Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 6/14/22

Present: Board members Chair Jeff Miller, Vice-Chair Dennis Marcom, Clerk Jason Perron, Jeff Harrington, Joanna Andros, Select Board Representative Steve Dalessio. Alternates: Trevor MacLachlan and Travis Adams. Absent: Board member Bill Carmody. Mr. Miller asked Alternate Trevor MacLachlan to sit in for Mr. Carmody and he agreed.

Also about 35 members of the public, as well as the applicants and their surveyors, attended this meeting.

Minutes: Written by Marilou Blaine. This meeting was recorded. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the July 2022 meeting for corrections, and additions and/or omissions.

Call to order: Mr. Miller called the meeting to order a minute before 7 pm.

Minutes: Mr. Marcom made a motion to approve the May minutes and May workshop minutes as printed. Mr. Perron seconded the motion and the motion carried.

No. 1. Site Plan: B&B Realty LLC, Home Away From Home day care, owner Jenny Plante, Town Map 24, Lot 14-1, commercial/residential districts.

At a previous meeting Ms. Plante distributed a diagram of the property indicating new and old parking spaces as well as the previous location of the dumpster and the spot to which it is now located. The star on the diagram is where the dumpster was and the green square is where it is now. The purple lines are where parents park to drop off and pick up their children and the red lines are where staff park. There is a blue U-shaped area that is for emergency purposes but also leads to where the dumpster can be serviced and propane delivered. Ms. Plante said they are waiting for Consolidated Communication to move some wires near the dumpster.

Tammy Simpkins is a resident in Maplewood Circle. She asked if residents get a chance to look at the diagram presented and was invited up to the easel. After looking at the diagram she said nothing had changed. She said she still feels the area is very congested and not safe. Ms. Plante said there are no tires of the parked cars on the road. It is off-street parking and Mr. Justin Sanctuary, the Walpole Chief of Police, looked at the situation and approved it.

 Ms. Simpkins repeated that she did not think this was a solution to the problem. The area is super congested, super tight and dangerous, she said. She thought there should be a better solution either  to go to a one-way street or something else. Mr. Dalessio told Ms. Simpkins that these are two separate issues. One is to have Home Away From Home address the parking issue and the other is a concern of one-way traffic that would require reports from a lot of different people.  Already the Town Offices have received comments from people who would be unhappy with one-way traffic. The Select Board will be discussing this in the future. Both Ms. Plante and Ms. Simpkins agreed that there is a lot of traffic, a lot more than in previous years.

Ms. Raney, an abutter, said that a portion of the property is zoned residential and that should be addressed before the board goes any further. Mr. Marcom said the Board is aware of that situation and that that will be addressed in the future with the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Mr. Miller said that the commercial zoning is 250 feet from Main Street is commercial. All the buildings are within the commercial district and that’s about 80 percent of the property.

Ms. Raney asked when would the process be finished? Then she mentioned a recent problem when someone parked in the space across the street from her house and a Fall Mountain school bus that arrived at 12:10 pm and it was very congested. Ms. Plante said the school had a visit from an agency that comes once a year to check on the day care. She asked the people involved to move the car but they said they were almost done. 

The Board closed the public hearing at 7:20 pm. Mr. Marcom asked for discussion. Mr. Marcom said he thought speed and traffic were an issue in the neighborhood but Home Away From Only was not the only source of that problem. He also said they are make a good faith effort to make things better. Mr. MacLachlan thought there should be a time frame for getting everything on the diagram completed since there’s been so much talk about the day care center. He said he was not trying to box the day care people in but a time frame would give some people peace of mind that this was going to be done in a certain amount of time. Ben Northcott said that basically the only real change is the surface for three parking spaces from grass to crushed asphalt and it would have no impact until next March because the parking spaces would be perfectly fine until mud season. The parking area in the field and will be fine this summer and in the winter when the ground is frozen, he said. The crushed asphalt is permeable.

Ms. Andros asked if the parking spaces are delineated so there’s no argument about where people are supposed to park. There’s still some debate over it, she said. Ms. Plante said Mr. Sanctuary suggested roping it off. Someone at the meeting suggested cones.

Ms. Simpkins said she was perplexed. She applauded the effort of Ms. Plante but nothing has structurally changed, she said. Mr. Marcom said that when it come to traffic and speed that is beyond the purview of the Planning Board.

Mr. Perron made a motion to approve the site plan from Home Away From Home on the condition that the plan be completed in 120 days and that the owner of the day care facility get a variance regarding the residential portion of the property from the Zoning Board. The vote passed with six votes, no one opposed the motion and Mr. Miller abstained from voting.

Public Hearing No. 2: Two lots into five lots. Carpenter’s County Lane, LLC, 1221 County Road, Town Map 2, Lots 20 and 20-2, two lots into 5 lots, rural/agricultural district.

Surveyor Joe DiBernardo explained the project. Lots 4 and 3 on Carpenter Hill have 200 feet and 200.27 feet frontage respectively. Lot 5 has 590 feet road frontage. Lot 5 is 1.16 acres, Lot 4 is 1.12 acres, Lot 3 is1.13 acres. The lots fronting County Road are Lot 2, which is 3.82 acres with 400.07 feet road frontage, and Lot 1, which has a house and barn on the property and is 2.8 acres with 446.56 feet road frontage.

