Planning Board: Minutes

Cheshire Planning Board
Hearing:  Monday, April 23, 2018  7PM
Cheshire Annex
Present: Donna M. DeFino, Ronald W. DeAngelis, Sandra Sloane, and Nick Graham
Absent: Francis M. Griswold and Peter Traub
 
Audience: See sign-in-sheet
 
At 7PM Donna opened the monthly meeting of the Cheshire Planning Board. 
Ron motioned to accept the minutes for March 2018 as presented; 2nd by Nick with a unanimous vote taken.
Donna read The Berkshire Eagle Legal Notice posted on Saturday, April 14, 2018 and Saturday, April 21st for a solar project on the Karen Scholz property at 0 East Harbor Road.
“Notice is hereby given that the Cheshire Planning Board will hold a public hearing on Monday, April 23, 2018 at 7:15PM at the Cheshire Community Center to consider an Application for a Special Permit from CVE North America, Inc. (CVE), SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) has prepared this special permit application for a solar energy facility currently owned by Karen Scholz.  Location:  Lot 227-015 off of East Harbor Road, Cheshire, MA.  Project:  Consist of 21.3 acres of solar arrays generating approximately 5MW (AC), Classified:  Large Scale Solar Photovoltaic installation.  Section 8.6 of the Town of Cheshire Protective Planning
Zoning Bylaws”.      
 
