Planning Board Meeting Minutes 09/14/2020

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Town of Otis

Planning Board Meeting Minutes

September 14, 2020

7:00 p.m.

Online using the Zoom link provided below.


*This meeting is being conducted remotely through Zoom. You must check back within 24 hours of the start time for a link to join.

Pursuant to the Governor’s March 12, 2020 order suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A, Sec 18, this meeting is being held via remote participation to the greatest extent possible. Every effort is being made to ensure that any member of the public may access the meeting in real time, via technological means. Agendas will be amended to show the link and participation code to access the meeting no sooner than 48 hours before. Recordings and/or draft proceedings of the meeting will be available on our website as soon as possible.


  1. Roll Call- Call to Order at 7:00
    1. Hal Kobrin, Chair
    2. Rona Knight, Member
    3. Jim Kauffman, Member
    4. Jen Daily, Member
    5. Stacey Schultze, Clerk
    6. Jessica Cohen, public
    7. Tracy Bufferd, public
    8. Marc A., public
    9. Guest 6463850298, public


  1. Approval of Minutes. Approval of August 10, 2020 Planning Board meeting minutes.
    1. Rona corrected explanation of solar bylaw environmental changes
    2. Jen suggested adding 100% grade to Complete Streets application
    3. Hal motions to accepts with these amendments, Rona seconds, all in favor


  1. Form A Application
    1. Jessica Cohen and her husband were applying to move the boundary line to capture a well located on a neighboring property. Planning Board requested documented proof that the abutter who was not present at the meeting agrees to the changes.  Jessica agreed to provide correspondence indicating neighbor’s approval of the changes.
    2. Hal motions to accept, Jim seconds, all in favor
    3. Arrangements were made to have the Planning Board members to sign individually by end of business Wednesday and the applicant’s realtor, Jeff Wilkinson would retrieve the signed documents from the Otis Town Hall on Thursday.


  1. Selectmen request for input re: population increase and municipal planning (short/ long term)
    1. Discussions about how to accurately count the increase in population ensued. Although it is noticeable that there are more people staying in homes in Otis and more traffic in town, how can these changes be tracked?  Suggestions were to reach out to the School Committee to see if there has been an increase in new families enrolling students and to Lyn to see if there was a trend in change of residency status.  Stacey will reach out to the school and Rona will reach out to the town clerk.
    2. Discussion of impacts on the town resulting from an increase in population. Increased road use which increase maintenance and repairs.  Possible increased need for ambulance, fire, and police services. Possible changes to the number of students which would predicate building expansion for schools or increase transportation needs.  Perhaps BRPC would have suggestions about addressing these issues.  Jen asked if there were any emergency services grants available?


  1. Solar Farm Bylaw Draft update
    1. Change the title to limit the scope of the bylaw to address commercial, municipal, medium and large scale systems. This would exclude any residential systems.
    2. Change 250 KW DC to 120 KW DC to capture medium scale systems.
    3. Change reference to article 9 located at bottom of page 1
    4. Address punctuation inconsistencies in section 8.3
    5. Once Planning Bd approves, send to selectmen to approve, then either wait to add to the next town meeting or decided to hold a special town meeting


  1. Marijuana Bylaw update
    1. Suggested that a standardized form be used to capture contact information of applicant, proposed business address, and type of operation
    2. Additional application fee suggested of $1000 to cover real costs including staff hours, required advertising, etc
    3. The application form would include a section for each board involved to sign-off


  1. Hazard Mitigation Plan update
    1. No meeting this week, moved to Oct 6
    2. Make a list of proposed action items such as floods or forest fires (Google doc created to be edited by board members in real time)


  1. Municipal Vulnerability Plan Update
    1. Will combine meetings with HMP on Oct 6
    2. Make a list of proposed action items (Google doc created to be edited by board members in real time)


  1. Complete Streets update
    1. Eamon from BRPC will let us know when the first meeting should take place, perhaps it could be included in regular planning board meeting
    2. Members should familiarize themselves with the Complete Streets info online where it explains scope of work and direct usage
      1. Focus on intersections, multi-use/ re-use of existing streets
      2. Consultant identifies possible action items for the town
    3. Make a list of transportation related action items (Google doc created to be edited by board members in real time)
      1. Indicate prioritized projects
    4. Invite a representative from the Highway Dept., Select board, and Brandi


  1. Building Reuse
    1. Historical would like to present ideas pertaining to buildings under their purview
    2. Selectmen are looking for renter for house adjacent to the Town Hall
      1. It was suggested that the police dept. use this building for their headquarters
    3. Town buildings:
      1. Town Hall
      2. Fire/ Emergency Building
  • Elementary School
  1. Highway Dept. Building
  2. House next to Town Hall
  3. Harmony Hall
  • Library & Museum
  • Old School House in East Otis
  1. Episcopal Church
  1. Make a list of suggested re-uses for existing buildings (Google doc created to be edited by board members in real time)


  1. Housing Choice Small Town FY 21 Capital Grant Program
    1. This grant appears to fit in with other grants we have been awarded
    2. Does not only address new building, but also maintenance and installation of infrastructure to support new building
    3. Focus on access and connectivity
    4. Not sure if the town needs to be certified to apply
    5. Board members will review the application to learn more about how/ if it would make sense to apply for it
    6. Make a list of possible action items (Google doc created to be edited by board members in real time)


  1. Any Other Business, Old or New.


  1. Hal Motions to Adjourn at 8:26, Jen seconds, all in favor


The Public was invited to attend using the following Zoom link.


Topic: Planning Board Meeting 9/14/2020

Time: Sep 14, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


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Meeting ID: 832 6780 6550

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