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Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 9/16/21

Selectboard Present:      Cheryl Mayberry (Chair); Steven Dalessio; Peggy Pschirrer

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry called this Selectboard meeting to order at 8:30 AM in the Walpole Town Hall.  The three Selectboard members were present.  Also present was Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration, and Mrs. Regina Borden, Recording Secretary. This meeting was being recorded.  There were no members of the public in attendance.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $645,129.83 for checks issued September 17, 2021.  This includes a monthly payment in the amount of $607,559.42 to the Fall Mountain Regional School District.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

PAYROLL:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending September 11, 2021, in rhe amount of $28,844.28 for checks dated September 17, 2021, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $5,590.25.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – September 9, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of September 9, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION MINUTES – September 9, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of September 9, 2021, as submitted.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

REFUNDS:

MAP and LOT #028-008-000:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to grant the Property Tax Refund in the amount of $153.56 for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #028-008-000.  This is due to an overpayment of property taxes.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

OLD BUSINESS:

Draft Letter to DRA Commissioner:  The Selectboard reviewed and approved the draft letter to the Department of Revenue Administration Commissioner to request approval to allow us to use the Unassigned Fund for highway projects and related infrastructure related to the flooding damage.  There was a consensus to sign this letter on September 23rd, 2021, after the Public Hearing.

Solar Exemption: Ms. Mayberry asked Mrs. Downing if they have identified the properties with a large number of panels and, if so, have they requested copies of electric bills.  Are they selling to the grid or just covering their own expenses?  Mrs. Downing noted there are not that many.  She will do it before the next tax year.  At this point she cannot change anything.  Mrs. Downing will prepare a questionnaire.  After copies of electric bills are received the information will be sent to Avitar Associates for their calculations.     

Mill Pond Dam Inspection:  The Mill Pond Dam Inspection is scheduled for Thursday, September 23rd at 10:00 AM.    

Pending Further Actions:

Vilas Bridge, Houghton Brook Bridge, Generators, Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood.   There were no new updates to these agenda items.

NEW BUSINESS:

Cemetery Deed D576:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the sale of Cemetery Deed D576.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Petition and Pole License:  Ms. Mayberry explained this Petition and Pole License submitted by Liberty Utilities is for North Road and the expansion to the Hubbard Pomerloy Farm on the north side of the cemetery.    

Mrs.  Pschirrer moved to approve and sign the two requests of Liberty Utilities to install three poles up North Road to the Hubbard Pomerloy Farm.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.        

Contract for Cheshire County ARPA Funding:  The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of a letter from the County of Cheshire regarding the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  There was a consensus to hold off signing their letter until the next meeting.  Contracts need to be signed by December 31, 2021.  

Wantastiquet Local River Subcommittee Appoint Form:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the appointment of Paul Reyns to the Wantastiquet Local River Subcommittee.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Mr. Reyns wrote a letter of interest.  He has been volunteering to take monthly river water samples.

Facial Masks and Municipal Buildings:  Mrs. Pschirrer reported a number of people are asking about this as the COVID numbers are increasing in Cheshire County.  The Women of Walpole just cancelled all their meetings.  The Library is requiring that masks be worn.  The masks do make it more difficult for people to hear.  Mr. Dalessio has no issues with requiring the wearing of masks in public buildings but they need to enforce it.  Ms. Mayberry noted if they are going to do this they need to send all employees a notice in writing.  There was discussion relative to enforcing masks.  There are economic issues in terms of the employees if they are out of work due to COVID related circumstances. Mr. Dalessio felt a compromise might be to require that all people attending meetings need to wear masks.  Mrs. Pschirrer would encourage employees to wear their masks.  At some point we hope COVID will retreat but it might not go away.  It is flu season again.  For now she felt they can require that people wear facial masks when attending public meetings and they encourage all people, including employees, to wear masks. Mr. Dalessio mentioned that they encourage all employees to get vaccinated.         

RECESS SELECTBOARD MEETING:

Mr. Dalessio moved to recess this Selectboard meeting.  The Selectboard will enter into a meeting as the Hooper Trustees.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 9:02 AM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 9:22 AM.

Selectboard Meeting –September 23, 2021- Page 3

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION:

Mr. Dalessio moved to enter into a Non-Public Selectboard Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II to discuss (a) Personnel and (c) Reputations.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 9:32 AM. 

Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of September 16, 2021, will be sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the meeting adjourned at 9:33 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

                                                                            

Zoning Board Meeting Minutes – 9/15/21

Present: Board Members Chair Jan Galloway-Leclerc, Vice-Chair Myra Mansouri, Clerk Tom Murray, Ernie Vose, Alternates Judy Trow and Dave Edkins. Absent: Board member Pauline Barnes, alternate Don Sellarole.

Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes were recorded. They are unapproved and will be reviewed at the October 2021 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.

Roll Call: Ms. Leclerc called the meeting to order at 7pm. One board member was absent so alternate  Ms. Trow was asked to sit in her place. She agreed.