7:15PM
Meredith Savage, Senior Wetland Scientist from SWCA Environmental Consultants, 15 Research Drive, Amherst, MA 01002 presented an overview of a solar project on property owned by
Karen Scholz. Kevin A. McCaffery, PE represented TROVE Engineering, PLLC. There are 81 plus acres and 21 acres will be solar. SWCA has submitted an application for a Special Permit to the Cheshire Planning Board and will be submitting a Notice of Intent to the Cheshire Conservation Commission on April 25, 2018.  The land was described as open pasture and open flat land on both sides of a stream in the center.  There will be minimum ground disturbance and the project will have a fence surrounding the project.  Access to the project will be on East Harbor Road.  There are wetlands and that will be addressed with the Conservation Commission.  They will be upgrading the access road from 12' wide to 14' wide. 
Donna announced a site visit will take place on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 11:00AM and the board will meet at the entrance area.  She reminded all that this was just a viewing, no questions or answers would take place.
Donna opened the meeting for questions and answers from the audience.
Audience:  Stephen Marko introduced himself as the ZBA Chairman.  He stated that he was all for solar and the increased distribution of generated power.  It would increase the town tax base.  He asked the chairman if he could ask some questions.  Donna:  "Yes".  He then turned to the SWCA four (4) individuals and asked, "Are you submitting your plans according to the 2015 Zoning Regulations?  Answer:  "Yes".  Is there any pollution?  Answer:  "No."  Are there
Stephen Marko: ZBA
Are there any wetlands?  "Yes, a small amount and they plan on submitting a Notice of Intent to the Cheshire Conservation Commission tomorrow evening on April 24, 2018".  He further went on to state that Jayko’s cows are never in the field, and that Laframboise intentionally opposed Ayotte solar farm yet put up a personal solar array in his yard, pointed to Ayotte and was laughing about it.   This is a no brainer. Can you provide silver, black, or green fencing? Answer:  "Yes, they are willing to work with the Cheshire Planning Board on that".
Mr. Marko stated that not approving is discrimination. 
Donna stated that: “Mr. Marko’s position was on the Cheshire Zoning Board of Appeals and that is different from the Cheshire Planning Board, that the planning board follows our Planning Board Bylaws and must meet those criteria”.
Mr. Marko stated that the law suit for the last solar case that was denied cost the landowners $10K-$12K.  This is costing the town tax dollars that could be used to fill pot holes if we stopped taking people to court.  Mr. Marko lives 200 yards away from the past solar case and has no problem with it.
Mr. Marko accused the Cheshire Planning Board of not following the bylaws and being devious.
Mr. Marko became belligerent in his verbiage and accused the planning board of not following the bylaws.  Floored by the disrespect shown by the board, Donna responded that he was disrespectful that the boards spends a lot of time reviewing each application, making site visits, and following the bylaws to the T with the assistance of Town Counsel.  Additionally, the lawsuit was a separate project and has nothing to do with other applications for Special Permits.
Donna:  Due to the insults towards the planning board and Mr. Marko’s demeanor, Donna, with professional decorum  stated, "Sir you are done.  The Decision is based on only this project and is separate from any other solar project.”
The SWCA representatives thanked the board and questioned Donna about the pending legal case.  She explained the general information available and said one of the items of contempt was fencing.  She said there were no problems with solar or being placed in our backyards.  All Special Permit Applications are handled according the Town of Cheshire Bylaws.
Nick motioned to continue the Hearing to Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 7:15PM at the Cheshire Community Center if available; 2nd by Sandra with a unanimous vote taken.
Nick
Mr. Marko then proceeded to leave the building with the SWCA group and continued his dialogue.  His ranting was so loud that a planning board member felt his behavior was continuing to disrupt the meeting and she closed the door.
7:40PM
- Berkshire Boys, a local group, informed the board that they would be submitting paperwork for a Marijuana Cultivation License.  The timeframe was intensive regarding the need to have a signed Host Agreement.
- The property involved is at the family farm at 128 Fales Road.  They have approximately 150 acres and would be operating a Tier 2 project or 5,000 square feet.   Jake Zieminski, one of the owners, said he would like to have the Host Agreement with the Town of Cheshire as he is moving his family back to town and it is a huge financial investment.  He wants to do everything correctly according to the State and the Town of Cheshire Bylaws.  This is a lot of risk for him and he wants to have an informational meeting so he can present the project to the townspeople. 
Donna:  The Town has to vote in June on the Marijuana Bylaw before any proceedings can take place.  Sandra suggested Donna speak with the Selectmen first and then Town Counsel before going forward.  A meeting to meet to further discuss the proposal was tentatively scheduled for two (2) Mondays from tonight.  Donna will advise if that meeting will take place via email.
Mr. Zieminski:  Noted that the Cheshire Board of Selectmen has to sign a Letter of Non Opposition to start.  The board noted that had not been done.  However, Jacob Zieminski said; signing it did not mean anyone was locked into a contract, but at anytime it can be rescinded by either party.
Mr. Zieminski presented the CPB an overview for Marijuana Cultivation License- Host Community agreement Request dated April 23, 2018. There was a DRAFT copy of a Host Agreement and procedures one can follow according to the Cannabis Control Commission for processing.
The next CPB meeting will take place on:  Monday, May 21, 2018 @7PM @ the Cheshire Community Center.
Nick motioned to adjourn at 9:00pm; 2nd by Sandra with a unanimous vote taken.

Respectfully submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Cheshire Planning Board Secretary
 
Donna DeFino, Chairman
Francis Griswold
Peter H. Traub
Ronald W. DeAngelis
Nick Graham
Sandra Sloane, Alternate member

Cheshire Planning Board
Hearing:  Monday, March 26, 2018  7PM
Cheshire Annex

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

Audience: See sign-in-sheet

At 7PM Donna opened the monthly meeting of the Cheshire Planning Board. 

Nick motioned to accept the March 19, 2018 Informational Hearing on Marijuana Establishments minutes; 2nd by Peter with a unanimous vote taken.

Nick motioned to accept the February 2018 meeting minutes as presented; 2nd by Peter with a unanimous vote taken.

A Form A was submitted and reviewed by the Cheshire Planning Board for: Nate Girard
Book 24: Page 2324; Map 229, Lots L8.  Surveyor:  Russell D. Sackett Jr., 179 First Street, Pittsfield. Location: 828 Wells Road.  Emily Stockman will be researching and providing soil engineering skills.  Donna motioned that the plan meets all of the Cheshire Planning Board criteria and moved to approve; 2nd by Ron with a unanimous vote taken.

