Back to Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes
Board of Selectmen
February 16, 2012
5:35 PM - Open Session
North Hearing Room 3rd Floor, Hingham Town Hall
Present: John A. Riley, Chairman; Laura M. Burns; Bruce Rabuffo; Ted Alexiades, Town Administrator; and Betty Foley, Assistant Town Administrator
With a quorum present, Chairman Riley called the meeting to order and reviewed the order of the agenda.
Questions from the Public: There were no questions from the public.
Approval of Meeting Minutes from February 9, 2012: Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Mr. Rabuffo to approve the open session meeting minutes of the Board of Selectmen of February 9, 2012. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Warrant Articles Discussion and Vote:
Article CCC Demolition Delay By-Law: Will the Town amend the General By-Laws of the Town of Hingham adopted March 13, 1939 as heretofore amended by amending Article 31, entitled "Demolition of Historically Significant Buildings or Structures" and known as the "Demolition Delay Bylaw", as follows: Andrea Young, Administrator for the Historical Commission, distributed a map of towns that have a demolition delay bylaw. She provided informational background and a summary of the proposed demolition delay bylaw, with the substance being to promote preservation. She discussed the delay period and bylaws in other towns. Virginia Tay, Chair, and Bob Curley, member, of the Historical Commission presented the article to the Selectmen. Ms. Tay reviewed the two goals of clarification and revision, the intent of the bylaw, the balance of preservation of property with respect for homeowners' needs and interests, and two major changes – one in definition section and the other in the noncompliance section. Mr. Curley noted the Commission has not yet reviewed or approved the incorporated changes made by Karen Johnson. Mr. Curley reviewed the proposed bylaw changes.
Discussion followed. Ms. Young said that there are 800 houses on the inventory that are not in historic districts. Ms. Burns asked what triggers recognition that a house is on the historic inventory. Discussion followed regarding the terms "building permit" versus "demolition permit." Mark Grylls, Inspector of Buildings, reviewed the permitting process. Karen Johnson, Vice Chair of the Advisory Committee, suggested redefining demolition permit. Ms. Burns questioned the inability to appeal a staff determination of "historically significant." Ms. Young stated that she relies on the help of Commission members in making decisions. Ms. Burns expressed concern that the language of Paragraph 4(H) is too broad. Mr. Curley suggested that language could be added to clarify that it is a change involving the scope of the work on the structure. Regarding Section 6, Ms. Burns expressed concern that the flexibility built in during the three-year period refers only to violations and that proposals to do other things during that timeframe may be precluded. Discussion followed. Ms. Tay suggested that the language could be made clearer. Ms. Burns offered to submit additional language.
Mr. Rabuffo noted that based on the map, towns like Cohasset, Scituate and Brewster do not have a by-law. Ms. Tay said that she had not spoken with these towns. Mr. Rabuffo requested her to do so, stressing that the goal is for clarity for the homeowner. Mr. Rabuffo asked if the Commission has spoken with any of the 800 homeowners on the inventory; Mr. Curley said none directly. Mr. Rabuffo expressed concern with informing homeowners that their houses are on the list. Mr. Curley said the list has been given to realtors. Mr. Rabuffo said that homeowners and contractors need to know about the list, he suggested sampling homeowners as to the clarity of proposed by-law, and he would like to see a list of the homeowners that the Commission speaks with. Mr. Rabuffo clarified that the referenced time when added up is not six months but nine months.
Chairman Riley inquired about the ability of the Commission to sanction or fine architects and builders who do know the bylaw and violate it. He would like to send a message that if the by-law is violated, there is a price to be paid. Mr. Curley said that it is something that the Commission also is concerned about, there are private legal remedies of homeowners against builders or architects, and the Commission can look at expansion in the future. Ms. Tay commented on monitoring projects while in process. Discussion followed regarding licensing boards.
There was no public comment. Mr. Curley stated that the Commission will provide a further draft as expeditiously as it can. Ms. Young reviewed the timeframe of the review process and stated that there is no interest in delaying a homeowner. Discussion followed. Ms. Burns suggested sending a post card every three years to the owners who are on the inventory but not in a historic district. Ms. Tay agreed to look into whether information can be attached to a deed. The consensus of the Board was to take the matter under advisement and take a formal vote after the Commission comes back with the changes.
