Monthly Archives: November 2016

E-cig explosions burn users


This today in my daily updates from the American Association for Justice –

Two lawsuits in Florida seek to hold vape retailers, manufacturers liable for burn injuries.

The Orlando (FL) Sentinel (11/28, Brinkmann, 684K) reports a lawsuit pending in Volusia Circuit Court in Florida seeks to hold the Sunshine Vapor vape shop, “along with Kangertech and Perfect Vape,” liable for an e-cigarette explosion that sent user James Dardini to the hospital for burns suffered in December 2015. A second lawsuit handled by the same attorney seeks to hold Destin, Florida vape shops the Vape Master, Nitecore Store, and Uvaper LLC liable for burns user James Lauria suffered in July 2015.

Group homes to avoid the Mega-B


Building affordable housing via group homes so as to avoid the Mega-B

This morning I met with the Riverside Community Care CEO, Scott Bock, and its VP of Real Estate and Facilities Management, Chris Burke, along with Mike Sullivan, Kristine Trierweiler, and Jeff Marsden.  We were exploring the town assisting Riverside to locate a group home in Medfield.  The town is especially interested at the moment as we gets credit for each bed in a group home as an affordable housing unit, and hence group home beds could assist the town in building the twenty-one affordable units per year we need to build to have a safe harbor from unfriendly 40Bs.

Riverside Community Care stated that while they want to create a four bed group home in Medfield, the housing costs here make it hard for them to do.  They can buy the same house in Bellingham for less money, so there is a financial gap that needs to be closed for them to afford to create a group home in town.

Riverside needs a 2500 sq. ft. to 3000 sq. ft. home for its four TBI clients, and Chris Burke figures on $150/sq. ft. for construction costs, so around $450,000 for build out.  However, the economics require that the property, all in, only cost Riverside about $500,000,

If Riverside stretched, we ball parked the financial gap at about $300,000 to $400,000 per group home, that would need to be filled by creative financing means.  A direct town payment is too problematic and difficult to achieve (a town meeting vote is needed), so private monies seem to be the most likely means by which it can be done.

The Larkins’ 40B on Hospital Road is slated to give the town twelve affordable units in 2017, if it gets approved, so we would need nine more affordable units in 2017 to be protected for a year.  I have been focusing on group home beds due to my understanding that they would count as soon as the building permits were pulled, and because group homes have been held by case law to be exempt from local zoning as “education uses,” the agencies can go directly to pull a building permit without needing other permitting from the Zoning Board of Appeals or the Planning Board.

If the town can protect itself by creating the twenty-one affordable units the first year, the town still needs to be diligently exploring a myriad of other alternatives for the out years, but I favor the Tilden Village expansion of 40+ units to give us protection for years two and three.  In later years beyond that we will even have enough time to start to explore the use of town owned land.

This morning I gave Riverside a list of eight properties, four of which are on the market starting at $500,000, and four of which are not on the market, but which might work.

The possible ways to bridge the financial gap that we discussed included:

  • land donation, with tax deductions to the owners
  • money donations
  • private fund raising


Owners of single family homes in the downtown RU district, who have enough land, can create a two-family house as of right, just by pulling a building permit, so if there are any such home owners in the RU district who would like to have the extra income from allowing a group home to be added onto their existing home, as their “second house” for their two-family, in their own back yard, they should get in touch with me.


DHCD corrects HPP date

When the Department of Housing and Community Development(DHCD) approved the Town’s Housing Production Plan this past month, it incorrectly stated the effective date in it approval.  Today the DHCD corrected that error with a new letter (copy attached below) noting the correct date.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Charles D. Baker, Governor + Karyn E. Polito, Lt. Governor + Chrystal Kornegay, Undersecretary November 28, 2016 Mr. Mark Fisher, Chairman Medfield Board of Selectman Town House/ 459 Main Street 02052 Dear Mr. Fisher: The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) approves the Town of Medfield's Housing Production Plan (HPP) pursuant to 760 CMR 56.03(4). The effective date forthe HPP is October 19, 2016, the date that DHCD received a complete plan submission. The HPP has a five year term and will expire on October 18, 2021. Approval of your HPP allows the Town to request DHCD's Certification of Municipal Compliance when: • Housing units affordable to low and moderate income households have been produced during one calendar year, totaling at least 0.5% (21 units) of year round housing units. • All units produced are eligible to be counted on the Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHl). If you have questions about eligibility for the SHl, please visit our website at: • All units have been produced in accordance with the approved HPP and DHCD Guidelines. I applaud your efforts to plan for the housing needs of Medfield. Please contact Phillip DeMartino, Technical Assistance Coordinator, at (617) 573-1357 or, if you need assistance as you implement your HPP. Sincerely, Louis Martin Associate Director cc Senator James E. Timilty Representative Shawn Dooley Representative Denise C. Garlick Sarah Raposa, Town Plarmer, Medfield Osler. L. Peterson, Clerk, Board of Selectman, Medfield Michael J. Sullivan, Town Administrator, Medfield Wright C. Dickenson, Chair, Planning Board, Medfield Stephen M. Nolan, Chair, Affordable Housing Committee, Medfield 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 300 Boston, Massachusetts 02114 617.573.1100

