Walpole Planning Board
Walpole Town Hall
December 8, 2015 Minutes
Presiding: Jeffrey Miller (Chair), Robert Miller (Vice-Chair), James Aldrich, (Secretary), Steve Dalessio (Selectboard Representative), Dennis Marcom, Jason Perron.
Alternates: Ed Potter, Jeff White.
Absent: Kelley Hicks, member.
Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes were revised at the January 12, 2016 meeting.
Call to Order: Mr. J. Miller called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.
Roll Call: One board member was absent so Mr. Miller asked Alternate Ed Potter to sit in her place.
Minutes: Mr. Marcom made a motion to accept the minutes as written. The motion was seconded and the board approved the motion.
Old Business:Hearing for a Site Plan Review – (continued from October meeting) Ruggiero Processing Facility, LLC, 32 Industrial Park Road, Map 1, Lot 10-1, Zoning District Industrial – wishes to add another 2,500 square-foot pole barn, new access road, trailer for employee break room and a scale near the entrance to the property. Joe Ruggiero owner, Rob Hitchcock of SVE Associates, Tom Hanna, lawyer.
Mr. J. Miller continued the meeting from October and said that the Public Hearing review period had been completed. He said the applicant asked that all proceedings be continued pending some clarifications from Superior Court. At the last meeting there was some talk about the Planning Board getting local counsel. The Planning Board decided that they were pretty clear on the issues so that we didn’t think we needed clarification, Mr. Miller said.
Ms. Pauline Barnes said she was here when the Planning Board voted 6 to zero to get counsel. At what point did the Planning Board rescind that vote? she asked. Mr. R. Miller, at the January meeting, changed this to 7 to 0 because he had appointed an alternate to replace the Chair.
Mr. Eric Merklein asked that the Planning Board chair to recuse himself from the matter since he wasn’t at the meeting in October when the Planning Board voted to seek counsel. The abutters have made a good case for their problems, Mr. Merklein said. He then mentioned a letter from Mr. Ruggiero’s attorney, Mr. Tom Hanna, and the letter said Mr. Hanna had been waiting to meet with the Planning Board’s counsel but the Board had decided not to seek an attorney’s advice.
At this point Mr. J. Miller interrupted Mr. Merklein saying that the Public Hearing had been closed and that the discussion was not open for comments from the public. This is for the Board to discuss and make a decision, Mr. J. Miller said.
Mr. J. Miller then asked if members of the Board agreed with him that the Board knew what the issues were and that they could make a decision without counsel.
Mr. Marcom disagreed with Mr. J. Miller. He said that the Planning Board had made a motion to seek counsel and he felt that what was voted should have been done.
Mr. Ed Potter agreed with Mr. J. Miller and said he thought they should continue and wait to see what happened. He made a motion to continue with the application. It was seconded by Mr. Aldrich but was voted down 7-0 by the Board.
Mr. Marcom said “that approvals of site plans are based on the assumption that the applicant will adhere to the terms of that approval. That assumption of trust is critical in this case. Ruggerio was granted a special exception by the Zoning Board in 2011. Conditions, as stated in a letter from that Board, included that the operation could not be changed or expanded without returning to the ZBA for approval. When Ruggiero add a 2,000 square-foot building they not only violated the town’s rules on building permits but also broke at least one of the conditions of the Special Exception.
“Beyond that this company, as was made evident in a letter sent to them by DES, operated for approximately 2 ½ years without the knowledge of DES, among other violations of site regulations.” For these reasons, Mr. Marcom felt that the company could not be ensured to keep their agreements and therefore approval should not be granted to them.
Mr. Dalessio said that there wasn’t a motion to reconsider the October vote. He also said the Ruggiero application was incomplete.
Mr. Aldrich agreed that the application was incomplete and added that the matter should have gone back to the Zoning Board.
