Board to evaluate Graziano's violations on Aug. 25
Date: 8/9/2010 Aug. 9, 2010
By Chris Maza
Reminder Assistant Editor
EAST LONGMEADOW -- A public East Longmeadow Planning Board meeting has been scheduled for Aug. 25 at 1 p.m. on the grounds of Graziano Gardens to assess reported violations on and around the business' property.
The decision to host the meeting on site was made after apparent mis-communication between Planning Board members and representatives of Graziano Gardens regarding the exact location of several of the infractions.
"We did the same with a Baptist church here in town and it was very productive," Planning Board Chairman Donald Anderson explained
The business, located at 280 Elm Street, appeared in front of the Planning Board at the Aug. 3 meeting to address a host of alleged violations.
The public is invited to attend the meeting, in accordance with Massachusetts open meeting laws.
"The difference between a public meeting and a public hearing is at a public meeting, the public has the right to be present, but does not have the right to speak or ask questions," Anderson explained. "We are not required to ask the public for comment."
The questions surrounding Graziano Gardens relate to how the property is laid out in comparison to the site plans drawn up in 1999.
"The Board, after doing site visits, felt there are some inconsistencies between what was presented to the town back then as part of the agreement, versus what was actually built there," Anderson said.
Among the infractions addressed at the Aug. 3 session were:
&bull Misplacement of fencing, which juts out approximately eight feet further than indicated in the site plan,
&bull Parking lot violations, such as parking spaces found to be too short, retail products on display in the parking area, storage pallets in the back parking area, improperly parked employee vehicles and out-of-place handicap parking,
&bull Berms at the front of the property, which needs to be removed,
&bull A storage trailer kept on site that may require special building permits and
&bull Security lights installed on poles on town property.
Planning Board Director Robyn MacDonald also indicated that complaints have come before the Board regarding delivery trucks driving up and backing down Revere St., which Graziano Gardens agreed to keep to a minimum during a prior session.
Graziano Gardens stated that many of the infractions have been corrected already, but contested others, such as the need to permit the storage trailer because it is being used for agricultural purposes and therefore does not require a special permit.
Also discussed at the meeting were plans for two new subdivisions, with water drainage being the main concern associated with both of them.
The first, Bella Vista subdivision, is a planned 30-lot project off of Prospect Street. Both the board and the public questioned whether or not the addition of the street will affect drainage or street flooding on Prospect Street.
Attorney Steve D'Ambrosio, who presented the plan to the board, indicated that because of the geography of the area, most water will flow away from Prospect St. and into the wetlands behind the subdivision. The subdivision will also have four detention basins to prevent flooding.
The other subdivision, Keller's Way, will be located off of Longview Drive. Originally drawn up to be a 12-unit subdivision, the project's final plan includes nine lots.
As part of the plan for the construction, approximately 15,000 yards of dirt and loam will be brought in to raise the area because of the high water table at the site.
Two abutters voiced concern that the elevated subdivision would effect the water table for abutters, such as those with homes on Tanglewood Drive who may subsequently find water in their basement, but were assured that studies showed the water table in those areas would not change.
Both proposed subdivisions were approved unanimously by the board.