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WVN #505: Wastewater challenges, CVS questions

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  • waylandvoters1
    Dear Wayland Voter, Residents continue to pay close attention to CVS plan to open a drugstore at the former Finnerty s restaurant Main Street site. A recent
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2013
      Dear Wayland Voter,

      Residents continue to pay close attention to CVS' plan to open a drugstore at the former Finnerty's restaurant Main Street site. A recent late-night meeting was full of detail but short on progress.

      Also in this newsletter:

      -- The commission responsible for a new wastewater treatment plant serving the Town Center, other businesses and a number of households, faces challenges. A new federal permit is needed, some customers are shocked and unhappy with pending charges for the $5.6 million plant, and there's a leak in the system. That's not all.

      -- Details about Wayland's 375 anniversary celebration.


      Faced with the CVS developer's ever-changing specifications and failure to satisfy requirements of Wayland's zoning bylaw and regulations, the Planning Board deferred a decision on the request for site plan approval until its next meeting June 11.

      The Planning Board began the May 28 meeting shortly after 9 p.m. After the board grappled for nearly two hours with wording on a 10-page draft decision it was seeing for the first time, public comment revealed that the developer's submission was incomplete because it lacked required plans for signage. There was disagreement over whether the plans met requirements on sidewalk width and various buffers. Residents asked that hours of operation match those of the Cochituate Rite Aid pharmacy, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ( 9 a.m.to 6 p.m. on Sunday). They also want deliveries prohibited after 10 p.m.

      During the meeting, Kevin Paton of BKA Architects revealed he had neglected to add the square footage (1,973) in the mezzanine to the total area, so the building will be 13,941 instead of 11,968 square feet, the dimension of the first floor.

      Will Hammond Road Go Away?

      The Planning Board's draft document requires the applicant to prove that Hammond Road, which bisects the property to serve two single family homes, either has been eliminated or the CVS building is set back (a choice of 55 feet from the center of that right of way or 30 feet from the right of way).

      The applicant's attorney, Ann Sobolewski, indicated that CVS isn't pursuing a smaller building in response to requirements.

      The Planning Board contemplates making the site plan approval conditional on future satisfaction of town bylaws, though it is not clear how the applicant intends to satisfy the above requirement.

      On May 22, 2013, the purchase of a quitclaim deed for 11 Hammond Road, Lot A by the developer, 150 Main St. LLC, for $550,000 was filed at the Middlesex Registry of Deeds. The second house on Hammond Way is owner-occupied.

      The 10-page Planning Board draft contained more than 20 conditions, which may be a record for a "by right" application, which doesn't require special permits. Previous Zoning Board of Appeals decisions for this former Finnerty's property generally contain about four conditions. The applicant has refused to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for any variance or special permit.

      The lack of time for the Planning Board to review the document before the meeting was apparent when members struggled with how to word the decision. The Board's intent is to acknowledge that the plan is `by right' and could accommodate the required 103 parking spaces, but places a condition on the development to include fewer parking spaces, and to retain the existing greenery along Main Street.

      At several times during the meeting, members asked which site plan was being referred to. The latest version of CVS' site plan is not posted on the town website.

      The applicant disagreed with the board over whether it should be required to improve the Main Street sidewalk and to put all the utilities underground, arguing that some utilities serve the Hammond Road homes.

      The loading area is on the side, immediately adjacent to the front of the building and the trucks will park in front of the building. The design requires a large truck to approach via West Plain.

      However, there is no restriction on how often deliveries can take place during a week. At a prior meeting, it was said that CVS only runs one truck a week for deliveries, while other goods, such as soft drinks, will be delivered through the front door.

      The draft decision also contains no provision prohibiting project construction vehicles from using West Plain Street, which was a protective requirement Wayland insisted on with the Danforth housing development off Old Connecticut Path, just over the Framingham town line.

