Town Council Meeting – Thursday, September 1, 2022
The September 1, 2022 Meeting of the Barnstable Town Council was conducted in person. The public was able to attend in person or participate remotely in Public Comment or during a Public Hearing through Zoom. Town Council President Matthew Levesque opened the meeting asking Town Clerk Ann Quirk to take the roll call which was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. President Levesque offered the Moment of Silence in honor of longtime Hyannis Water Board Chair Stephen O’Neil and longtime Barnstable resident Gary Lopez who recently passed.
President Levesque next recognized Precinct 3 Town Councilor Paul Hebert who was attending his last meeting as a Barnstable Town Councilor with a clock plaque that read: Presented to Councilor Paul Hebert in honor of your 9 years of service to the residents of the Town of Barnstable, Town Councilor, Precinct 3, 2013-2022. Other Councilors joined in recognizing Councilor Hebert’s many efforts in the community serving vulnerable populations and the Town of Barnstable and as a Councilor including his term as Town Council President. Next up was Public Comment followed by Council Response to Public Comment. The Council then acted on the Public Session minutes and presented their Communications. The Town Council entered into EXECUTIVE SESSION pursuant to G.L. c. 30A, § 21(a)(3) to discuss strategy with respect to litigation since a discussion in open session may have a detrimental effect on the litigating position of the Town and Town Council. Specifically, the Council will discuss a lawsuit filed against the Town by TJA Clean Energy, LLC regarding claims under G.L. c. 40A, § 3(9) and returned to Open Session.
OLD BUSINESS began with Planning & Development’s Senior Planner Jim Kupfer presenting the rationale for Agenda Item 2022-034 Amending the Code of the Town of Barnstable, Part I, General Ordinances, Chapter 240 Zoning by expanding the Ground-Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Overlay District to include the property located at 810 Wakeby Road, Marstons Mills (Assessors’ Map 013 Parcels 004, 005, 052) and by requiring a special permit for large-scale Ground-Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations located within any Residential District located within the Overlay District. Town Attorney Karen Nober provided with guidance regarding how the Council could proceed with the item. Assistant Town Attorney Charles McLaughlin provided the rationale regarding possible amendments to the item. Building Commissioner Brian Florence provided additional information. A number of amendments were offered. A motion that Item No. 2022-034 be further amended by amending section 240-44.2 E. 4. (h)(v) by inserting after the word “mowing” the words “and/or pollinator friendly installations” as presented at this meeting was approved. A motion that Item No. 2022-034 be further amended by amending section 240-44.2 (F) 2 as follows and as presented at this meeting:
- By inserting after the word “lots,” the words “a minimum of 175 foot setback where residential dwelling unit exists within 50 feet of the property line shared by the subject property,”; and
- By adding the following sentence to the end of that section: “Undisturbed setback shall include the following, unless conditioned by the Planning Board: no removal or excavation of soil within the setback, no dumping or discharging of material within the setback, no motorized vehicles of any kind within the setback, no ongoing maintenance by anything other than an individual(s) removing debris by hand, and no other change in conditions to the setback unless reviewed and approved by the permit granting authority.”
The item was approved.
A motion that Item No. 2022-034 be further amended by amending section 240-44.2( F) 3 by inserting the following sentence before the last sentence of that section, as presented at this meeting: “Compliance with screening requirements that are conditions of a Special Permit shall be enforceable to the fullest extent permitted by law” was approved. Agenda Item 2022-034 as amended was approved.
