Zoning Board Meeting Minutes 05/02/2022

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Town of Otis, Massachusetts


MINUTES                 May 2, 2022



Meeting‌ via Zoom ‌ ‌

7:03‌ ‌pm‌ ‌–‌ ‌9:15 pm

ZBA‌ ‌Members: (Present)‌‌ ‌ Geoffrey Geane, James‌ ‌Kauffman, Therese‌ ‌Gould, Wayne‌ ‌Wosczyna‌, Travis Ward ‌

ZBA‌ ‌Members:  ‌(Absent)‌ RoseAnn‌ ‌DeRupo‌

Clerk: (Present) Trisha Tetreault

Public Attendees: *See attached List.


The‌ ‌meeting‌ ‌was‌ ‌held‌ ‌via‌ ‌ZOOM; ‌ ‌Host‌ Larry Gould, Building Inspector ‌

All‌ ‌votes‌ ‌are‌ ‌via‌ ‌roll‌ ‌call‌ ‌

Agenda‌ ‌item‌ ‌#‌1‌‌ ‌-‌ ‌‌Open‌ ‌Meeting:

  • ‌‌The‌ ‌meeting‌ ‌convened‌ ‌at 7:00‌ ‌pm.‌ ‌Chair Geane ‌opened‌ ‌the‌ ‌meeting and explained the application process‌. ‌Introductions‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌board‌ ‌members‌ ‌were‌ ‌made.
  • There‌ was‌ ‌a‌ ‌quorum; five‌ ‌voting‌ ‌members‌ ‌present‌. ‌Member RoseAnn DeRupo was unable to attend, Member Robin Peterson had previously resigned, Chair Geane named Wayne Wosczyna and Travis Ward to act as voting members for this meeting.


Agenda‌ ‌item‌ ‌#2‌‌ – To act upon the resignation of Member Robin Peterson,


  • Chair Geane stated the board regretfully accepted Robin Peterson’s resignation and elevated Associate Member Wosczyna to voting member. There were no objections from the board.


Agenda‌ ‌item‌ ‌#3‌‌ – To hear and act upon the application of Colleen & David DelVecchio, for a Zoning By-Law Special Permit under Sec. 3.3.5 of the Otis Zoning by-laws to extend a lake front deck to span the length of the house, thus decreasing the setback to the North from nineteen feet three inches (19’ 3”) to five feet 9 inches (5’ 9”). The deck will not encroach no further than the existing dwelling.



  • David DelVecchio explained they would like to extend the permitted deck from 60% to span the full width of the house for symmetry.
  • Geoff stated the drawings submitted do not match what is being asked of the board.
  • Terry stated the site no longer has a house, but the new structure will be built in the exact footprint. She clarified that they are asking to extend the nonconformity so the deck will expand the entire front of the house and that it is a 2nd floor deck.
  • Geoff stated the drawing he had showed at the Northwest corner the current encroachment is 6’ 2” the proposed drawing 5’ 9”. The left side of the house, the current encroachment is 9’ 5”, proposed is 9’ 1”. The lower left the current is 9’7” and proposed 9’ 4”. This is more than the verbal description.
  • DelVecchio asked Joe Trembly from TM Construction to explain. Joe stated the house was shifted 3” and approved by the conservation commission.
  • Terry stated the town approved for the house to be built on the exact footprint. If the footprint is changed applicant is subject to setback requirements and the entire house would need to be approved by Zoning.
  • Larry stated the original plan was to remodel on the same footprint. The application would need to be amended. If they choose to go forward rebuilding on the exact footprint, they could come back and discuss the deck next month.
  • The applicant respectfully withdrew the application.


Agenda‌ ‌item‌ ‌#4‌‌ – To hear and act upon the application of Vertex Towers LLC, for a Zoning By-Law Special Permit under Sec. 6.5 of the Otis Zoning by-laws to construct a wireless communications facility consisting of a one hundred forty-six foot (146’) tall “monopine” style communications tower on which Verizon wireless and other telecommunication companies will place antennas enclosed within a sixty foot (60’) by sixty foot (60’) fenced in compound.



  • Francis Parisi, representing the applicant Vertex towers, stated he would present the project and answer most questions. Charles LaBatt, the civil engineer who designed the project, was also available to answer any technical questions. Mr. Parisi shared a visual presentation, explaining that Vertex Towers is a wireless infrastructure developer.
    • They don’t provide telecommunication services. They build the tower then lease the space to companies (i.e. Verizon and AT&T). They were able to design a facility that meets all the requirements of the current Zoning Bylaw. They may need to go to Conservation Commission due to wetlands.
    • A visibility demonstration was done. Photographs were taken from land and boat.
    • Data was submitted showing where coverage is needed and where the hills block cell signal, indicating a need West of the Big Pond area.
    • The location is a 35-acre lot with a fair amount of wetlands, more than 600’ from any residential structure
    • The compound is 60’ x 60’, leaving a vegetative buffer.
    • There will be a chain link fence and no ladder on the tower.
    • A mono pine tower has pine branches to blend with tree canopy.
    • The tower is 140’ with 6’ pine branches. It is a low powered tower which is a fraction of the FCC limits.
    • The town’s emergency services, (ie. Fire department) would have access via a 12’ gravel driveway off East Otis Road with a large turnaround.
    • The tower will be set back 200’ from closest property line.
    • The towers are designed for 4 telecommunication companies. Mr. Parisi stated that they would make space available for municipal public safety communication equipment free of charge.