Warrant AA 43D District: Will the Town vote to accept the provisions of Chapter 43D of the Massachusetts General Laws, as amended, pursuant to Section 11 of Chapter 205 of the Acts of 2006, and to approve the filing of an application with the Interagency Permitting Board for the designation of land commonly known as the South Shore Industrial Park including properties located at 35 Commerce Road (Map 207, Lot 18); 45 Industrial Park Road (Map 201, Lot 6); 55 Industrial Park Road ( Map 201, Lot 7) ; 65 Industrial Park Road, Map 201, Lot 8) ; 75 Industrial Park Road ( Map 201, Lot 9); 90 Industrial Park Road (Map 201, Lot 12) ; 90A Industrial Park Road (Map 201, Lot 3) 99 Industrial Park Road (Map 201, Lot 8); 110 Industrial Park Road (Map 207, Lot 12); 120 Industrial Park Road (Map 207, Lot 11); 125 Industrial Park Road (Map 207, Lot 2) ; 10 Old Mine Rock Way (Map 207, Lot 14); 1 Pond Park Road (Map 200, Lot 7); 2 Pond Park Road (Map201, Lot 20) ; 3 Pond Park Road (Map 201, Lot 13); 4 Pond Park Road (Map 201, Lot 5); 5 Pond Park Road (Map 210, Lot 4); 20 Pond Park Road (Map 210, Lot 10); 30 Pond Park Road (Map 207, Lot 6); 35 Pond Park Road (Map 201, Lot 11); 40 Pond Park Road (Map 206, Lot 2) ; 45 Pond Park Road (Map 200, Lot 6); 50 Pond Park Road (Map 206, Lot 1); 55 Pond Park Road (Map 207, Lot 10); 60 Research Road (Map 207, Lot 16); 70 Research Road (Map 207, Lot 15); 75 Research Road (Map 201, Lot 7); 80 Research Road (Map 207, Lot 9); 85 Research Road (Map 207, Lot 5); 90 Research Road (Map 207, Lot 19) ; 100 Research Road (Map 206, Lot 9); 105 Research Road (Map 206, Lot 120) as Priority Development Sites, Or act on anything relating thereto?(Inserted at the request of the Development and Industrial Commission) Sue Sullivan, Chair, and Ben Wilcox, member, of the Development and Industrial Commission presented the article to the Selectmen. Ms. Sullivan distributed a summary, reviewed the article, and noted that it involves only the Hingham Industrial Park and not the entire zone. Mr. Wilcox stated that per the Selectmen's previous request, the Commission went to the various boards involved and there is no change other than having a single point of contact. Mr. Wilcox discussed the administrative board of appeals, the ZBA's concern regarding sequential permits and the extension of time, and the change in septic permit expirations from three years to five years. Ms. Sullivan reported that the consensus of Planning, Zoning and Health is that it is very doable, given the particular site; a majority vote is needed at Town Meeting; once accepted there in no time limit in which to apply to the state for the designation; but the plan is to amend the article to require application to the state within a two year time period. Discussion followed regarding duration of the designation and the 180 day review period. Mr. Wilcox noted that any approvals of the boards are not transferable without their permission. Ms. Sullivan discussed modeling the procedures after the Town of Littleton's. Discussion followed regarding designating a facilitator, the Board of Selectmen being the applicant, and extension of the 180 day review period due to one board's delay. Chairman Riley inquired about conversations with property owners. Discussion followed regarding transferability of permits and development of the Industrial Park for a stream of revenue. There was no public comment.
Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Mr. Rabuffo to recommend Article AA 43D District for approval by the Advisory Committee and Town Meeting. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Harbormaster – Dinghy Dock Update and Float Fees: Ken Corson, Hingham Harbormaster, reviewed prior discussions of the dinghy dock with the Board, the estimate of $9,000 to reconstruct the dock in 10 years, the capacity to hold about 10 dinghies, and the fee range of $150 to $300 in other communities. Mr. Alexiades said that fees collected will go into the General Fund. Ms. Burns said that she is favor of the proposal and would like the dock placed on the capital list. Mr. Rabuffo asked if the replacement costs accounts for inflation; Mr. Corson said the cost could be a little higher in 10 years. Mr. Corson recommended charging a fee of $150. There was no public comment.
Voted – A motion was made by Mr. Rabuffo to authorize the Harbormaster to fill available spaces on the dinghy dock to be installed at the Town Pier at the fee of $150 per space, beginning with the current waiting list. Discussion followed. Mr. Rabuffo made an amended motion to authorize the Harbormaster to fill available spaces on the dinghy dock to be installed at the Town Pier at the annual fee of $150 per space, beginning with the current waiting list. Ms. Burns seconded the amended motion. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Mr. Corson discussed the history of the moored float fee, the prior approval of $1.50 per square foot, and the costs and effects of the docks in Hingham. Mr. Alexiades reviewed the economic times when the $1.50 per square foot fee was approved. The proposal now is to rescind the current fee structure in favor a flat fee and, out of fairness to those that have paid, to make it retroactive. He reviewed the financial effect of the proposed change. Discussion followed regarding the cost to manage the float and the difficulty to determine the exact number. Mr. Alexiades felt that a fee of $100 to $150 adequately covers the cost. Mr. Corson recommended a fee of $150. Mr. Corson also requested a late fee and said that moored float regulations will need to be drafted.
