The Community Planning and Development Commission (CPDC) voted 5-0 to grant a special permit to K9 Top Performance at 335 Main Street on Monday, April 8. The business already has a proper animal training and kennel permit for the site but is looking to expand into the front area of the building recently vacated by a dance studio. A permit is required to allow the expanded use. The dog training and kennel business has been in operation for ten years and believes the expansion will help grow its business. Business owner Steve Roberts indicated that there would be little change to the physical layout of the space from what the dance studio developed, though customer progression through the facility may change, to help prevent dogs from encountering one another. Roberts also indicated that he may appear before the board in the near future for a new sign permit. When asked by Commission member Anthony D’Arezzo about sharing parking with the abutting Bagel World, Roberts shared frustration regarding customers of Bagel World who park in his marked parking spots and leave trash all over his lot. Roberts has reached out to the owner of Bagel World to seek a better arrangement, but Bagel World ownership has not been not responsive to his calls.
CPDC also voted 5-0 to grant a certificate of appropriateness for a new sign at 648 Main Street. The business, formerly known as Town Pizza has been purchased by a new owner and renamed as Nella’s Pizza. The new ownership wants to place a new sign on the building indicating the name change. The new sign originally was presented to have a black background with yellow lettering and a logo. Commission member Nicholas Safina suggested that gold lettering would fit with the rest of the nearby business signs more effectively. The owners quickly agreed to the change.
The scheduled continued hearings for developments at 116 West Street and at 135-139 and 141R Howard Street were continued to May 13 at the requests of the developers. A scheduled continued hearing for a new building at 258-262 Main Street was also continued to May 13 at the developer’s request. CPDC continued its work on amended zoning regulation proposals for November Town Meeting including tightening the definitions between substances containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and those like cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp which do not contain the drug. Assistant Town Manager Jean Delios indicated that the Board of Health has been consulted, but has not yet discussed the issue. Concern was expressed that the current definitions may be confusing and lead to extended confused debate at Town Meeting. Chair John Weston recognizing that the industry still is one that developing and evolving, cautioned against changing the definitions to differ from those stated in Massachusetts General Law. The current plan is to offer Town Meeting the option of two different zoning regulations to choose from, one that allows the substances to be sold in town and one that prohibits businesses from selling the substances.
CPDC also continued its discussion regarding potential zoning amendments that might encourage mixed-use development in business zones such as South Main Street. At issue were items such as lot size requirements, rules regarding the percentage of commercial use needed in a building, and street setbacks. These proposed amendments are also planned for the November Town Meeting.
CPDC adjourned at 9:35 pm.