City Council – 03/04/2008

DATE 03/04/2008
TIME 7:30 pm
LOCATION Council Chamber, Woburn City Hall, Common Street, Woburn, MA, United States

Meeting Agenda

 Below is the pasted journal for ADA Compliancy. See attachment to download the full version.

CITY OF WOBURN

MARCH 4, 2008 – 7:30 P.M.

REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL

 

Roll Call

                                                Denaro                       Gately

                                                Drapeau                      Gonsalves

                                                            Dwyer                         Mercer-Bruen

                                                Galvin                         Raymond

Doherty

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VOTED to dispense with the reading of the previous meeting’s Journal and to APPROVE, all in favor, 9-0.

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MAYOR’S COMMUNICATIONS:  None.

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PUBLIC HEARINGS:  

 

On the petition by American Venture Corporation, 88 Broad Street, Boston,

Massachusetts 02110 for a special permit pursuant to Section 7.3 of the 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended, to extend and alter a pre-existing non-conforming use, by developing an additional 11,200 square feet (approx.) of retail space on the currently vacant portion of the site, and combining the property at 159 Main Street into the overall site development at 159-175 Main Street. PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. Appearing for the petitioner was Attorney John D. McElhiney, McElhiney and Matson, 607 Main Street, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 and he stated that this is an 11,200 square foot building, that the Busa liquors store is 4,200 square feet and will be relocating to the new building to be constructed at the rear of the site, that the remaining portion of the new building will be leased to the Auto Zone store, that Auto Zone is a retail automotive supply store, that there is nearly three acres of property, that the site was an A&P grocery store which used all of the parking and had access to the rear of the lot, that once the A&P store left the site the lot was essentially split in two, that a Walgreen’s pharmacy and a vacant unit are currently located in the former A&P building, that the Walgreen’s building is approximately 17,000 square feet in area, that the property owner entered into a long term lease with Walgreen’s, that there is approximately twelve years remaining on the lease, that the landowner reserved the right to develop the remainder of the property and access easements, that the Busa lot would be merged into this larger site, that there will be 24 foot vehicle aisles established for parking, that the petitioner met with city officials and made some adjustments to the site plan, that a revised plan will be filed, that one of the current curb cuts will be eliminated, that the petitioner is reviewing the possibility of making access on Richardson Street Ext. one way either in or out of the property, that the street could remain two way for the buildings located on the street but the petitioner could limit access to or from the locus by that way, that this limited access could apply to delivery trucks and retail customers, that the locus has been historically a retail use and had a vitality, that this will revitalize the lot where the lot is currently not used, that there are currently no loading docks at the site, that he understands that t new fence will be installed along the lot line with 141 Main Street but he will verify this fact, that the Walgreen’s building will not be upgraded as part of this plan, that the current lease gives Walgreen’s almost total autonomy over the side of the lot where that building is located, that any decisions to upgrade the building have to be decided by upper management at the Walgreen’s corporation, that retail use is allowed in the B-N zoning district, that the zoning district contemplates smaller uses, that the Walgreen’s building is approximately 17,000 square feet, that Walgreen’s and the locus site are one legal site, that the curb cut on Fowle Street and main curb cut on Main Street will remain, that the petitioner will close the Busa building curb cut and the other curb cut on the southerly side of the Busa building, that the southerly side curb cut is shared by the Busa building and the Irish American Club with the lot line running down the center of that curb cut, that if one of the Fowle Street or main Main Street curb cuts is eliminated it would funnel traffic to one location and cause congestion, that the mitigation ordinance does apply but the requirements for this project are not finalized, that there may be upgrades to Richardson Street Ext. and to the traffic control signals at the Fowle Street and Main Street intersection, and that the traffic control signals work well with the current timing but are not state of the art equipment. Kenneth Moskow stated that the petitioner will provide information on the type of delivery trucks that will service the locus, that the current Busa building will be demolished after the new building is constructed, that the discussions between the landowner and Walgreen’s as to improvements to the Walgreen’s building and lot have been oral, that Walgreen’s leases its entire current building, that Walgreen’s has indicated that they do not want to sublease to another restaurant use, and that the vacant unit in the Walgreen’s building may be used to enlarge the current Walgreen’s operations. Alderman Gately stated that there is an existing catch basin with a fifteen inch pipe, that there will have to be a test hole to determine where and what direction the catch basin flows and its condition, that the dumpsters will be covered and fenced, that there may need to be a catch basin constructed on Richardson Street Ext., that the loading doors on the existing building are small, that tractor trailer trucks should not be in that area of the city, that the transformer must be fenced and landscaped with shrubbery, that the size of the water main on Richardson Street Ext. needs to be determined, that there has to be a tie-in to the eight inch main for 141 Main Street, that there may need to be a hydrant in that area, and that a snow plan and catch basin cleaning plan will be needed. Alderman Gonsalves stated that the Walgreen’s facility is tired, that any pressure that the City Council can put on Walgreen’s to make improvements will be given, and that she is interested in the traffic report and the changes to the curb cuts. IN FAVOR: Paul Meaney, Executive Director, Woburn Business Association, 10 Tower Office Park, Woburn stated that the plan eliminates the Busa building which is old and tired, that this creates a better line of site view, that the proposed building is not large, and that the traffic islands and shrubs could improve the image of the locus which could encourage improvements at Walgreen’s. OPPOSED: Russ McKinley, 16 John Street stated that he has seen a lot of changes in the area but

