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CITY OF WOBURN
JANUARY 6, 2015 – 7:00 P.M.
REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL
DiTucci – absent Mercer-Bruen Drapeau Raymond
The City Council observed a moment of silence in memory of former Building Inspector John L. Brophy and former State Representative Daniel L. Joyce, Jr. who both passed away recently.
Pursuant to Title 2, Article III, Section 2-13 of the 1989 Woburn Municipal Code, as amended, His Honor the Mayor Scott D. Galvin delivered the State of the City Address. In addition to the Members of the City Council, the following School Committee Members were seated in the legislative area of the Council Chambers for that portion of the meeting in which His Honor the Mayor made his address: Chair Dr. John Wells, Member Patricia Chisholm, Member Ellen Crowley, Member Joseph Demers, Member
Christopher Kisiel, Member Frederick Metters and Member Michael Mulrenan. State Representative James Dwyer was also in attendance. The Mayor’s address was as follows:
State of the City of Woburn, Massachusetts
Good evening Honorable Members of the Woburn City Council, Woburn School Committee, City Board Members, Departments Heads, staff and guests.
Thank you President Haggerty, members of the City Council, Chairman Wells and members of the School Committee, for the opportunity to present “The State of Our City” to your distinguished boards and to the citizens of our fine City.
As we begin the year 2015, I am pleased to report we continue to strengthen our financial position—while simultaneously delivering a high level of quality services to the residents of Woburn.
This past September, Moody’s Investors Service recognized Woburn’s strong financial position, by upgrading our bond rating from Aa2 to Aa1 – Moody’s second highest rating available—and the first bond upgrade earned by Woburn in more than 12 years.
Moody’s attributed this upgrade to our conservative budgeting practices, structurally balanced financial operations, as well as healthy reserves and liquidity levels.
During the past five years, we managed to nearly triple our free cash—to a balance of $13.4 million, as certified by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. We have also increased our Stabilization Funds to just more than $14 million. At the same time, we continue to offer one of the lowest residential and commercial tax rates in Middlesex County.
In addition, we have regularly maintained a solid free cash balance in the City’s Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund—while still maintaining affordable rates with no increases over the last five years.
The year ahead comes with its own challenges to our hard-earned, solid financial position.
I will continue to work diligently with Department Heads, the School Committee and the City Council to prepare and approve a fiscally conservative FY 2016 City Budget, and to ensure the City maintains solid reserves and a healthy balance sheet.
The following issues could have an impact on expenditures for important services— including education and public safety:
- FY 2016 local aide revenues from the Commonwealth will be impacted by an estimated $1 billion shortfall in the State Budget;
- As we embark on the next round of important community capital projects—including construction of a new Wyman/ Hurld Elementary School, rehabilitation and improvements of the Woburn Public Library and construction of a new Fire Station— we must be mindful that we will be incorporating new debt into our budget that exceeds the amount of debt being retired, by over $2 million dollars.
- Like most communities in the Commonwealth, Woburn must realistically address the financial obligations related to funding post-employment health insurance benefits and costs. GASB 43 and 45 require Cities and Towns to report the financial cost and obligations of an employee’s insurance as they are incurred—just like pensions—and not when employees retire;
- In the most recent actuarial study, the City had an unfunded liability for the cost of retiree health insurance in the amount of $240,000,000. To begin addressing this monumental obligation, the City recently established an OPEB Trust and, for the first time, included a $500,000 line item appropriation in the FY 2015 budget.
- However, in order to fully pay the cost of Health Insurance for future retirees, our additional annual contribution was determined to be $9 million per year. Although the $500,000 appropriation we made in FY2015 is significant, it falls far short of the
full amount required. Moving forward, the City will be forced to make unpleasant decisions on what services to cut in order to pay for this expense.
- OPEB liabilities are a serious issue that must be recognized and addressed appropriately, and that requires cooperation between the City and our employees.
- All City labor contracts have expired and are at different stages of negotiation. As always, it is the City’s goal to treat our employees fairly, and with respect. As part of our negotiations, we have already offered an extremely fair package to some of the City’s Unions. However, every long-term contract I sign must include concessions on Health Insurance.
Investments in schools, infrastructure, recreation and public safety, as well as providing a multitude of superior services, has positively impacted Woburn’s appeal as a destination of choice for new homeowners and business ventures. Residential and commercial property values have both benefitted from Woburn’s growing desirability.
We continue to see robust growth in the City, as evidenced by the 1,577 building permits issued by the Building Department over the past calendar year. Strength in residential and commercial markets is highlighted by the issuance of permits for the 855 Main Street Condominium development, Carlson Way subdivision, Benchmark Assisted Living Facility, Masotta Building rehabilitation, and construction of Dave and Buster’s.
As we move forward, the City has a number of proposed residential and commercial projects that could responsibly add to the City tax base and growth.
City Department Heads—particularly the Building Inspector, City Solicitor, Planning
Board Director, City Engineer, Superintendent of Public Works, and Director of Conservation—will continue to meet, as a team ,with the proponents of these developments to ensure a streamlined process for the permitting of these important projects, which include:
- 1071 Main Street Condominiums
- Woburn Foreign Motors
- Woburn Landing – WR Grace Site
- Winning Farm Condominiums – and
- The Armory
I recently organized an encouraging meeting with the buyer of the 19-acre Shannon Farm site. I am pleased to report the buyer has offered a win-win for the City of Woburn.
The buyer’s proposal includes plans to build a low-density, high-end condominium development on half of the site, and then convey the remaining half of the property to the City to be used as open space.
I invited Ward 7Alderman Ray Drapeau, Council President Richard Haggerty and the Developer to sit down at the table, and together we were able to create a plan that will include 40 acres of contiguous open space that stretches from Winning Farm to Shannon Farm—at no cost to the taxpayers of Woburn. The combined 40-acre parcel of open space will consist of walking trails and light recreational uses.
Another real estate development that holds great potential for the City is the Atlantic Gelatin site, located off of Montvale Avenue in East Woburn. The City recently received notice that all operations would be shut down by the end of 2015.
The 57-plus acre site presents a tremendous economic development opportunity for the City, and will also serve as an economic engine for the region that will help to further solidify the city tax base.
I look forward to working with the representatives from The Kraft Food Group, City planning agencies and the City Council to create a first class development that will serve as the gateway to Woburn.
We continue to make great strides at the Woburn Fire Department under the leadership of Chief Tim Ring. In February 2013, Municipal Resources concluded its study of the overall operations of the Woburn Fire Department, and made numerous recommendations for changes to improve operations.
As a result, we have modernized and improved the way we deliver emergency services to the community. We have added one firefighter to each firefighting apparatus for the safety of the department and effectiveness of services.
We equipped the shift commander with a newly purchased Tahoe Command Vehicle, instead of fire-fighting apparatus, to enable him to effectively supervise the overall onduty group and better serve as incident commander.
We have also increased the number of on-duty firefighters, and added a second ambulance weekdays with two additional firefighters—providing greater service to our community.
We also recently submitted an ordinance to the City Council to create a new position of Assistant Fire Chief to serve as second in command in the management of the Fire Department.
We have also purchased the following capital equipment for the Fire Department:
- A Pierce Pumping Engine , $525,000;
- A Ford F350 Horton Ambulance, $ $175,000;
- Tahoe Command Vehicle, $ 30,000;
- Two Ford Hybrid Vehicles, $50,000; and a
- Bucket Truck, $ 60,000
We have also appropriated an additional $575,000 for the purchase of a new Fire Engine.
In addition, the Fire Department was the recent recipient of a $160,000 Federal Grant toward the purchase of essential, state-of-the art firefighter gear.
