Arlington Redevelopment Board - Apr 5th, 2021
Meeting held via remote participation. Materials were available from https://arlington.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/DisplayAgendaPDF.ashx?MeetingID=1316.
Docket 3540 - 190--192 Mass Ave
Docket 3540 involves a property at the corner of Mass Ave and Lake Street. The applicants wish to redevelop the site with a five-story mixed use building.
(Robert Annese, Attorney) Mr. Annese makes an introduction for the applicant. The petitioner is the Pasciuto family, and they're Arlington through and through. They've discussed the option of doing this as a 40B; they're offering 21% affordable units, which is more than the 15% required by zoning, and close to the 25% of a 40B. But they've decided to stick with mixed use. They'd like to stick with the ARB and work with the ARB on a solution that works for the town and the developer.
(John Murphy, Project Manager) Mr. Murphy said they tried to deliver a very complete application package. They're proposing a five-story mixed use building with 37 units. These will be studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments. Eight will be affordable. It will have the same placement as the existing building, but the footprint will shrink in the rear in order to add shrubbery.
The first floor will have fifteen parking spaces in the rear, and commercial space on the entire frontage of Mass Ave. Mr. Murphy says that commercial tenants want frontage, and not deep spaces. The first-floor facade will be brick. The fourth and fifth floors are stepped back, and this will provide a tenant amenity space. They're planning to include EV charging stations, long-term bicycle parking, and they're pursuing a Zip Car relationship.
(Aaron Mackey, Engineer) Mr. Mackey says the existing site is bounded by streets on three sides. The site is around 11,000 square feet, which is currently all building and pavement. It's in the B3 zoning district and abuts an R5 district in the rear. They plan to keep the existing curb cut on Chandler Street. The new building would have a footprint of 9,764 square feet. That's smaller than the existing footprint, and allows them to incorporate a planting buffer at the rear.
They're proposing 15 parking space and will comply with long-term and short-term bicycle parking requirements. There will be 60 long-term bike parking spaces in the building, and they're increasing the amount of pervious area on site.
(Peter Slowik, Architect) Mr. Slowik says the building is five stories, with one floor of commercial and four floors of residential. They exaggerated the fourth-floor step back in order to create a rooftop amenity space. They plan to preserve the bank building and provide capricious bike storage. All of the first-floor frontage on Mass Ave is commercial.
(Erin Zwirko, Planning Department) Ms. Zwirko says the planning department's memo contains their considerations. It's a mixed-use building. The petitioners are proposing additional affordable units, and that's something the ARB can consider.
(Kin Lau, ARB) Mr. Lau would like to see more details on how the roof deck will be used -- something more than just a roof plan. He'd like the applicants to indicate the planned use. There are two sets of stairs that lead to the garage; he's not sure the location of the stairs will comply with code. He thinks the path to the sidewalk should be more direct. He asks the applicants to include duct work to the roof, in order to support a restaurant on the first floor. He also asks them to consider moving the elevators inward on the Chandler Street side of the building. That would allow windows, rather than having a blank wall.
(John Murphy) Mr. Murphy says they'll look at all of that. Aside from the elevators, everything else is easy to do.
(Eugene Benson, ARB) Mr. Benson asks if one of the elevators leads to the parking garage.
(John Murphy) Mr. Murphy says yes.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson asks where the residential entrance in.
(John Murphy) Mr. Murphy says it's on Chandler Street. The Mass Ave side will have at least two entrances for commercial spaces.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson asks if they can keep more of the commercial space.
(John Murphy) Mr Murphy says retail in these spaces wouldn't be very destination specific; maybe something like a T-mobile. They expect to see a restaurant, but don't don't prefer spaces that are very deep.
(Robert Annese) Mr. Annese says the existing restaurant owner is considering moving back when the building is done. The other remaining tenant may relocate to 882 Mass Ave.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson doesn't think the building blends well above the first floor. He asks if they've considered an all-brick facade.
