Harwich Planning Board Minutes
Town Hall, Griffin Room
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
1. a. The meeting was called to order at 6: 30 PM.
Members Present Planning Staff
Ron Nordstrom David Spitz - Town Planner
Joseph McParland Elizabeth Hayes – Recording Sec.
Peter de Bakker
b. ANR: PB2012-01 Sutphin for property known as 75 Island Pond Road, Map 49, Parcel A8, together
with a small portion of southern land fromMap 49, Parcel M3-2 and generally known as 56 Lexington
Matt Sutphin stated that his sense of the last meeting was that there was a meeting of the minds
regarding the road, however, he is now under the impression that the Planning Department has
developed a stronger point of view about the road. Mr. Sutphin referred to his January 19, 2012 letter
submitted to the Planning Board which emphasized the Sutphin’s desire to maintain the “rural
character” of the property.
Mr. Spitz did apologize to Mr. Sutphin, as he said he was "softer" with Mr. Sutphin about the road
when he met him on the property. The Planning staff has been struggling with this issue. The staff
wants to be fair and consistent when it comes to road requirements. Mr. Spitz noted that the Town
Surveyor has reviewed the mylar is not concerned with how the map is drawn.
Mr. McParland noted that the three lots may be built, if not now then by a successor in interest, and
he continues to be concerned that the roads will be adequate.
Mr. McCaffery stated that one of our options is to approve the ANR and then allow the applicant to
improve the roads when the land is developed.
Mr. Sutphin noted that they still hope that the land may be sold to the Town for conservation.
Therefore his preference would be that the ANR is approved with the actual improvements left for
Mr. Spitz stressed that Lots 1, 2, 3, & 4 are the only lots at issue in this ANR application. There are
three new lots and one revised lot.
Is an easement needed for the extension of Weston Woods Road? According to Mr. Spitz, one of the
deeds that Mr. Sutphin submitted shows that he has the right to improve the road, because it provides
access to his property. Mr. McCaffery is concerned about this issue and asked if a legal opinion is
Before it is developed, Mr. Sutphin would have to come back before the Planning Board to show that
he has town approval via permit to improve the road. So this issue of whether the Sutphins can
improve the road could be left for another time when development actually occurs.
Mr. McParland moves that “minimum roadway standards do not exist in order to be considered frontage
for building purposes but the Planning Board recommends endorsement of the ANR plan entitled
“Division Plan of Land in Harwich, MA prepared for Cynthia K. Clark, dated December 20, 2011,
prepared by Robert John Freeman, PLS, of Schofield Brothers of Cape Cod, Inc” and that the applicant,
after road improvements have been made, submit a request for determination by the Planning Board for
Satisfaction of safe & adequate access. Lots 1, 2 & 3 will be known as Weston Woods and that the ANR
and that the applicant, after road improvements have been made must come back to the Planning Board
for approval, with input from the Town Engineer and other appropriate Town Departments.
Further discussion: Mr. Sutphin stated that there is this gray area, and one doesn't want to argue
against health and safety, but they do have the intention of retaining a rural atmosphere. According to
the Town there are hundreds of private roads. Mr. Sutphin expressed concern about possible
objections to building out the road in the future.
Mr. McCaffery stated that all the Planning Board wants to ensure is that the fire trucks, etc. can get in
and out. He stated that Mr. Sutphin just assured the Planning Board that he has the authority to
improve the road, and so the Planning Board in this instance if deferring specific requirements until
such time as the Sutphins actually decide to build. The Planning board is trying to be sympathetic to
Mr. Sutphin will get his "marching orders" regarding the road requirements from the Town Engineer.
Ron Nordstrom seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
c. PB1989 Stagg Def. Sub. – Planning Board signatures for a Certificate of No Change.
Mr. Spitz indicated that this was approved in 1989, however, it was never recorded. Therefore, the
applicant is seeking the Planning Board’s signatures on a Certificate of No Change so this can be
Mr. Stello recused himself.
Mr. de Bakker asked if in the future the Planning Board should require a receipt showing that matters
approved by the Board have been filed in a timely manner at the Registry of Deeds.
Mr. Spitz stated that the Town Counsel has approved this course of action.
This matter will not be acted on at this time, as there are some outstanding questions.
d. Approval Not Required: PB2012-04 Thayer for property located at 49 Pine Knoll Road, Map 31
Brian Langelier on behalf of the applicant, Mr. Thayer. Mr. Langelier has been working with Mr.
Thayer and the previous application was withdrawn without prejudice. In the last few months tree
work has been done and they have regraded the entire road, which has been inspected, and approved,
by the Fire and Engineering Departments.
Mr. Stello asked about whether the cul-de-sac is in existence. He thinks there should possibly an
easement, otherwise someone buying the lot could wipe it away.