they have been bad, that the area is embarrassing, that the A&P grocery store left and Busa Market moved into the site, that Bordons was operating in the area, that Dole & Bailey took over the site and moved their trucking operations from Milford to Woburn, that there were 35 trucks parked near his house, that nothing was ever done about the Dole and Bailey operation, that there is a machine shop with six to eight large truck deliveries to the site each day, that there are no sidewalks in the area, that this is a total disaster, that the plan has work twenty feet from his property, that there is enough traffic in the area already, and that the dumpsters will be located along the property line near his house. Carol Gill stated that she is one of the owners of 9 Fowle Street, that she is concerned about the proposed right of way on the easement on their property, that this easement will not accommodate truck traffic, and at one time it was a one way access used as a cut through to avoid traffic at the lights. Motion made and 2nd that the PUBLIC

HEARING be CONTINUED TO THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL ON APRIL 1, 2008 AND THAT THE MATTER BE REFERRED TO THE COMMITTEE ON SPECIAL PERMITS, all in favor 9-0.

 

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On the petition by Sam Gandor, 290 Turnpike Road, Suite 354, Westborough,

Massachusetts 01581 for a special permit pursuant to Section 7.1.3 of the 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended, for reconstruction or structural change to a pre-existing and non-conforming four family frame residential dwelling to allow the construction of a deck or porch structure at the rear elevation of principal dwelling at 11-13 Porter Street. PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. A communication dated March 4, 2008 was received from Attorney Malcolm Houck, 7 Winn Street, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 as follows:

 

In re: 11-23 Porter Street – Sam Gandor, Owner

 

Dear Bill:

 

Further to our discussion at your office counter yesterday I have been in touch with Mr. Gandor concerning the scheduling of a continued hearing at the City Council this evening.  Not having heard from Mr. Gandor for better than a week I telephoned him today and find that he is not only suffering from a case of the flu, but is still awaiting some final estimates for construction work at this Porter Street property.

 

I fully understand that, whereas the Council must continue such matters to a date certain, the matter must be brought forward this evening. Please understand also that proposals to satisfy committee concerns for the use of this multi-family dwelling house have not yet been completed and that entire matter still resides with the committee. No further committee hearings are yet scheduled, but will be needed in the immediate future.

 

Mr. Gandor informs me that he will be unable to attend any proceedings tonight. Kindly incorporate this into the record and I ask that, upon Mr. Gandor’s request, this matter be continued generally to yet another date certain in the future.

 

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me.

 

Very truly yours, s/Malcolm H. Houck

 

President Doherty stated that the property currently is four or more units, that he wants the property brought back to a three family, that enough time has been given to the petitioner to meet with an engineer, that it is time to move forward, and that if the process is not more productive the city have to take action on the illegal use of the site. Alderman Denaro stated that it is better to seek improvements in that area. IN FAVOR: None.

OPPOSED: None. Motion made and 2nd that the PUBLIC HEARING be CONTINUED TO THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL ON APRILS 15, 2008, all in favor 9-0.

 

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On the petition by American Equipment Rentals/FST Equipment, LLC, One Fields Point Drive, Providence, Rhode Island 02905 for a special permit pursuant to Sections 5.1.43 and 57b of the 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended, for the rental, sale, and service of equipment, including cranes, and outside storage of same at 62 Holton Street.

PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. Appearing for the petitioner was Attorney John D. McElhiney, McElhiney and Matson, 607 Main Street, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 and he stated that the petitioner located at the locus in late 2005, that this is a Rhode Island based company, that the petitioner thought this use was allowed at the site, that the Building Commissioner determined that it was not an allowed use, that they were trying to determine where under the zoning code the use would fit, that the Building

Commissioner wanted the petitioner to obtain a special permit, that the building is owned by the Whitten interests, that the age of the building is hard to pinpoint, that records indicate that Untied Van Lines and F.W. Webb Air Supply occupied the building for a time, that U.S. Sealcoat was located at the property, that the petitioner an aerial lift and forklift business, that there are mostly rentals but some sales, that the petitioner also services the units, that the sales and business offices are located inside the building, that most of the equipment is stored outside of the building, that thirty to forty lifts are currently on the site, that this is the petitioner’s northern regional facility which serves the Boston area, that there are thirteen to fourteen employees, that the lifts do not traverse the roadways, that they are not vehicles, that the equipment is leased by companies for weeks or months, that this is somewhat of a seasonal business, that there is more usage in the summer than in the winter, that there are three to four trips per day during the slow season and seven to eight trips per day during the busy season, that given the historic use of the building and the current track record of the petitioner with no problems to the neighborhood it is an innocuous use, that this is a good location, that the petitioner has been a good tenant, that the petitioner may purchase the building at some time in the future, that the site is huge but the paving goes halfway back, that the locus is surrounded by industrial uses, that the use is out of site except perhaps for the top of Blueberry Hill

