Minutes of November 3, 2004

Chairman Stephen Hamilton called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. Present, in addition to the chairman, were Joe Fitzpatrick, Geoff Gardner, Ann Sweet, and Bob Switzer. Rick Hotchkiss represented the selectmen. Selectman Richard Labadie was also present. Absent members were Dave Jakway and Don Primrose.

Barrett voluntary merger of two lots on Centre Street
David Barrett presented written notice of a voluntary merger of the two lots, 3-102-000 and 3-103-000, owned by him and Holly Barrett. After some confusion about the wording of the notice, two words were eliminated. A motion to accept the amended notice of the voluntary merger was approved without dissent, and the chairman and secretary signed the notice. Mr. Barrett’s lawyer will file the notice with the county registrar of deeds.

Master plan update
Mrs. Sweet reported for the subcommittee that a draft of the updated master plan had been completed (with a couple of figures to be added) for the planning board members to study for errors and omissions. She handed out a draft copy to each board member and urged everyone to read it carefully in time for discussion at the December meeting of the planning board. Mr. Switzer, who had formatted the draft, will give the third selectman, Mr. Carney, a copy. A copy each for Mr. Jakway and Mr. Primrose was left in the planning board mail slot at the town hall. 

Mrs. Sweet commented on the wonderful energy, competence, and persistence of the committee members: Mr. Fitzpatrick, Mr. Gardner, and Mr. Switzer. She also noted that, had the plan been done by Southwest Region Planning Commission, the cost would have been between $20,000 and $25,000, before printing. Mr. Hotchkiss expressed the gratitude of the town for the money saved. Printing costs, including printing directly from disc, will be investigated. 

A public hearing of the updated master plan is scheduled for the January planning board meeting.

Apple Hill Road drainage problems
Mr. Hotchkiss reported that the selectmen may be closing up the driveway cut to the three houses where drainage has been a problem. It was suggested that, in light of this experience, the driveway committee may need to put more conditions (such as, “no construction of any buildings until the driveway can pass inspection”) on driveway permits.

Other outstanding issues
Mr. Csenge will receive before the beginning of December a letter from the selectmen about the need to come to the planning board for site plan approval.

Mr. Hotchkiss had nothing to report on the Alexander property.

Accessory apartments
Mr. Hotchkiss noted that the Community Planning Ordinance is not clear about accessory apartments and suggested the planning board discuss a possible amendment to the CPO. His own ideas about such an amendment have not yet crystallized, but he will make some suggestions via email to solicit responses and then formulate a proposal for discussion at the December meeting. If there is agreement then, an article could be put on the March ballot for the town to consider.

Recommendations from the law lectures
Mrs. Sweet reminded members of the items listed in the minutes of the October meeting and suggested that the board discuss these mostly procedural matters. A procedural checklist was suggested for major board actions. Mr. Gardner pointed out that changes may also need to be made in the subdivision and site plan review regulations.

To be discussed:

1. Sending a copy of any adopted or amended subdivision or site plan regulations to the Town Clerk, even though there is a copy in the office file.

2. Determining before any formal hearing on a project whether it has regional impact. (If so, abutters, including SWRPC, must receive notice.)

3. Emphasizing, in subdivision and site plan regulations, the requirement that a project may not produce a net increase in water flow from the subject parcel.

4. Making a site visit to a project before accepting the application as complete.

5. Issuing a final written decision following action on an application for subdivision or site plan approval. 

6. Adopting a 6-year Capital Improvements Program (if the town meeting has previously authorized the planning board to make such an adoption).

7. Issuing all waivers in writing, at least by signing the check list noting the waiver.

8. Finding funding (NHMA suggests a fee schedule that would create a kitty) for hiring professional help, including a minutes taker. Mr. Hotchkiss suggested that such money would be available for relieving the planning board secretary and allowing the secretary to participate more actively in discussion. He suggested the secretary decide when such help was needed.

These items will be discussed at the December meeting.

Mr. Switzer suggested a flow chart, showing to whom to go for various approvals, would be helpful to members of the community.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:12 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Sweet, Secretary