Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 4/9/19


Presiding Members: Jeffrey Miller, James Aldrich, Dennis Marcom, Jason Perron, Jeff Harrington, Steve Dalessio (Selectboard Representative). Alternates: Jeff Colley, Joanna Andros. Jeff White came in a few minutes late.


Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the May 2019 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions. 


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


Roll Call: Mr. White was absent so Ms. Andros was asked and agreed to take his place on the Board. He came in about five minutes later to take his place on the Board.


Minutes: March meeting and March workshop minutes: Mr. Marcom made a motion to approve the regular meeting minutes and workshop minutes as written. Mr. Aldrich seconded the motion and the motion carried.


New Business:

Election of Officers. Mr. Aldrich made a motion to elect Mr. Miller chair, Mr. Marcom vice-chair and Mr. Aldrich secretary – clerk. The motion was seconded. Mr. Miller asked if there were any other nominations. There being none, a vote was called for the slate of officers and approved by the Board.


Hubbard Farms: Replacing a chicken house at Pomeroy Farm.


Ms. Diane Miller represented Hubbard Farms. She passed out a diagram of the farm that included six chicken houses, a farm residence, an office, a R&D building and a building for manure storage. She explained that the Pomeroy Farm is at the end of North Main Street and the entrance is across from the cemetery.    


Ms. Miller said that the company already had a demolition permit from the Town to demolish chicken house No. 26 and No. 22 and said they are already down. Concrete slabs remains. She continued that the company that bought Hubbard Farms in 2018 looked at the roof of chicken house No. 22. It was going to take more than $100,000 to repair the roof. The company decided to build a new building using the same 42-foot-by-100-foot footprint. However, it could possibly be wider at a couple of points, Ms. Miller said. She needs a ventilation specialist to come in and look at how the air flow is in the chicken house in the summer. So it the building may require a small addition to the south and north. It would be closest to the manure house on the north side and Pomeroy Farm Lane on the south side.


Ms. Miller didn’t know how much space on either side that would take. It could by 3 feet, 5 feet or 10 feet. She has to wait until the ventilation specialist gets back to her. It could be no feet but it could be up to 10 feet on either side, she said. There would be no chickens in that space and no worker. The space would be screened for the purpose of filtering dust and insects from coming through into the chicken house. 


Mr. Marcom asked if it would have a roof over it. Ms. Miller said it would have a roof over it.

The foundation will remain the same but the building may be wider on the sides. Building would begin in July.


Basically, we are going to build a building that looks very similar to the one that’s there. Ms. Miller said. They may have to add the air ventilation systems on either side. Based on that information, she asked if Hubbard Farms would need a site plan review.

Mr. Dalessio asked if there were any new regulations that are based on buildings for chickens. She said she didn’t know of any new regulations except that there is a regulation of 45 pounds per square foot on the ceiling. Also, from a welfare issue, there has to be enough water and space, she said. 


Mr. Miller asked what did the Board think. Mr. Marcom said, “I don’t see any need for a site plan review.” Mr. Miller asked if anyone is in agreement. There being no Board member who didn’t disagree, Mr. Miller said the plan didn’t need a site plan review. 


Old Business:

Public Hearing: Avanru Development Group LTD, Lot Line Adjustment – Map 12, Lots 13 and 13-3, commercial district.


Surveyor Joe DiBernardo represented Avanru, which has three lots off of Route 12 near Tractor Supply

– the two mentioned in the Lot Line Adjustment and the third is Abenaki Springs. He explained that the configuration of these two lots would change. Lot 13 would shrink to 1.05 acres with 150.01 feet of frontage and Lot 13-3 would increase to 7.35 acres with 247.37 feet of frontage. In addition, there are a couple of easements, one on each lot, both of which would benefit Lot 13-3. 


Mr. Marcom had a map and said he didn’t understand what Mr. DiBernardo was referencing. Mr. Marcom  asked if anything had changed. Mr. DiBernardo said nothing has changed and that the tax map was incorrect. He explained where the current line was and explained where the new line would be and that it would wrap around the pumping station, which is part of the frontage for this lot.


