Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 2/11/20

Presiding Members: Jeffrey Miller (Chair), Dennis Marcom (Vice-Chair), James Aldrich (Clerk), Jeff White, Jason Perron, Jeff Harrington, Steve Dalessio (Selectboard Representative). Alternate Jeff Colley. Absent: Joanna Andros.


Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the regular March 2020 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.

Roll Call: Mr. Miller called the meeting to order at 7 pm. All board members were present so analternate was not needed to fill in.

Minutes: Mr. Aldrich made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular January meeting and the January Workshop as presented. The motion was seconded and passed by the Board.

Old Business:

Public Hearing No. 1.

Greg Gay, Site Plan for Office Building. Greg Gay proposes a 30-by-70-foot-office building at 8 Len-Tex Lane, North Walpole, Map 27, Lot 8-1, Industrial district. The building will have six offices, a bathroom and room for inventory. Postponed until March.

New Business:

Robin Sanctuary and Chad Thurston, Main Street, former American Legion building. Mixed Use. Request for a Public Hearing for a site plan. A real estate office is going in on the first floor of that building. Mr. Thurston recently attended a PB meeting because he was constructing two apartments on the second floor. Tax Map 20, Lot 52, Commercial District.

Mr. Thurston said the proposal was to extend the porch to the driveway. The design of the open porchwill be a simple farmer’s porch with four posts across the front with a single pitch roof. The stairs will be toward the driveway. Tenants will enter the building from the porch to go up to their second-floor apartments. Mr. Thurston said the previous owners of the building had a porch approved. The previous owners had a shop called Costume Ladies. The Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the extension to the porch. But that was in October of 2014 and the porch was never built. Approval of the porch has lapsed. Also, the porch is actually a ZBA issue since the setback of the porch from the road does not conform to the ordinance. The ZBA Board will decide to at its next meeting on February 19, 2020 whether the extension porch needs a variance or an expansion of a non-conforming use.

Mr. Dalessio said there are now two apartments above a commercial business so you’ll need a site plan. You’ll need a fire alarm system and you may need to add something to the ceiling because it’s now between commercial space and residential space. Mr. Thurston asked, “Even though it’s already a  commercial building?”  Ms. Sanctuary said didn’t you expect something to be going in on the first floor? Mr. Dalessio said at the last meeting Mr. Thurston presented the proposal for two apartments upstairs. Nothing was said about the downstairs of the building. It could have been another apartment.

Mr. Miller said the site plan is going to be for a commercial enterprise with two apartments exceeding $10,000. People are familiar with the building. A lot of the criteria on the checklist the Planning Board can waive because you’re on town sewer and water. You should touch base with the Zoning Board and the fire chief. You’re going to have to have Mark Houghton sign off on the project. He also suggested Ms. Sanctuary talk to the abutters. She said she had already spoken to them and that she had their approval.

Regarding the checklist, Mr. Miller said answer those that make sense. There are some not applicable such as landscaping. Parking is okay and it’s commercially zoned. Figure out the timing, Mr. Miller said. Touch base with Zoning because the Planning Board can’t do anything until the Zoning Board gives the okay.  

Ms. Sanctuary said the apartments are just about done but at this point there is no front entrance. The plan was to enter from the front and go upstairs. On the parking lot side, Mr. Thurston said two egress windows have been installed.  

Mr. Dalessio asked how they enter the building now. Ms. Sanctuary said through the back. Ms. Mansouri said she was in the building recently and she entered through the back and then went down the right side of the building to a staircase that goes upstairs. The entrance to Costume Ladies was always from the back. At one point there was a front entrance, but the stairs were removed.

Mr. Perron asked why not schedule a Public Hearing now. So he made a motion to hold a hearing for a site plan in March. Mr. Aldrich seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Mr. Aldrich made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

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