Arlington Redevelopment Board - May 16th, 2022
Meeting held via remote participation. Materials were available from https://arlington.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/DisplayAgendaPDF.ashx?MeetingID=1596.
Docket 3690 - 34 Dudley Street
This is an application to build a five-story self-storage facility in the Dudley Street industrial district.
(Jenny Raitt, Planning Director) Ms. Raitt says that the applicant's updates are reflected in the Planning Department memo. They've been responsive to the board's requests regarding signage, solar, detailing the limit of work, bicycle racks, and for truck turning diagrams.
Ms. Raitt says the Department received a correspondence from an abutter who questioned the need for a special permit in order to add fill to the property. That provision of the bylaw is only applicable to the Floodplain Overlay district, and 34 Dudley street is not part of the Floodplain Overlay or Inland Wetland districts. The provision regarding fill isn't applicable because the property isn't in the overlay. She says the applicant understands that they need to file a Notice of Intent with the Conservation Commission.
(Robert Annese, Attorney for the applicant) Mr. Annese says the applicants have tried to be responsive to requests from the board, and made an effort to respond to each item. He disagrees with issues raised in the abutter's letter.
(Eric Gerade, Project Manager) Mr. Gerade says this iteration includes changes to the rain leaders, solar installation details, removing illumination from the office sign, turning diagrams for trucks approaching the loading dock, and replacing the carpool space with a shower.
Mr. Gerade says his team met with the Conservation Commission on May 5th to provide a project update and they've made a formal submission to the Commission. The Commission discussed the adjacent town-owned parcel. Mr. Gerade says he's met with the Parks and Recreation department, who owns the parcel to the rear of the property. They gave the Parks department a presentation on May 10th, and the Parks Department was receptive. He expects to hear from Joe Connolly soon.
The latest plan submission contains details for rooftop solar, which were done by a solar designer.
When doing the truck turning diagrams, the applicants made the assumption that a vehicle was parked directly across the street from the driveway entrance.
(Eugene Benson, ARB) Mr. Benson asks if the applicant is committed to owning and operating the solar installation.
(Jesse Morgan, Applicant) Mr. Morgan says they plan to deliver, use, and operate the solar panels, subject to approval by the electric utility.
(Eugene Benson, ARB) Mr. Benson notes the bylaw requires all storm water to be treated and retained on site. He asks how that will be done.
(Eric Gerade) Mr. Gerade says the stormwater will be collected in a bio retention system. There is an outlet pipe to control higher level flows. The overflow would go where it goes now, which is towards Mill Brook. He says the system will reduce the outflow of a ten-year storm so that it's less than the current two-year storm.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson thinks that a ten-year storm isn't enough, and that the applicants need to do something more in order to meet the requirement.
Regarding the turning diagrams, Mr. Benson believes that nearly every one has the truck impeding on one of the adjacent loading dock spaces. He's concerned about the ability of a truck to make turns if a vehicle is parked in one of those spaces.
(Eric Gerade) Mr. Gerade acknowledges that some of the paths do sweep across an adjacent space.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson doesn't believe they'll be able to make it work for truck turns.
(Kin Lau, ARB) Mr. Benson asks about moving a column to provide more room for turning.
(Eric Gerade) Mr. Gerade says the applicants don't necessarily assume that four of the largest-size truck will be using the loading bay at the same time. He says the loading bay is more of an active area.
(Kin Lau) Mr. Lau says the treatment of the rain leaders is better, but he doesn't love them. He wants to verify that the monument sign was removed from the plans. He believes we'll be in good shape if we can address the truck turning and stormwater questions. Mr. Lau believes that CAD programs usually provide a little more room than the vehicles actually need.
(Rachel Zsembery, ARB Chair) Ms. Zsembery thinks a single vertical rain leader would fit in better with the rest of the building.
(Steve Revilak, ARB) Mr. Revilak says he also wanted to talk about the "retain and treat all stormwater on site" requirement, but he'll hold that under after the public comment period. He asks if the applicants can work with a smaller maximum size of truck.
(Pete Williamson, Applicant) Mr. Williamson says they could do that. He says that the only parking spaces used are the ones closest to the office. From a practical point of view, there's cooperation in the loading area. Every one there is an active participant. He says he'd never be satisfied with a loading area that wouldn't work.
