Planning Board: Minutes

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.

- 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.

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

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 

Cheshire Planning Board
Hearing:  July 25, 2016  7PM
Cheshire Annex

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

Peter motioned to accept the June 2016 meeting minutes as presented; 2nd by Ron with a unanimous vote taken.

AR – Hill Engineering
The Cheshire Planning Board reviewed the plans for: Frank S. & Rita Lazarczyk, 745 Savoy Road, Cheshire, MA by Hill Engineering Surveyor, Timothy DE. Armstrong No. 51619; Project Number: SRV-1980-001; Boundary Plan.
The front footage was 185 feet – is non conforming and always will be nonconforming.

- Questioned if the plan was making it larger but not making it more conforming.
- Answer:  Correct.

Ron made a motion to approve the plan; 2nd by Shannon.  A unanimous vote was taken.

Dollar General

Fran noted that all around the Dollar General property it is deemed R1.
- The Board reviewed a revised set of plans and noted it conforms to the Notice of Decision.
- Fran motioned to accept the newly submitted plans; 2nd by Shannon.  A unanimous vote was taken.

Peter agreed to notify the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission that he will continue on as Cheshire’s representative.

- Suggested that all members review the by-laws of Cheshire and to be prepared for September and or October’s meeting to go through amendments, to review signage, the Board’s ability to dictate a building’s aesthetics, and to review the Photovoltaic process.

- Donna is working on the AR Application and will be presenting to the Select Board notification of a filing fee of $50.00 or $100.00.

- Suggested the charging of a fee for a Board member to register Notice of Decision with the Northern Berkshire Registry of Deeds. This will be considered at the next meeting.

- Reported several complaints from the Cheshire Lake Association about a plane landing in the lake. Peter questioned if this was allowed.

- Reported that the” Bushika” solar bond has been released.  Chris has the original in the Cheshire Town safe.

- Informed the Board that she will be unable to attend the August 22nd meeting.

At 8:30PM with all business finalized, Shannon motioned to close the meeting; 2nd by Donna with a unanimous vote taken.

Respectfully submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand
Cheshire Planning Board Secretary

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

Cheshire Planning Board
Hearing:  May 23, 2016  7PM/May Meeting
Cheshire Community Center

Attending: Daniel Speth, Francis Griswold, Shannon Plumb, Peter Traub and Ron DeAngelis
Alternate: Donna DeFino
Dollar General: Andrew Comollo from Lisciotti Development and the presenter, Austin Turner

Dan introduced the Planning Board Members to the audience.

Austin Turner showed the audience a site plot plan and a plan for a Dollar General store on Route 8 in Cheshire, MA.
- He noted that it was in a business zone and it would be sub divided from a 12 acre lot.  It would have thirty (30) parking spaces and he believed the plan complied with the requirements of the Cheshire Bylaws.  The company is mindful of the area, its access right and left and they have applied to the State regarding exits and entrance areas and have received back minor comments. He noted that the Cheshire Board of Health has approved the septic system.
- The State standards have been met for a one hundred year (100) storm event.  They will be providing buffing and landscaping on the West side and front and it will not deter from viewing traffic and is considered safe from both directions.
- The lighting will be facing down and forward.
- Store Hours:  8am to 10pm seven (7) days per week.  Delivery hours will be Mondays before the store opens.

Planning Board Requirements:
1.  Use.
2.  Signage
3.  Related to signage - allow light/visible at night.

The exterior will be a hardy plank, durable low maintenance material.  He felt the sign would not be intrusive to the area.  The yellow letters will match the building.  It will be free standing and a fifty (50) foot  square. The height will be twenty (20) feet high.

Daniel Speth:
- Questioned the availability of using a ground sign similar to the Adams, MA Dollar General.

The soil in Cheshire is very hard to work with as it is a clay soil.  He would have to speak to the structural engineers as there is not a lot of room. Dollar General Hearing

Ronald DeAngelis:
- Requested that stakes be placed where the sign would be so the Board could view the exact area.

- If the sign was moved back that could possibly eliminate one (1) parking space.  They would still want a sign twenty (20) feet high.   He hoped the Board could determine an approval tonight with a condition so both parties could work together and agree on something.

Francis Griswold:
- In researching the internet Fran Griswold found several Dollar General stores that showed windows and an exterior more suitable for a small New England town culture similar to Cheshire.  He felt that would be more suitable to the area and the requests from the majority of the audience.

Peter Traub:
- Noted that Sheffield, MA was a very controversial project.  When riding through the town recently, he noticed that the building had false windows and a peak roof.  He wondered if they could cost compare the Sheffield site and Cheshire project to make similar changes.

Austin Turner:
- He felt the soil played a big part in the design and the Sheffield project had significant differences; but he would check with the company.

