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Zoning Board of Appeals — Meeting Minutes — March 1, 2007—7:00 p.m. — Shelburne Town Hall

A duly posted meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals was held at the Shelburne Town Hall, 51 Bridge St, Shelburne.

Present: Joseph Palmeri, Theodore Merrill, John Taylor, Lowell Laporte, Catherine Smith

Absent:  William Sweeney, Laurie MacLeod


Chairman Joseph Palmeri called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.

Palmeri announced that the Board of Selectmen recently appointed two new alternate (aka associate) members to the ZBA; they are Catherine (Kiki) Smith of Cooper Lane, and Laurie MacLeod of Old Albany Road.  The Town Clerk has sworn in both new members.

Palmeri reported his discussion with Town Counsel concerning the involvement of alternate members at hearings.   Town Counsel advised that the five (5) voting members (including any alternates should a regular member be absent or remove him/herself from a hearing) must be identified at the start of a hearing.  Additional members of the board, other than those five, could replace one of the five if one of the voting members became ill or missed a portion of the hearing, provided that the member replacing him/her had attended all other portions of the hearing in question.

Minutes of the February 1, 2007 meeting were read and accepted by the Board.

Taylor reported that two requests for Board minutes were received and provided.  Karen Gould requested meeting minutes for the last five (5) years.  Taylor initially provided all minutes which he had since the Board reorganized in May of 2005.   Gould made a second written request on 02/20/07 for all minutes from the last 5 years.  Taylor located all Board meeting and hearing minutes that were in the ZBA files for the past five (5) years and provided to Gould via the Town Clerk on 02/27/07.

Palmeri recessed the meeting at 7:15pm for the purpose of a Public Hearing on the request of Mitchell Excavating Inc to operate a concrete batch plant at its current location on Mohawk Trail.

Following the hearing, which was continued until 03/29/07 at 7:00pm, Palmeri called the regular meeting to order at 7:24pm.

Attorney Michael Pill, as attorney for Pioneer Nutritional Formulas Inc of 304 Shelburne Center Road, asked to address the board.  Pill reported that he had filed suit at Land Court against Mitchell Excavating, the Town of Shelburne, and others concerning Mitchell’s application and the wording of our Zoning Bylaws.  With the stipulation that Pill only address his concerns about the bylaw and not discuss the Mitchell application Pill was allowed to continue.   Pill stated that the commercial section 6.0 of the bylaws appears contradictory as it starts with exclusionary language and then changes to inclusionary language, numbering in sections 6.0 and 7.0 are confusing, and that the bylaws have no special permit criteria.  Members of the Board pointed out that: the Board uses criteria set forth in the Rules and Regulations, the Board has supported inclusion of such language as recently as ad hoc zoning meetings this year, and the Planning Board has attempted to clarify all uses by adding a use table but the changes have not made it to a Town vote.  Pill contended that those actions do not solve the “problem” with the bylaw as it exists, and the intent of the suit in Land Court is to gain a formal ruling to validate the concerns.

Merrill reported that he had attended the Ad Hoc Zoning Meeting on 1/26/07 but did not have an opportunity to present our Board’s questions.

Palmeri reviewed the process of locating members to fill the vacant alternate positions: Over the past several weeks I have worked to get two ZBA alternate members appointed to the board.  Two residents had previously expressed interest, however Mary Beth Koreman did not return phone calls and John Walsh declined at this time due to workload but left the window open for later.   Next I contacted three other people put forward by the selectboard: James Wholey declined, Kiki Smith and Laurie MacLeod agreed to serve.  They were appointed by the selectmen at their 2/22/07 meeting and sworn in shortly after.  Prior to leaving for the selectmens’ meeting that night, Bruce Stetson stopped by my residence and left with me a letter requesting that his name be put into consideration for a position on the ZBA.  That letter is presented to you tonight for the files.  Others also brought forward for consideration (but not yet contacted) are Alain Peteroy and Natalie McCormick.

The Board received a copy of A Guide to the MA Public Records Law.  This topic will be reviewed at the next meeting.

Irene DeJackome, Chair of the Board of Health, requested time to meet with the board.  DeJackome had concerns about two businesses that received permits (one a B&B and one an art school), as the Board of Health was not notified of those new businesses.  Discussion on the process of how boards and committees should effectively notify one another.  Ultimately DeJackome was referred to Jim Hawkins, Building Inspector and Zoning Enforcement Officer, who issued the permits in question, to continue the discussion.

The Board reviewed some of the bylaws, rules, and reference materials with new member Catherine (Kiki) Smith.

Merrill moved, and Smith seconded, a motion to adjourn at 8:52pm.  So voted.

Respectfully submitted,

John E Taylor