Walpole Zoning Board of Adjustment
Minutes: November 19, 2014
Present: Board Members: Chair Myra Mansouri, Clerk Ernie Vose, Jan Galloway Le Clerc.
Alternates: Stephanie Stoughton, Bob Anderson, Judy Trow.
Absent: Peggy Pschirrer, Mary Therese Lester.,
Recording: Marilou Blaine.
These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the December 15, 2014, meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.
Roll Call: Ms. Mansouri called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. All three Alternates were needed to form a five-member board.
Minutes: Mr. Vose made a motion to approve the minutes as written. Ms. Trow seconded it and the board approved the motion.
New business: B&B: Ms. Laura M. Larsen, who is looking at the property at 10 Bookseller Road in Walpole with a B&B in mind, did not attend the meeting.
Her situation, however, was discussed and Ms. Mansouri referred to Article IV L of the Walpole Zoning Ordinance. It says, “The conversion of a single-family residence or other building to a ‘bed and breakfast’ shall require Site Plan approval by the Planning Board.” Ms. Mansouri said the house under consideration has four bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Also, NH Administrative Rules require a food service license for the operation of any food service establishment or retail food store. It defines a B&B “as a transient lodging facility, that is the personal residence of its owner, is occupied by the owner at the time of rental to a patron and in which the only meal served is breakfast to in-house guests.
However, if Ms. Larsen wants to expand her business to cater large events, she needs to follow these NH Administrative Rules. ” Facilities offering other meals or serving meals to non-guests are required to be licensed as a food establishment and therefore must comply with all the requirements of NH Statues and Administrative Rules for a commercial kitchen.
The secretary will notify Ms. Larsen by email of the board’s discussion.
House rental: Jack Jordan wants to rent a home at 5 Hooper Road. The property is owned by the Jeffrey Family Trust and Clarence Jeffrey of Webster, NH is the trustee. Mr. Jordan also wants to store a trailer on the property.
Mr. Vose said that there are no regulations about having a camper on a property. Ms. Mansouri said it is not a camper, it’s a mobile home. The rental property is zoned Residential A, which does not allow mobile homes.
The Jeffrey Family Trust owns another property at 267 Old Keene Road that has a camp on it and Mr. Jordan asked if he couldn’t store the mobile home at his rental home, could he store it on the other property owned by the Jeffrey Trust.
Mr. Vose asked if he was going to live in it or just store it. Ms. Mansouri said he wants to store it until he can find a piece of property to put it on.
Then Mr. Vose asked how can we not allow him to store it. Ms. Mansouri said that the board could give him a time limit, saying no electricity, no plumbing.
“On what authority do we have to put to put these stipulations on him?” Mr. Vose asked. Mr. Anderson answered that mobile homes are only allowed in rural-agricultural district. Walpole Zoning Ordinance Article IV F states “that mobile home may be used and maintained as permanent residences in the Rural/Agricultural District subject to the regulations contained in Article VIII.”
Ms. Stoughton said a permit for the temporary use of a trailer or mobile home may be granted if a person has a home under construction.
If anything is done to the property, Mr. Vose said the owner has to agree to it, not the renter. A motion was made, seconded and passed by the board to have the secretary write a letter to the owner and ask him to appear at a Zoning Board meeting so the questions the board has can be resolved.
U.S. Cellular sign: Mr. Philip Davis, 48 Meadow Access Lane, North Meadow Plaza, Walpole. Mr. Philip Davis, owner of Real to Reel requested permission to:
- change the red colors of a U.S. Cellular sign on the South side of his building to two colors, red and blue,
- remove the non-conforming Real to Reel sign on the West side of the building
- install a new red and blue U.S. Cellular sign (31.5 square feet) on the North side of the building.
Mr. Davis said all the signs are now conforming.
Mr. Davis‘ requests are in compliance with Article IV No. 8 and No. 9 – Multiple Use Signs and Special Exceptions. The sign does not exceed the thirty-two (32) square feet limit and the signs on his building are more than 100 feet apart and the building is 280 feet from La Valleys so it fulfills the special exception requirement of 100 feet between signs.
Ms. Stoughton made a motion that the board accept the removal of the sign from the West as well as the addition of a U.S. Cellular sign on the North and South sides of the building, along with the color changes. Mr. Vose seconded the motion and it was approved by the board.
