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Planning Board Minutes, 03/18/2009
Town of Lenox
Planning Board
March 18, 2009
Town Hall Auditorium

Members present: Chair Joe Kellogg, JK; Kate McNulty-Vaughan, KM-V; Steve Sample, SS; Ken Fowler, KF and Gary Schiff, GS.

Staff present:  Mary Albertson, Town Planner, MA.

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 pm.

Members worked on preparing their report to the March 24, 2009 Special Town Meeting regarding the proposed amendments to the Zoning Bylaw.  

Article 1 - Open Space Flexible Development Bylaw

JK said several detailed comments had been received from Jim Biancolo.  Members reviewed Mr. Biancolo’s comments and agreed that his changes were not substantive and helped clarify the document.  Members agreed that the following changes should be included:

1.      Section 7.7.2 - The last sentence has been revised for clarity.
2.      Section 7.7.5.3 - The second sentence has been revised clarity.  
3.      Section 7.7.8 - In the second sentence the word “percentage” has been   replaced with “ratio”.  The quotation marks have been removed in the last       sentence.
        4.      Section 7.7.10 – The last sentence has been revised for clarity.
        5.      Throughout the bylaw the term “Basic Maximum Number of Dwelling                         Units”  has been revised to “Maximum Number of Dwelling Units”.
        6.      Section 7.7.13.3 – Comas deleted in the fourth sentence.
        7.      Section 7.7.14 – The section has been revised for clarity.

Members discussed whether the Planning Board or ZBA should be the permit granting authority.  JK noted that there had been discussion to streamline the permitting process by having the Zoning Board of Appeals be the permit granting authority for all Special Permits.   It was agreed that the Planning Board should be the permit granting authority for the OSFD and the Zoning Board of Appeals should be the permit granting authority for the Inclusionary Housing Bylaw.  If an applicant wishes to develop an OSFD project and wishes to take advantage of the density bonuses offered in the Inclusionary Bylaw it will provide an extra protection to the town by providing  two layers of review.  

JK asked members if they wished to discuss Section 7.7.9 Types of Buildings.   This section of the bylaw generated comment at the public hearing.  The majority of the members indicated they would like to recommend that it be reduced to “three (3) dwelling units”.  

KM-V made a motion to recommend that Article 1 be approved with the language changes suggested by Jim Biancolo, with the change from 4 dwelling units to 3 dwelling units and to keep the Planning Board as the special permit granting authority.  KF seconded the motion and the Board voted 5-0 to approve the motion.  

Article 2 - Open Space Flexible Development Bylaw Map Change

SS made a motion to recommend that Article 2 which would change the Zoning Map to   read “Open Space Flexible Development” as opposed to “Open Space Residential Development” be approved.  GS seconded the motion and the Board voted 5-0 to approve the motion.

Article 3– Inclusionary Zoning Bylaw

JK said several detailed comments on this bylaw were also received from Jim Biancolo.  Members reviewed Mr. Biancolo’s comments and agreed that his changes were not substantive and helped clarify the document.  Members agreed that the following changes should be included:

1.      Section 7.8.1.3 – This section has been revised for clarity.
2.      Section 7.8.2 – The definitions have been revised for clarity.  The second      sentence of definition 3 has been moved to section 7.8.5.2.c.
3.      Section 7.8.3 has been revised by adding #2 to clarify that applicants may      voluntarily include affordable housing units.   
3.      Section 7.8.5.1 - In the third sentence has been revised for clarity.
        4.      Section 7.8.5.2.b – The last sentence has been revised for clarity.
        5.      Section 7.8.6.1.d has been combined with section 7.8.6.3.

KF made a motion to recommend that Article 3 be approved with the language changes suggested by Jim Biancolo.  KM-V seconded the motion and the Board voted 5-0 to approve the motion.  

Article 4– Items 1 – 4 Estate Preservation Area

The Planning Board discussed Article 4 – Item 1.  This change would allow a Great Estate Inn as a by-right use.    JK noted that the Board received written comments regarding additional language that more clearly outlines the purpose of a Great Estate Inn. The consensus of the members was the additional language should be added.  

Members discussed Article 4 – Item 2 and the consensus of the members was this change would give too much authority to the Zoning Board of Appeals to modify the provision of the bylaw.  

Members discussed Article 4 – Item 3 – This corrects a previous numbering error.  

Members discussed Article 4 – Item 4 and the consensus of the members was they do not support this provision in its current format.  Discussion ensued regarding the need to review Section 6.7 Educational and Religious Uses.  Members would like to remove this section of the bylaw at the Annual Town Meeting.  Last year, the Town received a cautionary warning from the Attorney General on this section of the bylaw.

GS made a motion to recommend that Article 4 – Item 1 including the additional language regarding the purpose of the Great Estate Inn, and Article 4 – Item 3 be approved and that and Article 4 – Items 2 and 4 be deleted.    KM-V seconded the motion and the Board voted 5-0 to approve the motion.  

Article 5 – Administrative Change in Special Permit/Variance Process      

Members agreed that the Town’s past practice was to allow applicants to file for combined special permit and variance applications.  This amendment will allow the town to continue allowing concurrent applications.  

KF made a motion to recommend that Article 5 be approved.  SS seconded the motion and the Board voted 5-0 to approve the motion.  


KM-V made a motion to adjourn at 8:01 pm.  SS seconded the motion and the Board voted 4-0 to adjourn.

Respectfully submitted,


Mary Albertson




 
Lenox Town Hall  6 Walker Street, Lenox, MA 01240   PH: (413) 637-5500