(John Murphy) Mr. Murphy says they looked at brick, but wanted to separate the look of the residential and commercial spaces. He says that good masons are rare and very expensive.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson asks if there are panels that look like brick, and why the ARB should allow such a high floor area ratio.
(Robert Annese) Mr. Annese says the planning department memo makes that point. The B3 district allows up to five stories in mixed-use, and he thinks that's incompatible with a floor-area ratio (FAR) of 1.5. He believes the ARB has the authority to grant relief here. If this were a 40B project, they'd request a waiver for the FAR regulation.
(John Murphy) Mr. Murphy says this is one of the reasons why they're providing more affordable units than inclusionary zoning requires -- because they knew they'd need relief.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson says it would be helpful to get responses to the staff memo before the next hearing. He believes they'll need a step-back on each side of the building with street frontage. Mr. Benson asks the applicant to explain how the 15 parking spaces will be allocated to 37 apartments.
(Melissa Tintocalis, ARB) Ms. Tintocalis asks about the motivation for redevelopment.
(John Murphy) Mr. Murphy says the building needs a number of upgrades: HVAC, electrical, and structural. Most of the building is vacant, so this seemed like a good time to redevelop it. Little Q might be coming back, and Masshole Donuts is looking for a new site.
(Melissa Tintocalis) Ms. Tintocalis is comfortable with the density and FAR, mixed-use, and the number of affordable units. She leans towards having less parking, and was curious how the parking situation will work.
(John Murphy) Mr. Murphy says the parking spaces will be for the residential units, and they'll cost extra.
(Melissa Tintocalis) Ms. Tintocalis think the material on the upper floors doesn't have the same gravitas as the material on the first floor.
(Rachel Zsembery, ARB Chair) Ms. Zsembery doesn't see the relationship between the first floor and the upper stories. She suggests banding or some columnar elements; the two sections need to speak to each other. The shape of the commercial space is challenging, and she's disappointed with the amount of commercial space lost.
(Kin Lau) Mr. Lau suggests integrating colors, if they're unable to use brick.
(Melissa Tintocalis) Ms. Tintocalis thinks the roof line is very stark, in contrast to the Capitol Square building next door. She suggests taking some elements from that building.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson wants the applicants to consider two pieces of the net-zero action plan: making the building solar ready, and no internal use of fossil fuels.
The chair opens the hearing to public comment
(Don Seltzer) Mr. Seltzer thinks a 37 unit apartment is appropriate for an R7 lot with 20,0000 square feet. He says it can't work here. He says the applicants need open space, a larger rear-yard setback, and upper story step-backs on Chandler and Lake streets. He says the applicants renderings don't obey Euclidean Geometry.
(Steve Revilak) Mr. Revilak realizes that this is only the first hearing for this project, but he likes the general direction. He'd like to make a few specific comments.
First, this would be a five story building situated between two three story buildings. He's fine with that configuration, because there would be a symmetry of building heights.
Second, there's the relationship to the surrounding buildings. On one side is the Capital Theater building, which is one of Arlington's most iconic. It's three stories, mostly brick, with quite a bit of trim around windows, decorative hemispherical sections, and so on. On the other side is 180 Mass Ave; again a three-story red brick building, but with very little trim or ornamentation.
He suggests a brick facade on the first three floors, to match the surrounding buildings. Something different on the upper two stories would be fine, but he'd like to see brick on the bottom three.
He notes that the Capitol Square building has a lot of trim detail, and 180 Mass Ave has very little. He suggests an in-between amount of trim, so there's a transition from building to building.
Finally, he suggests putting the entrance to the first floor commercial space on the corner, similar to the entrance to Otto's across the street. That would provide an element of symmetry on either side of Lake street.
(Chris Loreti) Mr. Loreti feels that this project should go before the ZBA, to get variances for FAR and usable open space. Otherwise, the applicants should do this as a 40B project before the ZBA. He says the board doesn't have the authority to violate the zoning bylaw or to grant variances. As submitted, he thinks this building would break the law.