Agenda Item 2022-034A which is a map amendment was approved. Cape Cod Gateway Airport Manager Katie Servis presented Agenda Item 2023-002 Supplemental Appropriation and Loan Order in the amount of $6,007,000 for the purpose of funding the reconstruction of Runway 6-24 Project at the Cape Cod Gateway Airport was approved. President Levesque took Agenda Item 2023-017 out of order. Finance Director Mark Milne presented a Resolve to approve the Appointment of Sean O’Brien, as Treasurer/Collector for the Town of Barnstable which was approved. During his comments, Mr. Milne recognized the efforts of Debra Blanchette Watson for her sixteen years of service to the Town which included the consolidation of the Treasurer and Collectors functions. Agenda Item 2023-004 Appointment to a Board/Committee/Commission: Council on Aging: Ellen Queeney, as a regular member to a term expiring 6/2025 was approved. Agenda Item 2023-005 Reappointments to a Board/Committee/Commission: Planning Board: Raymond Sexton, as a regular member to a term expiring 06/2025; Robert Twiss, as a regular member to a term expiring 06/2025; Sandy Neck Board: William Monroe, as a member at large to a term expiring 06/2025; William Carey, as a member at large to a term expiring 6/2025 was approved. Finance Director Milne returned to present Agenda Item 2023-008 Order accepting the Provisions of M.G.L. Chapter 59, Section 5N and amending Chapter 183 of the General Ordinances to add a Program for a Veterans Property Tax Work-Off Abatement. Major Greg Quilty of Veterans Services provided information in support of this item. The item was approved. Assistant DPW Director Rob Steen presented Agenda Item 2023-012 Appropriation Order in the amount of $62,000 for the purpose of funding the local match requirement for a Federal Grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Service in the amount of $320,000 for the Long Pond Fishway Project as outlined in the Fiscal Year 2023 – Fiscal Year 2027 Capital Improvement Plan and authorization to expend said grant was approved. Mr. Steen presented Agenda Item 2023-014 Appropriation Order for $150,000 for the purpose of funding the local match requirement and the authorization to expend a Federal Grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Service in the amount of $1,529,000 for the Upper Marstons Mills Fishway Project which was approved. Planning & Development Director Elizabeth Jenkins and John Kenney, Attorney for S&C Realty Investment Co., LLC, presented Agenda Item 2023-013 Authorizing the Town Manager to execute a Regulatory Agreement between the Town of Barnstable and S&C Realty Investment Co., LLC for 442 Main Street, Hyannis which was approved. Attorney McLaughlin presented Agenda Item 2023-016 Order to approve an Amendment to the Host Community Agreement between the Town of Barnstable and Park City Wind LLC (“HCA 2”) amending the Special Mitigation Provisions was approved. NEW BUSINESS resumed with Town Clerk Ann Quirk presenting the rationale for Agenda Item 2023-018 Resolve authorizing the Town Manager or the Police Chief as his designee to assign Police Officers at polling places which was approved. Barnstable Police Chief Matthew Sonnabend presented Agenda Items 2023-019 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2023 911 Department Support and Incentive Grant in the amount of $270,026 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Public Safety and Security; 2023-020 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2023 State 911 Department Training Grant in the amount of $22,743.95 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Public Safety and Security; 2023-021 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2023 State 911 Department Emergency Medical Dispatch grant in the amount of $16,584.46 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Public Safety and Security; 2023-027 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2023 Jail/Arrest Diversion Program Component Grant in the amount of $92,000 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Mental Health; and 2023-028 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2023 Jail/Arrest Diversion Program Co-Responder Grant in the amount of $99,000 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Mental Health all of which were approved. Agenda Item 2023-022 Appointments to a Board/Committee/Commission: Airport Commission: Mark Guiod, as a regular member, to a term expiring 06/2025: Human Services Committee: Kimberly Crocker Crowther as a representative member to a term expiring 06/2025; Land Acquisition and Preservation Committee: Katherine Gulliver, as a regular member to a term expiring 06/2025 received a First Reading and was referred to a Second Reading on September 15, 2022. Planning & Development Director Jenkins provided a brief overview of Agenda Item 2023-023 Amending the Code of the Town of Barnstable, Part I, General Ordinances, Article III, §240-39 by repealing and replacing the Shopping Center Redevelopment Overlay District which was referred to the Planning Board. Agenda Item 2023-024 Appropriation Order in the amount of $75,000 for the purpose of funding the local match requirement for a Federal Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service in the amount of $200,000 for design and construction of Stormwater Improvements at Old Shore Road, Cotuit was referred to a Public Hearing on September 15, 2022. Agenda Item 2023-025 Appropriation Order in the amount of $145,000 for the purpose of funding stormwater improvements at Shubael Pond, Marstons Mills was referred to a Public Hearing on September 15, 2022. Agenda Item 2023-026 Appropriation Order in the amount of $95,000 for the purpose of funding an Alum treatment for Shubael Pond, Marstons Mills referred to a Public Hearing on September 15, 2022. Assistant DPW Director Steen presented Agenda Item 2023-029 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2023 Coastal Zone Management Coastal Habitat and Water Quality Grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the amount of $27,000 for the Snows Creek Culvert Project which was approved. Given the late hour, Town Manager Mark Ells’ Town Manager Communications for the period of July 22-September 1, 2022 was abbreviated.
- Ann Quirk, Town Clerk, provided an Election update.
- Elizabeth Jenkins, Director of Planning & Development, provided an update on the Barnstable Local Comprehensive Plan.
The following items were submitted in writing:
- The Town will be celebrating “second summer” with a Community Fireworks display this Saturday, September 3rd at approximately 8:00 PM. The show will be presented from a barge in Lewis Bay over Hyannis Harbor by Atlas Fireworks. Veterans’ Beach and Kalmus Beach will both be open for viewing. The Kalmus Snack Bar will be open and there will be ice cream trucks at Veterans’. You can tune into FrankFM (93.5FM/94.7FM) and KoffeeFM (100.5FM) for the fireworks soundtrack during the display. A parking ban will be in effect south of South Street (Ocean Street, Old Colony Boulevard, Gosnold Street and all streets running off of Gosnold Street) from 5:00 PM to midnight to allow for pedestrian access. The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority is extending hours of their Hyannis Trolley service until after the fireworks event. The HyArts Artist Shanties will be open during the day at Bismore Park and the Harbor Overlook. Live music in the afternoon at Bismore Park and family activities are scheduled for the Overlook from 5:00-7:00 PM. Thank you to our staff from multiple departments, along with the Hyannis Fire Department, who have contributed to preparations for this event.
