The Harrisville Planning Board held its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at the town office building located on Chesham Road.
Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm.
Members present: Ryan Stone Co-Chair, Lisa Anderson Co-Chair,Ned Hulbert, Noel Greiner, Courtney Cox, Peter Thayer, Don Scott Alternate, Andrea Hodson Selectboard Representative, Kathy Scott Selectboard Alternate
Members of the public: Wendy Pelletier, John Hoogstrate, Winston Sims, Sarah Kendall, Anne Howe, Harry Wolhandler
Attendance and voting members
Lisa Anderson initially stated that the voting members were herself, Ryan Stone, Courtney Cox, Pete Thayer, Ned Hulbert, and Andrea Hodson. During discussion of the number of voting members allowed, Mr. Hulbert stated that, in previous years, standard procedure was to have five voting members including the Select Board Representative. Following discussion and review of the OEP Manual, Mr. Hulbert noted that Roman Numeral I, page 1, number 4 states that in most municipalities in New Hampshire, Planning Boards consist of five or seven voting member. Mr. Hulbert reiterated that he wasn’t aware that this board had ever exceeded five. Subsequently, Lisa Anderson restated that the voting members would be herself, Ryan Stone, Ned Hulbert, Courtney Cox and Andrea Hodson.
Approval of agenda
Noel Greiner moved to approve the agenda as written. All voted in favor.
Minutes of previous meeting 3/13
Noel Greiner moved to approve the minutes as written. All voted in favor with Lisa Anderson and Andrea Hodson recusing themselves given their absence.
Oaths of Office
Lisa Anderson requested that members whose terms are expiring to please renew their oaths of office with the Town Clerk. Welcome Sarah Kendall and Andrea Hodson
The co-chairs welcomed observer Sarah Kendall and new Select Board Representative to the Planning Board, Andrea Hodson. Kathy Scott will continue as Select Board Alternate
Lot-line adjustment – John and Carol Hoogstrate, 89 and 93 Nelson Road, Map 60 – Lots 18 and 19
Ryan Stone explained that following the public hearing and approval of Mr. Hoogstrate’s application at the March meeting, the determination was made that certain abutters were not properly noticed. Following discussions with the town attorney and notification to the applicant, the Planning Board determined that renotification, rehearing and a new vote were necessary and the earlier decision voided. The board confirmed that new notices were mailed in more than enough time and that a motion was needed to void the March vote. Subsequently Lisa Anderson moved that the Planning Board withdraw its March 13, 2019 vote to approve the Hoogstrate Lot Line Adjustment. Members voted unanimously in favor.The board confirmed that the application had been accepted as complete.
Wendy Pelletier of Cardinal Surveying, representing Mr. Hoogstrate, described the proposal for a lot line adjustment on the Hoogstrate’s parcels, Lots 18 and 19 of Map 60, on Nelson Road. Depicting the areas on a map on the projection screen, Ms. Pelletier and Mr. Hoogstrate noted that the goal in the boundary adjustment was to provide an additional buffer for the Hoogstrates, who plan to move from their home to the home previously resided in by a relative, and to place their home for sale. The board then asked if there were any abutters present who wished to speak for or against the application. None were present.
With no further questions, Mr. Hulbert moved to close the public hearing. The board voted unanimously in favor. Following this motion, Mr. Hulbert moved to approve the application of Mr. Hoogstrate. Andrea Hodson seconded. The vote was unanimous, 5-0 in favor. The board thanked the applicants for their patience.
Ordinance Amendments Approved at Town Meeting
During discussion on the most effective way to distribute the new ordinance language, it was determined that inserts would be printed for the public copies of the Zoning Ordinances, which are on hand at the town offices and also available on the website. For Zoning Board, Planning Board and Select Board members, new printed copies of the Zoning Ordinances would be prepared. Mr. Hulbert encouraged the co-chairs to contact Sherry Sims about how amendments passed in previous years had been incorporated and made publicly available.