We continue to move forward with our plans to build a much-needed new fire station, and with a $200,000 feasibility study appropriation, have hired Municipal Building Consultants to serve as our project manager. The City is currently exploring design and site selection options.
Under the direction of Chief Robert Ferullo, the Woburn Police Department continues to operate at a high level in the community, and has had an important and positive impact on school safety and training.
For instance, the Police Department has conducted school safety assessments and also introduced ALICE training to teachers on how to respond in the event of a violent classroom intruder.
The Police Department also continues utilizing the Citi-Stat program, which has allowed implementation of cost-saving efficiencies in some areas, while identifying other areas to adjust, for instance, a patrol deployment plan to more effectively meet the needs of the community—and that results in more effective policing.
The ability to combine Citi-Stat with existing crime mapping and crime analysis tools has helped us to police smarter and more proactively in an effort to work on prevention and deterrence rather than a reactive response.
The Nationwide Heroin epidemic is the major issue our City and communities across the nation must confront. There is no simple answer or solution to this tragedy.
Heroin addiction does not discriminate when choosing its victims, and Woburn has lost far too many young men and women from all different types of socioeconomic backgrounds to this addiction.
The Woburn Police Department has a zero-tolerance approach to drug dealers. In fact, drug arrests are up 100 percent since 2012. At the same time, the available drug supply is seemingly endless and an arrested drug dealer is easily replaced by another.
Cities and towns need help at the State and Federal level to effectively deal with this epidemic.
The Police Department, School Department and my Office have worked together conducting multiple community forums on substance abuse and education.
We will continue with these outreach efforts in the new year. We are also exploring the creation of a new Substance Abuse Outreach position to continue educating the community about this epidemic and intervening on behalf of those in need of services.
Police Training for the implementation of Nasal Narcane, meanwhile, will begin this month. All Woburn Firefighters have been trained in the use of Nasal Narcane and it is now carried on all fire apparatus.
Since September, the Fire Department has on10 separate occasions administered and saved the life of an opiate-induced overdose victim.
The City prepared and funded a new five-year capital improvement plan for the water and sewer system to ensure continued investment in the replacement and rehabilitation of our infrastructure.
During 2014, the Water Department completed demolition of the old Rag Rock water storage facility; the eighth year of cleaning and lining the water main along Main St; and the redevelopment of Well A2.
Hundreds of discolored water calls that were once common place are now a thing of the past thanks to the new filtration plant.
In 2015, the City will move forward with our Year 9 Cleaning and Lining program, and the replacement of the Shaker Glenn Booster Pump Station. Plans are on track to execute a contract with a successful bidder by the end of this month.
Meanwhile, the City continues to hold the line on MWRA costs by removing infiltration and inflow from the sewerage system. We are moving forward with designs for sewer improvements on the East Side under project CIP 1 during 2015 to further this goal.
During 2014, the City completed the full rehabilitation of the Dix Road sewage pump station, which will allow this facility to operate well into the future.
The Department of Public Works, operating under the direction of Superintendent Jay Duran, completed the major reconstruction and improvement of the storage yard across the street from its main building on North Warren Street.
The Department of Public Works and the Engineering Department are working with a consultant on a comprehensive pavement management system
DPW and Engineering are also making progress with the Stream Maintenance Program in areas throughout the City to help mitigate localized flooding.
Both departments also worked successfully with the Cemetery Commission to complete major road-paving and water system upgrades at Woodbrook Cemetery.
The DPW has also overseen the mandatory installation of residential water meters—as the City works toward complying with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Order to install residential water meters in all homes.
RECREATION AND PARKS
The Parks and Recreation Department has worked diligently and effectively to expand the programs they offer to the public.
Over the past year, Recreation doubled the size of its Girls and Boys travel basketball program—from 8 teams to 16 teams. Recreation also took over the Adult Evening Education Program at Woburn High School and expanded the number of fitness programs offered to the residents of Woburn.
Parks and Recreation, with the help of the DPW, oversaw the grand opening of the John
D. McElhiney Field at Whispering Hill, and the installation of a new playground at Leland Park, with major assistance and oversight from the City Engineer and Planning Department, and substantial Construction support from the DPW.
Recreation and Parks also successfully partnered with the Woburn Little League Board and its volunteers to build a concession stand/ bathroom at Gonsalves field with support from the DPW, Building and Engineering departments.
When completed this spring, the rehabilitation of Gonsalves Park will provide Girls Softball with a Class A facility and the envy of surrounding communities.
WOBURN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
We continue to fund our Schools well in excess of the State’s net school spending requirements. The FY 2015 School budget has enabled School Superintendent Mark Donovan to implement a number of important initiatives, supported by the School Committee, which have benefitted students at the High School, Middle Schools and Elementary Schools.
We continue to remain a solid Level 2 school district (1- the highest, 5- the lowest)—the same overall Accountability Level achieved by all of our surrounding neighbors. In addition, we continue to see modest improvements in different subject areas on the State MCAS scores.
With the support of our Police Department, the School Department continues to be a leader in overall school safety for children, teachers and staff.
For instance, the School Department is investing capital funds in an advanced communication system that leverages existing technology to enhance overall security. And, as mentioned earlier, there has also been an orientation to ALICE training for all staff.
As we begin planning for FY 2016, I will continue to work with Superintendent Donovan and the School Committee to support those initiatives that help to improve our school system and fit within the framework of our overall budget.
The construction of the new, combined Wyman / Hurld Elementary School—the fifth new elementary school to be built by the City of Woburn over the last 20 years with the assistance of State funding—has progressed to the Schematic design phase of the feasibility study.
At the completion of the schematic design phase, the City will obtain a project funding agreement from the Mass School Building Authority for the full cost of the new school, and seek final approvals from the School Committee and City Council early this summer to build a state-of-the-art combined elementary school that will replace two obsolete school buildings.
ENERGY SAVINGS, GREEN COMMUNITIES AND TECHNOLOGY
Technology, innovation and energy conservation efforts continue to play a strong role in identifying and implementing cost savings and efficiencies.
We have been actively working to substantially reduce our energy costs through a series of energy conservation initiatives.
For instance, using $320,000 in grant funding awarded by the Green Communities division of The MA DOER supplemented with city funds, we have retrofitted nearly every street on all public ways in the City with LED lights over the past 18 months.
In addition, we are now upgrading exterior lighting at the water treatment plant with LEDs and have hired a consultant to help the City identify other projects for additional savings.
We also continue to improve the functionality of the Citizens Connect Mobile application, which is being funded through a community innovation grant.
The software application allows citizens to easily report issues and the location of problems such as a pothole or broken streetlight—directly to the City from their mobile phone.
The City continues to offer an Open Checkbook module on its website, which allows citizens to view all city expenditures. Woburn is one of a handful of communities that offers this transparency to City residents and taxpayers, who can now easily research how every tax dollar is spent.
We implemented the Open Checkbook program with the assistance of a community innovation grant, and continue to work with the State to offer this program to additional communities throughout the Commonwealth.
WOBURN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
During 2014, the WRA continued an initiative to revitalize downtown by providing local businesses with up to $3,000 in grant funding for new signs.
This summer, the WRA will also be working with the DPW, the City Engineer and downtown merchants on the next phase of the Main Street paving project.
In addition, the WRA continued work on identifying much-needed additional parking for downtown patrons and is currently working with Santander Bank and the Greek Church on agreements to allow municipal parking on their lots.
The City will also continue its work with the Metropolitan Planning Organization on plans to fund The New Boston Street Bridge and the long-awaited widening of Montvale Avenue, from I-93 to Central Street.
