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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 4/14/09
Becket Zoning Board of Appeals
Approved Minutes
Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Board Members Present :  Sue Schneider;Chairperson, Joshua  Lombard ; Clerk , Robert Gorden, Madeleine Swindlehurst, Mark Burgwardt.

Board Members Absent:   None
Members of the  Public Present:  Shawn Leary ( Attorney for the applicants) Ann Bruzzi; Berkshire Engineering , Craig Okerstrom, Aimee Bevacqua, David Bacon, Harry and Elizabeth Russell, Al Kirchner.

Meeting called to order:  7:05 p.m.  

Review and Acceptance of  March 3rd, 2009 Meeting Minutes – Mr. Robert Gorden  makes a motion to approve minutes from March 3rd,2009. Mr. Joshua  Lombard seconds motion; Unanimous Approval.

Public Hearing: Mr. William Cichaski, 27 Western Ave, Map 211, Lot 86.
Hearing Continued.

Public Hearing; Andrew and Aimee Bevacqua, 607 Yokum Pond Road, Assessor Map 203, Lot 21.
Public Hearing opens at 7:10 pm.
Ms. Susan Schneider re-introduces board members present. Ms. Shawn Leary approaches board and reminds board members present that she represents the petitioners. Ms. Leary advises that they really took to heart what the board members suggested and advised at the last meeting and have come up with three possible suggestions for the board to consider. Ms. Leary also passes out the approval that they received from the Conservation Commission as far as where the building will be located.
At this time, Ms. Bruzzi states that she would like to address some of the concerns that the board members had last month. Ms. Bruzzi advises that as far as the setback concern goes, the property is unique, creating a hardship, therefore should not be precedent setting. Next, Ms. Bruzzi addresses the rear setback concern; stating that they have made the structure smaller in height, making it less visible. Ms. Bruzzi also reminds board members present that the screenhouse will be painted with natural colors, thus helping it to blend in with the surroundings. Ms. Bruzzi also states that the elevation is still only one foot above grade, and that the whole structure is 10 1/2 ft. tall, with gabled ends, making them visibly less obtrusive. Ms. Bruzzi advises that there are two changes that will be presented to the planning board. Ms. Bruzzi suggests the use of stone instead of decking materials. Mr. Burgwardt questions if mortar will be used to fill in the stone. Ms. Bruzzi replies that no mortat will be used. Ms. Swindlehurst states that the patio approach is a lovely alternative and more acceptable; also noting she would hate to see them have to go to planning board at this point as well. Ms. Bruzzi also states that they could amend their application with the conservation commission, scale back the size of the deck to less than 120 sq. ft. and apply to the planning board. Mr.Burgwardt states that he does’nt have any problem with the original deck that was proposed.  Ms. Swindlehurst states that the height is a little bit better, but would like to address the flood plain impact. All present discuss.
Ms. Swindlehurst suggests that the board should refrain from making any decisions tonight, instead suggests that Mr. Lombard and Ms. Leary  should together draft specifics, and then they can vote at the next meeting in May. Mr. David Bacon advises that it is his opinion that a decision needs to be made as quickly as possible due to such a short building season.
Ms. Schneider states that it is going to take some time to figure out what all the specific restrictions will be.
Board members break for a brief ten minute recess.
8:25 Board Members reconvene. At this time, Ms. Schneider advises all present that the board requests a continuance until the May 5th, 2009 meeting, at which time a specific list of restrictions and specifications will be prepared and presented. Ms. Schneider asks Mr. Lombard; as clerk, to please draft these specifications.

Public Hearing continued until Tuesday, May 5th.

Public Hearing: Harry and Elizabeth Russell, 200 Goodwin Road, Assessor Map 210 Lot 23-request for a dimensional special permit.
8:33 Ms. Swindlehurst advises that she has a conflict of interest and recluses herself from the hearing, leaving the room/building at 8:33 pm.
8:34 Public Hearing opens.
Ms. Ann Bruzzi from Berkshire Engineering introduces herself and advises that she will be representing Mr. and Mrs. Harry Russell.

Ms. Schneider reminds the applicants that at this time there is a four member board and that they would need all four votes to be positive in order to get an approval. The applicants advise that they understand and that they would like to proceed accordingly. Ms. Schneider confirms that all fees have been paid and that all abutters have been notified.
Member of the public present; Mr. Al Kirchner introduces himself as an abutter to the Russells.

Ms. Bruzzi explains to the board members present that this is a reconstruction project; therefore the applicants are applying for a dimensional special permit. Ms. Bruzzi presents the board members with maps and drawings that she has prepared.  Ms. Bruzzi explains that it is a non-conforming lot. Ms. Bruzzi goes on to explain where the proposed structure would be going and where the existing setbacks are. She advises that the septic system is not yet in, however, it has been approved and is all set. Secretary presents two letters that were received from abutters, both in favor of the proposed project. Letters are read and reviewed.

Board members briefly discuss proposed project. Joshua Lombard makes a motion to allow the reconstruction of an existing non-conforming single family residential house. The applicant is proposing to demolish the existing house and reconstruct it with upgraded infrastructure. The proposed three bedroom house will substantially utilize the footprint of the previous structure; any further encroachment of side yard setback will be within previously maintained areas, thus not increasing the non-conforming setbacks. Conditions and requirements as specified by the Board of Health and Conservation Commission will be observed.  Mr. Robert Gorden seconds motion. Unanimous Approval.

Susan Schneider- I vote to approve this application because: Yes, I approve hardship due to old cottage. No substantial detriment to the public good.

Joshua Lombard- I vote to approve the application because the new plan improves the neighborhood with a more substantial structure; also there is general approval by the neighbors.

Robert Gorden- I vote to approve the application because this is a win/win situation. There is no objection from the abutters, only positive impact; with this improvement being in the best interest of the Town of Becket.

Mark Burgwardt- I vote to approve this application because of the fact that this will be a vast improvement to the property without encroachment of any previously maintained areas. There are no objections from the neighbors.

Correspondence- Read and Reviewed

Budget- Read and Reviewed

Other Business-Ms. Schneider reminds board members present that the month of June is quickly approaching and that her term will be up. Ms. Schneider says that she may possibly consider an alternate member; however, a new chairperson will certainly be needed by then.

9:15 Mr. Robert Gorden makes a motion to adjourn; Mr. Burgwardt seconds motion.

Schedule next meeting for Tuesday May 5th, 2009.          

Respectfully submitted,

Heather Hunt
Administrative Assistant

Signed______________________________             Date__________________
           Susan Schneider, Chairperson

Signed_____________________________              Date___________________
           Joshua Lombard, Clerk

Signed______________________________          Date____________________

           Robert Gorden

Signed______________________________          Date ____________________
          Mark Burgwardt

Signed _____________________________           Date_____________________
           Madeleine Swindlehurst

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