He explained the 20-foot strip that grabs frontage Route 12 for Lot 13-3. The tax map doesn’t show frontage on Route 12. Mr. Miller interjected saying it’s a legal lot. There are no requirements for depth or width.


In addition, there’s an existing sewer line that runs out to the apartments and there’s an easement that goes over that, Mr. DiBernardo said. The sewer easement was required by the town when the apartments were built, Mr. Jack Franks said. 


Mr. Miller said he knew that and asked if there were any other questions. Being none, he closed the Public Hearing. Mr. Perron made a motion to accept the application as presented. Mr. Aldrich seconded the motion and the motion carried.


Avanru/Fieldstone Civil Engineering: Final information to complete work requirements. This is regarding Map 12, Lot 13 and the conditions the Board in August 2018 put on that lot for approval of an amended Site Plan, Retail Store, Commercial District. 


The conditions were:

A new permit from AoT

A sprinkler plan signed off by the Walpole Fire Department

A final design of the building

A final sewage connection planning – catch basin placement

A time frame of one year in which construction must start and construction would be defined as the foundation started. If there is no construction/foundation, he must submit new site plan.


Mr. Franks and Mr. Chad Brannon from Fieldstone Civil Engineering presented. A package was presented with three complete sets of design drawings of the building, an approval letter from AoT, a letter from Mark Houghton agreeing with the architect, Mr. Kevin L. Paton, that a sprinkler system was not required because of the size of the building and the drawings with sewage connection plans.

Mr. Brannon said he was there to address all the conditions of approval in August 2018. He mentioned all of the above items that were submitted.


Mr. Dalessio said the building permit is in regard to a previous building and Mr. Franks would need to get one for this building. He asked if Mr. Franks had a potential tenant. Mr. Franks said he had three potential tenants but he was couldn’t say who they were because he signed a nondisclosure agreement. Mr. Miller asked what his time-frame for building was. Mr. Franks said within the next 30 days. 


Mr. Dalessio asked how much greens space. Mr. Brannon said 32 percent. The next question was why the new driveway? Mr. Jacks said the access point off of Route 12 would be conducive for the business that may go on that lot and when discussed with DOT they found that the line of sight and the fact that they had re-striped the road that it was better there than to put a slip lane in there. It also wouldn’t require any lights.


Mr. Dalessio noted that the paper work for the driveway permit had the wrong side of the road. Mr Brannon and Mr. Franks said knew about the error and that it would be corrected.


Mr. Franks said he is also hoping that he will have a new tenant for the property in back and said it will be a huge benefit for our community. 


Brannon said the design on Map 13 is not going to change. They added a 100-square-foot vestibule on the front. Because of that the ADA ramp was moved a few feet west and a sidewalk around the west side of the building was added. He said this plan has a less impervious cover.


Mr. Dalessio said the entrance is really dark. Mr. Jacks said the photo metrics has been updated. He has had some discussion with Liberty Utilities about a street light and if it’s a suggestion from the Board, he would go ahead and ask them. Mr. Miller said that is a suggestion.  


Mr. Aldrich asked which way was the building facing. Mr. Brannon said south. Mr. Aldrich asked if you drive in from Red Barn Lane you’re looking at the back of the building. Mr. Brannon agreed.


Mr. Dalessio made a motion to approve the amended site plan as presented at the meeting. Mr. Aldrich seconded the motion and the motion carried.


Joe DiBernardo – Correction to Nerrie Lot Line Adjustment map that was approved last month – Mr. Joe DiBernardo said their was a drafting problem. The lots are the same size but when they went to set the pins, the stone wall was actually in a different place. 


Mr. Miller said that he originally thought maybe some of the acreage had changed. So he call Jeremy Hockensmith, Town Counsel, and asked if this was an administrative thing or not. If there is a change in acreage you have to go back and have a new Public Hearing to have a clean deed, Mr. Hockensmith said. But this was showing the stone wall in the wrong place.


The stone wall will become the new property line. A new plan shows the wall as is and the pin. Mr. DiBernardo has written to the Cheshire County Registry of Deeds to see if they’ll accept the amended plan. If the Registry of Deeds accepts the amended plan, then the Board does nothing. If it doesn’t, the applicant has to have another Public Hearing. 