Jim Watson asked if the proposal applies to freestanding floats as well as those tied to the shore. Mr. Corson explained that if the principal means are anchors or bottom anchors, the fee is applicable. Discussion followed regarding the purpose and use of this type of float.
Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Mr. Rabuffo to authorize a moored float permit fee of $150 yearly per application, retroactive to 2010, and to authorize a late application fee of $25 per month for renewal of moored float permit applications filed after March 1st. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Mr. Alexiades reported on signing the grants for the pump out facility.
School Building Committee Update: Raymond Estes, Chair of the School Building Committee, distributed a cost estimate update. He reported on submission of the 60 percent design construction documents, the pending submission of cost estimates, the countersignature of the Project Funding Agreement, putting out an RFQ, the intent to have 90 percent cost estimates by March 13th and 100 percent plans by March 30th, bidding in April, the joint permitting presentation, the goal of groundbreaking in June, design additions, wetlands restoration, Board of Health requirements, additional storage, phasing due to site limitations, HVAC enhancements, energy savings, coordination with the Energy Action Committee, photovoltaic panel alternatives, construction budget versus the contingency, achieving LEED Silver, not putting in photovoltaic panels but keeping the infrastructure as part of the design, the total project budget being $60,910,920 or $285.92 per square foot as of September 2011, the total project budget now being $60,665,384 or $284.53 per square foot, doing additional cost estimates in a few weeks, having some design contingency left escalation built in, working with police and fire and other groups in town, and generally being at or under budget.
Ms. Burns asked about radiant panels and the photovoltaic panels. Discussion followed. Mr. Rabuffo asked for the dollar value of energy savings and the cost of the wetlands restoration. Mr. Estes did not have specific figures but agreed to obtain numbers for Mr. Rabuffo. Mr. Estes does not expect the March estimates to be much different and said the numbers are mid-level bids. Chairman Riley asked Mr. Estes to provide the actual additional costs of the permitting boards. Mr. Estes reviewed the requirement to have a minimum of three qualified bidders in the general contractor category and in all of the sub trades. He stated that the $1.9 million in design contingency and escalation is uncommitted and not necessarily savings. The soft cost numbers are hard numbers pursuant to signed contracts. There was no public comment. No formal action was taken.
Capital Outlay Recommendations: Ray Eisenbies, Chair of the Capital Outlay Committee, reported on the history of Capital Outlay requests and funding over the years, the current backlog of deferred capital expenditures, the apparent understanding by department heads of tight resources, recommending only the most critical items, and this year funding recommendation in the amount of $1,752,945 of which $267,900 is from User Rates/Charges and $1,485,045 is from tax levies. Mr. Eisenbies reviewed the Plan by department, noting that the Bathing Beach is a new department this year. He said that by looking at the out years one can see the results of deferrals and at some point funding will have to increase. Mr. Eisenbies confirmed that the actual tax levy impact is with the targeted discussions on the budget.
Mr. Rabuffo thanked Fire and DPW for their work and trying to reduce their requests. Ms. Burns was happy to see energy efficiencies and inquired about a Fire Department vehicle and the repair of the seawall. Mr. Eisenbies said that the seawall repair is not a permanent fix. Chairman Riley inquired about the frequency of vehicle replacement in the Police Department. There was no public comment. The consensus of the Board was to take the item under consideration. No formal action was taken.
Warrant Article Discussion and Vote (continued):
Article RRR Treasurer Collector: Shall the Town vote to have its elected Treasurer Collector become an appointed Treasurer Collector or the Town? (Inserted at the request of the Government Study Committee) Phil Edmundson and Alexander Macmillan from the Government Study Committee were present. Mr. Macmillan distributed a draft article and draft comment. He summarized the article and discussed the recommendation made more than 20 years ago, the applicable statute, meetings with the Treasurer/Collector, surveys of comparable towns, a trend toward appointment, and the advantages of an appointed treasurer/collector. Mr. Edmundson reviewed two additional arguments made at the Committee in favor of the change: the pool of candidates will include noncitizens and there are many qualified candidates who do not want to go through the election process.
Ms. Burns spoke in favor of the proposal, noting that it is a highly technical job and the Town has been very fortunate with its present Treasurer/Collector. Mr. Macmillan stated that the recommendation is to appoint for a term of up to three years and that the appointment will not occur until the expiration of the current term of the incumbent. Mr. Rabuffo also spoke in favor of the proposal. Chairman Riley asked about the timing of the appointment. Karen Johnson, speaking on behalf of the Advisory Committee, noted that the position requires reappointment every three years and the expectation is that the position will be treated like any other department head position with goals and objectives and a performance review. Discussion followed regarding the personnel bylaw and a transition agreement. Ms. Burns noted that unlike other department heads, the position requires appointment. Mr. Macmillan discussed the option of filing special legislation.