Next, the co-chairs explained an error in the voting process on the amendment to Article IV, related to Impervious Cover. Due to a clerical error, the wrong version, not the version reviewed by the Planning Board and presented to the public at its December 12 hearing and recommended by the PB at its January meeting, was the language presented to voters and the amendment adopted at Town Meeting.
Members subsequently discussed at length the proper remedy. At question was whether the language recommended by the PB and publicly available at the public meetings up until immediately prior to Town Meeting should stand or whether what was voted on and approved by voters should stand until anything different is proposed this year or in the future. The issue with the latter is that this was not the version recommended by the PB and presented beforehand publicly for the required time. After further discussion and detailed review of the timeline and process, it was agreed that the town attorney and/or an attorney at NHMA should be consulted.
Harry Wolhandler noted that, in his opinion, he doesn’t discern much difference in the language of the two versions and doesn’t believe that what was passed changes the requirements for compliance. Don Scott described the differences in language and noted he believes the language that was passed allows for more options for applicants for exceeding the 20% threshold for impervious cover if accepted storm water management techniques are employed.
Lisa Anderson then updated the board that, following the adoption by voters of the Broadband Cell Tower Ordinance, a prospective applicant contacted the board about the application process for having a proposed tower on his property considered and reviewed. The applicant would like to begin the process when possible. Mr. Hulbert noted that the broadband committee, in conjunction with Carol Ogilvie as consultant, would prepare a specific review process for the Conditional Use Permit required and present it to the PB for approval. The question arose about the tax implications of such infrastructure but the answer was not immediately known.
Andrea Hodson asked how all the boards are notified about the ordinance changes and Mr. Hulbert suggested that one way is to ask the chairs of all the boards to remind their members to review the new ordinances for how they affect their regulatory authority.
The Master Plan – Priority Areas to Update
Given the PB’s charge to update the Master Plan periodically, members were asked to identify sections they believe are most in need of updating. Members identified the following priorities: Historic preservation; housing, especially affordable housing; infrastructure, especially roads and culverts; regional cooperation; and the Master Plan’s Vision statement. Recycling also was noted.
Addressing the topic of historic preservation, Anne Howe distributed a handout and asked the PB to consider a working group to address historic preservation, including the option of establishing a Heritage Commission separate from, and to serve as an advisory board to, the Historic District Commission. Ms. Howe is concerned that the town is discouraged by the controversial issues of the past two years, including the question of street lights and moving buildings, and hopes establishing a working group on historic preservation, and possibly a Heritage Commission, could help. A working group could make a recommendation on the matter to the PB.
Extensive discussion ensued on the other priority areas of focus, including the ongoing tension between promoting economic development, while protecting the town’s valuable historic and environmental resources and overall quality of life. The group also discussed the process for revising the document and how much the PB was responsible for carrying out its ideas and recommendations versus staying focused on the planning aspects. For the May meeting, members agreed to review all of the five sections identified and recommend how the language in the current document might be amended or updated.
Cucchi Lot Line Adjustment update
Ryan Stone noted that the Cucchis submitted the necessary mylars but that the necessary payment of $38 for the Registry of Deeds and $25 for the LCHIP program have not been received. Following submission of payment, Pete Thayer will bring the mylars to the Registry.
Orientation for new PB members
The co-chairs noted that the orientation sessions, three work sessions, they attended with their predecessor co-chairs were extremely helpful and that they would like to hold them for current new members. Information includes processes and paradigms, rules of procedure and annual succession. Mr. Stone will email the documents that are part of the orientation to all members. Discussion on this will continue.
All agreed the website needs reformatting and updating for document access and user friendliness, but the issues preventing this relate to budget and manpower. Andrea Hodson will explore further, discuss with past PB Co-Chairs to see how it might be resolved and report back next month.
NHMA – Ryan Stone noted that the Local Officials Workshop on April 16 in Peterborough.
Watersheds – Winston Sims asked for views of the PB about watersheds and priorities related to them. During brief discussion, members agreed that protecting land and roads and managing runoff are all part of the issue. Further discussion postponed.
Meeting adjourned at 9:20 pm.