Planning Board: Minutes

Cheshire Planning Board
Hearing:  Monday, September 25, 2017  7PM
Cheshire Annex

Present: Donna M. DeFino, Francis M. Griswold, Peter H. Traub, Ronald W. DeAngelis, Nick Graham

Absent: Sandra Sloane

Audience: Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Attorney Stephen N. Pagnotta of Donovan O’Connor & Dodig, LLP, and Gerald Garner, Cheshire Zoning Enforcement Officer/Building Commissioner

Donna opened the monthly meeting of the Cheshire Planning Board.  The meeting minutes for August 2017 were motioned for approval by Peter; 2nd by Ron.  A unanimous vote was taken.

Peter discussed the Technical Assistance Grant to Municipalities in Massachusetts.  The CPB will request going forward for planning assistance in the areas of Medical and Recreational Marijuana Bylaws and Improvement of Land Use.  Donna will be attending the Cheshire BOS meeting on 9/26/17 to review the CPB plans and seek their input and approval.

7:30PM
Donna read The Berkshire Eagle Legal Notice for this evenings Hearing (Advertised on 9/9/17 and 9/16/17) for: 
Sandra J. Smith.  Project Location.  Lot #1 and Lot #2 Richmond Hill Road, Cheshire, MA 01225. Map 235

Attorney Pagnotta
- Believes the project meets the criteria to receive a Special Permit.
- It is not detrimental to the area.
- It will not present any additional traffic or congestion.
- It is in a residential area and will have good visibility.
- The plan is to avoid any wetlands in the area.

Donna:
- Thanked Mr. Pagnotta for his presentation.  The CPB reviewed the plans submitted.  However, Donna stated that the project/plans go against the Cheshire Bylaws as one driveway that services two (2) parcels of land is determined to be a common driveway and that is not allowed according the Cheshire Protective and Planning Zoning Bylaw adopted on June 8, 2015.
- Additionally, the board was not satisfied with the plans submitted by the surveyor.
- Discussion ensued regarding other options such as building a bridge, and dividing the parcels differently.

Attorney Pagnotta:
- Stated that one (1) person will be using it.  In fact, he said, “The CPB could put restrictions on the Special Permit if that would make them more comfortable.”

Donna: 
There is already an existing driveway.  The middle lot has a driveway and culvert.  The driveway cut was denied by the Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane.  Donna read the following:
Dated: “August 18, 2017
Taking these geographic anomalies into account and after notable consideration, I hereby deny your request for a driveway permit to this location.  If the Conservation Commission as well as the Planning Board were to approve your plan in the future and a set of professionally engineered, stamped drawing were presented to me showing the issues above to be addressed then I would reconsider your request at that time.”
-Donna read from M.G.L. Section 12-12i on Common Driveways.

Attorney Pagnotta:
- “If the CPB decides on approval; restrictions could be included.”

Donna:
- Further discussed the possibility of having three (3) 200’ frontage lots with each parcel having a driveway.
- She stated the plan submitted does not meet the Cheshire Bylaws.  She motioned to deny the Special Permit for access through Lot #1 to Lot #2 on the Richmond Hill property owned by Smith’s.  

Mr. Smith wondered if the board would consider that they are not people of many means and if the CPB could be more lenient. They would sign a statement that no one else will use it. Donna explained possible scenarios were it may start off that way but could end up with several owners using the driveway.


Donna:
- The duty of the CHP is to enforce our bylaws and the CPB cannot rule against the bylaws.  A driveway that services two (2) lots is a common driveway and not allowed in Cheshire.

An opinion was asked of Mr. Garner as to whether he agreed with the interpretation of the Planning Board, that this would constitute a shared driveway.  In discussing this opinion he asked Ms. Smith why she did not want to divide off a portion of Lot #1 property to be included in the sale of Lot # 2 to accommodate a driveway.  Her response was that the partners of the parcels did not want to do this as they may have future plans to subdivide the remaining acreage.  Mr. Garner informed Ms. Smith and Attorney Pagnotta that this would constitute a “self-imposed hardship” on the property.

As the CPB prepared to make a motion, Attorney Pagnotta withdrew the application.  Fran motioned to accept the withdrawal without prejudice to be presented at another time; 2nd by Nick with a unanimous vote was taken. 8:00PM

Next Meeting:  Monday, October 23, 2017 - 7PM - Cheshire Community Center.  (E. Harbor Road Solar Project Continuation Hearing.)

