Planning Board Workshop Minutes – 1/24/23

Present: Chair Jeff Miller, Vice-Chair Dennis Marcom, Clerk Jason Perron, Select Board Representative Steve Dalessio, Board Member Joanna Andros.

The meeting started at 7 pm.

Mr. Miller discussed writing an ordinance about condominiums in the commercial district to be presented to the public in 2024. Should it be a short addition to the current zoning, such as Article VI Commercial District, Part C under Uses Permitted? Or should it be longer such as in the Peterborough and Claremont ordinances? Expect future workshops on this topic.

Regarding the issue that came up at the regular meeting about separate ordinances for the village precinct and Route 12,  Mr. Miller said he wanted to see what happened in March.

The meeting ended at 8 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

WPB Secretary

Hooper Forest Timber Harvest -1/30/23

Watch the Hooper Forest Timber Harvest – as it happens!!!

Monday, January 30, at 3pm


The Walpole Conservation Commissioninvites members of the public to watch the cut as processed. Ask questions and tromp around in the snow. (Need we suggest snowshoes? ;-))


Our town forester, Alex Barrett of Long View Forest, has made this learning experience possible.


Hikers, mountain bikers, and others who use the trails in Hooper Forest, are especially encouraged to attend.


Participants should meet at the end of the maintained portion of Reservoir Road. Parking is limited, so carpooling is encouraged.


Proceeds from the timber harvest will benefit the Hooper Institute.


We hope to see you there on Monday!!


France Menk WCC and WTC

Zoning Board Meeting Minutes – 1/18/23

Roll Call: Present: Chair Jan Galloway-Leclerc, Vice-Chair Judy Trow, Clerk Tom Murray, Pauline Barnes, Tom Winmill. Alternates Don Sellarole and Myra Mansouri. Absent: Alternates Carolyn Vose, Dave Edkins and Shane O’Keefe.

Recording: Secretary Marilou Blaine. These minutes were recorded and are unapproved. They will be reviewed at the February 2023 meeting for corrections, additions or omissions.

Called to order: Ms. Galloway-Leclerc called the meeting to order at 7 pm. A full board was present so an alternate was not needed to fill in.

Minutes of November 2022: On page 2, the paragraph before the section on unsealing minutes, Ms. Barnes said the number of the RSA is 91. Ms. Trow made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected. Ms. Barnes seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Old Business:

Updating Bylaws 

The updated Bylaws are a combination of the previous ZBA Bylaws and suggested rules of procedure by the State of New Hampshire. The Board worked on these Bylaws at the November meeting and Ms. Trow recorded all the changes. After adding them to the working updated bylaws document, she sent them to the Board for corrections. When the corrections were made, the Board, member by member, read the edited version aloud. 

Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the members provided that such amendments are read at two successive meetings. A final vote will be taken at the February 2023 meeting.

Reviewing sealed minutes

Beginning in October 2022, the ZBA began reviewing sealed nonpublic minutes to see whether or not they could be unsealed. Tonight, after making and passing a motion to go into nonpublic session, the board considered unsealing two previous sealed minutes –  the unsealed nonpublic minutes of April 17, 2019, and the unsealed nonpublic minutes of June 17, 2020. After a short discussion of each of the minutes, the Board voted to come out of nonpublic session. In individual motions, Ms. Trow made two separate motions to continue to keep the sealed minutes sealed to protect the reputation of the participants mentioned in the minutes. Ms. Barnes seconded both motions and both motions carried.  

Mr. Murray made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Ms. Barnes and the motion carried. It was 8:20 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

Walpole Community Power Update



 On January 4th the Walpole Community Power Committee recommended that the Walpole Select Board move forward with Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire (CPCNH). It was recommended  over other vendors because  the committee feels that CPCNH is a better long term opportunity. On January 11th the Select Board unanimously  agreed with the committee’s recommendation and signed the necessary documents to move forward with CPCNH.    

CPCNH will be negotiating the purchase of power and setting rates between January 30th and February 16th.  Our Energy Aggregation Plan approved at the 2022 Town meeting  requires that we only launch Walpole Community Power if we can meet or beat the Liberty default rate, that is still the requirement. 

We have scheduled a informational meeting at Town hall on 2/22/23 @ 6:30.