Essentially, Mr. DiBernardo said this used to be one lot and was divided about 15 to 20 years ago with this corner lot cut off. Lot No. 2 on County Road has a driveway entrance from Carpenter Hill because the lot is on an ess curve on County Road and may be considered dangerous because drivers would have to slow down on that curve and the cars approaching or behind may not see the car entering a driveway at that spot in the road.

Mr. Cliff Peters introduced himself. He lives on Country Road. He said this is not a topographical map and was concerned about the subdivision supporting five septic systems. A topographical map would show that the water comes down Carpenter Hill from where the last lot is and goes toward County Road, he said. There’s a damp area at the corner and a culvert goes under the road. Also, there are four driveways there. He said he could see if there were two but four driveways seem too many.

 Mr. Miller said that the ordinance states lots must have 200 feet of road frontage, be able to support a septic system and homeowner needs to get a driveway permit. The Planning Board oversees the road frontage, the state Department of Environmental Services must approve the septic system and the Walpole Highway Department issues the driveway permit. The driveways can be any width. They are two separate items, Mr. Perron said. The driveway doesn’t need 200 feet of road frontage.

An abutter questioned the road frontage on one of the lots on Carpenter Hill. He mistakenly thought the area for the driveway for Lot 2 was another lot and didn’t have the correct amount of frontage to be approved.

A motion was made by Mr. Marcom and seconded by Jeff Harrington to approve the subdivision on Carpenter Hill and County Road. The motion passed unanimously.

Public Hearing No. 3: Subdivision one lot into two lots: Barnett Rev Trust, 24 Barnett Hill Road, Wendy Boulanger & Neil Levesque trustees, Town Map 9, Lot 45, rural/agricultural district.

Surveyor Joe DiBernardo explained this subdivision at the corner of Barnett Hill Road and March Hill Road.  Lot 2 would be 2.57 acres with 488.71 feet of road frontage and Lot 1 would be 3. 21 acres with 954 feet road frontage.

Did the Planning Board receive a letter from the owners and abutters in the Barnett Hill area? asked Phil Kimball, a Barnett Hill abutter. Mr. Miller said yes. Mr. Kimball said he wanted it noted that the property owners on Barnett Hill Road and March Hill Road oppose the proposed subdivision for the following reasons:

            “Such action would violate the intent and spirit of the original Land-Vest protective Covenant   and its three amendments, the last of which is dated September 25, 2005.

            “Such action would diminish the value of all of their properties.

            “Such action would set an undesirable precedent for the future.”

            The letter was signed by 23 Barnett Hill property owners.

“We all value our property and so we oppose the subdivision,” Mr. Kimball said.

Mr. Kimball also said he also believed that the septic system on that property has failed and the property owner, Neil Levesque, knows that. Mr. Kimball wanted to know if there was a plan for a reserve septic system and where it would be placed. Mr. Levesque said he was aware of it.

 Ms. Hansson is also an abutter of this property and said in her opinion the septic system hasn’t been repaired and she doesn’t think there is enough property to put in a reserve septic system. Hansson also said the property was originally owned by James and Janet Wickwire, who purchased the property in the 1970s and built a house on the property. The property was then put in trust by the Wickwire couple with their daughter Jeanne and her husband Michael McBride as trustees. Both James and Janet Wickwire signed the original 1973 covenant on the property and they also signed the 2005  five-acre covenant on the property.

Mr. Miller said the septic system issue is up to the state to deal with and the Planning Board isn’t responsible for septic systems.

Mr. DiBernardo gave Mr. Miller a copy of a letter from an attorney that his clients had hired. He said the lawyer’s decision is on the last two pages. It pointed out that the five-acre covenant expired in 2003 and the amendment to the covenant, which was created in 2005, doesn’t change that status.

Mr. Miller stated that the Planning Board has to consult town counsel, Jeremy Hockensmith, on this letter before making any decisions and therefore the public hearing would be continued next month. There was no vote on the matter.

New Business:

Two public hearings requested for lot line adjustments

Wendy Pelletier Cardinal Surveying: Request for a public hearing for Amy Howard and Ron Sanchez, Colonial Drive, Lot Line Adjustment, Town Map 21, Lots 41 and 41-1, Residential B.

Ms. Pelletier of Cardinal Surveying requested a public hearing be held next month for a lot line adjustment for Amy Howard and Ron Sanchez on Colonial Drive and David Howard on Old North Main Street. A motion was made by Mr. Marcom, seconded by Mr. Perron to hold a public hearing for the lot line adjustment next month. The motion carried unanimously.

Surveyor Joe DiBernardo requested a public hearing for Dale EE. and Bonita S. Woodward on Main Street for a Lot Line Adjustment  with Daniel P. and Heather M. Ferland on Flat Street.

A motion was made by Mr. Marcom, seconded by Mr. Perron to hold a public hearing for the lot line adjustment next month. The motion carried unanimously.

Workshop: Tuesday, June 28, 7 pm:

Mr. Miller said the Board will get together on that date to finalize the updates on the Master Plan.

The Board will review the last few sessions and consider any proposals for additions or corrections of material presented at the previous meetings.


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

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

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

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

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