Minutes: Minutes of August 2021. Corrections: Ms. Leclerc asked that on page 4, paragraph 3 that the two sentences about the Planning Board participating in discussion of the feather flags be stricken. Page 1, paragraph 4, change it to say come out of nonpublic page 1, paragraph 6, Ms. Trow removed the word “of” in the second sentence and on page 3, second to last paragraph change “Sort” to “Short.” Ms. Trow made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. Mr. Vose seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Old Business:

Public Hearing No. 1: Special Exception for Doug and Laura Palmer, 308 Main St., Tax Map 24, Lot 13 in the Commercial District. Ordinance Article IV No. 9 Special Exceptions. Smart Power Sports, a retail and commercial storage business in the former RN Johnson building. Request for a sign 33-inches-by-22-inches to hang off the road side of the building. Problem: distance from edge of traveled road.

Mr. Palmer said because the building is so close to the road, it impossible to have a sign 60 feet from the edge of the road. So the sign would be 18 feet from the road and it conforms to the Special Exception requirement to be less then six square feet. Ms. Trow asked if the sign would be lighted. Mr. Palmer said not at this time. 

Mr. Murray said that Article IV No. 9 Special Exceptions states the “signs of six (6) square feet may be placed between ten (10) and sixty (60) feet of traveled roadway by Special Exception from the Board of Adjustment.” Since the sign Mr. Palmer presented is less than 6 square feet, Mr. Murray said, he has a legitimate special exception. The sign will be attached from the road side of the building and is high enough (10 feet off the ground) that it eliminates the potential limitation of visibility for vehicles going by. Mr. Murray made a motion that the sign be approved for Doug Palmer, 308 Main Street to accommodate a vertical sign off the side of the building. Mr. Murray’s motion was seconded and the motion carried. Ms. Leclerc asked Mr. Palmer to take a picture of the sign when it is installed and send it to the secretary. The secretary will send Mr. Palmer an approval letter and copy it to the Town Offices. 

Mr. Palmer did not read his answers to the criteria on the Special Exception application. They will be attached to the end of the minutes. 

Public Hearing No. 2. Variance: building addition. Peter and Kimberly King, 46 Dearborn Circle, Map 24, Lot 55-12 in Residential B District. Ordinance Article V C 2 distance from middle of the road. The Kings want to build a 20-foot-by-12-foot living room on the front of their home. They are 63 feet from the center of the road and the ordinance states the building must be 65 feet.

In the August meeting, Mr. King spoke about a spruce tree he had planted in front of his house when the family moved in. The tree was where the addition was going to go and he had to have it removed. It had gotten quite large. Ms. Leclerc is the person who removed the trees and cut it into boards. She recused herself from participating in the public hearing and alternate Dave Edkins was asked and agreed to sit in for her. The vice-chair Myra Mansouri stepped in for Ms. Leclerc.

Since Mr. Edkins had not been at the previous meeting when the Kings presented their proposal, Ms. Mansouri asked Mr. King to explain what they wanted to do. Mr. King explained that they had lived at 46 Dearborn Circle and moved there 15 years ago after their son was born. After deciding that they wanted to remain in that neighborhood and not move, they hired an architect to do a complete set of plans to build a 12-foot-by-20-foot addition. They needed the space as their family has grown and the children are older. But because they were 2 feet shy of conforming to the ordinance of distance to the middle of the road, they were required to get a variance. The two feet will make an incredible difference to their addition and he is hoping the board will allow the two feet for this single-family residence. 

Ms. Mansouri asked if all the letters been sent out to abutters, if the fees had been paid, is the application filled out and if anything has come back from the abutters about the project. The secretary said yes to all the requirements and no to the comments from abutters. A friend, Sue Fillion, who lives on Booksellers Road in Walpole, helped them work through the application and read the answers to the five criteria.  

1. The proposed variance will not diminish surrounding property values.

The proposed variance would allow a small addition to an existing single-family home. The addition will add value to our home and therefore not diminish the values of surrounding properties. It has been designed by an architect. We are not assessors or people listing real estate, but we do not believe the small addition to a single-family residence in a residential neighborhood will diminish the surrounding property values. There’s plenty of space surrounding the house. 

2. Granting the variance would be in the public interest.

The guidelines are that it doesn’t have to show that there is a public interest, just that it wouldn’t conflict with a public interest, Ms. Fillion said. 

Granting this variance will benefit the public interest as there is an existing single-family residence on the parcel and the intent of the Residential B District is to promote single-family residential use. Given the existing residence on the parcel, permitting the variance will not affect the neighborhood or alter its essential characteristics. 

3. Denial of the variance would result in unnecessary hardship to the owner.

This parcel of land is uniquely shaped as it tapers to the south to form a triangle-shaped piece of land. It is different than most parcels in the neighborhood that are rectangular. It is also on the same side of the street where the deck is smaller than at the other houses.

The abutting properties and those to the north on the same side of the street are deeper. Our house was built on the widest part of the property. Given the existing single-family residential neighborhood, permitting the variance will not affect the neighborhood or alter its essential character.  

Ms. Fillion said the lot is an odd shape. The house is on the widest section of the lot and then it tapers like a pie towards the south. It is uniquely different than other lots in the neighborhood.

4. Granting the variance would do substantial justice.

There is no gain to the general public by the denial of the variance since granting the variance would not result in any change to the existing use of the residence on the property or a change in the neighborhood. It will allow us more living space for our family while maintaining a modest-sized home in keeping with the character of the neighborhood. It will not affect traffic flow or cause unsafe road conditions. There is still 63 feet to the center line. This is a small residential street that only has local traffic.

Ms. Fillion added that it won’t negatively affect a neighbor’s property.