Chris Gruber attended the meeting to show further changes in the Cheshire Marijuana Establishment bylaw.  He noted a Special Permit will be $400.00 as established in the Cheshire Application Process.

It was noted that the bylaw will now be forwarded to Town Counsel, Ed St. John III for approval.

A motion to accept the revised bylaw will not take place until it has been reviewed by
Attorney St. John III. (Marijuana Establishment bylaw dated 3/26/18.)

The CPB thanked Chris for all of his work and they look forward to finishing this project and working on new projects in the future.

Thomas Matuszko, Director of BRPC, discussed having a follow up meeting with the Cheshire Board of Selectmen regarding the Planning Assistance Grant that the BRPC received on behalf of the Town.

Discussed was the revised Scope of Work with the following items suggested:

Tom Matuszko…continued:
* Berkshire Scenic Mountains Act. “The Berkshire Scenic Mountain Act is a provision that may be adopted by a city or town in Berkshire County that imposes additional regulations on new development in areas above certain elevations (1,800 feet above mean sea level in the Hoosic River watershed and 1,500 feet above mean sea level in the Housatonic River watershed.)  Specifically, new development projects must not be visible above the ridge line, tree-cutting must be limited to one-quarter of an acre and the development cannot cause erosion or flooding that would damage water quality.”

* Scenic Overlay Zone:  “An overlay district is a common tool for establishing development restrictions, or extending development incentives, on land within a defined geographic area or characterized by specific physical features or site conditions.  Adopted as part of a zoning bylaw, overlay districts are superimposed over one or more underlying conventional zoning districts to address areas of community interest that warrant special consideration such as historic preservation, or protection of a specific natural resource.”

 

The next meeting will take place on:  Monday, April 23, 2018 @7PM @ the Cheshire Annex.

Peter motioned to adjourn at 9:00pm; 2nd by with a unanimous vote taken.

 


Respectfully submitted,


Carole A. Hilderbrand, Cheshire Planning Board Secretary

 

Donna DeFino, Chairman
Francis Griswold
Peter H. Traub
Ronald W. DeAngelis
Nick Graham
Sandra Sloane, Alternate member

Cheshire Planning Board
Hearing:  Monday, March 19, 2018  7PM
Cheshire Annex

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

Chairman, Donna DeFino, opened the Informational Hearing by reading the Legal Notice in The Berkshire Eagle as advertised on Saturday, March 10, 2018 and Saturday, March 17, 2018. Copies of the Recreational Marijuana Bylaw to add to Section 8 as a new Section 8.7, Licensed Marijuana Establishments were available to all.  Definitions, the Marijuana Overlay District map was clearly defined as well as the Special Permit Requirements, and Filing Requirements were reviewed.

Nineteen individuals were in attendance and signed the sign-in sheet which will be on file.

Donna explained the Route 8 corridor where the business Marijuana Overlay District showed where
a dispensary would be permitted. There were some discrepancies in the areas, but Chris Gruber of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission will review the overlay map and adjust it as needed.
Donna said the hours of operation would be Monday through Saturday 8am to 8pm and noon to 6pm on Sundays.  The regulations would be similar to the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission. Thus, no one under 21 years of age would be able to purchase products nor would there be on-site use.
The audience questioned why Cheshire would only be having one (1) dispensary and one (1) Other.
Donna explained that it depends, according to the ABCC, on how many liquor licenses have been issued and 20% of that number is what is allowed.  Therefore, one (1) retail and (1) other which could be cultivation license on a 5 acre and that would have to follow the Massachusetts General Laws for fencing and lighting.

School Street, Resident, Robert Daugherty:
- All LEME’s must be set back at least five hundred feet (500’) from any public or private school or licensed daycare center. 

Resident, Eileen Quinn:
- Questioned the house on the corner of West Mountain Road and Route 8 and questioned if changes could be made and what areas are considered business.