- Questioned what the lighting schedule would be.  Answer:  The light will automatically shut off one half hour after the last employee leaves.

Maureen Riley-Moriarty:
- Did the company complete a traffic study and was it approved by the State?

Austin Turner:
- They had the Institute of Transportation anticipate the morning and evening trips and it was provided as part of their application to the DOT.  The DOT said, "They were good to go."

E. Richard Scholz:
- Questioned if the engineers understood the impact on the traffic already happening in that area of
Route 8 in Cheshire?  He felt the traffic study, ideally should be from the Shell station and there should be a center turn lane.  Mr. Scholz requested to see the formal document for a peer review.  He felt the company was not sensitive to the town and felt Dollar General was not good for the town.  There have been many accidents and close accidents - people need to slow down.

- Noted that Delmolino's has at least thirty (30) trucks a day entering and exiting Route 8.  It is a business zone.

Dollar General Hearing

Robert Katz, 120 North State Road:
- Felt the Dollar General Store was an embarrassment to the Town of Cheshire especially where there are historic homes that are being maintained for the history of Cheshire.  He recently purchased a home in the area and felt it should be called, "General Dunkin". 

Daniel Speth:
- Reminded the audience that the Cheshire Planning Board is only looking at the land use.  If they meet
the requirements they can get approved.

Robert Katz:
- Believes the town doesn't have to allow a garish building and lights.  He felt the Planning Board had the ability to shut it down.  He noted that the hourly wage was probably less than $10.00 and people don't want to be looking at the big yellow sign; it is meaningless.

E. Richard Scholz:
- Does not like the design.
- Make it look more colonial.
- This business will not make the Town of Cheshire better.
- Traffic danger if you try to cross Route 8.

Eleanor  Kittler:
- It is difficult to get on Route 8 now.  The traffic is bad and dangerous now.

Claire Wohrle:
- Voiced that she cannot get out of her driveway now.  She agreed on the historical value of the Town.

Robert Katz:
- Suggested using the old Chicken Restaurant on Route 8.

Selectmen Chairman, Paul F. Astorino
- Reported that traffic is lost as many drivers take the Lanesboro Road.

Irene Bator:
- People will know where the Dollar General store is; why can't you make the signs and design more suitable to match the Town.  Mrs. Bator questioned if there would be another exit.  Answer:  There will be a primary and two (2) exits.

Austin Turner:
- It is possible to move the sign back away from the road, but it has to be visible.

Eleanor Kittler:
- "Who said it was a good site?"

Dollar General Hearing

Jeff Warner:
- Reminded the audience that it was a business zone, and the town could use the taxes. Nothing else in the area is colonial.  He felt you can't tell residents what they can and cannot build.  The Chicken Stop is falling down.  He noted the dates built of other Butler Buildings in Town.  Mr. Warner said he was a local farmer and it would not be a problem for the crop lands.
- Would a colonial facade be unreasonable?

Daniel Speth:
Announced that there will be a Continuation Hearing on the 4th Monday of the month; June 27th at 7pm at the Community Center. He stated that the Cheshire Planning Board will review if the project has met the Cheshire Zoning Bylaws.  Into consideration will be traffic safety, and the voice of the people.

Austin Turner:
- Feels the project meets the Special Permit requirements.
- He agreed to discuss with the owners the design.
- Will meet with their structural engineers to restructure the signage.
- Mr. Turner realized the audiences opinion about the ground free standing sign.
- Mr. Turner heard about remarks about windows and certain external changes desired.

Daniel Speth:
- Made it very clear that the group wants the sign on the ground and not in the air.
- The Town wants a colonial type building.
- "Changes can happen."  We will know when you come back in on June 27, 2016 if you understand the
desires of the townspeople in attendance.

Building Inspector, Gerry Garner:
- There are no design rules and regulations in place and remarked that the Town should think about being sued.  There is 90 days from today to make the Decision.  The traffic studies have been done - they know the traffic patterns and the DOT would not allow the project to go forward if there were an issue with traffic.

Daniel Speth made a motion to continue the Hearing to June 27th; 2nd by Francis Griswold with a unanimous vote taken.

Jaime A. Smith and Jeffrey J. Macel, Esq. from Lodestar Energy, 3 Ellsworth Place, Suite 122, Avon, CT 06001.  Issue:  Surety Bond.  Project:  Bushika/Route 8 Solar Array Project.  The Cheshire Planning Board motioned  (Daniel Speth) to give Town Counsel's information to Mr. Smith and Mr. Macel for legal advice.  2nd by Peter Traub with a unanimous vote taken.

