Mashpee Planning Board
Minutes of Meeting
March 2, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Selectmen’s Meeting Room, Mashpee Town Hall
CALL TO ORDER
The Town of Mashpee Planning Board meeting was convened with a quorum in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room at Mashpee Town Hall by Chairman Waygan at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2, 2011.
Planning Board Members Present: Chairman Mary Waygan, Vice Chair Dennis Balzarini, Clerk Joe Mullin George Petersen, David Kooharian
Also Present: Tom Fudala-Town Planner, Tom Mayo- GIS Administrator, Selectman Michael Richardson
APPROVAL OF MINUTES -February 16, 2011
Mr. Fudala requested that “Cape & Video Electric” be corrected and changed to “Cape & Vineyard Electric” on page 2 under the Selectmen Liaison report.
MOTION: Mr. Balzarini made a motion to approve the minutes as written changing “Video” to “Vineyard.” Mr. Mullin seconded the motion. Three Board members voted yes and two members abstained.
7:10 Modification to Subdivision Regulations Regarding Floodplain Provisions
The appointed time having arrived, Chairman Waygan opened the hearing regarding the modification to the Subdivision Regulations and read for the record the public notice.
Mr. Fudala reported that Charles Rowley suggested that changes be made to the Subdivision Regulations and that they are in conjunction with the Zoning Article and the Wetlands General Bylaw. Mr. Fudala stated that a letter had been received indicating that regulations and plans would need to be brought into compliance with the Flood Insurance Administration’s new regulations and new mapping of Mashpee prior to June 16. Should the Town not be compliant with the regulations, the Town would no longer qualify for flood insurance. Mr. Rowley recommended wording for the Subdivision Regulations that would match wording in the federal regulations. Mr. Fudala read for the record the proposed Subdivision Regulations amendments, which also corrects a labeling error.
Mr. Petersen clarified that the bylaw requires the revision or else residents located in the flood plain would be unable to purchase flood insurance. The Chair stated that the federal government has advised the Town to make the needed changes in order to comply with the federal regulations and guidelines. Mr. Fudala recommended that, should the Board choose to make a motion recommending the amendments, it be approved so that it would be effective upon Town Meeting’s approval of the zoning article.
There was no public comment about the proposed amendments.
MOTION: Mr. Balzarini made a motion to approve the proposed Subdivision Regulation Amendments 3-2-11 effective at Town Meeting if the zoning amendment article passes. Mr. Mullin seconded the motion. All voted unanimously.
7:20 Applicant: Windchime Condominium Trust, c/o Marion Baker
Location: Windchime Point Condominium, Great Neck Road South
Request: Modification of special permit to specify a process for approval, on behalf of the Planning Board, of removals of dead, diseased or otherwise hazardous trees.
The appointed time having arrived, the Chair reconvened the public hearing for Windchime Condominium Trust and read for the record the public hearing notice. The hearing was continued from February 16, 2011. Mr. Fudala provided Board members with the proposed decision that describes the trees identified for removal, and tree replacements, as well the establishment of a tree removal process.
The Chair confirmed that the proposed decision represents the position of the Board. Mr. Fudala clarified that the underbrush area at Bob White Crescent was in fact labeled as Common Area A with landscape plans. The decision has been drafted so that the area is left alone until the Association meets to discuss their plans for the area and to share those plans with the Planning Board. Mr. Fudala noted that it would then be a site plan change that would not require a public hearing.
The Chair invited the public to make comments. Marion Baker thanked the Planning Board and Mr. Fudala for their assistance. Ms. Baker reported that an Association Board meeting will take place on March 10 in order to discuss Bob White Crescent and that she will report back to the Planning Board about the results of the meeting. Mr. Fudala noted that only the four Board members who sat through all of the hearings should vote on the motion.
MOTION: Mr. Balzarini made a motion to close the public hearing for Windchime Condominium. Mr. Kooharian seconded the motion. Four members voted yes.
MOTION: Mr. Balzarini made a motion to accept the modification to the special permit for Windchime Condominium about the removal of trees. Mr. Kooharian seconded the motion. Four members voted yes.
Mr. Balzarini signed the decision.
Applicant: Robert Spenlinhauer, Trustee, Classic Auto Realty Trust
Location: 64 Industrial Drive
Request: Special Permit to construct 20,000 sq. ft. warehouse/light/office building.
MOTION: Mr. Balzarini made a motion to schedule a public hearing for April 6 at 7:10 p.m. Mr. Mullin seconded the motion. All voted unanimously.
-Town Clerk- Requested that a public hearing be scheduled to name a private way on Monomoscoy Island as “Osprey Drive.”
MOTION: Mr. Balzarini made a motion to schedule a public hearing to name a private way on Monomoscoy Island on April 6 at 7:10 p.m. Mr. Mullin seconded the motion. All voted unanimously.