(Steve Revilak) Mr. Revilak says he understands Mr. Benson's concern about the maximum capacity. He also believes that physics will act as a limiting factor -- if a truck can't fit into the loading bay, it will have to wait until space is available. Mr. Revilak believes that the facility's management will be able to handle this.
The chair opens the hearing to public comment.
(Don Seltzer) Mr. Seltzer says the loading bays appear 24' deep, and he believes that trucks will stick out approximately 10'. He tells the board that one of the EDR standards involves safety; he brought this up during the last meeting and the chair set it was outside the board's scope. He says he'll bring his concerns to the building inspector.
There are no other comments from the public.
(Rachel Zsembery) Ms. Zsembery believes the rain leader can be handled via staff review.
(Steve Revilak) Mr. Revilak says he'd like to discuss how the board wants to interpret the requirement to "retain and treat all stormwater on site". He thinks that requirement could be interpreted in a way that's impossible to meet. For example, you don't know what the largest storm in the future will be, and you can't have an infinitely-sized retention system. One could also argue that a groundwater recharge systems doesn't meet this requirement.
To Mr. Revilak, "retain and treat" are part of the same process, and he'd interpret it as "all stormwater must be treated before it's allowed to go offsite". The bylaw doesn't provide us with any guidance about sizing.
Based on the stormwater report submitted for an earlier hearing, Mr. Revilak sees this system as a substantial improvement over existing conditions, and he's satisfied with that.
(Kin Lau) Mr. Lau agrees with what Mr. Revilak said. If there's an ability to add capacity, we can look at that. He's comfortable with it.
(Jenny Raitt) Ms. Raitt says the town engineer and Conservation Commission have been working with the applicant, and that the Conservation Commission has high standards for stormwater management.
(Rachel Zsembery) Ms. Zsembery says she's comfortable with having the applicant work with those other groups.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson says he doesn't want to impose a standard of impossibility, but he's not sure that sizing for a ten-year storm is enough, for two reasons. First, the stormwater requirement is for a height bonus; and second, the outflow will go towards Mill Brook. He'd like to hear the Town Engineer say what's the largest storm that could be retained on site, and he'd like to know if the Conservation Commission agrees.
(Rachel Zsembery) Ms. Zsembery suggests adding a condition that the level of treatment is approved by the Conservation Commission and the town engineer. She'd feel comfortable delegating to them.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson says there are two issues: what's the maximum amount they can retain, and what goes out into Mill Brook. He's not sure that ten years is the right number. He'd like a condition that it's the maximum reasonable storm event that can be retained and treated on site.
(Rachel Zsembery) Ms. Zsembery would like a condition that the final elevations are approved by DPCD.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson would like a condition that the applicants install and operate solar.
Regarding the height of the building and shading, the buildings nearby don't have solar and we allow buildings of this height.
(Note: I seem to remember a condition that a maximum of two 24' trucks be allowed in the loading dock area at any given time, but I don't recall who requested this.)
The board votes to approve the permit with conditions, 4--0 (Ms. Tintocalis was not present).
Docket 3693 - 89 Alpine Street
This is a special permit hearing for a family childcare facility, for up to six children. The applicant is a Spanish speaker, and is speaking to the board through an interpreter.
(Kelly Lynema, Assistant Planning Director) Ms. Lynema says this is an accessory use of family childcare for no more than six children. The operating hours will be 7:30 - 17:30, Monday through Friday. The applicant encourages parents to call before pickup, so she can have their kids ready do go. The applicant has already been licensed by the state.
(Nelly Mayorga, Applicant, via interpreter) Ms. Mayorga says she's already been operating childcare for her family, and has been approved to do so for ten years. She says she went to the city hall and registered, and they told her this new permit was required. She's been working the whole time. With the pandemic, she went to fill out a grant form for federal funds and was told they needed this kind of record. Ms. Mayorga says she meets all of the requirements and has never had problems with her neighbors. There are no cars accumulating during the day. During the springtime, parents walk with their children; they don't come in cars. But she just needs this new kind of record.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson asks if Ms. Mayorga is licensed to care for ten children.
(Nelly Mayorga) Ms. Mayorga says she started with six children, and was then certified for ten children.
The chair opens the hearing for public comment. There is none.
(Eugene Benson) Mr. Benson would like to include the same special condition the board used with the previous family child care permit -- that the applicant maintain their license from the state.
Special permit approved, 4--0 (Ms. Tintocalis was not present)/
The board amends and approves minutes from their April 4th meeting.
The board adjourns to town meeting.