Donna:
- The business area has to follow existing zoning and it wouldn’t be feasible.
Jacob Zeminiski:
- Former resident of Cheshire is interested in possibly applying for a permit.  Questioned why only one (1) retail as two (2) or three (3) would offer competition. Donna responded that Cheshire is not a huge area and not everyone in town is for the creation of one (1) retail store. Donna said, “The State determines how many establishments and that there are separate licenses for retail (Medical/Recreational) and 1 other in the AR Zone for cultivation/testing/research.  Also, the 3% excise tax would benefit Cheshire – only recreational. More than one retail would be an over saturation for a
town our size.  She estimated that half of all residents want it and the other half do not. 

BRPC, Chris Gruber:
- Will be cleaning and changing language on page 4 D1.  He will be providing additional language for the medical dispensaries and he explained that there are a total of 75 licenses available in the State.

Ben Girard: 
- Inquired about the need for a site plan and if the applications and Planning Board requirements were on the Town website.  The answer is yes.

Peter:
- Felt the green defined area shape on the larger map was different by Whitney’s Farm area and Richardson Street at the other end.  He agreed that frontage on Route 8 was the same. Donna said, “Don’t get bound by the minutia of it.” For example, where Superior Springs is located is business but it is not on Route 8. Whitney’s Farm is agriculture and Greenacres and the DCR are on Route 8 and are zoned business.

Jacob Zeminiski:
- Wants to do it right and regulations are a good thing and the municipalities can benefit from it.  He is confident that there is a good opportunity for all.

Donna:
- There will be a warrant on the ballot in June and what, how, when will be decided.

8:00PM
- Donna motioned to close the meeting; 2nd by Nick with a unanimous vote taken.

Respectfully submitted,


Carole A. Hilderbrand, Cheshire Planning Board Secretary

Donna DeFino, Chairman
Francis Griswold
Peter H. Traub
Ronald W. DeAngelis
Nick Graham
Sandra Sloane, Alternate member

Cheshire Planning Board
Hearing:  Monday, January 22, 2018  7PM
Cheshire Annex
Present: Donna M. DeFino, Francis M. Griswold, Peter H. Traub, Nick Graham
Absent: Ronald W. DeAngelis, Sandra Sloane
Press:
At 7PM Donna opened the monthly meeting of the Cheshire Planning Board. 
Donna will be working on the budget for 2019 and questioned the cost for BRPC and she will be checking with Town Accountant, Lynn Lemanski, to see if the costs have remained the same.
 
General Discussion:

The Cheshire Planning Board members remarked about the many positive comments received on the completed building of the Dollar General store on Route 8.
Peter motioned to accept the minutes as presented for November 27, 2017; 2nd by Nick with a unanimous vote taken.
Peter reminded the CPB that a meeting has been scheduled by the BOS with representative, Thomas Matuszko, and members of the CPB on Tuesday, January 22, 2018 at 7pm which will offer an overview of the commission's work in Cheshire.  He will be updating the status of the Master Plan Implementation Committee, Planning Assistance Grant, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Planning Assistance Grant, Complete Streets, The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program, and the Berkshire Public Health Alliance. Peter noted that no application was completed for a Technical Assistance Grant.
Donna questioned when the next application for Technical Assistance Grant would be forthcoming.  Peter, at this time, did not know.  This will be a question to ask Mr. Matuszko.
Peter:  Talked about 8 types of licenses for marijuana dispensaries, regulations to date, and cultivation licenses.  She reminded the group that Cheshire is a Farming Community and licenses may be needed to grow the product. 
Donna:  Wisely reviewed the need for an overlay district which could be from the Lanesboro line to Adams, MA on Route 8.  She felt it best to follow business district restrictions and to be aware of small pockets of commercial spots.  Moving forward, there is a need to create the Marijuana by law and to have the Cheshire Planning Board be the approval agent by Special Permits.
Peter:  Advised the CPB about storm water and the permitting process, the Federal requirement and that BPRC could assist the town. Donna asked how we can control water.  Peter said the "BRPC has the NPDES program which controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to surface waters.  This program will require identified towns (regulated communities) to file permits with EPA meeting certain requirements, including a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) meeting six requirements.  One of those requirements is related to illicit discharging into water bodies, including non-point source pollution, due July 1, 2018.  Cheshire is a regulated community."
Donna:  Will speak with BRPC and will be drafting our own bylaw regarding Marijuana. She noted that the Cheshire Annual Meeting will take place on June 11, 2018.  Sixty five days prior to the meeting the BOS has to approve the bylaw for it to go forward. 
The next meeting will take place on:  Monday, February 26, 2018 @ 7PM @ the Cheshire Annex.
Peter motioned to adjourn at 8:15pm; 2nd by Fran with a unanimous vote taken.
Respectfully submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Cheshire Planning Board Secretary
 
