Minutes of June 1, 2005

Chairman Steve Hamilton called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. 

Present, in addition to the chairman, were Michelle Degree, Joe Fitzpatrick, Geoff Gardner, Dave Jakway, Ann Sweet, and Bob Switzer. Rick Hotchkiss represented the selectmen. Selectman Richard Labadie was also present.

Minutes of the meeting of May 4, 2005, were approved as distributed.

Public hearing on the completeness of an application for a minor subdivision of Blanchard property on Gilsum Road. 
Dale and Susan Blanchard provided a plat for the removal of 6.4 acres from their larger acreage on Gilsum Road. When the check list was reviewed, it was noted that the lot number (3-008-002) was missing from the plat and that the driveway permit, although completed by the driveway committee, was still with the road agent. A motion (Gardner/Switzer) to approve the application, when the lot # has been added to the plat and the driveway permit is in hand, was passed without dissent. Chairman Hamilton closed the hearing at 7:18 p.m.

Public hearing on the merits of the proposed Blanchard subdivision. 
Mrs. Sweet pointed out that the wetlands, drawn on the plat as “approximate,” seemed, on the informal visit made by planning board members on May 24, more extensive than drawn on the plat. She reported that the chairman of the conservation commission had warned that an effort to build a house at the back of the lot, crossing the wetlands that straddle the lot’s center, would probably involve a major wetlands impact application to DES and be very expensive to undertake. Mr. Blanchard said he would mention this to any prospective buyer. She also noted that there seems to be a corner of the lot on the road side of the wetlands where building might be feasible. There being no further comment, a motion (Gardner/Hotchkiss) to approve the application for subdivision on its merits passed without dissent. Chairman Hamilton closed the hearing at 7:24 p.m. and scheduled a boundary walk to check pins for Monday, June 13, at 7 p.m.

Preliminary consultation on a proposed subdivision on Brooks property on Tyler Lane
Michael and Jennifer Brooks showed the board a sketch of a possible lot to be carved out of the property of Jeff and Cindy Brooks on Tyler Lane. The Brookses were given copies of the Community Planning Ordinance, the Wetlands District, the Driveway Regulations, and the Subdivision Regulations, most of which had to be copied for them on the spot. It was noted that the file versions of the CPO, the driveway permit application, and the Subdivision Regulations are not up to date. Selectman Hotchkiss promised that the correct versions would be placed in the file, along with copies to have available for applicants coming to planning board meetings so that time would not have to be taken from the meeting to have copies made.

Consultation with Bill Rubyck, representing Katherine Desvergnes, owner of property at 161 Centre Street proposed to be a horse boarding farm. 
The question before the board was whether this new commercial enterprise required Site Plan Review. Mrs. Sweet pointed out that the clear-cutting of about 5 acres at the corner of Centre Street and Hubbard Road was a shock to a number of townspeople, who wondered what could be happening. Protection of public health and safety might require a Site Plan Review. She listed her concerns as runoff, manure, and trampling of soil-holding grasses by too many horses in too small a space. Mr. Hotchkiss, who had done a great deal of research in the RSA’s and in consultation with planning and agriculture experts, pointed out that state statutes declare agriculture vital to the state and not to be unreasonably limited. He read from documents citing boarding of horses as a farming activity. (The results of some of Mr. Hotchkiss’ research can be found at the end of the minutes.) He warmly recommended that Mr. Rubyck contact the Natural Resources Conservation Service for help in laying out plans for manure holding and for developing pasture. He and Mrs. Sweet gave Mr. Rubyck some informational pamphlets on best management practices for horse farming and for pasture. It was noted that the recommendation for pasturing a horse is between one and two acres each.

Mr. Rubyck expects to board up to 10 horses, but he will mostly feed them hay since open space for horse exercise will be no more than 2 acres. Mr. Rubyck will follow up on Mr. Hotchkiss’ suggestion that he seek $2500 from the State Department of Agriculture for constructing a manure-holding area and that he contact NRCS for planning assistance. Mr. Rubyck expects John Bolles to remove the manure at regular intervals for nourishing his own hay fields. He has already ordered lady bugs to eat fly larvae. Barn construction will begin next week and be finished two weeks later. He expects the pasture to be stumped and seeded shortly and boarding to begin in less than two months.

Mr. Hotchkiss suggested that, rather than vote on Site Plan Review at this meeting, Mr. Rubyck be asked to return with plans developed with the help of the NRCS to the August 3 planning board meeting. Should there be no plans developed by then, Site Plan Review might be required. Mrs. Sweet pointed out that SPR has the advantage of requiring notification to all abutters. Communication with neighbors makes sense for all. Mr. Rubyck said some of his neighbors are happy about the proposed horse boarding operation. He offered to write a note to his abutter on the south, who lives in another state. One abutter, Randy Lavigne, said he would have appreciated a phone call. Mr. Hamilton urged that in his planning Mr. Rubyck make sure any extra lighting focused down and not on his neighbors. Mr. Labadie observed that Sullivan’s zoning is rural residential, that farming can be done anywhere in town and that little should be done to regulate it. Mr. Switzer asked where a line might be drawn: would factory farming be permitted without regulation?

Driveway permit approval for Michael Geraghty on Apple Hill Road 
Mr. Switzer asked for approval of a driveway permit on property Mr. Geraghty had recently bought from John and Kathleen Allen on Apple Hill Road, where Mr. Geraghty expects to build a spec house. A motion (Hotchkiss/Jakway) to approve the permit as signed by the driveway committee passed without dissent.

Driveways on Apple Hill on former Primrose property
Mr. Switzer and Mr. Gardner of the Driveway Committee reported on meeting at the site with: Al Tardy, one of the new owners of the two central lots on the former Primrose property ; Ed Csenge, the owners' excavator; and the Town's Road Agent, Randy Smith. The best possible option for draining the driveway seemed to all to be tapping into the existing pipe at the foot of the proposed driveway. This pipe carries water under Apple Hill Road with an outlet onto the Ovsenik property across the road. The next best option was seen to be retaining water entirely on the Tardy property. The worst option seemed to be taking water all the way to the next catch basin down the road from where it would drain under route 9. This last option would involve the state in the issue. Mr. Tardy said he would contact the Ovseniks. After doing this, Mr. Tardy reported to Mr. Smith that the Ovseniks had declined his request to allow additional water to drain onto their land from his.

Mr. Switzer and Mr. Gardner also reported that the present driveway cut, made by Mr. Csenge on Don Primrose's orders last summer, goes right up to the property line of abutter to the south. Therefore, the driveway will have to be moved twenty feet away from this point to conform to requirements of the Town's driveway regulations and some cutting of the bank to the north of the driveway will probably be necessary to meet the 200 foot sight distance requirement.

Mr. Switzer and Mr. Gardner also noted that the first 150 to 200 feet of the driveway are steep and the bank facing the road as the driveway goes up is very wet and leaky. These two factors appear to be the source of the drainage problem.

Mr. Jakway pointed out that water is pouring over the silted-in hay barriers on the driveway sites on Apple Hill Road. Mr. Hotchkiss promised that the selectmen will notify the owners of the lots. A solution may involve the State. It was agreed that in the future no driveway cuts on property with drainage problems will be approved without a bond being set and that the selectmen will not issue a building permit until a driveway permit has been approved.

Pending issues before the selectmen A preliminary survey suggests that as many as 30 properties in town maybe in violation of state laws regarding junk. When the survey has been completed, the selectmen will notify property owners of their violation and the possibility of fines should the violations not be corrected.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:12 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Sweet, Secretary