According to Mr. Langlier, part of the improvement is the cul-de-sac on Lot 7, so once deeded it will
show up on the deed. There is one existing house on Lot 5, but no other lots have dwellings on it.
The cul-de-sac is already built.
Mr. Langlier said there is already an issue with a deed restriction on Lot 7, which only allows for a
certain amount of homes to be built. So now there cannot be anything built on Lot 7. This is separate
Mr. Richard Waystack noted there is a current deed restriction, which will take a couple of years to
work itself out. His understanding is that there cannot be a condition on the ANR, but he believes the
Planning Board’s concerns can be rectified with an easment in the deed.
Mr. McCaffery stated that if the cul-de-sac isn’t guaranteed, then we’d have an access issue.
Mr. Langlier can't purchase the property, until the ANR has been accepted. Mr. Langlier can
guarantee that he’ll allow the access.
Mr. McCaffery stated that he is willing to take Mr. Langlier’s word and Mr. Stello suggests putting a
note directly on the Plan. There was also a suggestion that Mr. Langlier bring in a proposed deed
showing the easement for the cul-de-sac.
The Planning Board can vote the approval and leave the date of approval until the mylar is updated.
Staff strongly supports the fee waiver, as this applicant did all that was asked of him.
McParland moves for Vote #1 and Vote #2.
Vote #1. Fee relief. The applicant first applied in October 2011 and voluntarily withdrew after Planning
Staff raised concerns about safe and adequate access. The applicant has now reapplied with the exact
same plan for land division. At the time of his request to withdraw, the applicant asked that he be able to
apply his fee to a future application. Staff feels that the current application benefits all parties involved
and recommends allowing the applicant to apply the previous fee to this application.
Mr. de Bakker seconded the motion. There being no further discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Vote #2. The Planning Board moves to endorse the ANR plan entitled “Plan of Land situated in Harwich,
MA being a division of Lot 4, LCP 30665-C”, prepared for Floyd L. Thayer, Trustee of the Floyd L.
Thayer Revocable Trust, dated (TBD) and showing the cul-de-sac on Lot 7 as a permanent easement on
the Plan. This will be a note on the plan.
Mr. de Bakker seconded the motion. There being no further discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
e. Informal Discussion - Mary Beth Cuddy for land division and development (Map 96 Parcel D1)
Mary Beth Cuddy for Applicants Paul and Mary Ellen Cuddy. The Planning Board approved a
road on Cannon Hill in the 80's. Cannon Hill Drive was developed to a certain point in 1979. On
the Plan it shows the road to the“Extent of Town Taking.” Now Mr. Cuddy wants to develop the
last lot on that road for Mary Beth Cuddy to build a home and they also want to develop the last
One issue is shown on the map where there was a Town taking. By statute ownership can go to
the middle of the road. There are two properties which have rights to the middle of the road,
which could make road access to the land the Cuddys want to develop problematic. One of the
properties is now owned by Mr. Cuddy, as it was deeded to him some time ago by Mrs. Rice.
There is a remaining question about whether Mr. Joyce would choose to exercise his right to the
middle of road. The plan shows the road going around his half of the street. Though Ms. Cuddy
noted that she doesn’t yet know if this will be an issue for Mr. Joyce.
The Cuddys are proposing four lots, which are two acre parcels or 100,000 square feet.
Ms. Cuddy will be requesting a waiver for a 20' road with a gravel construction. She'd like to
retain the rural character.
Mr. McCaffery said we've been friendly to narrow roads and at this juncture it is going to be
essentially a driveway for one home. At some point there may be an upgrade of the road when
other development takes place.
Ms. Cuddy said that she is planning four lots, so she wants the Planning Board to be comfortable
with the road.
Mr. Spitz said that when the formal application comes, it will have to be reviewed by the
Planning Staff, the Town Engineer and the Fire Department. Waivers may be necessary.
Mr. Ledue said they will be seeking waivers on drainage design. Mr. McCaffery said that the
Planning Board relies on the Town Engineer for drainage standards. If it makes sense to the
engineer, then the Planning Board will approve.
Gravel Pave might be an alternative worth looking into, according to Mr. Stello.
There was a brief discussion regarding the proposed zoning changes from current requirements to
five acres and when these proposals may be before Town Meeting.
2. Minutes and Invoices – None
3. Breifings - None
4. New Business
c. Bylaw revisions
Proposed Winery - Possible By-Law Amendments
One of the proposed by-law revisions relates to a specific request by Dr. Frank Puzio.
