Minutes of May 2, 2018

Sullivan Planning Board Minutes 20180502

In attendance:  Dott Miles, Peter Miles, Milton Trimitsis(secretary), Leslie Casey (chair), Ann Sweet, Chris Pratt (alternate), Laura Lewandowski, Jeff  Burbank(selectman)
Todd Smith – Road Agent

Meeting began at 7:02pm

Motion to approve minutes(Ann/Leslie).  With minor correction, minutes approved on voice vote.

Driveway Committee

Todd Smith was present to introduce himself to the planning board and to discuss the relationship between the Road Agent and the driveway committee.  The interaction between the Town and State Highway Departments regarding driveway permits was discussed: there may be a question about town jurisdiction regarding driveways opening onto state roads.  

Planning board and Road Agent/driveway committee procedures for reviewing driveway permit applications were discussed, and Mr. Smith indicated he would review highway department files to get up to speed.

Also discussed was the Robinson driveway permit at 847 Centre St. and regulatory procedures, given that the state permitted the driveway and work was completed before the planning board (PB) received a town driveway permit application. It was noted that town driveway regulations require inspection by the Road Agent of completed driveway work, a condition of the post-hoc approval of the town permit. Mr. Smith will do the inspection and, if the driveway is found to be satisfactory, will return a copy of the signed driveway permit to the PB.

Formation of Driveway Committee and authority to form the committee was discussed.  C Pratt asserted that the driveway committee has always been an ad hoc entity.  Authority is granted in RSA 236:13.

Also discussed was whether the Town is permitted to enforce more stringent requirements than the State stipulates on driveways that enter onto state roads.  L Casey shared her correspondence with Frank Linnebringer of NH DOT regarding jurisdiction over such driveways, in which he asserted that only the state can regulate class II highway driveway entrances.  J Burbank pointed out that Town driveway permit regulations cover aspects of driveways that are not regulated by the state, such as road frontage and construction outside the state right-of-way. L Casey will contact the NH Municipal Association for advice on the law surrounding town regulation of driveways on state roads.

L Casey informed the PB that James Walters has applied for permits from the state and the town to increase the use (currently one unit, going to 2 units) of the driveway at 375 Rt 9.

Discussion with Todd Smith completed at 7:34pm.

L Casey proposed that the complicated driveway permit application from James Walters will be copied and made available for review for completeness by board members before the next meeting.  We will discuss the application at the June meeting.

Thompson property merger

Based on research by L Casey, the lots which Mr. Thompson is proposing to merge are in fact conforming since they do have frontage on Rt 9 (see plat, Cheshire Co. Registry of Deeds Cabinet 11, Drawer 04, Number 325, Sheet 1).  

Given that both lots are owned by the same entity, L Casey asserts that there is no known impediment to approving the merger under RSA 674:39-a. It was noted that since this is a voluntary merger, no public notice and no new plat are required. The applicant needs to fill out a Notice of Merger form, which L Casey will send to applicant.  Once the PB receives the completed form and all necessary filing fees, the Board can act to approve the merger. J Burbank observed that the merger would then make the land of one of the lots (Tax Map 6, Lot 11, Sub Lot 1) part of a parcel large enough to be eligible for Current Use status.

Proposed Community Planning Ordinance amendments for 2019

Building height restriction proposed to be 35 feet above mean grade
Definition of dwelling units 
Definition of seasonal dwellings
Definition of Recreational Vehicles
Include section on Driveway Permits in CPO, since it’s not currently included.  Also explore language about permitting requirements for an abandoned/discontinued driveway.  L Casey suggests getting further legal advice before formulating this language.
Alternative Development:  provide more context and explanation in the CPO language.  Also discuss whether Cluster Housing Ordinance was properly repealed and replaced by the Alternative Development Ordinance.
Definition of steep slopes; C Pratt suggests that we need to check whether state has a formal standard that we can refer to.
Light pollution – do we want to regulate lighting?  J Burbank raises the issue of quantifiablity and enforceability of any proposed ordinance.
Various scrivener’s errors in current CPO that would not have to be ballot items.

L Casey nominated M.Trimitsis to be secretary in light of the resignation of Dott Miles; C Pratt seconded. All agreed.  

L Casey attended Office of Strategic Initiatives event and reported back: session on Historic Preservation Planning was useless; update on land use law presented by an attorney from Legal and Public Affairs revealed nothing earth shattering.

J Burbank raised the issue of Accessory Dwelling Units in town that have been constructed but not permitted.

L Casey moved to adjourn, seconded by D Miles.  Meeting adjourned at 9:08pm.