Planning Board wants more details about Cornell’s outdoor expansion plan

204
Cornell's temporary outdoor seating area
Cornell’s is looking to have its temporary outdoor seating area made permanent. PHOTO/JERRY SPAR

The plan for a permanent outdoor expansion at Cornell’s Irish Pub will require more details before the Planning Board votes whether or not to sign off on it, board members decided Monday.

The expansion already was approved by the Select Board on Jan. 26.

However, principal planner John Gelcich said, the establishment’s owners, despite being repeatedly informed that they also needed to submit documents and receive approval from the Planning Board, did not provide enough detail to the board. Additionally, no representative from Cornell’s appeared at Monday’s meeting.

Some board members initially expressed a desire to approve the plan, but vice chair Rob Benson pushed to have the Design Review Board take a look at it first.

“I just don’t know any drawback to not have the Design Review Board review this and then come back to the Planning Board for a vote,” he said. “I don’t see any negative. I don’t think it’s going to impact the business. … I don’t think they’re going to construct a fence in February.”

Added Benson: “This business has been in Hopkinton … for almost 50 years there. Everybody wants to see it do well, survive. But I don’t see circumventing a normal process.”

Gelcich said Cornell’s has not yet provided enough information for the Design Review Board to do what’s being asked of it.

“I’m a little concerned that the Design Review Board is going to have nothing to review,” he said. “There’s going to be no details about the fence, no details about the bollards, no details about any of the design of the site plan. … It’s not a reason for them to not go to Design Review Board. I just wanted to make that clear to the board, that if you’re hoping for a result, there may not be one.”

The concerns the Planning Board has deal with noise management, the location of proposed bollards in the parking spaces, fencing around the seating area, drainage in the parking lot, changes to parking spots and lighting.

After a unanimous vote to have the Design Review Board look over the plans at an upcoming meeting, the hearing was continued to March 1.

Board settles on plantings, bond for Whisper Way

In other Planning Board news, the board closed out some items related to the Whisper Way development off Wood Street. Following a site walk that included members of the Planning Board, representatives of town engineering consultant BETA and the developer, an agreement was reached for additional trees to be planted. The developer, Chris Nation, previously stated that there was not enough room to plant as many trees as initially planned.

“We had a good meeting [at the site walk], discussed lots of things, and came up with what I’ll call a compromise to add five street trees,” board member Dave Paul said.

The board then unanimously voted to adjust the performance guarantee estimate for the development to $98,235, and, pending receipt of the bond, released three house lots in the development so that the homes can be sold. …

Board members also voted to approve changes to the Planning Board’s submission requirements and procedures. Among the adjustments are a rule that directs applicants to coordinate with town professional staff before bringing an item before the board. Changes also are related to applications dealing with open space mixed-use development (OSMUD), neighborhood mixed use (NMU), site plan review, storm water, earth removal, garden apartments, village housing and flexible community development. The changes do not have to go before Town Meeting.

Hopkinton Independent house ad