Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 7/11/17

Town of Walpole

Planning Board Minutes 

July 11, 2017

7 pm



Presiding: Jeff Miller, Chair, Robert Miller, Vice-Chair, James Aldrich, Secretary, Dennis Marcom, Jason Perron, Jeff White. Alternate: Ed Potter. Absent: Cheryl Mayberry, Selectboard Representative, alternate Joanna Andros.

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

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

Roll Call: A full Board was present so an alternate was not needed to fill in.


Minutes: Mr. Aldrich made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular Planning Board’s June meeting, as well as the June workshop meeting, as written. The motion was seconded by Mr. R. Miller and approved by the Board.


New Business:

Jack Franks – Avanru – Mr. Franks postponed his visit with the Planning Board until next month. The building that he will be discussing at the next meeting is the building behind the pumping station. On the map it is designated as the Food Co-op and is 28,400 square feet. He will be bringing in elevations of the building.

Mr. J. Miller said that the Planning Board was interested in an update of the property. Mr. Franks is going to explain his plans for the building.


Commonwealth Construction in North WalpoleMr. Miller said the Board talked about Commonwealth at our last meeting. We thought the building was larger than site plan, but after looking at the design plans, determined it wasn’t. The Selectmen now were concerned with the water and sewer hookups. The valve and junction were larger than they thought.

The August 2015 minutes say, “Mr. Miller continued to ask if there was anything unusual about the waste. Mr. Brosseau said as far as the sewage was concerned it was cleaner than what comes from most people’s homes.” Mr. Miller said he thought any problems had been resolved.

But it was noticed by a couple of Board members that two of the buildings on the original map had been removed and it appeared that footings had been poured for new construction. Mr. Aldrich said it looks to me as if they’ve gone overboard. Later in the meeting he added there are footings for a building that could be as big or bigger than the one they’ve just built.

Mr. Marcom said, “The plans were to renovate the warehouse. The question is if they’re following the plan.”

“It was supposed to be joined,” Mr. Perron said. “Those buildings are gone.”

The question goes back to the L-shaped building, Mr. R. Miller said. There was supposed to be selective demolition. Mr. Aldrich said they tore those right off.

Mr. J. Miller read from the July 2015 minutes. “the plans were to renovate an existing open L-shaped structure into a heated and unheated warehouse space. The building would be closed in. Phase two is the erection of a pre-engineered single-story metal building approximately 7,000 square feet for production space, office and support space….”

Mr. J. Miller suggested a letter be sent to Commonwealth to invite Mr. Brosseau to the next meeting. Mr. Perron asked if the Planning Board should write the letter or if the letter should come from the Selectmen.

Mr. J. Miller said it should come from us first. The letter should say that several Planning Board members brought the matter up at the July meeting and the plans do not reflect what was presented to the Board at the site plan hearing and pre-hearing. We would like to invite you to our next meeting to find out what you are doing.

Mr. Perron said, “We reviewed the site plan and we approved it and then the Selectmen gave a building permit. We don’t go out and do something if the plans aren’t adhered to. We go to the Selectmen. We can’t enforce.”

Mr. J. Miller said that the Board doesn’t know where he got the permit. It could have been Walpole or North Walpole. The Board ought to find out what he’s doing. If there’s a problem, then the Board can correct it. The Board has some questions about the site plan he presented. The Board has some questions.

Mr. R. Miller said, “What they presented and what we approved, seems to be different than what’s going on there.” They should respond to that.

Mr. J. Miller read the minutes from August 11, 2015 when Mr. Yobhel Brosseau, manager of Commonwealth Construction explained what he wanted to do at the North Walpole site – construct “a pre-engineered single-story metal building for the manufacture of USDA certified organic person care products. He added that there will be no changes to the site. Everything stays within the existing fence, he said. There will be no changes to the site – egress, water runoff, etc. There will be new utility hook-ups.”

And the last paragraph says, “In the conversion of the building to a warehouse, what do you see in the scope of work, asked Mr. Perron. Mr. Brosseau said exterior walls need to be filled in, open doors need to be filled in, and a new roof. …. The front portion of the warehouse will be heated and the rest will not be heated.”


The plans have changed but we don’t have that authority to do anything about it, Mr. Perron said.

Mr. J. Miller answered that the Board just wants to know what is going on. “If the explanation is not satisfactory and there’s a problem, we give it to the Selectboard. But there could be a very simple explanation.”

What they presented and what we approved is different, Mr. R. Miller said.

Mr. J. Miller asked the secretary to write a letter asking Mr. Brosseau to come to the next Planning Board meeting in August to explain what the company’s plans are. Mr. Perron suggested the Board send a copy of the letter to the Selectboard.


Complete Streets Workshop, July 25, 2017 – Please read over the Draft Walpole Complete Streets Planning and Design Guidelines and be prepared to make some recommendations. Also, check some of the discussion on trouble spots in the June workshop minutes. While the Planning Board has no jurisdiction to make any changes, the Board can make recommendations to the Selectboard.


The Board also decided that there will be no workshop meeting in August.


DADU revisions – The town’s attorney, Mr. Jeremy Hockensmith, had some suggestions about the language used in to the warrant article that addressed accessory dwelling units and detached accessory dwelling units and was approved by voters at the March 2017 meeting.. Mr. Hockensmith suggested that:

​- the terms for these units be defined.

​- the DADU is limited to 900 square feet of “living space” but the ordinances requires a ​maximum for a building’s square footage, either interior or exterior

– ​it should be stated that the DADU and ADU comply with all Town ordinances and ​regulations.

– ​there be only one DADU per lot.

​- the DADU could not be converted to a condominium.

– ​there be a requirement that DADUs and ADUs and main dwelling must remain in common ​ownership.

Mr. J Miller and Ms. Myra Mansouri, Zoning Board of Adjustment chair, made some changes to the language concerning these items and the changes will be discussed at the September meeting. The Planning Board will have an opportunity to tweak the language if needed. The Board will get a copy of the changes before the meeting.


Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine, Secretary




Next meeting Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017


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