Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 1/10/17

Walpole Planning Board

Town Hall

Tuesday, Janurary 10, 2017     


Presiding Members: Jeffrey Miller (Chair), Robert Miller (Vice-Chair), James Aldrich, (Secretary),  Dennis Marcom,  Jason Perron, Jeff White, Steve Dalessio (Selectboard Representative). Alternate: Edward Potter. Absent: Alternate Joanna Andros. 

Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the February 2017 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.

Meeting Opened: Mr. J. Miller called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.

Roll Call: All the board members were present so no alternate was needed to fill in.


Minutes: Mr. Marcom made a motion to approve the December Amended minutes. The motion was seconded and approved by the entire board.


Public Hearing No. 1:

            Discuss a petition to create a new zoning ordinance for Detached Accessory Dwelling Units in the Town of Walpole. The petition would be placed on the March 2017 warrant.

            This was the third and last hearing.

Selectboard representative Dalessio said there had been one change to the document –

1- E.”Occupancy of the accessory or principal unit is limited to family members related by blood, marriage, adoption, foster children or, if unrelated, not more than two (2) unrelated individuals.” Also, at the end of the document, the following has been added to reference the current RSA: Under Section XVII, P.  Add “A one-or-two family dwelling will share the same foundation per lot.” Effective June 1, 2017 Attached Dwelling Units are to comply with RSA 674:71 – RSA 674:72 If you want to read the petition, it is posted on the outside bulletin board at Walpole Grocery and in the Town Offices.

Board Vote: Later in the meeting Mr. Aldrich made a motion to recommend the petition be put on the 2017 warrant. A board member seconded the motion and the board unanimously approved it.


New Business:

            Bensonwood: Discussion of additions for former Scoop Shop at 9 Edwards Lane, Route 12, Commercial District. Map 12, Lot 4-3. Request for a Public Hearing. Mr. Tom Hancock will represent Bensonwood.

Mr. Randall Walter, head of design for Bensonwood, represented Bensonwood at the meeting instead of Mr. Hancock. Mr. Walter said that Bensonwood has continued to annually upgrade the property at 9 Edwards Lane, formerly The Scoop Shop. The Bensonwood proposal is to update the property per the site plans that were approved in 2010 and 2013 regarding some interior work, possibly an outdoor pavilion and upgrade the dirt parking lot in back of the building. The upgrading of the parking lot would consist of lighting and paving.

Mr. Walter said he assumed Bensonwood could go ahead with project since the property was previously approved for serving food, not just ice cream, a few years earlier. The parking lot improvement was also approved in a previous site plan review.

Mr. Walter said the Scoop Shop has only been closed for about four months, not even a year so he didn’t see why they needed a new site plan review. Mr. Miller said it was an ice cream shop, and so it’s a change of use. Mr. Walter said it isn’t a change of use. Change of use can have other connotations. Mr. Miller said then it’s a change of plans. There hasn’t been any food served there since the plan was presented a few years ago.

Mr. Miller said Mr. Dalessio had another concern they were working there without a permit.

Mr. Miller said that the site plan has to be revisited after a three-year lapse and that even though they once had a permit, it too lapses after 1 year. He felt they needed a new site plan. Mr. R. Miller said he thought the board should have a look at what they are planning instead of going back to 2010, 11 and 12.

Mr. Dalessio asked about a drive-thru and Mr. Walter said there is no drive-thru, it just a covered roof for the service entrance.

Mr. Miller asked what was going on out back. Mr. Walter said Hodgkins was grading the parking lot before a deep freeze set in and stanchions for lighting were being put in. Mr. Miller seemed to be okay with this type of work being done once a permit had been issued.

Ms. Mansouri asked about how close to the lot line is to the parameters of the parking lot. Mr. Miller said he thought about 20 feet.

Mr. Walter said there would be a change of tenants. The new tenants are Chris and Caitlin Caserta of Valley Farms, Walpole. They plan to have a Farm-to-Table type restaurant and plan to use local produce.

Mr. Walter requested a Public Hearing for next month, February. The board voted to approve the Public Hearing for Bensonwood in February.


Central Plating Property, Map 20, Lots 65 and 66, lot owned by the Westberg family who have offered the lots to the town.

The Central Plating property is behind Mascoma Bank and is near Ruggles and Hunt. The property has been offered to the Town and that means that the Walpole Planning Board and Conservation Commission must approve this transaction.

However, there are problems with the land. It is a Brownfield property. The town has coupled with Southwest Regional Planning Commission who has agreed to test the land on the property. It will be the second time they have done so. They did a testing in 2015 but it has expired and there are new regulations. Ranson Engineering will assist as they did before.

A cleanup proposal must be approved by state and federal agencies. It is only after their approval that the  Town of Walpole will accept the property. Once that approval is given, it relieves the town of any liability of that property.

The first step is to have it tested. The second step is to have a rehabilitation plan in mind and the third step would be to have the Town of Walpole accept the property. Once any cleanup is completed, the intention is to turn that area into more parking for the downtown area.

The town will apply for a grant , which will be done by the SRPC. The early estimate is for remediation is $200,000 and the town has to meet that grant amount by 20 percent. The town is already lining up some external funding, Mr. Dalessio said. It shouldn’t cost the town any money except to buy the property for $1.

Mr. Dalessio said he expects it will take 50 weeks to complete the testing. He was looking for support from the Planning Board for the project and in the future will ask for a letter of recommendation. RSA 41:14 says that the Planning Board and Conservation Commission must recommend this type of project.

What’s the liability of landowner? Mr. J. Miller asked. He will be relieved of the liability as well, Dalessio said. Why hasn’t he been forced to clean it up years ago? Mr. Miller asked. Mr. Dalessio didn’t know why. The business was formed in the ‘30s or 40s when there was no zoning ordinances or other oversight.

Mr. Ray Boas asked if that meant neither the owner nor the town will have to pay for cleanup. Mr. Dalessio said that is correct. There is plenty of cleanup money available, he said.

Mr. Dalessio said his biggest concern is that there is still some contamination there.

Will this include the garage? Mr. Boas asked.  Mr. Dalessio said the garage will be demolished.

Select board member Ms. Peggy Pschirrer and someone from SWRPC are the Brownfield committee and Southwest is putting up the initial $30,000 for the testing. A motion was made by a Planning Board member to support the project. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved by the board.


ZBA Matrix or Flow Chart

The Planning Board got a chance to look at the Matrix the Zoning Board of Adjustment has been working on for several months. The purpose of the matrix is to help applicants who need a variance or a special exception navigate the application process, which can mean going to both the ZBA and WPB in certain circumstances.

Comments were positive and board members agreed that this type of flow chart was needed. Board members congratulated Ms. Mansouri on a good job. The document will be given to any applicant needing a variance or special exception and maybe a building permit.


Mr. James Aldrich made a motion to adjourn, the motion was seconded and approved by the board.


Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: