COLUMN: FROM THE REGION
ZBA to hear appeals over controversial farm
NORTHBORO - The Zoning Board of Appeals will hear three appeals tonight by Santo Anza of board decisions regarding the use of his Whitney Street properties.
Meanwhile, Mr. Anza, who has an office at 38 Turnpike Road, Southboro, was arraigned in Westboro District Court last week, charged with assault and threat to commit a crime in an encounter with a neighbor and former Planning Board member in December.
Dozens of residents earlier this year attended Planning Board and ZBA meetings to try to stop Mr. Anza from operating SA Farm. Mr. Anza bought the 15.7 acres on Whitney Street in August 2009 and registered it with the secretary of state's office as a commercial livestock farm. Residents claim the farm is basically a cover for a lucrative composting operation and construction debris landfill.
The ZBA in February allowed Mr. Anza to continue his operation but issued a cease-and-desist order to prevent him from dumping additional fill on the site. He allegedly had brought more than 65,000 yards of fill to the property.
The board also upheld the zoning enforcement officer's determination that SA Farm is a farm. Three of the five ZBA members agreed that the primary use of SA Farm is not agricultural, but overturning the enforcement officer's ruling would have required four of the five board members to vote that the primary use is not agricultural.
Residents also wanted all of the fill on the site to be removed, but the board agreed not to require removal of the fill.
Mr. Anza is appealing the cease-and-desist order.
The other two appeals involve Mr. Anza's plan to set up a contractor's yard on 429 Whitney St. and 432 Whitney St., which he also owns.
A contractor's yard is allowed by right in the industrial zone, but he wanted to process wood and rock on the property, which is not allowed.
Although the decisions were issued by the ZBA, the first step in an appeal is a hearing before the ZBA. That hearing will be held at 7 p.m. at the Robert Melican Middle School.
Clerk says clerical error to blame for discrepancy
TEMPLETON - Town Clerk Carol Harris will lead election training in the near future in the hope of avoiding the kind of error that caused significant differences between the vote count for a race for Board of Selectmen on May 2 and the recount on Thursday.
The race for selectmen was between five candidates for two positions. On May 2, Julie Farrell was...