Present: Chair Myra Mansouri, Judy Trow, Tom Murray, Pauline Barnes. Alternate: Bob Anderson. Absent: Vice-chair Jan Galloway Leclerc and alternate Don Sellarole.
Roll Call: Alternate Anderson was asked to fill Ms. Leclerc’s place on the Board.
Minutes: There were a couple of minor corrections. Change “accept” to “approve” the minutes. Under Old Business add the preposition “in” before Zoning Ordinance and on the last page change a plural to singular – enterprises to enterprise. Ms. Trow made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion was approved by the Board.
Mr. Robert D. Westover, 670 Valley Road, Map 11 Lot 34-1, in the rural/ag district requested a Public Hearing to construct a two-car garage with a 13-foot carport. He needs a variance because Article VIII Section D says that in the rural/ag district “No building or other structure shall be erected closer than sixty-five feet to the center line of the abutting right-of-way nor closer than twenty feet to any side or rear property line.” Mr. Westover said that because of the way the existing property slopes, it would require “costly site work” to conform to the ordinance. He would like permission for a 10-foot setback instead of the 20-foot setback.
Ms. Trow made a motion to hold a Public Hearing if the application is properly filled out and the fees paid. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Possible Subdivision Map 19, Lot 57– 22 School Street .72 acres with 172 feet road frontage.
Ms. Mansouri said someone is interested in subdividing this property into two small lots in order to put a small house on one of the lots. Ms. Mansouri said there is a question whether the land is in the Commercial district or Residential B district. The Tax Card says Residential B but a couple of zoning maps and the Walpole Zoning Ordinance dispute this designation.
A zoning map of Walpole Village shows High Street and a portion of School Street, including where the land in question is located, as commercial. Another map shows that the land is commercial on School Street up to Union Street. The Walpole Zoning Ordinance under the Commercial District (Page 12) says the following: “6. Area bounded by Turnpike Street (Main Street) to the corner of High Street and (Old) North Main Street, 175 feet northerly along (Old) North Main to a point, thence 75 feet easterly parallel to High Street, thence 175 feet southerly to High Street, High Street, School Street, a line 175 feet north of Middle Street, east side of Washington Square, Westminster Street, and Elm Street.”
The land is where the former “Bee Hive” was. The Bee Hive was a building with several apartments that fell into disrepair and was removed in 2016. The land was purchased by two people who live in the neighborhood.
There was a discussion among Board members on whether the land could be subdivided because it would make a conforming lot a non-conforming lot.
Avitar Map: Zoning Map
Two zoning board members were going to look at a map of the town created by Avitar to cross check descriptions of boundaries in zoning districts and correct the descriptions to reflect the current street names and districts. The two board members abandoned the project because they they were unfamiliar with the descriptions that were written in 1968 when the Walpole Zoning Ordinance was adopted.
Following is an example of a description of a boundary in Residential A that left them totally befuddled.
“3. 250 feet back from edge of highway east of Dearborn Road (Upper Walpole Road) from the 1965 boundary of the “Rock Farm” to Drewsville Road (Whitcomb Road).”
“Where is Rock Farm?” asked Ms. Trow. Mr. Tom Murray, a lifelong resident of Walpole, explained that Rock Farm is on Upper Walpole Road across from the northern entry to Dearborn Circle. It’s the house that has the boat in the front yard, he said.
Since many entries describing the boundaries refer to names of streets (example Hitchcock Mountain Road that is now Alstead Center Road), that are unfamiliar to Board members who were not living in Walpole in the ‘60s, Mr. Murray agreed to be a member of the committee that is going to crosscheck references and correct them to the current status. The committee is starting with the Village District.
Review: Forms for the Planning and Zoning Boards when considering a Special Exception in the rural/ag district:
The Board spent some time on making corrections and additions to these two forms. The forms are being reviewed to make it easier for townspeople to understand what an applicant is expected to do when filling out an application and because the Planning Board did not have an application for Recommendations for a Special Exceptions. The new forms include all the criteria an applicant must consider.
The secretary will make all the changes that were discussed and come back next month with the final version of the two application forms.
The task of reviewing Special Exception forms for the Industrial District for both the Planning and Zoning Boards was postponed until the March meeting.
Community Solar Project at 310 Main Street:
Ms. Barnes wanted to know about this project, which was mentioned in the Planning Board minutes. The secretary explained to the Zoning Board what she knew about the project.
Chris Welcome and Chad Whitaker of Solar Clean Generation in Nashua had planned to attend the Planning Board meeting last week but were unable to get to the meeting because of the snow storm. They will be at the March meeting.
The company is planning to construct a community solar project on the property of Nathan Bisson and Allegra Pickering at 310 Main Street. The property is 8.4 acres in the rural/ag district, Map 24, Lot 15. Although the address is 310 Main Street, there is no land with frontage on Main Street. The property is behind a storage barn and behind several homes on Maplewood Circle. The farmhouse on the property was built in the 1900s and currently has two apartments in the dwelling. The project will have a couple of thousand panels and will sell electricity to a group of members. This is one of several community solar projects Solar Clean Generation is doing in the state including in Dublin, Barre and Pittsfield.
Winchester Solar Ordinance: The Board received copies of the Winchester Zoning Ordinances, which included a Solar Ordinance. There is going to be a discussion of an interim solution for a solar ordinance at the Planning Board Workshop on February 27, 2019 in the basement conference room. Some of the ZBA Board members plan to attend.
Since the Zoning Board members inspect all of Walpole’s gravel pits once a year, Board members received an update about two pits. Cold River Materials has a new owner – Eurovia Atlantic Coast, LLC.
Tim Graves has amended his Alteration of Terrain Permit. The amendment consists of a change in permit holder from the George R. Graves Revocable Trust of 2013 to Timothy S. Graves, 387 Old Drewsville Road.
Ms. Trow made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Barnes seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Winchester Solar Ordinance
Log for 2018
Gravel pit changes – Graves, Cold River Materials
Next meeting Wednesday, March 20, 2019