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    Zoning Board of Appeals — Meeting Minutes — November 10, 2009

    A duly posted special meeting of the Shelburne Zoning Board of Appeals was held at the Main Meeting Room at Town Hall, 51 Bridge Street, Shelburne, on November 10, 2009.

    Members Present: Joseph Palmeri, John Pollard, William Sweeney, Lowell Laporte, John Taylor, Theodore Merrill
    Members Absent: Catherine Smith
    Others present: Daniel Finnegan, Carl Gehring

    Chairman Joe Palmeri called the meeting to order at 7:05pm. It is noted that the regular monthly meeting on the first Thursday (11/5/2009) was canceled due to scheduling conflicts.

    The Chair opened discussion about the ongoing discussion with SBA Properties about their tower located at 202 Cooper Lane Road and the Board's ongoing concerns about the tower removal and road maintenance bonding.

    Palmeri recognized attorney Daniel Finnegan of Buckley, Richardson and Gelinas LLP who is representing SBA Properties before the Board. Finnegan presented a letter from FDH Engineering supporting SBA's original bond amount of $38,250 as an appropriate cost for the removal of the tower if necessary. Finnegan also proposed that SBA increase the tower removal bond amount to $50,000 which would also provide a means of funding access road repairs, if necessary, in the event the site was abandoned. SBA is willing to increase the tower removal bond amount in lieu of providing a separate road maintenance bond. Finnegan has contacted Town Counsel and negotiated this proposal. Taylor reported that Town Counsel reported to him that her opinion is that this is a good compromise and seems to address the Board's and Town's needs. The Board discussed with Finnegan its concerns about access and SBA's slow response to its questions.

    Laporte moved to accept the removal estimate of $38,250; and a $50,000 tower removal bond from SBA Properties as sufficient to cover tower removal and for providing access to the site to remove the tower if it becomes necessary. Taylor seconded. The motion was voted unanimously with Pollard abstaining as the "alternate" member for this specific vote.

    Once the promised $50,000 bond is received the original bond and amendments will be provided to the Town Treasurer for retention. Copies will be made for the recent Omnipoint and Verizon Wireless hearing files.

    Pollard suggested the Board seek tower removal bonds from all other tower owners.

    Palmeri opened discussion on the application of RCC Atlantic Inc dba Verizon Wireless for their proposed project at 202 Cooper Lane Road. The Board reviewed information from the submission and public hearing. Conditions desirable to protect the public interest were formulated. Based on the Board's findings:

    Sweeney moved the Zoning Board of Appeals determine that, in accord with Section 10.1.2, and based on the information provided at the public hearing and complete written submission dated 08/20/2009 and plans dated 9/2/2009, the installation of antennae, equipment shelter, and ancillary equipment by RCC Atlantic Inc d/b/a/ Verizon Wireless, at the SBA Properties tower located at 202 Cooper Lane Road, will not be substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood than the existing use and/or structure. Pollard seconded. Following discussion the motion was approved.

    Voting in favor: Sweeney, Palmeri, Taylor, Pollard, Laporte
    Voted opposed: None
    Abstaining: Merrill

    Sweeney then moved the Zoning Board of Appeals approve the Architectural & Engineering Plans dated 09/02/2009 submitted by RCC Atlantic Inc. dba Verizon Wireless, based on the information provided at the public hearing, the applicant's complete written submission dated 08/20/2009, site survey dated 01/08/2002 by Millman Surveying Inc, and the findings of the Board, for the installation of antennae, equipment shelter, and ancillary equipment by Verizon Wireless, at the SBA Properties tower located at 202 Cooper Lane Road, as permitted under Section 16.5.B of the Zoning Bylaws, subject to the following three (3) conditions:

    1) All work will be completely within the existing right-of-way, unless otherwise agreed to with the affected abutter(s) in advance; sedimentation and erosion control measures will be implemented during construction; the access road returned to "as is" condition or better; and further that the applicant will remediate any damage to any abutting property including the Town right-of-way, which results from the construction activities; and
    2) A building permit will not be issued until the tower owner, SBA Properties, has provided a tower removal bond in the amount of not less than $50,000 to the Town; and
    3) The approval is granted without any waivers under Section 16.10 as the Board has determined it is not necessary in this case.

    Taylor seconded, and following discussion, the motion was approved.

    Voting to approve the submitted plans: Sweeney, Palmeri, Taylor, Pollard, Laporte
    Voted opposed to the submitted plans: None
    Abstaining: Merrill

    The Board reviewed mail.

    The Chair provided to each member present a memorandum from the Executive Secretary Terry Mosher outlining "Mandatory Education & Training Requirements ∏ Conflict of Interest Law".

    The Chair reviewed an email inquiry from Mark Gadyos in regard to changing the use at 5 Mechanic Street to do woodworking there. The Chair will contact Gadyos and ask he review his proposal with the Building Inspector, particularly in light of the existing Special Permits which exist for the building and use.

    Palmeri read a memo from Executive Secretary Terry Mosher in regard to increasing advertising fees and suggesting the Board increase our application fee to reflect the higher costs as one ad costs about as much as the current application fee. Discussion on permit and advertising fees ensued.

    Sweeney moved that the Board require that applicants pre-pay $80 for advertising costs for their public hearing, said payment to be made at the time of application to reflect the current costs, and this $80 payment would be refunded if no advertising costs are incurred for their application; and further that the application fee itself remain at $45. Merrill seconded the motion, and following more discussion it was so voted unanimously with Pollard abstaining as the "alternate" member for this specific vote.

    It was noted that Verizon Wireless was supposed to reimburse the Town for $25 of legal costs incurred during the pre-application phase of its applications.

    The Board reviewed and acted on minutes:

    The minutes of the 8/6/2009 regular meeting were approved as drafted (Taylor and Pollard abstaining).
    The minutes of the 9/3/2009 regular meeting were approved with clarifications made.
    The minutes of the 10/8/2009 regular meeting were approved with minor edits corrected.
    The hearing minutes for the Verizon Wireless application for Old Albany Road 10/8/2009 were approved with minor edits corrected.
    The hearing minutes for the Verizon Wireless application for Cooper Lane Rd 10/8/2009 were approved with minor edits corrected.
    Above motions to approve the minutes were unanimous except as noted.

    Discussion about a "rumor" that the Selectmen wish to have the ZBA's administrative assistant's time shared with other boards. The Board's initial impression is unfavorable.

    The Board reviewed similarities and differences in Variances, Special Permits, Appeals, "Section 6" Findings, Reviews, and other decisions of the Board.

    Next meeting will be on December 3 and the Chair asks the Board to finalize the rules and regulations.

    At 10:10 p.m. Mr. Sweeney moved that the meeting be adjourned. This was seconded by Mr. Taylor. The vote in favor was unanimous.

    Respectfully submitted,

    John E. Taylor
    Clerk
    Town of Shelburne
    Zoning Board of Appeals