Walpole Planning Board
May 10, 2016 Minutes
Presiding: Jeffrey Miller (Chair), Robert Miller (Vice-Chair), James Aldrich, (Secretary), Steve Dalessio (Selectboard Representative), Dennis Marcom, Jason Perron, Jeff White.
Alternates Absent: Ed Potter and Joanna Andros.
Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the June 2016 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.
Meeting Opened: Mr. J. Miller, Chair, called the meeting to order at 7 pm.
Roll Call: There was a quorum of members so no one was needed to fill in.
Minutes: Mr. R. Miller made one correction to the April minutes – Mr. J. Miller called the April meeting to order, not Mr. R. Miller. A motion was made to accept the April 2016 minutes and workshop minutes as amended. The motion was seconded and the board unanimously agreed.
Public Hearing continued: Greg Gay, Map 27, Lot 3, wants to construct a 9,000 square-foot building for storage and restoration of antique automobiles. Industrial district, North Walpole. New documents.
Mr. Miller said that the board had received information on all the questions asked of Mr. Gay at the last meeting. He was referring to questions the Board asked him to get answers to before today’s meeting. It included a letter from North Walpole Fire Department, drawing of the building, letter from the Department of Environmental Serves, a letter from the North Walpole Zoning Board and waivers for the no answers on the checklist. All the information was dropped off at the Town Offices.
Mr. Dalessio asked if there had been a public hearing for a special exception on the matter. Mr. Gay said he spoke with Mr. John Foster, the chair of the North Walpole Zoning Board, and Mr. Foster said he had to come before the Planning Board first. The letter from Mr. Foster stated that Mr. Gay had been approved to build his building in the Industrial District in North Walpole.
Regarding the right of way, Mr. Gay said, his attorney said that when researching the property, there was no notation of an easement in 1987 when the land was in foreclosure.
Mr. J. Miller had a conversation with an attorney at the NH Municipal Association about the right of way and he said the site plan should be judged on whether the condition of the property is suitable for its intended use. He said that the right of way is an abutter issue and not in the purview of the Board. It’s up to the abutters to work this out.
Mr. Marcom said that means if there is a difference between the landowner and the abutters then it has to be resolved between the two. Mr. J. Miller agreed.
A diagram of the building and a landscape diagram was also provided. Mr. Gay said.
Mr. J. Miller asked if there was any further discussion.
Mr. Donald Lennon asked if he could comment. Mr. J Miller allowed him to comment. Mr. D. Lennon gave the Board copies of what their lawyer, Mr. Gary Kinyon, wrote regarding the word tabled, which was used at the April meeting.
Mr. Kinyon‘s point was that “New Hampshire law does not permit the Board to reopen the public hearing on the Site Plan Application at tonight’s meeting because the Site Plan Application was tabled without a new date at the April meeting.”
The planning board agenda said that the Gay public hearing was a continuation. There was some discussion of the word “tabled” but it was decided that the Board asked Mr. Gay to get answers to a number of concerns the Board had and that the Board would resume discussing them at the May meeting.
A copy of Mr. Kinyon‘s letter will be attached to the minutes of this meeting. There will be a copy in the selectboard’s office.
Mr. D. Lennon said that the abutters had no knowledge of the new documents and that according to their attorney, abutters needed to be notified and a new public hearing scheduled.
“That’s Gary’s opinion,” Mr. J. Miller said.
Mr. D. Lennon continued that the issue is and it is their contention that Mr. Gay‘s usage of the property in North Walpole does not conform to the zoning usage in the industrial zone of North Walpole.
Mr. Gay said that doesn’t affect how the Planning Board should make its decision, which is different than a zoning decision.
The North Walpole Zoning Board operates a little bit differently than the Walpole Zoning Board, Mr. J. Miller said. A letter to approve the building in the Industrial District was written by Mr. John Foster, the chair of the North Walpole Zoning Board. He continued that the Walpole Planning Board is looking at the site plan for that district. That is what and only what the Board is looking at. If the North Walpole Zoning Board is okay with it, that’s up to North Walpole.
Mr. Charlie Lennon asked if the abutters could look at information that has been presented and noted that he hadn’t seen anything. It’s new information.
Mr. J. Miller said the Board asked for information and the information was given and it was here. It was public knowledge.
Mr. Dalessio said once new information has been presented the abutters have a right to know what that information says.
“We reserve the right to appeal anything that has been done,” Mr. D. Lennon said. “Our attorney said this starts the process over again.”
Mr. J. Miller said, “It doesn’t start the process over again. It is public information….it’s a continuation of the hearing. We asked for information, we looked at it and we have to go on from here.
Mr. Marcom said he was of two minds. On the one hand the Board received the information it requested and on the other the abutters have the right to see it.
