Zoning Board Meeting Minutes – 1/18/17

 Zoning Board of Adjustment

January 18, 2017

Town Hall

7:30 pm

 

 

Present: Board Members: Chair Myra Mansouri, Vice-Chair Jan Galloway-Leclerc, Judy Trow, Tom Murray.  Alternate: Ernie Vose. Absent: Mary Therese Lester.

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

Roll Call: Ms. Mansouri called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. Since Ms. Lester was absent, Mr. Vose was asked to take her place.

 

Minutes: Ms. Leclerc made a motion to accept the minutes as presented. Ms. Trow seconded the motion and it was approved by the entire Board.

The first order of business was a vote to seal the minutes of December’s Executive Session. A motion was made to seal the minutes, seconded and then passed by the entire board.

 

Ms. Mansouri read aloud the letter that the board sent to Ms. Patricia Rodrigues and Mr. John Corduff reading their claims about the Tim Graves Gravel Pit on Wentworth Road. The letter says:

 

“Zoning Board of Adjustment

PO Box 729

Walpole, NH 03608

“January 8, 2017

“Patricia L. Rodrigues

John M. Corduff

52 Old Route 12 North

Westmoreland, NH 03467

 

“Dear Ms. Rodrigues and Mr. Corduff:

“The Zoning Board of Adjustment, in conjunction with Town Counsel, has reviewed the letter and documents you gave the Board and read into the minutes on November 12, 2016, as well as has considered the additional information you presented to the Board on December 21, 2016. There are two pits: one is located in Walpole, and one in Westmoreland. We can only address the one that is located in Walpole.

“The regulations and permit requirements, are beyond the municipality’s authority. In accordance with RSA 155-E, the Graves’ pit meets the requirements of a “grandfathered site,” and is exempt from permitting requirements. The excavation continues on the land it planned and intended to excavate in 1989. In his excavation report the boundaries listed are the Westmoreland Town Line, B&M land and on the north and east by the Graves property. This describes the entire portion of the 18-acre tract located in Walpole. This is a continuation of his grandfathered excavation activities as allowed by RSA 155-E:2 and RSA 155-E:2 I (b).

“There have been a number of State and Federal agencies that have inspected the site and determined that it is in compliance with their requirements.

“Therefore, the ZBA has looked into this matter for you, and the above mentioned RSAs take precedent. We have no further action to take.

“Yours truly,

“Myra Mansouri, for the Board”

 

1.) Ms. Rodrigues was at the meeting with Mr. John Corduff. She read a letter in response to the ZBA letter. Her main point was –  “you state, in your decision to consider the Graves Gravel pit still “grandfathered’ and hence, RSA 155E permit exempt, you only took into account the letter and documents presented/referenced by ourselves in our November 12, 2016 and December 16, 2016 presentations to your board – see Walpole ZBA letter to us attached, and rec’d as Walpole ZBA GravesPit StillGranfathered-010817 001.jpg

2.) We contend that your board (s), in making your decision, must also take into account other documents in the town’s possession, including the entire George Graves Revocable Trust’s AoT application – see December 16, 2013 letter confirming you received this application, as required by NHDES’  AoT application administrative rules, which is included in the application document itself, attached, and rec’s as

GgravesAoTAppl-ProofofDeliveryToGoverningBody-Dec`162013.rtf

The remainder of the 21/2 page letter will be posted with the minutes. If anyone wishes to examine the documents she presented. They are available at the select board office.

In addition to the letter, Ms. Rodrigues also read from the RSA 155-E-  the introduction and number 1, (a) and (b) and (e). The exemption from local zoning or site location regulations  as stated in subparagraph (a) shall include the quarrying or crushing of bedrock for the production of construction aggregate; provided, however, that no owner shall, after August 4, 1979, permit any such quarrying or crushing of bedrock to occur for the first time on any excavation site without first obtaining a permit therefore under this chapter.

She brought a map that she said marked the areas of illegal expansion.

After almost 45 minutes, Ms. Mansouri thanked Ms. Rodrigues for her documents and said they will be distributed to the board and that the board would get back to her.

Mr. Vose that Mr. Graves had all his permits in place. Mr. Graves, who was at the meeting with his wife and daughter, said yes and that the blasting was required by the Department of Environmental Service to divert stormwater and he was not removing bedrock.

 

Right-to-Know law

Ms. Mansouri passed out copies of the new additions to the Right-to-Know law that have recently gone into effect and pointed out that at the end of the document there is a worksheet that the secretary can fill in step-by-step as the meeting proceeds. Those include:

The names of those present

The specific reason for the nonpublic session

Roll call

The time entered into nonpublic session and the time that the board comes out of           nonpublic session

The name(s) of any person(s) present other than the board

A description of matters discussed

The final decision made

Motion to leave nonpublic session

Motion: Passed/ Did not pass

Nonpublic meeting tape removed, public meeting tape replaced (if applicable).