Dr. Puzio addressed the Planning Board stating that he has been making wine for about 20 years. At
this time, Dr. Puzio has been looking at 527 Main Street, which is a new industrial park with condo
units. Dr. Puzio wants to buy a couple of units in order to manufacture wine there. He buys grapes,
crushes them, and then proceeds with the wine making. Typically, it is labor intensive for about three
months and then it sits in the barrels. It is also a clean process. He thinks Harwich is perfectly suited,
however, there is no formal "use" by-law for winemaking. Dr. Puzio is requesting that the Planning
Board consider amending the "use" table to allow him to pursue this endeavor. He will also need
approval by the Board of Health and permitting through the Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco Agency
and the State.
The consensus of the Planning Board is that this is a good idea.
Mr. Spitz said they tried to figure out what "use" category this fits into. Mr. Spitz would like to see
something like the definition of "manufacturing" used in Dennis, which referes specifically to
Mr. McCaffery said he doesn't think Harwich’s “use” definition of manufacturing needs to be
changed in order for Dr. Puzio to make an application.
So the next step is for Dr. Puzio to submit a "use" application for a Special Permit to the Planning
d. Other Rules and Regulations revisions
Mr. Spitz stated that in his opinion the first two pages are technical changes. He said that there are
several different policies regarding roads, and he would like to get it codified into the Rules and
Section 325-55. Site Plan approval – It is time to codify some of this.
Figure No. 1 – Dead-End Streets and Cul de Sac – This is now correctly drawn and designated.
c. Bylaw revisions
Amendments to Zoning By-Law. Section 325.29 Additional requirements for specific signage. The
changes include the cross outs and the shaded area is the proposed change. Is there anywhere to safely
put a sign in Doane Park? Mr. McCaffery doesn't think the water tank is a good place for a sign.
Section 325-40 – Loading Requirements. This change would allow the Planning Board to make waivers,
instead of the Board of Appeals.
Article 24 - Special Permits Amendments - There was an oversight which effectively took away the
Planning Board's authority to deal with Special Permits for buildings over 7500 square feet. The
consensus of the Planning Board is that they should have authority over this size building and this section
should be reinserted. Mr. Spitz will bring this one back for a vote. There was also a discussion about a
change in the raising or lowering threshold. Should, for example, the Planning Board consider lowering
the threshold to 5000 square feet?
a. Chapter 91 License - 41 Great Woods Road (seasonal dock) – 40 foot pier and a dock on Long Pond.
Mr. Spitz noted that he has been approving these administratively, however, much like the Planning
Board’s input on the Board of Appeals cases, he is now going to run these requests for Chapter 91
licenses before the Board. If a request looks like it rises to the level of something that would significantly
affect the public, then, the Planning Board could call in waterways, if necessary, but otherwise these are
b. Board of Appeals Advisory Opinion - Case #2012-05 - No opinion.
5. Old Business
East Harwich - How will discussion proceed? This will be another meeting where we will listen.
Mr. Stello stated that East Harwich is already in the Zone 2, so there are already Title 5
restrictions. A Title 5 regulation limits bedrooms to 10,000 square feet per bedroom.
Mr. McCaffery stated that the culvert will make an enormous difference and this fact has been
minimized. So we have to balance what they want to do, which whether intentionally or not, will
effectively shut down development. The Collaborative hasn’t yet told us whether they agree with
our proposals inside the village. So it seems we have to endorse the entire package or else. After
this additional meeting, we will have heard everything the Collaborative has to say. I think it will
be appropriate to then take it under advisement. Our options include taking the entire package, or
we can ask them to rewrite certain portions, or we can have the Planning Staff make changes
based on our recommendations, and then we go through it again at a public meeting and public
hearing, and then ultimately take it to Town Meeting. There is no requirement that we have to
work together on every issue.
Mr. de Bakker suggests we formulate the areas where we agree with the Collaborative and then
acknowledge that there are certain aspects where we disagree. It would be nice to come out of
the meeting with some agreement.
Mr. McCaffery would characterize one of the the areas where there is agreement, is inside the
district with increased residential density through the concept of a mixed village. We do have
disagreements with some of the hard lines they’ve drawn.
Mr. Stello suggests that we divide everything up. Let us deal with the commercial district and
then deal with the proposal for the 5 acres. The whole Six Ponds should be eliminated entirely
from the NRPD.
Mr. McParland spoke to Frank Sampson, who said that until we do the culvert we don’t know
enough, but we have to get to that step and then go from there. Mr. McParland had the
impression that the Collaborative had a great deal of interaction with the Wastewater Task Force,
which apparently they didn’t. Mr. de Bakker is the new Chairman of the Wastewater Task Force.
Mr. Stello noted that the Chatham’s shell fish are flourishing again because of some steps
Chatham has taken.
Mr. Spitz echoes the call to break up the discussion, but he would like to have their participation.
Mr. Atkinson said there is no reason for the Planning Board not to consider this in stages.
The next meeting on January 31, 2012 will be at the Community Center at 7:00 PM.
The meeting adjourned at 9:30 PM.
Elizabeth Hayes Matthew McCaffery, Chairman