Office hours this Friday at 9


Office Hours Friday at 9AM

I hold regular monthly office hours at The Center on the first Friday of every month from 9:00 to 10:00 AM (my litigation schedule permitting).

Residents are welcome to stop by to talk in person about any town matters.  Residents can also have coffee and see the Council on Aging in action (a vibrant organization with lots going on).

I can be reached via 508-359-9190 or this blog, where any schedule changes will be posted.

Animal Control Study Committee

The newly formed Medfield Animal Control Study Committee held its first meeting.  Good people staffing this committee looking at solving existing issues in a realistic manner.  But if it is about peoples’ dogs, people will have strong opinions.

Medfield Animal Control Study Committee Meeting #1 Draft Minutes prepared 11-21-16 for: October 13, 2016 11:00 AM Medfield Town Hall Addendees Members: John Thompson, Chair present Robert LaPlante, MACO present Jenny Cronin, MACO present Kevin Ryder, MP & R away Carol Mayer, Town Clerk present Ryan Thomas present Rosemary O’Brien present OLD: None – first meeting. NEW: 1. Introductions – Scope of our work. Discussed why the committee was formed and the need to formulate a problem statement: The costs for animal control management likely outweigh the revenue from licensing and ticketing. Enforcement of the existing town bylaw is difficult because the existing bylaw related to “control” is vague. Follow up with violations/ticketing is time consuming and not worthwhile due to low cost penalty amounts. Action-required incident statistics are not readily available, therefore quantifying cost vs. revenue and number and type of incidents over time is difficult. Pet waste management has become a concern in our recreational areas. 2. What information do we want to collect? List, Assign Discussion regarding collection of licensing and fee data from the town and surrounding communities Action: RL to report next meeting including program line item costs in adjacent communities vs Medfield. Collect information on whether similar population communities have leash law or not. . Discussion regarding incident and ticketing data and current process for ticketing from call to reporting to quarantine procedures. Action: RL and JC to report next meeting, 3 years of data sought. Further discussion regarding tagging program, cost of licensing and waste management and potential best management practices. Action: Table action to future meetings. Discussion regarding deficit spending/ cost of enforcement and effectiveness of enforcement. Action: RL, JC and CM to estimate cost of animal control management overall initial report next meeting. 3. Where what part of town should we consider? Discussion regarding recreational spaces of concern include: Wheelock School Area Noon Hill Medfield State Hospital & McCarthy Park Rocky Woods Swim Pond Area Action: Continue discussion or location related ideas at next meeting. 4. Next Meeting? November 28, 2016 at Town Hall at 11:00 AM20161113-acsc-minutes_page_2

Comment sought, by 12/1



This email today from the Superintendent:

I know many of you were involved in the focus groups and the survey over the past 10 months. The School Committee and I wanted to share the draft of our strategic plan ( “Medfield 2021”) with all of you. We are conducting a public comment period until December 1st and plan to vote the final draft on December 5th. Please click here if you would like to give us feedback.


Thanks for your support and Happy Thanksgiving!



Jeffrey J. Marsden, Ed.D


Medfield Public Schools

Medfield 2021 – schools issue strategic plan



Email from the Superintendent below:

I know many of you were involved in the focus groups and the survey over the past 10 months. The School Committee and I wanted to share the draft of our strategic plan ( “Medfield 2021”) with all of you. We are conducting a public comment period until December 1st and plan to vote the final draft on December 5th. Please click here if you would like to give us feedback.


Thanks for your support and Happy Thanksgiving!



Jeffrey J. Marsden, Ed.D


Medfield Public Schools