Published in the March 30, 2016 edition
By MAUREEN DOHERTY
LYNNFIELD — On Tuesday night, the Planning Board continued the public hearing on the definitive subdivision plan for Violet Circle off 15 Apple Hill Lane to Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m.
No discussion on the application proposed by Marco Tammaro took place. Planning Board Chairman John Faria explained to the full house of abutters and neighbors present that they could not discuss the application or accept any comments from the audience because they had learned late Tuesday afternoon that the hearing must be continued due to the need to adhere to the provisions of the “the Mullin Rule.”
Faria explained that the Mullin Rule states decisions by planning boards on subdivision plans are an adjudicatory proceeding, therefore, the members of a board who vote on such plans must attend the public hearings during which the plan was discussed. In order for a vote to be valid, a quorum of that board is also required.
The Planning Board is a five-member board but only four members were present on Tuesday. Member Charles Wills was not at the meeting.
Faria said Tuesday night’s meeting was also the last meeting for member Dick Dalton, who is stepping down to run for Selectman in the April 11 town election. Therefore Dalton will no longer be a member of the board when a decision is made at a later date. Additionally, member Alan Dresios may or may not be a member of the Planning Board after April 11, depending on whether he runs a successful write-in campaign.
This left only two members, Faria and Heather Sievers, but three members are needed to form a quorum. In addition to voting to continue the public hearing to April 27 the board also accepted a request for a continuance on the date a decision is due by the Planning Board to June 30, 2016. The applicant’s attorneys, Jay and Jason Kimball, stated that this extension of time was required to avoid having the subdivision constructively approved on April 1, 2016, based on the length of time that has elapsed since the public hearing process was opened.