Road, and that the locus is shielded by the natural topography of the site. Alderman Gately stated that he became involved in the company in 2006 when a neighbor complained that the lifts were left high and could cause danger to children, that was how he learned the petitioner was located at the locus, that there have been no problems or complaints, that this is a clean operation, that the vehicles leave the lot slowly and generally head to Winchester, that when vehicles leave the site they are generally off of the site for weeks or months, that the petitioner is probably at capacity at the site but he is not concerned about the number of vehicles on the site, that it would be difficult to rent all of the equipment that they currently have on site, and that the petitioner would not be bringing equipment to the site if they were not able to rent it. Alderman Mercer-Bruen stated that she has received complaints from people on Green Street about the petitioner’s buildings. Tom Ferrelly of the petitioner stated that the vehicles leave in the morning and return in the afternoon, that the bigger machines have one per delivery truck but with the smaller vehicles they attempt to have multiple trucks on a delivery, and that OSHA asks that the trucks be left up so that children cannot get into the buckets and try to use the vehicles.  IN FAVOR: Paul Meaney, Executive Director, Woburn Business Association, 10 Tower Office Park, Woburn stated that he has never seen one of the vehicles come in or out of the site although he is in that area often, that he is sensitive to the interests of Green Street and that intersection, that this is an improvement over the sealcoat business,

and that it is a clean building. OPPOSED: None. Motion made and 2nd that the PUBLIC

HEARING be CONTINUED TO THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL ON APRIL 1, 2008 AND THAT THE MATTER BE REFERRED TO THE COMMITTEE ON SPECIAL PERMITS, all in favor 9-0.

 

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On the petition by Verizon New England Inc., 125 High Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02210 for a special permit pursuant to Section 57b of the 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended, to further amend a special permit granted July 15, 1988, as amended February 18, 2005, as amended May 12, 2005 to allow for parking of an additional thirty commercial vehicles for a total of 167 commercial vehicles at 275

Wildwood Avenue. PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. A report was received from the

Committee on Special Permits as follows: “ought to pass as amended with the conditions 1. That the recommendations of the Planning Board be adopted, and 2. That any of the petitioner’s vehicles parked overnight on the site are to be registered in the city of Woburn.” Appearing for the petitioner was Stanley Usovicz and he stated that the petitioner has enjoyed a long relationship with the city, and that they are looking to relive traffic from the residential area and shifting it to a more industrial area. IN FAVOR: None. OPPOSED: None. Motion made and 2nd that the public hearing be closed, all in favor, 9-0. President Doherty stated that a letter was received from the petition and placed on file stating that the intention of the petitioner was to reduce the number of vehicles from 200 to 170. Alderman Denaro stated that there needs to be assurance that all vehicles parked on site will be registered. Alderman Mercer-Bruen stated that the committee on special permits review could check within sixty days to determine whether the vehicles are registered in the city. Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORT be ADOPTED, AS AMENDED with the additional condition as follows: 1. That the special permit is for Verizon New England Inc. only, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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On the petition by William Highgas, III, Arpie E. Highgas, individually and as trustees of B.A.R. Realty Trust, landowners, to amend the 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances by adding the following: 1. Section 5.1 Table of Use Regulations line 42a self-storage warehouse facility – no storage of high hazard materials, trailers, motor vehicles or any outside storage shall be amended by deleting the “-“ under the B-I column and replacing with “P”; 2. Section 6.1 Table of Dimensional Regulations shall be amended by adding to the Floor Area Ratio column for the B-I Zoning District of the following: “(Note 5)”; 3. Section 6.1, Table of Dimension Regulations shall be amended by adding “Note 5” which shall state as follows: “The Floor Area Ratio for a self-storage warehouse facility as defined in this Ordinance shall be 2.0.” PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. A communication date February 29, 2008 was received from Attorney Joseph Tarby, Murtha Cullina LLP, 600 Unicorn Park Drive, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 as follows:

 

Re: Petition of William Highas III and Arpie Highas/420, 422 and 424 Washington Street, Woburn, Massachusetts

 

Dear Mr. Campbell:

 

I respectfully request that the City Council public hearing on this matter be continued to the City Council meeting on March 18, 2008. If you need any further information, please contact me. Thank you.

 

Very truly yours, s/Joseph R. Tarby III

 

IN FAVOR: None. OPPOSED: None. Motion made and 2nd that the PUBLIC HEARING be CONTINUED TO THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL ON MARCH 18, 2008 AND THAT THE MATTER BE REFERRED TO THE COMMITTEE ON ORDINANCES, all in favor 9-0.

 