5. The proposed variance is not contrary to the spirit of the ordinance.

This property is zoned Residential District B. According to the ordinance, “The purpose of establishing a Residential District is to preserve free from the distraction of business, traffic noise and odor, those areas of Town suitable for quiet and safe residence and to assure those who built houses there that they may continue to dwell in such comfortable surroundings.”  The variance, if granted, will not change the existing single-family character nature of the neighborhood.

Ms. Fillion said this is the goal of a use of property in a residential district. No traffic. No congestion. It’s in keeping with the neighborhood. It doesn’t result in crowding other homes on the street. 

Ms. Mansouri asked if there were any questions. Mr. Vose asked what the setbacks were on the other sides of their property. Mrs. King looked at the application and said 89 feet at the rear, 52 feet on the north side and 145 feet on the south side.

The variance process is to comment on each of the criteria and then approve the entire variance in one vote. Mr. Vose made a motion to accept the proposal as presented, Mr. Edkins seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Ms. Trow thanked the Kings for their thorough and thoughtful answers, it doesn’t always happen, she said. Mr. Vose congratulated them on a well-done application. Some members of the board applauded them and said it was the best thought-out variance application they had seen in years.

Mr. King was told he needed to go to the Town Offices for a building permit. The secretary will write an approval letter.

Report on Public Hearing with the Planning Board

Ms. Leclerc said she presented her two amendments to the Planning Board and right away it was pointed out that the words “wind-activated” signs like feather flags was a problem. Mr. Dalessio asked what about putting out a sign with the word “Open” on it. Is that prohibited? Ms. Leclerc said she didn’t really know how to answer that. She thought we had thought of every possible type of flag. Flags along the highway and feathered out along the highway were the issue, Ms. Mansouri said. That was the intention. One suggestion from the board was that we take out wind-activated and just have inflatable signs, feather flags, etc. She was also told that we make sure that that’s what feather flags  are really called. So we are not just making up a name and it’s called something else. 

Mr. Vose asked Mr. Edkins what they did in Charlestown. Mr. Edkins didn’t recall it ever being an issue. As far as signs saying “open,” they were exempt, Mr. Edkins said. The Superior Court says you can’t prohibit what is said on a sign, Ms. Leclerc said. One suggestion from the Planning Board was that the feather flags be put in the amendment regarding temporary sign so there is a time limit.

Mr. Edkins asked if the board can make a distinction between informational signs and commercial promotional signs. Also, if the open sign were attached to the building, as opposed to a sign along the road, that is better, Mr. Murray said. That would make a big difference because the ones by the road distract drivers. Ms. Leclerc suggested everyone reread the court ruling on signage.

It was suggested Ms. Leclerc call the NH Municipal Association and ask about feather flags and what should be included in the ordinance. Ask what they would suggest about wording. Should there be a time period?. When Joanna Andros came to the ZBA, it was 24-7. Ms. Leclerc said another thing is that all of those signs, we never saw a single business come to the ZBA.

Is feather flags the correct terminology? Mr. Edkins googled feather flags and samples of the flags that we were discussing were displayed on the screen.

Ms. Leclerc hopes she may be hearing some suggestions from the board. Then the ZBA board will pull together what it finds out from the municipal association. She will let the board know what suggestions she gets.

Also since the Planning Board voted to continue the hearing next month, the Zoning Board won’t have a meeting before they meet. So the board needs a workshop meeting to come up with an alternative ordinance. After checking their schedule, board members decided on Tuesday, October 5 at 7 pm in the Town Hall.

Email account for Zoning Board

Ms. Leclerc and Ms. Mansouri attended the Select Board meeting on August 26, 2021. They explained that ZBA Board member Pauline Barnes attended a “Right to Know” webinar given by the NH Municipal Association. The Select Board minutes state say that Ms. Leclerc said that “two lawyers suggested it might be a good idea for boards to set up a separate email account solely for board business. Some ZBA members are concerned about some recent court rulings regarding email and town officials. Therefore, the members wanted to discuss this with the Selectboard.” Ms. Leclerc and Ms. Mansouri wanted to know if this was possible and if so how would it work.

Ms. Dalessio said the board members would have to bring in their computers to allow the Town’s network company to do it. The Town doesn’t back-up their emails. It would be the responsibility of the members. The Town used to have a ZBA address, but it was never used. Ms Pschirrer said that emails have been able to be subpoenaed for a long time. Depending on who was coming after them they could still go after the individual’s email depending on their levels of distrust. 

Ms. Leclerc gave the example of the school board members from Charlestown when they the town was trying to leave the district. The court looked at the individual computers of the members and found they were emailing one another.

After Ms. Leclerc brought back the information from the Select Board to the Zoning Board, it was agreed that all that hassle wasn’t worth creating a town email account, if private emails could be subpoenaed anyway.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried. 

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

ZBA Secretary 

cc: ZBA, WPB, Town Offices.

Posted: Inside Town Offices, on bulletin board outside Post Office, The Walpolean, http://www.walpolenh.us

Next meeting: Wednesday, October 20, 2021. 

Workshop: Tuesday, October 5, 2021.  

Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 9/14/21

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

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

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

Minutes: Mr. Marcom asked that on page 5, second paragraph of the August minutes that July 15, 2021 be added to the first sentence and in the same paragraph the word “date” be changed to “data.” Ms. Andros suggested striking out the “said” at the end or the second paragraph on page 8 as the word was repeated. On page 3, second paragraph, she changed “use” to “used.” Mr. Perron made a motion to accepted the amended minutes. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and motion carried.

