Present: Chair Jeff Miller, Vice-Chair Dennis Marcom, Jason Perron, Jeff Harrington, Select Board Representative Steve Dalessio. Alternates: Joanna Andros, Jeff Colley. Absent: Chair Jeffrey White.
Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the August 2020 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.
Meeting Opened: As the Congregational Church bells were ringing the hour, Mr. Miller called the meeting to order at 7 pm. He remarked that usually at this time, he would turn to Planning Board Clerk, Jim Aldrich, and ask if it was time to begin. Since we last met in March, Jim has passed away. Jim was an integral member of the Board. He loved the town of Walpole. He grew up here and spent his life here. He was on the Planning Board for more than 10 years. He was well respected by the Board and by the community. Mr. Miller just wanted everyone to remember him. Jim is missed.
Roll Call: Alternate Jeff Colley agreed to fill in board member Jeff White.
Minutes: Mr. Marcom made one correction to the minutes. He asked if in the section about the Ruggiero Processing Facility, in the last paragraph that reads “Mr. Marcom said he will speak to the town lawyer,” Mr. Marcom added ‘regarding the process.’ Mr. Perron made a motion to approve the amended minutes. Mr. Harrington seconded the motion and the motion carried by a unanimous vote.
Elections of Officers: Mr. Harrington made a motion to elect Jeff Miller Chair, Dennis Marcom Vice-Chair and Jason Perron Clerk. The motion was seconded. Mr. Miller asked if there were any other nominations. There being none, the motion received a unanimous vote from the Board.
Public Hearing No. 1
Site Plan: Greg Gay. Mr. Gay proposes a 30-by-70-foot building at 8 Len-Tex Lane, North Walpole, Map 27, Lot 8-1, Industrial District. The building will have several offices, a bathroom and a room for inventory.
At the March meeting Mr. Gay made the above proposal and was told he had to come back to the Planning Board after he complied with three conditions: resubmit his new plans for approval from the North Walpole Commissioners and the North Walpole Fire Chief and add a second egress.
Mr. Gay brought a new floor plan to the meeting saying the building had minor changes. He passed out copies of the plan. Mr. Gay said the angle of the building was slightly changed, the driveway was different and access to the wheelchair ramp was now in the front of the building with entry on the side. The building design he presented to the Board was a 28-foot-by-46 foot office building with a 24-foot-by 28-parts room. There is an entry at the front of the building and an entry at the side of the building into a reception room. There are two offices, common space and a conference room and two bathrooms.
In regard to the new layout, Board members previously had received a letter from the North Walpole Commissioners approving the building in the Industrial District with the contingency that Mr. Gay get a “Variance for a Commercial Building in the Industrial Zone” from the North Walpole Zoning Board of Adjustment.
The Board also recently received a letter that day from North Walpole Fire Chief William Crawford indicating he reviewed the proposed site at 8 Len-Tex Lane and wrote that “the Fire Department has no concerns to the building or property. We will have good access to all sides of the building in the event of an emergency, and our apparatus will have room to enter, park and move around,” he wrote.
Mr. Dalessio pointed out the Variance that the Commissioners said he needed. Mr. Gay said John Foster told him he had to get permission from the Planning Board before he went to the Zoning Board for a Variance. Mr. Miller said he didn’t see a problem with the new plan. He said Mr. Gay had done everything we’ve asked him to do. The proposal is pretty reasonable for that area. He thought if a motion was contingent on Mr. Gay getting the variance, it would be okay.
Mr. Charles Lennon, an abutter and owner of Len-Tex, asked what was happening with the building already on the property. Is it in commercial use now? he asked. Is that really manufacturing as you proposed? Mr. Gay said there is no manufacturing, but there is storage of vehicles. Mr. Lennon continued that he never sees anyone there. It doesn’t look like there is any manufacturing going on there.
Len-Tex, Mr. Lennon said, is concerned that the new building will be a residential building. The building Mr. Gay is proposing is not zoned for that district. Mr. Miller said if the building is non-conforming, he can get a variance for that and that’s what this discussion is about. The Village Commissioners are okay with the building, the fire department is okay with it. So Mr. Gay just has to get the paper work and approval done on the variance.
Mr. Perron said if it’s an ongoing issue that the building isn’t being used for manufacturing then that is a North Walpole Village issue. Mr. Miller said it’s all up to the North Walpole Commissioners and the North Walpole Zoning Board. Mr. Perron added that the Board is looking at a site plan for an office building. It’s up to North Walpole Commissioners to sort out the rest of it.
Mr. Dalessio asked if all the abutters have seen this. The secretary answered that abutters were notified, but it was back a few months when the application was submitted. Mr. Dalessio said this is the third generation of plans. Mr. Miller said that the plans may have changed a little bit, but the technical plans haven’t changed at all.
Mr. Marcom made a motion that the Site Plan be approved on the contingency that Mr. Gay get a variance for the building from the zoning board in North Walpole. Mr. Perron seconded the motion and the motion carried with a unanimous vote.