Peter motioned to adjourn at 8:15pm; 2nd by Ron with a unanimous vote taken.

 

Respectfully submitted,


Carole A. Hilderbrand, Secretary

Donna DeFino, Chairman

Francis Griswold
Peter H. Traub
Ronald W. DeAngelis
Nick Graham
Sandra Sloane

 

Cheshire Planning Board
Hearing:  Monday, August 28, 2017  7PM
Cheshire Annex

Present: Donna M. DeFino, Francis M. Griswold, Peter H. Traub, Ronald W. DeAngelis., Nick Graham and Sandra Sloane


Donna opened the Cheshire Planning Board monthly meeting at 7pm.  Peter moved to accept the minutes of July 24, 2017; 2nd by Ron with a unanimous vote taken.

Although Fran Griswold was present, Donna asked him to recluse himself as he is an employee of the applicant for this evenings Hearing.  Sandy Sloane, as the Alternate, took in his place.

Donna proceeded to read the Legal Notice as published in The Berkshire on Saturday, August 12th and August 19, 2017 listing the property at 203 East Harbor Road, property 227-011 and 227-010. She alerted the Applicant’s representatives that the address listed on the project is the physical address of the Ayotte’s home, however, the property identification is correct,  She introduced the representatives of  Borrego Solar for the Applicant, Thomas and Barbara Ayotte of 203 East Harbor Road. (C. Dean Smith and Ryan Bailey.)

Dean Smith presented an overview of the two parcel solar farm project owned by the Ayotte’s and the plan to develop 20.3 acres.  He noted that there has been some clearing of trees for southern exposure.  The plan indicated wetlands but a 100 foot buffer zone was considered and an application for a Notice of Intent will be submitted to the Cheshire Conservation Commission.  He felt there would be no issue as it is according to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The fence on the plan indicated a seven (7) foot fence with barbed wire.  Although this was on the plans submitted, Mr. Smith’s plan showed a seven (7) foot chained link fence.  There will be a lock box on the gate.  There is a designated area for the gravel area service pad.  It will be a fourteen (14) foot wide graded area with a fifty (50) foot setback on all sides. It will be one hundred twenty three (123) feet from a residence and one hundred (100) feet from the shed.

Deed Restriction.  Donna questioned the thirty (30) year residential restriction. Mr. Smith voiced that their company lawyer noted that in Massachusetts there is a thirty (30) year from date and the restriction was no longer in affect. Donna noted that the same deed restriction is on four (4) or more deeds and she would be seeking the legal advice from an independent lawyer at the Applicant’s expense with monies set aside in an interest bearing account to be set up by the Cheshire Planning Board.

Mr. Smith was asked the actual total area to be used.  His response was 14%.

Peter Traub: Stated that he would not approve the plan if screening is not met with the satisfaction of the CPB and residents.

Peter Traub:  Read from the Cheshire Bylaws the rules and requirement of the installation of a large photovoltaic system in Cheshire. (Copies are available at the Cheshire Annex on Friday afternoons for
$10.00) or you can see them on line at the Cheshire, MA website.

Mr. Smith will be forwarding to Donna a copy of the Lease Agreement with Mr. Ayotte. He stated that there is no emergency plan for the site. He would, at some point, invite the Cheshire Emergency Management committee to view the site and he is willing to work with them to abide by local rulings. There will be small electrical notices along the fence on all sides.  There will be a data acquisition system that sends out messages to all staff.

Sandy Sloane:  Inquired about only having one access, at the entrance, to the project. Mr. Smith responded that here are four (4) foot gates for emergency gates at least five (5) hundred feet apart on all sides.  The project also provides enough space between the rows for a vehicle to drive.
- There will be underground electricity to the pad to the interconnection. A detailed study will specify where additional poles will be placed. No major grading will take place.

Ron DeAngelis: Voiced concern regarding the need for year round screening.

Mr. Smith:  Reported that the trees will be native evergreens and will be full to the ground.  They will be different sizes and closely spaced.  He also said a wooden fence could be considered but with the grading going down and back up he did not think esthetically it would be eye appealing. Again, Mr. Smith wanted recommendations from the CPB.

Ron DeAngelis felt it should have been addressed on the plan submitted.

