Notes from the Holland ZBA meeting
March 9, 2010 with HAP
Fred Beaulieu, Acting Chairman
Donald Beal, Scribe
Ron Seaburg, Secretary
Ralph Martone, Associate
Cheryl Murray, 60 Brimfield Road
Gerry Germain, 78 Hisgen Road
Valerie Ebersold, 33 Brimfield Road
Mike LaMountain, 14 Lakeridge Drive
Peter Frei, 101 Maybrook Drive
Howard Fife, 42 Wales Road
Donald Sanders, Jr., 10 Maybrook Road
Richard Polverari, 7 Sunset Lane
Lynn Arnold, 9 Shore Drive
Christian Peterson, 3 House Road
Earl Johnson, 10 Hisgen Road
Joan May, 77 Union Road
Kristen LaPlante, 27 Sturbridge Road
Linda Blodgett, 50 E. Brimfield Road
HAP and related:
Norman Guz, Attorney
Lucio Trabucco of Nunes Trabucco Architects
Robert Weidknect of Beals and Thomas
Paul Bracciotti of PVPC
Acting Chairman Fred Beaulieu opened the meeting at 8 PM.
Attorney Norman Guz gave a presentation. Introduced the proposal to build 20 one bedroom apartments for seniors. Said a non-profit organization is allowed to build to provide affordable housing. Holland’s zoning bylaws do not provide for it.
Earl Johnson answered a question about whether the housing was to be for anyone with low income or for seniors only - he said it was for seniors only.
Rudy Perkins, Product Manager for HAP gave a presentation, saying HAP is the developer and manager of the property. Holland requested HAP to build the units and HAP accepted. The maximum income limits for admission of seniors to the project was $37,000 for a married couple and $32,000 for a single person. The project will cost $5.28 million and a comprehensive permit is needed by early summer. Plans need to be finalized by September so the necessary government funding can be obtained.
Robert Weidknect of Beals and Thomas Engineering made a presentation. He showed satellite images of the proposed project, plot features and building layout.
Architect Lucio Trabucco of Nunes Trabucco Architects showed pictures of the building design.
A question and answer period began after the presentations.
ZBA member Ronald Seaburg asked if the calculations of lot usage were based upon a 2 acre parcel or the complete 4.33 acres. Mr. Guz replied the permit application was based upon the entire 4.33 acre parcel. HAP is leasing 2 acres but the permit includes the entire 4.33 acres so that the frontage requirements are met.
Ronald Seaburg had concerns about future expansion saying so much surface area was already in use. Mr. Weidknect said it was 33% and included all paved surfaces and pads. Reinforced lawn areas will be used for access to pads. These areas are not impervious and will accommodate trucks.
Ronald Seaburg said the parking area was only enough for 26 vehicles with no provision for many visitors, employees, and emergency workers. Mr. Weidknect said the number of spaces exceeds needs.
Howard Fife asked why not annex more land to change the calculations. He suggested extending the property line out to the well site.
Abutter Jerry Germain was concerned with the water runoff - the location is in a bowl and floods easily. The project does not belong in this location. And there are no taxes paid to the town.
Rudy Perkins of HAP attempted to answer how much would be paid to the town in taxes. He was asked how the project could be assured to remain as senior housing. He had no answer.
Ron Seaburg said the estimated taxes to be paid to the town were $5000. Someone stated this was a residential property and the amount was to be a yearly payment to the town in place of taxes.
Lyn Arnold (Planning Board) was concerned there was no reference to a specific age for the future residents of the complex. She asked if Holland met the low income %. Mr. Guz replied the lease will say or should say age specified low income seniors.
Ms Arnold had safety concerns that were waived by using the common driveway. There were too few parking spaces. Eight spaces were removed from the senior center parking lot. The lot fills up now when there are popular activities there and many will park along the driveway leading in, and that is the only way in or out of the complex. There are no spaces for employees. She raised concerns about emergency access and suggested another route in or out of the complex.
Replies to these concerns were noted and will be addressed at the next meeting.
Ronald Seaburg asked about income levels, eligibility and letters of entitlement. Were future residents required to spend down their assets, such as money from the sale of a home to qualify?
Mr. Guz replied the calculations were made from interest earned from the money in the bank.
Earl Johnson said Holland residents would be selected ahead of residents from other towns.
Abutter Cheryl Murray had concerns about the amount of fill required to make the site ready for construction, that there was a good sized area to be filled in. She wondered about the size of the septic system and how close it would be to her well.
Mr. Weidknect replied the system must meet Title 5 requirements. Jerry Germain said the septic system must be a minimum of 100 feet from the well.
Abutter Valerie Ebersold had concerns about the septic system, drainage and parking. Mr. Weidknect replied the Comprehensive Permit process sets the stage and the details come later.
Ronald Seaburg said parking in the driveway was a safety concern.
Peter Frei commented the septic system design was made without knowing where the adjoining well was. He also said the cost of the project was high and amounted to about $250 thousand per apartment. Mr. Weidknect said the building was to last 99 years and would be used by many people.
Richard Polverari asked if there were provisions to limit the number of people who can occupy a unit, saying one such unit in Connecticut once housed 12 people. How would this be controlled?
Ms McAdaragh of HAP replied funding sources do not support such use and the HAP manager would evict such tenants.
Ronald Seaburg asked if HAP defaulted on the lease and it was acquired by a new non-profit group, would conditions change. Ms McAdaragh replied the lease reverts to the town which would have to make provisions for such an occurrence ahead of time.
Concerns were raised about pet allergies and non-smoking areas. HAP said such conditions can be specified in the lease.
Emergency support questions were asked. HAP commented this was a preliminary plan the details still to be worked out.
Ms. Ebersold said she lives across the street from the present senior center and knows what the drainage problems are and wondered why the senior housing had to be built there. Mr. Guz replied the town picked the site, not HAP.
Jerry Germain said he never saw so many zoning variances requested in a proposal. There was a total disregard of zoning requirements.
Mike LaMountain commented he had 75 acres - plenty of room - why not use mine?
Peter Frei questioned if there were provisions for empty units? What if they can’t be filled? Are they left empty?
Cheryl Murray asked if property further back of the senior center could be used.
Peter Frei noted that zoning regulation 40B was an expedited process without going through other boards. Mr. Guz replied that according to 40B the project was to go to the zoning board first before going to the other boards. He said it was helpful to get comments and to HAP for them to address. Ronald Seaburg asked if HAP had difficulties, then what? Mr. Guz replied that permits can be obtained, and this project was unique - HAP has to get a lease from the town.
Ron Seaburg asked if home monies were assigned to particular units. No reply noted.
Howard Fife had concerns about pine trees as screening, commenting they die from the bottom up.
Lynn Arnold asked who would be responsible for pumping out the retention basin, the town or HAP? Reply was HAP is responsible. Paul Bracciotti said the project cannot affect the health of safety of others in the town.
Cheryl Murray asked how much property was used for the Wales senior housing project. Reply - don’t know.
Fred Beaulieu set the continuance for April 6, 2010 at 7:30 PM and noted that closing today’s meeting did not close the public hearing. Questions by ZBA members and others are to be sent to HAP for them to research before the next meeting. Meeting adjourned at about 9:30.