Mr. R. Miller said that on Monday he had spoken with a Mr. Cordell Johnston of the N.H. Municipal Association with respect to the Ruggiero proposal. Mr. Johnston said he had heard a little of the background,. Mr. Johnston said that he couldn’t predict how a court would rule on this case but DES, the Department of Environmental Services, does not preempt town rules and regulations. He was going to send a letter stating that but it had not arrived as of today.
Mr. R. Miller continued that he had six reasons for disapproval. They were:
- It is the wrong site for the proposed commercial business as it is located in an Industrial District and this business does not meet Walpole zoning requirements for the Industrial District.
- Pollution from noise, odor and possible rodents and the welfare of neighbors could very well be at risk.
- It is very likely that property values could be adversely impacted, not only affecting the businesses in this industrially zoned area but there are several homes that abut this proposed commercial venture that will most likely adversely impact the well being of the homeowners and their families.
- Walpole has an award-winning recycling center that is able to process all of Walpole’s MSW.
- No where in the Town’s Master Plan is it indicated that Walpole should become the processing center of MSW for southern New Hampshire, southern Vermont and northern Massachusetts.
- The Town of Walpole has spoken, “we do not need nor want this operation in our town.”
A motion was made to deny the applicant’s site plan request by Mr. Aldrich. It was seconded by Mr. R. Miller and passed unanimously 7-0 by the Board.
New Business: Subdivision – William and Elizabeth Silverstein of 70 Reservoir Road would like to request a Public Hearing for a Subdivision of the property. Map 10, Lot 33, Rural/Agricultural District.
Mr. William Silverstein said that he and his wife had recently purchased property on Reservoir Road and he wanted to subdivide it. It had been subdivided once before and then the two parcels of land were put back together in a voluntary merger on May 2012. The subdivision would divide the property into two lots: one Lot 33 with 1.43 acres of land and 320 feet of road frontage; and another Lot 33-3 would be 1.53 acres with 277 feet of road frontage.
Mr. J. Miller asked if someone would make a motion to have a Public Hearing on the subdivision next month. A board member said “so moved,” Mr. Aldrich seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously by the Board.
Hubbard Farms LLC, 195 Main Street, Public Hearing for a Subdivision, Map 22, Lot 5. There will be three subdivisions of the 13.7 acre property – 8 acres for the office building,.0.3 acres for the barbecue pit, which will be donated to the town, and 5.54 acres for the two outbuildings used for storage and maintenance.
Mr. Chip O’Brien said he was representing Hubbard Farm and the subdivision in question was at the Office Site at 195 Main Street. He said the right of way to the recreation center was well marked on this map and it is 20 feet wide. The barbecue will be annexed to the Recreation Center and given to the town.
Mr. Dalessio said the Selectboard has voted and had a Public Hearing on that matter and agreed to annex it and officially accepted it.
Mr. J. Miller asked if would be a separate lot. Mr. Dalessio responded it would be merged with the Recreation Center property. The Public Hearing was closed at 7:25 p.m.
Mr. Aldrich made a motion that the Board accept the subdivision as presented. Mr. Potter seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously by the Board.
Old Dominion submitted a plan for lighting for its facility in the Industrial Park, which was one of the requirements for approval of their Site Plan. Mr. Frank Anderson said that the lighting is supposed to be LED lighting and down lit but it appears that something went wrong with one or more of the lights. Mr. Anderson‘s property abuts Old Dominion and the light is coming through the woods into his yard.
Mr. Dan Nash and Mr. Marc Messier, who represented Old Dominion at the Public Hearing, will be advised of the problem.
Also, there needs to be a letter from the fire department that those conditions made at the time of their hearing have been taken care of and installed. They were mainly about having Knox boxes at a couple of locations.
Northcott mylar: Scott and Judith Northcott submitted a subdivision plan on Valley Road, which the Planning Board approved this Spring but it was not a legal subdivision because a road went through a portion of the property in the the subdivision. Mr. Dalessio said that the Selectboard sorted out the issue and the mylar now had the correct subdivision. Mr. J. Miller and Mr. R. Miller signed it.
The meeting adjourned at 7:40 pm.