Planning Board Meeting Minutes 12/14/2020

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Town of Otis

Planning Board Meeting Minutes

December 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 7:03 pm
    1. Hal Kobrin, Chair
    2. Rona Knight, Member
    3. Jim Kauffman, Member
    4. Jen Daily, Member
    5. Barbara Gallagher, Member
    6. Stacey Schultze, Clerk


  1. Approval of Minutes. Approval of November 9, 2020 Planning Board meeting minutes.
    1. Jen motions to accept
    2. Rona seconds
    3. Jim noted a spelling mistake to be fixed
    4. All in favor


  1. HMP & MVP update
    1. First public listening session was held. Our previous point of contact at BRPC, Caroline has moved and our new point of contact is Justin, her assistant.
    2. We will be updating the website with stories and narratives from the state and federal government to help the public understand the programs
    3. BRPC is putting together a survey to send to all towns people requesting input on items to be addressed in reference to HMP & MVP
    4. Rona spoke with her neighbors who suggested investigating all the culverts because there were many roads such as the Lee/ Westfield Rd that were completely washed out when hurricane Irene came through.
    5. Hal shared that he attended a Climate Change Clean Transportation meeting where 13 states in the northeast were represented. All 13 states are working on the integration of HMP, MVP, and complete streets as a way to upgrade the road infrastructure.  Some items that were discussed were electric cars, specifically updating entire fleets or busses and identifying the distance to work, supermarket or other necessities as a vulnerability due to the remoteness of our town.  Hal noted that at the meeting there was a live, interactive survey of those in attendance and top of the list for all 13 states were culverts in rural areas.
    6. Jen pointed out that both public and private property is covered in the HMP/ MVP because if there is a private road up-stream or at the top of a hill and that culvert breaks or significant erosion happens, it could impact all those downhill or downstream.
    7. In reaction to the transportation aspect of HMP/MVP, Hal pointed out that there are additional funds and opportunities that are not being taken advantage of at the Transportation Advisory Council because Otis is not represented. A member of the Select Board or the Town Administrator must be present at the meetings in order to vote and/or receive funds through that initiative.  There are often funds that need to be redistributed and the decision on who receives the funds is made by those in attendance.
      1. Rona wanted to know who from Otis goes to this meeting. Hal indicated that he used to attend but saw no point because he couldn’t vote because voting is restricted to Select board members and/ or Town Administrators.  Rona requested that the TAC info be forwarded to her to review.


  1. Complete Streets update
    1. We have a signed contract for complete streets. Eamon at BRPC has started the planning process of scheduling the initial meetings required through the grant.
    2. An idea was proposed to work with the Rec Center to get community input on the roads in town and to encourage healthy habits with a follow up survey. The document that Hal generated of all the streets in Otis could be used.  Citizens could be encouraged to walk their neighborhood or to achieve a larger goal of walking all the roads in Otis over a period of time.  The survey could ask participants if they feel safe walking the road in question, if not why.
    3. Rona and Stacey agreed to work together and reach out to the Rec Center.


  1. Building Reuse
    1. Keep adding to the list and consider any vulnerabilities the buildings may have which could be noted in the HMP/MVP grant process.


  1. Solar Bylaw review
    1. Jen asked if anywhere in the document Medium and Large were defined. It is indicated in 8.1.1
    2. Rona asked if there is a particular area or zone for this type of site or is it allowed anywhere in Otis?
    3. A list of approving departments should be indicated and the procedures to follow.
    4. The members agreed to review with more scrutiny and discuss at the January meeting. Then the bylaw will be brought to the Selectmen to review and decide to put to a town meeting either at the annual town meeting or at a special town meeting.


  1. Discuss updates to the Planning Board page on the Town Website
    1. Jim’s end date should be 2023
    2. Barbara should be added and her end date is 2025
    3. Add link to bylaws
    4. Add a tab or section for each of the grants we are working on with corresponding information.
    5. Update the description of the planning board.


  1. Discuss 2021 calendar for meetings
    1. Agree to cancel Oct 21 meeting because it falls on a holiday and add a meeting if immediate business is pending.


  1. Any Other Business, Old or New.
    1. A neighboring town had asked for a copy of the survey we used to write the master plan which ended up being 40 pages. It is in appendix E of the finished master plan and we could ask BRPC for a copy of the file with the corresponding responses.
    2. Brandi sent a memo and budget review request. Budget will be discussed at next meeting to make the required Jan 28 response date.
  2. Meeting Adjourned 8:13 pm
    1. Jen motioned
    2. Rona seconds
    3. All in favor


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


Topic: Planning Board Meeting December 14, 2020 at 7:00 pm

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


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Meeting ID: 833 5031 4175

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