Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 11/14/17

Walpole Planning Board

November 14, 2017

Town Hall

7 pm


Present: Chair Jeff Miller, Co-chair Robert Miller, James Aldrich Secretary, Jason Perron, Dennis Marcom, Jeff White, Cheryl Mayberry, Selectboard Representative. Alternates: Joanna Andros, Ed Potter,

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

Roll Call: Mr. J. Miller called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm. There were five board members present so no one was needed to fill in.


Minutes: There were two corrections to the regular minutes. The first was a motion by Dennis Marcom regarding the Public Hearing for Complete Streets. The motion should say, “At its workshop session on September 26, Board members who were present okayed several recommendations for Complete Streets as well as the policy presented after July. The recommendations and policy should be given to the Selectboard.” Mr. Marcom made a motion to do just that and it was seconded by Mr. R. Miller. The Selectboard will have a Public Hearing in November for the public to weigh in on these recommendations and policy. Also, Jeff White’s name was not listed as being present for the October 2017 meeting.

Mr. Marcom made a motion to accept the minutes as amended. Mr. Perron seconded the motion and the motion passed with a unanimous vote by the Board.


Old Business:

Public Hearing No. 1: Jeff Carney,  Program Manager Vegetation and Inspections for Liberty Utilities, will prune trees on Farnum Road, a designated scenic road. Request by letter, Statute 231-158.

Mr. Carney, sent a letter to the Planning Board outlining what his team was going to do on Farnum Road, which is a designated scenic road. The scheduled maintenance follows PUC: 307.10 Pruning Standards and “with the landowner’s consent, utilities shall prune trees adjacent to all distribution circuits to the following minimum clearances on more than a five-year cycle.”

Mr. Carney was not at the meeting.


Public Hearing No. 2; Amended DADU (Detached Accessory Dwelling Units)  The DADU is a zoning ordinance that passed in March 2017. On the advice of the town’s attorney, Jeremy Hockensmith, it has been amended to clarify the new zoning ordinance. Mr. J. Miller sat down with Zoning Board chair, Myra Mansouri, and these are the amendments that were added to the ordinance.

The first is a definition of DADU:

“DADU – As defined as a residential living unit that is with the same single-family lot and provides independent living facilities for one or more persons, including provisions for sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation on the same parcel of land as the principal unit it accompanies.

“1-F No conversions to condominiums and must remain in common ownership.

“2- D Only one DADU per lot.

“E. Must comply with town ordinances and regulations.”

Everything else remains the same. Mr. J. Miller asked if there were any questions or comments. Mr. Marcom said that it all made sense to him. The Public Hearing was closed.

Mr. Perron recommended passage of the amendments to the DADU. Mr. R. Miller seconded the motion and the motion passed in a unanimous vote.


New Business: Bensonwood request for a Public Hearing in December for a small addition of a shed to one of the buildings at 6 Blackjack Crossing.

Mr. Tom Olsen represented Bensonwood. He asked for a Public Hearing for an addition to a timber frame shop that Bensonwood would like to build. He explained that the addition would be to the building on the right of the parking lot. The addition is called the Robot Shed addition because the shed will house a new timber milling machine that the manufacturers of the machine call a Robot.

This addition is 389 square feet and it will be attached to the 14,500 square-foot timber frame building. That does not include the offices, which are attached on the east side of building. It’s a single-story addition, with a shed roof and a concrete foundation.

He submitted a corrected site plan. Mr. Olsen said the previous plan was part of a parking study that shows parking spaces that don’t exit. He didn’t’ want there to be the impression the company was parking 120 cars because that’s not happening.

Mr. Olsen said there will be no increase in employment because it’s an automated machine. And currently the construction of the wall, roof and floor panels have been moved to a facility in Keene. So about 30 people who were previously working at 6 Blackjack Crossing are now working in Keene.

Mr. Marcom, a Bensonwood employee, added that there is a woodworking facility that’s on Pratt Road in Alstead and the 10 to 12 employees from that facility will now be working at 6 Blackjack Crossing.

Mr. J. Miller asked about the waivers on the checklist and if some were not applicable. Mr. Olsen said he provided some information on the document of the waived items.

Mr. J. Miller recommended that the meeting next month will be about two matters: the site plan for the Robot shed as well as for an amended site plan. These two matters will be incorporated into one Public Hearing. The minutes will reflect this request.

Mr. Aldrich made a motion to hold a Public Hearing for the addition of the Robot shed and also for the amended site plan. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and it was approved by the Board.


William Callahan – Land Donation

Mr. Miller said that there is a gentleman in town that has 3.6 landlocked acres and he wants to donate the land to the town. It abuts the Fanny Mason Forest, which has a conservation easement on the property. The procedure is to generate a letter of recommendation. That’s the process, Mr. J. Miller said.

Since Mr. Aldrich knew the background of the parcel, he explained the history of the property and why Mr. Callahan wanted to donate the land. Looking at a map, Aldrich pointed out Route 12, and a parcel of land now owned by Mr. William Callahan. Aldrich said years ago Raymond Fletcher owned the land and had a handshake deal to allow the person owning the property, now belonging to Callahan, to drive across the property, now owned by Sean Hannan. The right of way went from Old Keene Road to get to where Callahan’s property now is. Since that property is now owned by someone else, that owner did not agree to the right of way so it leaves the acreage landlocked. So Mr. Callahan wants to give it to the town as a gift. The property will become part of the Fanny Mason Forest.

Mr. Marcom asked what was the Planning Board’s duty.

Mr. J. Miller said the Planning Board has to send a recommendation to the Selectboard to allow the Selectboard to accept the land on behalf of the town. The Conservation Committee also has to send a recommendation.

Mr. Perron made a motion to recommend to the Selectboard the acceptance of the Callahan property for the town. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and the Board unanimously passed the motion. The secretary will send a letter to the Selectboard.


Complete Streets – Board members received copies of the minutes of the Public Hearing on Complete Streets recommendations and policy that the Selectmen held earlier this month. Each of the Planning Board’s recommendations was taken up and commented on by people attending the meeting.


Liberty Utilities Mr. Miller suggested keeping open the Public Hearing on pruning on a scenic road. No abutters attended the hearing and the spokesperson, Jeff Carney did not come, so the Planning Board will keep the hearing open and will continue the Public Hearing at the December meeting.


DCR – Greg Gay property in North Walpole. Selectman Mayberry said she received a new document that afternoon stating that the judge threw out the motion to reconsider their decision, which was favorable to Mr. Gay.


Mr. Aldrich made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded and passed by the entire Board.


Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine


Next regular meeting Tuesday, December 12,  2017

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 )

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: