Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 7/12/22

Roll Call: Present: Board members Chair Jeff Miller, Vice-Chair Dennis Marcom, Clerk Jason Perron, Jeff Harrington, Joanna Andros, Select Board Representative Steve Dalessio. Alternate: Trevor MacLachlan. Absent: Board member Bill Carmody; Alternate Travis Adams. Also at the meeting were about 15 to 20 surveyors, abutters, applicants and people who were interested in the agenda’s public hearings.

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

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

Minutes: Mr. Marcom made one correction on page 4. Mr. Woodward has only one “E” as a middle name. Mr. Marcom made a motion to accept the minutes as amended. Mr. Perron seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Old Business:

Public Hearings:

Continued from June meeting.

No. 1. Subdivision: one lot into two lots: Barnett View Rev Trust, 24 Barnett Hill Road, Wendy Boulanger & Neil Levesque trustees, Town Map 9, Lot 46, rural/agricultural district. Lot 1 would be 2.57 acres and Lot 2 would be 3.21 acres. Awaiting letter from Town Counsel Jeremy Hockensmith in answer to the letter from the applicant’s attorney Barrett Faulkner.

Mr. Miller opened the public hearing and said Town Counsel had responded to the letter and his opinion was “that the five-acre minimum lot size covenant expired on December 31, 2002, and is no longer enforceable.”

Mr. Carl Hanssen is an abutter of the lot being subdivided. He said that Lot 1 has a failed septic system on it and both lots have a lot of slope so it would be difficult to put an adequate septic system on either lot. He purported that the property couldn’t be divided until the state approves septic systems for these two lots. Mr. Miller responded that the Planning Board doesn’t consider septic systems in its decision. That is a state function, Mr. Miller said. Mr. Hanssen insisted that before land can be subdivided it needed to have a state-approved septic system. Mr. Miller reiterated that that was not a condition of approving a subdivision. Mr. Perron said because a lot is subdivided doesn’t mean it has to be a build-able lot. He added if someone were planning on building a house, a state-approved septic system is a condition for getting a building permit.

 Regarding the failed septic system Mr. Levesque came to the front of the room and said that the septic system on Lot 1 had not failed and didn’t know where Mr. Hanssen had gotten such information.

Mr. Hanssen said he had that information from the previous owner. Mr. Levesque said that today there are many different designs of septic systems for different types of property. There’s no failed system.

Mr. MacLachlan said the issue the Planning Board is discussing is a subdivision approval and not an approval of a septic system.

 Mr. Miller asked if there were any other questions. There being none, he closed the public hearing and asked the board if it has any questions. There being none Mr. Perron made a motion to approve the subdivision. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. No one opposed the subdivision.

Public Hearing No. 2.

 Lot Line Adjustment: Amy Howard and Roman Sanchez, Colonial Drive and David Howard, Old North Main Street, Town Map 21, Lots 41 and 41-1, Residential B. Lot 41 would be 1.25 acres and Lot 41-1 would be 2.83 acres.

Surveyor Wendy Pelletier of Cardinal Surveying & Land Planning presented the subdivision explaining and pointing out the lots with the area between the two lots, 22.292 square feet, including a pond going with lot 41-1. Mr. Dalessio asked if lot line adjustments can happen between opposite owners. Mr. Miller answered in the affirmative saying a merger is different. There being no questions from the public, Mr. Miller closed the public hearing for the board’s discussion. Mr. Marcom made a motion to approve the lot line adjustment as presented. Mr. Perron seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Public Hearing No. 3.

 Lot Line Adjustment Dale E. Woodward and Bonita S. Wood and Dan and Heather Ferland, 10 Flat Street, Map 19, Lot 53 and Map 19, Lot 53-1, residential B.

 The plat was displayed on the easel. Mr. Woodward said there is a residence and a commercial building on the property.  He’s dividing off the commercial building and adjoining it to the Ferland property. He took 42 feet off the property.  He’d been to the Planning Board three times for this property, he said. The proposed acreage of Lot 53 is .64 acres and Lot 53-1 is .29 acres and they are non-conforming lots. There being no questions from the public, Mr. Miller closed the public hearing. Mr. Perron made a motion to approve the lot line adjustment. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

New Business

Potato Barn, 297 Main Street owner Steve Rudek, 4 apartments. Builder Barry Bellows proposed four apartment units in the southern end of the Potato Barn. That includes the Piggery, Granary, and Connector section of the building. Bellows said three apartments would be 800 square feet and one apartment would be 1200 square feet. There is already lighting around the building and the entire building is sprinkled, Bellows added. The first thing a board member asked was about parking. Mr. Bellows said there are already several areas around the property with striped parking space. The function area would remain untouched.

Mr. Dalessio suggested Mr. Bellows come backed to the Board next showing striped parking areas around the building on the plat or drawings and get a letter of approval about safety and fire concerns from Fire Chief Mark Houghton.

Mr. Marcom made a motion to hold a public hearing next month. Mr. Perron seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Cliff Peters letter – Discussion

Clifford D. Peters had questions about a Carpenter Hill subdivision at last month’s meeting. He wrote a letter to the Planning Board and said “it was an education into the workings of town government and the town’s zoning policies.” His letter was about future development and he wondered whether, with farms and farm land dwindling, if this wasn’t the time to think about residential development in the rural/agricultural district. He was thinking maybe lots of two to four acres.

Mr. Miller said about 10 or 12 years ago there was a discussion about this topic but it was turned down at Town Meeting. However, board members thought it was time for such a discussion again. Mr. Miller said he would reach out to Lisa Murphy, senior planner at Southwest Regional Planning Commission and ask her where he could get information about this topic. Expect further discussion of this topic.

Final additions, corrections of four sections of the updating of the Master Plan – Land Use Analysis, Economic Development, Community Facilities and Services, Historical and Recreational Resources.

At a workshop last month, board members considered these sections and discussed some additions and omissions. They should be getting copies of the final total updated Master Plan in a couple of months.

Senior housing

Select Board member Peggy Pschirrer attended this meeting. She mentioned that she is looking is interested in and looking into possible places for senior housing. More on this in the future.

Next Meeting is August 9, 2022.

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

WPB Secretary

cc: WPB, ZBA, Town Offices, The Walpolean

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


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