Zoning Board Meeting Minutes – 11/18/15

Walpole Zoning Board of Adjustment

Minutes: November 18, 2015


Present: Board Members: Chair Myra Mansouri, Vice-Chair Jan Galloway Le Clerc, Clerk Ernie Vose, Mary Therese Lester, Bob Anderson. Alternates: Judy Trow. Absent: Alternate Stephanie Stoughton..

Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the December 2015 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.

Roll Call: Ms. Mansouri called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Since there was a full board present, an alternate was not needed to fill.

Alternates: Ms. Mansousi said the Zoning Board could use another alternate and if the Board knew of anyone who was interested to make sure they let her know.

Minutes: There were a few corrections: Bellows is spelled Bellow in a couple of instances, one verb needed to be put in the past tense, there was a repetition of two words and the word “a” was left out in one instance.  Mr. Vose made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected. Ms. Lester seconded the motion and the board voted unanimously.

Procedure: Ms. Mansouri started the meeting by explaining that the Board did not follow the correct procedure for making a motion in its executive session at the last meeting. She explained that a vote to seal the minutes must be taken at the meeting following the session. So Ms. Le Clerc made a motion to seal the minutes of the October executive session. The motion was seconded by Ms. Lester and approved by the full board.

New business: 

Signage for Mr. Jack Franks of AvanruMr. Franks was at the meeting to have approved two temporary signs to be put up at his property at Abenaki Springs on Route 12. He said the signs would be temporary – for about nine months. The first one is a two-sided 8-foot-by-4-foot sign that advertises topsoil for sale and then lists a telephone number. Ms. Mansouri reminded him that he is on Route 12, a state road, so he must follow the state setbacks from the middle of the road. He said he knew the regulations and “it’s already all staked out. “ Also, the height limit is 20 feet for a free-standing sign. He said he may come back in the summer if the topsoil isn’t sold.

The second sign was also a 4-by-8-foot sign but would be one-sided. It would be 100 feet from the other sign. It informs the public of the construction of a New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority project for Developer Avanru Development Group, LTD. The information on the sign are state requirements for signage for a state project. Every one who is involved in the project has to be on the sign. This sign will be done professionally, Mr. Franks said.

Ms. Trow asked if the sign would be up for the duration of the project. Mr. Franks said yes. I expect it to be completed by May 1, placed in service by June 1, so everything should be done within that time frame.

Mr. Franks also talked about the full-service traffic light that will go in at Red Barn Lane, the entrance to Tractor Supply. This traffic light and the proper lanes and striping of lanes has already been approved by the NH Department of Transportation.

Mr. Franks gave an overview of what’s coming. He is in negotiations for a restaurant, a possible brewery, professional office space, most likely a bank with a drive-through, a mobile phone company and grocery store, so he may be back for more signage. There may be a sign on the corner of the lot that lists a lot of businesses and “I’ll probably need your guidance at some point,” he said.

There are already water, sewer, fiber optics underground now but there will be more engineering going on.

Mr. Vose asked if all the driveways and lights are going to be coordinated with the businesses surrounding them. Mr. Franks said the configuration was all engineered prior to when Family Dollar went in. He said his engineer coordinated with Jiffy Mart and their engineer and DOT. He said there are almost 11,000 cars going past their daily and that’s a lot of traffic.

Both signs conform to the zoning regulations. A motion was made by Mr. Vose to approve the temporary signs for one year. Ms. Lester seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved by the Board.

Special Exception Form  – There has been discussion about the Zoning Board application form for a Special Exception. Ms. Mansouri said the plan is to make the process clear for someone who needs a Special Exceptions. Mr. Anderson pointed out one sentence that seemed unclear (The necessary conditions for each Special Exception are given in the ordinance.) Mr. Anderson said that there are very few conditions. There is also no specific delineation on the process of getting a Special Exception. We can’t change the ordinance but we can change the form, Ms. Mansouri said.

Ms. Lester suggested bullets and a border – the bullets to point out a direction. It will also get people to pay attention, she said.

It was decided to hold a workshop meeting on Dec. 10, 2015, at 7 pm., in the Conference Room in the basement of the Town Hall to work on revising the form and making it more clear to the public.

Old business: Reeves and Unitarian Church. Ms. Cynthia Reeves submitted a letter sent to her from Wendy Harty, Chair of the WUC Board of Trustees. In it the church board said it is “glad  to close the door on this, to put it behind us.” Mr. Vose said, “I don’t see any point in pursuing this.” The Board agreed.

Executive Session: At this point Mr. Vose voted to go into Executive Session, Ms. LeClerc seconded the motion. The Board came out of executive session after about 15 minutes.

The procedural vote on the executive session will take place at the next meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 8:10 pm after a motion was made by Mr. Vose and seconded by Ms. Lester. The Board voted unanimously to adjourn.

Everyone wished everyone else a Happy Thanksgiving.


Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine, secretary


cc: Town Offices, ZBA Board, The Walpolean

Posted inside the Town Offices, outside bulletin board at Walpole Grocery


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