TOWNSEND — Rules are rules, and they’re not made to be broken.
During the Planning Board’s meeting on Monday, members of the town’s Congregational Church, 3 Brookline St., sat before the board in hopes their application to convey a section of the church grounds to Terrance McNabb, owner of McNabb Pharmacy in Townsend, would be approved.
The plan was presented under Section 81L with the purpose of dividing two existing buildings, Nos. 1 and 3, which are located in an area commonly owned by the church.
Unfortunately, the blueprints illustrated by Ross Associates and its representative, attorney Thomas Gustafson, did not meet ANR (Approval Not Required) conditions. Therefore, the board was forced to suspend discussion of the application until its next meeting on Nov. 29.
“I have an issue with calling the 12,000-square-foot area a lot,” said board Vice Chairman Jeff Peduzzi. “The acreage is not adequate.”
Within the application, the section intended for conveyance was identified as a “lot.” The issue indicated by the board was that the area of land instead resembled a “parcel.” Peduzzi said 15,000 square foot is the minimum space to be considered a lot. Together the two areas of the church form about 51,000 square feet, but after the division, one of the two sections is only 12,000 square feet.
According to town regulations on all plans, any area of land that does not meet the current frontage, acreage or other dimensional zoning requirements should be labeled a “parcel.” Likewise, any area of land that does meet the dimensional requirements should be considered a lot.
Associate member Chris Jones pointed out a key difference between the two. He said that when the piece of land is considered a lot, building is permitted on it, but on a parcel it’s not.
“Today, it does not meet the requirements set forth by our rules and regulations as a lot. It fully meets it as a parcel, but not as a lot,” said Peduzzi.
The Planning Board reserves the right to reject an application based on its incompleteness. A motion was made to hold the application open, pending a corporate vote and revision of the land description. The discussion will be re-addressed on Nov. 29 and if approved, the application will be filed on the following day, Nov. 30, through the town clerk’s Office.