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Home-based trade special permit ready to go

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

EAST LONGMEADOW The Planning Board is preparing to be bombarded with special permit applications for home-based trades, but before that happens, the application itself was reviewed one final time.

Members of the East Longmeadow Small Business Association (ELSBA) met with Planning, Zoning and Conservation Director Robyn MacDonald on Thursday to hammer out the fine details of the application.

MacDonald said she crafted the original home-based trade special permit application in just a few hours, using the basic language that was included in the bylaw approved at the Annual Town Meeting. She met with ELSBA representatives because there were "just a few things to improve on" with her application.

Jay Caron of ELSBA said he thought portions of the application seemed "a little redundant" and asked if MacDonald could simplify it more.

"The more specific the questions, the easier this will be," Caron stated.

ELSBA vice-president Tom Wilson pointed out some areas in the application where language might have seemed confusing to some. "The language should mirror the bylaw," he said.

All four attendees of the meeting which included ELSBA president Sandro Meccia agreed they wanted the special permit process to be as streamlined as possible.

"To do all this [gather the required documents] will be a significant investment for trade owners in a busy season," Caron stated.

The group also discussed what the process is going to cost each home-based trade owner. The permit application is $250, recording of the special permit, if approved, will be $75, the legal notice for publication will be $50 to $75, notice to abutters was estimated between $100 and $200 and each applicant will be required to submit a certified plan. Meccia estimated in total it will cost around $1,000 per approved application.

For proof of ownership, MacDonald suggested home owners visit the Registry of Deeds online for a free copy of their deed. The Web site is located at

For further information, contact the Planning Office at 525-5400 ext. 490.