Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 11/9/22

Roll Call: Present: Board Members: Chair Jeff Miller, Vice-Chair Dennis Marcom, Clerk Jason Perron, Select Board Representative Steve Dalessio. Absent: Board Members Jeff Harrington, Joanna Andros, Bill Carmody, alternate Trevor MacLachlan.

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

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

Minutes: The October 12, 2021 minutes and the October 26, 2021 Workshop Minutes were approved as presented. A motion was made by Mr. Marcom, seconded by Mr. Perron and approved by the rest of the board.

New Business:

Liberty Utilities: Routine Maintenance on Scenic Roads (Farnum and Old Drewsville Roads).

Heather Green, Program Manager, Vegetation and Inspections, Request for a Public Hearing in December.  Ms. Green cannot attend the November meeting but Jeff will call her about the request.  

Ms. Green’s response via email. “Per our discussion earlier, Liberty Utilities has cycle vegetation work scheduled to occur in the (Walpole) area in the next 2 years. Some of this work is along scenic roads. We are requesting a public hearing on Dec. 14th in regards to this work. As I understand this request must made at the Nov. 9th Planning Board Meeting and an email will suffice for what you need to present at the November meeting. Please let me know if this is something we can schedule. Thank you.”

The Planning Board received a copy of the minutes of the Select Board meeting dated October 28, 2021 regarding maintenance work that Liberty Utilities would be doing in the town regarding tree trimming and removal.

Mr. Dalessio said a representative from Liberty Utilities came to a Select Board meeting and gave a presentation and the members of the Board were concerned because in previous routine maintenance cycles some trees were “butchered” according to Mr. Dalessio, He said the cut on the Drewsville Common was a heavy cut and according to the minutes “they ended up with some very ugly trees. The Select Board asked that the trees on town property be “gently cut” in the upcoming cycle. The Select Board also came to an agreement that Ms. Green would meet during daylight hours with someone from the town to discuss the type of trees that should be on the Walpole Common. Some dead trees are going to be removed and the Board would like an idea of what kind of trees should replace them.

Mr. Marcom made a motion to hold a public hearing in December for Liberty Utilities, Mr. Perron seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Storage Units approval letter

Jim Phippard, the agent on the recent Storage Units proposal, had a concern about one condition in the approval letter. One of the conditions called for inspections of the propane connections by the Walpole Fire Department. This was not a problem. But the condition that this must be done before issuing a building permit is a problem. He wrote in an email “I cannot get the propane installed and connected, ready for inspection, without a building permit.” Mr. Dalessio said that in the future it will state on the building permit that the applicant must submit a copy of the state inspection form of the propane tank. If the applicant does not submit a copy of the state inspection form of a propane installation, the Select Board will put write a cease and desist letter on the project.

Fees for applications

The Board voted to raise the application fees because the cost of legal notices in a local newspaper have risen so that the amount of the application fee is equal to the cost of the notice the town has to pay the paper. Included in that fee should be a $25 cost for the secretary to record these documents with Cheshire County Registry of Deeds. The reason the secretary records the documents is because in the past some applicants who have received approval for one of the above applications has neglected to record their document with the Registry of Deeds. These means the new boundary lines or changes made to a property are not recorded and the town’s assessor, Avitar, doesn’t know to include them in its yearly assessment of properties. The costs will now be $175 for a subdivision application, a lot line adjustment application and a site plan review application. The cost for sendingout certified/return receipt letters was also raised from $8 to $10. The motion to approve the raise in fees for applications and certified letters to abutters was made by Mr. Perron, seconded by Mr. Marcom and approved by the rest of the board.

Mr. Perron suggested tracking the cost for legals and keeping track of the cost of certified/return receipt letters. 

Discuss Goals and Objectives already included in Land Use Analysis Plan in the Master Plan and put them in the new Implementation Plan.

Since so many Planning Board members were missing, this item on the agenda will be taken up next month. 

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

WPB Secretary

cc: WPB, ZBA, Town Offices, The Walpolean.

Posted: Inside Town Offices, on the bulletin board outside the Post Office,

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