Planning Board: Minutes

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

Cheshire Planning Board Minutes
October 27, 2014

- Presented the MASS Attorney General’s letter to the board regarding the approval of the bylaws submitted. (Solar, Small and Large Wind)
- Will ask Brian and Attorney St. John for clarification of Article 12.  Not going to be bigger than 1/16th of an acre.  State will not reimburse for more than 150% or 1 ½.  Small residential sites get paid from the power company.

- Will ask Brian about MASS Code rather than National Electrical Code.

- In the future, Hearings for application for solar, wind projects, or large wind systems should have a lawyer present.  Charlie requested the Board to review the letter and to email him with suggestions/comments.

- Need to know what the Board can do regarding BONDS to protect our environment.  Charlie will ask Brian and St. John.

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

To remember:  Buildings/projects/etc. “Should be in harmony with the surroundings”

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Recording Secretary

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

Planning Board Meeting Minutes
September 22, 2014  7pm
Cheshire Annex

Roll Call:      Charles M. Howard, Jr., Bernard F. Bator, Francis M. Griswold and Daniel Speth (arrived late)
Attending:    Peter Traub

ABSENT: Christopher D. Walsh

7:00PM  Charles Howard opened the meeting.

Resident Edwin H. Clairmont, Savoy Road, Cheshire, MA 01225 presented his revised plans .  It was signed by the Cheshire Planning Board noting on the plan; “ #7.  There are two (2) houses on Lot 1.  They were present on this lot in June 1970.  Zoning was adopted on June 3, 1972.”  Book:  635  Page:  305   Map: 240    Lot 25 and 26.

Carole arrived from the ZBA meeting at 7:20pm.  August minutes will be email to members for approval.


Section 2.  “Owner of property or an authorized agent.”

Filing Fees.  Section 14 page 5
- Residential and Business fees  = $400.00.
- Agricultural fees                       = $300.00
Bernie made a motion to approve  the above filing fees; 2nd Charlie with a unanimous vote taken.

Dan: Page 3   Section 6A. No issues.

Charlie:  Page 4  Section 7-13 No issues.

Insert the word LICENSED.

Waivers:  Planning Board can waive any and all. Site visits are always advised.
- Discussed the waiver process.

Bernard motioned to accept the Rules and Regulations with changes made; 2nd by Dan.  A unanimous vote was taken.

Next meeting:  Monday, October 27, 2014  7pm  Cheshire Annex.

By Law Committee meeting:  October 13, 2014  7pm  Cheshire Annex.

Bernie motioned to close the meeting; 2nd by Fran.  A unanimous vote was taken at 8:45pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Carole A. Hilderbrand, Recording Secretary

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

July 28, 2014  7pm  Cheshire Annex

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


Peter Traub
Mr. Jennings
Rick Gurney

BRPC Representative, Thomas Matuszko

Charlie: Opened the 7pm meeting.

Charlie read The Berkshire Eagle Legal Notice for a Special Permit to install a “Welcome to Cheshire” sign donated by the Cheshire Lions Club.  Lions Club representative, Rick Gurney, reviewed the project, the history of the club and its efforts to raise the money for the building and installation of the sign.  He also showed a drawing of the actual sign.  Charlie noted that the highest point of the sign is not to exceed eight (8) feet.  The sign will be four (4) feet by six (6) feet.  After a discussion period, with no questions or objections from the audience, Charlie
Made a motion to accept the application as submitted with the addition of the following requirements:

  1. The sign will be a minimum of twenty (20) feet in the westerly direction and can continue for another ten (10) feet
  2. The sign will go westerly nine (9) feet.
  3. The sign will have no illumination with either internal or external lighting.
  4. The sign will be located to the south side of the property no closer than twenty (20) feet from the side property line.
  5. The sign itself will be no larger than four (4) feet by six (6) feet with the height no higher than eight (8) feet from the existing grade.

    The motion was seconded by Fran and a unanimous vote was taken by:  Charles Howard, Fran Griswold, and Bernard Bator.  Daniel Speth was unable to vote as he had yet to be sworn in by the Cheshire Town Clerk.  Christopher Walsh was on vacation. Chris also needs to be sworn in – a reminder will be emailed.

    To Be Noted:
    Bernard Bator voiced his personal opinion on the placement of a sign on town property.  He felt the land was taken for taxes and is now owned by the town.  Placing a sign on the property looks like the town is keeping the land.  He stated, “This is prime property, business property and the town should be looking
    to sell the property.”  The Board noted that should the property be sold, the sign can be removed and it can be taken off the property’s deed.

    Form A:  Edmund Clarimont.  Page 305  Book  635. (Estate Planning for his daughter,)  Mr. Clarimont rescinded the plans submitted on June 25, 2014 and replaced it with a revised edition. The new plans could not be signed due to Dan’s not being sworn in.  Additionally, there are legal questions regarding old Route 116 and its ownership.  Charlie will discuss with Assessor’s and the Board of Selectmen.

    BRPC Representative, Thomas Matuszko discussed the progress of the Cheshire by laws and the excellent assistance received from Brian Domina.  Mr. Matuszko discussed the process of the creation and development of a Cheshire Master Plan and the importance of having a cross section of people on the committee.  This project could take up to 2 years and possibly more time.  No member should have an  agenda or special interest in order for the committee to be objective to the real needs of its community.
    Categories could include:  Land Use, Natural Resources, Housing (Affordable and Elderly), Capital Improvements, Infra Structure, Zoning Changes, Assessments of Town Properties to name a few.
    Communication is most important in the process.  This might include surveys and public meetings.
    He noted that Sandisfield and Otis are starting a process while Great Barrington has passed a plan.
    He noted that the cost for this project could start at $20K and go to $30K.  He was willing to check if there were any grants available to assist the cause and he would get back to the Board asap.  New grants will be out in October and or November and would be awarded in January.  (Local Assistance Program.) It is important to look at present issues.  Trends.  The Future – rural/less industrial/more or less  taxes. Positive and Negative changes.  Goals.  Objectives.  Budgets.  Year 1; Action Plan.  Year 2; Action Plan. It is the Cheshire Planning Board’s responsibility to accept a Master Plan before it goes further in the process. The Cheshire BOS will be invited to the committee meeting on August 11, 2014 7pm.
    The Cheshire by law reorganization was discussed and he suggested following  Domina’s suggestion not to make by law changes at this time.  He felt it best to get the reorganization part passed first by the town at an Annual Town Meeting.

    Discussion continued by reading a letter received from Attorney St. John and the Dollar General project.

    Mr. Matuszko will apprise the Planning Board for upcoming trainings.

    Charlie motioned to adjourn the July 28, 2014 Cheshire Planning Board meeting at 9:30PM; 2nd by Fran with a unanimous vote taken.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Carole A. Hilderbrand, Secretary to the Cheshire Planning Board

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