Certification 676 allows this. He will submit a new Mylar and there will be a note on the Mylar about what happened. He will let the secretary know what happens. 


Catherine Harris and Mark Smith – professional offices and a home at 6 Ames Plaza, Map 12, Lot 55-21, Commercial District.


Ms. Harris owns Wealth Management & CPAs LLC, located on Route 5 in Westminster Station, Vt. It is a small professional office that serves Vermont and New Hampshire clients equally. The primary service include investments, taxation, CPA services, bookkeeping/payroll and business consulting. It has been operating for nearly six years. There are 4 personnel including Ms. Harris and sometimes an intern or a seasonal person.  


The couple have a purchase agreement for the 6 Ames Lane property. Their goal is to build a mixed-use building (residential/commercial mix) on the land that would serve as both the new location of CHS Wealth Management and Catherine and Mark’s personal residence. The property would have two driveways. A business driveway with 10 parking spaces and one handicapped space would have vehicles entering from Ames Lane and another driveway entering from Dearborn Circle for their personal use. The building, a modern farmhouse style, would be a two-story building not to exceed 3100 square feet, excluding basement, two car garage and porch. 


Ms. Harris believes there is a deed restriction on the property that will need a variance. Board member, Mr. White, lives on Dearborn Circle. He said the deed restriction and covenant on these properties expired for each home at different times. “That’s why we got it rezoned,” he said. There were a lot of things you couldn’t do – put up a clothes line, have a fence, etc. The deed restrictions are gone. So you do not have to get a variance. The two driveways do not connect. There are more problems from the lights in the Plaza, White said.


They do need a site plan. Water and sewer are already available and plenty of green space. 

Mr. Dalessio suggested they talk to Mark Houghton, Water and Sewer Director, to make sure they know where the water and sewer lines run. 


They will have need to get a driveway permit. The couple will be back next month to get an application and request a Public Hearing for a Site Plan Review.


Bill Carmody renovations. Mr. Carmody said he owned a home at the end of Pleasant Street and was doing renovations. He will be changing windows in the front and changing the size of the entry to 8-feet-by-10-feet for a mud room. He was told he had to come before the Planning Board. Mr. Miller said he did not need to come to the Planning Board for those renovations to the house, he just needed a building permit.


Community Solar Project at 310 Main Street – Chris Welcome and Chad Whitaker of Solar Clean Generation in Londonderry will be here to talk about the project at 310 Main Street and answer questions next month. Mr. Welcome canceled on Wednesday afternoon.


Todd Stewart of Solar Power Financial plans a solar array at capped landfill site. The terrain of northern portion is too steep but considering going for a 1 MW facility and power line may be big enough to handle that. The  Select Board is handling this matter. 


Patricia Rodrigues – Ms. Rodrigues wrote a four-page letter for a motion to reconsider the outcome of the Timothy Graves and Gretchen Fowler subdivision, decided last month. Mr. Miller said the Board has already ruled on the subdivision and if Ms. Rodrigues wanted to go further with her reconsideration, her recourse was to go to Superior Court. She then asked about the Rules of Procedure. Mr. Miller said they are being updated and when finalized, she would get a copy. Her letter will be attached to the minutes and placed in the file.


Mr. Dalessio asked the gentleman who was with Ms. Rodrigues, John Corduff, if he was taping the meeting. Mr. Corduff said yes. Mr. Dalessio said he wanted that noted in the minutes. 


April Workshop – Tuesday, April 23, 7 pm. Finalize the solar plans for residential and non residential districts. Also the Board needs to decide where the new plans should go in the site plan.  

Mr. Aldrich made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Dennis seconded the motion and it passed. 


Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

WPB Secretary


One thought on “Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 4/9/19

  1. Patricia Rodrigues 05/11/2019 at 11:33 AM Reply

    – So here is the Motion for Reconsideration of Graves Subdivision Approval that the Walpole Planning Board declined to consider… Why are Walpole Boards allowing any residents to be ‘above the law’?

