Old Rochester Little League President Derek Mello was called in to the Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals meeting on April 23 because the current signage at Gifford Park does not comply with the 1993 permit granted by the ZBA.
Mello told the board that Building Commissioner James Buckles contacted him about the outfacing signs, which Mello said he has already removed in response to Buckles’ concern.
“Well, I’m not aware of anyone actually complaining about the signs being up since 1993,” said ZBA Chairman Richard Cutler. But he told Mello he would have to file an application to amend the Special Permit if the league wished to keep the signs as they are now. “We’re not here to hang you,” Cutler later said.
Since the field is town-owned land, Cutler said Mello might be able to waive the requirement of a plot plan, as suggested by ZBA member Kirby Gilmore.
In other matters, Cutler called it “déjà vu all over again” as Stephen and Judy Shepley, owners of S M Shepley, Inc. located at 99 Cushman Road, returned to amend a prior Special Permit to build an over-sized garage at the property.
The only difference in the construction plan, said Mr. Shepley, is the location of the proposed garage, which is now slated for construction behind the house. The garage will be used to house the business’s vehicles, and will also serve as a shop for building cars apart from the business.
Mrs. Shepley questioned the permit’s requirement that the applicant return to the ZBA in two years so it can monitor progress before removing the two-year condition. She asked if it could be removed.
“We originally put a two-year period if there were problems,” said Cutler. “They never built the barn under the permit so now they have to go through the process.” He recommended leaving the condition in, since it is a one-time only requirement. “And there’s going to be different activity on the property,” apart from what was already approved, Cutler said. In addition to that, said Cutler, it is a trucking business within a residential zone.
“We have to be a little bit more cautious,” he said.
The Shepleys were surprised when Cutler told them they would also have to file for a site plan review with the Planning Board for a project that would exceed $25,000. Mr. Shepley maintained that the cost was under $25,000, but Cutler cautioned him anyway.
“I’m not the one to decide that,” said Cutler. “It’s independent of what we do here…. If Jim (Buckles) says you gotta do it, you gotta do it.”
That is a lot of control, commented Mr. Shepley.
“It’s management,” Cutler replied. “It’s not so much control.”
Also during the meeting, the board approved an amended Special Permit for the construction of another over-sized garage for Richard and Christine Nash of 306 Walnut Plain Road.
The next meeting of the Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled for May 14 at 7:00 pm at the Rochester Town Hall.
By Jean Perry