Arlington Redevelopment Board - Jun 18th, 2018

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Town hall, second floor Annex.

Leader Bank, 180 Mass. Ave, request for repetitive petition. Leader bank requests approval to submit a repetitive petition for a sign at 180 Mass ave. The new proposal has a different design, different size, and different wording. For example, the words "corporate headquarters" do not appear in the new design. The drawings submitted tonight are not final, but they are different enough to warrant reconsideration.

Board votes 4--0, in favor of granting the applicant's request for a repeat petition.

Central School Building. ACA has been permitted to use space in the Gibbs school, for a lump fee. The organization plans to have its new space ready in September or October, which means they need extra time in the Gibbs. This is a result of construction delays, which resulted from a variety of factors: financing, the need for more electrical work, and a leaky roof. ACA is requesting a three-month extension of their lease.

Board votes 4--0, in favor of authorizing the extended lease.

The central school building needs repairs: additional work on the roof, mortar and join repairs, and measures to prevent ice dam formation. There is a design to repair the Academy Street stairs. Driveway reconstruction is on hold, in order to deal with drainage issues. Sterling Associates has been contracted for remediation work on the first floor, and some work on the second floor. Next spring, town meeting will be presented with a budget for additional construction. The roof and stairs are the most safety-critical issues.

Board Rules and Regulations Draft The ARB has a draft set of regulations, which are based on material taken from the ZBL. The draft is more comprehensive than the ZBL was, and it's been reviewed by town counsel. This version still needs revision before it can become a final draft, which would be the subject of a later public hearing.

ARB filing fees have not changed in the last 15 years. Jenny Raitt would prefer that fees cover the cost of legal advertisements. The proposed fee is $500/application.

Proposed filing deadlines closely mirror Novus Agenda submission deadlines.

The board discusses several rules in the draft regulations.

Signs (rule 18). The regulation was incorporated from a separate document. It covers sign modifications that satisfy the conditions of a previously-issued permit. The town would like some ability to give administrative approval, where only minor modifications are involved.

Filing Deadlines (rule 10). Kin Lau suggests that materials should be submitted one week in advance of hearings. This would provide board members with an extra day or two for review.

David Watson asks where the wording in Rule 6 comes from. It comes directly from 40A. David suggests the rule cite the relevant section of 40A.

Rule 7 refers to a "charter" -- does the down have a charter? Yes, it's the town manager act, and the rule should refer to it as such.

David Watson asks if rule 9 is achievable? If we get a stenographer, then it definitely is. The town is planning to hire one.

Rule 11 -- there's a question about why the town notifies abutters, rather than making the applicant responsible for notification. Other town boards (like the Conservation Commission) place the burden of responsibility on the applicant. However, verifying that the applicant has given notice takes nearly as much effort as sending notices. The board may consider this at some point.

Rule 14 -- the board asks if it's necessary for applicants to include a model. Andrew Bunnell would like the model to be optional, at the discretion of the board. The board notes that a 3D rendering would work just as well. For now, the board would like to change the wording to "model or 3D rendering". They may make additional changes to this provision at a later time, after the regulations have been adopted.

There's a discussion about giving the DPCD director authority to sign documents on the board's behalf, after the board has voted. The board doesn't object, but several members want the opportunity to review final wording before anything is signed. Jenny Raitt will discuss this with town Counsel.

The board chooses July 23rd as a tentative hearing date for the new rules and regulations.

Meeting Minutes. The subject is continued to a future meeting.

DPCD Community Forums and Meetings. DPCD recently hosted a forum on municipal vulnerability preparedness (MVP), a visioning forum for Arlington heights, and forum on housing production. There will be a forum on Whittemore Park improvements later this week. The MVP forum talked a lot about the effects of climate change. At some point in time, the ARB may need to consider climate change in their review processes.

How is the town doing towards meeting its 40B goals for affordable housing? The town has 5\% affordable units, which is to say that it's at half of the 40B threshold. We won't be able to meet 40B thresholds without changes to policy and practices.

DPCD is in the process of hiring a transportation planner, and they just hired a new administrative assistant.

Recodified Zoning Bylaw. The attorney general approved our new zoning bylaw.

The town put out an RFP for work to the signs section and business districts. There were no responses to this RFP. DPCD plans to revise and re-post the RFP.

The zoning bylaw review committee is still in the process of being formed.