The City recently engaged the services of The MAPC to assist with updating three important municipal documents:
- The 2005 Master Plan
- The 2008 Open space Plan
- The City Hazard Mitigation Plan
The new Master Plan, which has been labeled Woburn’s Plan for Progress, is being developed with the assistance of Planning Director Tina Cassidy and a steering committee that includes Sheila McElhiney, Peter Carbone, Jody Ray, Don Queenin, Carolyn Turner, Kevin Feeney, Mike Vetresca, Shaun Briere, Jim Juliano, and Kathy Lucero.
The Master Plan will be completed by the fall of 2015, and will provide a blueprint for the City on topics such as transportation, affordable housing, traffic and economic development.
Our next Community meeting is January 14 at Woburn High School. Everyone’s input is welcome and valued. I hope to see you there. We are excited to keep moving Woburn forward together, particularly this year as we celebrate the 375th year of the City’s founding.
In closing, I would like to thank you all of you for your time tonight. It is our duty to work collaboratively to ensure Woburn remains an affordable, sustainable, progressive, and desirable place to live—for all of us, and for future generations to come.
Sincerely, Scott D. Galvin, Mayor
Motion made and 2nd for a five minute recess, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
President Haggerty called the meeting back to order.
VOTED to dispense with the reading of the previous meeting’s Journal and to APPROVE, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
ORDERED That the sum of $2,306,196.88 be and is hereby transferred as so stated from Debt Reserve Acct #648059-596100 $2,306,196.88 to Debt Principal Acct #01099049-497600 $1,645,000.00, Debt Interest Acct #01099049497600 $661,196.88, Total $2,306,196.88 – Purpose: Debt service for
High School & White Elementary
I hereby approve the above: s/Scott D. Galvin, Mayor
I have reviewed the above: s/Gerald W. Surette, City Auditor
Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON FINANCE, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
ORDERED That the sum of $135,000.00 be and is hereby transferred as so stated from BLS Ambulance Receipts Acct #31359-595000 $135,000.00 to Fire
Ambulance Salary Acct #0122051-511500 $125,000.00, Fire/Medical Attention Acct #0122054-558103 $10,000.00, Total $135,000.00
I hereby recommend the above: s/Scott D. Galvin, Mayor
I hereby approve the above: s/Timothy Ring, Chief, Fire Department
I have reviewed the above: s/Gerald W. Surette, City Auditor
Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON FINANCE, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
On the petition by NSTAR Electric Company for a grant of right in a way to install conduit a distance of about 40 feet in Wyman Street southwesterly from pole 242/20 approximately 37 feet north of Brae Circle, to install conduit a distance of about 22 feet in Wyman Street easterly from pole 242/21 approximately 25 feet west of Brae Circle, and to install conduit a distance of about 2274 feet in Brae Circle at and southerly at intersection of Wyman Street. PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. A communication was received from Jacqueline Duffy, Right of Way Agent, NSTAR Electric Company requesting that the matter be continued as the petitioner requires additional time to prepare a new survey plan at the request of the Superintendent of Public Works. A communication dated December 5, 2014 was received from Superintendent of Public Works John Duran as follows:
Subject: NSTAR Petition – Brae Circle
Pursuant to the request from NSTAR Electric for the Grant of Way for the installation of underground conduit and conduit in Brae Circle, I recommend the following based upon the my review of the submitted plan dated June 6, 2014, last revised October 15, 2014. I support this plan based upon the intent of the project. However, I have the following concerns:
- The plan states that it is not the result of an on-ground survey which is a requirement;
- The plan does not accurately show the location of all utilities and there is insufficient information shown for me to properly evaluate any impacts on the City of Woburn infrastructure.
My recommendation is for NSTAR to provide a surveyed plan with more accurate information including utility locations and elevations for proper evaluation of the impacts upon the City of Woburn infrastructure. This would also minimize the possibility of disturbance to residents.
I recommend that all utilities be painted out and the proposed conduit be accurately marked in the field for site review. The proposed trench as shown appears to be shown hugging the gutter line which will require the resetting to proper grade of the sloped granite curbing and possible restoration of the sidewalk. In addition, there are many utilities shown too close to the water and sewer mains. If a mutually agreed location is approved, the restoration of curbing and sidewalks, as well as roadway restoration to DPW specifications, should be minimum conditions of the permit. Upon final location, the proposed conduit should be added to the record plan and discussed at a
preconstruction meeting prior to excavation. As-built plans should be submitted to the DPW for their records and to the Engineering Department in appropriate form for conversion to the GIS system.
There should be clarification for the commencement and completion date(s) of the proposed work. NSTAR should provide an evaluation and report of any double poles within a 100 foot radius of the project and a status report to the Superintendent of Public Works. Any poles that are NSTAR’s responsibility should be removed within one year from the issuance of this permit. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or recommendations on this matter.
PUBLIC COMMENTS: None. Motion made and 2nd that the PUBLIC HEARING be
CONTINUED TO THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL ON
FEBRUARY 3, 2015, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
On the petition by John P. Flaherty and Kathryn A. Flaherty to further amend the 1985
Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended, by adding a new definition for “Church
Buildings” in Section 2 Definitions and by adding a new Section 27 “Adaptive Reuse of Church Buildings” as set forth in the petition. PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. A communication dated December 30, 2014 was received from Attorney Joseph R. Tarby, III, Esquire, Murtha Cullina LLP, 600 Unicorn Park Drive, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 as follows:
Re: Proposed Amendment to Section 2 and 27 of the 1985 City of Woburn Zoning Ordinance, as amended
Dear Mr. Campbell:
I respectfully request that the City Council Public Hearing on this matter presently scheduled for January 6, 2015 be continued to the City Council meeting scheduled for January 20, 2015. If you need any further information, please contact me. Thank you.
Very truly yours, s/Joseph R. Tarby III
Motion made and 2nd that the communication be accepted and made part of the record, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent). PUBLIC COMMENTS: Glen Turgiss, 4 Central Street stated that most of his concerns have been addressed but that there are some issues that still need to be addressed, that he wants the number of units to be reduced, that the word “substantially” in the section regarding the exterior design of the building is vague and should be removed, and that since the goal is to protect historic houses of worship then all residential zones should be included in this amendment. Laura Redick, 4 Central Street stated that she disagrees with the assertion that neighbors will not see a difference in the property and that the proposed change will be benign, that seven units have been erected on the former St. Joseph’s Church property since the church was closed, that the impact of these developments have not been benign with the construction of new two-family houses on what was open space, and that the proposed change will be impactful on the neighborhood and will not be a benign impact. Kathy Bailey, 4 Utica Street stated that the St. Joseph’s Rectory, three lots and the church building were purchased by the petitioners, that in the Spring of 2011 the petitioner said that he would build two apartments in the rectory and three units in the church building and had no plans to develop the lots, that the plans were changed to build five units in the church building with the Woburn Historical Society being housed in the basement of the church building but the Building Commissioner stated that such proposed sues were not permitted in the zoning district, that the petitioner sold the three lots to a developer, that the proposal is now to build six units in the church building, that the former church property is surrounded by single-family and two-family homes, that the proposed six units are out of character with the neighborhood, that the proposal is too dense for the parcel, and that the proposals directly affect the neighbors in that area and their quality of life. Motion made and 2nd that the PUBLIC HEARING be CONTINUED TO THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL ON JANUARY 20, 2015, 8 in favor,
0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
On the petition by Eleftheria Exarchos, 422-426 Main Street, Woburn, Massachusetts
01801 for a special permit pursuant to 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended,
Sections 5.1.5 and 11.6.11 to amend Condition 1 of special permit issued January 31, 2014 for new plan of record at 422-426 Main Street. PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. A communication dated December 23, 2014 was received from Erin Wortman, City Planner/Grant Writer, Woburn Planning Board as follows:
Re: Planning Department comments on special permit application for Eleftheria Exarchos at 422-426 Main Street
Dear President Haggerty and Aldermen:
The Planning Department has reviewed the request to amend condition #1 of the January 31, 2014 City Council special permit decision at 422-426 Main Street. The petitioner is requesting that the plan of record as described in condition #1 be replaced with a new plan of record dated May 13, 2014. The existing building and property is located in the Business Downtown (BD) zoning district and the request may be granted by a City Council special permit.
