Zoning Board Meeting Minutes – 4/21/21

Meeting via Zoom

Roll Call: Chair Jan Galloway-Leclerc called out the names of every board member and alternate and each one said “here” if present: Board members present: Chair Leclerc, Tom Murray and Judy Trow. Absent: Board members and Alternates Pauline Barnes, Don Sellarole, Dave Edkins, Myra Mansouri and Ernie Vose. Ms. Leclerc asked Alternate Trow to fill in for a Board member so the meeting would have a quorum. The ZBA host for the meeting in charge of inviting, hosting and showing each of the documents was Jeremiah Phaneuf. Each attending person was in a separate location.

Recording: Secretary Marilou Blaine. This meeting is being recorded. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the May 2021 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.

Meeting Opened: Chair Jan Leclerc called the meeting to order at 7:04 pm. 

Minutes: While she didn’t attend the March meeting, Ms. Trow said on page 3, the third paragraph under the topic DADU, that she didn’t understand the meaning of the first sentence. The secretary said there was a missing word. It should read, “Basically, the Town Offices would like the ZBA to remind the owner of the person getting a DADU he/she must follow the above directions. Mr. Murray said that the page number should be “page 3,” not page 7. Mr. Murray made a motion to approve the minutes of the March 2021 meeting. Ms. Trow seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Old Business: Shaw’s signage. North Meadow Plaza, Map 12, Lot 55-2, Commercial District. 

Signage for the supermarket in North Meadow Plaza is for four signs for designated parking spaces, a directional sign near the entrance to the Plaza and an illuminated sign on the facade of the building next to the grocery store name sign. Doug Boyce represented Shaw’s and explained Shaw’s proposal. Mr. Boyce was hired by Bailey Sign Co to help with a pretty significant project that they are doing. Bailey Sign Co. is in Westbrook, ME and has been the supplier for Shaw’s supermarket signage for some time. The project is to provide 60 odd Shaw’s locations in northern New England – Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont – so they can implement their “Drive Up and Go” program, which is Shaw’s version of Internet or customer call-in ordering. Shaw’s is part of a supermarket chain with Albertson being the parent company. There are 2,000 supermarkets under the Albertson umbrella and Shaw’s is one of them. 

Mr. Boyce continued saying that what they’ve been doing is implementing the “Drive-up and go” program across the country. Essentially, they’ve developed a signage standard that can be universally applied to all the banners so whether the supermarket is called Albertson or Shaw’s or another local banner name, the signage is going to be the same. It will have the logo in script on a circular lighted sign with an automobile in it. So that’s their “go-to” symbol is for this program. Two months ago the company started doing this at each of the upermarkets, each town with its own sign ordinance, and it’s taken an enormous amount of time.

A variance is needed for the LED illuminated wall sign, which is 10 square feet. In a picture of the sign, an arrow points to a 36 inch in diameter automobile, with an internally illuminated sign of the car, white on a red border. Beneath that are non-illuminated letters, painted black, saying “Drive up and go.” The sign area is 10.1 square feet. 

Other identifying signs are at four parking spots, with a phone number on those signs that are placed as close to the building as possible. Those signs are already installed. The directional sign has a logo and arrow to the left, directing customers down that aisle. The goal is to get approval of the signage that Bailey furnishes and installs, but Bailey has nothing to do with construction of the signs, Mr. Boyce said.

In essence a variance for an ordinance requiring signs be 100 feet apart from each other makes sense because there’s no other way that the sign could make sense without the logo and it wouldn’t make any sense to put it any other place. 

Directional signs have to be at least 50 feet from another sign. This directional sign is almost 100 feet from the Savings Bank of Walpole sign over the doors of the bank and 128 feet from the free-standing marquee at the entrance to the plaza. 