    April 9, 2019
    Walpole Planning Board
    Town of Walpole
    Walpole, NH 03608

    This is being filed in person today as a Motion for Reconsideration of your Approval of the Graves Subdivision application and Plat at your March 12, 2019 Public Hearing conducted on the matter. It has also been emailed to you just prior to this meeting.
    This Motion for Reconsideration is based on the following:
    – The applicants failed to place on their Subdivision Plan/Plat a Commercial Building on Lot 3, the Gravel pit lot, which they obtained a Building permit for in November 2013 from the Walpole Selectmen’s office; therefore, by the Graves’ failure to be honest about their commercial building on Lot 3, which they use to make money in the wintertime for their overall business – your board has thus now created a Non-conforming Lot!
    – In the draft Minutes for the meeting, Surveyor Joe Dibernardo minutes states that ”Mr. DiBernardo pointed out on the map where the access to the gravel pit was. He said the existing road doesn’t have to be the access point. The amount of road frontage is part of ordinance and a subdivision requirement.”
    – While local Walpole ordinance may say ‘…the existing road doesn’t have to be the access point. The amount of road frontage is part of ordinance and a subdivision requirement.’, state RSA 674:41, III, states otherwise, as below –
    III. This section shall supersede any less stringent local ordinance, code or regulation, and no existing lot or tract of land shall be exempted from the provisions of this section except in accordance with the procedures expressly set forth in this section. For purposes of paragraph I, “the street giving access to the lot” means a street or way abutting the lot and upon which the lot has frontage. It does not include a street from which the sole access to the lot is via a private easement or right-of-way, unless such easement or right-of-way also meets the criteria set forth in subparagraphs I (a), (b), (c), (d), or (e).  (subparagraphs are listed at end). 

    Furthermore, in order for the private NHDOT access and the private easement over my property to the Class 6 Old Route 12 North in Westmoreland to be legally acceptable as ‘…the sole access to the lot.. the criteria set forth in subparagraphs I(a), (b), (c), (d), or (e).’ must be met – BUT THOSE CRITERIA CANNOT HAVE BEEN MET UNLESS YOU CONSULTED WITH THE TOWN OF WESTMORELAND, AS THIS SUBDIVISION, AND THE INCORPORATION OF LOT 29 IN WESTMORELAND INTO LOT 3 OF THE GRAVES SUBDIVISION, QUALIFIES FOR A ‘REGIONAL IMPACT’ PROJECT, necessitating input from the SWRPC, and…   