After a discussion with the petitioner, the request is to remove an interior wall within apartment 1 to create a one-bedroom unit rather than a two-bedroom dwelling as previously approved. Any outstanding issue with building egress, fire prevention and dwelling access during an emergency should be reviewed prior to occupancy by the appropriate departments. Similarly to the previous filing, the petitioner has not provided a site plan and therefore, it is unclear if there is parking available on the property for those tenants. Pursuant to Section 11.6.11, a parking plan shall be approved by the City Council to ensure that adequate on-site and off-site parking is available to serve the unit and which would not create an undue burden on municipal parking facilities. It should be noted that the property is located within 500 feet of a municipal lot and the municipal parking facility may be substituted if the Council wishes to grant that request.
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely, s/Erin Wortman, City Planner/Grant Writer
Motion made and 2nd that the communication be received and made part of the record, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent). Appearing for the petitioner was Milton Marder, Wilbur Group, Inc., P.O. Box 37, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 stated that he is the builder for the petitioner, that there were changes to the original design that had been approved by the City Council under a prior special permit, that the petitioner wants to change the duct work, the chases for the utilities and is reducing the number of bedrooms from three to two, that there is fire suppression in the building in the two apartments, and that there was a dumpster on the site for construction materials but that will be removed. Alderman Gately stated that there was a dumpster on site taking up one of the parking spaces, and that five parking spaces are adequate for the proposed use. PUBLIC COMMENTS: None. Motion made and 2nd that the public hearing be closed, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent). PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED. Motion made and 2nd that the SPECIAL PERMIT be GRANTED, AS AMENDED with the conditions as follows: 1. That the dumpster on site be removed from the parking area and placed at the rear of the building so that there are five full parking spaces, 2. That the application dated 11/25/2014 be amended by deleting the reference to “three apartments” and inserting
“two apartments” in its place, and 3. All conditions of the special permit issued January 31, 2014 not inconsistent with this decision remain in effect, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
On the petition by Oclen Realty LLC, an individual owning land to be affected by change or adoption, and Seaver Properties LLC to amend the Zoning Map of the City of Woburn by changing the zoning district for the property located at 98 and 100 Baldwin Avenue, Dexter Avenue and Warren Avenue; referenced on the Assessors Maps at Map 09, Block
13, Lot 01; Map 09, Block 12, Lot 02; Map 09, Block 12, Lot 01; Map 09, Block 11, Lot 02 and Map 09, Block 11, Lot 01; and further described as the entire parcel of land known as 98 and 100 Baldwin Avenue, to the centerlines of Chester Avenue, Dexter Avenue and Monks Street containing approximately 253,214 square feet of land as shown on a plan by Keenan Survey entitled “Proposed Rezoning Plan in Woburn, Massachusetts” dated October 17, 2014 from R-2/OP zoning district to R-3 zoning district. PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. A communication dated December 17, 2014 was received from Tina P. Cassidy, Planning Director, Woburn Planning Board as follows:
Re: Proposed Zoning Map amendment to rezone five parcels of land and portions of certain rights or way (off Dexter, Warren and Chester Avenues and Monk Street) from the R-2 and O-P zoning districts to R-3 Oclen Realty Trust (Owner) and Scott Seaver (Applicant)
Dear Members of the Council:
Please be advised that at its meeting on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 the Planning Board voted unanimously to close its public hearing on the above-referenced petition and to continue discussion to its next regularly-scheduled meeting on Tuesday, January 13, 2015.
The Planning Board will be conducting a site visit to the area in the interim at the request of residents who attended the public hearing. They urged the Board to view first-hand the neighborhood’s concerns about the lack of roadway access before formulating a recommendation. I will provide you with an updated letter (and the Board’s recommendation on the proposed zoning map change request) as soon as it is available.
Respectfully, s/Tina P. Cassidy, Director
Appearing for the petitioner was Attorney Joseph R. Tarby, III, Esquire, Murtha Cullina LLP, 600 Unicorn Park Drive, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 and he stated that he represents the petitioner Seaver Properties LLC, that the locus is 5.138 acres in area, that the parcel has a split zoning district being both in the O-P and R-2 districts with the majority in the O-P zoning district, that the proposal is for the entire parcel to be in the R3 zoning district, that New England Lead Burning Co. (NELCO) operated from the site from the 1920s until recently, that NELCO fabricated lead products used in industries throughout the world, that the prior use had associated trucking, that the property has been cleaned, that there were elevated levels of lead and the contaminated soil was removed under the supervision of the DEP and the City of Woburn, that the proposal is to rezone the property to the R-3 zoning district and to construct townhouse condominiums, that the business use and associated truck traffic will be replaced with a residential use, that if the zoning amendment is approved a subsequent special permit may include a proposal for additional vehicle egress from the area, that the proposed units will require a special permit, that on September 18, 2014 there was a neighborhood meeting held at the Thompson Library, that there are many uses allowed in the O-P zoning district which is the largest part of the parcel, that the Planning Board met to review the proposal on December 16, 2014 and continued the matter to allow a site visit to be scheduled, that the site visit has been scheduled for January 10, 2015, that NELCO used all of the local streets for access to the site for many years, that there is an interest in establishing another access to the property to Merrimac Street, that if approved there will be further discussions relative to additional access, that there are 41 units proposed for the parcel, that the petitioner is looking to extend Baldwin Avenue to Poplar Street and then to Merrimac Street, that there is a trucking company at the end of Baldwin Avenue which would have to be moved, that a road in the Monkey Hill area would also include traveling through an industrial area, that the property owner is clearing title to the property, cleaning the property and foreclosing rights in any paper streets passing through the property which are issues that have to be addressed before the sale to the petitioner is closed, and that the property owner has filed an action to foreclose rights in the streets, Scott Seaver stated that the owner of the property is cleaning the property, that there will be 41 units each 2½ stories in height, that the units will be mostly have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, that the buildings will be no higher than the surrounding homes, that these developments typically attract residents over age 55, that the area that has been stripped of trees is in one area of the lot, that he will try to preserve some of the remaining mature trees, that some units will face in and some units will face out, that he has nothing to do with the cleanup of the lot, that under the purchase and sale agreement a clean lot must be delivered to him, that the connection with Poplar Street would be the easiest, that connecting to East Dexter which is also known as Monkey Hill is a greater distance with more expense, that the street extension would be off-site mitigation, that many of these streets are paper streets, that the city owns the lot abutting Baldwin Avenue and Poplar Street, that no takings would be required for the street extension as these are paper streets, that the intention is to build townhouses as opposed to garden apartments, and that garden apartments would likely be greater in height. Alderman Gately stated that curbing, signs, water looping, and excavation are among the issues of concern for this property. Alderman Raymond stated that this is one of the best neighborhoods in the city because there is only one access in and out of the area, that these are older homes, that the parcel is being cleaned by the sellers of the property, that access in the neighborhood is a concern, that adding any additional development to the area will require additional access to the neighborhood, that if the current access is blocked off the residents will in a sense beheld hostage, that when there was a gas leak in the area some residents had to stay at area hotels, and that this proposed use would be a buffer between the current residential uses and future development of the remaining O-P zoning district area. PUBLIC COMMENTS: Gerard Scalley, 18 Dartmouth Street stated that residents must use Dartmouth Street to enter the neighborhood, that if the street is blocked there is no way in or out of the area even in the event of an emergency, that neighbors do not appear opposed to the project but want additional access, that twenty years ago $75,000.00 was allocated to knock down Monkey Hill but the work was not done, and that the developer should be required to open up additional access as a condition to the zoning change. Mr. Scalley offered a plan of the roads in the area for the City Council to review. Motion made and 2nd that the document be received and made part of the record, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent). Barbara Torrice, 10 Poplar Street stated that Poplar Street is one car in width, that she cannot see eighty vehicles traveling in and out of that street, and that Monkey Hill to East Dexter Avenue will be the easiest