We will provide the next update in the March Clarion and on the Walpolean

Time to File for Office

Notice to Walpole Residents

(Walpole, North Walpole, Drewsville)

Town Officers to be elected on Tuesday, March 14th, 2023:

Number               Officer                                Term Length

1                            Selectman                          3 years

1                            Trustee of Trust Funds    3 years

1                            Treasurer                            3 year

1                            Zoning Board                    3 years

2                            Planning Board                  3 years

1                            Cemetery Trustee             3 years

3                            Library Trustee                 3 years

Filing period for these offices is January 25 through February 3rd, 2023.

Please file during office hours at the Walpole Town Clerk’s office.  Per state law the Town Clerk’s office will be open on Friday, February 3, from 3 pm to 5 pm, for filing only.

Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 1/11/22

Selectboard Present:  Steven Dalessio, Chair; Peggy Pschirrer and Cheryl Mayberry.

CALL TO ORDER:  Mr. Dalessio called this meeting of the Selectboard to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.There were three members of the public present including Dennis Marcom, Paul Looney and Ray Boas.

WALPOLE COMMUNITY POWER: Mr. Looney said that the committee felt it was a long and not short-term decision. They felt that the broker model was a short-term decision. The process is creating competition with communities seeking lower rates. Mr. Looney is confident that someone will eventually come out with a lower rate than CPCNH. It will be easy for residents to opt out of the CPCNH. For the Town to leave CPCNH is more complex.

Mr. Jarod Walters joined the meeting at 6:32 PM.

The Town will always have input to the CPCNH board even if the Town doesn’t have a board member. There will be a maximum of 21 board members, stated Mr. Looney. There will be a few bumps in the process. The first one is that the utilities are saying they cannot provide net metering information. Mr. Dalessio commented that this would affect customers with solar arrays. Mr. Marcom and Looney agreed. Mr. Looney believed in the next couple of weeks he will be able to provide information about net metering. The Town attorney reviewed the cost sharing agreement. Mrs. Pschirrer questioned the last line in the opinion that the agreement should be taken to Town Meeting. She has written to the attorney since Mrs. Pschirrer believes this an extension of the Electric Aggregation Plan (EAP) that was approved last year at Town Meeting. Mr. Looney said that the next step in the process is for the Selectboard to approve and sign the Cost Sharing and Services Agreements. The Board would also give voting authority to Mr. Marcom and Mr. Looney on January 30th at the CPCNH meeting. The Wave 1 towns will decide whether to proceed ahead with CPCNH. Mr. Marcom stated that CPCNH cannot establish rates until they know how much power is being collectively being requested. This is the next step if there is a positive vote. The pie chart was reviewed from the handout. Mr. Looney said that the actual rates will not be set until after the finance and risk committees meet. Mr. Dalessio asked what happens if CPCNH cannot buy power cheaper than the utilities? Mr. Looney said that it would then be a “no go”. The aggregation plan states that the CPCNH rate must meet or beat the utility rate.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to authorize the Selectboard chair to enter into the Cost Sharing Agreement and Member Services Contract for the Complete Service Bundle with the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire (CPCNH) with Dennis Marcom and Paul Looney as the Authorized Officers and with elections on page 19 of the Agreement being “Yes” and BE IT FURTHER MOVED, that the Walpole Selectboard hereby 1) approves CPCNH’s Data Security and Privacy, Energy Portfolio Risk Management, Rates and Financial Reserve Policies; and 2) approves the amendments to the Electric Aggregation Plan for Walpole Community Power as presented in tonight’s agenda packet.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry, and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved. Mr. Looney noted that the Town Clerk needs to sign the agreement. Mr. Looney and Mr. Marcom thanked the Selectboard for the opportunity to work with CPCNH.