Blair Crane:
- Cheshire Highway Superintendent, Blair Crane, questioned where the company was measuring the fifty (50) feet from where? Also, he asked if the trees die or have a fungus who would be responsible for replacement?

Mr. Smith stated that the company’s Operation Division would be responsible and the plants would have a one (1) year warranty for replacement.


Blair Crane wanted to know who is responsible for snow removal. The full entrance will be on East Harbor Road.

Mr. Smith was questioned as to the longevity of the company.  He voiced that for fifteen (15) to twenty (20) years they are the largest solar company in Massachusetts and New York State.  They are the third (3rd) highest in the USA.  They presently have over 2000 sites. He was asked where he lives and would he want it in his backyard.  He answered that he lives in  New Hampshire and he believes there is only one (1) site in the state. He said the solar farm puts out a sound similar to a house air conditioner and shuts down at night.

Resident, Ted Jayko, asked about the Deed Restrictions.  Response: Donna will be researching the deed and will be contacting an independent lawyer for a legal opinion. Mr. Jayko informed the CPB of cases in Hawaii causing medical attention due to eyes suffering side effects from solar glare. There was concern from the audience about glare going toward the South-coming down the hillside.  Mr. Smith said only the first racks would cause glare before the morning sunrise, and hour before, and it would be a 15-20 minute glare.  He will be submitting independent reports on glare concerns.  He noted that the  panels have non-glare panels. Mr. Jayko also spoke about the creation of magnetic field and the affect on cows reproducing.

Resident, Ms. Galisa described how heartbreaking it will be to see a commercial project from her front porch.  She moved to Cheshire for the beauty, quiet, view, and country charm. With this project would property values in the area of 185 Wells Road go down?  Sadly, it now makes it a bad place live.

Mr. Smith:  “The company is promoting renewal energy.  They are trying to be a good neighbor; there is no noise; no traffic and are being not as impactful and other options might be.”
- Three (3) residents voiced approval of the plan.

Fran Griswold: Questioned if the fence could be black or green.  Mr. Smith said, “Whatever cover the  CPB wants is possible.”

Colin Ayotte:  “Thinks the project is great.  No noise.  It’s perfect.”

Mr. Smith will provide information on other projects completed in the county.  He thought there was a project in North Adams.

Mr. Lincoln questioned how the company could plant trees in wetlands. Mr. Lincoln said he would rather look at deer than rows of solar panels.

Mr. Philippe LaFramboise: Wanted to be sure the CPB investigated the thirty (30) year restriction and to check on the landscaping.

Gene Pierce questioned the property value of abutters.  Mr. Dean said, “There was no decline of property values in North County.”

Jim Tworig:  Felt it would have the same impact as the Cheshire Elementary School closing.

Brian Tenzar:  Questioned the impact on the neighborhood and the scenic and historic value.
Donna felt the impact is less than a wind farm.  However, there are no reports to document that statistic.

Resident Ms. Chalmers: Reported that her family can see the entire project.  “It is a gorgeous area.” She questioned why it was so close to the Lincoln land.  “It will ruin the character and rural charm all the residents moved to Cheshire for. She questioned if an environmental impact analysis had been completed.  What is the marketability of her home?  A house near a solar farm sells for less than a house without one.

Resident, Matt Lincoln:  How many houses will the energy generated serve?  Answer:  400-500 homes. “This is a commercial entity.  This is A/R zoned.”

Mr. Smith.  The Special Permit is for this use only.  It is very specific.

Resident, Matt Lincoln questioned if he could build a 7-11 store?

Donna explained the Special Permit process. “If a solar project application is submitted a ½ mile away, it is not a given that the permit will be issued.”

Ryan Bailey:  “The limit for building similar projects are nearing an end.”

Resident, Matt Lincoln:  Felt houses would be worth 1/3 less.  “Is Borrego willing to give him that money lost?”

Resident, Mr. Thurston:  Generally he encourages green living.  However, he loves the farm land and spoke of his family’s history living in Cheshire.  He felt there must be a better place for the project than East Harbor Road.

Resident, Thomas Spratlin: Feels very sad for the +/-5 families directed affected by the owners choice to build a large solar farm where so many families will be directly affected.  He questioned the possibility of leakage into the soil.

Mr. Smith: Noted that the panels do not contain anything.  If the glass gets broken, it gets replaced.  The wiring is per code and is insulated.  Underground is sealed. Ground screws are galvanized metal.

