Zoning Board of Appeals - May 26th, 2020

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Docket 3619 - 40 Park Avenue. This special permit hearing is related to use: enclosed recreational facility conducted for profit. The applicant wishes to open a crossfit gym.

The applicant states that the building has 2160 square foot GFA; seven parking spaces are required and they intend to provide eight. The eighth space will be created through the removal of a tree and landscaping. The applicant states they've discussed the tree removal with the tree warden.

The board asks if anything is being built in the right of way in front of the building. The applicant says no.

Steve Revilak asks what kind of bicycle racks the applicant intends to install. The applicant is considering a "wave" rack. Mr. Revilak asks the applicant to consider inverted-U or post-and-loop racks.

Carl Tounayan is an attorney representing an abutting business. He asks how large the crossfit classes will be. The applicant expects 6--10 people per class.

Mr. Tounayan asks how many employees will work at the facility. The applicant says there will be one employee teaching each class.

Mr. Tounayan asks about grading to create the eighth parking space. The applicant says they'll have to fill in the area.

Mr. Tounayan asks the board to (a) limit the maximum class size to eight, or require documentation of additional offsite parking, (b) hire a police detail for each class, to ensure that gym patrons don't park on neighboring properties, (c) require the applicant to obtain approval from the conservation commission, and (d) have all stormwater be retained on-site, according to the town stormwater bylaw.

The applicant's attorney points out that Arlington's ZBL does not require one parking space per building occupant. The two attorneys go back and fourth for a while.

The stormwater bylaw applies when 350 square feet of impervious surface are added to a property. The applicant is not doing this, so the requirements of the stormwater bylaw are not triggered.

Rick Valarelli states that the property is subject to conservation commission jurisdiction. Inspectional services will not issue a building permit without approval from the conservation commission. This is regardless of any action taken by the ZBA.

Patrick Hanlon asks if the applicant is prepared to accept having their TDM plan be a condition of the special permit. The applicant is okay with this. They want to provide good bicycle parking facilities, and to encourage non-automotive forms of transit.

Kevin Mills asks when classes will be held. The applicant plans to have classes during early morning hours, around noon, and then in the evening.

Aaron Ford understands Mr. Tounayan's clients concerns about parking. He suspects that the abutter's patrons might park in 40 park Ave's space (whereas the abutter was concerned about 40 Park Ave's patrons parking in the abutter's spaces). Mr. Ford suggests they work this out in a neighborly fashion.

The board discusses the ZBL's requirements for issuing a special permit.

Permit approved, with conditions pertaining to bicycle parking, TDM, and parking space compliance.

Approval of Minutes. The board approves minutes from the May 12th meeting.

Approval of Decision. The board approves the written decision for 84 Oxford Street.

Administrative Processes and Procedures. Mr. Hanlon would like to see the board set goals, similar to what the ARB and Select Board currently do. He'd also like to ensure the board is properly resourced.

Several board members would like to have projection facilities at ZBA meetings. Meeting attendees would probably find it beneficial to see what the board is discussing during special permit hearings.

There's discussion about using Docusign for electronic document signing.

Christian Klein asks Mr. Valarelli if he has any suggestions for improving the application process. Mr. Valarelli suggests that board members review applications beforehand, and have their questions ready. This generally helps the process go smoothly.

Public Comment. Don Seltzer notes that town IT has installed overhead projectors in several town hall meeting rooms.