Public session reconvened at ………

Motion made to seal these minutes?

Roll Call Vote to seal minutes – list names

Motion Passed/ Did not Pass

These minutes recorded by: ……………..

 

Matrix

The ZBA has been working on a Matrix to the Application Process for certain variances and special exceptions that must be voted on by the ZBA and recommended by the WPB. It was presented to the Planning Board at last week’s meeting. Randal Walter, head of design for Bensonwood, was at the meeting and offered a couple of very good changes.

The one that was incorporated was to add – “Go to Planing Board and Request a Public Hearing for a Site Plan Review.” This was the first step on the left after “yes.”

 

Ordinances

Ms. Mansouri said there were some streets in town that have been renamed but are not listed in the Zoning Ordinance manual and that they would begin looking through the manual to put these new street names on a petition on the warrant for 2018.

A motion was made to adjourn, seconded and passed by the board.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

 

One thought on “Zoning Board Meeting Minutes – 1/18/17

  1. Patricia Rodrigues 02/05/2017 at 8:40 PM Reply

    To Residents of Walpole – FYI, and to allow for FAIRNESS and OBJECTIVITY – Here is our ENTIRE January 18, 2017 Letter to the Walpole ZBA, so YOU can come to your own conclusions regarding whether the Town of Walpole should be requiring the Graves Gravel Pit to now obtain an RSA 155-E permit… Thank YOU for not relying solely on the partial information supplied by the minutes of the Walpole ZBA, as furnished above… NOTE – All ATTACHMENTS for this Letter have now been converted to ONLINE LINKS, as indicated within the Letter below itself, for easiest Online Sharing of this document… And THIS LETTER ITSELF IS ALSO AVAILABLE, VIA AN ONLINE LINK, AT https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lPOF_kDiLgmM4IwRJ4V6iSyIWfRqh5CtbprBYHUPUJU/edit?usp=sharing
    ________________________________________________________________________
    January 18, 2017