Ms. Trow made a motion to have a public hearing in May, on completion of receiving an application and fees, for a variance for a sign within 100 feet of another sign. Mr. Murray asked if she was entertaining a motion for the whole package of signs or breaking it down sign by sign. He said he could understand that the reserved parking space signs were along the lines of a handicap sign, so the Board didn’t need to be concerned with those signs. The question is does the directional sign cause a hardship to incoming customers if that sign were not there. Ms. Trow agreed with Mr. Murray that the directional sign is not necessary. It’s a small parking lot and not hard to figure out where you’re going to go.

Mr. Murray added that it’s a busy congested area and the directional sign could distract the driver. It’s a guessing game when you drive in there on who’s going to turn left or right first. So he had reservations about the directional sign. He said again that he could understand about the reserved parking spaces being considered like handicap spaces and it was obvious about the variance for the facade. He’d

Walpole Zoning Board of Adjustment
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Meeting via Zoom
7 pm

Roll Call: Chair Jan Galloway-Leclerc called out the names of every board member and alternate and each one said “here” if present: Board members present: Chair Leclerc, Tom Murray and Judy Trow. Absent: Board members and Alternates Pauline Barnes, Don Sellarole, Dave Edkins, Myra Mansouri and Ernie Vose. Ms. Leclerc asked Alternate Trow to fill in for a Board member so the meeting would have a quorum. The ZBA host for the meeting in charge of inviting, hosting and showing each of the documents was Jeremiah Phaneuf. Each attending person was in a separate location.

Recording: Secretary Marilou Blaine. This meeting is being recorded. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the May 2021 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.

Meeting Opened: Chair Jan Leclerc called the meeting to order at 7:04 pm.

Minutes: While she didn’t attend the March meeting, Ms. Trow said on page 3, the third paragraph under the topic DADU, that she didn’t understand the meaning of the first sentence. The secretary said there was a missing word. It should read, “Basically, the Town Offices would like the ZBA to remind the owner of the person getting a DADU he/she must follow the above directions. Mr. Murray said that the page number should be “page 3,” not page 7. Mr. Murray made a motion to approve the minutes of the March 2021 meeting. Ms. Trow seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Old Business: Shaw’s signage. North Meadow Plaza, Map 12, Lot 55-2, Commercial District.
Signage for the supermarket in North Meadow Plaza is for four signs for designated parking spaces, a directional sign near the entrance to the Plaza and an illuminated sign on the facade of the building next to the grocery store name sign. Doug Boyce represented Shaw’s and explained Shaw’s proposal. Mr. Boyce was hired by Bailey Sign Co to help with a pretty significant project that they are doing. Bailey Sign Co. is in Westbrook, ME and has been the supplier for Shaw’s supermarket signage for some time. The project is to provide 60 odd Shaw’s locations in northern New England – Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont – so they can implement their “Drive Up and Go” program, which is Shaw’s version of Internet or customer call-in ordering. Shaw’s is part of a supermarket chain with Albertson being the parent company. There are 2,000 supermarkets under the Albertson umbrella and Shaw’s is one of them.

Mr. Boyce continued saying that what they’ve been doing is implementing the “Drive-up and go” program across the country. Essentially, they’ve developed a signage standard that can be universally applied to all the banners so whether the supermarket is called Albertson or Shaw’s or another local banner name, the signage is going to be the same. It will have the logo in script on a circular lighted sign with an automobile in it. So that’s their “go-to” symbol is for this program. Two months ago the company started doing this at each of the
​1.
supermarkets, each town with its own sign ordinance, and it’s taken an enormous amount of time.

A variance is needed for the LED illuminated wall sign, which is 10 square feet. In a picture of the sign, an arrow points to a 36 inch in diameter automobile, with an internally illuminated sign of the car, white on a red border. Beneath that are non-illuminated letters, painted black, saying “Drive up and go.” The sign area is 10.1 square feet.

Other identifying signs are at four parking spots, with a phone number on those signs that are placed as close to the building as possible. Those signs are already installed. The directional sign has a logo and arrow to the left, directing customers down that aisle. The goal is to get approval of the signage that Bailey furnishes and installs, but Bailey has nothing to do with construction of the signs, Mr. Boyce said.