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On the petition by Alderman Gately concerning the building or buildings located in the City of Woburn, County of Middlesex, Commonwealth of Massachusetts known and numbered as 55 Montvale Avenue, Woburn, Massachusetts for the purposes of determining whether said building or buildings are a public nuisance, a nuisance to the neighborhood, a dilapidated or dangerous building or other structure, as said terms are used in Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 139, Sec. 1, and if so, enter an order adjudging it to be a nuisance to the neighborhood, or dangerous, and prescribing its disposition, alteration or regulation. PUBLIC HEARING OPENED. Alderman Gately stated that he has worked with the Building Commissioner concerning this property, that he received complaints about trash on the site, that inspection noted a number of vehicles on the site, an abandoned oil tank, trash and abandoned vehicles, that the property is zoned for a twofamily use, that there are seven mailboxes at the site, that vehicles parked on the site are registered at addresses all over the city and from as far away as Charlestown, that this appears to be a boarding house, that he wants the property to be declared a nuisance, that this will allow further inspection of the property. Alderman Gately offered photographs and documents for the City Council to review. Motion made and 2nd that the photographs and documents be received and made part of the record, all in favor, 9-0. Alderman Drapeau stated that he understands that five unrelated people can live in a property and that therefore there could be ten unrelated people in a two family dwelling. Alderman Gately stated that there are a number of entrances to the building and other visual evidence of multiple units in the building, and that there are two electrical meters. Alderman Galvin stated that the property is a mess and that he will support the effort. Thomas Quinn, Woburn Building Inspector stated that there are records in this office back to Commissioner Brophy listing this as a two family house, that the Department of Public Works have this listed as a three family for water and sewer billing, that the Board of Assessors has the property listed as a three family dwelling, that complete units is the distinction as to what is a unit, that sworn affidavits in the Building Department Record going back to the 1970s indicating that this is a two family residence, that he requests that the City Council supports the petition, that he has not gained access to the building, that all inspections have taken place from the public way and from the property of cooperative neighbors. Alderman Dwyer stated that there is a case history developed on this property, and that he has boarding house issues in his ward and the Building Department has taken action on these issues. IN FAVOR: None. OPPOSED: John Russo, 53 Washington Street stated that he purchased the property as a three family dwelling, that this is rented as a three family dwelling, that this is not a boarding house, that he has multiple mailboxes for the units, that there are two single men in one unit that have separate mailboxes and a

grandfather and grandson share a unit with separate mailboxes, that a neighbor parked on the property without authorization, that he has had a turnover in the tenants and the tenants who vacate tend to leave trash behind, that the property is taxed metered and provided water service as a three family dwelling, that there is a three meter electrical socket but he never put in the third meter, that he purchased the property three or four years ago, that the oil tank on the site is not his, that the oil tank belongs to a neighbor, and that he has sent a truck to the site several times to clean the property. Alderman Denaro stated that the petitioner should get a stronger lease and clean the site of the City Council will have to take action. Alderman Gately stated that there is an incredible amount of trash coming out of the property. Mr. Russo stated that the last two or three months all units except one have had tenant turnover, and that he will move the trash from the front to the back of the lot with an area for the barrels. Alderman Gately stated that the owner must clean the property, and that a television was left out on the property for three months. Alderman Galvin stated that he had experience with the petitioner with a property in his ward, and that he has given the petitioner substantial time but he has not completed the work at the house to date. Mr. Russo stated that the property on Plympton Street is sided, new downspouts were installed and that he is working on the interior, and that maybe purchasing distressed property has been more than he can handle. Alderman Gately stated that he requests the City Council declare the property a nuisance. Alderman Drapeau stated that if the short term leases are being sought it may be attracting a boarding house mentality, and that as a landowner he must look long term so that the property becomes a decent part of the community. Mr. Russo stated that tenants at wills seem to be the only tenants he can locate, that rents are getting lower and the tenants move to lower rent property, that rents have been dropping for the last two years, and that the commercial vehicles will be removed by tomorrow. Alderman Galvin stated that the City Council should continue the public hearing to allow an appropriate nuisance order to be drafted, and that when property is declared a nuisance the order must set our what the issues are and what the petitioner must do to comply. Building Inspector Quinn stated that the admission by the landowner that there are three units in the building allows the city to cite the landowner at the rate of $300.00 per day for the extra use, and that if additional units are found this will multiply the penalty by that number of units. Alderman Gately asked the landowner if access will be allowed on site to the property for inspections. Mr. Russo stated yes that access will be allowed on site to the property for inspections, that the lending bank confirmed that the property was a three family dwelling, and that he is taxed and receives a water bill for a three family dwelling. Motion made and 2nd that the building inspector, plumbing inspector, electrical inspector and health inspector be allowed access to the site for inspection, all in favor, 9-0. Motion made and 2nd that the public hearing be continued to the Regular Meeting of the City Council on April 1, 2008 and that the matter be referred to the Committee on Liaison for further review, all in favor, 9-0. Motion made and 2nd for a two minute recess, all in favor, 9-0. During the recess the following document was prepared and then executed by the landowner:

 

March 4, 2008

 

I hereby grant access to the real estate located at 53 to 55 Montvale Avenue to the city of Woburn Building Inspector, Electrical Inspector, Plumbing Inspector and Health Agent during reasonable times between March 4, 2008 and April 1, 2008 after providing to me at least 24 hours oral or written notice for the purposes of inspecting the property for compliance with zoning, building and health regulations, ordinances and statutes.

 

s/John Russo, 353 Washington Street, Winchester, MA

 

Witness: s/Alderman Richard Gately

 

President Doherty called the meeting back to order. Motion made and 2nd to return to the regular order of business, all in favor, 9-0.

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CITIZEN’S PARTICIPATION:  None.

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COMMITTEE REPORTS: None.