    Most importantly, nearly EVERY part of NH RSA 674:53 Land Affected by Municipal Boundaries applies to this Subdivision, as below –
        I. An owner of contiguous land which is located in more than one municipality may treat a municipal boundary line as an existing boundary between lots, tracts, sites or other divisions of land for purposes of this title unless the existing or proposed use of land or arrangement of structures in one of the municipalities requires and is dependent upon land or improvements located in the other municipality or municipalities in order to fulfill the land use ordinances or regulations of the first municipality with respect to such matters as lot size, density, frontage, uses or accessory uses (ie Gravel Pit expanded over Town Line into Westmoreland – thus NOW REQUIRING a LOCAL RSE 155-E permit, per 155-E:2 (I) (b) Such an excavation area may not be expanded, without a permit under this chapter, beyond the limits of the town in which it is situated…), set-backs or access, or in order to comply with applicable state or federal regulations. 
        II. Upon receipt of an application for a permit or approval under this title for the subdivision, development, change of use of, or erection or alteration of any structure upon any lot, tract, site or other division of land whose boundary or portion thereof is a municipal boundary line, or whose sole street access or sole maintained street access is via a private road or class IV, V, or VI highway located in an adjoining municipality, the municipality receiving the application shall inquire in writing to the appropriate administrative officials in the adjoining municipality or municipalities as to the existence of facts or regulations which, under paragraphs I, III, or IV of this section or otherwise, would preclude or affect such subdivision, development, construction, or change of use. Response shall be made to such inquiries within the period provided by this title for approval or disapproval of the underlying application. A response which invokes an ordinance or regulation of such adjoining municipality may be appealed in that adjoining municipality in the same manner as any other administrative decision. An adjoining municipality in which is located an existing private road or class VI highway that serves as an applicant’s sole means of fulfilling the street access requirements under RSA 674:41 shall have the same regulatory powers under that statute with respect to that road or highway as if the proposed building or development were located within that same municipality. 
        III. An owner of contiguous land in more than one municipality may treat such contiguous land as a single lot, tract, site, or other division of land for purposes of this title, notwithstanding the municipal boundary line, provided that: 
           (a) All uses of land, buildings, or structures shall comply with the regulations or ordinances of the municipality in which they are located. 
           (b) When an owner has fulfilled or proposes to fulfill the requirements of one municipality, through the inclusion of land or improvements located in an adjoining municipality, such owner or the owner’s successors shall not thereafter use that land or those improvements in a manner such that those requirements of the first municipality are no longer fulfilled. This paragraph may be enforced by the municipality whose requirements are to be fulfilled. 
        IV. No plat or plan showing land or streets in more than one municipality in the state shall be deemed approved for purposes of this title unless it has been approved by the planning boards of all included municipalities in which the planning board has been granted authority over approval of that type of plat or plan. In addition, no plat or plan showing land whose sole street access or sole maintained street access is or is planned to be via a private road or class IV, V, or VI highway located in an adjoining municipality shall be deemed approved for purposes of this title unless it has been approved by the planning board, if any, of that adjoining municipality, provided however that the sole issue which may be addressed or regulated by the adjoining municipality shall be the adequacy of such street access, and the impact of the proposal upon it. [ NOTE: Graves Subdivision Plan on file at Cheshire County Registry of Deeds as Plan 19027 is NOT APPROVED NOR SIGNED by the Town of Westmoreland.]
        V. With respect to a proposal for the use of contiguous land in more than one municipality: 
           (a) The fact that a lot, tract, or site straddles a municipal boundary, or that the requirements of one municipality are proposed to be fulfilled by the use of land or improvements in an adjoining municipality, shall not be the sole grounds for disapproval of any application. 
           (b) A planning board may waive or vary its regulations with respect to access or interior roads in order to provide better harmony with the regulations of an adjoining municipality, whenever strict compliance would be unreasonable in light of the overall design of a proposal. 
        VI. When local land use boards from more than one municipality have jurisdiction over a proposed use, subdivision, or development of property: 
           (a) The applicant may petition the respective local land use boards of each such municipality to proceed with the application on a joint basis, and upon such petition, joint hearings or meetings shall be held throughout the application process. However, each board may meet separately to confer and take final action upon the application, but may not condition final approval upon the receipt of information not previously requested at a joint hearing or meeting. 
           (b) Not less than a quorum of each involved land use board shall attend the joint hearing or meeting, and the members who attend the joint hearing or meeting shall have the authority of the full board over that application. In the alternative, the full board may attend the joint hearing or meeting. Each land use board shall be responsible for rendering a decision on the subject matter within its jurisdiction. 
           (c) The board members present at such a joint meeting or hearing shall select an interim chairperson from among such members, who shall prescribe rules of procedure, subject to alteration by the members present, but consistent with RSA 676. 
        VII. Whenever a subdivision plat or site plan submitted to a planning board includes land whose only maintained public highway access to the Class I and II highway system is via a Class IV or V highway maintained by another municipality in the state, the local governing body and planning board, if any, of that other municipality shall be deemed “abutters” for purposes of notice under RSA 676:4. A planning board may, by regulation, set forth additional circumstances in which notice to adjoining municipalities is required. A planning board, in determining whether an application satisfies its regulations, may consider the effect of the proposal on adjoining municipalities. Source. 1989, 381:1. 1995, 43:6, 7. 1998, 57:1, 2, eff. July 11, 1998.

