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Planning Board Minutes, 10/24/2017
Town of Lenox
Planning Board
Land Use Meeting Room
October 24, 2017

Members present:  Chair Pam Kueber, (PK); Kate McNulty-Vaughan, (KMV); Deborah Rimmler, (DR)
Absent with notification: Tom Delasco, (TD)  
Absent without notification: Kameron Spaulding, (KS)
Staff present: Gwen Miller, Land Use Director, (GM); Peggy Ammendola, Land Use Clerk, (PA)
Also present:  Jim Biancola

The meeting was called to order at 6:05 PM.

Documents provided for this meeting:
  • Agenda
  • Minutes from September 12th and 26th and October
  • Section 1. General Regulations, 1.1. Signs from the Zoning Bylaw-4 pages
  • Meeting Calendar Topics from present through December 2018
  • Section 1208 of the Building Code-Interior Space Dimensions
Form A-Patrick McColgan of Taconic Land Consultants presented the Form A for property owned by Kyle King, 64 Sherwood Dr., Map 48 Parcels 19 & 20.

Mr. McColgan stated that the Kings wish to add on to their home, but do not meet the side setbacks; therefore there is a “swap” of land with the neighbor to their north. This will then enable them to build the addition.   Using the survey, Mr. McColgan pointed out the area affected.

KMV disclosed that she knows the Kings.    

DR made a motion to approve the Form A and KMV seconded the motion. The Board voted to approve 3-0.  

Review proposed updates to Sign bylaws – with Jim Biancola-PK stated that there should not be the expectation that the Board would be able to get through a re-write at this meeting as this will not be on the warrant for the November Special Town Meeting and it is not anticipated that it would even be ready for the May 2018 Annual Town Meeting. The purpose of this review is to see what Mr. Biancola has done and the process he followed and then the Board would set a time in the future for further review.

Mr. Biancola told the Board that he had heard at a Lenox board meeting five years ago of the frustrations of a local bank having to spend up to 2 ½ years of elapsed time before getting through each of the official organizations that needed to approve their drive up window signage. Table 1.1.1 was created to simplify the process for individuals so that they didn’t have to hire a sign company consultant.   He has used text from the existing zoning bylaw in creating the table.  

In reviewing Table 1.1.1, the Board wrestled with the sequence in which an individual should contact the Building Commissioner, and different boards/commissions.  Discussion continued, some edits were made and it was suggested that “BC” (Building Commissioner) be deleted from the cells and the two following sentences be added to the section:
  • All signs require a building permit issued by the Building Commissioner.
  • After obtaining initial approval from the following boards, you must obtain a building permit from the Building Commissioner.
The Board continued to review items 1.1.2 through 1.1.6 and made suggested changes and the consolidation of 1.1.2 and 1.1.3.

Briefly the Board looked at Table 1.1.6-Commercial and Industrial District Sign Requirements.  PK suggested this table be divided into four tables and to remove asterisks.

The discussion was concluded at this point and PK will communicate with Mr. Biancola on selecting a future date for resuming the review.  He will continue his work and meet with GM to integrate notes and added that he would like this to be on the warrant for the May Annual Town Meeting.   

Approve Minutes:
        September 12, 2017-DR made a motion to approve the minutes with an edit and PK seconded the motion. The Board voted to approve 3-0.
        September 26, 2017- DR made a motion to approve the minutes and PK seconded the motion.  The Board voted to approve 2-0-1. KMV abstained as she had not read the minutes.  
        October 10, 2017-DR made a motion to approve the minutes with one change. PK seconded the motion. The Board voted to approve 3-0.

Updates on recent meetings-

BPRC Regional Issues meeting - PK shared that she learned square footage cannot be regulated in residential uses. GM responded that she was confused by BRPC’s statement on that regulation and said that many communities have minimum square footage requirements for apartments.  Our bylaw has a limitation on Accessory Dwelling Units.  There was discussion on the limitations imposed by the Department of Health (state level) and the state building code. GM shared Section 1208 Interior Space Dimensions of the Building Code, but commented that she was not sure this information was up to date.  

Short Term Rentals (STR) subcommittee – Forums will be held on November 14th. The first one is 3 to 4:30 PM and the second will be 6 to 7:30 PM. The survey form is complete.  There was discussion on how to prepare for these sessions, in particular seating and participants, and then follow up after the forums.  The latter would be meeting with various groups, e.g., Chamber of Commerce, Realtors, and possibly an All Boards meeting.  DR said that she spoke to Building Inspector Jeff Clemons today who informed her that state regulations for STR were effective October 20th and until January 1, 2018, the previous regulations and new ones can be used concurrently.  Mr. Clemons told DR that he wants to look into the new regulations, talk to the state and then put something together for the Board. He will also do some follow up on Accessory Dwelling Units.
Affordable Housing-KMV said that on October 17th, she, GM, Mary Beth Mitts and Charlene Rosen toured the Cable Mills project in Williamstown, followed by two open ended sessions with the Williamstown affordable housing group and Andrew Groff, Director of Community Development.  She stated that the meetings which included discussion on multi-family housing, affordability issues, and impacts on neighborhoods were both inspiring and interesting.  

Other business:
  • The Special Town Meeting is set for November 2, 2017. The warrant item for the Master Plan is on the website.  
Next meeting-This is the Stone Path Development hearing and it is scheduled for November 7th.

DR made a motion to adjourn. KMV seconded the motion and the Board voted to agree 3-0. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.  
Respectfully submitted,
Peggy Ammendola

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