Minutes of October 5, 2005

The Secretary called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m. Present, in addition to the Secretary, were Michelle Degree, Geoff Gardner, Joe Fitzpatrick, David Jakway, and Bob Switzer. Rick Hotchkiss represented the Selectmen. Absent was Chairman, Steve Hamilton.

Selection of temporary chairman Motion (Switzer/Jakway) to appoint Mr. Gardner as temporary chairman passed unanimously.

Minutes of the meeting of Sept. 7, 2005, were approved as distributed.

Development pressures?
Mr. Hotchkiss stated that he and Mr. Hamilton have had several queries about development sites in the town, including properties on Class VI roads. He noted that the study done in 2004 by Mr. Gardner and Mr. Switzer had shown that there were enough building lots on Class V roads to double the number of dwellings in Sullivan without even opening up new roads. He asked whether the Planning Board should consider recommending a growth management ordinance to the town at the March elections. He thought placing a cap on the number of building permits approved in one year might be the measure to adopt, but he would like to know what ordinances other towns have adopted. Mrs. Sweet promised to call Southwest Region Planning Commission for information. Mr. Gardner read from RSA 674:22, which gives the local legislative body (Town Meeting, in Sullivan) the power to regulate and control the timing of development, as long as the town has a master plan and a capital improvement program. "Growth control ordinances are intended to regulate and control the timing of development, not the prevention of development," according to Stoney-Brook Development Corp. v. Town of Fremont (1984). In the discussion, a question was raised about the power of property owners to force the town to lay out a road over a discontinued road.* Members agreed that the Capital Improvement Program needs to be updated, and Mrs. Sweet agreed to send around a draft outline based on the CIP of 1995.

Mrs. Sweet pointed out that protecting land is an important way of encouraging what Ms. Degree called "smart growth." She particularly spoke of the significance of the land around Chapman Pond, a top priority for the Sullivan Conservation Commission, some of which is currently on the market. In addition to being a pristine body of water (with no development to date), it is an important source of streams that flow into Otter Brook.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:02 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Sweet, Secretary