Mr. Balzarini amended his previous motion in order to change the time for the Robert Spenlinhauer public hearing.
MOTION: Mr. Balzarini made a motion to amend the time for the special permit public hearing for Classic Auto Realty Trust from 7:10 to 7:20 on April 6th. Mr. Mullin seconded the motion. All voted unanimously.
-$10,000 Direct Local Assistance Funding from the County-The Chair questioned whether the funds could be used to assist with the completion of the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Fudala responded that he was refused when he asked to use the funds to complete the Transportation Element of the LCP. Mr. Fudala indicated that there were not sufficient funds to conduct a significant study and that it could not be used for employee costs.
-Monitoring Wells Report-Mr. Fudala has been in receipt of the monitoring well reports from Mashpee Commons Market Street and Southcape Village. Mr. Fudala reported that the nitrogen in the South Cape Treatment Plant effluent was measuring 7 mg. per liter.
-Legislation for Wind Power Control-Mr. Fudala pointed out legislation in Board Member’s packets that would take away local control of wind power and give it to the State. There will be an upcoming meeting regarding the proposal with Representative Vieira on March 4 at 11 a.m. to which all of the Upper Cape Planners and Planning Board Chairmen have been invited.
Chairman’s Report-Chairman Waygan referenced the Articles for the Warrant awaiting review by the Board of Selectmen, noting that they would be considered by Selectmen at the upcoming meeting on Monday. The Chair and Mr. Fudala will be unable to attend and inquired whether another Board member would be available to attend the meeting and support the Articles. Mr. Fudala has emailed a thorough explanation for each of the Articles. Board members discussed the Development Agreement Article, which was drafted at the request of the Cape Cod Commission and was required in order for Mashpee to participate in the Development Agreement process. Mr. Balzarini and Mr. Petersen agreed to attend the meeting in case there are questions about the Articles. There was also discussion about the Flood Insurance and Design Review Articles. Selectman Richardson stated that he had spoken with the Town Manager and did not anticipate any questions.
Chairman Waygan also reported that word was received today that the Planning Department budget would be cut and that the part time Assistant Town Planner position would not be funded beyond the end of June. The Chair expressed concern about the budget reduction since the part time Assistant Town Planner was hired to help update the Local Comprehensive Plan. Chairman Waygan expressed concern that the LCP would not be updated within a reasonable timeframe without the assistance of the Assistant Town Planner. Mr. Balzarini inquired about the consequences if the plan was not updated, adding that the intent of the plan was to allow collection of impact fees from developers. Mr. Fudala responded that the Commission Act required the LCP in order to collect impact fees but that the impact fees were found to be illegal. In addition, the Cape Cod Commission is required to be consistent with the LCP during its review of projects. The Cape Cod Commission requires an update every 5 years and a re-write every 10 years, but Mashpee has not been de-certified despite the plan being created 12 years ago without updates or re-writes. Mr. Fudala also stated that the LCP impacts access to state funding since each town’s Commonwealth Capital score considers whether or not the town has a comprehensive plan.
Chairman Waygan expressed great concern about the impact to the Planning Department. Mr. Fudala expressed surprise that he was not advised of the cut until this morning and that other town departments would be increased. The Chair indicated that the staff reduction would result in Mashpee not having any long range planning which would then affect the tax base. Chairman Waygan expressed concern that the department would be overwhelmed and would not have the needed support to make good decisions. Mr. Mullin suggested that the Planning Board not discuss issues, such as Mashpee Commons, until the funding was restored. When asked, Selectman Richardson indicated that he was unaware of the cut before today but was aware that it was being reviewed. Selectman Richardson stated that many departments were faced with cuts last year, such as the library, schools, police and the fire department. Selectman Richardson was unaware of the reasons why the position was being cut and recommended that the Town Manager be approached for more information. Selectman Richardson was unsure about the Assistant Planner’s support to the Planning Board, but recommended that if his role was critical, information should be gathered and presented to support the preservation of the position.
The Chair stated that the Planning Department was initially a 3 person office but will now become a 1 person office, which would be unreasonable. Selectman Richardson noted that there has been no Assistant Town Manager for the past two years and that positions have also gone unfilled at the library, police and fire departments. Selectman Richardson noted that the Board of Selectmen and the Town Manager have been working on balancing the budget and the necessity of some positions have been reviewed. Selectman Richardson reiterated that if the position is an absolute need, then Mr. Fudala and the Planning Board must fight for the position and validate the need since the budget will not be finalized until the Town Meeting. Selectman Richardson also recommended that Mr. Fudala request a clear explanation as to why the position was being eliminated. The Board of Selectmen will be reviewing the budget next week.
