Zoning Board of AdjustmentTown Hall – Walpole, NH
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Present: Board Members: Chair Myra Mansouri, Vice-Chair Jan Galloway-Leclerc, Judy Trow, Mary Therese Lester, Tom Murray. Alternates: Ernie Vose and Pauline Barnes.
Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the May 2017 meeting for corrections, additions or omissions.
Roll Call: Ms. Mansouri called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. A full board was present.
Minutes: Ms. Leclerc made a motion to accept the minutes as written. Ms Trow seconded the motion and the Board approved the motion.
Election of Offices: Ms. Leclerc nominated Ms. Mansouri for chair. Ms. Lester seconded the motion and the Board voted in favor of the nomination. Ms. Trow nominated Ms. Leclerc for vice-chair. Ms. Lester seconded the motion and the Board approved the nomination for vice-chair. Ms. Trow was nominated for clerk. The motion was seconded and the Board approved her nomination.
New Business: Snow Frye, Wellness Center sign, 40 Main Street. Ms. Frye wants to put up a sign for her business in the oval grassy area in the front of the building at 40 Main Street. She said she was “grandfathered” because there had been signs there before. She would replace the sign that was at the south side of the grassy area, near the driveway She will have to replace the post because it is rotted and falling down. This will clean it up and make it look more professional, Ms. Frye said.
The sign will be 29.5 inches by 39.5 inches and say ‘WALPOLE WELLNESS CENTER.’’ Beneath that, the sign will say in smaller letters “YOGA & MASSAGE” and be on one post.
Ms. Frye also submitted a second sign that added Dr. Steven Pena, FAMILY CHIROPRACTOR. This was a possible sign if Dr. Pena wanted to put a sign below her sign.
Ideally what the owner would like, Ms. Frye said, is one sign in the middle advertising the three businesses – the Wellness Center at the top, Dr. Pena below that and then Mazziott. Mazziott was approved for his sign, which is the pink cupcake, in 2015.
Ms. Lester said she shouldn’t need a Public Hearing for 100-foot rule of one sign being 100 feet from another sign because the Mazziott was already approved for the same area.
Ms. Frye said at one time there had been three signs. One in front of the what is now the bakery, was one for Nathan Lynch, a lawyer, one for Dr. Pellegrino, and one for Dr. Pena.
One was one at the north end of the grass, one in the middle and one at the south end. Ms. Fyre said that the Mazziott sign was move four feet closer to the center and wasn’t sure if it would affect signage of the two other businesses there in the future.
Ms. Leclerc said the Board can approve this sign (by the driveway) because there was one there before and it replaces it. However, if she or Dr. Pena want to do something different, they must come back to the Board. If the three businesses decided to get together and do one sign, that would also be considered a separate issue.
Liz Collinsworth, 71 Elm Street, Driveway on property line and one that doesn’t have water flowing into the street.
Ms. Collinsworth recently purchased the Victorian at the end of Elm Street. Her parking area, behind the house and around the corner on South Street, is a bit of a walk to get to. She would like to have a parking space for one car on the left side of the house (as you are facing the house) that leads to a side door and mud room. That space is in the setback area between her house and the property line to the north. There is a split rail fence that marks the property line.
Ms. Collinsworth said it would be for one car only and she does not intend to pave this space.
She also said she spoke with Mike Rau, the road agent, and he seemed okay with the plan.
She would also like to put in a temporary ramp in the same area. The ramp would go from the side door to the car area. The ramp would be there when Ms. Collingsworth‘s father, who is in a wheelchair, lives with her.
Ms. Leclerc said the Zoning Board has no jurisdiction over driveways and it appeared she would be allowed to do this.
Quentin Hess – corner of North Rd. and Old Drewsville Rd., rural/agricultural – assisted living home.
Mr. Hess wants to convert his current home into an assisted living area for six to 10 people. He would make the home handicap accessible, put in a sprinkler system. He thinks there is a need for this in this town and any other small town to have a place to stay.
Ms. Mansouri asked him to explain what he meant by assisted living. Mr. Hess said it was a place for people who may need someone to be with them, or are not comfortable living alone. Someone who may need help with their medications or recovering from surgery. They would have basic care – food, meals, transportation, some medical attention. A nurse would be available.
Mr. Hess said he and his wife have worked in healthcare all of their adult lives.
He has had some history working in cardiac rehabilitation and said there is a need for those people. It would be a place where a physical therapist could come. I don’t think it would create a huge impact to the town.
Ms. Mansouri explained that the state has a multi-page RSA that spells out what the requirements are for this type of place. It is RSA 151.
Ms. Mansouri said there are a lot of regulations and she suggested that he go to the Web site and download the material and then see if he can fulfill the requirements of the state.
Then there are all the hearings that he would have to have. He would need a Special Exception from the Zoning Board, a recommendation for a Special Exception from the Planning Board and a site plan review approval from the Planning Board. That’s three hearings.
Ms. Leclerc said if it is something you want to proceed with after he understands what the requirements are, then you can fill out a Special Exception application and get a recommendation from the Planning Board to come for a hearing and then come back for another hearing.
Mr. Murray said he should keep in mind the he would have to have a commercial kitchen, and if you have employees you will have to change the landscape of the yard for parking for several cars. Ms. Mansouri said the rooms would have to be handicap accessible and there would need to be an elevator. He would probably have to hook up to the sewer system, which is not too far from his house, but there would be a cost to bring it to the house for that many people.
Besides following state guidelines, Mr. Hess would also have to get a special exception from the Zoning Board. The Planning Board would need to recommend or not recommend the project to the Zoning Board. In addition, he would also need to have a site plan approved by the Planning Board. That’s when you need to sort out the details of parking etc.
DADU – The Board will read the final draft of the petition that was on the warrant and was passed by voters. This may be a slight addition to the ordinance. Mr. Hockensmith notified Mr. Jeff Miller, chair of the Planning Board, that it might need a few clarifications. You may add changes as long as it doesn’t change the intent the document.
There was a question about renting and No. 7 addresses that question. You can rent the accessory building or whatever dwelling the property owner is not living in.
That’s a state law, Ms. Pschirrer said. The wording is supposed to reflect what the state said.
That refers to an attached dwelling, Ms. Mansouri said, and we have an ordinance about an attached ordinance. We don’t need to put the language into our ordinance, we just have to follow the state ordinance.
At the next meeting, the Board will discuss what the petition does and doesn’t allow or any questions any Board member might have about the meaning of any part of the ordinance.
Bylaws – The Board looked over the corrected Bylaws and decided there were a few more items that needed correcting, so the Board will bring those corrections to the next meeting and a final draft will be printed and given out at the June meeting.
Rodrigues Letter – The Board received a copy of the letter that Patricia Rodrigues and John Corduff brought to the April Planning Board meeting. They were complaining about trucks that were passing their home from 9 pm to 3 am on a particular day in April.
A day or two later, Ms. Sarah Downing learned from Mr. Tim Graves that he was responding to an emergency situation regarding a washout of the railroad bed in Westminster, Vt. Ms. Downing’s response said, “Hi all: I have confirmation that the reason why there was last night/early morning trucking from the Graves Gravel Pit on April 10-11. There was an emergency in Westminster VT where the railroad bed was washing out into the Connecticut River. Now we have the detail as to what the transportation safety issue was related to.”
The secretary, per instruction from Mr. Jeff Miller of the Planning Board, called Ms. Rodrigues and relayed this message.
cc: ZBA, Town Offices, The Walpolean