Gibbs Gains Approval Paving Way for Sign

            The secret sauce to Daniel Gibbs Jr. legalizing his effort to hang a sign for his roofing business on his father’s property at 459 Mill Street was ironically in withdrawing the application for the sign.

            The prior application with the Marion Planning Board, officially filed by Daniel Gibbs Sr. for a Special Permit on the basis of home occupancy, was withdrawn. In its place during Monday night’s public hearing was an application filed by Gibbs Sr. under Sections 230-7 and 230-4.2K of the town’s bylaws for use of a contractor’s yard.

            The approval, which followed substantial discussion with board members and abutter Ryan Cusick of 55 Mill Street, allows Gibbs Jr. to request permission from Building Commissioner Scott Shippey to erect a sign.

            Cusick, who pointed out at the prior hearing that Gibbs Jr. does not live at 459 Mill Street, sought in Monday’s hearing an answer as to the potential for Gibbs’ business with the Special Permit.

            “Can it become an office, a showroom, what are the other parameters? What does it mean?” asked Cusick, who described himself as a descendant of a common grandfather with Gibbs Jr.

            Gibbs Jr. insisted there will be no change in use of the property where he said he stores two dumpster trucks and parks a personal vehicle. There is no shop building, no employees or no materials on site.

            Town Manager Gil Hilario stressed that the Special Permit “does not allow him, development. just the definition.” And the definition gives Gibbs Sr. the ability to seek Shippey’s approval to hang a sign.

            While studying the size, location, and potential impact of the sign as previously proposed, board member Eileen Marum discovered that the selected location is publicly owned property. Furthermore, she cited Section 230-6.2 D1c of the town’s bylaws that limits the size of a free-standing sign in the selected district to not more than 12 square feet. The sign was originally proposed at 20 square feet, a dimension Marum disputed at the time, saying it actually covered 38 square feet and would block the view of drivers exiting Mill Street into Route 6 traffic.

            Marum also pointed out that Gibbs originally wanted lights on his sign, potentially posing a problem for an abutter since the sign will not be out by the street but back on his property.

            Member Chris Collins, meanwhile, stated that he visited the site and said there is already sign up and asked Gibbs Jr. about it. Gibbs Jr. said the sign was related to work being done, but Collings said it had been there all along.

            All matters pertaining to the business sign now fall under Shippey’s purview. Chairperson Will Saltonstall said Gibbs Sr. “will have to provide an application that shows Mr. Shippey he is meeting the bylaw.”

            Cusick also reiterated his problem with the Planning Board’s tacit acceptance of Gibbs Jr. representing the applicant, his father.

            “If (Gibbs Jr.) can provide a legal letter that he is speaking on behalf of the property owner … one has to have the legal right as a property owner,” said Saltonstall.

            Board member Norm Hills noted that, “Engineers do it all the time” while representing their clients at public hearings and it is readily accepted.

            Board member Andrew Daniel made a motion to approve the Special Permit.

            Cusick continued his questioning, focusing on the implications of a contractor’s yard. “We just want to know the legality down the road,” he said.

            After Hills noted that special permits do not transfer to future property owners, the board voted its unanimous approval.

            Daniel also congratulated Gibbs Jr. on the recent birth of his child.

            A continued preliminary subdivision application filed by Todd Zell on County Road took an unplanned turn when it was decided that all parties preferred the road remain unpaved and private.

            Plans for a cul de sac will be altered to a hammerhead shape in keeping with the preference of Fire Chief Brian Jackvony.

            “It almost seems foolish to pave the road, it’s two lots. I would prefer to not meet the town requirements and have it remain a private road,” said Zell.

            Dave Davignon of Schneider, Davignon & Leone Inc. was a busy man at Monday’s meeting, as Zell was among four cases that Davignon represented.

            Davignon had arrived with a plan in place meant to appease Jackvony’s requirements for mobility in and out and, at the same time, use Cape Cod berms instead of curbstone so that the paved road can be 18 feet wide (in keeping with zoning regulations) and not necessarily the 20 feet requested by Jackvony.

            Now it turns out the road will remain gravel and private. Hills recommended Davignon follow up with the fire chief “to make sure he agrees” with the revised plan.

            Hills’ lingering concern was that the town not get stuck maintaining a road that chose not to meet town requirements.

            Davignon also presented on behalf of Dan Crete, whose business Saltworks Marine was a tenant of Marion’s when the town-owned property on Atlantis Avenue.

            A few months ago, Crete bought property at 288 Wareham Street, where he is looking in the immediate to create space for winter storage of boats for one, no more than two, seasons while planning for the site long term.

            “I want to take my time (with long-term plans for the land). We want to keep running the business,” explained Crete, who has customers he would like to service this winter and raise the needed revenue to put long-term plans into place. “We’re a little late with our hat in our hand trying to make this happen.”

            Davignon explained that it is crucial that the project be on Concom’s October 19 meeting agenda in order to procure that winter boat-storage business. He had 85 customers last year.

            On his side, according to Davignon, is Crete’s property is uphill in the flood zone and not in danger of affecting it. No work will be done on the site. A workshop exists across the street from the proposal. The building will be anchored by a dozen 6,000-pound Jersey barriers.

            The Planning Board took no vote, but after many questions, members had no concerns.

            “To clarify, we’re hoping to get the application submitted and have a vote on October 19. It’s asking a lot,” admitted Crete, who hopes for a yeah but also needs a negative vote for planning purposes.

            Saltonstall advised him to complete his application as soon as possible. “Make sure your neighbors are on board so you’re not going to be surprised,” he told Crete.

            The board voted to approve two Approval Not Required (ANR) cases, both represented by Davignon.

            Saltonstall recused himself due to conflict for the plan on Wareham Street by Marion Lands Trust, LLC. Daniel took over discussion of the reshaping of a triangular lot to combine with adjacent land.

            The ANR Plan at 366 and 365 Delano Road saw long-time resident Thomas O. Dexter and recent arrival T. Stephen Downs swap evenly matched, 720 square foot triangular corners of their yards so that Downs could expand what had been a very narrow piece of beachfront.

            The next meeting of the Marion Planning Board is scheduled for October 5.

Marion Planning Board

By Mick Colageo

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