Zoning Board Meeting Minutes 07/07/2020

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Town of Otis, Massachusetts



July 7, 2020


Meeting held at Otis Town Hall

1 North Main Road, Otis, MA

7:00 pm – 7:10 pm


ZBA Members: (Present) Therese Gould, Michael Ernst, James Kauffman, RoseAnn DeRupo, Wayne Woczyna

ZBA Members: (Absent) Geoffrey Geane

Clerk: Kathy Couch

Applicants: Jared J. Bruscoe and Kimberly E. Bruscoe

Public Attendees: Larry Gould, Building Inspector, Abutter Mark Paulson


The meeting was held via ZOOM; host Heather Morgan

All votes are via role call


Agenda item #1Open Meeting:   The meeting at convened 7:02 pm. Chairperson Terry Gould opened the meeting and read the public notice.  Introductions of the board members and clerk were made. There is a quorum; there are four voting members and one alternate present tonight.


Agenda item #2 – To hear and act upon the special permit application of Jared J. Bruscoe and Kimberly E. Bruscoe.


The applicants are applying for a Zoning By-Law Special Permit under Sec. 3.3.5 of the Otis Zoning by-laws as to elevate the existing structure and place a foundation underneath while maintaining the non-conforming setbacks.

Kim Bruscoe, applicant explained that the house currently sits on piers and they would like to raise the structure and put a walk out basement underneath. The house sits on a small non-conforming lot. The application does not want to change any of the setbacks but does want change the height about 5 feet.  There are no neighbors behind them to block the view.


Chairperson Gould stated that all the lots on Gate Island are small and non conforming.


Chairperson Gould asked if the abutter, Mark Paulson, had concerns or comments.  Abutter Mark Paulson stated that he and his mother are happy that the Bruscoes’ came into the neighborhood and are going to fix up the cottage.  His only concern is that the runoff from the roof does not come onto his mother’s property.  He would like the board to put a condition on the special permit that the water does not run onto any of the abutters’ properties.


Applicant Jared Bruscoe stated that the side of the house that abuts Mark’s mother’s property would not change much.  The gully that is there now will basically stay the same.  The only thing that would change on that side would be the 12 inches of foundation and the wooden framing that would come out of the ground.  The way that the landscaping sits now will basically be unchanged.



Abutter Mark Paulson again stated that he wants to ensure that the water coming off the roof is captured and does not go into his mother’s property.  It currently does not drain that way and he would like it to stay that way.


Applicant Kim Bruscoe asked Abutter Mark Paulson to clarify what he was talking about on that side of the property. Kim asked if he was referring to the gully with white pipe coming down between the two properties?  Abutter Mark Paulson stated currently underneath the drip edge there is stone and piping which captures the run-off and sends it down towards the lake.  Abutter Mark Paulson understands that that will need to be dug up to install the foundation but wants reassurance that or something similar is put back in place.  The Bruscoes agreed that that could be done to keep the same results.


Member Ernst asked if there was in the plans anything about drainage.  Applicant Kim Bruscoe responded that it isn’t in the plans.  The plans aren’t that detailed they planned on leaving it the same.  She stated that Abutter Mark Paulson is right in suggesting that the run-off be addressed.


Building Inspector Gould stated that the board could condition the special permit so there are provisions made for the drainage of the water and it must remain on the applicant’s property.


Member Ernst agreed that there should be conditions placed on the special permit noting the run-off should not drain onto anyone else’s property.


Chairperson Gould stated that there could be conditions placed on the special permit.


Member DeRupo had questions about the height and was wondering if the special permit was specifically addressing the change in the building height.  Chairperson Gould stated this is why the applicant is coming before the board. Member DeRupo noticed that the plans were not architectural drawings and wondering if these plans are what are being used for the permit.  She wanted to make sure that the applicant would adhere to the same footprint.  Inspector Gould stated that the applicant is not changing the structure that is there and just raising it up enough to put the basement underneath.  There will be no change to the outside of the existing structure. Member DeRupo wondered if the plans are exact plans or not.  Jared Bruscoe stated that they are exact plans.  Inspector Gould stated that a set of drawings will not change what the structure is and the applicants will have to set down the structure on the current setbacks.  There is no need for an additional set of plans.


Chairperson Gould closed the meeting to the audience members.  Chairperson Gould asked for a discussion between the board members.  She wanted to know if everyone was in favor of the special permit application.  She suggested that there would be a set of conditions.  The board members and Inspector Gould discussed and drafted conditions regarding the run-off.  “The drainage from the structure must be contained on the property”.


Member Ernst made the motion to accept the special permit with the condition; “The drainage from the structure must be contained on the property.”


Member Jim Kauffman seconded the motion.  Chairperson Therese Gould voted in favor.  Member DeRupo voted in favor.  Member Wayne Wosczyna voted in favor.  Motion carried 5-0.





A point of housekeeping; Kathy Couch, ZBA clerk, stated that the public notice was placed in the Berkshire Eagle on Monday, June 22, 2020 and Monday, June 29, 2020.  A mailing with the 3public notice was sent to the abutters within 300’ of the property on June 8, 2020.


Chairperson Gould advised the applicant that the special permit will sit in abeyance for 20 days with the Town Clerk.  The applicant can pick up the “Notice of Decision” and “Notice for Filing” on the 21st day.  Then the applicant needs to file the permit with the Registry of Deeds in Pittsfield.  Then they bring the receipt of filing to the Building Inspector Larry Gould for the building permit.  Failure to file or act upon the permit within two years will make the special permit null and void.


Agenda item #3Approve minutes from previous meeting:

Discussion: A few edits were suggested by Micahael Ernst and Jim Kauffman. Terry didn’t have her copy of the minutes. Terry Gould made a motion to table the minutes to the next meeting. RoseAnn DeRupo seconded, Michael Ernst voted in favor, Jim Kauffman voted in favor, Wayne Wosczyna voted in favor. Motion carried 5-0


Agenda item #4Receive update from Building Inspector, Larry Gould

Discussion:  Larry expects one application for the upcoming in for the next meeting.


Agenda item #5Approve meeting dates for FY 21

Discussion:  Monday, September 7th is Labor Day the meeting will be moved to Tuesday, September 8th.

Motion made by Member RoseAnn DeRupo to accept the meeting dates and deadlines as presented. Member Jim Kauffman seconded the motion. Member Wayne Wosczyna voted in favor, Member Michael Ernst voted in favor, Chairperson Therese Gould voted in favor.  Motion carried 5-0.


Agenda item #6 Next Meeting

Discussion:  Monday, August 3, 2020 at 7:00 pm. The meeting will probably be held remotely using Zoom.


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

Discussion: Clerk Couch stated that due to the new Fiscal year a chair must be nominated and voted upon. Member RoseAnn DeRupo nominated Therese Gould. Therese Gould accepted the nomination as the chair of the ZBA for FY 21.

Member Jim Kauffman voted in favor, Member Wayne Wosczyna voted in favor, Member Michael Ernst voted in favor.  Motion carried 5-0.


Agenda item #8 – Adjournment

Discussion:  Motion made by Michael Ernst to adjourn. Member RoseAnn DeRupo seconded the motion. Member Wayne Wosczyna voted in favor, Member Jim Kauffman voted in favor, Chairperson Therese Gould voted in favor.  Motion carried 5-0. Meeting adjourned at 7:45 pm.



Respectfully submitted,

Katherine Couch

Clerk Zoning Board