solution to the access issue. Tony Fiorello, 21 Chester Avenue stated that for years the neighbors have fought for additional access to the neighborhood, that during Hurricane Bob a tree fell and blocked access to the neighborhood, that the petitioner objects to the access being visually impaired going along Monkey Hill because the vehicles would be passing an industrial area, that the units will be built overlooking the industrial area and therefore the Monkey Hill route should not be objectionable, and that the neighbors have been served with notice of a legal action regarding the paper streets. George Rooney, 8 Poplar Street stated that from the edge of the pavement to the side of a home on Poplar Street is six feet, that there is a question as to whether the location of Poplar Street is the original location of the street, that a neighbor increased the front yard of his home by placing boulders and loam onto Poplar Street, that two-way traffic is difficult on the street, and that there will have to be a prohibition of on-street parking on Poplar Street. Elizabeth Francis, 3 Poplar Street stated that she chose to live on this street because it is a quiet dead-end street, that it is a narrow street, that during snow in the winter it will be very difficult to drive on the street, and that Poplar Street is not the better option for a second egress. John Coviello, 20 East Dexter Avenue stated that no one wants an additional eighty vehicles passing through the neighborhood, that access to the new development should be from other than this neighborhood, that this is a single family neighborhood with some in-law apartments, that he is not certain whether the allowable uses in the O-P zoning district are better or worse than the proposal, that additional access to the neighborhood is needed, and that there may be more expensive alternatives but the neighborhood should not have to be disrupted due to this development. June Carner, 24 Poplar Street stated that there are other potential access point other than Poplar Street, and that this is a monetary issue. Motion made and 2nd that
the PUBLIC HEARING be CONTINUED TO THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL ON FEBRUARY 3, 2015 AND THAT THE MATTER BE REFERRED TO THE COMMITTEE ON ORDINANCES, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
On the petition by Alderman Richard Gately concerning the structure or structures located in the City of Woburn, County of Middlesex, Commonwealth of Massachusetts known and numbered as 22 Mt. Pleasant Street, Woburn, Massachusetts, for the purposes of determining whether said structure or structures are a public nuisance, a nuisance to the neighborhood, a dilapidated or dangerous building or other structure, as said terms are used in Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 139, Sec. 1, and if so, enter an order adjudging it to be a nuisance to the neighborhood, or dangerous, and prescribing its disposition, alteration or regulation. PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. Alderman Gately stated that he has been in contact with the property owner, that the property is being cleaned up, that there has been no issue since the last meeting, that the tenant is vacating the premises in April 2015, and that the matter should be continued to April 2015 for review. PUBLIC COMMENTS: None. Motion made and 2nd that the PUBLIC HEARING be CONTINUED TO THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL ON APRIL
21, 2015, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
On the petition by John Kelley d/b/a Kelley Town Car, 79 Osgood Street, Andover,
Massachusetts 01810 pursuant to the 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended, Section 5.1.57b to allow for the overnight parking of vehicles (limousines and town cars) used with the petitioner’s livery service at 888 Main Street. PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. A communication dated December 29, 2014 was received from Erin Wortman, City Planner/Grant Writer, Woburn Planning Board as follows:
Re: Planning Department comments on special permit application for John Kelley d/b/a Kelley Town Car at 888 Main Street
Dear President Haggerty and Aldermen:
The Planning Department has reviewed the request to allow for the overnight parking of vehicles (limousines and town cars) used with the Petitioner’s livery service pursuant to Section 5.1.57b of the Woburn Zoning Ordinance. The property is located in the B-H zoning district and the requested used is allowed by City Council special permit.
After a discussion with the petitioner’s attorney, the request will allow the petitioner to park his vehicles overnight in conjunction with his livery service business. The petitioner is seeking no more than seven commercial vehicles consisting of limousines, SUVs, vans and town cars. The plan submitted with the application is dated January 4, 1987 so the current conditions of the property should be verified. Kelley Town Car shares the property with Hillside Florist and Nexus so the City Council must determine if there is enough parking on-site to accommodate all users on the property. Parking spots should be properly lined and overnight parking should be assigned prior to its use if the special permit is granted. Additionally, to be consistent with past practice, all overnight vehicles should be registered in the City of Woburn.
If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely, s/Erin Wortman, City Planner/Grant Writer
Appearing for the petitioner was Attorney Joseph R. Tarby, III, Esquire, Murtha Cullina LLP, 600 Unicorn Park Drive, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 and he stated that that the petitioner will have limousines and town cars on site for his business, that the property is located in the B-H zoning district, that the locus has been the home of Hillside Florist since the 1950s and has been operated by Charles Hardy since the 1980s, that the petitioner wants to park seven vehicles on the site including limousines and SUVs, that the petitioner will have assigned parking, that there are thirty spaces on the locus and only eighteen spaces are required, that the petitioner recently received a livery license contingent upon obtaining a special permit, that the overhead photograph of the locus was obtained this morning from the office of the City Engineer, that the petitioner had a greenhouse which was damaged by fire seven years ago, that the structure of the greenhouse remains on the property, that the storage trailers have been on the site since the mid-1990s and the special permit requirement for storage trailers was established in 2005, and that snow will be stockpiled where the greenhouse is. Attorney Tarby offered a parking plan for the site and a list of the parking requirements for the City Council to review. Motion made and 2nd that the documents be received and made part of the record, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent). Charles Hardy, Trustee stated that
NEXUS owns and manages houses for special needs residents in the state, that NEXUS has six parking spaces, and that the Hillside Florist parking is on the southerly side of the lot. Alderman Gately stated that the two storage trailers on site may require a special permit, that the storage trailers are obstructions to vehicles driving through the lot which will be particularly difficult with snow on the ground, that the petitioner’s vehicles cannot be backed out onto Main Street, that he is concerned about the ability of vehicles to be moved on site, that the vehicles will have to be registered in Woburn, and that customers should not be able to go to the site, leave their vehicles and then leave the property in limousines. Alderman Raymond stated that the parking in the neighboring strip mall is limited, that he was concerned about the petitioner’s vehicles being parked in the strip mall parking lot or the Ferullo Field parking lot, and that the handicapped parking space is for the retail use and is sufficient. Motion made and 2nd that the public hearing be closed, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent). PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED. Motion made and 2nd that the SPECIAL PERMIT be GRANTED, AS AMENDED with
the conditions as follows: 1. That the parking plan dated January 1, 2014 and received in the City Council on January 6, 2014 shall be the parking plan of record; 2. That all vehicles associated with the petitioner’s business shall be registered in the City of Woburn; 3. That there shall be no on-site meetings with petitioner’s customers or parking of petitioner’s customer’s vehicles on-site; 4. That the petitioner shall file a snow storage plan for the locus with the Department of Public Works; 5. That signs shall be erected on site identifying each dedicated parking space by tenant and striping the spaces; and 6. That a communication be forwarded to the petitioner advising that permits be obtained for the storage trailers if needed, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
On the petition by Jennifer Hardin and Scott Hardin, 35 Avalon Road, Reading,
Massachusetts 01867 for a special permit pursuant to Section 7.3 of the 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended to allow for the change, extension and alteration of the existing nonconforming structure and nonconforming use (three residential units within two structures on one lot) to allow for the addition to one of the structures to provide for a total of four (4) dwelling units (two in each structure) and for a finding the such change, extension or alteration shall not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming use to the neighborhood, at 19 Traverse Street. PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. A communication dated December 29, 2014 was received from Attorney Joseph R. Tarby, III, Esquire, Murtha Cullina LLP, 600 Unicorn Park Drive, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 as follows:
Re: Special Permit Petition of Jennifer and Scott Hardin, 19 Traverse Street, Woburn,
Dear Mr. Campbell:
I respectfully request that the City Council Public Hearing on this matter presently scheduled for January 6, 2015 be continued to the City Council meeting on January 20, 2015. If you need any further information, please contact me. Thank you.