Chairman Waygan inquired whether the Finance Committee requested the cut but Selectman Richardson was unsure. Mr. Petersen questioned whether the position would be funded next year. Selectman Richardson recommended that more information be requested. Mr. Petersen inquired whether the current plan would continue to be used and Mr. Fudala responded that it would as long as the Cape Cod Commission certifies it. Mr. Petersen suggested that the Cape Cod Commission would be aware that many towns were faced with economic challenges that affect staffing.
Chairman Waygan requested the narrative of the budget request that highlighted the Planning Board’s tasks for the next year. The Chair expressed concern that the staff reduction would negatively impact the Planning Board’s ability to accomplish their goals. Selectman Richardson stated that every department has been faced with the same challenges. The Chair stated that the Planning Board has given enough and that the budget cut could create a dysfunctional department. Mr. Mullin suggested that the Chair invite the Town Manager to attend a Board meeting in order to show cause as to why the cuts would be justified. The Chair responded that the next meeting would not be until March 16 and the Selectmen will be reviewing the budget next week. The Chair stated that if the budget is in place on the Town Meeting Warrant as is, there will be no amendment on the floor to change the budget. The Chair stated that the deadline to discuss the issue would be Monday at the Board of Selectmen meeting. Mr. Mullin stated that he would like the reason for the budget cut to be on the public record. Selectman Richardson plans to meet with the Town Manager to request a complete analysis of the budget cut, with the expectation that Mr. Fudala would be providing the Town Manager with documentation supporting the position. Selectman Richardson will provide the follow up to the Chair.
Mr. Kooharian questioned whether the budget issues were anticipated for the long term. Selectman Richardson responded that there has not been an override budget problem but that balancing the budget creates internal problems. Selectman Richardson suggested that, in his opinion, the Town is in a better position than last year.
Chairman Waygan expressed shock and disappointment that the Planning Department and Planning Board were being notified today of the budget cut when there would be very little time to prepare. Selectman Richardson was surprised that Mr. Fudala had not been informed sooner. With the Board’s unanimous consent, the Chair will work with the Town Planner to draft a document supporting the part time position, on behalf of the Board, in order to submit it to the BOS meeting on Monday. The Chair encouraged Board members to discuss the issue, including the impact it will have on Mashpee, during the public comment portion of the meeting.
Mr. Mullin and Mr. Kooharian reiterated their preference that the Town Manager attend the next meeting. Mr. Petersen stated that she could be invited to attend but that it would be better to submit the letter of support for the position and request a formal response back from the Town Manager. If there is an additional need to discuss it, Ms. Mason could then be invited to attend the next meeting. Selectman Richardson noted that the issue could also be addressed in October but Mr. Fudala stated that once the position has been eliminated, it would be difficult to replace the position. Mr. Fudala noted that the part time position was a replacement for 2 full time positions. Mr. Petersen stated that other departments have returned in October, such as the Fire Department, and showed that the cuts caused a hardship. Mr. Petersen would not want to create an adversarial situation about the position and recommended working together in order to preserve the position. Mr. Petersen noted that it was good to step back and look at the other side of the issue, such as whether the Town Manager considered that the LCP was not completed when the Planning Department had a full staff and was faced with making an economic decision. Board members discussed the importance of town planning as well as the economic challenges, and the need to maintain the Town.
Selectmen Liaison- Selectman Richardson referenced wind turbines and Falmouth’s recent shut down of their turbine. Selectman Richardson noted that Mashpee has pursued solar power and an agreement has recently been signed to place panels on town buildings. Construction was expected to begin in June. There was also discussion about the Cape Wind electric rates versus lower rates in Maine with Entergy. Selectman Richardson continues to work on the library training program which he hopes to be in place in April. Selectman Richardson recently attended the Fox Hill Road Habitat for Humanity Opening and reported that Berkeley Johnson, from the Affordable Housing Committee, has been appointed to the Affordable Housing Trust. Selectman Richardson announced that the Mass. Muncipal Association will be meeting to discuss the impact of design plans for health insurance. Breezy Acres has signed an agreement to hook up to the wastewater treatment plant at the high school. Two companies have been selected from the Fire Department’s RFP process. A new legal counsel, who specializes in labor law, has been hired from Patrick Costello’s firm. Mooring regulations have changed to ensure that moorings are accurate. The Town Warrant will be reviewed on Monday and the BOS has been asked to make a decision regarding the Sign Bylaw. There was discussion about documenting and filing violations which may be used as leverage later. The bylaw continues to be under consideration. The Chair, a member of the Committee, indicated that no vote has been taken but 50% of people prefer that the bylaw remain as is. There was additional discussion about the Sign Bylaw.
