Did the ZBA go too far?

The Planning Board last week questioned whether the Zoning Board of Appeals overstepped its jurisdiction on a proposed development at 40 Southville Road.

The Capital Group, a Southborough-based real estate development company, went to the ZBA seeking a variance for the setback on an 8,000-square-foot, office/warehouse complex they plan to build on Southville Road. They got the variance, but they also got a list of 33 conditions they must comply with.

The conditions attached to the variance were developed with input from Southville Road residents and cover everything from landscaping to the size of the dumpster to mailbox placement.

Planning Board Vice-Chair Donald C. Morris questioned whether the ZBA has the authority to impose such restrictions. “What does a dumpster have to do with a setback?” he asked. “The ZBA went so far beyond their jurisdiction, something has to be done.”

The Planning Board decided to take the issue to town counsel to determine the appropriateness of the ZBA’s actions.

Morris expressed concerns about the legality of some of the conditions, calling out in particular one that puts restrictions on what could be built on the lot if the building is ever removed.

“A lot of these we would have done anyway in the course of normal business,” William Depietri, Capital Group president, said.

The public hearing on 40 Southville was continued to February to allow time for the Planning Board to consult town counsel.

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