(Phil Goff) Mr. Goff thinks the massing strategy isn't too bad. It's what people have been saying they want -- mixed use with higher density on Mass Ave. He thinks the project will promote walking and transit, and is likely to attract singles and couples. He has some concerns with the design; the upper stories look very different than what's around them. Loosing restaurant space is a bitter pill, and he suggests putting the parking underground rather than on the first floor. He thinks the bike parking strategy is great, but suggests putting more long-term spaces in the garage.
(Adam Auster) Mr. Auster says there's a lot to like about this proposal. He says it's the kind of think he voted for when voting in favor of the mixed-use bylaw. He's disappointed with the loss of commercial space.
(Elaine Maynard) Ms. Maynard says there's a neighborhood behind this building, and that we need more conversation from the people who live on Chandler, and will have to look at the building. She's concerned about traffic, trucks, and the possibility of visitors parking on Chandler street. She'd like to see a traffic report for Chandler street, and more attractive aesthetics on the rear side of the building.
(Kellie Doherty) Ms. Doherty says she'll be able to see the building from her front yard. She thinks brick would be a better aesthetic. She's concerned about traffic, visitors, loading, and unloading. She says there's a big parking lot behind 180 Mass Ave, and that commercial pickups don't jive with residential. Renters will move, and there will be moving trucks. She thinks this will force a lot of urban activity onto Chandler street. The garage warning lights will be next to residential lots. She thinks mixed-use is appropriate, but would like to see less density.
(Matt Fernandez) Mr. Fernandez asks how long construction will last, and what will happen to the bus stop.
(Lara Hayes) Ms. Hayes says she supports upper-story development but opposes this. She thinks the applicants are trying to do too much on the lot. She says that zoning should give a sense of predictability. This seems like residential masquerading as mixed use. Any new project should support walkability. Kids use Chandler as a way to get to the Hardy school. The garage should be recessed and the first floor should be more articulated.
(Stephanie Hansel) Ms. Hansel grew up here, and she's strongly opposed to the proposed building. This is a village business district, but the proposal is mostly residential and not business. She's concerned about gross manipulation of floor area ratio. The Capital square building has a FAR of 2.6, but that pre-dates our zoning. 180 Mass Ave has a FAR of 1. She doesn't think this will be quality housing, and won't meet the needs of Arlington. She calls it a massive, out-of-place building. This is an opportunity to revitalize, and we should do that.
End of public comment.
(Melissa Tintocalis) Ms. Tintocalis wants to rethink the loss of commercial space, and think more about parking.
Hearing continued to May 3rd.
Zoning Warrant Article Hearings
The board conducts their last two warrant article hearings for the spring 2021 town meeting.
Article 35 - Industrial Uses
This article contains a set of new regulations for the industrial districts.
(Erin Zwirko, Planning Department) Ms. Zwirko says this article addresses the antiquated use tables for the industrial district. The work was motivated by a recommendation from the Master Plan. It adds new uses and includes development standards, sustainability measures, and stormwater standards.
Ms. Zwirko say the zoning can't address the industrial district's lack of access to rail, highways, or mass transit. Most of the industrial parcels are owner-occupied with stagnation and little turnover. It eliminates some of the restrictions in the current bylaw. Ms. Zwirko says the board could reduce the amount of residential, but that might introduce profitability challenges due to the limited size of the lots. She disagrees with the school expense calculation provided in written comments. She says the goal is to update Arlington's industrial zoning while acknowledging Arlington's position in the region.
(Kin Lau) Mr. Lau asks how much sidewalks and curbs exist in the industrial districts today.
(Erin Zwirko) Ms. Zwirko says it varies. In the Dudley Street district, the sidewalk is almost non-existent. That was one of the reasons for the focus on creating pedestrian amenities.
(Kin Lau) Mr. Lau asks who would create the sidewalks and curbs.
