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Acton Planning Board Revised Meeting Minutes
May 15, 2008
Members Present: Chip Venell (Chairman), Keith Davis (alternate), Larissa
Crockett (alternate), Tom Cashin, Yoli Gallagher, Randy Goodwin, Jim Fiske
Guests: Shelly Blaisdell (minutes secretary), Ken Paul (CEO), Joe Donahue,
Cheryl Donahue, Helen Turcotte, John Steffens, Kathy Turcotte, Harvey S.
Winchell, Tom Harmon (Civil Consultants), David Turcotte (Turk’s Sand &
Gravel), John Moore, Debi Rix
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman Chip Venell.
Meeting minutes from 5/1/08 were read and on a motion from Randy
Goodwin and second by Larissa Crockett were accepted as written
1. Discuss Turk’s Sand & Gravel amendments to the original application.
Cheryl Donahue asked if her e mail that she sent to the board could be addressed
before the meeting started? Chip explained to her that at their May 1, 2008
meeting this item was put on the agenda. He said that if it is a regular meeting,
the agenda comes from the secretary and he doesn’t know if it is put on the web
site. She would have to speak with the secretary regarding this. Cheryl explained
that if the board wants the public to be involved, the meetings need to be posted on
the web site. Chip told her that she would need to speak with the secretary about
Mr. Tom Harmon of Civil Consultant’s gave an update to the board on behalf of
Turk’s Sand & Gravel. Tom explains that at the last meeting there were some
questions regarding the entrance and whether they needed an entrance permit, as
well as questions pertaining to an analysis that they did. Tom explained that the
Department of Transportation said that when they reach the level of 100 peak hour
trips, they would then be required to get a traffic movement permit. The entrance
permit that they have is good until they reach that limit because they only plan on
having twelve trucks in and out of there per hour, which equates to forty trips.
Keith points out that the DOT findings states that the application is not approved
for unlimited truck trips, which is what the applicant was originally asking for. Tom
said that they realize that is not a possibility due to DOT regulations on the permit.
The board continued to discuss what 80 trucks actually equates to and Yoli
objected to that amount, and felt it was excessive.
Chip asks if there was an issue with a floor drain on an existing slab? Tom
explains that currently they have a catch basin on that slab with a trap in it so that
if they had a spill it would catch any leaks. Chip asks how tall the building will be?
David explains that it will probably have a 16’ door with a straight roof, and be
Chip asks what kind of gate is there now? David explains that he has a hiring gate
and he has given the fire department a key in case of emergencies.
Questions were asked about the scale and how it would be placed. Tom explains
that it is flat so that the trucks can drive up on it, get weighed and drive off. He
also said there will be a little building beside it for the worker to sit in. Chip asks if
it is all one way traffic or will trucks be passing each other? Tom explains that
there are three lanes: an entrance way, a scale house and the scale and also a
Tom Cashin asked for a point of clarification regarding a previously agreed upon
condition pertaining to site distance and clearing that was to occur. David
explained that he has cleared a lot of the trees with a step ladder and a hand
trimmer. Tom Harmon said that he has not done another site distance since his
original. Tom Cashin recommended that someone check on the site distance and
make sure it is what was previously agreed upon.
Tom Cashin recommended that Turk’s speak with the school department so that
trucks don’t interfere with the bus routes. Tom Harmon said that they monitor
that themselves anyway because the trucks don’t want to be held up in bus traffic.
John Steffens told the board that before he came to the meeting tonight he went to
the property and measured the site distance by walking the site and measuring it
with a tape measure. He feels that the site distance is not sufficient enough for
trucks to enter and exit this site safely. Tom Harmon explains that typically your
site distance is ten feet for every mile per hour, so if you have a 40 mile per hour
speed limit you will have 40 feet of site distance. When you have truck traffic,
DOT recommends that you increase your site distance by another 30%. The
reason for doing that is to keep the traffic flow moving. It isn’t a question of safety
or stopping distance, it is a question of when that truck pulls out, it takes a truck
longer to get up to speed than it does an automobile. It gives the trucks the
opportunity to get up to speed by increasing that site distance. Tom continued to
explain that in their original application they didn’t have that site distance because
they ran into a wetlands on the other side and they had to come out of the wetlands
with the driveway, so DOT issued the permit and waived that requirement for site
The board made new findings of fact on the following:
D. addressed from DOT permit previously
F. close off outflow when building is completed
K. reference prior map
Tom Cashin makes a motion to accept the findings of fact as listed.
Randy seconds. All in favor. Passed 4-0
Conditions for Turk’s Sand & Gravel application:
1. limited to 80 trucks per day
2. portable crusher use is limited to fifteen operating days per year, not
including set up and take down, from October 1st to May 1st. Excluding
weekends, and hours of operation for the crusher are 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Monday to Friday only. No weekend use for the portable crusher.
3. hours of operation is set at 6:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and
7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays only.
4. 30’ x 50’ building erected on an existing concrete slab with outflow drainage
closed off after completion, as required by DEP. Requires CEO approval.
5. truck scale and scale house built on site per existing plans, requiring CEO
6. will maintain a noise level of 60 decibels or less at the property line, and
within 200 feet of existing dwellings will maintain a decibel level of 75 or less.
Once crusher is set up, a decibel meter will be on site to check levels at
1,000 feet from any existing dwelling. Civil Consultants will send notification
to the CEO of the attained decibel levels once crusher is operable.
7. post a schedule for local school bus routes and times at the scale house.
8. no off site or outside materials may be brought in or processed
Comments: Cheryl Donahue requests that they maintain the required 100’ buffer
around her property line per 5.6.1.D. Tom explains that the law states that a 100’
buffer is only required to be from the gravel pit and DOT says that 25’ must be
maintained in the right of way for site distance, so he can’t guarantee that more
won’t be cut on their property.
Motion made by Keith to grant the amendment to the conditional use
permit for Turk’s Sand & Gravel. Second by Randy. Passed 3-1
2. A letter from Curtis, Thaxter dated May 14, 2008, that was hand delivered to
the board at the workshop on May 14, 2008, was discussed. Tom points out that
in the meeting minutes of November 1, 2007 it states that no debt should be
incurred to the Town regarding Pat Hannon’s application, and he feels that
Durward Parkinson’s bills should be included in this as being paid by the applicant.
Chip reads from the minutes referred to and explains to Tom that there is nothing
written that a motion or decision was made regarding incurred debt to the Town.
The question the board has is whether the town’s attorney is considered an
independent consultant. The board decides to have Tom get a copy of the minutes
on disc and listen to them to find exactly what was decided upon at the November
1, 2007 meeting regarding having Pat Hannon pay for all independent consultant
fees, including Durward Parkinson. The board also decided to get an
interpretation from MMA asking them if the board has the right to charge Pat
Hannon for the services of Durward Parkinson.
Motion made by Keith to adjourn the meeting. Second by Randy. All
Meeting adjourned at 10:05 p.m.