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NEW PETITIONS:

 

Petition by Checker Cab of Woburn, Inc., 289R Salem Street, Woburn for renewal of Livery License. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON POLICE AND LICENSES, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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Petition by Checker Cab of Woburn, Inc., 289R Salem Street, Woburn for renewal of Taxi Cab License. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON POLICE AND LICENSES, all in favor, 9-0. *************************

Petition by Marc E. Dionne, 223 Loring Avenue, Salem, Massachusetts 01970 for renewal of Billiard Table License. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be

REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON POLICE AND LICENSES, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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Petition by Woburn Bowladrome Inc., 32 Montvale Avenue, Woburn for renewal of Bowling Alley License. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON POLICE AND LICENSES, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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Petition by Anthony Flowers and Doreen Flowers, 29 James Street, Woburn,

Massachusetts 01801 for a special permit pursuant to Section 7.3 of the 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended to allow the extension of a non-conforming use to allow a personal service establishment at 224 Main Street. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO PUBLIC HEARING, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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Petition by City of Woburn, 50 North Warren Avenue. Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 for a special permit pursuant Section 5.1.79 of the 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended, to erect a steel frame, fabric sheathed storage facility at 50 North Warren Avenue. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO PUBLIC HEARING, all in favor, 9-0.

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COMMUNICATIONS AND REPORTS:

 

A communication dated was received from Charles L. O’Connor, Parking Clerk, Police Headquarters, 25 Harrison Avenue as follows:

 

In accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, Section 20A½, I am submitting a report to you on the parking violations in the City of Woburn for the period ending January 2008: number of tickets issued 143, number of violations paid 64, number of violations outstanding 79, amount collected and submitted to the Office of the Collector $8,622.80. There exists a backlog of 4,966 tickets for 1982 through 2007. Demands will be sent out until all tickets have been cleared. Parking violations referred turned over to Handicap Commission $1,100.00.

 

Respectfully submitted, s/Charles L. O’Connor, Parking Clerk City of Woburn

 

Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be RECEIVED AND PLACED ON FILE, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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A communication dated February 22, 2008 with attachments was received from Joanne

Collins, Director, Woburn Council on Aging along with a copy of the annual report of the Council on Aging. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be RECEIVED AND PLACED ON FILE, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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A communication dated February 29, 2008 with attachments was received from Joanne Collins, Director, Woburn Council on Aging along with a copy of the minutes of the February meeting of the Council and Aging and the Director’s Report for February.

Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be RECEIVED AND PLACED ON FILE, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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A communication dated February 23, 2008 entitled “Fuel Transactions (short format) From 01/01/2008 to 01/31/2008” was received from the Woburn Police Department. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be RECEIVED AND PLACED ON FILE, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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A communication dated February 14, 2008 was received from Robert McNabb, Executive Director, Woburn Housing Authority as follows:

 

Re: Library Park/Pre-Development Appropriation

 

Dear Mr. Doherty and Mayor McLaughlin:

 

The Woburn Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners has authorized me to request that Mayor McLaughlin and the City Council provide the Woburn Housing Authority with Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) from the “Affordable Housing Trust Account”.

 

The purpose of this request is to recruit technical assistance and develop a proforma for the Library Park Senior Citizen Enhanced Care Housing Facility.

 

Essentially this amount is an estimated seed expenditure, which will provide the City and the WHA with a realistic analysis of the site, an assessment of need and feasibility, as well as pre development team building and potential funding/financial resources.

 

The Authority is looking forward to working with the City and would gladly meet with the Council prior to any decision on this matter.

 

Sincerely, s/ Robert McNabb, Executive Director

 

Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON FINANCE, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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A communication dated February 19, 2008 was received from Attorney Patricia A. Cantor, Kopelman and Paige, P.C. relative to a new identity theft law. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be RECEIVED AND PLACED ON FILE, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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A communication dated February 29, 2008 was received from Attorney Joyce Frank, Kopelman and Paige, P.C. relative to snow and ice budgets. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be RECEIVED AND PLACED ON FILE, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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A communication dated February 26, 2008 was received from Thomas Gonsalves, 3 Belmont Street, Woburn requesting that it be determined whether the inflammable fluid tanks at 0 Cross Street have been removed. Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be RECEIVED AND PLACED ON FILE, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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A communication dated March 3, 2008 with attachments was received from Attorney

Joseph R. Tarby III, Murtha Cullina LLP, 600 Unicorn Park Drive, Woburn as follows:

 

Re: Gibbs Oil Company Limited Partnership/107 Winn Street, Woburn, Massachusetts

 

Dear Mr. Campbell:

 

I represent Gibbs Oil Company Limited Partnership (“Gibbs”). On July 13, 2006, Chief

Justice Keryn Scheier of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Land Court entered a Judgment ordering the City Council to “as soon as practicable given its meeting schedule” grant the special permit to Gibbs conditioned upon the List of Conditions attached to the Court’s decision as Exhibit A (copy enclosed). As you know, the City Council voted to appeal the decision of the Land Court to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appeals Court.

 

On December 12, 2007, the Appeals Court affirmed the Judgment of the Land Court (copy enclosed). As a result, the special permit needs to be issued by the City Council consistent with the Land Court Judgment. On behalf of my client, I respectfully request that you review this matter with the City Council at its next meeting on March 4, 2008 and issue the special permit decision. Thank you.