(Erin Zwirko) Ms. Zwirko says it's typically the town's responsibility to create and maintain sidewalks in the public right of way. But there could be room for negotiation. Conditions vary in different districts.
(Kin Lau) Mr. Lau thinks sidewalks and trees would help a lot.
(Eugene Benson) Regarding the split between residential and industrial, Mr. Benson asks if the amount of residential could be conditioned on lot size, since there's a split between large and small parcels.
(Erin Zwirko) Ms. Zwirko says that could be a consideration. Larger parcels might support a 50/50 mix. A second floor of residential helps the pro-formas to work out.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson asks Ms. Zwirko where she'd draw the line with parcel sizes.
(Erin Zwirko) Ms. Zwirko says she'd look at the average parcel size, which is around 6000 square feet. Larger parcels are more likely to support a single floor of residential.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson asks why the solar-ready requirement applies to new construction, but not alterations of existing buildings.
(Erin Zwirko) Ms. Zwirko says that was an acknowledgment that the addition might not be vertical. But the board could make that a requirement for renovations.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson asks if there was any consideration of requiring lighting fixtures that are dark-sky friendly. He'd like that to be considered.
Mr. Benson is concerned about shadowing nearly homes that have installed solar panels; either require them not to be shaded, or require compensation. There may be a contradiction between the solar ready and green/blue roof requirements. He suggests using the phrase "remainder of the roof" for the blue or green portion. He asks why artist live/work studios are limited to two artists.
(Erin Zwirko) Ms. Zwirko says the artist live/work requirement was changed to allow limited collaboration. She thinks the it could be eliminated without changing the intent of the bylaw.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson observes that the industrial district proposes to add sections with the same numbering that the ADU article proposes. He suggests a different section for the development standards.
(Erin Zwirko) Ms. Zwirko says section 5.9 seemed like the most appropriate place for the development standards. She thinks any numbering conflicts could be dealt with administratively.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson suggests Section 5.6.4 as an alternative section.
(David Watson) Mr. Watson wishes to highlight the concern about allowing residential uses in the industrial district. He recognizes the necessity of economics, but would support stricter standards on larger parcels.
(Melissa Tintocalis) Ms. Tintocalis thinks the zoning bylaw working group did good work.
(Rachel Zsembery) Ms. Zsembery asks if the step back requirements would be at the third or fourth floor.
(Erin Zwirko) Ms. Zwirko says the step back requirement was replaced with amenity requirements, to accommodate greater first floor heights.
(Rachel Zsembery) Ms. Zsembery also favors reducing the amount of residential allowed on larger parcels.
(Kin Lau) Mr. Lau asks how the solar ready requirement would be applied to existing buildings.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson says the solar ready requirement would be triggered by a major renovation.
(Kin Lau) Mr. Lau says the issue is that an existing roof might not be able to support the additional weight. Mr. Lau and Mr. Benson agree to qualify the solar ready requirement for major renovations -- only if the roof structure is capable of supporting it.
(Eric Halvorsen, RKG) Mr. Halvorsen says he didn't do a sensitivity analysis for parcel size when doing the pro-formas. The smallest test parcel was 19,000 square feet, and the rest were over 2 acres. He didn't do tests of 6,000 square foot parcels. He suggests doing additional analysis before adding a parcel size limit.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson asks Mr. Halvorsen if he could suggests a size.
(Eric Halvorsen) Mr. Halvorsen doesn't feel comfortable with giving a number, but he offers to discuss it with staff.
The chair opens the hearing to public comment.
(Don Seltzer) Mr. Seltzer says the study was authorized in order to bring in new uses and new jobs, but the discussions were about density and growth. Mixed use residential wasn't brought up until the very end. The change that allowed residential was small, and made without explanation. Now, residential could be the primary growth. It's not hard to imagine the redevelopment that will occur. There will no new jobs and no new growth.
(Steve Revilak) Mr. Revilak is a member of the zoning bylaw working group (ZBWG), which worked on the Industrial District proposal. He's speaking for himself, and not for the zoning bylaw working group as a whole.
