On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, one of our neighbors submitted a formal written request to the Millbury Board of Selectmen and Town Manager on behalf of the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods to obtain a legal opinion and confirmation from town counsel on the applicability of 760 CMR 56.03(7) and statutory one-year hiatus as it applies to the denial of the proposed Rice Pond Village project.
On behalf of myself and my neighborhood, I write to you to formally request that the Board of Selectmen do their own due diligence with the town’s legal counsel, on behalf of town and each of its boards, more specifically, the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Appeals, and the Planning Board, to determine the applicability of 760 CMR 56.03(7) and the statutory one-year hiatus before engaging in any type of Chapter 40B LIP meetings, applications, etc.
As you are probably aware by now, on Monday, February 14, 2022, the Planning Board denied the special permit and site plan application for the proposed Rice Pond Village project with 46-condominiums which was to be situated on Rice Road, and as such, since there appears to be differing opinions, not necessarily legal opinions, of the applicability of the one-year hiatus between the denial of the special permit and any application under Chapter 40B, we think it would be in the town’s best interests to have a definitive legal determination from town counsel on this matter before proceeding with engaging in any meetings with the developer or any of his agents for any Chapter 40B LIP application for 17 Rice Road in Millbury, Massachusetts.
In the presentation of this request, it was highlighted how invaluable the town’s legal counsel was in the denial of the special permit and site plan review application for the proposed Rice Pond Village project and that the Subdivision Control Law was in fact legally applicable, as there is a reference in Millbury’s Zoning Bylaws to Millbury’s Subdivision Control Law. This was a point of contention throughout the public hearings for the proposed Rice Pond Village project, whereas the Town Planner adamantly insisted that the Subdivision Control Law was not applicable, when in fact the Subdivision Control Law is applicable, even though no “definitive subdivision” is being created.
There was no discussion at the Millbury Board of Selectmen meeting, but we intent to follow up to ascertain what actions, if any, the Millbury Board of Selectmen will take to ensure strict compliance with 760 CMR 56.03(7).