Resident, Samantha Lincoln:  Wanted to know the reports for Electro Magnetic Fields. Have the studies regarding cancer been reviewed?  Donna voiced that Borrego should include independent studies on this topic also.


Resident Philippe LaFramboise:  Asked about the poles and if it would be near the end of his driveway?   "With trees there will be no scenic views."

Donna:
- Read from the Town of Cheshire Protective and Planning Zoning bylaws, Adopted on June 8, 2015, Section 10 Special Permits and Variances which outlines the process and procedures for securing a Special Permit in the Town of Cheshire and in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 40A, Section 3. Protected Health, Safety, and Welfare.

 Donna requested from The Borrego Solar Systems, Inc.: An independent technical review.
- An independent review of the thirty (30) year residential deed restriction needs to be submitted in writing if it is indeed valid or invalid.
- An independent report on Electro Magnetic Fields and solar panel glare.
- A vegetation coverage report. (NOI) needs to be submitted to the Cheshire Conservation Committee.
- Requested revised figures for the removal of concrete.

Donna asked, "What if the Cheshire Conservation Commission says, No to your plans?"

Mr. Smith:
- He is confident that there is no impact on the wetlands and the racks are within the buffer zone.

The twenty (20) day appeal process was explained. Donna explained that funds would need to be received and  deposited into an escrow account and that t would be placed in an interest bearing account for an independent legal review of the deed restrictions as well a an independent technical review.

Ron:
-  Would like to view the final set of plans whereby everything discussed this evening will be addressed.

Mr. Smith:
- Will provide full studies on the topics requested and will provide definitive information on EMF. Since there were no more questions from the audience and the CPB, Donna motioned to continue the Hearing until Monday, October 23, 2017 at 7:00PM in the Cheshire Annex; 2nd by Peter with a unanimous vote taken.

The Cheshire Planning Board met to note the fact that there will be a Hearing for Sandy Griest Smith, Richmond Hill Road Lot #1 and Lot #2 on September 25, 2017 at 7:30PM at the Cheshire Annex.

 

Next Meeting: Monday, September 25, 2017 – 7pm – Cheshire Annex.

With all business finalized, Nick motioned to close the meeting at 9:30pm; 2nd by Peter with a unanimous vote taken.

 

Respectfully submitted,


Carole A. Hilderbrand, Secretary

Donna DeFino, Chairman

Francis Griswold
Peter H. Traub
Ronald W. DeAngelis
Nick Graham
Sandra Sloane


Presenters:
Ryan Bailey, Project Developer
C. Dean Smith, P.E.
Borrego Solar Systems, Inc.
55 Technology Drive, Suite 102, Lowell, MA 01851


*** A sign-on sheet showed forty-eight (48) people attended the Hearing.


*** A site visit took place on Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 10:00AM.
 

 

Cheshire Planning Board
Hearing:  Monday, July 24, 2017  7PM
Cheshire Annex

Present: Donna M. DeFino, Francis M. Griswold, Peter H. Traub, Ronald W. DeAngelis., Nick Graham and Sandra Sloane

Press:

Donna opened the monthly meeting of the Cheshire Planning Board.  The meeting minutes for
June 26, 2017 were motioned for approval by Peter; 2nd by Ron.  A unanimous vote was taken.

The CPB discussed upcoming rules and regulations regarding medical and recreational marijuana, farming, and dispensaries.  Donna will keep the CPB apprised of upcoming information from Governor Baker's office. She noted the benefit would be a 2-2.5% tax revenue for the town.  Input will be received from the Cheshire Board of Selectmen and legal advice from Town Counsel.  Guidelines will be followed and will be in line with the State.

Rumors were addressed regarding the possibility of a large solar array farm being built in Cheshire, MA.  Donna restated that until an application is in hand, no documented information is available at this time.  She did read from the Cheshire By Laws the following:

1] Is in compliance with all provisions and requirements of this Bylaw and in harmony with its  general intent and purpose.

2] Is essential or desirable to the public convenience or welfare at the proposed location;

3] Will not be detrimental to adjacent uses or to the established or future character of the neighborhood;

4] Will not create undue traffic congestion or unduly impair pedestrian safety.

