A cidery is coming to Milton.
The Kent Family Farm’s proposal to expand its fruit farm to include a cider brewery was approved by the Town of Marlborough Planning Board with flying colors June 6.
Only one board member refrained from giving the proposal the OK — Steve Clarke opted to abstain from the vote, stating that two neighbors were “too close” to the property for him to make a decision. One of the farm’s neighbors had appeared before the Planning Board at its public hearing last month to voice a plethora of concerns, including noise and street safety.
Ahead of the approval, the 178 North Road family farm’s representative Patrica Brooks reported that there had been a handful of revisions to the site plan since the last meeting.
“We revised what was proposed septic to engineered septic area,” Brooks listed off. “We removed water tanks from the trees that were located inside of it. We added the site distance from the axis on Church Street. We showed the access to the agricultural building to the handicapped parking spaces. Our terminology we changed … handicapped parking to accessible parking and we added a note on the map that all events needed to be in accordance with Ag & Markets event regulations.”
Board member Manny Cauchi questioned the traffic safety for “the overflow in car activity there.” He mentioned additional signage on the roads, as well as speed limit enforcement, which board attorney Jeff Battistoni said were issues that fell within police and highway superintendent jurisdiction rather than within the Planning Board. Brooks hopped on to ensure that pedestrian safety was at top of mind; measures had been taken to keep visitors off the road, such as positioning the walking path within the property rather than alongside its edges.
The board did add a motion to its resolution, however, that Highway Superintendent John Alonge sign off on the surface of and the signage of the access points.
Also included in the resolution was language clearly stating that the Kents were not authorized to operate a restaurant on the property because they had not applied for that permit. However, state law requires establishments that sell alcohol for on-premise consumption to make food available, such as cheese, fruits and crackers. The need could be fulfilled by catering businesses and food trucks as well.
At the tail end of the meeting, the Planning Board briefly discussed the status of their site plan review. An applicant agreed to test drive the board’s new conceptual site plan, but hadn’t been able to gather his documents in time for the meeting. In the meantime, board member James Garofalo, who had been spearheading the revitalization process, agreed to create another provision in the plans to include solar projects on homeowner properties.
The idea was brought up after Cindy Lanzetta mentioned the Zoning Board of Appeals is looking at a solar panel array that was pre-standing in a home’s front yard, which is considered an accessory use, but was not in compliance with the new solar code. The homeowners were required to appear before the Planning Board for a site plan before erecting the panels.
“It’s laid out in the code, basically. It’s a very simple outline,” assured Lanzetta.