      Resident Paul Bernotas alleged misinformation on the number of employees that would be working at the store. He said he has counted nine employees at the Route 20 CVS, while the company says six employees will be at 150 Main Street. The number of employees affects the parking requirement.

      "My issue is honesty," Bernotas said. "I don't want a dishonest neighbor." What happens when the weekly delivery becomes multiple times a week, he asked.

      By Thursday, the town planner's office had received signage information, although the dimensions exceeded the 40 square feet allowed in a "by right" application.

      WayCAM's recording of the May 28 public hearing is at:

      -- Molly Upton


      For more than a year, the Waste Water Management District Commission has been stymied by "unaccounted for" water flowing into its system, a serious concern also noted by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The WWMDC has been monitoring and reporting flow, comparing data with groundwater elevations, and methodically checking plant customer connections and grinder pumps. As the Town Center project builds out, plant discharges are not allowed to exceed permit requirements.

      At their May 15 meeting, commissioners reported finding a serious leak and on May 30 discussed it with Wayland Facilities Director John Moynihan. The culprit seems to be the town's Public Safety Building.

      According to Moynihan, there are no "as-built" plans for the Public Safety Building. Having such plans would help evaluate an underground feature the wastewater commissioners are surprised to learn exists -- a leaking shaft sleeve connecting to a grinder pump located about 15 feet underground. Commissioner Sam Potter estimates the leak amounts to about 3,000 gallons of unpermitted flow daily.

      Why is there a connection that far below groundwater level? The Public Safety Building design included 13 bathrooms, one of them in the below-grade basement. Because the sewage plumbing system works by gravity, a pump is in a chamber 15-20 feet below ground to grind and pump waste from that bathroom up to the main sewer. Moynihan said he hopes to avoid having to dig it all up to stop the leak and is discussing ideas with Tighe & Bond engineering consultant Ian Catlow. He also has alerted the Historic District Commission.

      For general information about sewer grinder pumps:

      New Permit Needed

      Tighe & Bond consultants have been advising the commission as the June 4 deadline approaches to apply to renew the federal discharge permit. Catlow, the engineer who designed the new treatment plant that went into service last November, has recommended the WWMDC seek a permit for increased discharge into the Sudbury River, up from 52,000 gallons per day (annualized average flow) to 78,000 gallons. Commissioner Sam Potter lobbied for increasing the discharge limit to 90,000. They settled on 80,000, in part to avoid overtaxing the plant's sophisticated filter membranes.

      An August 2011 white paper reflects the WWMDC's thoughts shared with the DEP for wanting to increase discharge capacity.

      While one reason was to meet commitments to current plant customers, the WWMDC also told DEP the Economic Development Committee and Board of Selectmen want to "spur economic development" in the Town Center area. That conflicts with information given to voters in the late 1990's when the WWMDC sought approvals at several town meetings for establishing the town's first sewer system, including the acquisition of the old Raytheon treatment plant. Residents were assured these efforts were for environmental protection, to address existing failing septic systems, many located in the floodplain, and that it was not to support new growth.

      After threatening litigation for months, the Town Center developer, Twenty Wayland LLC, filed suit in November 2011 against the Commission and the Town. Allegations included failure to provide promised wastewater capacity for the mixed-use project now under construction. The case is scheduled to be heard in court on June 10.

      Looming Betterment Charges

      Wastewater plant customers still have not been assessed their share of betterment charges for the $5.6 million cost of the new treatment plant. The commissioners say they're awaiting a formal determination that the plant has been completed and is fully operational.

      The commission published revised Fiscal 2014 betterment charges after holding a public hearing on April 1. Some plant customers are considering their options to avoid escalating costs, including leaving the wastewater system if they can install their own septic systems, taking advantage of new technologies.

      According to the chart in the above link Wayland Commons condo owners each appear to face a betterment charge of about $23,000, while larger plant users such as Russell's Garden Center (397 Boston Post Road) and Whole Foods Plaza (317 Boston Post Road) may be charged about $300,000 and $420,000 respectively. A smaller business such as Moodz Spa (19 Pelham Island Road), but which uses a lot of water, appears to face a betterment charge of over $100,000.