In essence a variance for an ordinance requiring signs be 100 feet apart from each other makes sense because there’s no other way that the sign could make sense without the logo and it wouldn’t make any sense to put it any other place.

Directional signs have to be at least 50 feet from another sign. This directional sign is almost 100 feet from the Savings Bank of Walpole sign over the doors of the bank and 128 feet from the free-standing marquee at the entrance to the plaza.

Ms. Trow made a motion to have a public hearing in May, on completion of receiving an application and fees, for a variance for a sign within 100 feet of another sign. Mr. Murray asked if she was entertaining a motion for the whole package of signs or breaking it down sign by sign. He said he could understand that the reserved parking space signs were along the lines of a handicap sign, so the Board didn’t need to be concerned with those signs. The question is does the directional sign cause a hardship to incoming customers if that sign were not there. Ms. Trow agreed with Mr. Murray that the directional sign is not necessary. It’s a small parking lot and not hard to figure out where you’re going to go.

Mr. Murray added that it’s a busy congested area and the directional sign could distract the driver. It’s a guessing game when you drive in there on who’s going to turn left or right first. So he had reservations about the directional sign. He said again that he could understand about the reserved parking spaces being considered like handicap spaces and it was obvious about the variance for the facade. He’d wanted to address the directional sign tonight. Mr. Boyce responded that he would prefer to defer that because Shaw’s has directed him to present their proposal, which includes the directional sign. He felt he had to talk to someone from Shaw’s to see if they would be willing to give that sign up. He didn’t disagree and said “I can see your concerns,” but preferred to defer the discussion to the next meeting.

Ms. Leclerc said the Zoning Board ordinance says that all commercial signs come before the board, but we can consider that at the same time we have the hearing. Ms. Trow made a motion to have a public hearing in May for a variance for a Shaw’s sign within 100 feet from another sign. Mr. Murray seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Edward Jones signage, 57 Main Street, Map 20, Lot 11, Commercial District.

Wesley Felix of Galaxy Integrated Technology of Keene, NH represented Edward Jones. He said because of the new signage added to an Edward Jones at 8 Westminster Street, this Edward Jones company was getting fewer walk-in customers into their establishment. He had only been alerted to the problem the day before so he was in the process of putting together a package of signs and would be sending the Board more information on signage. He did say he was going to suggest one sign on the south side of the brick building and another sign, the same size, on the north side of the building. There would also be a small sign near the steps of the building hanging from an iron scroll design fixture. It would be aesthetically in line with the historic nature of the building. He held up his cell phone to the screen, which had pictures of the signs on it, in order to give the Board an idea of what he was proposing. Because the signs would not be 100 feet apart, he, too, needed a variance. Ms. Trow made a motion that the Board hold a hearing in May for a public hearing for Edward Jones to have signs less than 100 feet apart pending receipt of an application and fees paid. Mr. Murray seconded and the motion carried.

MDB Holding LLC, replace sign, Map 12, Lot 11, Route 12, Commercial District:

Ms. Leclerc mentioned that Mr. Snide, co-owner of MDB Holding, called her to tell her he wanted to replace the sign in front of his business, Pinnacleview Equipment, on Route 12. The sign would be the same size, in the same place and have exactly the same verbiage as the previous sign. Since he is replacing a sign with one exactly like the one that was there before, he did not have to come to the Board. Mr. Snide asked that a letter of approval be sent to him.

Discussion of Short-term rentals: It was decided that since so few members were at tonight’s meeting, this topic would be discussed at the May meeting.

Letter from some Barnett Hill residents: The Zoning Board received an unsigned letter from some residents of Barnett Hill complaining about a property they thought had “gotten out of hand.” A copy of the letter was sent to all the Zoning Board members. All members said either in emails or at the meeting that this letter should be handled by the Select Board. The secretary will pass it on to the Select Board.

Ms. Trow made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilou Blaine
ZBA Secretary

Posted: Inside Town Offices and on the bulletin board outside the post office. http://www.walpolenh.us
Copies: ZBA, WPB, Town Offices, Select Board, The Walpolean.

Next meeting Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

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