5] Will not overload any public water, drainage or sewer system any other municipal facility to such extent that the proposed use or any existing use in the immediate area of the Town will be unduly subjected to hazards affecting the public health, safety or general welfare.


Donna read the following:
Section 1 - Title, Authority and Purpose (d)

(d) To preserve and increase amenities by the promulgation of regulations designed to:

* Protect the Town's significant environmental features such as:  flood plains and flood prone areas ,wetlands, Hoosic River, reservoir, brooks, ponds, water resources, woodlands, areas of scenic beauty, and sites and structures of historic importance.

Title, Authority and Purpose continued:

* Preserve the natural, scenic and aesthetic qualities of the community.

* Minimize the adverse effects of development on the Town's unique environmental and historic  features.

* Employ cooperatively the various measures by the Town's agencies under diverse legislative authority, including the State Sanitary Code, Wetlands Protection Act, Subdivision Control Legislation, and the State Building Code, for the protection and enhancement of the Town's existing small-town character, open spaces, low density of population, and in the interests of the Town's orderly growth at a deliberate pace.

This information can seen in the Town of Cheshire Massachusetts Protective and Planning Zoning ByLaw.
Adopted at Annual Town Meeting on June 8, 2015.

Peter was motioned in as the Cheshire Planning Board representative to the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission by Donna and 2nd by Fran.  A unanimous vote was taken.

Next Meeting:  Monday, August 28, 2017 - 7PM  - Cheshire Community Center.

Peter motioned to adjourn at 8:30pm; 2nd by Fran with a unanimous vote taken.

 

Respectfully submitted,


Carole A. Hilderbrand, Secretary

Donna DeFino, Chairman

Francis Griswold
Peter Traub
Ronald DeAngelis
Nick Graham
Sandra Sloane

Cheshire Planning Board
Hearing:  May 22, 2017  7PM
Cheshire Annex

Present: Donna M. DeFino, Francis M. Griswold, Peter H. Traub and Ronald W. DeAngelis.
Absent: Shannon C. Plumb, Esq.

Donna opened the 7pm meeting.

Resident, Jon Madsen, attended and Donna explained the Town’s processes regarding the Cheshire Planning Board requirements.  Mr. Madsen wants to purchase land from an abutter.  Donna explained the steps to take regarding the submission of a Form A for the Planning Board.  However, she first
suggested Mr. Madsen see the Cheshire Building Inspection to review his plans.

The April 24, 2017 meeting minutes were motioned to be accepted as presented by Peter; 2nd by Fran with a unanimous vote taken.

Eammon from the BRPC and Ed St. John, IV attended as the Chairman of the Cheshire Master Plan Committee.  The Executive Summary for the 2017 Cheshire Master Plan was submitted for the
Cheshire Planning Board’s approval.  Since the April meeting, Eammon stated that the biggest changes were with “Schools and Education.”  The plan foresees long term planning to include possibly connecting with other school districts or to consolidate all schools to the local high school.  Also, to possibly have one (1) campus (5-10) years in the future. All other changes were typos or clarification of language.

Note:  The Cheshire Planning Board has been reviewing the Cheshire Master Plan for a few months and Peter motioned to pass/approve the Cheshire Master Plan as submitted this evening; 2nd by Fran with a unanimous vote taken. 

A letter will be written notifying resident’s of the approval and will be placed on the Cheshire website.
A letter in the form of a Decision will be presented to the Cheshire Board of Selectmen and the Town Clerk for posting.

Peter voiced interest on being a member of the Cheshire Master Plan Implementation Committee.  Fran motioned to appoint Peter for the committee; 2nd by Donna with a unanimous vote taken.  The Planning Board will continue to track process made by the group.

All present agreed that the Master Plan Committee were energetic and that the Town was fortunate to have Eammon spearheading the project.  Kudos to the volunteers and BRPC for an excellent job done.

Eammon will have two (2) bound copies for the Library. 

Eammon and St. John suggested having a one day per week Planner or to outsource a planner/grant writer.  With all of the plans in the Master Plan, grant writing will be an integral part for succeeding in many areas.  St. John, IV noted that the BOS is supportive of the Master Plan as two (2) members are  on the planning group.

Donna:
- Updated the CPB on the status of getting an article on the warrant for the upcoming June Annual Town meeting regarding marijuana dispensaries.  She stated that due to timing for the hearings, the request could not go forward at this time.  However, there is a one (1) year and two (2) months timeframe which will allow an article to go forward.

