Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Live reporting - Town Council - special meeting

Copy of agenda doc to be added later - handed out as folks arrived in the 3rd Floor - Training Room

Intent of this is to do a workshop for a discussion on what changes, if any, would be desired for zoning.
A sign in sheet is being passed around. Maxine Kinhart taking the official meeting notes

Jeff Nutting provided an overview of the handout

Q - question on density consideration based upon upland acre vs. total acre
Ultimately, this is more than a quibble point for the Cooks Farm proposal as a starting point for discussion

Q - would the town consider some incentives for extra open space?
the current as right use is less dense than the proposal for Cooks Farm

Halligan - I thought we would be discussing Cooks Farm and nothing else. What I am hearing is this is bigger than that.

Cerel - you can zone for a specific proposal, you can zone for all. You can't do spot zoning.

Benedetto - Whatever you adopt the Town needs some flexibility.

Nutting  - the Council is not the permitting authority, the Planning Board

Kelly - question on when developments referenced were done and what they were developed as some number of years ago

Taberner - zoning residential district 6 was created in the 1980's

Padula - subdivision regulations came out to control growth in the town. A lot of land existed then. We needed housing in and around the center. Since then, we have tried to control growth.  I don't know how many houses we could put in this with zoning as I haven't seen the proposal. How are you going to handle sewerage for this project? Are we attempting to change the zoning for this one project? There are a number of unbuilt propety that can accommodate cluster or apartment zoning. Once you open this up, you are opening this to a number of homes in this town.

Pfeffer - what would be the spot zoning rule?
Cerel - it may not be a single property, the courts will look at this in the totality

Pfeffer - I thought we had a charge to go make this work? Am I hearing this is a proposal to not make it work?
Nutting - I disagree

Pfeffer - How would you make this work?
Nutting - You have to make this a zoning bylaw.
Pfeffer - Have you drafted the bylaw?
Nutting - No, once we have this agreed upon, when we have consensus, we can go and write it.

Cornetta - we have a proposal with a specific project, there are examples of bylaws on the state site, or elsewhere that I think we can all work with. it is not good for the town to create high density all over, but maybe an overlay district for specific areas, like the Cooks Farm proposal

Developer - It is a very popular proposal. I have nine residents interested in this if we build it. We have lots with the building lots identical. A density in Medfield over 6 units to an acre. About 2 if you do it on total acreage. The road widths don't work, that is pedestrian scale. It is 20 foot roadways and 18 foot back alleys. I didn't invent this, it is elsewhere, in Celebration. I haven't met the fire chief. He'd be able to fight a fire in this. These are condominium in that the land is owned in common but they are single family homes

Halligan - I am little thrown off guard here. I would be in favor the way it was proposed.

Nutting - I am hearing about the differences in the density calculation, I am hearing about the street width difference.

Halligan - I would like to see this go forward and see what this brings to the town. It is calculated to only bring in 2 kids.

Cerel - As I indicated at the Council meeting, when you get into land use planning there is a lot of overlapping rulings. Where are you starting from? A proposal from a particular developer and a charge to the staff to make it work. There are a lot of other things being through around and confusing the issues. This type of development is good for a downtown where you want to get traffic out and bring in pedestrian traffic. Mefield cobbled together several properties to make his space work. That is not what you have here. This plot is outside the town, not downtown.

Restating: This handout would apply to the 22 acre to apply to two properties to avoid the charge of spot zoning

Nutting - i don't think there is a big disparity about what we are discussing.

The bylaw was in place and the zoning was changes because it was not yet on the map

Powderly - what about Res 6 that does not permit this project?
Nutting - it is not relevant in this day and age, no proposal is going to come forward with 25% affordable

Powderly - is it fair to say that Res 6 is outdated?
Dahlstrom - there are more differences than just the affordable

Developer - Res 7, would apply to only 2 properties at this time. I would like to work with the Fire Chief to see how the streets would work for him

Padula - with a conventional subdivision how many would you get?
about 7

Halligan - this would have to be done with a special permit, otherwise it could be sold out and have 32 log cabins down there

Nutting - you are free to talk to the Fire Chief when he gets back from vacation.

Benedetto - what about control with a 40B?
Cerel - The state agency has guidelines for that and it is more than 12 units dense

Developer - I am not concerned about a special permit

Jones - How many of these type projects were on the outside of town? What would be the sustainability of the high value?

Developer - I am very good at establishing property that high value. We have a country club right next door. there is demand for this. There is an aging population and they want this.

Powderly - I don't think anyone has argued that this isn't a quality project, we need to do this when there is not a quality project before us. I want to make sure we are reversing a path the restriction on no new development, then we do it right so we don't end up with developing elsewhere in the wrong places. I found the Mashpee Commons very nice.

Developer - you have all that here already, you don't need to create Mashpee Commons here. You already have the town center. You need infield projects to help fill the void. They should help promote each other. That is why this project is going to be good. You will want to see this elsewhere once this is built.

Cheli - speaking to stopping development, we were concerned with school age development and 40b's. I don't think there was a mandate when I was on the council. I think we needed to be proactive to get the 40b 10% level.

Nutting - we did the permit change to allow the 55+ to avoid the children issue. We extended the moratorium to 2009 but then the market kind of took over and did it for us.

Cheli - mechanism were put in place to get sustainable development.

Developer - there is 17 M coming into this project with very little going out. The roads are owned by the residents.

Nutting -

Pfeffer - if we do this by special permit, do we still need to change the zoning?
Nutting - yes

Nutting - I think we can have this in the council in the first week of Sep

Roy - I actually came tonight to get some input from this for the Master Plan. I am hearing we can do this in the 2 parcels and not all around the town. I was trying to see how this fits in with the Master Plan.

Cerel - you can have special permits by zone, you don't need to have an overlay

Padula - how much did you say were the starting price?
Developer - 2 bedrooms, about $500,000

Nutting - we'll schedule a meeting with the Fire Chief and work on the draft revisions as discussed here. We should have something ready for the first Council meeting in Sep. It will get referred to the Planning Board, and when they act on it, it would come back to the Council for two readings before being voted on.

motion to adjourn, passed

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