 

Very truly yours, s/Joseph R. Tarby III

 

Motion made and 2nd that the matter be referred to the Committee on Special Permits with correspondence to the City Solicitor requesting a response by March 17, 2008 relative to the appropriate action, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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A communication dated February 25, 2008 was received from Attorney Malcolm H.

Houck, 7 Winn Street, Woburn as follows:

 

In Re: Charles O’Neill Drive

 

Dear Mr. Campbell:

 

Further to our several conferences and my prior letter of request, please be advised that the status of the construction of Charles O’Neill Drive is such that the matter is now ripe of action by the Woburn City Council to accept this street as a public way. By way of summary, I reference the following, with appropriate file copies; -to wit;

 

  • Upon the matters outlined in my prior letter of October 25, 2007 (copy attached), all pending matters therein described have been completed and/or satisfied,
  • Planning board Form F – Certificate of Performance has been approved and endorsed by the Planning Board and has been recorded with the Middlesex South District Registry of Deeds in Book 44486, Page 292 (copy attached),
  • A Certificate of Completion and Release of Performance Guarantee (Bond) was executed by the Planning Board on February 12, 2008 (copy attached),
  • The Woburn Conservation Commission approved WPA Form 8B – Certificate of Compliance under date of December 20, 2007. The original instrument, signed by the

Commissioners was recorded with the said Deeds on January 11, 2008 in Book 50586, Page 73 (copy attached),

  • Woburn Planning Board Form G – Conveyance of Easements and Utilities was executed by the Manager of Canal Condominium Construction LLC (the “owner”) on October 5, 2007 and has been delivered to the office of Woburn City Planner (copy attached).

 

With all in order kindly schedule this subject matter of street acceptance before the Woburn City Council, for action, as your further procedures require and permit. Kindly advise me when the scheduled matter will be heard.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

 

Very truly yours, s/Malcolm H. Houck

 

Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON MUNICIPAL LANDS/HIGHWAYS, all in favor, 9-0.

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UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF PRECEDING MEETING:  None.

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APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS: 

 

A communication dated February 28, 2008 was received from His Honor the Mayor Thomas L. McLaughlin as follows:

 

Re: Bryan Melanson – Historic District Commission

 

Dear Mr. Campbell:

 

By the power vested in me as Mayor of the City of Woburn, I hereby appoint Bryan Melanson of 60 Glenwood Avenue as a member of the Historic District Commission for a period of three years.

 

Mr. Melanson will replace William Foley, who has resigned from the Commission.

 

Mr. Melanson’s appointment will be effective on the date of confirmation by the City Council, and his year term will expire three years from that date.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

 

Sincerely, s/Thomas L. McLaughlin, Mayor

 

Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON PERSONNEL, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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A communication dated February 25, 2008 was received from President Charles Doherty as follows:

 

Re: Council on Aging Liaison

 

Mr. Campbell,

 

Please post and inform the Council that Alderman James Dwyer is named as the City Council’s Liaison to the Council on Aging.

 

Thank you, Charles Doherty

 

Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

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MOTIONS, ORDERS AND RESOLUTIONS:

 

RESOLVED That His Honor the Mayor instruct the Superintendent of Public Works to repave Wyman Street from side to side its entire length.

 

s/Alderman Dwyer

 

Motion made and 2nd that the RESOLVE be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

Presented to the Mayor: March 6, 2008     s/Thomas L. McLaughlin March 7, 2008 *************************

 

RESOLVED That His Honor the Mayor instruct the Superintendent of Public Works to repave Lowell Street side to side from the intersection with Main Street to the intersection with Wyman Street.

 

s/Alderman Dwyer

 

Motion made and 2nd that the RESOLVE be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

Presented to the Mayor: March 6, 2008      s/Thomas L. McLaughlin March 7, 2008

 

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ORDERED     That the Committee on Ordinances review the ordinances relative to the licensing of taxi cabs and livery vehicles in the city of Woburn and to draft and report out to the full City Council any revisions or amendments necessary with respect to the subject with particular emphasis on establishing ordinances concerning:

 

  1. A system to ascertain the driving records and criminals records of any persons engaged whether as employees, independent contractors or other relationship to drive taxi cabs and livery vehicles licensed by the city of Woburn;
  2. To determine the method by which fares for taxi cabs and livery vehicles are established;
  3. To review the current license fee structure with respect to taxi cabs and livery vehicles;
  4. A system of local inspection to determine the condition, safety and suitability of any vehicle licensed to be used as a taxi cab or livery vehicle in the city of Woburn; and
  5. Any other area that the committee deems necessary and advisable for revision or amendment.

 

s/Alderman Denaro

 

Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON ORDINANCES, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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ORDERED     Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Woburn that the 1985 Woburn Zoning Ordinances, as amended, be further amended by striking from Section 5.1.53 the words “High hazard use listed in the Building Officials Conference of America (BOCA) Code” and inserting in its place the words “High hazard use listed in the International Building Code as published by the International Code Council (ICC)”, meaning and intending to reflect the change in the accepted building code regulation.

 

s/President Doherty

 

Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO PUBLIC HEARING, all in favor, 9-0.

_________________________

 

Motion made and 2nd to add the following items to the Order of the Day as late filed matters, all in favor, 9-0.