First, Mr. Revilak points out that the industrial district is roughly 1% of Arlington's land area. It's small, and that limits the amount of property tax revenue that the district can generate. This proposal will not turn the industrial district into a money maker, which is to say, the ZBWG didn't go down the path of allowing development at scale of (say) Kendall Square, or Boston's Seaport district. Instead, we opted for smaller scale, with the goal of attracting some newer and more contemporary uses, perhaps with the ability for additional jobs in town.
Mr. Revilak likes having the performance standards in exchange for a height bonus. He think that's a good way for a community to state it's preferences, and the bonus structure increases the likelihood of getting them.
After developing a list of performance standards, the ZBWG asked our consultants to put together a few pro-formas. We wanted to make sure that the standards weren't going to be a financial barrier to redevelopment. In some cases, the financing didn't work when there were only business and industrial uses involved; but if you added a floor or two of residential, then the redevelopment became profitable. This is Arlington. Land and parcel assembly is expensive here, and that includes land in the industrial district.
Mr. Revilak is personally fine with allowing residential above a 26' ground floor, but among the working group, there was not unanimous agreement on that point. He hopes that ARB will consider moving this forward, but says it's okay if they decide not to. There's no harm in leaving things as they are, and circling back in a couple of years.
(Chris Loreti) Mr. Loreti doesn't like the height bonus; he thinks that any such policy should be consistent across districts, and not particular to a single district. He doesn't think that fences along the minuteman should be limited to 4' height. He says these changes will gentrify light industrial, and that allowing residential is a great way to destroy the industrial district. Mr. Loreti says he could game the proposal by putting in a 3,000 square foot machine shop, and second-floor condo, and a separate house. He objects to giving special treatment to artists.
(Barbara Thornton) Ms. Thornton is very excited by this proposal. She thinks it will add to the fabric of the community and likes the support for artists.
(John Worden) At each ZBWG meeting, Mr. Worden pointed out that the appropriation was to work on the industrial zones, and residential was not part of the equation. He thinks residential shouldn't be allowed in the industrial zones, outside of the artist live/work spaces. He says it's bad enough that the Miraks are doing a 40B. 95% of the town is already residential, and allowing more will ruin the industrial district. Mr. Worden says people should listen to Al Tosti, and the board shouldn't do bait and switch. He says the board should remove the residential allowance, or go back and work some more.
(Kristen Anderson) Ms. Anderson runs a business at 60 Lowell St, which does warehousing and distribution. They get along with their residential and commercial neighbors. She objects to the inclusion of residential, and believes it won't encourage businesses to stay in Arlington. She says her company used to be in Malden and Somerville, and love being in Arlington.
Regarding artist live/work spaces, Ms. Anderson is generally in favor of them and even lived in a commercial loft for ten years. It's difficult for her to believe that artists will be able to afford Arlington rents. Nearly all of the artists she knows have moved out of Boston, and gone to places like Detroit because it's more affordable. She thinks the idea of artist live/work space isn't realistic.
(Aram Hollman) Mr. Hollman notes the staff memo's reference to low turnover, and the fact that none of the industrial properties have changed hands since 2006. He says that means the town hasn't bothered to try. He says we should not allow more housing, and that Arlington should not mix residential with industrial. He says that Arlington's property owners have been waiting to cash in, and they're letting their properties deteriorate. He says we need jobs more than we need housing.
(Susan Stamps) Ms. Stamps says that town meeting has gone through many cycles of zoning bylaw changes. She finds it very hard to understand what the changes mean, and asks if there can be visual examples to accompany the proposal. She thinks people will appreciate it more if they're able to see it. The town has undertaken planning efforts involving trees, heat islands, municipal vulnerability planning, and climate change. She thinks there's an opportunity to address future flooding and heat islands. She'd prefer that shade tree planting be a requirement and planting boxes be recommended.