Very truly yours, s/Joseph R. Tarby III
Motion made and 2nd that the communication be received and made part of the record, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent). PUBLIC COMMENTS: None. Motion made and 2nd that the PUBLIC HEARING be CONTINUED TO THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL ON FEBRUARY 3, 2015, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
On the petition by Capco Energy Supply Inc., 10 Industrial Parkway, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 for a special permit pursuant to 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended, Sections 5.1.42, 5.1.57b, 7.3, 8.63 and 12 to allow for alteration of existing nonconforming use and structure as follows: 1. Continuation of preexisting nonconforming use as a distribution business; 2. Overnight parking of commercial vehicles; 3. Construction of an addition containing approximately 3,888 square feet to rear of existing building; 4. Elimination of one (1) of the three (3) loading docks in front
of the building; and 5. Allow for continuance of existing area and landscaping requirements, at 3 Rath Road. PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. A communication dated December 30, 2014 was received from Tina P. Cassidy, Director, Woburn Planning Board as follows:
Re: Planning Department comments on special permit application by Capco Energy Supply Inc. for expansion of existing building and non-conforming use at 3 Rath Road
Dear Honorable Council:
The Planning Department has reviewed the above-referenced plan and application which seek special permits and site plan review in accordance with the following Sections of the Zoning Ordinance:
- 5.1(42) – special permit authorizing the continued and expanded use of the existing building as a distribution center;
- 5.1.(57b) – special permit for accessory storage or parking of trucks, busses, contractors’ equipment or commercial motor vehicles (other than a vehicle used by a resident in connection with a business);
- 7.3 – special permit for extension or alteration of a non-conforming use and structure, including continued use of existing non-conforming parking spaces;
- 8.6.3 – special permit for exception(s) to the otherwise-applicable screening and landscaping requirements; and
- 12 – site plan review
The plan that was reviewed was submitted with the application for special permits and entitled “Existing Conditions Plan Prepared for Capco Energy Supply, Inc., 10 Industrial Parkway, Woburn, MA 01801; Project: Proposed Improvements 3 Rath Road, Woburn, MA 01801; Scale: blank; Date: blank; Project Number 1402; Drawing Number C.1; drawn by: Eugene T. Sullivan, Inc. Consulting Engineers, 230 Lowell Street – Suite 2A Wilmington, MA 01887, phone 978.657.6469, fax 978.657.8563, email [email protected]”.
The property is zoned IP (Industrial Park District) and the proposed use (a distribution business) is allowed only by special permit, not by right. In separate correspondence the applicant’s attorney indicated there will be approximately fifteen (15) employees on site and the applicant is seeking permission to park three (3) delivery vehicles (one van and
two box trucks) on the property overnight as an accessory use. Additional plans (attached) have also been provided that show snow storage areas, the interior floor space of the building and the building’s front façade post-construction. No additional exterior lighting is planned as part of the project.
The Planning Department suggests the Council consider the following:
- There is a discrepancy between the application (which says two of three existing, non-compliant loading bays on the front façade will be eliminated) and the attached proposed elevation plan (which shows only one of three loading bays on the front façade being eliminated). The applicant should clarify this matter.
- The six (6) compact car spaces should be identified as such with signage;
- The term “business service space” is not used in the Zoning Ordinance. The amount of parking required for that use will have to be determined by the City Council in accordance with Section 8.2.5. of the Zoning Code;
- The Fire Department should review and comment on the plans, given the fact that the proposed changes to the site plan eliminate vehicular access to the rear façade of the building in favor of two (2) parking spaces; and
- If possible, the applicant should identify the specific location where the three (3) delivery vehicles will be stored overnight on-site.
Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about this recommendation. I would be happy to provide further comment on revised plans if helpful.
Respectfully, s/Tina P. Cassidy, Director
Appearing for the petitioner was Attorney Joseph R. Tarby, III, Esquire, Murtha Cullina LLP, 600 Unicorn Park Drive, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 and he stated that the property is nonconforming because it was constructed in 1975 when a distribution facility was allowed by right under the 1970 zoning ordinances, that the 1985 zoning ordinances require a special permit, that there is a question as to whether a special permit is needed for the petitioner however to be conservation the petitioner has filed this request for a special permit, that the petitioner is a wholesale distributor of plumbing supplies to the trades, that the petitioner has been in business since 1979 and has been operating at 10 Industrial Parkway for ten years, that the petitioner will moves its operation to this location, that a plumbing supply company operated at the location until December 31, 2014, that there is 3,520 square feet of office space, 1,000 square feet of business service space and 14, 465 square feet of industrial space in the existing building, that there will be 3,888 square feet of industrial space in the addition, that 35 parking spaces are required and provided, that the petitioner will have fifteen employees, that the petitioner seeks to park three trucks consisting of two box trucks and a delivery van overnight inside the building, that the current building is 18,985 square feet and the addition is for 3,888 square feet, that the hours of operation will be Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, that there is more than sufficient parking to handle the parking needs, that the petitioner’s customers are trades people, that there will be no retail sales, and that the use is allowed by special permit in the zoning district. Attorney Tarby filed a revised Existing Conditions Plan dated November 17, 2014, revised January 5, 2015 for the City Council to review. Motion made and 2nd that the document be received and made part of the record, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent). Gene Sullivan, Consulting Engineer, Eugene T. Sullivan Inc., 230 Lowell Street, Suite 2A, Wilmington, Massachusetts 01887 stated that the property is located on a short cul-de-sac, that the building has a 15,000 square foot footprint and is of masonry construction, that there is a 4,000 square feet mezzanine which is used for part storage and sorting above the office area, that the storage capacity will include the 3,888 square foot addition, that a fourteen foot by fourteen foot door will be installed to allow the vehicles to be stored in the building, that the 35 parking spaces meet the zoning requirements based on the proposed use, that the addition will be on an area that is currently paved and therefore the runoff area will not be decreased, that the interior wall may be opened to the new addition depending upon costs, that some new windows will be installed on the Rath Road side, that the office area will be gutted and built to suit the petitioner’s needs, that the exterior block on the addition will be matched to the current exterior block, that the Fire Department reviewed the plans with respect to circulation issues and offered no objections as to access, that the building will be sprinkled, that the Fire Department connections are at the front of the building and therefore there are no Fire Department objections, that there was a heating oil storage tank on site that will be removed, that gas service will be installed replacing the oil heat, that the parking lot will not be changed, that the grade will not change, and that the loading door will be closed off with block to match the current exterior block. Lee Cook, President, Capco Energy Supply Inc. stated that the company stores plumbing and heating supplies, boilers, pumps, controls, tubing and copper on site, and that this is the same type of storage as the prior company at this location. Attorney Tarby offered a Proposed Elevations plan of the property dated January 5, 2014 to the City Council for review. Motion made and 2nd that the document be received and made part of the record, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent). Alderman Concannon stated that since this is not a new use but the same use as the prior use then the issue of a special permit for a nonconforming use is not an issue. Alderman Gately stated that the matter should be sent to committee to further