Peter:
- Green Community Assistance.
He will be informing the CPB as the BRPC informs towns as to how to proceed.

Pollution Competitive Grant:
-  This may be another grant opportunity.

2021 Bridge Reimbursement for a new bridge initiative.

Local Airports:
-  Noted one (1) airstrip on Cheshire.  Discussed a local airport recently in the news in the Town of Sheffield, MA.  Question:  “How much control does a town have?”

Housing the Berkshires:
-  Peter attended a meeting with the BRPC and discussed abandoned housing initiative.  Peter felt the criteria may apply to Cheshire.  Cluster Housing was discussed as well as starter homes and zoning strategies for housing. Peter will be researching all of the initiatives and will apprise the CPB in June of his findings.

Next Meeting: Monday, June 26, 2017 – 7pm – Cheshire Annex.

With all business finalized, Donna motioned to close the meeting at 8:30pm; 2nd by Ron with a unanimous vote taken.

 

Respectfully submitted,


Carole A. Hilderbrand, Recording Secretary

Donna DeFino, Chair

Francis Griswold
Peter Traub
Ronald DeAngelis
Nick Adams
Sandra Sloane, Alternate Member
 

Cheshire Planning Board
Hearing:  April 24, 2017  7PM
Cheshire Annex

Present: Donna M. DeFino, Shannon C. Plumb, Esq., Francis M. Griswold, Peter H. Traub and Ronald W. DeAngelis.
Absent:

Donna opened the Cheshire Planning Board monthly meeting at 7pm.  Peter moved to accept the minutes of March 27, 2017; 2nd by Fran with a unanimous vote taken.

Carole H. reported that Town Counsel, E. St. John III will be mailing the article for the upcoming
Cheshire Annual Meeting regarding Marijuana Dispensensaries.  Donna will be going to the BOS meeting on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 to further discuss the Marijuana Dispensary article.

Peter:
- Introduced Eammon Coughlin, Planner at the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.  He reviewed the status of the Cheshire Master Plan and noted that it is a broad document that covers many topics and activities for the next ten (10) to fifteen (15) year time period.  He reported that the Cheshire Planning Board can approve or disapprove the Master Plan.  It is an advisory – suggestions or a wish list.  The Implementation and Action Plan is created for the town to take direction for the town to look into how to act on the people’s concerns and or best practices.
- Peter said that the Cheshire Master Plan is cumbersome and therefore Aamon created a priority list of fifteen (15) pages for an Action Plan. “The Action Plan details each implementation action contained in the prior chapters of the Master Plan, the proposed timing for the action to be taken, potential leadership, and other interested parties responsible for implementing the action.”
- Aamon noted that the present Master Plan Committee group is organized and most likely is the best solution for creating an Implementation Committee of volunteers and possibly staff.

Shannon:
- Noted a need to focus where to go from here.

Peter:
- Reported that he attended a community meeting with Senator Adam Hinds on Thursday and he stated that the Senator said in regard to receiving money for the Cheshire Elementary School, “Don’t hold your breath.”  Discussion continued about what the plan for the school will be in regard to putting it in the Master Plan.  No goals were generated for the school building to date.

Donna:
- “Education is paramount.  She would want the highest level of education offered to our children. Children in our community deserve an excellent education.”


Aamon:
- From the survey completed for this study, 99% wanted to have the Cheshire Elementary School remain open.  The Master Plan will be able to address the issue in a more comprehensive way once the final decision is made by the School Committee and towns.

Shannon:
- Believes people were pushed to do something in a small amount of time.  There has been more activism in the last six (6) months regarding the school districts than there has been in years.

Peter:
- Will be attending a workshop on May 19, 2017 on Housing in the Berkshires.  $30.00 The workshop is offered by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

Donna:
- Discussed the pros and cons of Green Communities.

Aamon:
- The Cheshire Water Department is working on creating their own Water Master Plan.  This would be their first step and a sewer system might be the outcome.

Shannon:
- Wondered why businesses are not coming to Cheshire?  Shannon felt that Route 8 is a perfect business zone for those traveling through.  There are several colleges in the area, Cheshire is attractive, and it has natural resources and beauty.

