WATERTOWN — The only decisions made by the Planning and Zoning Commission at its meeting on Wednesday, November 4, were approval of the minutes, approval of next year’s meeting dates and a positive 8-24 referral back to the Town Council for the sale of the old Town Hall on 424 Main St. and the Town Hall Annex at 37 Deforest St.
All other action was continued to the next meeting, on Wednesday, December 2, for various reasons.
The first new Public Hearing, for text amendments to the town’s drive-through regulations, was tabled to consider alternative text offered by the Public Works Department.
The proposed text amendment called for the relaxation of the regulation requiring drive-throughs be a minimum of 500 feet apart to include an exception if the exit were onto a state highway with a traffic light controlling the intersection
The Public Works Department proposed maintaining the 500-foot separation for “high volume” drive-throughs, for example, fast food restaurants, and eliminating that requirement for low-volume uses, such as banks.
Attorney Franklin Pilicy, representing the applicant, Mutual Security Credit Union, said either text would be acceptable.
The second Public Hearing, for a site plan and special permit for an Ion Bank with a drive-through at 970 Main St., was tabled because the application was deemed incomplete. It was missing, among other items, an environmental impact statement and there were questions about the exit that prompted the bank to hire a traffic engineer.
A Public Hearing on a proposal to construct a three-family home at 542 Davis St. was tabled pending action by the Inland Wetlands Commission.
John Everitt, a neighbor, asked to speak under public comment but was asked to wait until the end of the meeting. When he spoke at the end of the meeting about the legality of the zone change from R-30 to R-12.5 on this and five other parcels, he was asked to return on December 2 and speak during the resumption of the hearing.
The agenda called for an informal discussion and update on progress at the Ten Acre Mall on Straits Turnpike, but no representatives were available to attend the meeting.
The Ten Acre Mall is the former home of Kmart. It has been undergoing renovations to create several smaller retail spaces within the old store.
Land Use Administrator Mark Massoud said he understood several tenants have already been signed, including Universal Gym, Napa Auto Parts and Ace Hardware.