(Erin Zwirko) Ms. Zwirko says the planning effort involved fit-up (massing) diagrams. They didn't do before and after illustrations, but diagrams were provided during the process.
(Don Seltzer) Mr. Seltzer offers a comment to Mr. Benson's suggestion about large vs small lots: a landowner could turn a large parcel into a series of smaller ones by subdividing.
(Chris Loreti) Mr. Loreti says that the staff memo says that single- and two-family homes are allowed in the industrial district. That's not correct. The ones that are there are non-conforming, and 40B is the only way to do residential development in the industrial district.
No further comments from the public.
Article 36 - Date of Zoning Map
This article involves re-adoption of the zoning map.
(Erin Zwirko) Ms. Zwirko says that the last town meeting re-zoned a parcel from R1 to I, to accommodate the DPW yard renovation. The map was updated, but the date of the map wasn't changed. This article will update the date to match the most recent change.
(Kin Lau) Mr. Lau wants to confirm that we're just changing the date on the map, and not the map itself.
(Erin Zwirko) Ms. Zwirko tells Mr. Lau that's correct.
(John Worden) Mr. Worden says the map changed because of the DPW rezoning. Mr. Worden asks if the printed map can be larger, or the index of streets moved from the front to the back. He says there are a large number of zones, and sometimes it's hard to read.
No further comments from the public.
Final Call for Public Comments
The chair makes a last call for public comments, on any of the zoning articles.
(Erik Pohl) Mr. Pohl wishes to make a comment about the industrial zoning article. He reads a letter from the Boston Center for Independent living, who supports an increase in the inclusionary zoning requirement.
There are no more comments.
Final Votes on Articles
The ARB's next task is to vote on the recommended action for each of the zoning articles.
Article 28 - Affordable Housing Requirements. Favorable action, 5--0.
Article 29 - Apartment Conversion. Mr. Benson has a question about the wording. Ms. Zwirko says the same wording is used in several places in the bylaw. Favorable Action.
Article 30 - Gross Floor Area. Favorable action, 5--0.
Article 31 - Prohibited uses. Favorable action, 5--0.
Article 32 - Other districts dimensional and density regulations. Favorable action, 5--0.
Article 33 - Administrative amendment. Favorable action, 5--0.
Article 34 - Marijuana uses. Mr. Watson notes this article is necessary for compliance with state regulations. Favorable action, 5--0.
Article 35 - Industrial uses. Mr. Benson asks if there's a way to see the amendments that the board discussed. He likes Ms. Stamps suggestion of requiring trees. He doesn't believe there's time for additional analysis. Ms. Raitt suggests taking the articles out of order, and coming back to this one at the end. The board agrees to come back to Article 35 at the end.
Article 36 - Zoning Map Adoption. Mr. Benson asks why this article is being filed. Ms. Raitt says the last town meeting rezoned a parcel, but we neglected to update the date on the map. This article is an administrative change to update the date. Favorable action, 5--0.
Article 37 - Multifamily Zoning for MBTA communities. The board wishes to recommend no action, due to lack of state guidance. No action, 5--0.
Article 38 - Energy Efficient Homes on non-conforming lots. Favorable action, 5--0.
Article 39 - Clarification of definition of mixed use. Mr. Benson feels the zoning bylaw is already clear in this regard. He thinks Article 39 would limit our ability to have good projects. No Action, 5--0.
Article 40 - Conversion of Commercial to Residential. Mr. Benson thinks this article is more likely to prevent renovation than to produce affordable housing. No action, 5--0.
Article 41 - Definition of Foundation. Mr. Lau doesn't support it. Mr. Benson thinks the staff analysis got it right. No action, 5--0.
Article 42 - Affordable Housing on Privately Owned parcels of non-conforming size. The proponent felt the article needed more work and wanted to withdraw it No action, 5--0.
