Minutes of May 4, 2005

Chairman Steve Hamilton called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Present, in addition to the chairman, were Michelle Degree, Geoff Gardner, Dave Jakway, and Ann Sweet. Rick Hotchkiss represented the selectmen. Absent were Joe Fitzpatrick and Bob Switzer. Ms. Degree served in the place of Mr. Switzer for voting purposes. Selectman Richard Labadie was also present.

Minutes of the meeting of April 6, 2005, were approved as distributed.

Since there were several members of the public present with items of business, Chairman Hamilton asked for a motion to postpone the hearing on subdivision regulation amendments to the end of the meeting. A motion (Gardner/Sweet) to that effect passed unanimously.

Preliminary consultation for a proposed subdivision of Blanchard property on Gilsum Rd. 
The Blanchard property is a 91.6 acre piece on Gilsum Rd. Subdivision would create one new parcel of 6.4 acres, leaving 85.2 acres. The preliminary plat was reviewed with the check list and the following changes needed were listed: 

Susan Blanchard’s name should be on the plat. 

There is a change in abutters from Blanchard to Putzell on one property. 

Wetlands need to be outlined on the plat. 

A driveway permit application needs to be completed. Hearing is scheduled for the June 1 meeting. Mr. Blanchard paid the usual fees for notice ($130: $25 for printed notice in Sentinel; $5 for each abutter)

Questions from new owners of two lots on Apple Hill Road
Two builders, Al Tardy and Lee Petron, from western MA asked about drainage issues from their lots on Apple Hill Road, where they propose to build spec houses. Their site construction manager, Ed Csenge, asked about tying a drain from the driveway (which is to serve their two lots and a third lot to the north) to road drainage. Mr. Hotchkiss reviewed the drainage problems from the site, pointing out the consultant’s report contained in the Primrose subdivision application, citing the need for drainage ponds to keep all water and materials off the public road. The two men promised to do everything just right.

Csenge need for Site Plan Review 
Mr. Csenge was reminded that the planning board expected his appearance for Site Plan Review. He responded that the selectmen had given him a building permit and any problem with that was the town’s problem. It was pointed out that the issue was his business expansion, not the erection of a building, and the impacts of that expansion on the town.

Preliminary consultation in anticipation of Site Plan Review for an inside shooting range on Cheshire County Fish and Game property on Ferry Brook Road 
Cheshire County Fish and Game board members, Laurel Csenge and Larry Parker, spoke of the long-held goal of making indoor shooting possible on the F&G property, which is now entirely outdoors for the 320 members. They offered a preliminary drawing but said they would not be ready for next steps before July. PB members asked questions about noise, possibility of bullet penetration of walls, increased traffic, and light pollution.

Questions about the possibility of dividing one of two Allen lots on Apple Hill Road
Mike and Fern Geraghty, who have done much building in the area, have an option to buy two open lots on Apple Hill Road now owned by John and Kathy Allen. Mr. Geraghty presented a sketch showing one of the lots with a proposed subdivision into two lots. Board members noted the pork chop shape of the larger lot, made necessary, Mr. Geraghty supposed, by the wetlands ordinance requiring 1.5 acres of “dry” land on a building lot that had enough wetland to create two acres. The wetland area in this proposed lot is at least one acre in size. Several board members expressed concern about the proximity to the wetland of the septic system, and Mr. Geraghty promised to do an environmental impact study, if he picks up the option to buy. He will have test pits dug this weekend and make up his mind thereafter. Members pointed out that the original Allen subdivision had been harmonious with the neighborhood, because each lot was about 5 acres in size. The public outcry at proposed two-acre lots farther down Apple Hill Road was cited.

Public hearing on proposed subdivision regulation amendments 
Chairman Hamilton opened the hearing. There being no members of the public present to discuss the proposed amendments, he called for a motion to approve the amendments as written. A motion (Gardner/Jakway) to that effect passed unanimously.

Selectmen’s Report 
Mr. Hotchkiss reported that further legal action with regard to A&L Trucking is in the works. He circulated a draft letter calling for a meeting of the Alexanders and their lawyer with the selectmen. 

The selectmen will be writing to property owners who do not have junkyard licenses but do have junk in their yards, informing them of the selectmen’s power, under new state regulations, to determine when trash (not just unregistered vehicles) has become a public nuisance and to take action to mitigate that nuisance, including the imposition of fines of up to $50 per day.

He also reported on a possible removal by sale of much of the accumulated wreckage on a property at the corner of Ellis and Valley roads through sale, since the market for scrap metal is quite good now. Asked about the burned house on Hubbard Road, Mr. Hotchkiss replied that the selectmen can declare it a safety hazard and have it torn down. It was suggested that a lien then be put on the property so that its sale might recoup town expenses.

Question about apparent logging on Centre Street
Several members spoke of seeing heavy equipment on Centre Street. There was some disagreement as to whose approximately 5-acre property was to be logged, Henninger or Desvergnes. There is some report of a proposed horse boarding stable being contemplated on the Desvergnes property, making that the likely site of the logging. In addition to the absence of an intent to cut, concern was expressed about wetlands on that property, which would require a wetlands permit for logging.

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

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Sweet, Secretary