Chairman Election:
- All voted to have Daniel Speth remain as Chairman of the Cheshire Planning Board.
Dollar General Hearing/Meeting

Donna DeFino:
- Donna asked Dan if he wanted to consider electing a vice chair, since he wasn’t sure he wanted to remain as chair due to the time etc. involved and since no one else wanted to be chair in his place.

Minutes approved for March 28, 2016.  Motion to approve by Shannon Plumb; 2nd by Francis Griswold with a unanimous vote taken.

Minutes approved for April 25, 2016.  Motion to approve by Shannon Plumb, 2nd by Francis Griswold with a unanimous vote taken.

Gerry Garner:
- Should ask the Town to make zoning changes regarding designs.

Peter Traub:
- The Master Plan will make recommendations.

Shannon Plumb motioned to close the meeting; 2nd by Francis Griswold with a unanimous vote taken.

With all business finalized the meeting closed at 9:00pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Daniel L. Speth
Francis M. Griswold
Shannon C. Plumb
Peter H. Traub
Ronald DeAngelis
Donna DeFino, Alternate Member

**Personnel issues should be expressed in an Executive Session.  Minutes regarding a personnel issue have been completed and will be offered at the Monday, June 27, 2016 meeting.  I will be following up on the Open Meeting rules and Executive Sessions.

Planning Board Meeting Minutes
February 22, 2016 - 7PM Cheshire Annex

Present:Daniel L. Speth, Bernard F. Bator, Francis M. Griswold, and Peter H. Traub,
Attending:Donna Garner and Ronald DeAngelis
Absent:    Shannon C. Plumb, Esq.

Dan opened the meeting at 7pm with Peter assigned to take minutes.

Dan welcomed Donna Defino to the meeting and hoped she had considered the position of Alternate Member on the Cheshire Planning Board.  Donna agreed. Dan made a motion to recommend to the Selectmen Donna as the Alternate Member; 2nd by Bernie with all members voting unanimously.
(Donna DeFino, 184 West Mountain Road (413-743-7881) (Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Ron DeAngelis attended the meeting and stated he was going forward with taking out nomination papers to be the 5 year Cheshire Planning Board member.  All members welcomed Ron and wished him well in the election. Shannon will be reminded to secure her papers for the 2 year term.

Meeting minutes for the January 2016 meeting were approved.  Bernie made a motion to approve the meeting minutes as submitted; 2nd by Francis with a unanimous vote taken.

Resident, Gary Schneider of Stafford Hill Road presented the CPB with information about an adjoining property because of wetlands, streams, and septic system concerns.
- Mr. Schneider read, “Property @ approx 10 Stafford Hill Road Cheshire, MA. Owned by Mark & Jean Fortier, Parcel #2, Book 01382, Page 1097.  As stated in a letter to the BOS July 19, 2013 an read into minutes my concerns of a aforementioned property is, according to the DEP there are resources areas there protected under Mass Wetlands Protection Act.  I would like to take this opportunity to make aware to the Planning Board & refresh the BOSD of this property.  The reason being it is for sale & I suspect will be cut into building lots.  I respectfully request that this property be looked into by the Planning Board & the BOS before plot plans if & when submitted to deal with the wetlands issues which will change the entire area in regards to drainage etc.  This particular property is delicate in nature with all of its issues again per DEP along with (CIS) maps of the area in question.  With proper engineering & oversight would minimize the impact to Stafford Hill & waterways if deemed buildable which I suspect will be challenging & best.  Carole A. Hilderbrand sent me a letter dated July 26, 2013 answering my concerns.  The letter is attached to this e-mail.  Long & short the powers to be need to informed & proper action taken if deemed necessary to prevent any damage.  In short, the rules, in this instance need to be complied with.  Look forward to your response.  Concerned abutter.  Respectfully, Gary F. Schneider.’

Resident, Gene Pierce discussed his property at Lot #23 Number 20 Daniels Terrace and Lot #20 owned by J. Ferro at 92 Daniels Terrace.  The Board recommended having the property surveyed.  The survey as well as a completed Form A should be submitted to the Cheshire Planning Board for review and approval according to Zoning By laws.

Program Manager from Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Celeste Harp, reviewed a program she is heading for keeping the elderly in their homes and housing. She plans on attending the next Cheshire Master Plan Committee meeting to inform the group.  Ed. St. John IV, as a member of the committee, said he felt the upcoming electronic and paper survey they have designed, in general, addresses questions regarding elderly housing and housing in general.  She requested Peter Traub to
update her on happenings in Cheshire.

Resident, Ed. St. John IV, presented the CPB with a plan for a Special Permit Application.  An additional $100 check was submitted.  The schedule for the Hearing will take place on Monday, March 28, 2016 at 7:30pm in the Cheshire Annex.
- The CPB requested measurements from the front porch to the road.  Markers should be placed at points of where it will go.  Photographs are requested.  Ed St. John IV noted that the footprint will remain the same except for the porch. He said the six (6) foot porch will not go beyond the cement steps.  It was recommended to have the stairs placed on the side and not the front. The porch will not be enclosed as that might create a blind spot.

