Falmouth Planning Board Split Over Whether To Allow Expansion Of Route 151 Facility

Falmouth Planning Board discussed a request from Carl F. Cavossa Jr. to modify the permit at his Route 151 business. He has already expanded the business beyond what was specified, and Mr. Cavossa hopes to modify his permit to allow for those and future activities.

“I understand this type of businesses is needed in Falmouth,” chairman of the board Patricia H. Kerfoot said, “but I don’t know of a bylaw that it would fit under.”

Mr. Cavossa has requested a modification to his special permit granted by the planning board in 2002. He hopes to extend the time of operation of the site to unlimited hours; be permitted to house more trucks and other equipment on the site, and to add the storage of commercial hauling dumpsters to what has already been permitted for construction and demolition dumpsters.

The board will wait until its next hearing to vote on a motion.

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Under current town code, the modification to the permit does not fit under a current bylaw. No bylaw allows for commercial trash hauling storage in a contractor’s yard, Ms. Kerfoot said.

Board members James E. Fox and Robert J. Leary said they had no problem with the storage of commercial dumpsters on the site. They said they believed them to be similar enough to construction and demolition dumpsters to allow it. As long as Mr. Cavossa was not leaving trash on the site or using the facility as a transfer station, Mr. Leary said that he was fine with the modification.

“We need this type of business,” he added. “We don’t have local landfills like we used to.”

Board member Douglas C. Brown questioned the precedent that would be set for future contractor businesses. Mr. Brown said that he thought Mr. Cavossa’s business fit the lot where it is located. It is zoned for agricultural use and is near the intersection of two state highways. There is a minimal amount of residentially zoned land in the area. But if they granted another business the same request in an agriculturally zoned area, there is the possibility that it would bother residents in those areas, he said.

Mr. Brown concluded, however, that the board could review any new businesses hoping to build a contractor’s yard and business on an agriculturally zoned parcel, and the board could choose to allow the new business then.

“This business is needed but we don’t have the land for it,” he said. There are minimal industrial zones in Falmouth, he said.

Board member Ralph E. Herbst proposed that the board grant Mr. Cavossa permission to use the site as a storage site for commercial trash, only for a limited amount of time. The board could revisit the decision if abutters filed complaints.

While waiting to follow up on the permit, the board could work on a bylaw change for Town Meeting that would allow for commercial haulers to operate out of contractor’s yards.

The board rejected Mr. Cavossa’s request to operate his waste hauling business beginning at 2 AM, but decided to allow him to expand his hours to between 5 AM and 10 PM.

The Falmouth Board of Health recently granted Mr. Cavossa a permit to collect trash as early as 2 AM. Mr. Herbst said that he did not condone trash collection that early, because board members hoped to encourage residential development in commercial areas in the future. The noise from Mr. Cavossa’s trucks at this hour would interfere with sleep of these residents.

The board decided that unlimited equipment stored on the plot would not be allowed either. Mr. Fox said that they should allow no more than 30 percent of the plot to be reserved for mechanical equipment.

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