. On Feb. 22, 2013, the Attorney General's Office denied approval.
The bylaw intended to ensure that a utility such as NStar complies with all laws and regulations in its use of chemical herbicides ".....for the purpose of protecting the health, environment and safety of the citizens of the Town of Wayland and the purity of its drinking water supply."
The Board of Selectmen held two executive sessions in March to discuss appealing the AG's rejection. Selectmen voted unanimously on March 27 to appeal the decision.
The Attorney General's Office asserts that utilities are protected from local regulations, preempted by the Massachusetts Pesticide Control Act, M.G.L. c 132B and 333 CMR 11.00, Rights of Way Management regulations. The AGO claims that Wayland's new bylaw would interfere with the purpose of that state statute. Town Counsel had argued that if there is a problematic provision in the new bylaw, which did not seek to regulate but rather to ensure compliance, that it could be deleted so that the remainder of the bylaw could be approved.
On April 4 the Town of Wayland filed an appeal in Superior Court, arguing that Wayland's new bylaw -- to allow the Board of Health to have procedures ensuring the utility's compliance with state and federal laws in its use of approved chemical herbicides -- is not inconsistent with state statute.
Acting separately that same week, several parties submitted written comment to officials at the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) in response to NStar's announced 2013 vegetation management plan for its two transmission line corridors in Wayland.
The Board of Health wrote to MDAR and NStar asking that NStar use alternative mechanical means in Wayland's zone II areas to control vegetation growth instead of applying the chemical herbicide Roundup. NStar corridor 8-1 runs through private properties in the Oak Hill neighborhood and through the Meadowview drinking water protection area. Corridor 8-2 runs east/west from Russells to the Weston town line.
The waylandwells group (Wayland's former wellhead protection committee) submitted written comments to MDAR and NStar calling for no chemical herbicide application by utilities in the capture zones as identified in the 2011 Wayland Wellhead Protection Plan approved by the Department of Environmental Protection. Neither MDAR nor NStar has responded to the public comments.
Oak Hill resident and attorney Scott Machanic, who led petitioners' efforts at the fall 2012 and spring 2013 town meetings, is now recommending that Wayland selectmen, Board of Health and Conservation Commission invite NStar to voluntarily demonstrate its plans to comply with the law, as if the new herbicide bylaw were in effect. He also is asking lawmakers to sponsor Beacon Hill legislation to allow towns to hold the kind of public hearing contemplated in the town's new herbicide bylaw. Wayland residents want to know what chemical herbicides NStar plans to use on and near residential private property and how they will be applied.
Moving Forward on DPW Garage
At their May 6 meeting, after listening to an update from the Permanent Municipal Building Committee, Wayland selectmen voted unanimously to request a reserve fund transfer of $170,000 from the Finance Committee for "continued design work regarding the access road to the proposed River Road DPW site." Representatives from the Conservation Commission, Board of Public Works and Historical Commission were present for the discussion.
The proposed design work includes wetlands and methane mitigation, archaeological and ceremonial landscape surveys, bidding services and printing costs, and an independent cost estimate for the entire DPW project. It would also cover completing permitting at the Conservation Commission for a new extended roadway from Route 20. ConCom chairman Andy Irwin explained that reconstruction of a new roadway will be required anyway for access to the transfer station.
A cost comparison chart for developing the River Road site versus the Route 20 site was also sent to the selectmen, but it was not discussed during the joint meeting. The chart shows that site preparation at the former septage facility could cost up to $2 million while other economic impacts of locating housing on the River Road parcel seem based on a much smaller project than Town Meeting Article 17 calling for 216 units at River's Edge.
Selectmen also voted unanimously to establish two new temporary advisory committees for next steps about Other Post Employment Benefits for retirees and the Wayland Cares anti-drug program. The selectmen included detailed expectations for these committees in the voted charges.
Vacancies for these new positions are posted on the town website: http://www.wayland.ma.us/Pages/WaylandMA_WebDocs/boardvacancies
Selectman Tony Boschetto will be the board liaison to the new OPEB committee. Selectman Ed Collins will be the liaison to the Wayland Cares Review Committee. The selectmen's first Wayland Cares Sustainability Committee, to which Selectman Steve Correia was appointed, never posted information about its work or 2012 meeting minutes on its town website.
Possible Meeting Dates
Later in the meeting, Town Administrator Fred Turkington told the Board that Oct. 16 or Oct. 29 are possible fall town meeting dates, if selectmen decide to call one. The scheduling could be affected by the US senate election on June 25. If Ed Markey wins, his vacated US congressional seat would prompt another round of primary and state elections this fall.
