Zoning Board Meeting Minutes – 7/18/18

Present: Board Members: Chair Myra Mansouri, Vice-Chair Jan Galloway Leclerc, Tom Murray, Pauline Barnes. Alternates: Ernie Vose, Bob Anderson. Absent: Board member Judy Trow, Alternate Bob Sellarole.

Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the regular August 2018 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.

Roll Call: Ms. Mansouri called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. One Board member was absent so Mr. Anderson was asked to fill in.

Minutes:  Regarding the mention of Pinnacleview having four commercial lots on page 2, Mr. Vose pointed out that this matter was approved by a vote of the town. Pauline Barnes added the word “to” or “the” in a couple of. sentences, added “whether” to the eighth paragraph on page 3, changed “received” to “receive” in the seventh paragraph on page 3 and on page four, paragraph two, added a “d” to the word “like” and removed the words “was made” in the second paragraph. On page one, Ms. Leclerc corrected the misspelling of Ms. Trow’s name.

New Business:

Special Exception for a commercial operation in rural/ag: Mr. Joe Sawyer would like to rent his land where the flea market was on Route 12 to Andrew McIntyre to store his trucks when they are not on the road. Ms. Barnes asked where the old flea market property was. Mr. Sawyer said across from Bensonwood on Route 12. It’s on the right hand side going Southard on that route.

Mr. Sawyer said he talked to the state engineer about the driveway permit and the engineer said the permit he had for the flea market was sufficient.

How many trucks? Mr. Vose asked. Mr. McIntyre said 3. Mr. Anderson said it’s in the rural/ag district.

Mr. McIntyre explained his operation. He said the trucks leave on Sunday and are back by Friday. He said it wouldn’t affect daytime traffic because the trucks leave at night and they get back very early in the morning.

Ms. Mansouri asked what was going to be stored on the property. Mr. McIntyre said just a couple of pickup trucks and the trailer trucks and every once in a while another piece of equipment. Ms. Mansouri asked, How many? He said 3. Mr. Vose asked, “What about the future? Could this grow?” Mr. McIntyre said, “Yes, if I could get another driver to work.” He explained that his drivers are over 55 years old and it’s hard to get younger people to do this type of a job. “I’d love to grow,” he said. “What business doesn’t want to grow? At this point in time I’m happy with 3 trucks.”

Ms. Mansouri asked if the trucks will be running at night. He said, “no.” She asked if any other equipment would be running at night. He said “nothing” would be running at night. In the winter when the trucks come in, they’ll be plugged in so they don’t have to run. They have an electric heater, it will keep the water warm in the truck so they are able to start right up.

Ms. Barnes asked for an explanation. Mr. McIntyre explained that a coil keeps the antifreeze warm so the trucks will start right up in cold weather. Where is the electricity coming from? someone asked. Mr. Sawyer said it is already on the site.

Ms. Barnes asked if there would be any lighting. Mr. McIntyre said, “I don’t want to but if it’s something I have to do, it’s something I would entertain the idea.”

What about the trucks and parking, would it be paved? Ms. Barnes asked. Mr. McIntyre said, “We’d have to see. It’s a sandy soil. There are some that have gravel.” Mr. Sawyer said, “We might get some hard pack.”

Ms. Barnes asked if it required some kind of Special Exception. Ms. Mansouri said, “yes.” Mr. Sawyer asked, “Just to park a couple of trailers there?” Ms. Mansouri said, “yes.”

Ms. Leclerc said if it were Mr. Sawyer’s business he wouldn’t need a Special Exception to park a trailer there. But this is a business so it needs a Special Exception. Ms. Mansouri added it may have stipulations saying what you can and cannot do.

Ms. Mansouri asked again, “Are you sure you have all driveway permits because that is a very poor line of sight there.” Mr. Sawyer said they are all state approved and David Linenberger said there was no issue. Ms. Mansouri said the Board would like a letter from him.

Mr. McIntyre repeated that there will be 3 trucks entering and leaving once a week. They leave on Sunday and come back on Friday. When they had the flea market there were 30 or 40 trucks entering and leaving.

Ms. Leclerc made a motion to set a Public Hearing next month, assuming applications and fees are in. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried. It will be at 7:30 pm. The change in time for the ZBA to meet at 7 pm does not go into affect until September.

Request for a Variance: Cottage at Hooper Golf Club, Residential A – Fred Dill owner of Hooper Golf Club. Mr. Dill had a map of the property from the Monadnock Conservancy. A majority of the property is in conservation easement.

Mr. Dill said he bought the golf course and all the buildings and remaining land with the idea that Mike Rogers would buy the little house, the golf group would buy the golf course and surrounding wood lot, which is all in conservation easement, and I would end up with the big house, the barn and the pro shop because the conservancy didn’t want anything to do with the buildings.

The cottage has less land and less frontage than is required. That’s because it is Residential A, Ms. Mansouri said. She asked how much road frontage the house lot had. Mr. Dill replied about 50 feet. Zoning requirements for a building in the Residential A district are 40,000 square feet of land and 200 feet road frontage.

Mr. Vose asked if the lot has ever been surveyed. Is it a separate lot? Mr. Dill said not yet. Mr. Dill is having a Public Hearing in August before the Planning Board for a three-lot subdivision that would separate the cottage, golf course and the big house, barn and pro shop. The person who did the Conservancy map has agreed to do a subdivision map so there will be exact figures on the size of each of the parcels of land on the next map. The golf group is buying the golf course and the wood lot and that property can be farmed or for a golf course, Mr. Dill said. It cannot be developed.