    While I still contend that I am an abutter as I said at the meeting (which you acknowledged I videotaped) because of the fact that the Cheshire Rail Trail is a public way funded by governmental monies, as well as other factors I preserve the right to bring up in the future – and NOT because I am a ‘sight’ abutter, which Marilou Blaine falsely wrote that I said within the draft Minutes- there is NO DOUBT whatsoever that I am affected by your decision as you have made the access via my Property the SOLE ACCESS for Lot 3, increasing the Heavy Truck and ALL other traffic by my home – whereas prior to the Subdivision Lot 3 has ALWAYS had access via Class 5 Wentworth Road in Walpole – IN FACT, RIGHT NOW, AS MUD SEASON IS UPON US, THE WENTWORTH ROAD CLASS 5 ACCESS IS THE ONLY VIABLE ACCESS FOR HEAVY TRUCKS BECAUSE CLASS 6 OLD ROUTE 12 NORTH IS MUCH TOO SOFT AND MUDDY! Also, going back to the Commercial Salt Shed Building built via a Building Permit, the Gravel Pit business has changed from a part-year business to a Year-Round business – again, increasing traffic by my home, when prior to 2013 I had peace and quiet in the winter while the Gravel Pit access via Old Route 12 North, my property, and the Historic Cheshire Rail Trail, was unplowed and snowed in, and only the Wentworth Road access in Walpole was used at that time..

    “Referencing a letter from the state already mentioned above, Miller said the state has already said it doesn’t have a problem with the subdivision.”
    As for the state of NH approving access – and it is a private use of public land, RSA 674:54 II-a applies (see below) and this states that the use ‘…shall be fully subject to local land use regulations.’ – AND even that Access is NOT Permanent – only renewable and revocable licenses! So with any possible revocation of those impermanent licenses you would have a Lot with NO ACCESS!

    So, as the Minutes and the videotaping of the hearing we did show, you did cut me off as I tried to continue talking about access, and you, Mr M Miller said “That is not what the Board is talking about tonight. This is a Public Hearing for a subdivision of land and nothing else.”


    While I tried to further discuss access, and being an abutter (not notified) of the subdivision, your board cut me off. Our recourse to the violations of law is left to write this Motion of Objection to your minutes and the voted approval.

    With this information now set before you, we again ask that you accept this Motion for Reconsideration.


    Patricia Rodrigues and John Corduff
    52 Old Route 12 North
    Westmoreland, NH 03467
    674:54 Governmental Land Uses. –
     II-a. Any use, construction, or development of land occurring on governmentally owned or occupied land, but which is not a governmental use as defined in paragraph I, shall be fully subject to local land use regulations.
     674:41 Erection of Buildings on Streets; Appeals. – 
    I. From and after the time when a planning board shall expressly have been granted the authority to approve or disapprove plats by a municipality, as described in RSA 674:35, no building shall be erected on any lot within any part of the municipality nor shall a building permit be issued for the erection of a building unless the street giving access to the lot upon which such building is proposed to be placed: 
    (a) Shall have been accepted or opened as, or shall otherwise have received the legal status of, a class V or better highway prior to that time; or 
    (b) Corresponds in its location and lines with: 
    (1) A street shown on the official map; or 
    (2) A street on a subdivision plat approved by the planning board; or 
    (3) A street on a street plat made by and adopted by the planning board; or 
    (4) A street located and accepted by the local legislative body of the municipality, after submission to the planning board, and, in case of the planning board’s disapproval, by the favorable vote required in RSA 674:40; or 
    (c) Is a class VI highway, provided that: 
    (1) The local governing body after review and comment by the planning board has voted to authorize the issuance of building permits for the erection of buildings on said class VI highway or a portion thereof; and 
    (2) The municipality neither assumes responsibility for maintenance of said class VI highway nor liability for any damages resulting from the use thereof; and 
    (3) Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the applicant shall produce evidence that notice of the limits of municipal responsibility and liability has been recorded in the county registry of deeds; or 
    (d) Is a private road, provided that: 
    (1) The local governing body, after review and comment by the planning board, has voted to authorize the issuance of building permits for the erection of buildings on said private road or portion thereof; and 
    (2) The municipality neither assumes responsibility for maintenance of said private roads nor liability for any damages resulting from the use thereof; and 
    (3) Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the applicant shall produce evidence that notice of the limits of municipal responsibility and liability has been recorded in the county registry of deeds for the lot for which the building permit is sought; or 
    (e) Is an existing street constructed prior to the effective date of this subparagraph and is shown on a subdivision plat that was approved by the local governing body or zoning board of adjustment before the municipality authorized the planning board to approve or disapprove subdivision plats in accordance with RSA 674:35, if one or more buildings have been erected on other lots on the same street. 


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