Donna DeFino, Chairman
Francis Griswold
Peter H. Traub
Ronald W. DeAngelis
Nick Graham
Sandra Sloane, Alternate member

Cheshire Planning Board
Hearing:  Monday, November 27, 2017  7PM
Cheshire Annex

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

Audience: See sign-in-sheet

At 7PM Donna opened the monthly meeting of the Cheshire Planning Board. 

Donna will be working on the budget for 2019 and questioned the cost for BRPC and she will
be checking with Town Accountant, Lynn Lemanski, to see if the costs have remained the same.

General Discussion:
The Cheshire Planning Board members remarked about the many positive comments received on the completed building of the Dollar General store

Peter motioned to accept the minutes as presented for November 27, 2017; 2nd by Nick with a unanimous vote taken.

Peter reminded the CPB that a meeting has been scheduled by the BOS with representative, Thomas Matuszko, and members of the CPB on Tuesday, January 22, 2018 at 7pm offering an overview of the commission's work in Cheshire.  He will be updating the status of the Master Plan Implementation Committee, Planning Assistance Grant, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Planning Assistance Grant, Complete Streets, The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program, and the Berkshire Public Health Alliance. Peter noted that no application was completed for the Technical Assistance Grant.

Donna questioned when the next application for Technical Assistance Grant would be forthcoming. Peter, at this time, did not know.  This will be a question to ask Mr. Matuszko.

Peter: Talked about 8 types of licenses for marijuana dispensaries, regulations to date, and cultivation licenses.  She reminded the group that Cheshire is a Farming Community and licenses may be needed to grow the product. 

Donna: Wisely reviewed the need for an overlay district which could be from the Lanesboro line to Adams, MA on Route 8.  She felt it best to follow business district restrictions and to be aware of small pockets of commercial spots.  Moving forward, there is a need to create the marijuana by law and to have the Cheshire Planning Board be the approval agent by Special Permit.

Peter: Advised the CPB about storm water and the permitting process, the Federal requirement and that BPRC could assist the town. Donna asked how we can control water.  Peter said the "BRPC has the NPDES program which controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants to surface waters.  This program will require identified towns (regulated communities) to file permits with EPA meeting certain requirements, including a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) meeting six requirements.  One of those requirements is related to illicit discharging into water bodies, including non-point source pollution, due July 1, 2018.  Cheshire is a regulated community."

Donna:  Will speak with BRPC and will be drafting our own bylaw regarding marijuana. She noted that the Cheshire Annual Meeting will take place on June 11, 2018.  Sixty five days prior to the meeting the BOS has to approve the bylaw for it to go forward. 

The next meeting will take place on:  Monday, February 22, 2018 @ 7PM @ the Cheshire Annex.

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


Respectfully submitted,


Carole A. Hilderbrand, Cheshire Planning Board Secretary

 

Donna DeFino, Chairman
Francis Griswold
Peter H. Traub
Ronald W. DeAngelis
Nick Graham
Sandra Sloane, Alternate member

Cheshire Planning Board
Hearing:  Monday, October 23, 2017  7PM
Cheshire Community Center

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

Audience: See sign-in-sheet

Donna opened the monthly meeting of the Cheshire Planning Board.  The meeting minutes for September 25 2017 were motioned for approval by Nick; 2nd by Peter.  A unanimous vote was taken. Due to conflict of interest, Alternate Sandra Sloane replaced Mr. Griswold.