Voted – A motion was made by Mr. Rabuffo and seconded by Ms. Burns to forward Article RRR Treasurer/Collector to the Advisory Committee for action. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Article N Town Meeting Quorum: Will the Town amend the General By-Laws of the Town of Hingham adopted March 13, 19.9, as heretofore amended, at Article 2, "Town Meeting and Notice Thereof", Section 9, by deleting the current Section 9 and replacing it with the following:
SECTION 9 – The number of voters necessary to constitute a quorum at town meetings, except at such meetings as are devoted exclusively to the election of town officers, shall be two hundred; provided, however, that a number of less than two hundred may from time to time adjourn the same.
Or act on anything relating thereto? Inserted at the request of the Government Study Committee) Phil Edmundson and Alexander Macmillan from the Government Study Committee were present. Mr. Edmundson said that the Government Study Committee is respectful of the town meeting form of government but generally it is a problem on the second night to get a quorum of 300. The Committee recommends reducing the number to 200, starting late on the second night could lead to third night, and the number is not out line with other towns of our size. Mr. Macmillan reported that the Committee met with the moderator, who is cautiously supportive. Mr. Rabuffo said that there is another article dealing with the same subject and questioned whether the Board should wait to hear that article before voting. Mr. Macmillan and Mr. Edmundson said that they had not been in contact with the other petitioner. Ms. Burns spoke in favor of Article N and did not see a conflict with voting on this article. There was no public comment.
Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Mr. Rabuffo to recommend the adoption of Article N Town Meeting Quorum to the Advisory Committee and to Town Meeting. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Derby Brook Condominiums Regulatory Agreement: Ms. Foley stated that Derby Brook is a 40B project, there are 20 units 5 of which are affordable, and the Regulatory Agreement is before the Board for its approval. Ms. Burns discussed the issue of local preference and the recommendation by the Hingham Affordable Housing Trust that local preference be given to current residents, employees of the Town, and parents of students in the Hingham public schools. Discussion followed. There was no public comment.
Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Mr. Rabuffo that the Board of Selectmen ask the Zoning Board of Appeals to amend the Comprehensive Permit to specify that local preference include current residents of Hingham, employees of the Town of Hingham, and parents of students in the Hingham public school system. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Mr. Rabuffo announced that he is scheduled to attend a meeting of the Advisory Committee. He announced that more information will be available shortly regarding Aquarion Water Company. Mr. Rabuffo left the meeting.
Appointments: Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Chairman Riley to appoint Monica Martin a member of the Fourth of July Parade Committee. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Voted – A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Chairman Riley to appoint Anne Fanton an alternate member of the Historic Districts Commission to fill an unexpired term ending in 2012. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
Selectmen/Town Administrator's Reports: Ms. Burns reported on the Town Forum and the excellent coverage in the Hingham Journal.
Adjourn: A motion was made by Ms. Burns and seconded by Chairman Riley to adjourn. A vote was taken and all were in favor; the motion passed.
The open session adjourned at 9:00 PM.
Laurie Zivkovich, Clerk Pro Tem
Documents (a complete meeting packet of supporting documentation is on file and available for public review in the Board of Selectmen's office):
1. Correspondence – February 14, 2012
2. Board of Selectmen draft Meeting Minutes dated February 9, 2012
3. E-mail dated 2/13/2012 from Andrea Young to Betty Foley; Proposed By-Law Marked to Show Proposed 2012 Changes (as of 1.5.2012 and 2.9.12); Memo dated February 13, 2012 from Susan Murphy to Selectmen Re: Amendments to the Demolition Delay By-Law
4. Memorandum dated 2/8/2012 from Ken Corson to Ted Alexiades RE: Moored Float Fee and Dingy Dock
5. Proposed Warrant Articles
6. 43D – Summary and Background Material – distributed by Sue Sullivan
7. FY2013 Five Year Capital Plan
8. Letter dated February 7, 2012 from Suzanne Letizia-Eddy, Zoning Administrator, to Board of Selectmen RE: Derby Brook Condominiums, 302-304 Whiting Street; Regulatory Agreement
Distributed at the meeting:
9. Massachusetts Historical Commission Map: Does Your Town Have a Demolition Delay Bylaw? – distributed by Andrea Young
10. Middle School Project Cost Estimate Update 2.16.12 – from Raymond Estes
11. Memo from Hingham Veterans' Council to Bare Cove Park Committee Subj: Letter of Recommendation
Approved: March 1, 2012