Zoning Board of Appeals - Nov 3rd, 2021

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Meeting held via remote participation. Materials were available from https://arlington.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/DisplayAgendaPDF.ashx?MeetingID=1461.

Comprehensive Permit - Thorndike Place

This is the second night of deliberation on the draft decision for Thorndike Place.

Condition C.1(d). The last paragraph mentions a three-year period where the applicant removes and replaces failed plants. Mr. Dupont asks when the three-year period starts -- after planting, or after the certificate of occupancy is issued. He suggests rewording to say something like "after planting or the certificate of occupancy is issued, whichever is later".

Condition C.1(f). Suggestion to rephrase "dead, failing, or diseased plantings". There should also be a clearer obligation to plant what's listed in the planting plan.

There are a number of places where "Building Commissioner" is replaced with "Director of Inspectional Services"; the latter is the correct title.

The board tries to recall whether the commitment to an all-electric building included the duplexes. The applicant affirmed their plans to make the multi-family building electric, but no one can recall if this statement was made about the six duplex dwellings.

Condition C.2(e). There's discussion about the regulatory agreement with MassHousing. Counsel Paul Haverty says the regulatory agreement must be finalized and recorded prior to the issuance of a building permit.

Conditions C.2(m) and C.2(n). These conditions have been reworked to contemplate the possibility that the Town and Applicant might not come to agreement on an MOU for the disposition of the conservation parcel. There's a question about what the term "hazardous waste" means in this section. The board seems to settle on using the definition from MGL Chapter 21E.

Condition D.1. We'll use the 1165R decision language for the section involving a pre-construction meeting.

Condition D.2(4). There's a question about whether to include rodent management. The board thinks that rodent management could be added to D.2(4), if there's not a specific provision elsewhere in the decision.

Condition D.6. We reword the condition so that any repair of damaged sewer lines is the responsibility of the applicant, rather than the responsibility of the applicant's contractor.

Condition D.10. This condition is a duplicate; we'll remove it.

Condition D.11. The substance of this condition was moved to C.1(i).

Condition D.13. We add the phrase "to the greatest extent feasible".

Condition D.16. This condition covers hours of operation for construction. The applicants were agreeable to limiting construction hours to 7:30 - 4:30 on weekdays, and not working on Sundays or legal holidays. We didn't discuss Saturday hours during the public hearings. Mr. Ford suggests limiting Saturdays to a half day of work. Mr. Revilak asks if we've limited Saturday hours for other projects. Mr. Hanlon will research the statute and get back to the board.

Condition D.8. There's a discussion about vibration levels caused by ground monitoring and vibration monitoring. Mr. Ford reads notes he took during the March 11, 2021 hearing. The Chair asks Mr. Ford to send him any specific condition language he'd suggest.

Condition D.21. Discussion about snow removal. The applicant will need to clear snow from the rear access drive; that's in the AURA, which is a resource area under local bylaws. We'll come back to this; there should be a cross reference to one of the conditions in section I.

Condition D.24. There are questions about wear and tear on Dorothy Road.

Condition E.1(c). Mr. Mills would like the fire department to approve the level of site access provided.

Conditions E.1 and E.2. One section talks about conditions that must be met in order to get a certificate of occupancy for an individual building, and the other talks about a certificate of occupancy for the project as a whole. Mr. Revilak asks if certificates of occupancy are typically phased. Mr. Haverty says that E.1 would apply to the certificate of occupancy for any building, and E.2 would apply for the very last certificate of occupancy issued.

Condition E.2(b). We'll re-number this as E.3.

Condition F.2. We wanted a condition that deliveries to the senior housing building would be made with "smaller vehicles". We'll say "non-articulated vehicles (i.e., no tractor trailers)" in the condition.

Condition F.3. There's a fair amount of discussion on how to word the condition about the Jitney Service. The board wants to ensure the jitney provides a useful service to residents, and reduces transportation demand. However, the board recognizes that it can't predict the future needs of the community that will live there. We'll review the transportation comments from August and come back to this condition.

Condition F.7. We add "getting around Arlington and surrounding communities sustainably". This is in reference to an informational packet that the applicant will have to provide to new residents.

Condition F.10. Reworded to "at least 10 EV charging stations", and "at least the capacity for 10 more".

Condition G.8. Change "access system" to "access control system".

During the next hearing, we'll pick up with Conditions section H.

Upcoming Dates

Upcoming dates for the board include:

  • Nov 9th. Two special permit hearings.
  • Nov 11th. Deliberation on Thorndike Place
  • Nov 16th. Deliberation on Thorndike Place
  • Nov 23rd. Four hearings. Potential deliberation on Thorndike Place.
  • Nov 30th. Deadline for rendering a decision.

Meeting adjourned.