Present: Board Members: Chair Jan Galloway Leclerc, Judy Trow, Tom Murray, Pauline Barnes.Alternates: Don Sellarole, Ernie Vose. Absent: Bob Anderson, Vice-Chair Myra Mansouri.
Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the regular December 2019 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.
Roll Call: Ms. Leclerc called the meeting to order at 7 pm. One Board member was absent so Mr. Sellarole agreed to fill in. Board member Ms. Mansouri came in late and took her place on the Board.
Minutes: Ms. Trow made a motion to accept the minutes as written. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Variance: Leo Blair – Drewsville – house behind the Drewsville store. Mr. Blair wants to build a she shed for his wife. He said the terrain of the property is a problem. It is very steep in back of his house.
Mr. Blair did not come to the meeting because he is finally moving into the house this week. He expressed hope he will be at the December or January 2020 meeting.
Marcus Lowell – Boggy Meadow Farms – 104 River Road South, rural/ag district – Mr. Lowell explained that Boggy Meadow was a long-standing dairy farm with dairy barns, cheese barns, pepper barns, cornfields, etc. He’s been working with Royal Holmes, who has a farm on the other side of the Connecticut River. He has recently moved 250 heifers into a new barn and hopes to renovate the milking parlor and turn it into an active farm. The milking parlor is in need of new equipment. If the plan moves forward, he would need two full-time employees to turn it into a 24-hour operation. Mr. Lowell proposed putting a mobile home amongst the barns in the barnyard so the cows would have 24-hour supervision. The mobile home would be 14-feet-by-56-feet or perhaps a double wide, which would increase the length by 20 feet. There is a 1795 home on the property, plus a silo and several other barns. Mr. Lowell showed a picture from Google Earth showing the barns and house and he drew on the map where he wanted to put the mobile home. The home has a long-term rent and is really not suited for the employees, Mr. Lowell said.
Mr. Sellarole asked about a septic. Mr. Lowell said he would either tie into the current system or build a new one. Power and water are already there. Ms. Mansouri asked about the size of the septic. Mr. Lowell said there were two septic systems on the property. He would have to check it out for size.
Ms. Leclerc explained the ordinance that says only one residence per lot. But, she added, it makes sense to put a residence so close to the milking parlor and dairy barn because a farmer wants his employees near the cows. Dairy farming is also a purpose of the rural/ag district, Ms. Leclerc said. Mr. Vose mentioned a subdivision of an acre, but added, since they want the home so close to the animals that wouldn’t work.
Ms. Barnes said there’s a very strong incentive from the state to encourage farming. Agriculture isbeneficial to communities and should not be unreasonably limited in use by planning and zoning boards, she said. Ms. Trow asked about adding onto the house. Mr. Lowell said it is the oldest house on the property and didn’t think it would be the right answer to the problem. Mr. Murray asked why put it in the middle of the barnyard. What about somewhere nearby but not right in front of the equipment barn. Mr. Lowell said he would think about it.
In the end, it was determined Mr. Lowell would need a variance. Ms. Trow made a motion to have a public hearing for his request in December. Ms. Mansouri seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Chris Northcott, 104 Cheney Road, rural/ag district. Chris Northcott wants to build a house on his property on Cheney Road, a Class VI road, while living in a cabin. The proposed house would be 100 feet behind the cabin. When the house is completed, Mr. Northcott would demolish the cabin. He asked for a timetable of the end of next summer. The Board agreed and asked the secretary to send Mr. Northcott a letter. If he couldn’t finish by the end of summer, Mr. Northcott had to come back to the Zoning Board.
Avanru Development Group – signage for Abenaki Springs, commercial district, Map 12, Lot 13-4. Mr. Jack Franks asked for a one-sided, 3-foot-by-6-foot sign at the entrance to the Abenaki Springs apartments on Avery Lane. It would have four Led lights mounted inside the roof frame. It would say “The Residences at Abenaki Springs” and, at the bottom of the sign in much smaller letters, “An Avanru Development Property.” The sign would have a small 12-inch-by-60-inch board under it saying “Leasing Inquiries, The Hodges Companies, 1-800-742-4686.” The sign would be placed several feet from the turn onto Avery Lane, before where the trash is collected. Ms. Trow made a motion to accept the request for the sign, which conforms to the ordinance. The motion was seconded and it carried.
RSA 36:54-57 Developments of Regional Impact. How does it affect the ZBA?
Ms. Leclerc called the NH Municipal Association and she said, according to what she heard, we have had nothing that has had a regional impact. It is more of a common sense thing. Ms. Barnes said regional impact should be part of the Board’s thinking when the board has a Public Hearing for a variance. She suggested it might be in the form of a question for the applicant on the variance application. Someone thought it was somrthing that the Board should consider and the applicant might not even understand what regional impact meant. It was decided that regional impact would be mentioned on the application to remind the Board to consider regional impact at a public hearing when considering a variance.
Mr. Vose resigns as Moderator – Mr. Ernie Vose said this Town Meeting would be his last and that the Town would be looking for a new moderator. He has been a moderator for the town for 20 years.
Anyone interested must file for the position between January 22 and January 31 with the Town Clerk.
Final vote on Bylaws – There were a couple of minor changes to the Bylaws. The Board vote to approve the amended them with the new changes.
The Board had a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded and it carried.