Annual Report - 2015

Planning Board

2015 Annual Report

At the 2015 May Annual Town Meeting, voters authorized funding to allow the Planning Board to contract the professional services of Judi Barrett, Director of Municipal Services, from RKG Associates, to assist the Town of Ayer’s efforts to update the current Zoning Bylaw.   

Zoning is an important tool for communities.  Timely review of the bylaws assures that they not only remain up-to-date but are effective in achieving a community's goals.

Substantive changes include:

  • Mixed-Use Transition District
  • Downtown Business District
  • Parking requirements overhauled and updated
    • Provisions for alternate transportation parking
    • Waivers and exemptions for issue in the downtown area
    • Shared and off-site parking provisions
  • More effective, flexible cluster development bylaw
  • Inclusionary zoning
  • Aquifer Protection Overlay District Special Permit Granting Authority Update
  • Landscaping & OS standards for nonresidential development

Planning Board meetings are held on the 1st Thursday of the month at 6:00 PM in the Selectmen’s Meeting, Town Hall,  1 Main Street.   Agendas are posted at Town Hall, and also on the town Web site,

Highlights from 2015’s work

The Planning Board conducted Site Plan Review for eight (8) applicants and held discussions relating to commercial development and redevelopment of the following properties:

  • 39 Westford Road -  National Grid (Expansion/Utility Yard)
  • 19 Fitchburg Road – -Family Dollar Store (New Construction/Retail Store)
  • 1 Nemco Way - Catania Spagna – (Building Expansion)
  • 22 Fitchburg Rd - Shop n' Save (Expansion/Food Market)
  • 31 Willow Road - Peter Central LLC (Building Expansion/Parking Modification)
  • 15 Littleton Rd - Global Montello Group  (New Construction/Retail Motor Fuel Outlet)
  • 215 W. Main St – Calco (New Construction/Storage Facility)
  • Habitat for Humanity – (New Construction/Two Family Dwelling)

Additionally (4) ANR (Approval Not Required) plans were endorsed by the Planning Board involving both commercial and residential subdivision of the following parcels:

  • 179 W. Main St  (General Business) – Endorsed Plan / Unbuildable Lot
  • 217 W. Main St (General Business) – Endorsed Plan /Lot Line Modification
  • Snake Hill Rd Lot 3 (Residential A-1) – Endorsed Plan/ Unbuildable Lot
  • * 83 Washington St (Residential A-1) – Constructive Approval /New Buildable Lot

The Planning Board also took the following actions to the previously approved definitive subdivisions in accordance with the Town of Ayer Subdivision Control Regulations:

  • Nashua St Extenstion - Plan Endorsement & Decision *Constructive Approval Granted 2014
  • Kohler Place – Establishment of Bond
  • 67 Groton School Road – Definitive Subdivision Conditional Approval

This year also saw some changes in Board membership.  Two members resigned, those seats were subsequently filled.

  • Jim Lucchesi departed in January.  Geoffrey Tillotson was elected to complete this term
  • Kyle Gordon resigned June.  Mark Fermanian has filled this seat by Appointment by the Board of Selectmen

The Planning Board would like to express its gratitude to each member for their service to the Town of Ayer.

In 2015 the Planning Board worked closely with the Town Administrator and the Board of Selectmen to provide additional administrative staffing support.  The Planning Board expresses its appreciation to Chairman Jeremy Callahan for providing administrative assistance while the town was working to implement a staffing for a solution for the Board.

In closing, we wish to thank Mrs. Jane Morriss, our recording secretary, who takes our minutes.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jeremy Callahan, Chairman
Jenn Gibbons, Vice Chair  
Geoffrey Tillotson, Member
Mark Fermanian, Member