Next Meeting:  Monday, March 28, 2016  7pm  -  Cheshire Annex.

The CPB approved the cost of the Cheshire Zoning and Protection book to be $10.00 per copy.
With all business finalized, Bernard motioned to close the meeting at 9:00pm; 2nd by Dan with a unanimous vote taken.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Recording Secretary
Minutes from 8pm on taken by Carole A. Hilderbrand

Daniel L. Speth, Chairman       
Bernard F. Bator          
Francis M. Griswold       
Peter H. Traub
Shannon C. Plumb, Esq.

Planning Board Meeting Minutes
July 27, 2015  7pm Cheshire Annex

Present: Bernard F. Bator, Francis M. Griswold, and Peter H. Traub

Absent:    Daniel L. Speth

Bernard, acting as Chairman, opened the 7pm Cheshire Planning Board.

The minutes for the June 29, 2015 meeting were reviewed and put aside until the August meeting for
the signature of the Chairman.

Peter agreed to be the Cheshire Planning Board representative to the Berkshire Country Regional Planning Commission.

Bernard requested a reminder be emailed to Dan regarding the scheduling of a meeting with committee members with Brian Domain to go forward with the bylaws.

Research showed no determination regarding times for the lighting of signs at the Adams Community Savings Bank.

Invitation letters will be mailed to Eileen Quinn and Fred Jajko inviting them to attend PB meetings.
This invitation is in hope of signing up a new board member and or an alternate member.

A letter of appreciation will be created for Charles Howard, Jr. for his stellar chairmanship of managing the issues and concerns over many years of the Cheshire Planning Board.  He was tenacious in leading all aspects of creating a Cheshire Rules and Regulations Guide, Approval of Special Permit Fees, by laws for Solar Photovoltaic Installations, Small Wind Energy Systems, and Large Wind Energy Facilities, as well as bylaws for Cell Towers. Charlie’s mentoring to new board members was greatly appreciated and the sharing of his knowledge leaves the board with a strong foundation for moving forward in creating a master plan and the updating of the Town’s by laws.

With all business finalized, Bernard motioned to close the meeting at 7:45PM; 2nd by Francis with a unanimous vote taken.

NEXT MEETING:  MONDAY, August 24, 2015 - 7pm - The Cheshire Annex.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Recording Secretary

Daniel L. Speth
Bernard F. Bator
Francis M. Griswold
Peter H. Traub

Planning Board Meeting Minutes
December 29, 2014  7PM
Cheshire Annex

Roll Call: Charles M. Howard, Jr., Bernard F. Bator, Francis M. Griswold, Daniel Speth, Christopher D. Walsh

7:00PM  Charles Howard opened the meeting.

Charlie introduced Kirk Mayland  (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) who requested time before the Board to present a informal presentation on a 4.8 acre site a part from 50 acres at 926 North State Road. Mr. Mayland presented the project on paper with photographs depicting the slope of the land.  He has been in contact with National Heritage and anticipates no issues or concerns regarding any wetland issues.  The project will not be seen by abutters or from the road and it will not interfere with the life style of those abutting the property.  Charlie gave Mr. Mayland a copy of Cheshire Rules and Regulations and a copy of Cheshire’s by law regarding photovoltaic projects.  Mr. Mayland is under a time constraint and will be submitting required paperwork to the Planning Board on Friday, January 2, 2015.

A site visit by the Board will take place on Sunday, January 4, 2015 at 9am at the annex.  The Board will meet at the site at 9:15am.  Abutters attending the meeting were Joan and George Bushika and they will also be at the site meeting. Mr. Bushika felt it was, “A wonderful site for the project.”  Mrs. Bushika questioned if the building would be maintained or if it would be taken down.  She noted that the construction is post and beam.  It was noted that there may be a below ground tank under the building.

Mr. Mayland said he would go door to door to the abutters to explain the project rather than attempting to get advertising out for an information meeting.

The presentation ended at 7:45 PM.

Dan Speth motioned to accept the November 24, 2014 minutes; 2nd by Fran Griswold with a unanimous vote taken.

Next Planning Board Meeting:
Monday, January 26, 2015
7pm  Cheshire Community Center.

Next Bylaw Committee Meeting:
Monday, January 5, 2015
7pm  Cheshire Annex.

Charlie motioned to close the meeting; 2nd by Fran.  A unanimous vote was taken at:  8:15PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Recording Secretary

Charles M. Howard, Jr.
Bernard F. Bator
Francis M. Griswold
Christopher D. Walsh
Daniel Speth