Old Business:

Public Hearing No. 1: Two amendments to the Walpole Zoning Ordinance: Amendment No. 1 add inflatable and wind-activated sign such as fabric feather flags: Amendment No. 2 gives a definition of a temporary signs and examples of this type of sign. If approved, these two amendments will be put on the March 2022 warrant for approval by the townspeople.

ZBA Chairperson Jan Leclerc said she was presenting two amendments to the sign ordinance. The first one deals with wind-activated feather flag signs and inflatable signs. There were questions if these signs were already prohibited in the ordinance, but the Select Board suggested it would be better to specifically mention this type of sign in an ordinance. Amendment 2 adds the definition of temporary signs and currently they are not mentioned in the ordinance, they are not defined. That’s not how an ordinance works. You need a definition. So now our feeling is that since they are defined in an ordinance, and we give a few examples of temporary signs, that would take care of any problem.

Mr. Dalessio said ‘wind-activated. What about an open sign on a restaurant. Is that wind-activated? The American flag on a building. Is that wind-activated? If it is, it is prohibited in the town of Walpole.”

Ms. Leclerc said we don’t consider the flag a sign. So why is a feather flag considered a sign? Mr. Dalessio asked. Ms. Leclerc answered because it usually says something that advertises a product at a commercial site. So if I put up a feather flag at a site that said open, that would be acceptable because I’m not advertising a product?

Mr. Marcom asked Mr. Dalessio if he had a suggestion that would clear this up. How could we reword that? Ms. Leclerc asked.

 Mr. Dalessio said he didn’t have a word offhand but I’m looking at it from the enforcement side. He would say that wind-activated signs in the temporary sign ordinance are acceptable because they are usually put out when a site is open and usually taken down at night. That would be okay. But that’s not what usually happens. Mr. Dalessio said but we’re writing an ordinance. So if you want to use a feather flag, it’s got to be a temporary sign. I think that’s the answer. It seems if the building is open, it’s a definition issue. You can’t enforce it, that’s a gray zone.

Ms. Leclerc said you can’t regulate what someone puts on a sign. And there’s an ordinance that says all signs in a commercial zone must come to the zoning board to see if they conform with the ordinance and we’ve never seen anyone. Also there are setback requirements for signs.

What about real estate people? Mr. Dalessio asked. Do they come to the board? Those are temporary and allowed.

Ms. Andros asked about when a painter is painting a house he puts out a sign. Sometimes it’s just there for a long time. Mr. Dalessio said if the job is done, after 10 ten days the sign should be gone.

Jason agreed with the wording about the flag being wind-activated being the problem. Ms. Leclerc asked about using the term inflatable sign.

Ms. Andros said use that as opposed to an open sign when it’s taken down. What about the placement? she asked. There’s usually a thing by the door that you put the flag in that means your open for business. But if its right out by the street, it’s fluttering and distracting.

If you take out wind-activated and look at feather flags differently as put out and taken in every day you could call it temporary. Mr. Dalessio said it would have to be removed after 10 days.

 Mr. Miller said we do have time so we can continue this next month and the chair of the ZBA can double check with her board. You will not be having a new hearing and nor creating anything new. We can deal with this next month after you connect with your board. Mr. Dalessio said he’d email Ms. Leclerc if he had any suggestions. Ms. Leclerc asked the Planning Board to do the same.

Mr. Perron made a motion to continue this hearing. The motion was second and the motion carried. 

Public Hearing No. 2:  Approve updated sections of the Master Plan: Implementation Plan, Population and Housing Analysis, Transportation Chapter.

Mr. Miller said to his board that you are all familiar with the update to these sections. He asked if there were any questions or concerns. Hearing none, he asked “Do I have a motion to accept?” Mr. Perron made a motion to accept the updated sections to the Master Plan as presented. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and the motion carried.

New Business:

Avanru Development Group LTD/Red Barn Lane. Tax Map 12, Lot 13-3. Agent: James Phippard, Brickstone Land Use Consultants LLC. Proposed: Vacant Lot/Self Storage Units, 37,450 square feet. Red Barn Condominium. Request for a public hearing at October PB meeting.

Mr. Jim Phippard said he was here to submit an application for its completeness. He was here on behalf of Red Barn Lane LLC. The Application applied to a property on Red Barn Lane located off Route 12, next to the Tractor Supply store. He proceeded to go through the checklist included with the application. Applicants check yes, no or NA, meaning non applicable, on each of 27 items.

Red Barn Condominium is on 7.3 acres of land. It is adjacent to Dollar Store and the Abenaki Springs residential development. The applicant is proposing to construct 5 buildings totaling 37,450 square feet. The buildings will be a mix of self-storage units, climate controlled, and some cold storage units. Some units will be approached from the outside, other renters would have to go inside the building. There will also be a 400 square-foot office area in Building No. 1.

There will be a total of 25 parking spaces provided. Renters who have outside access will simply park in front of their unit. Inside access units will have parking spaces by the doors to the interior to the buildings.

According to the requirements on the checklist, the name of the project is on the cover sheet, names and address of owners, tax map and lot numbers and zoning districts of abutters are provided. There are no easements, owners did pay fees and are not requesting any waivers for the project. Physical features of abutting lands were also provided. DiBernardo Associates prepared an outline of the site plan.

