Planning and Zoning Board
Town Hall, Lower Conference Room
Thursday, October 25, 2018
In attendance: John Bethoney (Chair), Robert Aldus (Clerk), James O’Brien, Jessica Porter, Michael Podolski
Alternate member: Ralph Steeves
Staff: Jennifer Doherty, Jarret Katz
Consultant: Steve Finlan, McMahon Associates
Chairman John Bethoney called the meeting at 7:00pm.
327 WHITING AVENUE, APPLICANT John Aplin – Temporary Occupancy Dedham Zoning Bylaw 5.2.4
John Alpin and Scott Henderson presented that 327 Whiting Avenue was near completion and requesting a temporary occupancy permit. According to Mr. Henderson all the requirements for occupancy is finished and some landscaping and fencing will be done in the next few weeks. The paving cannot be completed until spring of 2019.
Member Michael Podolski asked if the temporary occupancy requested was through May 23, 2019 and if the building department had signed off on all the permitting. Mr. Henderson answered in the affirmative to both questions and that the planning department said they need Planning Board action as the final step.
Alternate Member Ralph Steeves noted the the project looked “like a million bucks”. Member Jessica Porter asked if the current paving was safe for pedestrians, bikes and other vehicles and Mr. Henderson said it was.
Member Podolski moved to approve the temporary occupancy through May 23, 2019 with the expectation the remaining items would be completed.
Vote was unanimous.
DISCUSSION Costco proposal to construct egress curb cut from gas station to improve traffic flow from site, returning from initial discussion back in February 2018
Representatives from Costco presented to the Board plans to alleviate traffic in the current parking lot and road ways leading into the parking lot.
Members asked various questions regarding how traffic flow was determined, if stop signs had been considered and asked to be shown additional plans. Costco representatives agreed to present at a later meeting.
[NOT ON ORIGINAL AGENDA] 530 Providence Highway re: grading of new pavement
Town Planner Jarret Katz explained to the Board that the Conservation Commission raised concerns about the grading of the paving of the parking lot at 530 Providence Highway and were asking why the change was made. Property owner Frances Gobbi explained that he was updating the property to comply with federal ADA regulations. In order to avoid ramps or steps the grade was raised to have the paving meet the building entrance.
Member Podolski asked if the Conservation Commission was concerned about storm water flowing onto Mah Way which borders the property. There was ongoing discussion between the property owner and Board members regarding what the concerns were and how best to resolve the issue.
Article 13 for November 26, 2018, Special Town Meeting - For a Planned Residential Development (“PRD”) at 219 Lowder Street
Peter Zahka presented as the attorney for the project with seven dwelling units on a property near Ursuline Academy. The units are two-bedrooms, under 2,000 square feet and there were be parking under the building. There will be 21% open space on the property. There have been two sessions with neighbors.
Attorney Zahka asked the Planning Board to recommend Article 13 to Town Meeting. If adopted the applicant would be back before the Planning Board with more specific planning proposals.
Chair Bethoney asked if there were any public comments and there were none. Chair asked if there were any comments from Board Members and there were none.
Planning board voted unanimously to support sending Article 13 to Town Meeting.
Article 14 for November 26, 2018, Special Town Meeting re: Mixed Use Developments
To see if the Town will vote to amend the Zoning Bylaws, Section 7.4 entitled “MIXED USE DEVELOPMENTS,” as follows:
Item 1. Insert a new section 126.96.36.199, as follows: In order to establish a Mixed Use Development, a comprehensive concept plan, including identification of all special permits that may be required, shall be submitted to the Planning Board for review. If approved by the Planning Board, the Planning Board shall then recommend the concept plan to Town Meeting for its approval; if the plan is the subject of a petitioned article, it shall be referred to the Planning Board for its review and the Planning Board shall provide a recommendation prior to or at Town Meeting. If the concept plan is approved by Town Meeting, any special permits or site plans approved by the Planning Board hereunder shall conform to such concept plan.
Item 2. Amend Section 188.8.131.52 by inserting the following underlined language:
A Mixed Use Development may be allowed only upon issuance of a Special Permit by the Planning Board and after Town Meeting approval of the concept plan submitted under Section 184.108.40.206
Item 3. Amend Section 220.127.116.11 by inserting the following underlined language:
If a concept plan is approved by Town Meeting under Section 18.104.22.168 and such Mixed Use Development application or project also requires other Special Permits, the Planning Board shall be the Special Permit Granting Authority (SPGA) for all such Special Permits.
Item 4. By inserting a new Section 22.214.171.124 as follows:
A detailed site development plan conforming to the approved concept plan shall be submitted to the Planning Board and shall show and identify all work to be performed and construction to be undertaken with such detail as is required for site plans, including all elevations, and use of all buildings. The procedure for the review and approval of the detailed development plans shall follow, so far as apt, the approval regulations and procedures for a definitive subdivision plan, including the requirement for a covenant or security to guarantee the performance of all work in accordance with the plan and the schedule approved by the Planning Board.
The Planning Board acknowledged that there had not been proper notice to surrounding communities regarding this Article. The discussion would be continued to November 8th at 7:15.
The Chair announced at 7:52pm there would be a 5 minute recess.
The meeting reconvened at 8:15pm.
26 Bryant Street, Dedham Special Permit for a Major Nonresidential Project, Applicant Town of Dedham, Jim Kern – Town Manager
A presentation was made regarding the Public Safety Facility to meet the needs of the Police and Fire Departments. This is Phase II of the municipal campus and construction will begin once the new Town Hall is completed and town hall staff have left the old building. There was discussion about trash removal, snow removal and if there are enough parking spots for employees, people using the senior center and as well as those going to Town Hall.
There was additional discussion about landscaping and how best to show what the design will look like when first planted and not when fully grown.
The Chair asked if it was typical to have a gathering area near a fire and/or police department and the presented explained that while not typical, since this is a municipal campus there is a need to allow for some community use and for Town Hall staff to be able to sit outside.
Member Podolski asked about the height of the radio tower and the Police Chief explained that the town had to be 120 feet to allow clear lines of communication between towers.
Jim Kern was asked about the timeline moving forward and he explained the project started in August, 2016 and originally planned to have everyone moved in by July, 2017. Now the plan is to have construction completed by March, 2019 and everyone moved in by May, 2019.
Steve Findlen of McMahon Associates detailed 26 issues regarding the Public Safety building as outlined in a letter dated October 18, 2018 to the Town Planner. Those issues include:
Chair asked if anyone wanted to be heard about this matter. There were no comments.
Member Jessica Porter noted that there was a positive description in Hub for Great Suburban Design about Providence Place and how Dedham was an example of how to transform strip malls.
Meeting adjourned at 10:16pm
Notes taken by Allison Staton
Notes reviewed by Heather Springer
Keywords: Planning Board, Costco, Municipal Campus, Public Safety
Our goal is to provide Notes that report on events and meetings as objectively as possible. To this end, Correspondents are given guidelines and a template, and are asked to identify potential conflicts of interests they may have. In addition, each set of Notes is reviewed by at least one member of our Editorial Team. You can read our guidelines here.
Community Notes are not official minutes or transcriptions of a meeting. They are intended to provide summaries of discussion and actions taken at meetings. For official meeting minutes, visit the Town of Dedham’s website or contact the Town Clerk.