Walpole Zoning Board of Adjustment
Minutes: May 18, 2016
Walpole Town Hall
Present: Board Members: Chair Myra Mansouri, Vice-Chair Jan Galloway Leclerc, Mary Therese Lester, Bob Anderson. Absent: Judy Trow.
Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the June 2016 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.
Roll Call: Ms. Mansouri called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. There was a quorum of four board members.
Minutes of April: Mr. Anderson made one correction – the letter “w” to “s” in the sixth paragraph on the first page changing the word “well” to “sell.” Ms. Leclerc made a motion to accept the April minutes as corrected and Ms. Lester seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Ms. Mansouri said that Ms. Judy Trow has accepted the position as a board member and has been sworn in. Mr. Tom Murray, the newly appointed alternate, was in the audience as he hadn’t been sworn in yet.
Enokido Public Hearing for a variance for an accessory building: Ms. Mansouri said the hearing would be held next month. Ms. Enokido and Mr. Crouse decided that since there would be a quorum of four, which could result in a tie, they preferred to wait until next month when there is a full board. Also, they would be unable to attend this meeting.
Public Hearing for Special Exception for Mr. Eric Frink, 131 Merriam Road, Map 3, Lot 54. Rural /Agricultural District, Ordinance VIII, Part C. Mr. Frink has applied for a Federal Firearms License. He was at the meeting at the request of Mr. Thiery Soucy, an investigator for the Bureau of Firearms, Alcohol and Tobacco.
Ms. Mansouri said Mr. Frink went before the Planning Board last Tuesday and they said the Planning Board would have a Public Hearing next month.
Mr. Frink brought along the tome of rules and regulations he must follow if he gets a license. Mr. Vose asked that he do so at the last meeting.
Ms. Mansouri asked why Mr. Frink felt he should get a special exception and read why he felt he met the criteria.
Mr. Frink said because there would be 20 or fewer customers per month. There will not be any hazard to health, safety or property value. Everyone in the neighborhood is familiar with firearms. There would be no noise, odor or excessive traffic. He repeated that he was only selling to friends and family. There would be no advertising, signs and no need to worry about parking. “One or two cars in the neighborhood won’t even be noticed,” he said. “I’m doing it for profit.”
One abutter was at the meeting, Mr. Roger Bienvenu. He said he just wanted to see what was going on.
Later he asked if anyone had been up on Merriam Road. Mr. Anderson said he had driven up there and Ms. Mansouri said she had been there before. 1.
On the special exception form Mr. Frink said that his house is 1,500 feet from the road and 50 feet or more from side boundaries.
Mr. Murray asked if the was going to have a gun range for people who buy guns to test their new weapon. Mr. Frink said “no.”
He said he sometimes shoots in his yard sometimes at his home. Ms. Mansouri asked if needed to be a certain distance from someone’s house. Mr. Frink said he’s well within that distance. The next property from the back of the house is over half a mile away. There are five houses on the road where he lives.
Ms. Lester asked if he was doing it during the day. Mr. Frink said it would be more like “by appointment.”
Mr. Frink said he didn’t consider it retail because he’s not going to have lots of guns to sell at his house. Ms. Lester said is it like mail order? Mr. Frink said “yes.” He would order a firearm from a wholesaler and someone would pick it up on the weekend. “That’s basically how Amazon started,” Ms. Lester said.
Ms. Mansouri asked who delivers. Mr. Frink said UPS. He has to sign for the delivery. If he isn’t there, the UPS person leaves a printed note and he can pick up the item at the UPS warehouse in Keene.
Ms. Lester asked if he had thought about US mail. Mr. Frink said he would rather not use that service.
Ms. Mansouri said the Planning Board said that the Zoning Board could grant the special exception and with their recommendation, he would be approved. But the board could put limits on the approval such as hours of operation, no firing range. Mr. Anderson added limits on 20 customers a month. His concern was that he would be operating out of his house and he didn’t want the business to get too big.
Mr. Anderson made a motion that the Board approve the special exception subject to a Planning Board recommendation to allow firearms be sold by Eric Frink from his home at 131 Merriam Road in Walpole in the rural/agricultural district with the following conditions:
- Operating hours would be Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm.
- Federal and state permits must be obtained. Approval of the Walpole police chief is required.
- If any of these permits are amended, suspended or renewed, the change must be filed with the Zoning Board of Adjustment in Walpole.
- No more than 20 customer sales per month.
- No unsold inventory will be held on the property.
- No advertising of firearms or ammunition will be performed.
- No firing range for customers can exist on the property.
- Operations cannot be changed or expanded without returning to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for its permission. If any of those conditions are changed, you would have to come back to the Zoning Board for a review.
Ms. Lester seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.
Mr. Frink asked if the Board could notify Mr. Soucy. Ms. Mansouri asked the secretary to notify Mr. Soucy of the US Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of the outcome of this Public Hearing. She also asked Mr. Frink if when he gets his licenses to make a copy and give them to the secretary. Mr. Frink said he would do so. He said it may take four months or so.
Signage for the Savings Bank of Walpole: Ms. Martha Curtis said that the sign did not block the Ames Plaza sign until a car gets about 30 feet away. They will either correct the problem or forget about the sign. Ms. Mansouri asked about pictures. The secretary did not receive any.
Site Walk Minutes: Ms. Mansouri said these were comments by Barry Bellows. Corrections were the word “proposed” before accessory building should be added in paragraph three. In the same paragraph, last sentence insert the word “is: after the word It. In paragraph five, add an “e” to the word your. The minutes were approved as corrected by Ms. Lester, seconded by Ms. Leclerc. The motion passed.
Matrix: Ms. Mansouri said that the Board will discuss the Matrix, which is a flow chart that describes the steps of a variance and special exception, when Ms. Trow returns.
Junkyards: Ms Mansouri asked the Board what they wanted to do about junkyards. Ms. Lester said she was busy with work until the school year ended. So, it was decided to revisit junkyards in July.
RSA books: Ms. Mansouri distributed copies of the new RSA book.
Northcott Public Hearing: the secretary reminded the Board that they voted to hold a Public Hearing in June for Ben Northcott to use the property he was buying for winter storage and repair of equipment.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 pm.