review the loading dock issue, the parking and a few other issues. PUBLIC
COMMENTS: None. Motion made and 2nd that the PUBLIC HEARING be
CONTINUED TO THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL ON FEBRUARY 3, 2015 AND THAT THE MATTER BE REFERRED TO THE
COMMITTEE ON SPECIAL PERMITS, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
On the petition by 4 Montvale Avenue Realty Trust, 1820 Turnpike Street, 3203, North
Andover, Massachusetts 01845 for special permits pursuant to the 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended, Sections 5.1.5, 5.1.29, 8.3 and 12 to allow for: 1. A fast food restaurant on the first story of the property, 2. Two (2) residential dwelling units above the first story in a commercial structure, and parking within the municipal parking lot, for the property at 4 Montvale Avenue. PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. A communication dated December 30, 2014 was received from Tina P. Cassidy, Director, Woburn Planning Board as follows:
Re: Planning Department comments on special permit application of 4 Montvale Avenue Realty Trust for fast food restaurant and residential units at 4 Montvale Avenue
Dear Honorable Council:
The Planning Department has reviewed the above-referenced plan and application which seek special permits and site plan review in accordance with the following Sections of the Zoning Code:
- Section 5.1.5 (dwelling units above the first story in a commercial structure);
- Section 5.1.29 (fast food restaurant)
- Section 8.3 (use of municipal parking facilities in lieu of providing parking on site)
- Section 12.2.1 (site plan review for fast food restaurant)
The plan that was reviewed was submitted with the application for special permits and entitled “Proposed Building 4 Montvale Avenue Woburn, MA”; Owner/applicant: Guiseppe Fodera, President, GC Fodera Mason Contractor, 1820 Turnpike Street Unit
205, North Andover, MA 01845; drawn by : Kalkunte Engineering Corporation,
Consulting Engineers, 1749 Central Street, Stoughton, MA 02072 (781) 344-8565;
Dated: April 24, 2014, revised May 14, 2014, June 16, 2014, June 26, 2014, and Nov. 4, 2014: plan set consisted of cover sheet, floor plans, elevations, site plan and ‘pizza restaurant floor plan”. A Development Impact Statement dated November 7, 2014 was also reviewed.
The property is zoned BD (Downtown Business) and is currently a vacant, underutilized lot. The proposed use (fast food restaurant with four upper-story residences) is allowed only by special permit, not by right. Use of the nearby municipal parking facility for some or all of the required parking also needs a special permit. The total amount of parking spaces required for the proposed uses is 32 (22 spaces for the proposed fast food restaurant, 2 spaces for the office mezzanine space and 8 spaces for the residential units). The applicant is not proposing any on-site parking, and instead is requesting permission
to “count” the spaces in the nearby municipal lot – as well as on-street parking on Montvale Avenue – as providing the required off-street parking.
The Planning Department respectfully recommends the Council consider the following with respect to this application:
- The applicant should explain/correct the discrepancy between the application form (which requests permission for two residential dwelling units above the first story) and the plan and Development Impact Statement (which both indicate a total of four residential dwelling units above the first story);
- In accordance with the requirements of Section 8.3, the Council must determine that (a) adequate parking will in fact be available in the municipal lot to serve the residential uses and (b) reliance on the municipal lot would not create an undue burden on the municipal parking facility; and
- The applicant should be required to provide information relative to satisfactory arrangements for trash/refuse storage and disposal.
Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about this recommendation.
Respectfully, s/Tina P. Cassidy, Director
Appearing for the petitioner was Attorney Joseph R. Tarby, III, Esquire, Murtha Cullina LLP, 600 Unicorn Park Drive, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 and he stated that the petitioner seeks four residential units above the first story, that the petitioner listed two residential units in the petition but this was a scrivenir’s error, that the plans and supporting documents filed were based on four residential units, that the petitioner will construct the building on a vacant lot, that there will be a fast food restaurant on the first floor, that there will be a mezzanine for storage, that there will be four dwelling units above with and elevator, that the municipal parking lot will be used to meet parking requirements, access to the residential units will be from Montvale Avenue and from the northeast corner of the building, that there will be a small gorceria and fast food restaurant on the first floor, that the proposal will clean a vacant lot and provide additional tax revenue to the city, that the second page of the plan shows the entrance with a corridor, stairwell, elevator and utility room which will exit to the easement area at the back of the lot, that people using the bus park in the municipal parking lot all day for free, and that students at the trade school nearby park in 75% of the parking spaces at night for no charge. Brian Sullivan, Bayside Engineering, 600 Unicorn Park Drive, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 stated that he prepared the development impact statement and the parking plan, that there will be minimal impact under trip generations, that the project is not anticipated to impact traffic or the sidewalks in the area, that the site is 3,000 square feet in area, that it is difficult to incorporate any parking on site and keep in character with the downtown district, and that there will be no impact on services as a result of the development. Guiseppe Fodera, Trustee stated that there is no dumpster on the lot, that the current dumpster is for the neighboring Mexican restaurant, that the trash from the tenants will be kept inside the building, that he will arrange necessary trash pick-up, and that the front door will be even with the Montvale Avenue sidewalk. Alderman Gately stated that there are no dedicated parking spaces in the municipal parking lot which may be an issue if the tenants are unable to find a parking space, that the roof drains cannot drain to the sidewalk, that a fire suppression line will have to be added, gas service and likely an upgrade in the sewer service quickly as the road it so be repaved soon, that Montvale Avenue is busy and construction could be an issue, and that lighting must be controlled. Alderman Drapeau stated that the parking lot is overwhelmed with demand for parking, that there are a number of businesses, a trade school and other residential uses which use the lot, that he cannot see how the lot can serve an additional building, and that the parking lot has to be better managed. Alderman Anderson stated that a significant parking structure is need for the area, that a project like this which has a lot of merit may be difficult to approve because of the new parking demand, that a requirement of 32 parking space is significant, and that two other projects in the downtown recently approved provided for on-site parking. President Haggerty stated that a construction time table is an issue due to the location on Montvale Avenue at that
intersection with Main Street. PUBLIC COMMENTS: None. Motion made and 2nd that the PUBLIC HEARING be CONTINUED TO THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL ON FEBRUARY 17, 2015 AND THAT THE MATTER BE
REFERRED TO THE COMMITTEE ON SPECIAL PERMITS, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
CITIZEN’S PARTICIPATION: None.