Mr. J. Miller said in the past the Board hasn’t had a new hearing when new information was supplied. The information was supplied to the Board so it could make a decision. Otherwise, the Board would have to have a continual public hearing. This is a continuation of the last meeting and the Board lets the person present the information.
Mr. J. Miller continued. “It’s semantics. We asked for information, we got it.” If the process continued, there would never be a stop. “We discuss information on whether it’s suitable or not suitable among the Board. If the Board feels the answers are satisfactory then the Board can go ahead and make a decision. It is public information and you have access to it. You can always appeal the process. This could be a never ending thing.
Mr. Perron said the Board doesn’t send out information. “It’s available.”
Mr. J. Miller asked Mr. Gay if he wanted to present the information again. The map of the building and grounds was displayed and he repeated what had been said before. Mr. Gay said all the information regarding the checklist were included in the site plan – the dimensions of the building, a picture of the back, roof, steel frame. Insulation in the walls, no windows, color white with blue trim.
The questions from the fire department and police and confirmation of environmental concern have been answered. There is another plan showing just the size of the building.
The engineer, Mr. Michael Marquise, said there are no wetlands on the property and the soil types are noted.
Mr. Gay said he had contact with NW fire department and the building will be sprinkled and a Knox box at the building. DES said the land is not contaminated. A rendering of what the building would look like, including the heights, was included.
Mr. J. Miller asked for the question to be called. Mr. J. Aldrich made a motion to accept the site plan as presented. The motion was seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
Public Hearing: Minor subdivision Allyson’s Orchard: Map 5 Lot 2, New lot 2-12, rural/agricultural, one lot into two lots. Lot sizes – second lot will now be Lot 2-12 and will be 23. 09 acres. The original lot is 68 acres.
Mr. Joe Dibernardo, the surveyor explained it was a two-lot subdivision. There were two little lots on the property 2-1 and 2-2. One would be merged into the original lot and the other would be merged into the new lot, now called 2-12. The new lot would be 23.09 acres with 566.1 feet of frontage
The property is on Wentworth Road across from the Orchard.
Mr. J. Miller asked if there were any more questions. There being none Mr. R. Miller made a motion to accept the subdivision. The motion was seconded by Mr. J. Aldrich and the motion passed unanimously.
Eric Frink of 131 Merriam Road is coming before the Board because he has applied for a federal firearms license. Mr. Terry Soucy, an investigator for the Bureau of Fire Arms, Alcohol and Tobacco, suggested Frink come to the Zoning Board and request a special exception from the Zoning Board. He is having a public hearing for a special exception this month and he needs a recommendation from the Planning Board.
Mr. Frink said the he was seeking a federal firearms license and he had to prove that he had a business with a business address. He planned to sell firearms only to family and friends. There would be no advertising, no inventory, no sign, no retail space in his house.
He had rules he must follow, the same as a gun shop. He had a background check. He must keep records. He repeated he was only going to sell to friends and family and that there would not be people walking up to the house to buy guns.
There was a lot of discussion on whether or not he needed to go to the zoning board at all and it was questionable why Mr. Frink needed a special exception from the Zoning Board. In the end Mr. J. Miller said that that was in the purview of the Zoning Board.
Ms. Myra Mansouri, chair of the zoning board, was in the audience and said that a Mr. Terry Soucy contacted her. He is an investigator for the department that issues firearms licenses. He said Mr. Frink needed to show he was a business. It wasn’t the typical home business – hairdresser, lawyer etc. it was a retail business, in the rural/agricultural district so he would need a special exception.
Mr. Aldrich said he can order a gun and have it shipped to the Alstead gun shop and then pick it up. That’s being transferred. This isn’t Mr. Frink‘s livelihood. It’s a hobby
Mr. J Miller said he had to have a site plan review and a public hearing held. A motion was made, seconded and passed that a public hearing would be held in June. Mr. Frink is having his special exception meeting before the zoning board next week.
Mr. Jonathan Watson at 594 Drewsville Road owns a 1.8-acre lot on Cold River Road that is steep and no one would be able to build a house on it. He said he was paying taxes for a buildable lot and asked if he could merge it with his house across the street. Since you can’t merger property when there is a road running between the two, the lot stands on its own.
He was advised to go to the Town Offices and talk to the employees there about getting the form for an abatement. After he filled it out, it would be decided by the selectboard.
Accessory buildings and signs
Mr. R. Miller went to a meeting sponsored by Southwest Regional Planning Commission. The meeting discussion was about accessory building and signs. Mr. Miller handed out information about new rules concerning these two subjects.
It was decided that there would be no workshop meeting this month.
Marilou Blaine secretary.