The site will be accessed 24-hours a day via a new paved driveway off Red Barn Lane after phase 2 is completed and an office is in Building No. 1. Before that is open 6 am to 10 pm. The driveway will be 20 feet wide with access being controlled by a sliding gate activated by a keypad. The driveway is located approximately 650 feet from Route 12. Red Barn Lane currently provides access to Tractor Supply, Dollar General and Abenaki Springs Apartments.

Site lighting will consist of LED wall paks using full cutoff fixtures. The wall paks will be mounted 8 feet high and provide an average of 1.09 foot candles over the paved areas. A board member asked if  lights would be off at night and motion-sensor lighting used. Mr. Phippard said “no” because any movement such as a car passing or a small animal could set of the lighting if it were turned off. Lights will turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn.

Utilities will be underground. The site is served by Town Water and Town Sewer. There are two existing fire hydrants on Red Barn Lane, one near the new driveway to the site. Because the project is using town water and sewer, no test pits were needed. The systems will simply tie into the current system. The project is not located in a floodplain.

The existing site is a flat site sloping from north to south at a 2 to 3 percent slope. The onsite soil is Agawam, Type 24 A, fine sandy loam, which is excellent for stormwater infiltration. Runoff created by the new buildings will be collected on site using catch basins, roof gutters and curbing. Most of the runoff will then be infiltrated using infiltration strips next to the buildings or infiltration strips along the perforated storm drains under paved areas. Excess stormwater not infiltrated will discharge to a small stormwater pond to be constructed at the southwest corner of the site. The stormwater system has been designed to retain and infiltrate a 50-year storm. No increase in runoff will leave the site. Sediment and erosion control will be accomplished with silt fencing at the perimeter to prevent sediment from leaving the site.

A wetland area exists along the east and south sides of the site. Silt fencing will be installed during construction to prevent any sedimentation from entering the wetland.

A free-standing main sign is 24.6 square feet and 8 feet high will be installed 60 feet from the edge of Red Barn Lane, 10 feet from the west property line, near building 5. Informational wall signs are proposed to identify the office area, the building entries and hours of operation. The hours of operation will 6 am to 10 pm every day for the climate controlled units in building 3,4, and 5. The cold storage units in all buildings will be accessible 24 hours via a gate with keypad access. The office, constructed in phase 2, will be by appointment only.

The proposed buildings are single-story metal buildings with pitched metal roofs. The siding will be Dessert Sand colored. Overhead doors, passage doors and building trim will be Fern Green in color.

Mr. Dalessio asked if there would fencing around the units. Mr. Phippard said a 6-foot-chain-link fencing would be installed around the perimeter of both phases. Mr. Dalessio also asked if Fire Chief Mark Houghton had signed of on the project. Mr. Phippard said he would get in touch with him.

Mr. Phippard continued that the buildings will be built in two phases with buildings 3,4 and 5 being built first. There will be a 12-to-14- month gap before building phase two was under construction. Total time of construction is 14 to 15 months. Mr. MacLachlan asked how people who wanted to rent units would be able to do that if the office was in the last phase of building. The answer was that all appointments would be made online and be by appointment only. The office is in Keene.

Mr. Marcom made a motion to hold a public hearing on the construction of the storage units next month. Mr. Perron seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Possible apartments in Potato Barn: Barry Bellows presenting. Preliminary meeting for a site plan review. The owner of the Potato Barn and the inn, Steve Rudek of Sacramento, CA, was also present at the meeting.

Mr. Bellows said this was a preliminary meeting only. He wanted to know if apartments were allowed at the Potato Barn. Originally it was approved as a site for functions such as weddings, with a couple of other areas for commercial use. This would be a change of use. Depending on whether or not they found uses for the two or three commercial areas, Bellows said there may be 10 units. The large function room at the top of the building would remain.

Bellows said 10 units would go into the unfinished section of the barns. The question is what is needed to get approval for that project. There will be no footprint alterations other than windows and interior renovations.  For the time being the granary and piggery would be available to be rented as commercial space. If that didn’t work, the space could be used for five to six more units.

Mr. Rudek said one of the questions contractors always ask is “What actually are you building” and my answer is “I don’t know. So when we built that section, we over built. I knew what I was trying to do, I was trying bring to life to the north face of Walpole because that included the potato barn. And it was getting worse every day. The inn was vacant. It is not the way I ordinarily do my business. I do have a background in real estate. I do have a background in residential real estate and owning apartment buildings. But I exited out by 2008 crash. I do know quite a bit about renting out apartments, but in this particular case, what I would really like to do, and it is very important to me, is to keep the ambiance of the overall space. The original intention was to bring something beautiful there and the connection between that (the barn) and the inn.” His plans are apartments for senior living, strictly senior living, 55 and above, and higher end. There seems to be a real need for it here in Walpole, Mr. Rudek said, and at the same time keeping it very harmonious with the inn. A walk path between the barn and the inn is available and even if you went up the road in a car it’s a one-minute drive. “So this is something I’ve been trying to figure out for a long time and that’s why the bottom part of the barn has been sitting vacant and unfinished for maybe five years. The exact balance, I’m hoping, the ideal with the parts that are already finished.

“The commercial space remain as they are, at least for now, until if find what kind of reception I get from the community for having high-end community living there. Barry Bellows will oversee the construction that it’s going to be beautiful. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

How big are these units? A board member asked. Mr. Rudek said, “One two-bedroom and the rest are one bedroom. It’s possible that to make better use of the space that the one bedrooms will become studios. So he expects that there will be one or two people in a unit. I don’t intend for there to be children.”

