Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 2/14/17

TOWN OF WALPOLE

PLANNING BOARD MEETING

FEBRUARY 14,  2017

 

 

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

Also at the meeting were the North Walpole Commissioners: Barbara O’Brien, Cheryl Mayberry and Patrick Kiniry.

Recording: Marilou Blaine, Recording Secretary. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the March 14, 2017 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.

Meeting Opened: Mr. R. Miller, Vice-Chair, called the meeting to order at 7 pm.

Roll Call: Mr. R. Miller asked alternates Ed Potter and Joanna Andros to sit in for the two missing board members.

 

Minutes: January minutes and Workshop Complete Streets minutes. Mr. Dalessio made one correction to the minutes, changing the number 50 weeks to 16 weeks to do the testing on the Westberg property, which is on the last page of the minutes. Mr. Marcom made a motion to accept the minutes as amended and the workshop minutes. Mr. Aldrich seconded the motion and the board approved the motion.

 

Old Business:

            Public Hearing No. 1.

Huntington Realty (Bensonwood) additions at 9 Edwards Lane, Route 12, Agricultural/Commercial District. Map 12, Lot 4-3. Building expansions for porch – six feet on north side, 6-foot-by-58-foot shed roof on south side and proposed outdoor pavilion (52 feet by 40 feet) for year-round Farm-to-Table restaurant. Resurfacing rear parking lot, adding stanchions for lights.

Mr. Randal Walter represented Bensonwood. He began by showing the original 2010 plans. He said this was a continuation of work on this piece of property that Is known as 9 Edwards Lane. The existing building, which was used for agricultural purposed, is 40 feet by 60 feet and the building there today. It was modified for a public building, an eatery, and the tenant was the Scoop Shop.  There were walk-up windows and some parking and, although not built but approved, the pavilion and parking in the back.

The next step being presented at the meeting were changes that include the front entrance, which is now on the north side and covered and building the timber-frame pavilion, which will visually enhance the front of the building and serve to bring the structure closer to Route 12 so it will be more noticeable. The parking lot was reconfigured and will be paved with lights. A shed has been relocated to the back of the parking lot and the delivery and service entrance has been covered. Other modifications are being made to the interior of the building.

The restaurant will be operated by Chris and Caitlin Caserta of Walpole Valley Farms on Wentworth Road. They plan to utilize the food they produce on the farm and from other local producers. The restaurant will seat 65 people. Mr. Caserta said it will be a friendly place, diner-style and he pledged to use 75 percent of the ingredients from local producers. Hours of operation are 4 to 9 pm, Saturday 11 am for brunch to 9 pm and closed on Sunday. They hope to open in April.

Mrs. Caserta said this will be a real education for people. Just about everything will be local – eggs, milk, maple syrup, bread, cheese, bread from Orchard Hill – and all kinds of meat from farms in and around Walpole.

Mrs. Caserta this town has a lot going for it. Both she and her husband grew up in this area. She is from Charlestown and Chris is from Walpole. “We can see what might happen if this were a fast-food joint. And we don’t want to be a fast-food joint. We want it to be a local business supporting local workers and getting food from local farmers.

Mr. Caserta said they had a store at the farm but some people can’t find it. This will be just a few miles from the farm but be a separate business. He called it a challenge to sell his products wholesale.

Mr. Dalessio asked Mr. Walter if the fire and water departments had approved the plans. Letters of approval were submitted with the application.

Mr. R. Miller closed the Public Hearing at 7:15. Mr. Marcom recused himself from the vote – not because he didn’t support the project it but because he works for Bensonwood.

Mr. Aldrich made a motion to accept the project as presented. The motion was seconded and approved by the board.

 

 New Business:

            North Walpole petition. Request for a Public Hearing to place a petition on the         district’s warrant.

Ms. Cheryl Mayberry, a North Walpole commissioner, handed out copies of the petition. The commissioners received a  petition that would amend the North Walpole District Zoning Board Ordinances. She said it was signed by 30 people, 25 are required.

Mr. Dalessio asked if the commissioners had checked the signatures against the registered voting list. Ms. Mayberry said no, but she would do this. Ms. Mayberry said she was following the requirements of the RSA, which says the commissioners have to bring such a petition to the Planning Board and the Planning Board decides whether it supports or does not support this article. This will be added to our warrant article to be voted on April 6, 2017.

The petition says: “We, the undersigned residents of the Village of North Walpole, do hereby petition the Planning Board of Walpole NH to approve the following amendments to the ZONING ORDINANCES, Ordinances adopted by Village District of NORTH WALPOLE NEW HAMPSHIRE, Adopted March 31, 2011.

“Amend ARTICLE VI, INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT, as follows:

“F. Special Exceptions:

“The Zoning Board of “Adjustment shall have the authority to grant a variance for Commercial or Residential projects in the Industrial District, provided that the Board, in its sole judgment, does not adversely affect the abutting properties.”

End of petition.