Article 43 - Accessory Dwelling Units. Mr. Benson thinks it's a good article. Mr. Watson agrees, and notes that there've been changes in response to comments from the board and public. He thinks it's acceptable. Ms. Tintocalis also thinks it's a good article. Mr. Benson thinks it was developed with a good collaborative process. Favorable action, 5--0.
Article 44 - Parking Minimums. Mr. Benson thought it was helpful that the proponent came to the board early, so there was time for give and take. Mr. Watson though the process behind this article was effective. Favorable action, 5--0.
Article 45 - Increase Percentage of Affordable Housing Units. Mr. Lau thinks the article needs a carrot. Mr. Benson says he talked with the proponents but they were unable to reach a compromise. He can't vote in favor of this because he believes we need some sort of a study before changing the percentage, to make sure it doesn't backfire. He's also spoken with two people who build affordable housing, and they believed this would likely backfire. He supports the idea of updating our inclusionary zoning, and hopes the housing production plan will look at this. He hopes to see something more comprehensive in a year.
David Watson supports affordable housing development, but agrees with Mr. Benson. If this was adopted and backfires, then we'd have to go back and fix it, which could be difficult. He thinks the risk of getting it wrong is too great.
Melissa Tintocalis would like to see a more nuanced approach. Rachel Zsembery believes that other municipalities have been more nuanced in their approach. She hopes the proponents will participate in the process of updating the housing production plan
No action, 5--0.
Article 46 - Teardown Moratorium. Mr. Lau doesn't support this article; he thinks it will hurt homeowners. Mr. Benson doesn't think this is an appropriate way to deal with teardowns. He thinks the main motion has serious wording flaws that might get the town sued. No action, 5--0.
Article 47 - Establishing Requirements for off-street Handicap Placard Parking. The board would like to work with the disability commission on a more comprehensive assessment of parking needs. No action, 5--0.
Article 48 - ADA/MAAB Standards in Administration and Enforcement. Mr. Benson says the main motion was reviewed with Ms. Devney, and she was okay with it. He's fine with adding this to the zoning bylaw. Ms. Zsembery thinks it's redundant, but she supports the intent. Favorable action, 5--0.
Article 49 - Sideyard Sky Exposure Planes. There's discussion among board members about the interaction between sky exposure planes and topography. Ms. Zsembery wonders if it's worth spending more time with the applicant. Mr. Lau is on the fence. He agrees with the intent, but isn't confident he understands all of the ramifications. He'd like more study.
Mr. Benson says he doesn't see his main concern addressed. He thinks that whole areas of the R2 district and large parts of the R1 district could not have been built with this bylaw. He thinks it's possible to prevent shadowing of solar panels without resorting to sky exposure planes. He sympathizes with the proponents concern about look at a blank wall, but we aren't building in a rural area.
Mr. Watson wanted a more thorough analysis of what could and couldn't be built. He doesn't think he can move forward without that analysis. He'd favor a more collaborative discussion between the proponent and the board.
Ms. Tintocalis likes the innovation, but she's not ready to move forward at this time.
Ms. Zsembery would like to work with the proponent on a more comprehensive solution.
No Action, 5--0.
This brings us back to Article 35, Industrial Uses.
Ms. Zwirko made a number of the amendments while the board was voting, based on the board's requests.
There's back and fourth about how to word the solar-ready requirement.
The board adds a reference to the town's dark sky bylaws.
Of the 58 parcels in the industrial district, 52 are smaller than 15,000 square feet. The board discusses where to allow 1/2 vs 2/3 of the floor area to be residential. They decide to allow half the floor area, but up to 2/3's if the applicant can prove financial infeasibility.
Favorable Action, 5--0.
Review of Minutes
The board reviews, amends, and approves several sets of meeting minutes.
(Christian Klein) Mr. Klein wants to thank Erin Zwirko for her service to the town.
(Barbara Thornton) Ms. Thornton says she appreciated working with the board on her ADU proposal, and hopes we're learning to navigate a more collaborative process.
(James Fleming) Mr. Fleming thanks the board for their help with his article. He says the board should expect more from him in the future.