Site Plan, Walpole Creamery, 532 Main Street LLC, Map 12, Lot 14, Commercial District. Rob Kasper represented Walpole Creamery. The proposal is to add a 6-foot-by-75-foot covered boardwalk, repave and restripe the parking lot and replace flood lights with other lighting. He has received permission from NH DOT regarding the Route 12 frontage modification and DOT is in agreement with the proposed change reducing the entry from the south to 35 feet and to 50 feet on the north and providing parking after a planting area has been added along Route 12. Mr. Kasper received conditional approval from the Board in April to begin work.
Mr. Kasper was not at the meeting so a motion was made and seconded to table the Public Hearing until August. Mr. Kasper will be notified.
Hubbard Farms: Site Plan for a new chicken house. Scott Hunter represented Hubbard Farms LLC. Mike Petrovick was the architect on both buildings. Hubbard Farms LLC proposes to replace two chicken houses totaling 23,730 square feet with one 386-foot long, 19,350 square-foot chicken house at Pomeroy Farm, North Road, Map 10, Lot 6, Rural/ag District. Hubbard Farms had received conditional approval in April from the Board to begin work.
Hubbard Farms LLC: Proposed a site plan to add space at the Research and Development Hatchery at 38Upper Walpole Road. Map 12, Lot 57, Rural/ag District. Expansion of egg center, loading dock, garage and driveway.
Mr. Miller recused himself from participating at these two hearings and Joanna Andros took his place on the Board. Michael Petrovick distributed a drawing of the facility that highlighted the additions. He explained the hatchery map pointing out where the hatchery was and what the additions were: adding a garage for a transport van, adding storage in the egg center that would include a tray washer, dry storage, egg chiller and loading dock. Another loading dock would be added between the main building and the egg center. Also the driveway will be expanded so that truck traffic can occur on the property.
Mr. Colley asked about increase in traffic or odors that might occur. Mr. Hunter said there would be no odors. Truck traffic is only on Fridays when eggs are picked up. Usually the men are in and out of the building within 45 minutes, Mr. Hunter said. There’s an increase of one Friday during the month.
Mr. Miller closed this public hearing and opened a second one for a Hubbard Farms proposal on North Road.
Mr. Petrovick said Pomeroy Farm on North Road is an existing Hubbard facility. Previously two chicken houses — House 22 and House 26 – were removed. This new building will replace those houses as a single building and is 19,350 square feet but not as large as the two that were removed.
Mr. Marcom remembered that a year or so ago they were talking about adding five feet to the width of a chicken house. Mr. Hunter agreed and said that it the position of the industry now that five feet is added on both sides of a chicken house.
Mr. Miller closed the public hearing. Regarding the Upper Walpole Road Hatchery proposal: A motion was made and seconded to approved the site plan proposal for the hatchery. The motion carried with no one opposing it.
Pomeroy Lane proposal: Mr. Harrington made a motion to approve the building of the proposed chicken house. Mr. Perron seconded the motion. The motion carried with no one opposing the motion.
Walpole Creamery: Mr. Kasper came into the meeting. A motion was made and seconded to remove the tabled motion. The motion carried. Mr. Kasper’s hearing in April was delayed because of COVID-19, so he was given permission to start work on the project. Mr. Kasper said he has had difficulty getting a contractor to complete the work. He finally has an agreement with Bergeron Construction. Regarding DOT permit – he is all set with that and that work has been completed. There are no changes from the original plan. Ms. Andros asked about parking on Route 12. Mr. Kasper said that a barrier has been designed and parking will be behind the barrier. The flood lights will be removed and lighting will be under the boardwalk covering. Mr. Miller closed the public hearing.
Mr. Perron made a motion to approve the project as presented, Mr. Harrington seconded the motion and the motion carried with a unanimous vote.
Public Hearing No.5
Gorham – Route 12 – Subdivision. Joe DiBernardo represented David Gorham, 569 Main Street, Map 12,
Lot 22, Commercial District. One lot is 2 acres and the second lot is 7.27 acres.
Mr. DiBernardo said the property is the brick house north of Jiffy Mart and on the west side. The proposal is to subdivide the house with 2 acres and the field for farming, which is 7.27 acres. He is selling the field to John Janiszyn, owner of Pete’s Farmstand. The proposal meets the lot size and road frontage of 150 feet. It’s in the Commercial District. The lot retains right-of-way access to get to the field from the house lot. The state is not permitting any curb cutting off of Route 12, Mr. DiBernardo said. The land on the west side of the property is the rail trail.
The farm field is going into conservation with the Monadnock Conservancy, DiBernardo said. The lot with the house on it requires state septic approval.
Mr. Miller closed the hearing. A motion was made to approve the proposal contingent on state approval for Lot 1 for a septic system. The motion was seconded and approved unanimously by the Board.
Request for a Public Hearings
Ruggiero Processing Facility LLC Site Plan. Industrial Park, Tax Map 1, Lot 10-1, Industrial District.
