Present: Board members Chair Jeff Miller, Vice-Chair Dennis Marcom, Clerk Jason Perron, Jeff Harrington, Bill Carmody. Alternate: Travis Adams. Absent: Board members Joanna Andros and Select Board Representative Steve Dalessio and alternate Trevor MacLachlan. Also at the meeting were Robert Kasper, who was presenting his plan for an addition to the Creamery on Main Street and John Penney, a consultant on the project.
Recording: Secretary Marilou Blaine. This meeting is being recorded. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the October 2022 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.
Call to order: Mr. Miller called the meeting to order a couple of minutes after 7 pm. Mr. Adams was asked to sit in for Ms. Andros and he agreed. The meeting was held in the basement conference room of the Town Hall because there was NH primary voting in the main meeting room.
Minutes: A motion was made by Mr. Harrington to approve the minutes of the August 2022 meeting as written and seconded by Mr. Perron. The motion carried unanimously.
Site Plan: 532 Main Street LLC, Walpole Creamery, proposes to replace two 9-feet-by-40 feet storage containers and add an 18-foot-by-44-foot extension to the rear of the building. Tax Map 12, Lot 14, commercial district.
Mr. Kasper distributed three diagrams that show the existing front of the building and the new addition, colored in blue, which will be at the back of the building. The addition shows an 18-foot-by-9-foot receiving room that goes into an 18-foot-by-44-foot processing room with a boiler room attached. There is a hallway along the south end of the Creamery that leads into a storage area next to the ice cream shop. Three freezer containers are placed next to the south side of that hallway. Instead of three containers Mr. Kasper said there will probably now be two, but at least the board sees the maximum amount of space that could be used. The extension replaces three 9-feet-by-40 foot trailers and one 9-foot-by-20-foot trailer that was located where the receiving area now is. With the removal of the trailers and the line of the existing building to the north being removed, the building is now in compliance with the ordinance regarding setbacks. This is a major improvement.
The three trailers that will be removed were 1080 square feet and the production area now is 750 square feet. The receiving area is about 200 square feet and the hallway is about 210 square feet. The existing receiving is 16 feet by 16 feet so that’s a reduction in that area, Mr. Kasper said. So with all the changes Mr. Kasper was pretty much trading the existing area for the new addition. The biggest change will be eliminating the current boundary so all the setbacks will be in line with the ordinance and are no longer nonconforming.
There being no questions from the board, Mr. Miller closed the public hearing. A motion was made to approve the site plan as presented. Mr. Harrington seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.
Discussion of Expansion of Walpole Fire Department: 278 Main Street, Tax Map 24, Lot 38-1, Commercial District, SVE Land Plan, Mike Petrovich, architect. Setback to Firehouse Lane a problem.
This discussion was postponed until next month. Mr. Miller said this is going to be an expansion thatincludes more ladders, emergency things, places where people can sleep, elevators. Walpole has two distinct fire department districts, Walpole and North Walpole, with the Cold River being the boundary between the two. This expansion will affect the Walpole district.
Forms for Public Hearing decisions: Also discussed were forms that document what happens at public hearings. In July 2022 the Governor’s Housing Task Force published a set of recommended legislative changes to the housing shortage including additional training and tool for communities. These changes went into affect in requirements on August 23rd. They include training for new and current members of town and city boards, publication of fees, incentives for more housing, written findings that support or disapprove of decisions, changes in timeline and extensions to timelines, fee shifting and bonds, acquiring property for workforce housing and designations to allow municipalities to designate an economic development and revitalization district for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, improving, altering, extending, operating, maintaining or promotion of residential development aimed at increasing the available housing stock in municipalities.
Mr. Miller said we are already doing this. Minutes are taken and after a public hearing an approval or denial letter is written to the applicant.
A webinar given by the NH Municipal Association was given to educate zoning and planning board members on the new regulations being required by the state. Two people at tonight’s meeting had attended the webinar, however it is still available online for anyone who couldn’t watch it on the assigned Wednesday. The secretary said that one of the presenters said that minutes are no longer all you need if you have to defend the board in court. The board needs to have more documentation. That was the reason that three forms were distributed. One form was for listing the facts of the proposed project. That included location not only by address but also tax map number, lot number, zoning district and a detailed explanation of the project. A second form was for approval of the project and the third denial of the project. The forms are simple – one page, with information about the project, what it entailed and what took place at the public hearing.
Board members were asked to take them home, look them over and then come back to next month’s meeting and decide whether to use the form, improve the forms, or not use them at all.
Mr. Harrington made a motion to adjourn and Mr. Perron seconded the motion. The motion carried.