Donna welcomed all to the meeting and read the original Legal Notice for August 28, 2017.
Dean Smith of Borrego Solar submitted packets to all Cheshire Planning Board members.  The packets included 12 questions that had been asked at the August 28th meeting by board members.  Mr. Smith reviewed each questions.  He noted another Borrego project could be seen on West Shaft Road in North Adams, MA and on Main Street in Gill, MA. He reviewed the 5 finds of the bylaws that can be met.  The title review was proven to be expired.  There would be very little traffic noise when in operation.  Mowing would only take place twice a year.  The project would not drain on a public facility and there were no drainage issues.  They would be planting clumping grass which is beneficial to small animals and for filtration of surface water.  There would be a seven (7) foot fence with no barb wire.  Green or black vinyl was acceptable.
* The glare study was reviewed by a consultant for airports FAA and is very experienced in the field. There would be certain times of the year/sunset where there would be minimal glare.
* Dean Smith felt there was no directly related documentation to say if a solar project was built that the surrounding homes would decrease in value or in fact, increase.
* He cited no correlation between wind energy and solar. Solar is less intent while noise issues have been documented.
* MSDS.  When broken there is no real noxious chemicals.  Should rain waters get in the module and rust the metals, they would be replaced very quickly as not doing so would decrease productivity.
* EMF levels when in operation would be very low.
* If the facility is not working for twelve months, the Cheshire Planning Board would have the right to decommission.  To have the pads removed would involve time and labor.


Comments from the audience:

Kathryn Winiarski, 1285 Wells Road:
Questions:
* Concerned about the placement of evergreens surrounding the fence.
Answer:
- The trees would be placed ten feet apart and would be six feet to eight feet tall.  In five years the evergreens would be full grown. There is no grading at the site. Mr. Smith noted that if you drain off too much, there might be a problem thus the idea of planting grass.
- Mr. Smith:  The panels will not corrode.
- No issue regarding radiation. See report.
- Silicon dust?  Is silicon dust harmful to one’s health?  If one is damaged is there a hazard or potential for the break to get into the soil which could go to the wells and can it come in into the house?
Answer:  Mr. Smith said he would have to check further.  He felt there should be no problem as there are no chemicals.  They only use clean water for cleaning them.

*  Lake Effect?  Mr. Smith, “Not aware.”  The company operates 2000 sites and it is not significant enough.

Appraisals:  Will there be a reduction in taxes if the solar project devalues their home? 
Answer:  Donna, “You would have to speak with Cheshire Assessors”.

If in the future wells were damaged, what happens then?
Answer:  It would be covered by Borrego.  Mr. Smith shared that he knows of no cases like that.
If the Cheshire Planning Board would want to put that as a part of the Special Permit, that would be their decision.

Question:
“What kind and size machinery would be used in the installation of the racks?
Answer:
Mr. Smith reported that smaller heavy duty equipment would be made and would be drilling small holes into the ground.  On site work will mostly be by ATV type equipment.  Once in place the area would be raked and the soil would be aerated and grass seed planted.
Can I/we bring any water problems to Borrego?

Question:  What about the glare to livestock?
Answer:  There is a short period of time in the day where it might be a concern.  On the downhill side it could be fifteen minutes in the evening hours, part of the year.

Ms. Winiarski: noted 10.6,E2 – Public Convenience – not desirable to the public.  It would be detrimental to the establishment of the area.