Tom Hanna represented Ruggiero Processing Facility LLC. Mr. Hanna is a lawyer with BCM Environmental Law. Mr. Hanna said the proposed site plan is to change the driveway placement into the facility, a new scale and a modular office to monitor the scale located in the Industrial Park. He said that the Zoning Board of Adjustment voted in June that Ruggiero does not need another Special Exception. He explained that the project was the same as he explained in March of this year.
He was at the meeting to drop off the application and request a public hearing. In March he gave a preliminary presentation for Ruggiero Processing Facility LLC to have these “relatively minor improvements” on the same 6.23 acres that was previously approved 10 years ago. In addition to the change in place to the driveway it’s the same driveway that was previously approved. There would be a scale and a 24-by-40-foot modular office building. In conjunction with the office there will be a well and a state approved septic system. Mr. Hanna had been to the ZBA June meeting and it was determine that a Special Exception was not required.
Mr. Dalessio asked where the municipal solid waste was going. Mr. Hanna said it would go in the steel building on the property.
Mr. Marcom made a motion to approved the request for a public hearing for the site plan in August. Mr. Perron seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.
Request for a Public Hearing: Subdivision – Laura Madden, 74 Hayes Road, Tax Map 13, Lot 3 and 3-1. Lot 3 will be 30.22 acres with 323.71 feet of road frontage and 3.1 will be 22.71 acres with 200.0 feet of road frontage, Rural/ag District. Hayes Road is off of Valley Road. One portion of the Southeast boundary is a Class 6 Road. Mr. DiBernardo said Mrs. Madden wants to adjust the boundary on the smaller lot and sell the remaining lot to Cindy and Michael Hayes.
A motion was made and seconded to have a Public Hearing in August. The motion carried.
Town of Walpole annex property on Main Street. Map 22, Lot 4 and 5-1, Residential B. Surveyor Mr. Joe DiBernardo presented the proposal.
Mr. DiBernardo said the Town of Walpole is purchasing a slice of property that is now being used as a parking lot for the Recreation Center. It is north of the school and south of Hubbard Farm LLC office on Main Street. The property will be annexed to town property. It will be a Boundary Line Adjustment. The current owner is Fall Mountain School District. Mr. DiBernardo requested a public hearing for August.
Mr. Marcom made a motion to hold a hearing in August for a Boundary Line Adjustment. Mr. Harrington seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Request for a Public Hearing: Subdivision. Matt McGuirk for his grandmother, Elisse McGuirk, 167 Valley Road, Tax Map 13, Lot 15, rural/ag district. Withdrew his request.
Discussion – Walpole Village Market – landscaping.
Mr. Miller said that a site plan for landscaping was approved for property at the gas station on the corner of Main and Westminster Streets in 2005. Mr. Miller said a tree was removed and he was following up on the site since it was an approved site plan. The tree was between the fountain and gas pumps. The trees is no longer there. Mr. Miller said he realized that it gets plowed there but some people thought the tree was important.
Raynie Laware, who represented the Walpole Foundation, the current owner of the property, said that was the site plan of the prior owner. Does that make a difference? she asked. Mr. Miller said no.
Some others said, “Nothing will grow there” and “The tree was affected by salt. Mr. Marcom asked if that was between the pump and the fountain and the answer was yes. Mr. Miller said that the site plan was approved and over time the Board changes. People forget and the intent of the site plan is not remembered. But he remembered that at the time it was an important and integral part of the landscaping plan. He just wanted to mention it. Let’s move on.
Regarding the nominations to fill Mr. Aldrich’s seat. It will take place next month. Alternates Ms. Andros and Mr. Colley are willing to step in his place. But there may be someone else in the community that would also like step in until March 2021.
Board Votes in April, May and June via email due to COVID-19:
Mr. Marcom mentioned that the months that we didn’t have meeting we had some votes via email. They were as follows:
Conditional Approval so they can start construction – April 2020
Walpole Creamery – Site Plan
Yes votes 5 (0 no)
Hubbard Farms, Pomeroy Lane, Site Plan Review – April 2020
Yes votes 6 (0 votes no)
Jeff Colley (Alternate)
Voluntary Merger Jeff Miller and Dennis Marcom signed off on the document after the vote – May 2020
Yes vote 5 (0 votes no)
Jeff Colley – Alternate
Requests for a Public Hearings in July – June 2020
Hubbard Farms Hatchery – Upper Walpole Road
David Gorham – subdivision Main Street – house and field
Gregg Taylor – March Hill – Recommendation for a Special Exception in Rural/Ag – Mr. Taylor withdrew his request about a week after the vote.
Handouts: Amended Site Plan.
Copy of North Walpole Fire Department letter for Gay hearing
Log of 2019 meetings
cc: WPB, ZBA, Town Offices.
Posted: Inside, outside Town Offices, on bulletin board outside the Post Office, Walpolean, http://www.walpolenh/us.