TREES ON THE COMMON:  Mr. Boas recounted that he attended the Dec. 29th Selectboard Meeting after reading the December 5th Selectboard Meeting minutes. At that time, it was mentioned that the Selectboard had a hard time finding an arborist to come up with ideas for the Common. Three or four years ago Mr. Boas brought forester names to the Selectboard. Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry confirmed that Alex Barrett of Long View Forest was the contracted forester and not an arborist for the Conservation Commission. Mr. Boas had concerns regarding comments made about the arborist in the December 5th minutes. By definition an arborist is a tree surgeon. Mr. Boas appreciated being provided the arborist’s report which contained more detail. There were some things in the report that were troubling to Mr. Boas. He noticed in the three proposals; the only contact information is a phone number. The arborist does not have a website and filed his LLC in 2021. The arborist is 39 years old.  At the Dec. 29th meeting, Mr. Boas remembered the need for an arborist and that the current Norway maples are an invasive species. From Mr. Boas’ research, the Norway maples are invasive in a forested landscape. The Town Common is not a forested landscape. From one of the proposals, Mr. Boas wondered where the two Norway maples were located on the Common and their age since any surgery done to them may not be worth the cost if the trees are aged. New trees may be more cost effective. Mr. Boas felt that the Town would do better with larger trees.  The drip system and the tree guarantees were also not satisfactory to Mr. Boas. Mr. Boas investigated Liberty Utilities’ website regarding the replacement tree program which he could not find. In Mr. Boas’ opinion, the recommended landscape architect did not have the proper experience and only recently formed an LLC. He felt a landscape architect was not needed. Mr. Boas agreed with the proposal that an inclusive plan was needed. Mr. Boas contacted a three-generational landscaping firm. He sent 4 questions to the firm. Mr. Boas shared the emailed response with the Selectboard. Mr. Boas felt there was more work needed to develop a full plan. Mr. Dalessio thanked Mr. Boas for his research. The Selectboard will take it under advisement. Mr. Walters commented that the sugar maples do well and live for a long time.

Mr. Marcom left the meeting at 7:06 PM.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $917,030.30 for checks issued January 13, 2023.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved. This includes a check for $700,531.13 to the Fall Mountain Regional School District.

PARKING ORDINANCE: Mr. Walters had a question regarding the Parking Ordinance that has been listed under Old Business. Some time ago, there were people camping down by the river across from Aubuchons. When he spoke with the Police Department at that time, it was mentioned that people could park and camp on Town property such as in the recreation area parking lot for long periods without any legal way to block them from doing so. Mr. Dalessio said that there had been a similar situation on a commercial property. The Town needs to post signage that no overnight parking is allowed. Mr. Walters had safety concerns about children being in that area. Mr. Dalessio said this will be added to the agenda.

PAYROLL:

Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending January 7, 2023, in the amount of $30,214.78 dated January 13, 2023, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $5,713.28.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MEETING – January 5, 2023:  Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of January 5, 2023, as submitted.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the Minutes were approved.

SELECTBOARD NON-PUBLIC SESSION – January 5, 2023:  Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard Non-Public Session of January 5, 2023, as submitted.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the Minutes were approved.

ALL VETERANS CREDIT:

Map and Lot# 013-006-000: Ms. Mayberry moved to approve the All Veterans Tax Credit for Map and Lot# 013-006-000. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved. The applicant served over 90 days of active service, was honorably discharged and served during a time of non-conflict.

OLD BUSINESS:

Pending Further ActionsGenerators, School and Old North Main Bridges/Culverts, School Street Drainage Project, Phase 3 Power for Industrial Drive and Bensonwood, Houghton Brook Bridge

Hooper Forest Timber Sales Contract: Mr. Dalessio stated that Chris Ricci will be the logger and Alex Barrett of Long View Forest is the forester for the Hooper Forest cut. Ms. Mayberry moved to approve and sign the Hooper Forest Timber Sales Contract. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved. Mr. Dalessio said that the proceeds from this cut will go to the Hooper Institute.

Sewer Easement Signature Page: A replacement signature page was signed by the Selectboard. The original motion was made on October 22, 2022.

2023 Draft Warrant Articles: The Selectboard did a second review of the draft warrant articles. The Planning Board votes for Articles 2 and 3 need to be added. Mr. Dalessio said that Article 2 was recommended by the Planning Board. Article 3 for “formula business” was not recommended. The question whether the Selectboard should recommend the ballot warrant articles will be researched. Non-lapsing must be kept or added to the six-wheel truck, police vehicle and equipment for the police vehicle due to delivery issues. For Article 8, the wording is to be changed to “construct storage at the Recycling Center”. Mr. Dalessio explained that the 3 storage trailers are now unsafe. Article 12 needs to be rewritten by Mr. Dalessio. There was a discussion of the wording for Article 12 related to work to be done on Middle Street.

Mr. Walters departed the meeting at 7:30 PM.

NH DRA 2019 Cyclical Monitoring Report: The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the report. Nothing was found of any significance.

Mr. Looney and Mr. Boas departed the meeting at 7:36 PM.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION:

Ms. Mayberry moved to enter into a Non-Public Selectboard Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II to discuss (a) Personnel (c) Reputations and (e) Legal at 7:36 PM.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved. These minutes are to remain sealed.