      Additional financial information from the WWMDC April 1 rate hearing is posted on its website:

      Change in Cost Sharing

      When 2008 Annual Town Meeting approved building the new treatment plant, the Finance Committee comments informed voters that Twenty Wayland's betterment share would be 70%.

      The latest published FY14 betterment charges call for Twenty Wayland to pay only 62%, meaning that about $600,000 would instead be passed along to the other customers. This change in the cost sharing formula -- which some call a gift to the Town Center developer -- was not discussed at WWMDC meetings or at the April 1 public hearing.

      One residential customer already left the wastewater system a few years ago and relies on a new septic system approved by the Wayland Health Department. Plant customers are now being told by the Health Department that, according to Town Counsel, the DEP says they cannot leave the system. When customers were invited to join the system in the late 1990's, published Annual Reports at that time, and some since then, have stated that "participation is voluntary."

      Noise, Light Complaints

      At the May 30 meeting, the commission also discussed complaints received from residents of the new condos on River Rock Way about plant noise and exterior lights left on through the night. Routine testing of the emergency generator may be the humming noise noted by neighbors.

      The plant property appears overgrown with weeds and needs mowing. Moynihan reported that the hydroseeding was not successful, possibly due to poor soil quality. The WWMDC has a plant operator whose contract is supposed to include snow removal and lawn maintenance. But the new facility has no space for storing landscaping equipment, so the commission will ask the town's DPW if it can mow. The commissioners said they want to be good neighbors and will look into these issues.

      The WWMDC is a three-member commission. It has had a vacant seat for about a year. Anyone interested in applying should send a letter of interest and resume to the Selectmen's office.

      -- Linda Segal


      June 15 Opens 375 Anniversary Celebration

      Wayland launches its year-long celebration of its 375 anniversary on Saturday June 15, with an activity packed day. The celebrations continue on Sunday, and more events will occur throughout the year.

      Saturday, June 15
      The day begins at the North Cemetery and then moves to daytime activities at the Middle School for circus and carnival games. At nearby Cochituate Fire Station Two there will be Native American activities. The day ends with a family barn dance and bonfire at 43 Old Connecticut Path.

      What brought the original settlers to this town in 1638? Where did they live? What did they bring? What challenges did they face? What can we learn from our ancestors? Historical events sponsored by the Wayland Historical Society will commemorate the founding of the Town 375 years ago and answer these questions.

      Three venues:
      North Cemetery
      Walk from North Cemetery to Grout-Heard House Museum
      Grout-Heard House Museum (Wayland Historical Society)

      All activities are suitable for adults and children. You may do any one or two of them without doing all of them.

      North Cemetery- opening exercises at 9 am
      Molly Faulkner and Margery Baston will be on hand to point out the significant landmarks of the first Town Center (North Cemetery), including the site of the first meetinghouse of 1643. Maps will be available to explore on your own and/or to find specific markers at 10 and 11:15 (estimated time 30-40 min.) with guidance from Molly and Margery. Fifty-six Revolutionary War soldiers are also buried here.

      Grout-Heard House Museum
      Open 10-1
      The Wayland Historical Society will feature exhibits and hands-on activities relating to the early settlement in 1638 and throughout the colonial period. This is a chance to find out how Wayland started, why the first Europeans came here (very different from why people move here today), what their lives were like. Meet and talk to Sudbury militia and minute men who went off to defend our town on the first day of the American Revolution- April 19, 1775. Colonial slavery will also be highlighted. See which houses still standing were once home to slaves and their masters.
      Refreshments will be served.

      Walking tour from North Cemetery to Grout-Heard House Museum
      10 and 11:15
      Preservationist Gretchen Schuler will guide two narrated walks starting at North Cemetery following the footsteps of the first European settlers in 1638. The route will lead down Old Sudbury Road, through Bow Road to Concord Road. The total route is .8 mi. Gretchen will be happy to answer your questions and add information that will take the settlement through the colonial period and beyond.

