Presiding Members: Jeffrey Miller (Chair), Robert Miller (Vice-Chair), James Aldrich, (Secretary), Dennis Marcom, Jason Perron, Jeff White, Steve Dalessio (Selectboard Representative). Alternates: Edward Potter, Joanna Andros.
Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the May 2018 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.
Meeting Opened: Mr. J. Miller called the meeting to order at 7 pm.
Roll Call: All board members were present so no alternate was needed to fill in.
Election of Officers: The first regular Planning Board meeting after Town Meeting officers are elected for a year. Mr. Perron nominated and made a motion to elect Mr. J. Miller as Chair, Mr. R. Miller as Vice-Chair and Mr. Aldrich as secretary. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Minutes: Mr. Marcom noted that on page one, in the seventh paragraph, last sentence, the word “on” should be “upon.” Ms. Mayberry also made a correction by email. She said the Selectboard briefly discussed the Rounds property donation and would make no decision until there had been a formal request from Mr. Rounds. Since that time, Mr. Rounds has found a buyer for the property. Mr. Aldrich made a motion to accept the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Mr. Marcom and approved by the Board.
Public Hearing No. 1: One lot into 2-lots: James and Margaret Charbonneau, 170 Kingsbury Rd. Map 8, Lot 120 – 1 divided into two lots. Lot 120-1 is 5.92 acres, 359 feet road frontage; Lot 120-3 is 5.06 acres, 202 feet road frontage, for a single-family residence. Rural/ag district. Lot 120-3 will come out of current use. David Edkins represented the Charbonneaus.
Mr. Edkins spoke in behalf of James and Margaret Charbonneau on Kingsbury Road. They are proposing a two-lot subdivision of their more than 11 acre lot at 170 Kingsbury Rd. The subdivision complies with all the zoning ordinances. Both lots are over 5 acres so state approval is not required. The thought at some point is that the Charbonneaus would deed Lot 120-3 to their daughter to build a single-family residence. The other lot would be for their own use.
With no questions from the Board and no questions from the abutters, Mr. J. Miller closed the hearing.
Mr. Edkins noted that the Charbonneau’s surveyor did not want to issue a final mylar until all the pins were in. He will send the plans within a couple of weeks. Mr. Edkins will notify the secretary and bring the Mylar to the Town Offices. The secretary will notify the Chair and Vice-Chair to sign the Mylar and paper map for the town files. She will bring it to the Registry of Deeds in Keene to be recorded.
Public Hearing No. 2: Recommendation to the ZBA for a Special Exception:
Great River Consumer Cooperative Society wants to covert a chicken coop, previously used by Hubbard, on Bensonwood property for a store for the Co-op. Request for a Special Exception 835-6488, Map 12 Lot 4-2. Also, parking lot on Map 12, 4-3. Land owned by Bensonwood. Both lots in Rural/ag district. Kim Mastriani – president of Walpole Co-op will represent the group.
The Co-op has postponed this hearing until May. Mr. Aldrich made a motion to continue the Public Hearing in May. The motion was seconded by Mr. R. Miller and the Board passed it.
Decision on Public Hearing No. 1: Regarding the Public Hearing on the subdivision on Kingsbury Road, Mr. Aldrich made a motion to accept the subdivision as presented by Mr. Edkins. Mr. R. Miller seconded the motion and the motion carried.
New Business: Mr. J. Miller explained the process for this new proposal from D&C Transportaion to build next to the veterinary clinic on Route 12. The Planning Board’s involvement in this is that it has to give a recommendation after a Public Hearing. Tonight’s meeting was for a request for a Public Hearing from the applicant. The Public Hearing would be the second Tuesday in May, and after public testimony, the Planning Board makes a decision to recommend or not recommend this project to the Zoning Board.
It is one of the requirements that the Zoning Board needs to make a decision when it hears a Special Exception when there is a change of use in the rural/ag district to commercial. The ZBA then has several other criteria it must consider before making a decision.
Tonight, Mr. J. Miller said, will be a quick presentation of the proposal and then maybe some questions from the Board. And then we’ll set a date for a Public Hearing for the written recommendation to the ZBA about the Special Exception.
Request for a Public Hearing for a recommendation to the ZBA for a Special Exception: D&C Transportation, Orleans, Vt. Map 10, Lot 2, Rural/ag district. Proposed use: Filling station and convenience store with a Drive Thru. Mr. James Phippard, a land use consultant in Keene, represented D&C Transportation, the owner of the land at the intersection of Route 12, South Street and Walker Road.
With a map on display, he pointed to the land being discussed – a field located on the west side of Route 12. The Connecticut River is located at the rear of the property. The total parcel of land is 10.2 acres and includes a forested area, and fields down by the Connecticut River and the terrace of land being used for the filling station and convenience store is about 40 feet higher than the river below.
The proposal is to construct a convenience store with a filling station and drive thru. That requires a Special Exception in the Rural/agricultural zone, Mr. Phippard said. The convenience store would be 6,000 square feet in size, operated by Big Deal Convenience Stores. There are two other Big Deal convenience stores in the area – one in Keene and one in Spofford on Route 9. He suggested visiting either of those stores if interested.
