The Planning Board is pleased to submit the following report highlighting activities from January 1 to December 31, 2020.
The goals set for the Planning Board this past year were consistent with prior years and largely as follows: meet our statutory responsibilities in rendering required decisions, deal with municipal planning issues, work closely with other Town Boards associated with the planning process, and as always protect the integrity of the Zoning Bylaws.
The opinion of the Planning Board continues to be solicited by the Zoning Board of Appeals as to requests for special permits and variances required by our By-Laws. Copies of all requests to the Zoning Board of Appeals are forwarded to the Planning Board for our review. We have adopted the practice of commenting where (1) the issues presented may be of Town-wide application or (2) we believe that changes are necessary to avoid serious potential harm or violation of law. We are often invited to review plans for lot subdivisions before presentation to the Zoning Board of Appeals which we do upon request.
One of the major issues that the Planning Board dealt with in 2020 was the resubmission of the subdivision plan for Spouting Horn Road. Numerous sessions of the hearing were held, including several inspections involving Town officials (Police, Fire, Public Works and Town Administration) and interested citizens. A number of legal issues were raised, including street ownership, easements for public utilities, and a storm water runoff design and plan. These issues were all resolved and the plan was formally approved in January of 2021.
The lawsuit brought on the property on Willow Road in 2019 is still pending relative to renovations which greatly exceeded those that were approved in the Building Permit. On advice of counsel, the Planning Board is refraining from taking any action or making any official comment pending resolution of the lawsuit.
The Planning Board held its first public hearing relative to the proposed expansion project of Northeastern University on March 19, 2019. During 2020 there were several additional public hearings held and actions taken.
Planning Board members served as representatives on several Town Committees during 2020:
- Community Preservation Committee — Mirjana Maksimovic
- Military Housing Committee – Stephen Viviano
- Town Owned Land Study Committee – Sheila Hambleton
In the past, the Planning Board used funds provided by the Community Preservation Committee to survey Town-owned parcels of land that abut the ocean. Where encroachments were identified, this information was provided to the Board of Selectmen for remediation action. The Little Nahant survey has been completed; for other parts of Nahant this is an activity that is currently on hold.
We acknowledge Gene Canty’s service as a member of the Planning Board. He resigned when he was elected to the Board of Selectmen. We thank him for his service while on the Planning Board. We continue to work closely with him and other Selectmen on Planning Board issues. Several candidates were considered by the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen to fill this vacancy. Patrick O’Reilly was chosen for this slot. He was appointed Recording Secretary of the Planning Board.
In closing, the Chair would like once again to thank each Planning Board member for volunteering his or her time, professionalism, planning expertise, and dedication to maintaining the character of Nahant. We also thank our Selectmen, Town Administrator Tony Barletta, Building Inspector Wayne Wilson, Zoning Board of Appeals Chair Jocelyn Campbell and members, and other Town Departments and Committees with whom we have worked for the benefit of our Town. Our consultations with them have continued to be extensive as we seek to find common solutions, and we are grateful for their assistance and cooperation.
Calvin B. Hastings, Chairman
Daniel M. Berman, Vice Chairman J. Shannon Bianchi, Corresponding Secretary
Sheila Hambleton, Treasurer
Patrick O’Reilly, Secretary
Mirjana Maksimovic, Member
Stephen Viviano, Member
John Stabile- Alternate Member
Kristen Standish-Alternate Member
Northeastern University Site Plan Review 2021
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