August 14, 2019
The Harrisville Planning Board held its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at the town office building located on Chesham Road.
Meeting called to order at 7:05 pm.
Members present, Ryan Stone Co-Chair, Lisa Anderson Co-Chair, Noel Greiner, Don Scott Alternate, Courtney Cox, Peter Thayer, Andrea Hodson Selectboard Representative, Ned Hulbert
Members of the public: John Cucchi, Anne Cucchi, Pamela Worden, Charles Faucher, Richard Lavatori, Winston Sims, Carol Ogilvie, Andrew Maneval, Brian Foucher, Akhil Garland
Attendance and voting members
Ryan Stone noted that the voting members for the evening were himself, Lisa Anderson, Ned Hulbert, Courtney Cox and Andrea Hodson.
Members voted unanimously to approve the agenda as written.
Minutes of previous meeting 7/10
Members voted unanimously to approve the minutes as written.
Preliminary Consultation – Personal Wireless Service Facility – Akhil Garland, Cobb Hill Estates
In a non-binding discussion, as required under the new Article XIX addressing Personal Wireless Services Facilities and related Planning Board procedures including Conditional Use Permit and Site Plan Review, Brian Foucher of WiValley described for the PB the proposal to construct a 100-foot monopole to supply broadband internet service, within the regulations newly adopted by the town for such facilities.
Mr. Foucher explained draft responses to application questions contained in the Application for PWSF, a form developed with the help of the Broadband Committee. The applicant and board members also reviewed the Application Checklist. As this is the first such application, and the first application process for this type of structure, both the applicant and board expressed understanding and appreciation for the learning process involved for both sides.
Mr. Foucher noted that the formally submitted application materials will include a site plan depicting elevation, topography, contours, height, radiofrequency coverage, and setbacks. He noted that no new access road would be built and that there is existing parking on site. There was some discussion regarding landscaping and whether or not this would be needed given the distance of the facility from any abutters or public right of way.
Subsequently, Akhil Garland spoke to the backstory leading up to this application and his hope that it is a first step toward future applications to improve broadband and cell coverage for town residents and businesses. It was noted this this particular facility was for broadband services only; though, conceivably, longer term, or in an adjacent location, a cell phone provider may express interest in locating a facility nearby. Mr. Foucher did note that WiValley is open to offering space on the tower to the Fire Department for emergency services communications, adding that public safety organizations often co-locate on WiValley facilities. He also explained that, as identified in the 2017 study conducted by Interisle Communications for the Broadband Committee, Cobb Hill was identified as one of several key sites, and that for his company’s customers, service would substantially improve, to 50-100Mbps, up to ten times faster than four years ago and the site would serve as a hub. Mr. Foucher later added that the site is necessary to provide adequate service. In this particular application, however, Mr. Garland would own the tower and WiValley would build it and install the equipment. Mr. Garland would decide if and when to allow other service providers.
Discussion turned to visual impact and requirements for a balloon or crane test. The applicants noted the monopole will reside on the north side of Cobb Hill and that from the Community Garden in Harrisville it will appear as part of the tree line. No additional equipment will be visible as nothing will be installed on the ground but will reside in an existing building and will have 48 hour battery backup and no generator. At this point there are no plans for fencing. Town ordinances also call for the facility to meet FAA and FCC regulations. It was confirmed that notification by the applicant to adjacent towns is required.
Upon discussion of timing to hear the formal application, PB members agreed that the board could conceivably be prepared to hear it at the September meeting. The applicants agreed to prepare for this timing. Subsequently, PB members discussed editorial revisions to the Conditional Use Permit Application form, including changes in formatting and heading names, adding a column for “notes” and adding a requirement for submission of digital versions (PDFs) of coverage maps. All agreed it also made sense for the applicants to have their engineer on hand at the hearing to address technical questions. Lisa Anderson then moved to accept the Conditional Use Permit Application form with the recommended improvements. Ned Hulbert seconded. All voted in favor. Carol Ogilivie will revise the document as discussed and share the updated version with the board, to then be shared with the applicant.
Voluntary Merger Application – Pamela Worden and Charles Faucher, Skatutakee Road
Following submission to the PB of the Voluntary Merger application, Lisa Anderson explained and read aloud the relevant statutes, specifically NH RSA 674:39-a. She further summarized the opinion of the NH Municipal Association on the PB’s obligations, and noted that the Voluntary Merger process is an administrative process primarily to merge lots for taxation purposes. Ms. Anderson added that the Assessor had reviewed the tax maps and application and noted that the merged lot would be numbered 30-51-1 and that lots 30-87 and 30-32-10 would go away. Ms. Anderson stated she was not aware of any ordinances or regulations that would hinder approval of the proposal and that any legal stipulations related to the right of way would continue. Following the statement by Ms. Anderson that the NHMA attorney was not aware of any conditions ever placed on Voluntary Merger applications, Ms. Anderson moved to accept the Notice of the Voluntary Merger as submitted. Noel Greiner seconded. All voted in favor.The only outstanding item was confirmation of whether or not the Town had cashed Ms. Worden’s $25 check from her initial submission. Ms. Worden offered to review her records on this. She also will submit the required $12 check for the Cheshire County Registry of Deeds.
Sub-Division Application Submission – John and Anne Cucchi, Loyd Lane (Map 30-Lot 32-14)
Anne Cucchi submitted 5 copies of paperwork for the application, including a letter of intent, an abutter list, a check, and a soil data sheet. The application shows the Cucchis also will provide a slope analysis, high intensity soil survey and gradient plans. They hope to use a copy of these items from previous applications, as several copies of the Clough Harbor engineering report already exist in the town offices. Ms. Cucchi also noted that she sent a contour map electronically. The board will confirm the notification costs based on review of the abutter list and will notify the applicants within 7 days following review for the application’s completeness. Lisa Anderson will check with Angela Hendrickson if the Cucchis’ last check was cashed.
Ordinance Review Committee Update
Lisa Anderson noted the ORC has reviewed the sign ordinance and impervious cover language and is close to a proposed amendment related to solar energy. A couple of priority topics remain, including potential setbacks for wetlands. The ORC will bring initial proposals on 4 topics to the next PB meeting in September, and these will be emailed to PB members in advance. The next ORC meeting is August 27 at 5:30 pm.
PB Documents Working Group
Andrea Hodson noted she is working with Gwen Ames to reformat the website for improved user friendliness. She and Ryan Stone will meet to review existing documents and forms on the website to ensure everything posted is up to date.
Members will continue to reach out to prospective newcomers.
Community Conversation – SWRP Survey
Lisa Anderson updated the board that Lisa Murphy presented to 7 or 8 attendees and that SWRPC had received 40 online survey responses. All are encouraged to complete it.
Broadband Committee Update
Andrew Maneval updated the PB on the committee’s overall scope of work, noting the RFP will be sent out soon with the hope of improving internet and cell services. Members discussed how Mr. Garland’s and WiValley’s application may fit in with the whole picture and potential and hoped for scenarios to enhance access to communications services for residents and businesses. Committee representatives are meeting with the Select Board on Friday, August 30.
Meeting adjourned at 9:02 pm.