Environmental Oversight Committee-Mr. Petersen reported that comments to the final Blue Book draft were expected prior to next week’s Environmental Oversight meeting on March 10. Mr. Fudala inquired about to whom the draft was provided for comments and Mr. Petersen responded that two copies of the draft had been provided to the Town Manager for review. Chairman Waygan inquired whether the EOC wanted comments from the Planning Board but Mr. Petersen indicated that the drafts were given to the Town Manager for her comments. Chairman Waygan stated that the Planning Board would be available to review the document. The Chair inquired whether Mr. Petersen provided comments about the draft but Mr. Petersen stated that the draft was not distributed to the Committee but instead provided to the Town Manager for comments from the Town. The Chair questioned whether the EOC would be commenting on the draft and Mr. Petersen responded that since a draft was not given to Committee members he presumed that comments were not being requested of the Committee.
Design Review Committee-No report at this time
Community Preservation Committee-The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall and will be the annual public hearing for CPA funding for the October 2011 Town Meeting.
Historic District Commission-No meeting
There was a brief break and the meeting reconvened at 8:40 p.m.
Comprehensive Plan/Survey Update
Discussion of Proposed Bylaw Amendments Regarding Signs
Board Review of Comprehensive Plan Update Process and Schedule
Energy Element of Comprehensive Plan Update, Tom Mayo
In addition to working as the GIS Administrator, Mr. Mayo also sits on the Energy Committee. Mr. Mayo reported that, in order to become a designated green community, criteria such as zoning issues, baseline, reduction plan and fleet management needed to be addressed. Mr. Mayo referenced the Energy Reduction Plan, located in the document labeled Criteria 3, which would be used as the energy element of the Comprehensive Plan.
Mr. Mayo stated that the first part of the Energy Reduction Plan included the baseline and development of data gathering and composition and the energy reduction measures. Mr. Mayo reported that, due to Mashpee’s small size in 1980 and limited municipal buildings, the newer municipal buildings were already energy efficient. The buildings were labeled and rated as energy star rated buildings. Mr. Mayo explained that 2009 was identified to serve as the base line data since it would allow 5 years to enact the reduction measures and allow for compliance with the Green Communities Act. Mr. Fudala inquired how difficult it would be to change the baseline and Mr. Mayo responded that it would change the plan completely.
Mr. Mayo stated that the energy reduction measures were divided into 3 components to include buildings, the fleet and lights. Mr. Mayo stated that lighting was more of an issue in large cities and would not offer significant savings in Mashpee. Regarding buildings, Mr. Mayo reported that the high school offered the greatest opportunities for savings by increasing its efficiency. In reference to the fleet, Mr. Mayo stated that Mashpee now has a plan to update the fleet with energy efficient vehicles.
In order to draft the Comprehensive Plan, the Energy Reduction Plan must be reorganized and re-formatted. Mr. Fudala noted that the Comprehensive Plan included goals, objectives and policies. Mr. Mayo added that the 5 year plan must be extended to a 10 year plan. Mr. Mayo agreed that Cape Cod Commission approved goals and objectives must be identified for the LCP but that they should fit the Reduction Plan goals and objectives since they were more stringent.
Mr. Petersen inquired whether the return on investment had been considered. Mr. Mayo responded that there were two phases of the application process in order to be considered as a green community. Once designated, the grant application process required that Mashpee identify the specific projects it wished to pursue. The Facilities Plan was assessed and the greatest needs projects were then ranked. Mr. Petersen inquired why the high school lacked efficiency and Mr. Mayo responded that the gym required a lot of energy, adding that software was being used to more efficiently run the building, which has a lot of needs.
The Chair inquired whether the Energy Reduction Plan would be one chapter of the Energy Component of the LCP and Mr. Mayo responded that he expected that the Energy Reduction Plan would become the Energy Component. The Chair referenced the Cape Cod Commission’s energy plan and Mr. Fudala noted that during the 1990s, energy was not a major consideration. The Chair inquired about LEED certified developments and Mr. Mayo responded that Criteria 4 reflected criteria for developments that needed to meet advanced codes.
Chairman Waygan inquired about Mr. Mayo’s timeline and he responded that, in addition to completing Energy this year, he intended to also complete Coastal Resources and Public Safety next year. Mr. Fudala recommended that Mr. Mayo begin with the goals and objectives in order to provide them to the Planning Board for review. Mr. Mayo expressed interest in seeking input from the Selectmen liaisons, the Town Manager and the DPW Director.
MOTION: Mr. Balzarini made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Mullin seconded the motion. All voted unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:04 p.m.
Jennifer M. Clifford
LIST OF DOCUMENTS
-CPC Meeting Minutes
-Road Name Request
-Proposed Subdivision Regulation Amendments 3-2-11
-Windchime Point Condominium, Modification of Special Permit Decision
-Munis Financial Management Solutions, Planning Board Budget
-House Docket, No. 01224
-David Vieira Memo