Walpole Planning Board
March 8, 2016 Minutes
Presiding: Jeffrey Miller (Chair), Robert Miller (Vice-Chair), James Aldrich, (Secretary), Steve Dalessio (Selectboard Representative), Dennis Marcom, Jason Perron.
Alternates: Ed Potter and Jeff White. Absent: Kelley Hicks.
Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the March 2016 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.
Meeting Opened: Mr. J. Miller, Chair, called the meeting to order at 7 pm.
Roll Call: One board members was absent so Mr. Miller asked Alternate Jeff White to sit in her place.
Minutes: Mr. Marcom made a motion to accept the February 2016 minutes as written. The motion was seconded by Mr. R. Miller and the Board unanimously agreed.
Old Business: Amend a Previous Site Plan: The change to the Site Plan of the Potato Barn, Map 24, Lot 6, Commercial District, is to change the access road to the building by upgrading the current road known as Potato Barn Lane. The road will be widened by increasing its width from 16 feet to 24 feet. The entry point will be from Main Street.
Mr. R. Miller recused himself and Mr. Ed Potter took his place on the Board. Mr. Matt Blanc of Blanc and Bailey presented the plan. With him was Mr. Kevin Dunn of San Francisco who works for Mr. Steve Rudek, the owner of the Potato Barn.
Mr. Blanc explained large revisions to the driveway. The plans are to widen the road from 16 to 24 feet. There is a sizable swale on the upper side of the road and it will have a number of culverts and pipes that will be placed under the road for drainage.
When you get closer to the Potato Barn, trees were being taken down on the Main Street side of the property, which is where the driveway will go and along the wet side of the building. Here and on the south end is where parking is and where it was originally planned. However, there are fewer parking spaces. The driveway continues around the entire building.
This change was required by the Walpole Fire Department after access from Route 12 was denied by the state. Other than that, the building, which has been originally approved, will be 100 percent sprinkled, Blanc said. The use has changed so that on the upper level there will be four apartments. The lower level will be light manufacturing. Mr. Blanc said, “We’re not exactly positive about what’s going in there. We’ll come back when we have more information on that.”
Mr. Aldrich said he had seen that quite a few trees had been taken down up by Main Street. There is quite a stand of pine there, he said and then asked if they all going to come down?
Mr. Blanc said only the trees in jeopardy have been taken down – some were diseased, some had rot, and it’s been thinned out.
Mr. Dunn said that there was a lot of dead wood underneath that has been removed. Also, several trees that were leaning over or falling over the bridge have been taken out as well and the site has been cleaned up.
All the maples, except four, remain, Blanc said.
Mr. Dunn said that the dilapidated building that’s south of the bridge – all of the trees on that property are not on our property so we can’t take them out. He also mentioned children going in and out of the back door of that house and felt it was something that needs to be addressed
Mr. Dalessio didn’t know exactly where Mr. Dunn was talking about. Mr. Aldrich said it was the house on Homestead Avenue and it’s the house where a tree fell on the garage.
Mr. Dalessio said the owner did not live in Walpole and he’s paying his taxes. It would be difficult to ask him to tear it down.
A visitor asked about the driveway that goes down to the Potato Barn.
Mr. Blanc said he’s still talking with the engineer about that. It will be where the residential parking will be and there needs to be a 10-to-20 foot retaining wall above the bridge. It’s just for residential units that would park up there. All the rest of the parking would be down below. It won’t be a road all the way down. It’s just for the apartments that will use the upper level.
The same visitor asked about the road if it goes all around the building would it also go under the bridge. Mr. Blanc said yes.
Mr. Dalessio asked about how much the entrance had to be altered from the road.
Mr. Dunn said it’s not very visible from the road right now. It takes a little jog toward the inn. It has to be straightened out. It won’t change anything for Mr. Smith, who owns the abutting property, but it will be wider.
Mr. Dalessio suggested that they contact the Walpole Road Agent, who is new. His name is Mike Rau. It’s just a courtesy to make sure he know what you are doing.
Mr. J. Miller said that light manufacturing is a general statement. Do you know about inflow/outflow of traffic?
Mr. Blanc said that right now Mr. Rudek discussed a distillery and a commercial baking operation that wouldn’t have a “ton” of employees.
Miller said about 10 to 15. Blanc said probably.
Mr. Blanc said he would reassess the parking and come back after he has more direction on that.
Mr. Aldrich asked if it would be a Class 5 road. Mr. Dalessio stressed that it is a lane, meaning it is a private road and they have to maintain it.
Whenever you use the term lane, it is a private way, said Mr. J. Miller.
Mr. Blanc said he had four copies of the map. Mr. Dalessio said the Selectboard needed one. Mr. Blanc wanted one that was approved. One will go in with the file.
The Public Hearing was closed at 7:13 pm.
Since there was no other new business so the vote on the Public Hearing was take. Mr. Aldrich made a motion to accept the amended site plan as presented. Mr. Potter seconded the motion. Mr. Miller asked if there was any discussion. There being none the entire Board voted unanimously to approve the amended plan.
Mr. Miller, speaking to Mr. Dalessio as Selectboard representative, said that he thought it was a good idea to accept the grant program.
The other members of the Board, not knowing what he was talking about, Mr. Dalessio explained.
Mr. Dalessio said for a sum of $2,500 the town would be able to accept and apply for grant money. The federal government gives the state money and the state divvies it up. But you have to apply for them and the application process is complicated. We could use the money to hire consultants to help get money for programs that would help us develop better site plans, or town zoning, etc. Mr. Miller said he would contact Lisa Murphy at Southwestern Regional Planning Commission.
Mr. Dalessio said that the North Walpole commissioners have taken back the building permit it gave to Mr. Gay to build a building in the Industrial District. Mr. Gay must get site plan approval from the Planning Board before it can go back to the North Walpole commissioners to get a building permit.
Mr. Perron asked if we are going to have a workshop meeting. One wasn’t planned but if after the Board goes into Executive Session, something might come out of that.
A motion to go into Executive Session was made by Mr. R. Miller and seconded by Mr. Marcom and then voted on by the Board.
It was voted on during the Executive Session to have workshop on March 22.
Mr. Aldrich suggested another topic for a workshop could be storage containers. He said Acworth was having a problem with them. Mr. Miller said he would add that to his list to ask SWRPC.
Mr. Aldrich made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded and approved by the Board.
It was also recommended that the Board get a copy of the North Walpole rules before the next meeting.