Rice Pond Village Denial

On Monday, January 24, 2022 and Monday, February 14, 2022, the Millbury Planning Board voted to deny the multifamily special permit and site plan review for the proposed Rice Pond Village project, proposed to have 46-dwelling units, on the 15.4822± acres of land owned by the Rice Pond Realty Trust, John Antaya, Kathleen (McLaughlin) Mardirosian, and the McLaughlin Family Living Trust; and the applicant Whitney Street Home Builders LLC, while approving the post-construction stormwater management permit for the proposed Rice Pond Village project with a project address of 17 Rice Road in Millbury, Massachusetts.

Special Permit

Referring to the above application to construct a multi-family development consisting of 46 dwelling units, the Planning Board opened a public hearing on May 10, 2021 that was continued to June 14, 2021, July 12, 2021, August 9, 2021, September 13, 2021 (no testimony taken), September 27, 2021, October 25, 2021 (no testimony taken), November 22, 2021, December 13, 2021, January 10, 2022, and January 24, 2022. All sessions of the public hearing were broadcast live on Millbury Public Access Television, live-streamed on the Millbury Public Access Television website, and live-streamed via the ZOOM video and audio conferencing online platform, allowing members of the public to follow the proceedings of the Planning Board while they were occurring and allowing members of the public to participate in the hearing through real-time active participation, in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A, § 20, dated March 12, 2020 and Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021. After closing the public hearing, the Planning Board at its meeting on February 14, 2022 voted to DENY a special permit and site plan review for a multifamily use pursuant to the Town of Millbury Zoning Bylaws, Section 14.11(a), Section 14.3, Section 32.6, and Section 12.46(b).

MemberSpecial Permit and
Site Plan Review Vote
Richard F. Gosselin, Jr.Yes
Paul A. PiktelisNo
Mathew J. AshmankasYes
Terry Burke DotsonYes
Bruce M. DeVaultNo

A super-majority is required on special permits (i.e., four “yes” votes on a five-member Millbury Planning Board). On a vote of the Millbury Planning Board that requires a super-majority, if the special permit fails to receive the necessary votes to approve the special permit, then the special permit is denied by the Millbury Planning Board on behalf of the Town of Millbury.


The multifamily special permit and site plan review for the proposed Rice Pond Village project failed to achieve the necessary (4 out of 5) support to obtain an approval and therefore has been denied and rejected by the Millbury Planning Board.

Waiver Requests

After the public hearing was closed, the Planning Board acted on the waiver requests from the Applicant in accordance with Section 12.44(g) of the Zoning Bylaws, at their February 14, 2022 meetings as follows:

a) Subdivision Rules and Regulations, Section 6.7(4)(f): Denied a requested waiver from the requirement that the minimum centerline radii of curved streets shall be one hundred feet (100′) for an access street, finding that such minimum centerline radii is necessary to provide access equivalent to that required for single or two-family structures on separate lots, per Section 32.6 of the Zoning Bylaws.

Voted: Richard F. Gosselin, Jr. (“yes”), Paul A. Piktelis (“abstained”), Mathew J. Ashmankas (“yes”), Terry Burke Dotson (“yes”), and Bruce M. DeVault (“abstained”).

b) Subdivision Rules and Regulations, Section 6.7(4)(i): Denied a requested waiver from the requirement for two or more points of access for a development with 20 or more dwelling units to allow for a single means of access as proposed by the Applicant, finding that two or more points of access are necessary to provide access equivalent to that required for single or two-family structures on separate lots, per Section 32.6 of the Zoning Bylaws.

Voted: Richard F. Gosselin, Jr. (“yes”), Paul A. Piktelis (“abstained”), Mathew J. Ashmankas (“yes”), Terry Burke Dotson (“yes”), and Bruce M. DeVault (“abstained”).

c) Subdivision Rules and Regulations, Section 6.7(6): Denied a requested waiver from the requirement that roads serving 20 or more dwelling units shall have a 26-foot wide traveled way to allow for a roadway serving the Project with a 22-foot width as proposed by the Applicant, finding that a 26-foot wide travelled way is necessary to provide access equivalent to that required for single or two-family structures on separate lots, per Section 32.6 of the Zoning Bylaws.