      Sudbury Militia
      The Sudbury Militia will be conducting musket drills at the Grout-Heard House Museum.

      Moody Street Circus Wayland Middle School Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. In the big ring, at 10, 12:30 and 2:30 will be Koba and his horse show.
      Charge: $10 for adults, $5 for kids

      In ring two, at 11:45 and 1:45, there will be KidsCorner Juggling, Hoola Hoop & Clowns
      All day activities include Clowning for Kidz on the Main Lawn, and Carnival Games 10-4. These include: Dunk Tank. High Striker, Psychic Pavilion, Face Painting, Stiltwalkers, Clowns, Music, Goldfish Toss, Skeet Ball, Arcade, Magicians, Darts, and many more games!
      Stop and Shop will operate a food pavillion with cotton candy, hot dogs, burgers, popcorn, and ice cream.
      Behind Station Two from 11 a.m.to 5 p.m., children and adults can engage in Native American activities including crafts, building, story telling, planting, cooking, and drumming.

      Barn Dance and Bonfire 7-10 p.m. at 43 Old Connecticut Path. Activities are free and include a square dance and a ceremonial burn of a structure designed by the Mythmakers. Children are welcome.
      On Sunday June 16, the Dudley Pond Association is holding an Ice Cream Social at Mansion Beach, from noon to 3 p.m. Enjoy free ice cream and a view of the pond.

      The weekend celebration concludes at the High School at 3 p.m. with the Golden Tones Silver Jubilee Concert. Tickets are $25, and $10 for those age 10 and under.

      More information:

      MEETINGS CALENDAR: Unless otherwise noted, all town government meetings are held in Wayland Town Building. Meeting agendas are posted in the calendar on the town website home page:
      Click on the meeting date to access links to posted agendas.

      Monday, June 3:

      Board of Health, 7 p.m. Topics include mosquito spraying, NStar vegetation management, fluoride in drinking water, wastewater options
      School Committee, 7 p.m.
      Recreation Commission, 7 p.m. (broadcast live by WayCAM)

      Tuesday, June 4:

      Council on Aging, 7 p.m.
      Surface Water Quality Committee, 7:30 p.m.

      Wednesday, June 5:

      Selectmen, 7 p.m. (broadcast live by WayCAM)
      Audit Committee, 7 p.m. Agenda includes auditor's review of school checking accounts and revolving accounts
      Senior Tax Relief Committee, 7 p.m.

      Thursday, June 6:

      Historic District Commission, 7:30 p.m.


      Monday, June 10:
      Board of Public Works Water Rate Hearing

      Tuesday, June 11:
      Planning Board, 7 p.m., continued Site Plan approval hearing for CVS at former Finnerty's property

      Sunday, June 16:
      Golden Tones Silver Jubilee Concert, 3 p.m. Wayland High School
      For more details: http://waylandbusiness.org/2013/03/14/golden-tones-chorus-silver-jubilee/

      Weekend of June 21-23, 2013
      Celebrate the Annual Riverfest. Over 45 FREE events on and around the Sudbury, Concord & Assabet Rivers from Hopkinton to Billerica. Wayland will hold its traditional History Paddle with Brandeis Professor Brian Donahue, starting at Rt. 20 on Saturday morning. Just over the Sudbury River family events will be held at SVT's Wohlbach Farm and Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. A special birding walk will be held where Wayland, Weston, and Lincoln come together. Detailed program information is at:

      Monday, June 24:
      Need helping navigating the Geographic Information System program on the town website? Learn what it is and how to use it during a special program at 7 p.m. in the Wayland Public Library's Raytheon Room, presented by Brendan Decker, Wayland GIS coordinator.

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      Wayland Voters Network
      Michael Short, Editor
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