Phillip Lamfromboise:
Question:  Would like counsel to review the deed expiration. 
Donna read a letter from F. Sydney Smithers, Cain Hibbard & Meyers, PC
“September 29, 2017
Re:  Land on Harbor Road Extension, Cheshire, Berkshire County, Massachusetts standing in the name of Thomas J. Ayotte and Barbara Ayotte
Dear Planning Board:

You have asked our assistance in reviewing restrictions imposed on land presently owned by Thomas J. Ayotte and Barbara Ayotte to determine whether such restrictions currently encumber their land.

The land in question is the same conveyed to Thomas J. Ayotte and Barbara Ayotte by deed of Henry Kratz dated July 15, 1994 and recorded with Berkshire Northern District Registry of Deeds in Book 886, Page 6.  That deed conveys a parcel shown on a plan entitled “Plan of Land Harbor Road Extension, Cheshire, Mass.  Prepared for Antonio D. Ayotte” dated October 26, 1977 and recorded with said Registry in Plan Book 240H, Page 111.  That parcel contains, according to the plan, 5.0 acres of land.

The second parcel owned by the Ayottes on Harbor Road Extension is the same conveyed to them by deed of Henry Kratz dated August 28, 2001 and recorded with said Registry in Book 1037, Page 1531.  That deed refers to a plan entitled “Plan of Land Wells Road-Cheshire, MA Prepared for Antonio D. Ayotte” dated July 27, 1976 and recorded with said Registry in Plan Book 240H, Page 63.  That parcel contains, according to the plan, 15 acres of land.

Both deeds contain the following apparent deed restrictions.

“SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING RESTRICTIONS:

“1.The premises shall be used for residential purposes only, and no residence shall be erected thereon at a cost of less than $20,000.
 2.There shall not at any time be placed upon the said remises any so-called mobile homes or trailers.”

Those restrictions are unlimited as to time.

In order to determine the present enforceability of these restrictions we must ascertain the date that the restrictions were first imposed on the two lots in question.  That determination is required because M.G.L. c. 184 section 23 provides as follows:


Conditions or restrictions, unlimited as to time, by which the title or use of real property is affected, shall be limited to the term of thirty years after the date of the deed or other instrument or the date of the probate of the will creating them, except in cases of gifts or devises for public, charitable or religious purposes.  This section shall not apply to conditions or restrictions existing on July sixteenth, eighteen hundred and eighty-seven, to those contained in the deed, grant or gift of the Commonwealth, or to those having the benefit of section thirty-two.

The restrictions imposed on the two parcels of land owned by the Ayotte’s are more recent than July 16, 1887, are not for public, charitable or religious purposes, are not contained in the deed, grant or gift of the Commonwealth, and do not have the benefit of section 32 [of c. 184].

Our title examination has revealed that the restrictions were first imposed on the 15 acre parcel by deed of Antonio D. Ayotte, Trustee of the Elsie L. Realty Company and Elsie L. Ayotte to Marjorie Thiel Kratz dated October 26, 1976 and recorded with said Registry in Book 673, Page 256.

As the restrictions in the deeds date to 1976 and 1977, respectively, both restrictions are in excess of 30 years old.  It is therefore our opinion that such restrictions are no longer enforceable and no longer encumber the two parcels of Ayotte land.

Signed:  F. Sydney Smithers”

Thomas Spratling: “Mass DEP discourage installation of ground-mounted solar PV systems in wetland areas, including riverfront locations.  Solar projects within wetland areas are unlikely to comply with the performance standards in the Wetlands Protection Act regulations.”

 Mr. Smith:
- “It will not be in the wetlands there is a one hundred foot buffer.  There are no issues.”

Ted Jayko:
- Concerned about his livestock and the differences in the August meeting and tonight regarding the EMS report.  The study of glare was taken by an airport specialist – for airports and not this specific site.  Mr. Jayko stated he will plant the fastest growing trees. Trees are being cut on the border now.
Mr. Smith answered a question about changing the degrees of the panels and said there would be an impact if that were to be done.

Audience:  “Where does the power go?”
Answer:  It goes into the grid.  What do the residents get out of this?  $10 a month? It is just like cell phones. Every six (6) months a new cell phone comes out.  What happens with a project like this when new ideas come out?


