All members were present for the Thursday, October 1 meeting of the Halifax Planning Board. The first order of business was an appointment with Larry MacDonald who was requesting a site plan review waiver. MacDonald, who said that much of Halifax’s takeout option is limited to pizza, said he plans to operate a food truck called “Local Larry’s Tacos.” MacDonald said that the 24’ by 8’ trailer will be located in a parking lot on 546 Plymouth St. MacDonald plans to operate the business, which will not be a permanent setup, three days a week. He said that weekday hours would likely include lunch until dinner and weekend hours would include breakfast and lunch. The food truck will operate strictly as a takeout business and will not include outdoor seating of any kind.
MacDonald who is a resident of the town and has his ServSafe Certification said, “I’m just trying to give the town something new, you know… I noticed the town didn’t have tacos in it.” The general consensus from the Planning Board was that they were okay with allowing a waiver though they did request paperwork showing name, address, and a permit from the Board of Health. They agreed to meet with MacDonald again at their next meeting after they’ve had a chance to review his submissions.
The second appointment of the evening was with Joe Webby of Webby Engineering. Webby was there to propose the creation of two new lots on 279 Wood St. Webby said there is currently a dwelling on Lot 3 and the hope is to create Lots 1 and 2. The Board voted to approve the request.
The Board also discussed whether to require that the meeting minutes are written verbatim or if that requirement should be limited to hearings. The Board agreed to continue handling the minutes as they have always done in a more generic manner while they would like to see public hearings written verbatim.
Board member Alan Dias brought up the two articles pertaining to the Planning Board that were on the warrant at town meeting. Article 48 which pertained to the multi-family bylaw was passed over by the selectmen. Article 49 was approved at town meeting and changed the current zoning for marijuana establishments from industrial to industrial business. The Planning Board had previously voted 3-1 against the zoning change but was overruled by the vote at town meeting. Dias told his fellow board members that they could potentially be looking at site plans for marijuana establishments. He said they currently have no fee structure or process for inspections. Dias said that he wasn’t sure it was necessary to change the by-law but did feel that the Board should put a policy in place that would allow for things such as follow-up inspections to check on things like change of use.
Member Gordon R. Andrews pointed out that there is oversight in the form of the Building Department. Dias said that the Building Department doesn’t have annual inspections and also said that they are currently overwhelmed with responsibilities.
The Board also discussed the Complete Streets Program. The Highway Surveyor was contacted to find out which areas had the greatest need for improvement. Steve Hayward identified the intersections at Plymouth St. and Pine St. and Holmes St. and Oak St. as being problematic. The Board agreed that many accidents have occurred at those intersections in the last few years. They also mentioned the success of the blinking red light on the end of Walnut St.