Mr. Dill said he thought the land around the big house or mansion is 8-plus acres. That property can be developed but he said he had no plans to develop anything else on that land – no condominiums, nothing.

Mr. Dill said, “I think the restaurant and golf course go together.” So he is trying to get the golf group to agree, even if they don’t want to get together, that they are going to have to rely on one another. The golf course irrigation system goes right through that property.

Mr. Dill added that he thought the holdup with selling the golf course before was that the group of golfers didn’t want to redo the mansion and the people who wanted the mansion for a B&B or restaurant didn’t want anything to do with taking care of a golf course.

Mr. Vose said that the Board needed the exact measurements of the lot. Then he asked if Mr. Dill could expand the land where the cottage is. Mr. Dill said, “No. The Conservancy will not change the boundary lines on that piece of property. No debate.”

Mr. Vose asked if that lot had ever been on its own lot. Mr. Dill responded, “No. It’s always been there and for someone who worked at the golf course.”

Ms. Leclerc asked if the Planning Board could approve subdividing a lot that is non-conforming. The answer was “no” that the Planning Board would have to do it on conditional approval of what the Zoning Board decides.


Mr. Murray made a motion to hold a Public Hearing in August for a variance for the cottage on the Hooper Golf Course property and one of the conditions of the subdivision would be the Planning Board decision. Ms. Leclerc seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Great River Co-op: Farmers Market on the commercial property on Route 12, Map 12 Lot 4-2.  Representing the Co-op was Kim Mastrianni.

The Co-op has been working with the people at the Bellows Falls Farmers Market to try and coordinate something on this side of the river. The group has a letter from Bensonwood, who owns the property, allowing the Co-op to use the property for a farmers market. The property if on the right side of Edwards Lane as your facing the property and it is the front of Lot 4-2 where there is a sign asking people to join the Co-op.

Ms. Mastrianni was there to check and see if there was anything the group needed to do in order to go ahead with the project.

Ms. Mansouri asked, “Is this going to be at specific times?” Ms. Mastrianni said that the group had to coordinate with Bellows Falls because they didn’t want to do something the same night. The group is also talking to farmers. They didn’t know if they would have something every week or, if that wasn’t possible, have special markets like the one previously done on the Walpole Common for Thanksgiving.

Ms. Mansouri said it’s important to know the time so people can be aware of when traffic is turning. Ms. Leclerc said.

Mr. Anderson said it’s commercial property and they are not putting up a building.

Then someone asked about parking. Ms. Leclerc said that I don’t think our Board has to worry about it. And its not in our jurisdiction. Ms. Mastrianni said there was parking behind the Hungry Diner and on both side along that drive. The market will be in a circle or a couple of lines and people go up and down or around.

Ms. Mastrianni said the group would be putting up a temporary vinyl sign on the fence or a sandwich-board type of sign. A sign in a commercial district cannot be larger than 32 square feet.

Mr. Mastrianni closed by saying that everything depends on our local farmers and farmers markets usually last about three hours. Mr. Vose said and then they pick up everything and go home. She was wished good luck with her project.

Gravel pits: Every year the state requires Zoning Board members to inspect the gravel pits in their town. The assignments this year are:

Hodgkins – Industrial Park and Old Drewsville Road – Mr. Anderson and Ms. Mansouri

Cold River and Whipple Hill – Mr. Vose and Ms. Barnes.

Joe Sawyer’s pit on Route 12 and Tim Graves on Wentworth Road – Ms. Leclerc and Mr. Murray.

Ms. Mansouri will call Fuzzy Brothers to see what is happening on their property, if they’re selling gravel.

The secretary will bring in inspection forms to the August meeting. The Board inspects safety requirements at these pits.

Ted Johnson shed on School Street: He is putting his shed on wheels and was not going ahead with the variance. This is now in the hands of the Selectboard, Ms. Mansouri said.

Solar Ordinance: The Planning Board will have a workshop meeting on Tuesday, July 24, at 7 pm to talk about writing a solar ordinance. The Zoning Board is invited to attend.

Bylaws: Last month, in June, the Board voted to change its meeting time from 7:30 pm to 7 pm on the third Wednesday every month. The Board agreed and voted to the change again at this meeting. Per the bylaws, this was the second meeting.

Special Exception in the Industrial Park: Mr. Peter Dexter currently has an auto repair shop in the Industrial Park. He is going to be purchasing the former platform tennis court building in the Industrial Park, now owned by Bensonwood.  He needs a Special Exception because an auto repair shop is considered a commercial venture not industrial. After a question by Ms. Barnes, Mr. Dexter said the building is at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Mr. Dexter wanted to know if he needed a new special exception? The whole business is moving. Ms. Mansouri said he would need a new Special Exception because it’s a different lot and a Special Exception goes with the  property and not the business. When Mr. Dexter leaves the building he is in now, the land will return to being zoned Industrial. A variance stays with the property, not a Special Exception, Mr. Vose said.

Mr. Dexter said he has been at his location for 20 plus years. He was asked why he was moving? Mr. Dexter said that the space is larger and that currently he is leasing this property and doesn’t own it. Cold River Bridges owns the property. The price of the building he’s in is too high. Here he gets to own a larger building for about the same amount of money.

A motion was made by Ms. Leclerc to hold a Public Hearing in August for a Special Exception for Mr. Dexter for the former platform tennis building in the Industrial Park to be used for a commercial business. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and it was approved by the rest of the Board.

Handouts: Site Plan Changes and Change to Site Plan Amendment History.

Model Wind Turbine Ordinance.

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

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