Zoning Board Meeting Minutes – 7/17/20


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


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

Roll Call: Ms. Leclerc called the meeting to order at 7 pm. Board member Ms. Barnes was absent so she asked Mr. Sellarole to fill in for her.

Minutes: Ms. Trow corrected two typos. Page one, at the end of the fourth paragraph, add “Le” to clerc to make the word Leclerc. On page 2, second paragraph, the word procession should be processing. Ms. Mansouri made a motion to accept the minutes as corrected. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

New Business:

First Congregational Church handicap ramp at parsonage: Request for a Public Hearing. Dale Woodard and Paul Looney represented the church. Mr. Woodard explained that a renovation project was started this winter on the parsonage and it needed a handicap access so a builder was hired. Mr. Woodard said they didn’t know that they had to have a building permit as well as permission from the zoning board. The ramp is more than the 100 square-foot requirement, which means a building permit is needed. And the parsonage is 59 feet from the center of the road, when the ordinance requires 65 feet. The ramp starts from the side porch on Middle Street and goes toward the road and then makes a 90-degree turn toward the driveway.

Mr. Woodard said the ramp is greater than 130 square feet and closer to the middle of the road than the required footage. He said the new pastor has a study in the parsonage and people are going to want to visit him there. The ramp is partially done, but hasn’t been finished. The house is non-conforming so it’s thought that this is an expansion of a non-conforming situation.

Ms. Leclerc agreed and said that a ramp is in the same category as front steps because it’s necessary and therefore it wouldn’t fall under the category of variance.

Mr. Vose made a motion to hold a public hearing next month (August). Ms. Mansouri seconded the motion and the motion carried with a unanimous vote.

Mr. Woodard asked if he had to do anything else. He has already filed an application and paid the fees. It was suggested he have a darker drawing of the ramp than he presented to the Board so the public can see it from afar when it’s on an easel.

Home business: Miranda Michaud would like to open a hair salon at her home at 488 Wentworth Road, Rural/Ag district.

Ms. Michaud brought in photos of her place – the parking area and her salon space. Ms. Leclerc asked if she was going to have any employees. Ms. Michaud replied “no.” Ms. Leclerc asked if she had plenty of parking and she replied “yes.”. Ms. Leclerc explained that in the rural/ag district home businesses are permitted if there are no more than two employees and if there is adequate customer parking.

Mr. Sellarole surmised that Ms. Michaud would need parking for two cars – one for the client she was working with and one for the client who would be her next customer. Her photograph of the garage and driveway showed that there was clearly enough space for two extra cars.

Mr. Vose made a motion to approve the hair salon at 488 Wentworth Road. Mr. Sellarole seconded the motion and the motion carried with a unanimous vote.

Ms. Michaud said she was going to be putting up a sign for her business and she was told she had to come back to the Zoning Board for permission. Article IV-6 says her sign in the rural/ag district could be 32 square feet in size and no higher than 10 feet. Free-standing signs must be no closer than that 20 feet from the front, side or rear lot line. She asked to be put on the August agenda for signage.

Zoning ordinance cover. Addition of two ordinances to 2019 copy of Walpole Zoning Ordinances. How should these additions be noted?

In 2019, Zoning Board members discovered two ordinances that were previously approved by a vote of the townspeople at a Town Meeting but were not in the current Walpole Zoning Ordinances document. They were added, but since they weren’t new ordinances voted in at the 2019 Town Meeting, it was decided that it should be noted that this new document was different than the previous 2019 document. The question was how should that be noted.

The first suggestion was to put an asterisk after the 2019 on the cover of the document. Then place  another asterisk on the inside of the cover noting the Article number and number of the ordinance and a couple of words about the ordinance – for example, Article VI – Boundaries of Commercial District – No. 7.

Mr. Edkins suggested putting the date that the ordinance was approved at Town Meeting and Mr. Sellarole and Ms. Leclerc suggested using the bottom of the page of the Table of Contents since it is two-sided. The Board thought both ideas were good ideas, so that was what was decided.

Non-public session.

Mr. Vose made a motion to go into Non-Public Session at 7:25 pm. Mr. Sellarole seconded the motion.

At 8:05 Mr. Vose made a motion to come out of Non-Public Session. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried by unanimous vote.

Short-term rental ordinance.

The secretary wrote up a sample short-term rental ordinance that included a definition of a short-term rental as well as several conditions the owner of the residence must follow. An example of some of the conditions are:

Detached Accessory Dwelling Units are prohibited from use as a short-term rental.

Short-term rental units must be inspected by the chief of the Walpole Fire Department.

All existing regulations applicable to single-family dwellings shall also apply to dwellings used for short-term rentals.

After some discussion, it was decided to add short-term rentals to the current Bed-and-Breakfast ordinance in General Provisions rather than have a separate ordinance. It will now read:


Article IV

General Provisions

L. Bed-and-Breakfast and Short-Term Rental establishments.

So called “Bed and Breakfast” establishments for the accommodation of paying, overnight guests, may be maintained as home occupations in all zoning districts provided that the number of rooms for rent in any one establishment shall not number more than four and further provided that breakfast shall be the only meal provided and that only to bona fide overnight guests. The conversion of a single-family residence or other building to a “bed and breakfast” shall require Site Plan approval by the Planning Board. Off-street parking for one car per rented room plus space for owner parking shall be provided.

Short-Term Rental is a dwelling unit where transient lodging is provided for compensation for stays of between one and 30 consecutive days, and where the dwelling unit would normally be considered a residential living unit not associated with regulated commercial activities such as a hotel, motel, rooming/boarding house, or bed-and-breakfast establishment. A Short-Term Rental establishment shall require Site Plan approval by the Planning Board.

Ms. Mansouri made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried by unanimous vote.

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

ZBA Secretary

cc: ZBA, WPB, Town Offices.

Posted: Inside and outside the Town Offices, on the bulletin board outside of the Post Office, www.walpolenh.us, Walpolean.


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