Development Review Board hears appeals on two permits

By Carol Casey

At its meeting on Dec. 5, the Development Review Board (DRB) heard appeals on two permits issued by Courtney Synowiec, the DRB Administrator.  The first involved a retroactive excavation and fill permit issued to Marcos Llona for work done at his home at 141 Pinehurst Drive.  The appeal was filed by Steve & Robin Gronlund, Spinning Wheels LLC, David & Kristen Prior, Robert Jacobsen, and Kathie Pudvar, all neighbors of Llona. Speaking on behalf of the appellants, Steven Gronlund alleged that the fill was dumped within the protected area setback of the Munroe Book and that steps taken to minimize erosion are inadequate and the project was not properly evaluated.  Llona responded by saying that he had discussed the project in advance with John Adams, then the DRB Administrator, who had agreed that a permit was not necessary.  Adams, Town Manager Paul Bohne, and Public Works Director Bernie Gagnon all visited the site while work was underway and did not express any concerns about the project.  However, once work was completed, Llona was informed by Adams that a permit would be required because of the amount of fill used.  Llona then filed for the permit which was granted.  After a great deal of discussion, the DRB continued consideration of the issue to its January 2 meeting and will request that John Adams, Paul Bohne, and Bernie Gagnon appear to discuss the project.  Both the Gronlunds and DRB member Anna Rosenblum Palmer also expressed concern about the precedent that might be set by granting permits retroactively.

 The DRB then heard from Anthony Handy who had filed an appeal to the vegetation and cutting permit issued to his neighbors, Don and Cherly Appe at 4279 Harbor Road.  Handy contended that the permitted tree and vegetation cutting will negatively effect the stability of the bank on the shoreline, cause further erosion, increase stormwater runoff onto his property, and disrupt his driveway when trees are uprooted.  Both parties agreed to discuss these issues among themselves in the hopes of reaching an amicable agreement.  The DRB continued the appeal to its next meeting while the parties negotiate.

In other business, the DRB:

• Retroactively approved the modification of a conditional use application filed by Scott and Terri McCreary for expanding their home at 4237 Harbor Road.  During construction, the approved plan was altered by  adding a dormer on the second floor and additional windows in the garage and home.

• Approved a design review application for a replacement sign for SCHIP’s Treasure Resale Shop at 5404 Shelburne Road.               

• Approved a preliminary plan for the expansion of the Shelburne Village Mini Storage facility at 3933 Shelburne Road.  Residents of Longmeadow Drive which abuts the property appeared at the meeting to express concern that such facilities attract criminals who may use these spaces to store drugs, chemicals, or illegal cash, and do attract a criminal element to their neighborhood.  Noting that crime prevention was under the purview of the Shelburne Police Department, the DRB conditioned approval on adequate lighting and landscaping being included in the final plan.

• Approved draft decisions for applications discussed at their most recent meetings, including the request from Shelburne Green. Adjacent resident Judy Frazer appeared before the DRB to express concern about the noise and air pollution caused by idling trucks. The owners of the property have agreed to post “no idling” signs.

• Continued consideration of the preliminary plan application submitted by the DuBrul family for the expansion of the Automaster Dealership. DRB members encouraged the applicants to approach the Planning Commission for a revision in the setback requirements to allow them to create an automotive display area within the 50’ setback on Shelburne Road.

The next meeting of the Development Review Board will be held Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 7 pm in the Municipal Center.

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