On the review of the base salary for the position of Human Resources Director,
committee report was received “Back to the City Council with the set base salary of
$91,574.33.” Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORT be ADOPTED with communication outlining the terms of the appointment sent to Elaine Pruyne, 6 in favor, 2 opposed (Anderson, Gately opposed), 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
************************* PUBLIC SAFETY AND LICENSE:
On the petition for renewal of Second Class Motor Vehicle Sales License by McSheffrey Auto Sales, Inc., committee report was received “ought to pass.” Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORT be ADOPTED, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
Presented to the Mayor: January 8, 2015 s/Scott D. Galvin January 8, 2015 _________________________
Petitions for renewal of Second Class Motor Vehicle Sales Licenses by Boston Wholesale Motorcars, Inc., 20 High Street; and Cambridge Road Auto Service, Inc. dba Woburn Plaza Shell, 293 Cambridge Road. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTERS be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY AND LICENSES, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
Petition by NSTAR Electric Company for a grant of right in a way to install conduit in Wyman Street easterly from pole 242/33 approximately 110 feet east of Jericho Road a distance of about 112 feet continuing northerly a distance of about 36 feet. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO PUBLIC HEARING, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
Petition by Nicole Russo, 16 Otis Street, First Floor, Wakefield, Massachusetts 01880 for a special permit pursuant to Section 5.1.33b of the 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended, to allow muscular therapy at 320 Washington Street, Suite 3950. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO PUBLIC HEARING, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
Petition by NASDI, LLC, 39 Olympia Avenue, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 for a special permit pursuant to Sections 5.1.57a, 5.1.57b, 7.3 and 9 of the 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended to allow for the outside storage and parking of commercial motor vehicles, commercial trailers, trucks and contractor’s equipment
within the Flood Plain District at 39 Olympia Avenue. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO PUBLIC HEARING, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
COMMUNICATIONS AND REPORTS:
A communication dated December 11, 2014 was received from Charles O’Connor, Parking Clerk, Police Headquarters, 25 Harrison Avenue as follows:
In accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, Section 20½ I am submitting the following parking ticket report. The following figures represent year to date totals for 2014: Number of violations issued 1,064, Numbers of violations paid 545, Number of violations outstanding 366, Amount collected and submitted to Collectors Office $45,977.40, Parking fines referred to the Handicap Commission $10,900.00.
There is a 10 year backlog of 1,783 unpaid tickets dating from January 2004 to May
2014. A 21 day late notice is sent to vehicle owners who have not paid the fine. After 28 days, if the fine still has not been paid, that information is forwarded to the Registry of Motor Vehicles for administrative action.
Respectfully submitted, s/Charles O’Connor, Parking Clerk
Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be RECEIVED AND PLACED ON FILE, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
A communication dated January 2, 2015 was received from Building Commissioner Thomas C. Quinn Jr. as follows:
Re: Woburn Municipal Code Title 15 Article VIII 15-42
Dear Members of the City Council:
With regard to the above referenced section of the Woburn Municipal Code, I submit the following quarterly nuisance report for the period of October 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.
142 Main Street (Matter is with City Council).
20 Garfield Avenue as site visit has occurred with owner regarding occupying premises; exterior grounds are still being maintained. (Matter is also with City Council)
45 Revere Road Owner did not appear for court hearing, District Court will be filing a complaint.
53-54 High Street Owner did not appear for court hearing, District Court will be filing a complaint.
118 Eastern Avenue District Court Hearing on January 14, 2015 will provide further information on next quarterly report.
124 Dragon Court Letter has been sent to property owner on existing conditions of exterior grounds, will provide an update on next quarterly report.
As always if there are any questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact me.
s/Thomas C. Quinn, Jr., Building Commissioner, City of Woburn
Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be RECEIVED AND PLACED ON FILE, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF PRECEDING MEETING: None. _________________________
APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS:
A communication dated December 23, 2014 was received from His Honor the Mayor Scott D. Galvin as follows:
Dear City Clerk Campbell:
By the power vested in me as Mayor of the City of Woburn, I hereby reappoint the following individuals, with terms to expire Dec. 31, 2017, to the Woburn Council on Aging; subject to approval by the City Council.
Geraldine Benecke, 713 Main Street, Woburn, Mass.; Mary Foley, 13 Franklin Street, Woburn, Mass.; and Vincent Simeone, 140 Mishawum Road, Woburn, Mass.
Respectfully, s/Scott D. Galvin, Mayor
Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON PERSONNEL, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
MOTIONS, ORDERS AND RESOLUTIONS:
RESOLVED That the City Council meet with the Chair of the Woburn School Committee.
Alderman Concannon stated that this is for a mid-year update. Alderman Drapeau stated that the School Committee wants to inform the City Council about what is going on in the School Department prior to the budget deliberations, and that the Committee on Liaison may be a better format. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON LIAISON, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
ORDERED Pursuant to Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2007, the Preliminary Election for the Municipal Election shall be held on Tuesday, August 25, 2015.
Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON LIAISON, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
ORDERED That Rule 34 of the Rules and Orders of the City Council is hereby deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following new Rule 34.
Rule 34. Appointments
- Any appointment subject to confirmation by the City Council shall be referred to the Committee on Personnel after submission.
- In the case of a vacancy in any office to which appointment may be made by the City Council, the following shall be the procedure for appointment.
- The City Council may appoint an individual to serve in a temporary acting capacity until a successor is duly appointed and qualified or until further action by the City Council.
- For any position that is not subject to collective bargaining, the Committee on Ordinances shall forthwith review the compensation and job description as set forth in the Woburn Municipal Code for the position and recommend any modifications it finds necessary. 3. Upon receiving a report from the Committee on Ordinances, the
City Council shall consider any recommended revisions to the Woburn Municipal Code and take such action as the City Council deems necessary.
- Upon final action by the City Council on the report and recommendations of the Committee on Ordinances, the City Council shall direct the city Human Resources Director to advertise the vacant position and compensation for the position, to receive and coordinate the resumes and other supporting documents received from candidates applying for the position, and to forward a report of applicants to the Committee on Personnel.
- The Committee on Personnel shall act as a preliminary screening committee, conduct preliminary interviews of the applicants at its discretion, and select not more than three (3) candidates for further consideration.
- The Committee on Personnel, Sitting as a Committee of the Whole, shall conduct final interviews of the three (3) candidates and shall select not more than two (2) candidates to be referred to the full City Council for final action.
- Upon final action, the City Council shall direct the City Clerk to forward a letter by first class mail postage prepaid to the candidate selected for appointment, which shall include the salary offered as established in the Woburn Municipal Code, the effective date of the appointment and a request for the applicant to accept or decline the offer in writing.
- Upon receipt of the applicant’s signed acceptance of the position and terms set forth in the offer, the City Council shall arrange for the applicant to subscribe the oath of office.
Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON ORDINANCES, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
ORDERED Be it Ordained by the City Council of the City of Woburn that Title 2, Article XXXVI Special Municipal Employees of the 1989 Woburn Municipal Code, as amended, be further amended as follows:
- By deleting Section 2-229 Cemetery Commission Members in its entirety.
- By deleting Section 2-232 Woburn Historical Commission in its entirety.
- By deleting Section 2-233 Woburn Golf and Ski Authority in its entirety.
Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON ORDINANCES, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
ORDERED That the Human Resources Director determine and report to the City Council which boards and commissions that are currently designated with special municipal employee status pursuant to 1989 Woburn Municipal Code, as amended, Title 2, Article XXXVI have members that require the board or commission to continue to be designated with special municipal employee status.
Motion made and 2nd that the ORDER be ADOPTED, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
Motion made and 2nd to suspend the rules for the purposes of adding the following matter to the Order of the Day as a late filed matter, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
On the petition by Robert McSheffrey dba Bob McSheffrey Auto Sales, 880 Main Street for renewal of a Second Class Motor Vehicle Sales License. Motion made and 2nd that the
MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY AND LICENSES,
8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
Motion made and 2nd to return to the regular order of business, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent).
Motion made and 2nd to ADJOURN, 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 absent (DiTucci absent). Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
A TRUE RECORD ATTEST:
William C. Campbell
City Clerk and Clerk of the City Council