The regular Selectboard meeting reconvened at 8:10 PM.

ADJOURNMENT:

Ms. Mayberry moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  Mr. Dalessio asked if there was any additional discussion.  There was none.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 8:10 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Downing, Recording Secretary Pro Tempore

Selectboard Meeting Agenda – 1/19/23

Adult Trivia Night – 2/4/22

WPTG Adult Trivia Night

Are you ready to show off your trivia knowledge? It is time to put together a team and come out and support the Walpole Parent/Teacher Group by joining us for our first Adult Trivia Night at the Walpole Town Hall! Experience a night filled with laughter, friendly competition, awards/prizes and bragging rights. All money raised will go towards helping provide memorable experiences for our Walpole students, staff and community members.

When: Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 6:00pm

*Doors will open at 5:30pm

Where: Walpole Town Hall

Teams: Each team MUST consist of 4 to 6 players. Participants need to be 18 years or older.

Cost: $40.00 per team

*Checks should be made out to the Walpole PTG

You may bring your own food and drinks (NO alcoholic beverages).

We are asking for you to contact Mr. Cassarino (jcassarino@sau60.org) to sign your team up! You may sign-up at the event as well, but informing us ahead of time will help us plan accordingly. 

We hope you will be able to join us for this fun and exciting event! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. 


WPTG Adult Trivia Night

Sign-up Sheet

Please bring this form to the event.

Participants:

1.  

2.  

3.  

4.  

5.  

6.  

Team Name: _________________________________________________

Step Into the New Year with Less Stress

Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 1/10/22

Roll Call: Present Chair Jeff Miller, Vice-Chair Dennis Marcom, Clerk Jason Perron, Jeff Harrington, Joanna Andros, Bill Carmody, Select Board Representative Steve Dalessio. Alternates: Trevor MacLachlan, Travis Adams. Based on the racks of chairs used, there were close to 80 people at the meeting, including the Board. 

Recording: Marilou Blaine.  These minutes were recorded. They are unapproved and will be reviewed at the regular February 2023 meeting for corrections, additions or omissions.

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

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

Old Business:

Public Hearing: Recommendation of two petitions to the Walpole Zoning Ordinance to be placed on the 2023 Town of Walpole warrant. These articles will be voted on by the public at the polls on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. 

Article 1:

To see if the Town will vote to amend Article XIV of the Zoning Ordinance of the Town of Walpole.

Penalty

Any person who violates any provision of the ordinance shall be subject to penalties in accordance with RSA 676:17, or any successor statute as may then be in effect, provided that the amount of the civil penalties to be assessed in accordance with such statute shall be determined in the discretion of the Selectboard.

This article regards penalties concerning any violations of the Zoning Ordinance. Tom Winmill circulated  Article 1 for signatures. There must be a minimum of 25 signatures from registered voters on the petition. 

The current article now reads:

Article XIV

Penalty 

“ Any violation of this Ordinance shall be made punishable by a fine of not more the $100.00 for each day such violation may exist after the conviction date; provided, however, that the total fines imposed for any single violation shall not exceed $500.00.”

This article really is not meaningful, Mr Winmill said. It may be cheaper for a developer to come in and not pay the violation fee and continue the project and just pay $500 bucks to the town. It may have been a compromise in the old days to get a result but now it doesn’t make much sense. 

ThIs petition is a notice that says “Hey, This is what the State of New Hampshire thinks about your violation,” said Mr. Winmill. Currently, state legislation say it will be $275 for the first day of the offense and $550 each day after that. There is no limit on the number of days that the violator has to pay the penalty.  

Mr. Miller explained that if a petition has the required number of signatures on it then it is sent to the Selectboard who notarizes it and sends it to Town Counsel to check the wording of the petition. Then the petition is put on the warrant and will be voted on by the townspeople on March 14, 2023, in the Town Hall, when they also elect candidates running for office. The role of the Planning Board is to either recommend this petition or to not recommend the petition, Mr. Miller said. When this article was first looked by Town Counsel, he said it was illegal. It has been rewritten.

Mr. Miller asked if there were any questions. One gentleman asked why does the article say “at the discretion of the Selectboard.” Suppose a Selectboard member has something that may prejudice his feelings toward me? Regarding the phrase “at the discretion of the Selectboard,’ there is an RSA, Mr. Dalessio said, that says that all penalties are at the discretion of the Selectboard. 