Turkington reported from his staff meeting that there will be a tree hearing on June 11, and the Board of Health is considering holding a public hearing regarding whether to continue fluoridating Wayland's drinking water. (The BoH is also planning a May 20 public hearing to discuss the possible use of an adulticide such as Sumithrin for mosquito control.) He also announced that FEMA approved giving Wayland $250,000 for stormwater improvements to try to prevent future flooding in the area of the Library.
Turkington reported on progress at the Town Center project: medical offices to open in late June. Also opening soon are the Middlesex Bank and a Japanese restaurant. There are plans for a health club. Selectmen Joe Nolan and Tony Boschetto agreed to hold their office hour at town center's Panera on Saturday, May 18 at 8:45 a.m.
Todd MacDowell, representing Danforth Green, LLC, appeared before the Board of Selectmen to provide an update now that the Framingham Planning Board approved his housing project's Definitive Plan last week. He reported they still need more permits from Framingham. He said he is in touch with Wayland's DPW to be ready to improve the West Plain/Old Connecticut Path intersection, and install traffic signals.
Selectman Joe Nolan described crosswalk and sidewalk safety improvements already made elsewhere along Old Connecticut Path and West Plain Street. They were not paid from the 2005 Selectmen's $1.45 million settlement agreement as originally contemplated.
MacDowell said he hopes a Framingham resident's appeal of Zoning Board variances will not slow their project at the former New England Sand & Gravel property, just over the Framingham line. Framingham's town meeting, which began on May 1, faces deciding on the town's acquisition of the project's acres of open space between the aqueduct and the Sudbury River. To learn more about the Danforth project:
The Selectmen's May 6 meeting is available on WayCAM's website:
-- Linda Segal
MEETINGS & EVENTS CALENDAR - unless otherwise noted, all meeting are held in Wayland Town Building, with agendas posted on the town website: http://www.wayland.ma.us/Pages/index.
Click on date to access links to meeting agendas.
All town boards and committees were reminded in a Selectmen's memo on April 25 regarding the importance of posting meeting minutes on the town website in a timely manner. Compliance varies considerably.
Friday, May 10:
Economic Development Committee, 8:30 a.m. Agenda topics include discussion of River's Edge housing project with several developers, wireless communications district review, Route 20 vs. River Road parcels, size of housing project.
State Representatives Office Hour: Meet informally with Tom Conroy (precincts 1, 2, and 3) and Alice Peisch (precinct 4), 2 p.m., Wayland Library Raytheon Room, no appointment necessary.
For those who cannot attend and wish to communicate with your state rep:
Thomas.Conroy@... and Alice.Peisch@...
Saturday, May 11:
Annual Postal Carrier Food Drive: Non-perishable food items left at your mailbox will be donated to local food pantries. http://about.usps.com/corporate-social-responsibility/nalc-food-drive.htm
Annual Fishing Derby at Mill Pond, 8 - 10 a.m.
Upper Millbrook Reservation "Marsh Marigolds Walk," 10 a.m., wooded trail, 1.8 miles, starts at
Peace Lutheran Church parking lot, 107 Concord Rd.
Monday, May 13:
Specimen Trees, Clearing, Grading Study Committee, 6:30 p.m.
Recreation Commission, 7 p.m. Starts out meeting jointly with Board of Public Works
Board of Public Works, 7 p.m.
Historical Commission, 7:30 p.m.
Housing Partnership, 7:45 p.m.
Tuesday, May 14:
Zoning Board of Appeals, 8:20 p.m.
Wednesday, May 15:
Library Trustees, 8:30 a.m., Wayland Library Raytheon Room
Wayland Historical Society, 7:30 p.m., Annual Meeting, Wayland Restaurants Over the Years
presentation, Grout Heard House, 12 Cochituate Road
Wastewater Management District Commission, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 16:
Housing Authority, 7 p.m.
Conservation Commission, 7:30 p.m.
Historic District Commission, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 18:
Selectmen Office Hours, 8:45 a.m., Panera Bread, Wayland Town Center
Monday, May 20:
Board of Health, 7 p.m. Public hearing on adult mosquito control. For explanation and 2012 MassDPH Arbovirus Surveillance Summary:
Selectmen, 7 p.m.
Dudley Area Advisory Committee (DAAC), 7:30 p.m.
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Wayland Voters Network
Michael Short, Editor