Mr. Smith:  It (electricity) can get sold back to locals – locals could buy the power. Bonds will be in place; there will be a twenty year lease with five (5) year renewals.

Mr. Driscoll:
- Concerned about property values and values decreasing.

Ms. Chalmers:
 “ Wanted to discuss the evergreens, glare, buffer zone and the need to have native plants.
Will panels create more wind?  Where were the panels made?
Mr. Smith:  The panels are open underneath and the panels were made in China and are five (5) feet-significantly less than eight (8) feet.
Ms. Chalmers:  “As you know, there have been many health issues with other products made in China and shipped and used in the United States. Children’s toys had lead pain.” Mr. Smith:  “I am not aware of that but, I will look into it.”
Ms. Chalmers stated that she had attended a recent Cheshire Conservation Commission and it was noted that there are springs on the land. She is very concerned about property values.
Ms. Chalmers final question was, “How do we make our case against the project.  The majority of people do not want it.  Will the Planning Board take that into consideration?”

Donna:
The Cheshire Conservation Commission will address water concerns.

Matt Lincoln:
- Reminded the board about scenic views.  He stated that if this Special Permit is approved, he will be the first one at the court house to appeal the case.

Katherine Lincoln:
- “Just today there was a beautiful picture of Cheshire in the Berkshire Eagle newspaper.  Cheshire is beautiful – that’s why we moved here. A continuous flow next to their property concerns her as the wells could get contaminated.”

Donna:
- EMF reports have been submitted by the solar company with Clean Energy Center Technical Environmental Inc. completed the report.


Eric Socha:
- Noted that he and many people believe in renewable energy – on a small scale.  He felt the location needed to be reviewed for the impact and repercussions it would have to the area. He understands the advantages and disadvantages to the project and asked the Planning Board to regard the impact.

Donna closed the audience question and answer time. She noted that the Cheshire Conservation Commission has continued their Hearing until November 10, 2017 at 5pm.

Donna asked for questions from the Planning Board members.
Nick:  Questioned how deep the drillings will be.
Answer:  Six (6) to (8) inches into the ground.

Peter:  Is there an engineering consultant?

Donna:  Yes – Hill Engineering.

Donna: “Wells Road down south is high and East Harbor Road is higher.  Flashes of glare on Wells Road are a problem.” Donna is not against solar but the responsibility of the Cheshire Planning Board is to abide by the bylaws.

Nick:  Most concerned about property values. It could be a five (5) 5 or 25% decrease.  Even one (1) % of a decrease is a concern.  There is no concrete evidence”.

Ron:  “What are our options?” Section 10 - page 42.  See Large Scale Photovoltaic Bylaw.

Peter:  “We have allowed other solar projects.”

Donna:  Issues with screening.  They can’t change the orientation of the panels.  Cost would be prohibitive for Borrego and not as productive.
Reviewed 1.3 Purpose of the Cheshire Planning Board. 

Peter:  We need to preserve what we have and to encourage new businesses, which we do.  There is no question that the proposed project if located elsewhere and not in a scenic area it would be approved.  Yet, adjacent property would be affected.  Our purpose is to maintain what we have.

Nick:  Adding to prosperity – there is only one (1) owner.


Donna:  “The Cheshire Planning Board is not restricting growth, we have accepted other solar projects.  However this location would discourage young families from moving to the area.”
People come here for a reason and she feels it is not for the betterment of the town.  There are twenty other locations better suited.  We can’t achieve what our bylaws set forth.

A motion was made by Nick on the Special Permit Application by Borrego Solar for Thomas and Barbara Ayotte of 203 East Road as set forth, 2nd by Ron.  The vote taken was 0 votes yea, and five (5) nay votes to deny the permit.

Next Meeting:  Monday, November 27, 2017 - 7PM - Cheshire Annex. 

Peter motioned to adjourn at 9:00pm; 2nd by Nick 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