Minutes of November 1, 2006

Chairman Steve Hamilton called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m. Present, in addition to the chairman, were members Joe Fitzpatrick, Keith Martin, Ann Sweet, and Bob Switzer. Absent were Michelle Degree and Dave Jakway. Rick Hotchkiss represented the selectmen. Chris Pratt, member of the public and former chairman of the planning board, was present on business.

Approval of the October minutes was postponed, since the draft was not available in the official notebook.

Records Retention Program for Sullivan Planning Board Documents
Chris Pratt presented a records retention program (see outline following minutes) for planning board documents to comply with State regulations regarding preservation of key records. A proper storage facility is being created in the archives room of the Sullivan Library, which will be modified to reduce the risk of fire and where documents will be placed in special boxes. In accord with the right-to-know laws, any records placed in the archives will be made available to the public by appointment. He asked for several series of planning board records: minutes, subdivision records, and site plan review records. Mr. Switzer asked about driveway permit applications. Mr. Pratt thinks that might be a pertinent fourth series. Mr. Hotchkiss suggested a copy of the PB minutes which might continue to be of interest be kept in the notebook and the originals be sent to the archive after an appropriate lapse of time. No action will be taken to bring records to the archives until the room has been prepared, perhaps in January of 2007.

Lessons learned from law lectures
Mr. Martin, who had attended all three law lectures, appreciated the presentations. He observed that Sullivan was not on the list of towns with wetlands ordinances. Mr. Hotchkiss promised to have the wetlands ordinance and other town ordinances sent to the Office of Energy and Planning. 

Mr. Martin heard lots of recommendations, including:

1. A disability variance lasts only as long as the disabled person is using it. It does not go with the property.

2. Pay attention to environmental effects of proposed subdivisions as well as to setbacks, etc.

3. Deadlines for special reports, etc., in a ZBA proceeding should be written into communications.

A discussion about how roads become roads led to a confirmation of the need for a vote in Town Meeting before a private road can become public (require maintenance). However, it was argued that any road built on town-owned land could become a public (town) road without a vote of Town Meeting. Mr. Hotchkiss observed that the Community Planning Ordinance should address private roads in some way.

Selectmen issues

Proposal for a letter to Stoddard selectmen

Mr. Hotchkiss reported concern of the Sullivan fire department that additional families at the Stoddard end of Bowlder Road might increase the danger for rescues, since the Stoddard end of that road is so narrow. Apparently, the Stoddard planning board approved the construction of a barn with living quarters on the Faulkner-King property. Mr. Hotchkiss feels the Stoddard planning board should have notified the Sullivan planning board as a matter of regional impact. Since Sullivan plows the Bowlder Road in Stoddard (at Stoddard’s request) and is expected to send its fire and rescue engines to help people at the end of that road, Sullivan should have been able to comment on the proposal that would expand the population there. He suggested the Sullivan Planning Board send a letter of concern to Stoddard, just to be on the record, in case further construction of dwelling units is contemplated. No action was taken on this proposal.

Septic reconstruction halted on Valley Road
The chairman of the ZBA has sent an application for a hearing to the owner of the property between Route 9 and Valley Road. No date for a hearing to protest the selectmen’s decision to halt construction of the site in the flood plain has been set.

Broadband internet access
Mr. Switzer reported satisfaction with the first wireless high speed internet access in Sullivan. Others will follow, although signal repeater sites will be needed to serve some areas of town. He reminded the board that prospective customers for this service are invited to an open house at Apple Hill Monday evening, November 6.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:26 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Sweet, Secretary