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Zoning Board of Appeals — Meeting Minutes — December 4, 2008
Selectmen's Office

A duly posted meeting of the Shelburne Zoning Board of Appeals was held at the Selectmen's Meeting Room at Town Hall, 51 Bridge Street, Shelburne, on December 4, 2008.

Members Present: Joseph Palmeri, William Sweeney, John Taylor, Lowell Laporte, Theodore Merrill
Clerk: Faye Whitney
Members Absent: Laurie Bluver-MacLeod
Others Present: Catherine Smith (as an abutter, not as a ZBA member), Charles Cohn, Mark Cook of Lightower

Chair Joe Palmeri called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.

Ted Merrill moved, and Bill Sweeney seconded, that the minutes of July 17, be accepted.
Voting in favor: Joe, Palmeri, Ted Merrill, Bill Sweeney
Opposed: None
Abstaining: John Taylor, Lowell Laporte

At 7:20 p.m. a pre-hearing, as stipulated by Section 16 of the town bylaws, was held concerning the installation of telecommunications equipment at the SBA Tower site off Cooper Lane. According to Mark Cook, T-Mobile would like to co-locate on a tower owned by SBA. T-Mobile would install a set up of 6 panel antennae that would be 4 1/2 feet tall at the 147-foot center mark of the existing tower. On the ground would be a concrete pad and several equipment cabinets, similar to those already in place. The new concrete pad would be approximately 15 feet square. The current fenced in compound is not large enough to accommodate the new pad so the proposed solution is to "bump out" the fenced compound 4 1/2 feet in one direction and 38 1/2 feet in the other. The bump out would push the compound perimeter to the edge of the property boundary line.

Mr. Cook said as proposed the new fenced in area would not meet side yard setback requirements and it would be appropriate to ask for a dimensional variance.

Mr. Palmeri asked if the assumption should be made that SBA has done the necessary structural studies and knew that the tower would support the additional equipment. Mr. Cook said he had that information and provided it to the Board. The Board requested a letter from the property owner (SBA) appointing T-Mobile as their agent. They also requested a copy of T-Mobile's FCC license.

Mr. Palmeri questioned whether the fence line was the same as the property line. Mr. Cook said he understood that there was a marker on the property line and the 4 1/2 foot extension was within it. He said that space within the existing compound was restricted due to other equipment already in place and that carriers always prefer to stay within an existing compound and only expand it when necessary.

Speaking as an abutter, Catherine Smith said that the property is 100-feet square. Mr. Palmeri said side and rear setbacks are 20 feet and the front setback is 25 feet. It appears that the proposed new area will be only two feet from the side boundary.

Mr. Taylor said a registered surveyor should submit plans then the procedure could go two ways, asking for a dimensional variance or if the pre-existing structure were non-conforming an option would be to ask for an extension of an existing non-conforming use.

The pre-hearing closed at 8:15 p.m.

The regular Board meeting resumed at 8:20 p.m. with a discussion on how to handle minutes in regards to drafts, approved copies and whether approved minutes needed to be signed and by whom. Mr. Taylor and Faye Whitney will work together to create a system for the minutes.

Lowell Laporte moved to approve the meeting minutes if Nov. 13. This was seconded by Mr. Sweeney.
Voting in favor: John Taylor, Lowell Laporte, Ted Merrill, Joe Palmeri
Opposed: None
Abstaining: Bill Sweeney

Ted Merrill moved to approve the ITW hearing minutes of Nov. 13. This was seconded by Mr. Laporte.
Voting in favor: John Taylor, Lowell Laporte, Ted Merrill, Joe Palmeri
Opposed: None
Abstaining: Bill Sweeney

Mr. Laporte moved to approve the meeting minutes of Nov. 20. This was seconded by Mr. Sweeney. Following an amendment to the draft minutes, the vote was as follows.
Voting in favor: John Taylor, Lowell, Laporte, Ted Merrill, Joe, Palmeri, Bill Sweeney
Opposed: None
Abstaining: None

Mr. Sweeney moved to approve the ITW hearing minutes of Nov. 20. This was seconded by Mr. Merrill. Following an amendment to the draft minutes, the vote was as follows.
Voting in favor: John Taylor, Lowell Laporte, Ted Merrill, Joe Palmeri, Bill Sweeney.
Opposed: None
Abstaining: None

A brief discussion was held on the memo of agreement between the Board and Industrial Tower and Wireless. It was thought that before the memo was sent the approximate costs should be determined.

The Board agreed to start a list of future bylaws that should be reviewed and possibly changed to be proposed to the Planning Board.

Mr. Taylor said he had received an email from Dolly Wrona of Northeast Utilities explaining why a 20-foot dipole antenna needs to be on the top of their new tower instead of on the side. He asked if the letter should be sent out for an independent review to get an expert opinion. An independent expert could determine if the numbers justify putting the antenna on top rather than on the side. Bylaws state that an applicant must prove a need for a tower that is outside of the designed tower zone. Cromack Industries was mentioned as a technical expert. The cost would be less than $5,000 so there would be no need to go out to bid.

Mr. Sweeney made a motion, seconded by Mr. Laporte, to contract with Cromack Industries to review the technical data for the ITW tower, and to attend a hearing with ITW, for a price not to exceed $1,750.

Voting in favor: John Taylor, Bill Sweeney, Lowell Laporte, Joe Palmeri, Ted Merrill.
Opposed: None
Abstaining: None

At 9:45 Mr. Sweeney moved that the meeting be adjourned. This was seconded by Mr. Laporte. The vote in favor was unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,
Faye Whitney, Clerk