Mr. Miller closed the public hearing. 

Article 2: To the Select Board

To see if the Town will vote to amend the Article IV “General Provisions” of the Walpole Zoning Ordinance to include regulations regarding Formula Businesses by adding the following as Section P:

P. Formula Businesses- This Section establishes standards to limit the concentration of businesses that are homogeneous and visually obtrusive for the purpose of preserving the unique and distinctive appeal of the Town’s character and  commercial development These standards are aligned with the purpose of these Zoning Regulations as described in Article I and are vital to the continuation of the Town’s ability to attract both residents and visitors.

1. A Formula Business is a business, including but not limited to retail sales, hotels, and restaurants, that both (a) maintains two or more of the following five standardized features:(1) array of services, menus, or merchandise, with 50% or more of in-stock merchandise bearing uniform markings;(2)trademark, logo, or service mark; (3) architecture, facade, or exterior design; (4) decor or color scheme; (5) uniform (other than name tags); and (b) shares the same or substantially the same two or more features as 10 or more other businesses, regardless of ownership or location. 

2. The total number of Formula Businesses in the Town of Walpole at anyone time shall  be limited  to 12. When this limit is reached, no new Formula Businesses may be established unless an existing Formula Business closes, adapts so that it no longer qualifies as a Formula Business, or relocates outside of the Town boundaries.

3. If a business in current operation becomes a Formula Business by means of additional locations being established, this business shall count toward the total number  of Formula Businesses but shall not be considered as a Formula Business being established.

4. Formula Businesses shall not include post offices, places of worship, schools, government facilities, banks, gasoline fueling stations, professional offices, or health care facilities.

This is a little bit more controversial than Article 1, Mr. Winmill said. He cited the goals that were adopted in the town’s first Master Plan in 1998:

1. To develop Walpole into a reasonable economic center.

2. To manage its commercial activity regarding type and intensity along Route 12.

3. To prevent and minimize all development along Route 12.

The hope is to preserve the individual character of Walpole’s identity, Mr. Winmill said. New businesses seem to be just formulas with standardized products and architecture that are produced by the thousands around the world. Right now, our zoning regulations can’t prevent developers from doing what they want and these developers are re-branding our town into “Dollar Storeburg.” Do we want this or do we want to decide for ourselves what we want in town? 

Historically, Walpole has rejected much of this in the past to keep it beautiful, Mr. Winmill continued. There was the Pulp Mill fight and the vote against Walmart and other big box stores when an ordinance was drawn stating buildings no larger then 40,000 square feet could be built in Walpole. Uncontrolled business growth is not good for our property values and Formula Businesses can be stopped from coming in.

This petition allows up to 12 Formulas Businesses. These are already that many in town. He named Dunkin, Subway, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Tractor Supply, Agway, Walgreens, Car Quest, NH Liquor Store, Ocean State, LaValley’s, US Cellular, Jiffy Mart and maybe Jake’s. These businesses pay minimum wages and the staff is not permanent. Don’t decide to defer the yes vote on this article because you need to make a study, Mr. Winmill asked. It’s time to act. Dunkin is at the door knocking and what’s behind them? The time to act is now. You will rue the day when a beautiful home in the village is torn down for a formula business and the townspeople will be helpless to do anything about it. 

Many people spoke to Article 2: some for, some against. Not everyone identified himself or herself. One thing agreed upon by everyone at the meeting was that since the village is also zoned commercial, the same commercial as Route 12, something should be done right away to have some distinction between the two commercial locations so we don’t wake up some morning with a Taco Bell on Winchester Street. 

Here are some of the comments and questions,

Tom: (Not Tom Winmill) “My feeling is that Walpole cannot afford to tap the brakes on commercial development. It would immediately put the tax burden on property owners. Can retired folks afford to stay in their homes? To me Walpole has become more like Keene. Big fire trucks, we buy a new cruiser every year and now we have big sidewalks. We paid $170,000 for a snow blower. With the thirst for tax dollars, we can’t afford it.”

John: “ If this ordinance were in a few years ago, would it have prevented the gas station that proposed a few years ago?”  Mr. Miller said “no.”

Dave: “How many Formula Businesses are already in town? I suspect it has already reached the limit of 12. What good is this article if we already have so many Formula Businesses here already? “

Woman in back of room: “How are we going to enforce this in the future?”  