_________________________

 

Motion made and 2nd to take from the Committee on Ordinances the Order to amend Title 2, Article 2-181 relative to the salary of the superintendent of public works. The following debate on the motion ensued. Alderman Gately stated that reducing the salary goes against the Charter, that there is nothing in the Charter relative to a requirement that the superintendent of public works have an engineering degree, that when Superintendent Allie Wall retired Superintendent Robert Simonds took his pay, that Superintendent Frederick Russell took the pay of Superintendent Simonds, that Superintendent Russell took the salary of $75,000.00 in December 1998 and did not take the position until February 1999 when Superintendent Simonds retirement was final, that the superintendent of public works is legally appointed by the mayor, that in the mayor’s opinion he is qualified to do the job, that the issue is not the salary structure but that the funds are in the budget for the amount of the salary for the superintendent, that he is not aware where the $77,000.00 figure comes from, that the current salary is 5½% less than the salaries for comparable towns, that Superintendent Ferlisi will not take health benefits, longevity and take home vehicles which all saves the city money, that Superintendent Ferlisi obtained a bid contract for re-milling and grinding roadways for the first time in eight years, that Pleasant Street has been constructed properly using the existing curb, that he oversaw the building program at the high school, that the high school sewer was not hooked up or lined up properly and Superintendent Ferlisi held money back on the contractor for a major repair of the sewer line, that he goes to the MWRA Advisory Board meetings which the previous superintendent never went to, that rather than purchase a mini-excavator he purchased a Bobcat which is a better vehicle for $20,000.00 less, that he found that half of the vehicles insured at a cost to the city were junked, no longer used or no longer owned by the city, that he cleaned up the junk at the city barns, that morale at the city barns has improved, that an administrator does not have to have a degree to be an administrator, that that the superintendent works long hours, is always on duty and deals with many issues each day, that he manages forty employees, that he is responsible for snow and ice removal, parking lots, trees, service police vehicles and the street light program, that the current street light program did not save the city money, that the deputy superintendent receives a salary of $75,000.00, that the water treatment plant supervisor receives a salary of $77,000.00, that two department of public works employees made over $80,000.00 last year, that it is hard to hire a manager to come to work each day and get paid less than his employees, and that he is open for negotiating the salary amount but cannot support $77,000.00 Alderman Galvin stated that the mayor handled the appointment terribly, that this is an important job, that it is highly specialized, that this is a different job than it was twenty years ago, that it would be hard to find a superintendent of public works in another community without experience or an engineering certificate, and that the previous superintendent of public works had a wealth of experience. Alderman Gately stated that the previous superintendent had no experience. Alderman Galvin stated that the school department has a facilities manager position open and that he hopes the hiring is not handled in the same way, that there should be requisite education and experience to do the job, that the human resources director gave ranges of pay for the position with a high of $103,000.00 of the previous superintendent, that the previous superintendent had a degree and extensive experience, and that the current superintendent has little or no experience and an associates degree. Alderman Gately stated that the human resources director could not provide job description information for the superintendent of public works or for other positions under the band raise system. Alderman Galvin stated that the city council cannot confuse qualifications with a job description, that the mayor can appoint anyone and that is why this is before the city council, that the city council determines whether the incumbent’s qualifications justify the salary, that the current superintendent had no municipal experience except for two years as assistant to the mayor, that the superintendent has employees in his department who assist him in performing his job, that the purchasing agent determined the vehicle insurance issue, that project manager oversaw the high school building program, and that there is work being attributed to the current superintendent which may not have been his own accomplishments. Alderman Gately offered the salaries for superintendents in several communities. Alderman Galvin questioned the level of experience each of those incumbents had. President Doherty stated that comments going forward are for or against the ordinance based on known information. Alderman Drapeau stated that there has not been an effort made to reduce the superintendent’s duties, that the current salary is justified, that he does not appreciate comments that disparage the work of the current superintendent, that he is a hard worker and a proven commodity, that the mayor brought Mr. Ferlisi in as a confidante as the assistant to the mayor, that he has significant municipal experience and he proved himself responding to the challenges, that this is not a 100% salary increase as this is a different job than he was holding, that he probably took a substantial loss of pay when he took the assistant to the mayor job, that he held two vice president jobs in steel companies, that he had to prove himself to get to that level, that he gave the city two years of underpaid performance as assistant to the mayor, that the current superintendent is saving the city money as the previous superintendent would have been due a raise in salary, had health insurance and longevity and that this saved the city about $30,000.00, that if the superintendent was paid a salary of $85,000.00 and took the health insurance he would be up to almost the current salary amount anyway, that the city will be ahead with the position the next couple of years, and that the superintendent will get the work needed out of the department of public works. Alderman Mercer-Bruen stated that she looks at the position rather than the occupant, that the superintendent is responsible for everything in his department regardless of the assistance he has, that the public safety of the community is in their charge, that the current salary is appropriate, that she will not support a reduction to $77,000.00, and that for two years she had to call the office of the mayor to get the assistance of the department of public works but now she can call the department of public works directly and get results. Alderman Raymond stated that the superintendent is appointed by the mayor under the Charter, that the qualifications in the Charter are vague, that he has reviewed the work being done by the superintendent, that the qualifications and job descriptions of all department managers do not exist, that all of the department head qualifications need to be reviewed, that he understood that salaries are reviewed at budget time, and that he will vote against this ordinance. Alderman Gonsalves stated that the city council has the responsibility to set the salary using objective criteria including experience and education, that the proposed amount is not a bad salary although it is not the highest, that the city council should look at all of the department head salaries, that there is a question of equity, and that she will support the ordinance. Alderman Denaro stated that without regard to the incumbent superintendent the current salary for the position is appropriate if not low, that the mayor did not consult with the city council to determine if the position salary would be supported, that the department heads were driven to unionize, that this left some department heads out of the union and with no protection, and that some department heads were sent home in tears because their salaries were cut. On the Motion to Take the Matter from Committee on Ordinances, ROLL CALL: Denaro – Yes, Drapeau – Yes, Dwyer – Yes, Galvin – Yes, Gately – No, Gonsalves – Yes, Mercer-Bruen – Yes, Raymond – No, Doherty – Yes,