There are eight filling stations with two filling stations off to the side for diesel gasoline. The property was designed to accommodate not only passenger cars but also trucks. It’s not unusual to find trucks stopping to buy products from convenience stores. So in order to accommodate them the architect designed the area, so trucks wouldn’t be parking on Route 12. There is adequate circulation for tractor trailers and there are three parking spaces for tractor trailers.
This is not a truck stop, Phippard said. It is a safety feature so trailer trucks don’t stop on Route 12, in the public right-of-way, when they visit this facility.
There will be town water extended across the street from South Street and Mr. Phippard did speak to the water department.
The driveway that is there now is the driveway to the veterinary hospital. By deed, that driveway is shared with the lot next to it. We will be improving that driveway – paving it and widening it to accommodate two exiting lanes and one entrance lane.
There will be an on-sight septic system and soils on the property are good soils so there should be no problem there. There will be underground fuel storage, which is regulated by NH Department of Environment, he said. DES has established guidelines on usage and how to install those storage tanks safely.
Mr. Phippard said the plan will comply with the town’s zoning ordinances regarding signage, lighting, landscaping and will be using screening plantings in several locations.
Also, they will be making improvements to Route 12 as the Department of Transportation requires. Currently, there is a left-turn lane for southbound traffic; a right-turn lane will be added. There has been a significant traffic study and more information on the traffic will be forthcoming at the Public Hearing.
There will be 18 parking spaces, plus the parking at the fuel pumps, so 28 vehicles can be accommodated on the property at one time. The company believes that is adequate for the volume of business that is expected.
Mr. Phippard requested a Public Hearing for May so he could complete the process and get on to the Zoning Board.
Ms. Andros wanted to know what some markings on the map signified in the top left-hand corner. Mr. Phippard said underground fuel storage tanks. Then she asked where the parking spaces were. Mr. Phippard said across the front of the store, off to the side where there are also three trucks space and at the fuel pumps. Then Ms. Andros wanted to know what they would sell at the drive thru. Mr. Phippard said the store has a large deli – so food and coffee. Customers would pick up their food at the pick-up window on the other side of the building.
Mr. Marcom wanted to know the amount of paved area. Mr. Phippard said 1½ acres.
With regard to the left-turn lane, Mr. Marcom asked, does the state pay for that. Mr. Phippard said the applicant pays for that because his operation will impact traffic along Route 12.
The applicant is required to get a DOT driveway permit. The applicant is planning a right-turn lane, which will probably include 800 linear feet of roadway. The width is already there but it has to be repaved and restriped.
Jeff White pointed to the area of the bottom right corner of the map. He said no two tractor trailers could meet there and make a safe turn onto Route 12, especially during winter. He also didn’t think three parking space for three tractor trailers was sufficient. He thought it should be more. On any given day at Jiffy Mart, there are three parked trailers as well as a propane truck, a fuel truck and a couple of logging trucks. And 28 parking spaces at 6 to 7 in the morning is not enough, Mr. White said.
Mr. Aldrich noted that the building is located just south of the Westminster Bridge where the speed limit is 55. Mr. Phippard said DOT may recognize the 55 mph problem and lower it to 40 mph. “I will be sure to raise the issue,” Mr. Phippard said.
Mr. Dalessio asked if D&C Transportation was aware they needed a Special Exception when they purchased the property. Mr. Phippard said “yes.”
Mr. Aldrich made motion to schedule a Public Hearing in May. Mr. R. Miller seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Ms. Marcia Galloway asked if Mr. Phippard was aware of the recreational trail at the edge of his property. Mr. Phippard said “yes.” Someone else asked what was going to happen to it. Mr. J. Miller said that will be discussed at the Public Hearing.
Vilas Bridge: Representative from Bellows Falls to discuss Vilas Bridge. Chuck Wilson did not show.
Carmody site plan amendment: Mr. William Carmody came to amend his site plan for his building at 4 Ames Plaza. He intends to add a one-bedroom apartment.
Originally, Mr. Carmody said there were offices on the first floor with a commercial warehouse and two one-bedroom apartments upstairs. He closed down his business in the late fall, November. He painted up the apartments. His wife and he had decided. He is planning to convert the three offices on the first floor into an apartment. He will close off the hallway. Make the two half-baths into a three-quarter bath and the apartment will be a kitchen, living room and bedroom.
What about Power Sports? Mr. Dalessio asked. Mr. Carmody said they will still be there in the warehouse space.
Ms. Andros asked about the outside. Mr. Carmody said the outside will remain the same. The changes are to the interior.
He presented a formal request to amend his site plan.
Mr. Marcom made a motion to approve the amended plans. Mr. Aldrich seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Discussion: How to make Complete Streets part of the Site Plan Review and/or checklist. This topic will be discussed at the Workshop on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 7 pm. Mr. Marcom said he thought the Board could take the principals of Complete Streets and put it into Section 8. Mr. Marcom will come up with some verbiage to amend the site plan.
Mr. Aldrich made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion. The motion carried.