Voted: Richard F. Gosselin, Jr. (“yes”), Paul A. Piktelis (“abstained”), Mathew J. Ashmankas (“yes”), Terry Burke Dotson (“yes”), and Bruce M. DeVault (“abstained”).

d) Subdivision Rules and Regulations, Section 6.10: Denied a requested waiver from the requirement to install vertical granite curb along the perimeter of the Project’s roadway to allow for sloped granite curbing as proposed by the Applicant, finding that vertical granite curbing is necessary to provide access equivalent to that required for single or two-family structures on separate lots, per Section 32.6 of the Zoning Bylaws.

Voted: Richard F. Gosselin, Jr. (“yes”), Paul A. Piktelis (“abstained”), Mathew J. Ashmankas (“yes”), Terry Burke Dotson (“yes”), and Bruce M. DeVault (“abstained”).

e) Subdivision Rules and Regulations, Section 7.5: Denied a requested waiver from the requirement to install a grass strip between the curb and the sidewalk to allow for a sidewalk abutting the curb as proposed by the Applicant, finding that a grass strip between the curb and the sidewalk is necessary to provide access equivalent to that required for single or two-family structures on separate lots, per Section 32.6 of the Zoning Bylaws.

Voted: Richard F. Gosselin, Jr. (“yes”), Paul A. Piktelis (“abstained”), Mathew J. Ashmankas (“yes”), Terry Burke Dotson (“yes”), and Bruce M. DeVault (“abstained”).

f) Zoning Bylaws, Section 12.44(a): Granted a requested waiver from the requirement to submit site plans at a scale of 1″=20′ The site plan is at a scale of 1″=30′, finding that such a scale is not necessary based on the size and scope of the project.

Voted: Richard F. Gosselin, Jr. (“yes”), Paul A. Piktelis (“yes”), Mathew J. Ashmankas (“yes”), Terry Burke Dotson (“yes”), and Bruce M. DeVault (“yes”). [Vote was taken on January 24, 2022]

g) Zoning Bylaws, Section 12.44(c): Denied a requested waiver from the requirement to submit an isometric line drawing, finding that the drawing is necessary based on the size and scope of the project.

Voted: Richard F. Gosselin, Jr. (“yes”), Paul A. Piktelis (“abstained”), Mathew J. Ashmankas (“yes”), Terry Burke Dotson (“yes”), and Bruce M. DeVault (“abstained”).

h) Zoning Bylaws, Section 12.44(d): Denied a requested waiver from the requirement to submit a locus plan at a scale of 1″=100′ finding that the required scale for the locus plan is necessary based on the size and scope of the project. The locus plan provided by the Applicant is not to scale and the key plan is at a scale of 1″=60′.

Voted: Richard F. Gosselin, Jr. (“yes”), Paul A. Piktelis (“abstained”), Mathew J. Ashmankas (“yes”), Terry Burke Dotson (“yes”), and Bruce M. DeVault (“abstained”).

Post-Construction Stormwater Management Permit

The Millbury Planning Board at its meeting February 14, 2022 voted to GRANT the Post-Construction Stormwater Management Permit pursuant to Chapter 13.15 of the Millbury Municipal Code, for the proposed Rice Pond Village project.

MemberVote
Richard F. Gosselin, Jr.Yes
Paul A. PiktelisYes
Mathew J. AshmankasYes
Terry Burke DotsonYes
Bruce M. DeVaultYes

However, with the DENIAL of the special permit and site plan review for a multi-family use pursuant to the Town of Millbury Zoning Bylaws, Section 14.11(a), Section 14.3, Section 32.6, and Section 12.46(b), would appear to make this post-construction stormwater management permit approval somewhat useless to the Applicant.

Reference

Millbury Planning Board Meeting — 2/14/2022