If he decides to use the commercial space for apartments, it might be 14 spaces. In the beginning he is planning on 9 spaces, which is the unfinished portion of the barn.

Ms. Andros asked about parking. Parking is adequate parking, but if there is a wedding on the top floor, it may be a little tight. But there is plenty of acreage and there would be dedicated spaces for residents. Mr. Miller said parking won’t be a problem.

When Mr. Rudek has talked to realtors, they have recommended auto repair shops or something like that. “And I’ve repeatedly said no, I don’t think so.”

Ms. Andros asked about the driveway. Currently it’s sure pack until you get up to barn and that’s asphalt.

Mr. Dalessio said his only concern is the mix of a venue with residential and a party going. Would it create more of a burden on the Walpole police department. Senior bedtimes are earlier.

Tenants would certainly know that before moving in. And they can move out of course, there’s always sound proofing. It’s not unusual to have mixed used space. It’s all over in Europe. In fact, it’s pretty classy. You already have mixed use, for example Burdicks. You have apartments, you have offices, you have a restaurant below. Mr. Dalessio said it’s not quite the same.

The project is allowed under Change of Use. Mr. Bellows will be back when he is ready to submit a plan and say exactly what is proposed.

Workshop: On Tuesday, September 28, at 7 pm SWRPC Planner Lisa Murphy will be here to do a workshop on another part of the Master Plan: Land Use Analysis and Plan.

Also, looking at last month’s vote, it would to have a second alternate, Mr. Miller said. He asked the board to try to think of people who may be interested.

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

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine, WPB Secretary

Copies: WPB, ZBA, Town Offices.

Posted: Town Offices, bulletin board outside Post Offices, The Walpolean, www.walpolenh.us

Next meeting: October 12, 2021.

TOWN OF WALPOLE

MEETING OF THE SELECTBOARD

SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

Selectboard Present:      Cheryl Mayberry (Chair); Steven Dalessio; Peggy Pschirrer

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry called this Selectboard meeting to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  This meeting was being recorded.  The three Selectboard members were present.  Also present was Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration, and Mrs. Regina Borden, Recording Secretary. There were no members of the public in attendance.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $43,284.77 for checks issued September 10, 2021.  This includes a payment in the amount of $27,236.46 to the New Hampshire Retirement System.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

PAYROLL:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending September 04, 2021, in the amount of $29,305.14 for checks dated September 10, 2021, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $5,765.52.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – September 2, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of September 2, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SESSION SELECTBOARD MINUTES – September 2, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of September 2, 2021, as submitted.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the following Committee report:

  • North Walpole Village District Board of Commissioners Meeting – August 31, 2021.

OLD BUSINESS:

Community Power – Joint Powers Agreement:  Ms. Mayberry advised this was reviewed by the Attorney General. Therefore, the Selectboard did not feel it necessary to have the Town attorney review it as well.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to authorize the Chair of the Selectboard, Cheryl Mayberry, to sign the Joint Powers Agreement.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to authorize the Chair of the Selectboard, Cheryl Mayberry, to sign the Memorandum for the Record to appoint Mr. Paul Looney as the member representative and director and Mr. Dennis Marcom as the alternate member representative and director to the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire, until further notice.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Mrs. Pschirrer reported that this committee has no money.  They would like to put out a survey similar to one the Broadband Committee did.  She asked if they could find $1,000 for the committee to do a survey and communicate with the public. There was a consensus that it could be taken out of the Executive section of the budget. 

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve $1,000 for the Community Power Committee to be taken out of the Executive section of the budget; Training, Seminars and Mileage line.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.    

Agreement and Deposit Receipts for Tax Deeded Property Sale:  Ms. Mayberry stated that they had they opened sealed bids and accepted bids last week.  After the bidder makes their payment, the Selectboard will sign the quitclaim deed. The buyer pays the recording fee, and the office then files it on their behalf.

Map 9, Lot 24 – Located off Evans Road:  Mr. Dalessio moved to approve the Agreement and Deposit Receipt for Map 9, Lot 24, located off Evans Road, Walpole, NH, and to authorize the Chair of the Selectboard, Cheryl Mayberry, to sign it.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.  

Map 24, Lot 5 – Located at 24 Homestead Avenue:  Mr. Dalessio moved to approve the Agreement and Deposit Receipt for Map 24, Lot 5, located at 24 Homestead Avenue, Walpole, NH, and to authorize the Chair of the Selectboard, Cheryl Mayberry, to sign it.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.    

Vilas Bridge Sewer Line Feasibility Study:  The Vilas Bridge Sewer Line Feasibility Study was received from Mr. Mark Houghton.  Mr. Dalessio suggested they take time tomorrow during their 2022 Preliminary Budget Meeting to discuss all of the programs.  It is about the process to hire an engineer/consultant and secure funding.  These things take a lot of time and expertise.  They will contact Municipal Resources.  Mrs. Pschirrer would like to do a Payroll Study as well.

Executive Counselor Warmington Letter: The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of a letter from Executive Counselor Warmington.  She is committed to helping us with the Vilas Bridge project.

LED Streetlight Conversion Project:  Mr. Steve Grenier reported the LED Streetlight Conversion Project is still not finished as the installers are waiting for the new lower wattage lights to arrive.