Steve. “What about all the property left?” What are these property owners supposed to do if a Formula Business approaches them about selling their property? Mr. Dalessio said he counted 14 Formula Businesses here already. 

Tom Winmill said Burdicks chocolate are not a Formula Businesses yet. It must have 10 stores.  

Transplanted resident: He spent 50 years in a small shoreline town in CT. “The saying was it’s good for the tax base. It isn’t good for the tax base. It’s like an eating machine.  These towns (he lived in) are in trouble now. It never grows the tax base. I’ve seen it in my lifetime. It’s bad.”

Unidentified woman? “I hope the Planning Commission can encourage stores like Toadstool to come to Walpole.” 

Previously some applauded the fact that we had a Hungry Diner and a local pizza place.

Jeff: You must consider the commercial land in Walpole is very limited along Route 12. The Planning Board is looking at other property in town but hasn’t come up with anything yet. It is finite. “How would the town land owners with commercial land, who have been paying a high tax rate for commercial land all these years, feel if there appraisal dropped because of this article?”

Wife of transplanted resident: “What is the argument for commercial development when the town has to pay for improving the infrastructure. What is ratio to support these undertakings?” 

Steve: “Most of the infrastructure cost is paid by the developer – water, sewer. It hasn’t cost the taxpayer anything.”​

“Unknown gentleman: I’m confused about what is commercial land. If you go Troy or to Charlestown, every building on the Main Street is now in some way commercial.” It could be housing a real estate or lawyer’s office or a small store.” 

Unknown gentleman: “We have quality of life issues in town. What do we want in the future? We have to carefully think this thing through. “

Dave: “How could this article work? The Planning Board hasn’t had a chance to think this (petition) through.” Changing the commercial district so there’s a Route 12 commercial district and a village commercial district will take some thought.

Mo: Mo has lived in Walpole 53 years. He owns a piece of property on Route 12. “I see that development in town is tough. Back in 1988 my mother didn’t want to sell when Real to Reel wanted to buy our property for its business.  I also passed up an opportunity to sell that land as well. I love having Pete’s Stand down the road. But that’s my choice. I have a feeling that what you are trying to do is to tell me who I can sell my property to. It should be my choice. Not yours. Is that fair? You are really targeting four or five people. They have been there for years.  Don’t take away my opportunity to sell if that’s my choice.” 

Rich: “It seems to me the situation about having an ordinance isn’t directed at Route 12 but you should head up towards town. It’s not too late. I definitely would clearly separate the village from Route 12.” 

Jeff: “If that were to happen, it would take a year of study. The town of Jaffrey has a Formula Business plan just for the downtown area.”

Lois: What about a historical commission that oversees the older homes? She said she didn’t mean a strict commission that prohibits all kinds of things. 

Jeff: “The Planning Board looked into creating a historic district several years ago but it was overwhelmingly turned down.”

Another woman in the back of the room: “We should try and move on. The village is only one affected area. Every business still has to get approval and each has several hurdles to meet. What can the Planning Commission do to help develop local businesses to locate on Route 12? ​

Jeff: “There really not much. We have commercial requirements. Unless you go to the Selectboard to try and get any kind of incentive.” Mr. Dalessio said the town did do that when Hubbard Farms needed some property.” 

Joanna: Ms. Andros thought it was important to have local businesses on Route 12. But, she asked, who can afford to create such a business and buy land? The town must make it more affordable and possible for local businesses. “How much of money stays in the community and doesn’t go to a corporate office? We’re looking for a balance. I feel this article allows for more local development.” 

Dave: “If you look at the Master Plan, I think someone said it was developed in 1998 – that was 25 years ago.”

Jeff: “The Master Plan was updated in 2020 and one of the things it said was to discourage big box stores.”

France: “It sounds as it this a not a proactive positive move. I think what we need is the opposite because we do want local people to be able to move here. We’re talking about aesthetics really. And I’m all for it. But I need to think about how we can encourage local people to develop small businesses here. We need young people. We need more economic development the way we want it to be. We have to think about both sides.” 

With no further questions, Mr. Miller closed the public hearing.

Decision: 

Article 1

Mr. Perron made a motion to recommend this article. Mr. Harrington seconded the motion. 

The Planning Board voted to recommend Article 1. It passed 7 yeas – 0 nay votes.

Article 2

Discussion: 

Mr. Perron I agree with keeping the character of the town but in practice who decides how this can be done.