Ms. Mayberry said the Commissioners are not in favor of the petition and that the North Walpole Zoning Board already has the authority to do what the petition is asking. She added it might just make it more complicated for the board to render an opinion. The legal opinion is that this petition gives authority to the Zoning Board that it already has. It is not a necessary ordinance and you cannot write a petition that grants the board authority over the village vote and you can’t compel the Planning Board to have authority over the village Zoning Board.

Ms. Mayberry said it muddies the water as far as planning having any authority over zoning and could potentially have some legal ramifications.

Mr. Dalessio spoke to Mr. Gay and said he hoped Mr. Gay knows if it does pass that he’ll have to defend the petition in court.  He also said he didn’t know that the Zoning Board had authority to grant variances.

James Aldrich reiterated that it was his understanding that the commissioners of North Walpole are against this. Ms. Mayberry said yes. He continued and asked if there were an ABCDE before the F. He said it would helpful to our discussions to see that, see the whole ordinance.

“This is dangerous,” Mr. Dalessio said. “I want you to be aware of this. “ He add that it was his right and privilege

Mr. Dalessio asked Ms. Mayberry if the petition had been seen by legal counsel. She said yes. Mr. Greg Gay, who originated the petition, said it had also been seen by a lawyer.

Mr. Dalessio said there are other regulations as well – such as notices going out, legal notices in two places, certified letters going out to all business in the Industrial District and the hearing held a certain number of days before the meeting when the North Walpole voters will decide its fate on the North Walpole warrant. The North Walpole Village District meeting is in April, not March as it is in the town of Walpole.

Mr. Charles Lennon, an abutter, whose business is Len-Tex Corp., consulted his counsel, Mr. Gary Kinyon, and Mr. Kinyon wrote the following letter. It was passed out to the Board and one was given to Ms. O’Brien, a North Walpole Commissioners.  Part of the letter discusses the procedure that must be followed. Here is the letter:

 

Town of Walpole Planning Board

P.O. Box 729

Walpole, NH 03608

 

Re: Site Plan Review Application

8 Len-Tex Lane, North Walpole

Owner: Gregory D. Gay

 

Dear Board:

I represent Len-Tex Corp and DCR Real Estate, LLC, in connection with the above reference property. DCR Real Estate, LLC is the owner and direct abutter of Mr. Gay’s property, and the manufacturing facility of Len-Tex, Corp. is located on the DCR parcel.

Enclosed is a copy of the first page of the December 27, 2016 Minutes of the North Walpole Village District Village Commissioners meeting. The Minutes indicate Greg Gay submitted a petition to amend the Village District of North Walpole Zoning Ordinance (the “Zoning ordinance”). My client has been unable to obtain an actual copy of the petitioned amendment, but assumes it is as set for in the Minutes as follows:

The petition says: “We, the undersigned residents of the Village of North Walpole, do hereby petition the Planning Board of Walpole NH to approve the following amendments to the ZONING ORDINANCES, Ordinances adopted by Village District of NORTH WALPOLE NEW HAMPSHIRE, Adopted March 31, 2011.

“Amend ARTICLE VI, INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT, as follows:

“F. Special Exceptions:

“The Zoning Board of “Adjustment shall have the authority to grant a variance for Commercial or Residential projects in the Industrial District, provided that the Board, in its sole judgment, does not adversely affect the abutting properties.”

My client also learned the petitioned amendment is on your agenda for tonight’s hearing.

If the above is correct, and the petitioned amendment has been referred to the Planning Board,   I submit this letter as my understanding of how the Planning Board must now proceed to consider the petitioned amendment.

The Board “at its first regular meeting following the petition period shall set the date of the public hearing” for the petitioned amendment. RSA 675:4, H. Notice for the time and place of the hearing is set forth in RSA 675:7, I

-The time and place of the public hearing shall be “at least 10 calendar days before the hearing.” RSA 675:71. 

– The notice shall be “published in a paper of general circulation” and ”shall be posted in at least 2 public places.” RSA 675:7,D I

– Notice of the public hearing “shall be sent by first-class mail to the owners of each property in the district.” RSA 675:7, I (in this case, to each owner in the Industrial District).

Further, on behalf of my client, I request that notice of all public hearings on the petitioned amendment be sent to me on behalf of my client, electronically or by first-class mail RSA 675:7  I

Thank you for consideration of this letter.

 

Very truly yours,

Gary J. Kinyon

GJK/bas

Enclosures

cc Len-Tex Corp.

DCR Real Estate, LLC

 

End of letter. The enclosure included the minutes of December 27, 2016 North Walpole Village District.

Mr. Marcom made a motion to hold a Public Haring on March 14, the next regular meeting. The motion was seconded and passed by the board.

Handouts: New Right-To-Know Regulations. Form to fill out when board goes into executive sessions.

Complete Streets: Board members who missed the workshop meeting were given the handouts given at that meeting.

The secretary will notify the board if Mari Brunner and Liz Kelly cannot make the February Workshop date of Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 7 pm. Next month’s meeting will be held in the basement conference room because the townspeople will be voting for elected officials and articles on the warrant.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

 

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