Pending Further Actions:

Mill Pond Dam Inspection, Vilas Bridge, Houghton Brook Bridge, Generators, Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood, Complete Streets re: Sidewalks:

Mill Road:  Mr. Dalessio reported that Mill Road was completed as of this afternoon.  The Department of Environmental Services (DES) will look at it to confirm it meets their approval.

Smaller Projects:  All the small projects such as wash-outs are being worked on.  They are still waiting for a quote on the work that needs to be done on the bridge on North Road.

Elm Street:  The work will begin again on Tuesday, September 14th.    

Complete Streets re: Sidewalks:  Mrs.  Pschirrer had looked at this but cannot do it with all the other projects, etc.  The deadline is approaching; there is not enough time to do it.  Ms. Mayberry noted they cannot even find an engineer to help them with the roads.  It does not seem like the right time to pursue this. Mrs. Pschirrer will still ask for some funding in the 2022 Budget for sidewalk repairs.

NEW BUSINESS:

Economic Revitalization Zone Renewal:  The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of a letter from the NH Department of Business and Economic Affairs that each economic revitalization zone shall be evaluated every 5 years to determine if it meets the criteria required in RSA 162-N-2.  If an economic revitalization zone fails to meet the criteria in this RSA, its designation shall be removed.  The four zones are:

  1. Industrial Park Road Zone,
  2. Meadows Along Main Commercial/Industrial Zone,
  3. Whitcomb-Lane Construction Zone,
  4. Walpole Downtown Commercial Zone.

Mrs. Downing noted that next week Mrs. Daigle will start to work on providing additional information requested as to the map and lot numbers and street addresses for property parcels in each zone.

Wine-Beer License Endorsement Letter:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve and sign the letter to the NH Liquor Commission advising that the Town of Walpole Selectboard voted to recommend that Steven or “CJ” Lederman and Eric Brandoloi be granted a restaurant beverage/beer & wine license.   Both are members of Watkins Inn and Tavern LLC located at 166 Prospect Hill Road, Walpole, NH.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

Cemetery Deeds for Lots D566, D580 and D581:  Mr. Dalessio moved to approve and sign the Cemetery Deeds for Lots D566, D580 and D581.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

Notice for Public Hearings- Two Zoning Ordinance Amendments:  Ms. Mayberry acknowledged receipt of a Public Notice for two Zoning Ordinance Amendments and for updated sections of the Master Plan as submitted by Mrs. Marilou Blaine.  Mrs. Pschirrer questioned why the Master Plan is being put on the 2022 Warrant in March when it had not been in the past.  Mr. Dalessio replied that the Master Plan does not have to be on the warrant as it gets approved by the Planning Board.  He will talk to Mr. Jeff Miller about this.

Notice for Public Hearing – Unassigned Fund Balance:  Ms. Mayberry pointed out that the Selectboard need to schedule a Public Hearing for the Unassigned Fund Balance.  She had talked to Mrs. Jamie Dow at the Department of Revenue Administration (DRA).  A Public Hearing needs to be held to request use of $500,000 of the Unassigned Fund Balance; after the Public Hearing is closed, the Selectboard vote on it.  There was a consensus to schedule the Public Hearing on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021, at 6:00 PM.  The purpose is to request use of $500,000 from the Unassigned Fund Balance funds for mitigation of the flood damage to the Town’s highways and roadways on July 29 and 30, 2021.  Ms. Mayberry felt the Selectboard should proof-read the notice prior to it being posted and advertised.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to enter into a Non-Public Selectboard Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II to discuss (c) Reputations and (d) Acquisition, Sale or Lease of Real or Personal Property.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, motion was approved at 7:06 PM. 

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:14 PM. 

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Dalessio moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the meeting adjourned at 7:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

Public Hearing – 9/23/21

TOWN OF WALPOLE, NH

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

September 23, 2021 at 6:00 PM

To Request Funds from the Unassigned Fund Balance to Repair Roadways, Bridges and related infrastructure

You are hereby notified that the Walpole Selectboard will host a public meeting on Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 6:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall to discuss the proposal to use the unassigned fund balance to fund necessary roadway, bridges and related infrastructure repairs due to the stormwater damage from the July 29th storm.

The Selectboard Meeting will follow the public hearing.

SELECTBOARD MEETING AGENDA – 9/16/21

Meeting time changed due to Horse Thieves dinner. – Lil

Starting at 8:30 AM in the Town Hall

SELECTBOARD MEETING

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE

Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $645,129.83 for checks issued 9/17/21

PAYROLL

Payroll Register totaling $28,844.28 dated 9/17/21 and the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer of $5,590.25

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES

Selectboard Minutes – September 9, 2021

Non-Public Session Selectboard Minutes – September 9, 2021

REFUNDS

Map and Lot# 028-008-000

OLD BUSINESS

Draft Letter to DRA Commissioner

Solar Exemption

Mill Pond Dam Inspection

Pending Further Actions

Vilas Bridge, Houghton Brook Bridge, Generators, Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood

NEW BUSINESS

Cemetery Deed D576

Petition and Pole License

Contracts for Cheshire County ARPA Funding

Wantastiquet Local River Subcommittee Appoint Form

Facial Masks and Municipal Buildings

HOOPER TRUSTEES MEETING

HOOPER TRUSTEES MINUTES

Hooper Trustees Meeting – September 2, 2021

HOOPER BUSINESS

August 2021 Reimbursement to the Town of Walpole from the Hooper Educational Fund

