Walpole Planning Board
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Presiding Members: Jeffrey Miller (Chair), Robert Miller (Vice-Chair), James Aldrich, (Secretary), Dennis Marcom, Jason Perron, Jeff White, Steve Dalessio (Selectboard Representative). Alternates: Edward Potter and Joanna Andros.
Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the November 8, 2016, meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.
Meeting Opened: Mr. J. Miller called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm.
Roll Call: All board members were present so no alternates were needed to fill in.
Minutes: Approve September and workshop minutes. Mr. Marcom made a motion to approve the regular meeting minutes and the workshop minutes as written. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and it was approved by the Board.
Public Hearing, Lot Line Adjustment, Map 20, Lot 59, 19 Elm Street LLC, commercial district. The LLC wants to annex .02 acres from Lot 58. Raynie Laware and Karen Crowley were representing the LLC, The Walpole Foundation. Ms. Crowley said that there had been two surveys and each survey had the pin of the boundary line going from east to west between the Carol Fabis property, Lot 58, and the 19 Elm property, Lot 59, in different spots. The owners got together and agreed on having a new survey. The survey was done by DiBernardo Associates and dated July 27, 2016. It shows a sliver or .02 acres belonging to the Foundation.
Mr. Marcom asked if Ms. Fabis agreed to this survey since she was not at the hearing. Ms. Fabis was sent a certified letter notifying her of the meeting and it was posted in The Keene Sentinel. Ms. Crowley and Ms. Laware said yes she knew of the meeting and agreed with the boundary line change.
There being no questions from the audience, the Public Hearing was closed.
Later in the meeting the request for a Lot Line Adjustment for 19 Elm Street LLC was voted on and approved by the board as presented.
Representatives from Southwest Region Planning Commission presented a proposal to have a partnership with the town to improve the community’s health. Representatives of SWRP were Liz Kelly, Planning Technician, Mari Brunner, Planner, and Cheryl Mayberry. Ms. Brunner asked the Planning Board if the town of Walpole wanted to be part of a program called “Parnerships to improve Community Health” (PICH). It is a program of Cheshire Medical Center, the Monadnock Conservancy, Healthy Mondadnock and a few other groups. It addresses the reasons for disability in our region which is poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and tobacco use.
SWRP has been subcontracted by the hospital to promote healthy activity – walking, bicycling, anything that gets people out and moving. PICJt promotes a more livable center of town, Ms. Brunner said.
The program is a three-year program in which the town works with SWRP on ways to implement a Complete Streets program. Complete Streets is an approach to transportation design that considers an individual town and its citizens. Instead of thinking about cars, you would also consider the needs of pedestrians, as well as people in wheelchairs and bicyclers.
There is also a program called Rack It Up, a bike rack program. The town receives funds to provide free bike racks to the town. These are the simple upside down U racks. If you want something fancier, they’re available for $100. That’s part of the program if you sign on to be a town that works with SWRP.
Mr Dalessio said the town would definitely be interested in the bike racks. He sees bikes all over town, leaning against a building, on the ground etc. – and would definitely put one near the Town Common.
Ms. Mayberry said the program builds connection with the community and encourages walking and using a bicycle.
Ms. Brunner said as a young adult Complete Streets is a draw for young people like her to stay in a small community.
Ms. Kelly said being part of Complete Streets can also be used as leverage in getting grants for sidewalks and even discussing road work with NH Department of Transportation. There are economic benefits as well, said Ms. Brunner. Bicycle parking is more space efficient than automobile parking. Home values are 15.5 percent higher in neighborhoods where people can walk than in non-walkable areas.
Ms. Brunner gave an example of how a sidewalk in Hinsdale changed behavior. She said the road was wide and in a rural district of the community and there were complaints about traffic going too fast. A sidewalk was put in and beside the beneficial effect of people getting out and walking, traffic was also slowing down. It is believed that when drivers saw walkers on the side of the road that this visual impact made a difference in their driving.
Mr. Marcom asked what would be the responsibility of the group that signed on to be a partner. Ms. Brunner said SWRP would do the writing of the policy and plans. The commitment to help give SWRP direction would to meet once a month for about an hour providing feedback to the planners.
Mr. Marcom asked for an example here in town of what you might recommend. Ms. Brunner said the Town Common has well marked signage, sidewalks. What we would do is to figure out any problems in the whole network of the town.
The commitment the town has to make is to spend one hour a month, working on this project. Mr. J. Miller said the regular workshop meeting the fourth Tuesday of the month would be a perfect place to discuss this project.
The Selectboard will take up the question of the town’s partnership at its next meeting.
Petition on Detached Accessory Dwellings: The Board was given Draft 5 of the Petition to have a zoning ordinance for Detached Accessory Dwellings. Board members will go over it, make any changes at the next workshop meeting and a Public Hearing will be held on the Petition in November, at the next regular Planning Board meeting.
There will be a workshop meeting on Tuesday, October 25, 2016, at 7 pm in the basement conference room to finalize the language of the petition and the public is encouraged to come for its input.
Marilou Blaine, secretary