- As previously reported on July 20, 2022, the federal district court granted the Town’s motion to dismiss the Clean Water Act lawsuit filed against the Town by the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF). On August 17th, CLF filed a motion for reconsideration with the district court. The Town’s response to that motion is due September 7th. If the court denies CLF’s motion, CLF will have a new period of 30 days in which to appeal the Court’s decision granting the motion to dismiss. We will keep you advised as this matter progresses.
- We are proceeding with the budget action calendar for FY 2024. The action items in the budget calendar include the meetings of the School Committee held as they develop the FY 2024 proposed operating budget. As noted in the Budget Action Calendar a joint meeting of Town Council and School Committee is tentatively scheduled for October 20, 2022. We are also preparing the budget instruction for FY 2024 with a planned distribution on September 19, 2022. Our Finance Director has reported favorable budget results for the revenue and expenses in FY 2022. We will include context behind these numbers as part of the 5 year projection for FY24-FY28 that will be issued in the fall prior to the joint meeting of the Council and School Committee. For information on our fiscal year budgets please view the Town’s Open Budget website at http://budget.townofbarnstable.us.
- I attended the Barnstable Public Schools convocation on Monday, August 29, 2022 and Barnstable Public Schools began on Wednesday, August 31, 2022. Superintendent of Barnstable Public Schools Sara Ahern provided a welcoming introduction of herself and management team. Superintendent Ahern and I meet weekly and I anticipate frequent participation by Superintendent Ahern during Town Manager communications.
- On July 26, 2022, I provided the Board of Health an update regarding the proposed regulatory changes under consideration by the Department of Environmental Protection to Title 5. As previously reported on June 1, 2022, the Town of Barnstable was informed of regulatory revisions the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is developing to ensure that timely actions are taken to restore and protect coastal estuaries that have been impacted by excessive nitrogen pollution. The two regulatory approaches they developed and plan to publish for public comment shortly provide communities with choices on how to address the growing pollution problems affecting our waters. The two proposed changes involve (1) revising Title 5 regulations to establish “Nitrogen Sensitive Areas” (NSAs) for watersheds draining into an estuary where there is an EPA-approved “Total Maximum Daily Load,” which finds that the estuary is impaired by nitrogen and (2) a regulatory revision to formally establish the “watershed permit.” These permits are 20-year permits that are based on long-term wastewater plans that will achieve water quality goals and provide communities the opportunity to utilize a range of approaches, including centralized sewer treatment and innovative approaches. We met with MassDEP on July 6, 2022 to further discuss these proposed changes and we have drafted a letter summarizing our comments on the proposed changes for MassDEP’s consideration as they finalize their draft regulations. We submitted written comments on the presentation and anticipate participation in draft review of proposed regulations as soon as such draft regulations are issued. I have suggested that MassDEP present said draft changes to a joint meeting of the Town Council and Barnstable Board of Health as these changes are significant and merit such a presentation. We will keep you advised as these important regulatory revisions progress.
- The Harbormaster Division within Marine and Environmental Affairs will be holding a lottery drawing for three of its currently closed mooring waitlists. The lottery will open September 15th at 1 PM and close October 1st at Midnight. The winners will be drawn at random on October 5th at 1 PM. The following locations have been selected for this lottery along with the number of names that will be drawn: Cotuit Town Dock/Ropes, Cotuit Oyster Company/Cordwood, and Prince Cove. For more information please log onto the Town of Barnstable website or call 508-790-6279.
- The Housing Production Plan update effort recently concluded a series of ten (10) Focus Groups that were all well-attended. The consultant team is currently working with staff to schedule additional interviews and to complete the housing needs assessment for the Town. The findings of these early public outreach and data collection efforts will be presented at a Community Forum on September 21st at 6:00 PM at the Barnstable Adult Community Center. This forum will be an in-person meeting; a Zoom webinar format will be accessible for remote participation and engagement by the public, as well.
Agenda Chaptering is not currently available for this meeting. The next regularly scheduled Town Council Meeting will be held on Thursday, September 15, 2022. The public is able to view through Comcast Channel 18 or Live Streaming on the Town of Barnstable’s website. Real-time public comment may be addressed to the Barnstable Town Council utilizing the Zoom video link or telephone number and access meeting code which will be included on the Agenda. Written Comments may be submitted to: https://tobweb.town.barnstable.ma.us/boardscommittees/towncouncil/Town_Council/Agenda-Comment.asp. The meeting Agenda will be available on the Town of Barnstable’s website (www.townofbarnstable.us).