August 2021 Reimbursement to the Town of Walpole from the Hooper Maintenance Fund

NON-PUBLIC BUSINESS: RSA 91-A:3 II (a) (c)

**Any recording, audio or visual, and/or other devices must be declared at the beginning of the meeting**

Craft Fair Cancellation

To the Walpole Community: it is with great sadness that the Walpole Firefighters’ Auxiliary announces that we will be cancelling our November, 2021 Craft Fair. We looked forward to rejoining you all in our beloved tradition this year to support our first responders. However, as Covid-19 makes a resurgence throughout our community, we feel strongly that the best way to support those who support our community is to mitigate the risk of exposure to Covid-19 as much as possible. We look forward to seeing you all in 2022.

Jeanne Cloues

Up-date from Lucy

COVID by the Numbers-September 14 Edition

The first two weeks of September have brought significant changes, few of them good.

Statewide, the seven day average of confirmed cases per 100,000 was 5.3 on August 1.  By the end of August, that number was 22.8.  Two weeks later, we are up to 38.0.  Currently active cases statewide went from 738 as of August 1, to 2, 864 at the end of August, and stand at 3,519 today.  The seven day average of daily reported cases rose from 107 at the beginning of August to 326 at the end of August, to 404 today.  Hospitalizations statewide were at 28 at the beginning of August and are now at 141, down from a high yesterday of 154.  The saddest news is that we lost 30 citizens of New Hampshire in the past two weeks.  That is up from 27 in the whole month of August.  3 of those who died in the past two weeks were from Cheshire County.

In Cheshire County, the number that caused me to put out this mid-month bulletin was that on Monday, NH DHHS reported 118 new cases of COVID in the county.  Monday reports include some of the weekend numbers, so  this is a multiple day report, but it’s a lot more than the previous Monday, which was 66, even with the long weekend.  Keene accounted for 57 of those new cases reported Monday, with the rest spread out around the county.  Confirmed active cases in the county have increased from 150 at the end of August, to 218 today.  The countywide seven day average of cases per 100,000 went from 24.8 at the beginning of September to 43.4 currently.  In addition to the 3 Cheshire County citizens who died, we had 3 new hospitalizations in the past two weeks.

Only two counties have higher infection rates than Cheshire County, which at 43.4, is well above the statewide average of 38.0.  Carroll County is at 44.7, and Belnap is at 52.9.

The small ray of light is that currently active cases here in Walpole went from active cases at the beginning of September down to 1-5 currently.  That said, Walpole has had 7 new cases reported in the past two weeks, so the virus is definitely here among us.

This surge was predicted, and the numbers are beginning to reflect the effect of Labor Day gatherings.  The important thing is to be aware of the widespread number of cases, and take precautions accordingly.

Even if you are fully vaccinated, please consider wearing your mask in indoor situations, especially in crowded places with unknown people.

Take good care and stay well,


~Rep. Lucy McVitty Weber
217 Old Keene Road
Walpole  NH  03608

Cell: 603-499-0282
lwmcv@comcast.net

Planning Board Agenda – 9/14/21

Walpole Planning Board Agenda

September 14, 2021

7 pm

Town Hall

Roll Call: Appointment of alternates if needed.

Minutes: Review minutes of August meeting.

Old Business:

Public Hearing No.1: Two amendments to the Walpole Zoning Ordinances: amendment one is about fabric feather flags; amendment two is a definition and examples of temporary signs. If approved, these two amendments will be put on the March 2022 warrant for approval by the townspeople.

Public Hearing No. 2:  Approve updated sections of the Master Plan: Implementation Plan, Population and Housing Analysis, Transportation Chapter. If approved, these three sections of the Master Plan will be put on the March 2022 warrant for approval by the townspeople.

New Business:

Avanru Development Group LTD/Red Barn Lane. Tax Map 12, Lot 13-3. Agent: James Phippard, Brickstone Land Use Consultants LLC. Proposed: Vacant Lot/Self Storage Units, 37,450 square feet. Red Barn Condominium. Request for a public hearing at October PB meeting.

Possible apartments in Potato Barn. Barry Bellows,  Preliminary meeting for a site plan review.

Zoning Board Agenda – 9/15/21

Zoning Board of Adjustment Agenda

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Meeting at Town Hall

7 pm

Roll Call: Appointment of alternates if needed.

Minutes: Review minutes of August meeting.

Old Business:

Public Hearing No. 1: Special Exception Signage: Doug and Laura Palmer: 308 Main Street, Tax Map 24, Lot 13, Commercial District, Article Article IV, No. 9 Special Exceptions. Smart Power Sports retail and commercial storage in former RN Johnson building. Sign 33-inches-by-22-inches will hang off the road side of the building. Distance from edge of traveled road.

Public Hearing No. 2: Variance Building Addition: Peter and Kimberly King 46 Dearborn Circle, Map 12, Lot 55-12, Residential B, Article V C.2 distance from middle of the road. Build a 20-foot-by12-foot-addition to home. 63 feet from center line of the abutting right of way.

Report on how public hearing went with the PB to approve two amendments to the ordinances and then be placed on the warrant next March.

Jan and Myra went to Select Board meeting to discuss an email system for the Board. They will report to board on their discussion.

Next meeting October 20, 2021.