    Walpole ZBA
    Walpole Selectmen
    Walpole Planning Board
    Walpole Conservation Commission
    Re: Response to Walpole ZBA’s Letter concerning Graves Gravel Pit and RSA 155E:2
    Delivered in person to Walpole ZBA, and via email to All others addressed and copied
    Dear Walpole Boards:
    In Myra Mansouri’s ZBA letter to ourselves, Patricia Rodrigues and John Corduff, which we received on January 11, 2017, concerning the Graves Gravel Pit and their ‘grandfathered’ status, ie whether a town RSA 155-E permit is required, we now have these observations, responses, and questions, to present:
    1) We observe in your Walpole ZBA letter to us that you state, in your decision to consider the Graves Gravel pit still ‘grandfathered’, and hence, RSA 155-E permit exempt, you only took into account the letters and documents presented/referenced by ourselves in our November 12, 2016 and December 16, 2016 presentations to your board – see Walpole ZBA letter to us attached, and ec’d as WalpoleZBA-GravesPitStillGranfathered-010817 001.jpg [shareable link is https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B59SAsJLw8NOdGt2OUZJbWliOUk/view?usp=sharing ]
    2) We contend that your board(s), in making your decision, must also take into account other documents in the town’s possession, including the entire George Graves Revocable Trust’s AoT application – see December 16, 2013 letter confirming you received this application, as required by NHDES’ AoT application administrative rules, which is included in the application document itself, attached, and ec’d as GGravesAoTAppl-ProofofDeliveryToGoverningBody-Dec162013.rtf [shareable link is https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B59SAsJLw8NOZjViUzduZS14aWM/view?usp=sharing ]
    3) The AoT application itself includes several Site Plan maps (entitled Existing Conditions and Grading/Reclamation Plans), as well as a letter from Richard Fraser, as agent for the George R Graves Revocable Trust of 2013, explaining why the AoT was required to be applied for – because the Graves, both George and Timothy, received a NHDES Letter of Deficiency because they excavated across the town line into Westmoreland without a permit, as well as excavated too much land in Walpole without a permit – see a copy of this letter attached, and ec’d as Letter-AoTApplforNHDES-LRMLODofNov132013.rtf [shareable link is https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B59SAsJLw8NOc25LUVF6dmNfUHM/view?usp=sharing ]
    4) The town is already in receipt of the Letter(s ) of Deficiency (LOD) from November 2013 as NHDES sent them to the town, as well as the fact I gave you copies of them during the November 2016 ZBA meeting. They clearly stated acreages excavated in both Walpole and Westmoreland. Mr Fraser also included p1 of the November 4, 2013 LOD in the AoT application – see it attached, and ec’d as Copyofp1ofNHDESLODfromGGravesoriginalAoTapplic-Dec162013.rtf [shareable link is https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B59SAsJLw8NOd084czlIUUZxMFE/view?usp=sharing ]
    5) The Site plan maps for the Graves Gravel pit AoT application and AoT permit clearly show the ‘Excavation Area’ defined as the land area within the contiguous red-hatched area – including land over the town line in Westmoreland – see the Site Plan maps attached, and ec’d, as pp 2 and 3 in AoT 1154 G_Graves Rev Trust Plan Set.pdf [shareable link is https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/937bdf7c-9c5b-4e78-8efe-a24ba25455a9 ]
    6) Reviewing the exact wording of RSA 155-E:2 Permit Required, sections I. (b) and I. (e):
    155E:2 Permit Required. – No owner shall permit any excavation of earth on his premises without first obtaining a permit therefor, except as follows: [shareable link of copy of RSA 155-E-2-I-Existing Excavations-hilited given to EACH ZBA member, to read along, is https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B59SAsJLw8NOTkNCUW83TUxIVlE/view?usp=sharing ]
    I. Existing Excavations. The owner of an excavation which lawfully existed as of August 24, 1979, from which earth material of sufficient weight or volume to be commercially useful has been removed during the 2-year period before August 24, 1979, may continue such existing excavation on the excavation site without a permit, subject to the following:
    (b) Such an excavation area may not be expanded, without a permit under this chapter, beyond the limits of the town in which it is situated and the area which, on August 24, 1979, and at all times subsequent thereto has been contiguous to and in common ownership with the excavation site of that date, and has been appraised and inventoried for property tax purposes as part of the same tract as the excavation site of that date, as modified by the limitations of RSA 155E:4-a, I, II, and II-a. In this paragraph the term “contiguous” means land whose perimeter can be circumscribed without interruption in common ownership except for roads or other easements, in a single town. It is further provided that when such excavation is not allowed in that location by local zoning or similar ordinances in effect on August 4, 1989, or when such ordinances allow such excavation only by special exception, expansion may be restricted or modified with conditions by order of the regulator if after notice to the owner and a hearing, the regulator finds that such expansion will have a substantially different and adverse impact on the neighborhood.
    (e) The exemption from local zoning or site location regulations as stated in subparagraph (a) shall include the quarrying or crushing of bedrock for the production of construction aggregate; provided, however, that no owner shall, after August 4, 1989, permit any such quarrying or crushing of bedrock to occur for the first time on any excavation site without first obtaining a permit therefor under this chapter.
    7) It is unquestionably shown by the documents and maps presented today that the Graves Gravel pit, in its expansion over the town line into Westmoreland, requires a town excavation permit, as per what is written in RSA 155-E:2 1. (b).
    8) As abutters who have been adversely impacted since October 2016 by the recent multiple and UNNOTICED blastings of the subterranean bedrock being done in the designated 1991 excavation area, which was still covered by loose soil and gravel at that time, we maintain that RSA 155-E:2 1. (e) is also applicable to the Graves Gravel pit now requiring a town RSA 155-E permit – see map of the 1991 Excavation area attached, and as p 5 in the document I gave you in November 2016, Excavation report for sites established before August 24, 1979., which is what I received from the town when I did a Right-To-Know request in 2013 asking for proof of the Graves ‘grandfathered’ status at that time. – the entire 5 pp is ec’d as Walpole ZBA records re Graves’ Pit.pdf [shareable link is https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/65236ff3-6d85-4a6b-b976-d1f907b37bd6 ]
    9) We are asking that you reconsider your initial decision in your letter to us last week stating that the Graves Gravel pit is ‘grandfathered’, in light of the further information brought forth today.
    Note 1) We are copying Mary Pinkham-Langer on this letter as she is an agent of the Commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration and, under RSA 72-B:17, II “The commissioner’s agents responsible for the enforcement of this chapter have the authority to advise and assist municipalities in regard to RSA 155-E and RSA 485-A:17, may report potential violations of RSA 155-E and RSA 485-A:17 to local and state officials, and may enter upon any lands for which an intent to excavate or a certificate to operate has been issued pursuant to RSA 72-B. … The commissioner’s agents may review any records in conjunction with any excavation in the state.” We are asking that she advise and assist your town in regard to RSA 155-E and the Graves Gravel pit.
    Note 2) We are also copying South Western Region Planning Commission on this letter as they are entitled to ‘Regional Input’ as the Graves Gravel pit (especially with its working relationship with the Graves quarry)affords complete degradation of a significant land area, in a Rural/Agricultural zone, along the Aldrich Brook, only 3/4 of a mile from the Connecticut River, affecting the Connecticut River Watershed, goes across town lines, and affects as well as ourselves and the historic Rail Trail ROW listed in our property deed, the Public’s interests in the Historic Cheshire Rail Trail and its infrastructure, including the eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places Aldrich Brook Stone Arch Culvert.
    We look forward to your prompt reconsideration of these matters.
    Ever so sincerely,

    Patricia Rodrigues and John Corduff, 52 Old Route 12 North, Westmoreland, NH 03467

    ec: Mary Pinkham-Langer, NHDRA
    Planning Department, SWRPC

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