Mr. Dalessio said he thought smart development is good for the town but this is too restrictive and could create problems down the road. “I would not recommend it but go forward in 2024 with a carefully thought out plan that creates smart development. I like the idea of split districts. It’s a good one. We should consider Drewsville and also talk to the North Walpole zoning people and bring them into the conversation.”

 Mr. Marcom said if he could vote yes for the village tonight, he would do that. Sometimes you may not want to vote for something but don’t have the legal backing to do so. You can’t say no to a Starbucks and yes to a Dunkin. It would be great to have a local coffee shop. Mr. Marcom said he has always encouraged every local business planning to build on Route 12. What he hasn’t done is the development part. “As written I would vote against this, but if it were about the village, I would vote for it.” 

Mr. Perron made a motion to NOT recommend Article 2. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion. 

The Planning Board voted to NOT recommend Article 2. It passed 6 yeas, 1 nay.

As he leaving someone asked what people could do if they favored article 2. Mr. Miller said there is an official ballot at the March 14 vote session for election of candidates for offices. The petition articles will be on that too. 

Public Hearing:

Subdivision/Condo Lots: Avanru Development Group LLC:

Tax Map 12, Lot 13-3 into 3 lots,  2A, 2B, 2C. 

Public Hearing:

MBP Management Group, Dunkin 2,000 square-foot coffee shop and drive-thru site plan. Tax Map 12, Lot 13-3, Route 12, 234.8 feet on Main Street, pond and wetlands to the south. Fieldstone Land Management Group is handling the application. The driveway permit for Dunkin arrived on January 10. 

These two groups met as one entity on Tuesday night because a vote on Dunkin’s current site plan application can not take place unless the Subdivision/Condo Lots application is approved. Fieldstone Management Group Civil Engineer Chad Branon represented Dunkin at the meeting. Jack Franks, president of Avanru Development Group LLC, represented the condo lots.

Mr. Miller said that he had met with the town attorney about the issue of condo lots and basically he agreed with the attorney’s position that the condo subdivision as presented has to correspond with our current subdivision regulations. The acreage and frontage of those two lots, 2C and 2B, have no frontage and so the Board cannot approve the subdivision as you presented. And as far Dunkin site, we have to have it clarified what that lot is. So as far as the development of the plan we have two options until we get the clarification of land for the site. The Board can put it on mutual hold until you decide what you want to do or when the land meets the subdivision regulations. We need a decision by next month because of the 65-day time limit. We’d like to work until we can reach some kind of agreement but you could withdraw the application and come back later. That’s up to you.

RSA 672:141 defines “subdivision” as the division of the lot, tract or parcel of land into 2 or more lots, plats, sites, or other division of land for the purpose, whether immediate or future, for sale, rent, lease, condominium conveyance or building development. 

Currently this here it’s not compatible with our zoning ordinance and we can’t approve the subdivision. After the conversation with our town attorney, this is the right path. 

Mr. Marcom backed up what Mr. Miller said by saying in that in the information we got from the town attorney RSA 356-B:5  B   says in his letter  “Municipal Ordinances. No zoning or other land use ordinance shall prohibit condominiums as by reason of the form of ownership inherent therein. Neither shall any condominium be treated differently by any zoning or other land use ordinance which would permit a physically identical project or development under a different form of ordinance.” Frontage, acreage and the rest must meet our requirement.

Mr. DiBernardo said I think where we differ is that it’s not a division of land, it’s a difference of ownership. Mr. Miller said it’s a division of land.

Mr. Branon said there is a distinction between land condos and condo units. In condo units you don’t have setbacks. You don’t have any acreage requirements. None of those regulations apply. The word condominium is only referenced once in your subdivision regulations. 

After a lot of back and forth Mr. Branon asked if they could meet in two months to sort this out. It would be March 14. Mr. Miller said that would be over the 65 day limit. However, if it’s mutually agreed that we will meet again on that date to resolve these issue, the Board could agree to do that.

The Planning Board, Dunkin and Avanru will continue both applications and there is mutual agreement to extend the deadline beyond 65 days, Mr. Miller said. If we’re in agreement we’ll extend the 65-day clause and revisit it at that time. If we continue with these applications we don’t have to re-notice abutters and create a new legal. 

And that is what was agreed to by both parties. 

Workshop:

Mr. Miller announced a workshop for the fourth Tuesday.

Adjournment:

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

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

WPB Secretary