Another appeal has been filed on Park Central. This time, developer Bill Depietri is asking the court to overrule a Zoning Board of Appeals decision.
The suit filed in Worcester Land Court claims that the Site Plan for Park Central was constructively approved. The appeal also alleges that the ZBA denied Depietri fair process by including a member who “was a predisposed opponent of the project”.
As part of the complaint, Depietri is alleging that ZBA alternate member Debbie DuMuria was unable to act impartially. It furthers that she tainted the hearing and deliberations by influencing other members.
The complaint filed on June 19th is mainly a re-assertion that after the Planning Board denied the Site Plan last fall, it was constructively approved on a technicality.
Last October, the Planning Board called the Site Plan insufficient and asked to extend the deadline for more information and further review. Depietri accused the board of being obstructive, refused the request and walked out. The board claimed they had three choices: deny the plan, approve an insufficient request, or allow it to become constructively approved.
In front of Depeitri’s Attorney Angelo Catanzaro, the board voted to deny the plan.
Catanzaro later argued that the board’s delay in writing up the decision caused the Site Plan to be constructively approved. It’s an argument that he made to ZBA members earlier this year. The ZBA’s vote denying that claim is the decision under appeal.
ZBA members said they couldn’t see allowing the Planning Board’s denial to be ignored on a technicality. And they argued that Catanzaro was misinterpreting the bylaw. The board voted that the plan wasn’t constructively approved.
However, they did in part side with the developer. The ZBA voted to overturn Planning’s denial of the Site Plan. The board remanded the decision back to Planning for a new review. That was to take place after the developer works out disputes with the Conservation Commission.*
You can read the full complaint here.
You can read my past coverage of the ruling being appealed here.
*Since that decision was made in May, Depietri has also filed an appeal against the Conservation Commission’s Order of Conditions denial. It was an action that Depietri told the ZBA was coming.