Aamon suggested that the advisory committee contact TAC to possibly participate in monies/grants available.
- The Town might consider revising laws around the lake area.  Property sizes could be smaller if a sewer system were in place.  Natural Resources. That might mean the Town would work more with the farms.  Chapter 61 might be reviewed more closely.  Discussed the Right to Farm law.
- Signs might be places around the town to promote the Appalachian Trail and Mount Greylock.
- The group questioned the Welcome to Cheshire sign that has never been placed on the property opposite the Cheshire Fire House. Peter will check with the Lions Club.

Aamon went through the Action Plan and answered any questions presented.

Donna:
- Stated that the Master Plan was a guide, a synopsis with wonderful points.  After reading the plan and the Action Plan she believed that next month the Board might have more questions. Aamon agreed to attend.

Carole H.
- Needs to check as to when the Ayotte visit last took place.  She will report back to the Board.

Donna:
- Is working on recruiting a Cheshire Planning Board Alternate member.


A letter will be written to Mr. Jon Madden, 173 Lakeshore Road, regarding his placement on the May Agenda.


Next Meeting: Monday, May 22, 2017 – 7pm – Cheshire Annex.

With all business finalized, Ron motioned to close the meeting at 9:30pm; 2nd by Peter with a unanimous vote taken.


Respectfully submitted,


Carole A. Hilderbrand, Recording Secretary

Donna M. DeFino, Chairman
Shannon C. Plumb, Esq.
Francis M. Griswold   
Peter H. Traub
Ronald W. DeAngelis
 

Cheshire Planning Board
Hearing:  November 28, 2016  7PM
Cheshire Annex

Present: Donna M. DeFino, Francis M. Griswold, Peter H. Traub and Ronald W. DeAngelis
Absent: Shannon C. Plumb, Esq.

Donna opened the Cheshire Planning Board monthly meeting at 7pm.  Peter moved to accept the minutes of October 24, 2016; 2nd by Ron with a unanimous vote taken.

7:15PM Philip Rancourt, Jr., Hearing:
Donna read the Legal Notice published in The Berkshire Eagle on November 12, 2016 and  November 19, 2016 for the Special Permit Application from Philip A. Rancourt, 215 Jenks Road to replace present trailer with a new home on a non-conforming lot.
- Mr. Rancourt and Builder, Brent Field, were present.  Mr. Rancourt presented a signed certified plan and was prepared to review his plan and answered questions presented.  His plan is to remove a thirty year old trailer and to place behind it a new home with up-to-date piping and lines that do not freeze. The plan meets all setbacks, is smaller than the front footprint, and the value will go up. Thus, bringing in more tax money to the town.
- Peter.  Reviewed all Regulations and Requirement in Section 10.
-The Cheshire Planning Board members voted as follows: Ron motioned to approve the Special Permit of Philip A. Rancourt Jr., as presented; 2nd by Fran with a unanimous vote taken.
- A site visit was taken previous to this evenings Hearing.

Peter:
- Reported that the Master Plan recommendations will be forthcoming.
- Talking with the BRPC regarding financial assistance for the Cheshire Planning Board.
- Noted Zoning Exceptions; AG/Religious/Childcare sites.

Donna:
- Voiced the need for specific signage definitions.  Clarification needed regarding primary and secondary signage and locations.

7:45PM
Resident, Lynn Clairmont, Pleasantview Drive.  Presented a survey of her property on Route 116 (approximately 34 acres of woods.)  Contemplating the sale of forest area and keeping some of the two (2) hay fields.    It was noted that there is a brook from Fales Road; the Cheshire Conservation Commission should be advised of her plan.  Ms. Clairmont is working with White Engineering and the PB suggested meeting with them, reviewing her ideas, and then they would draw up a new survey with dimensions clearly shown and it will be stamped and certified by them.  At that time a Form A can be presented from the engineering company. Noted:  Common driveways are not permitted.

Next Meeting: If no business is forthcoming by December 15, 2016, Carole H. will cancel the December Cheshire Planning Board Meeting.  Members will be notified via email.

With all business finalized, Donna motioned to close the meeting at 8:30pm; 2nd by Peter with a unanimous vote taken.


Respectfully submitted,


Carole A. Hilderbrand
Cheshire Planning Board Secretary

Donna M. DeFino, Chairman     
Francis M. Griswold     
Shannon C. Plumb, Esq.
Peter H. Traub
Ronald W. DeAngelis