MOTION PASSES. Motion made and 2nd that the ORDER be ADOPTED, ROLL CALL: Denaro – Yes, Drapeau – No, Dwyer – Yes, Galvin – Yes, Gately – No, Gonsalves – Yes, Mercer-Bruen – No, Raymond – No, Doherty – Yes, MOTION PASSES.

Presented to the Mayor: March 6, 2008        VETO MESSAGE filed with City Clerk on March 14, 2008 at 12:27 p.m.

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MAYOR’S COMMUNICATIONS:

 

ORDERED     That the sum of $50,000.00 be and is hereby appropriated as so stated from Affordable Housing Stabilization Fund Acct #704159-596100 $50,000.00 to Library Park/Affordable Housing Pre-Development Acct #0112158-586516 $50,000.00

 

I hereby approve the above: s/Thomas L. McLaughlin, Mayor

I have reviewed the above: s/Gerald W. Surette, City Auditor

 

s/President Doherty

 

Motion made and 2nd that the MATTER be REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON FINANCE, all in favor, 9-0.

_________________________

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS: 

 

POLICE AND LICENSE:

 

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On the petitions for renewal of Common Carrier Licenses by M&L Transit Systems Inc. and Boston Tours, Inc., committee reports were received “ought to pass.” Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORTS be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

Presented to the Mayor: March 6, 2008      s/Thomas L. McLaughlin March 7, 2008

 

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On the petitions for renewal of Livery Licenses by Avalon Transportation LLC,

Hollywood Limousine and Woburn Cab Co. Inc., committee reports were received “ought to pass.” Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORTS be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

Presented to the Mayor: March 6, 2008      s/Thomas L. McLaughlin March 7, 2008

 

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On the petitions for renewal of Taxi Cab Licenses by AACO Travel Taxi and Woburn Cab Co. Inc., committee reports were received “ought to pass.” Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORTS be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

Presented to the Mayor: March 6, 2008      s/Thomas L. McLaughlin March 7, 2008

 

************************* ORDINANCES:

 

On the Order to establish a no parking restriction on Eastern Avenue, committee report was received “ought to pass.” Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORTS be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

Presented to the Mayor: March 6, 2008      s/Thomas L. McLaughlin March 7, 2008

 

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On the Order to establish two handicapped restricted no parking spaces on Central Street, committee report was received “ought to pass.” Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORTS be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

Presented to the Mayor: March 6, 2008      s/Thomas L. McLaughlin March 7, 2008

 

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On the Order to establish two handicapped restricted parking spaces on Elm Street, committee report was received “ought to pass.” Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORTS be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

Presented to the Mayor: March 6, 2008      s/Thomas L. McLaughlin March 7, 2008

 

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On the Order to establish a no parking restriction on Salem Street, committee report was received “ought to pass.” Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORTS be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

Presented to the Mayor: March 6, 2008      s/Thomas L. McLaughlin March 7, 2008

 

************************* PERSONNEL:

 

On the appointment of Steven Jeune as a member of the Human Rights Commission, committee report was received “ought to pass.” Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORT be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

Presented to the Mayor: March 6, 2008      s/Thomas L. McLaughlin March 7, 2008

 

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On the appointment of Scott W. Gatchell as a member of the Conservation Commission, committee report was received “ought to pass.” Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORT be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

 

************************* MUNICIPAL LANDS/HIGHWAYS:

 

On the petition by His Honor the Mayor Thomas L. McLaughlin to accept Arthur G. Pernokas Drive, committee report was received “back for action to set up for public hearing.” Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORT be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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On the petition by His Honor the Mayor Thomas L. McLaughlin to accept Crossman Road to Loves Lane, committee report was received “back for action to be set up for public hearing.” Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORT be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

 

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On the petition by His Honor the Mayor Thomas L. McLaughlin to accept Shaker Hill Lane, committee report was received “back for action to be set up for public hearing.”

Motion made and 2nd that the COMMITTEE REPORT be ADOPTED, all in favor, 9-0.

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Motion made and 2nd to return to the regular order of business.

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Motion made and 2nd to ADJOURN, all in favor, 9-0. Meeting adjourned at 10:04 p.m.

 

A TRUE RECORD ATTEST:

 

 

 

William C. Campbell

City Clerk and Clerk of the City Council

 

 

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