Comments opened to abutters.

  • Teresa Hazelton, 1030 East Otis Road, asked where the driveway would be. She requested that the board revisit this application next month in order to give them time to investigate more. She stated she received the notice on the 16th. Her daughter, Emilyn, is concerned about health and safety concerns.
  • David Fogle owns the property to the left and is concerned about how close the tower would be to his property. Mr. Parisi believes it is 250’ from his property.
  • Heidi Johnstone owns the length of Lennard Road and asked if the tower produces humming. The base of the cabinet has fans but cannot be heard past the fence.
  • Parisi noted that the customers on the tower will eventually be 5G, that the tower cannot be abandoned and a bond has been posted.


Comments from the public opened.

  • Concerns were raised about barbed wire hurting the wildlife. The driveway will be entering from Route 23.
  • Tim Massuko, 46 East Shore Road, stated Vertex Towers did their homework and residents of Big Pond are satisfied with the placement.
  • Neil, Pease Road, was concerned with limitations on the transmitters used. Mr. Parisi states the limits are set by the FCC.
  • Rick Lawlor, 204 Great Woods Road, asked who the owners of the property were and if the abutters were notified.
  • Trisha stated all abutters within 300 ft were notified by Zoning. The public notices sent from Zoning included the letter from Vertex about the balloon test sent 4/9/22. Notice was also published on the town website as well as published in Berkshire Eagle twice.
  • Vertex had also posted the balloon test in the Berkshire Eagle.
  • Florance and Charlie Magovern, Magovern Drive, asked if the balloon test was done where the tower will go. Mr. Parisi responded that the balloon was flown in the exact location of the tower.
  • John, 60 East Shore Road, asked that if Conservation moved the tower, would they need to go back to Zoning. Mr. Parisi is confident in the area they choose but would need to come back if the location was changed.
  • Sharon Mackton, Luke Drive on Benton Pond, is concerned with what it looks like from Benton Pond and asked if the tower needs to be 160’ tall? 3-5’ of tree branches will be all that is visible from Benton Pond. Towers are restrained by topography.
  • It was stated some areas of Otis only get 3G and it is only a matter of time before 3G will no longer work.
  • Bonnie Peel, Stanley Road, questioned how long the lease is. The is a 50 year lease.
  • Ed Poley, Pease Road, asked why the balloon test is only done once.
  • Charlie Magovern asked what recourse the town would have if Vertex moved the tower. Geoff explained the application is very specific and the code enforcement officer would enforce it.
  • Public comments were closed.


Board Discussion:

  • Travis asked about timelines. They still need to go to the Conservation process and plan to move forward as soon as possible. Their goal is to get it built before winter.
  • Travis Ward made a motion to approve the Vertex application, Jim Kauffman seconded the approval.
  • Roll call vote was taken. Members voted as follows:


  • Therese Gould – Aye
  • Jim Kauffman – Aye
  • Wayne Wosczyna- Aye
  • Travis Ward- Aye
  • Geoffrey Geane – Aye


  • The motion passed unanimously.


Agenda item #5 – Approve minutes from previous meeting.


  • Therese Gould made a motion to approve the minutes. Wayne Wosczyna seconded. Roll call vote was taken. Members voted as follows:


  • Therese Gould – Aye
  • Jim Kauffman – Aye
  • Wayne Wosczyna- Aye
  • Travis Ward- Aye
  • Geoffrey Geane – Aye


  • The motion passed unanimously.

Agenda‌ ‌item‌ ‌#6 – Review and approve the Meeting Schedule and Application Deadlines for 2022/2023.


  • Jim Kauffman‌ made a motion to approve as written. Travis Ward‌ seconded. Roll call vote was taken. Members voted as follows:


  • Therese Gould – Aye
  • Jim Kauffman – Aye
  • Wayne Wosczyna- Aye
  • Travis Ward- Aye
  • Geoffrey Geane – Aye


  • The motion passed unanimously.



Agenda‌ ‌item‌ ‌#7 – Old Business and New Business/ Items unanticipated by the chair‌


  • No Old/New business to discuss.


Agenda‌ ‌item‌ ‌#8 – Update from the Building Inspector‌ ‌ ‌


  • Larry hasn’t received an application yet.


‌Agenda‌ ‌item‌ ‌#9 ‌- Next Meeting


  • The next meeting will be on Monday, June 6, 2022.


Agenda‌ ‌item‌ ‌#10 ‌-‌‌ ‌‌Adjournment: ‌ ‌

  • Motion‌ ‌made‌ ‌by‌ Member Jim Kauffman ‌to‌ ‌adjourn. ‌ ‌Member‌ Wayne Wosczyna ‌seconded‌ ‌the‌ ‌motion. Members voted as follows:


  • Therese Gould – Aye
  • Jim Kauffman – Aye
  • Wayne Wosczyna- Aye
  • Travis Ward- Aye
  • Geoffrey Geane – Aye


  • The motion passed unanimously.


  • ‌ ‌Meeting‌ ‌adjourned‌ ‌at‌ 9:14‌ ‌pm.‌ ‌

Respectfully‌ ‌submitted, ‌

Trisha Tetreault ‌

Zoning‌ ‌Board‌ ‌Clerk