Marlborough Planning Board approves revision for Old Indian Road

By Katherine Donlevy
Posted 2/3/21

The Town of Marlborough Planning Board tackled its Feb. 1 agenda swiftly and decisively, though it began with a brief discussion over sending an application back to the Zoning Board of Appeals over a …

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Marlborough Planning Board approves revision for Old Indian Road


The Town of Marlborough Planning Board tackled its Feb. 1 agenda swiftly and decisively, though it began with a brief discussion over sending an application back to the Zoning Board of Appeals over a possible mistake.

James and Kathleen Hart of 162 Old Indian Road in Milton were seeking a lot line revision approval. After finding that two proposed buildings on the property were not in compliance with minimum distance requirements, the planning board referred the Hart application to the ZBA with the idea that the couple would need two separate variance approvals to continue with their project.

“The ZBA took a different stance than my office previously did and stated that a variance was not required,” attorney Pat Hines reported, adding that the application should be set for planning board approval.

Board member James Garofalo pointed out that the Harts had changed their site plan between their previous planing board meeting and ZBA meeting so that they would only need one variance rather than two, according to planning board standards. Attorney Jeff Battistoni noted that the ZBA might have a different interpretation of what the zoning distance measures between two buildings might be and offered the board the option to accept the ZBA’s conclusion or to dispute it. Board member James Garofalo proposed the latter.

“I think the fact that they reduced it from needing two variances to needing one variance is good — there’s nothing they can really do about the distances — but I think this should go back to the ZBA with a specific request from the planning board to have them grant a variance for that rear end,” said Garofalo, poining to the property’s one story house.

Garofalo said he wished he could reference the ZBA’s Dec. 10 meeting minutes, at which time the panel discussed the application, but that it has not been posted. Board member Cindy Lanzetta pointed out that the ZBA meets and operates more sporadically than other municipal boards, so posted minutes are more sporadic.

Hart assured the board that the ZBA closely looked at the site plan and property measurements to find it was in compliance with town regulations. He then noted that the lengthy debate is costing him time and money and hoped the board could reach a positive conclusion.

“I’m sure they looked at everything — X, Y and Z, and if they bless it then so be it,” said board member Bob Troncillito.

Battistoni admitted he believed the ZBA made a “mistake,” but that the planning board could rely on their decision. Hines added that there didn’t seem to be a point in sending the application back.

Ultimately, the board opted to heed the ZBA’s advice and unanimously approved the application.

Also at its Monday meeting, the planning board asked representative Carmine Messina to return at a future meeting with additional paperwork — Battistoni requested copies of the deed to the property and to neighbors to ensure that the proposed lot line revision at the South Street/ Cricchio Lane property would not cut off the neighbor’s access to a shared private driveway. Though Messina reported that the property owner and neighbor have a positive understanding, board members raised concern that it could affect future residents in the event the property is sold and the agreement not maintained.

The board closed a public hearing on an application for a subdivision at 89 Peach Lane, though the board did not take any action because of missing documents and for not completing the required checklist.

Emergency entry access
In other board business, Troncillito reported that both the Milton and Marlborough fire chiefs requested the board add a checklist requirement for new commercial construction — knox boxes, an emergency access system that allows firefighters and paramedics immediate entry into buildings and property without forced entry damage or delay.

“I started this program many years ago when I was chief,” Troncillito said. “When you can get an automatic alarm at 2 o’clock in the morning and you’re standing around waiting for someone to show up with a key it’s very frustrating because you got to get in the building. Just because you don’t see smoke on the outside doesn’t mean there isn’t something on the inside.”

Hines, a volunteer firefighter, agreed that it was a great idea and would be a cheaper alternative for property owners than replacing a door broken during a firefighter emergency assessment. Garofalo, who is working to transform the town’s checklist into a more concise and updated version, said he could find the space for the addition, though additional municipal discussion would be required before making the systems a permanent fixture.


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