Discussion of amendment to the water ordinance: Ms. Jennifer Palmiotto and Mr. Andrew Madison were at the meeting to discuss the Draft of Recommended Changes to Wellhead Protection Overlay District Ordinance. Ms. Palmiotto is executive director of Granite State Rural Water Association and Mr. Madison is a Source Water Protection Specialist for the same organization.
Ms. Palmiotto reviewed the minutes of the November 11, 2014, Planning Board meeting, which was also the official Public Hearing for the revised draft of the wellhead ordinance. The board made a motion to accept the water protection ordinance as amended, she said. It was seconded and approved by the board. The two changes were to fill in dates on page 4 and change the word considerably to considered on page 14, which she said she had done. The maps that are associated with that ordinance were approved on Jan. 14, 2014, by the Planning Board.
Ms. Mansouri said it was her understanding that the new wellhead ordinance would super cede anything that we have on record. However, Ms. Palmiotto said it won’t take care of the amendment by petition passed in 2013 regarding hazardous waste. Ms. Palmiotto called it the soil and groundwater protection plan. It is listed in the Zoning Ordinance booklet as Article IV M Hazardous materials.
“It was not our charge to examine the soil and groundwater protection ordinance,” Ms. Palmiotto said.
Ms. Mansouri said she had never seen that title. Ms. Palmiotto said it doesn’t have a title but it’s in the zoning ordinance Article IV M. The reason Ms. Palmiotto was calling it the soil and groundwater protection ordinance was because that is what the petitioners called it when they brought it up before the Board of Selectmen. It could be called The Jiffy Mart Ordinance or just “M”, she said. This ordinance is based upon something generated by NH DES. It was drawn up when the Jiffy Mart was proposed. It’s helpful to know this as it gives you the reasons why people were trying to get it adopted.
A document was passed out titled “Preventing Groundwater Contamination at Gas Stations – What Municipalities and Water Suppliers Can Do.” It was printed by NH DES in 2012. Ms. Palmiotto asked the board to look at page 3 and the section titled “Groundwater Protection Plan.” This is the fact sheet that was used to help develop the Soil and Groundwater Protection Act, she said. There are a lot of similarities between the language of the soil and groundwater ordinance and the language of this section of the pamphlet. It applies to the commercial zone, to the industrial zone and land above a town aquifer. It is not interchangeable with the wellhead areas.
Ms. Mansouri asked if the wellhead is over an aquifer and Ms. Palmiotto said yes but it does not go over the entire aquifer. There are aquifers all over this towns, she said. There are no maps which identify them, so the source protection is just around the wellhead.
Ms. Stoughton said if the revised wellhead draft proposal would take the place of that amendment if the land in question was within the wellhead protection zone.
Ms. Palmiotto said you might have a conflict there. You may need to talk to an attorney. We have this ordinance on the books and we have this amendment which passed.
Mr. Anderson said his reading would be that they both apply, not one or the other. Ms. Palmiotto agreed that was true because the ordinances are asking for different things. The 2013 amendment is asking for something that is not in the wellhead protection draft. It’s totally different. It’s asking new businesses coming into town, which have hazardous or regulated substances, to follow this plan. The wellhead protection doesn’t address that at all. There is no mention of a soil and groundwater protection plan. It’s another requirement.
Ms. Palmiotto cautioned about putting two items on the ballot. If the board wants the Draft of Recommended Changes to Wellhead Protection Overly District Ordinance to pass and then the public has to consider a revision of another item, they might get mixed up..
Mr. Vose said, “We’re almost too late”. Ms. Mansouri added when you get to many items on a ballot, the public just gets confused. Mr. Vose said they just vote no for everything.
Ms. Mansouri asked if Andrew could help the board work on new language on section “M”. Ms. Palmiotto said Mr. Madison‘s work on this project was funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant. He is working with Walpole, North Walpole and Hillsborough. He helps communities try to proactively protect their water supplies. He will begin working on a new assignment in April. We have a limited amount of time when we might help.
The Zoning Board will wait until next year to begin to revising Article IV M.
A New Law requires towns, when introducing new legislation such as the Revised Draft of the Wellhead Protection Ordinance, and when it is going to affect a 100 or more people, to send out copies of the material pertaining to the new legislation. If the person has electronic media, it may be sent out electronically; if not by first class mail. Mr. Vose said, You have to send the whole thing – the old ordinance and the revised draft.