Planning Board Minutes for Jan. 7, 2015

SULLIVAN
PLANNING BOARD
Minutes of the Meeting of January
7, 2015

 The meeting was called to order at 7:01 p.m. by Chairman
Steve Hamilton.  In addition to the
chairman, members Leslie Casey, Laura Lewandowski, Mark Smith, and Ann Sweet
were present.  Gary Patnode represented
the selectmen. Absent were members
Stacy Glover and Dave Jakway.  Also
present were John Bowles, Henry Brooks, Mike Brooks, Jeff Gaouette, Mark
Jackson, Rick Plankey, Sheila Smith, Randy Smith, and Roger Sweet.

 

 A motion (Lewandowski/Smith) to approve the
minutes of the meeting of December 3, 2014, passed without dissent.

 

Chairman Steve Hamilton announced the opening of the hearing
on the
proposed amendments to the Community Planning Ordinance

 

Chairman Hamilton then reported that Mr. Brooks had at
previous planning board meetings asked for these amendments but that the board
had not felt them necessary and so had not sponsored them.  He pointed out that, however the planning
board voted at this hearing, the proposed changes to the CPO would be on the
ballot in March.  He then asked Henry
Brooks, who had petitioned to have the amendments brought to the town election,
to introduce the petitioners he had brought with him and to explain the purpose
of these additions to the CPO.  Mr.
Brooks declared that he feared that some future board would not allow anything
not specified in the CPO to be done. 
Litigation to the contenders and the town would then ensue.  His additions to the CPO would prevent such
unnecessary and costly litigation.

 

Chairman Hamilton then asked members of the board to express
their opinions.  Mr. Smith said he was in
favor.  Mrs. Casey declared that the
existing CPO wording sufficed.  She did
not think CPO wording would prevent attitude changes in town.  Mrs. Sweet agreed that the additional wording
was not necessary.  Mr. Patnode agreed
that the need did not seem real to him. 
However, he added that a written planning board disapproval on the
ballot might influence voters to reject the proposed changes simply because the
PB had not approved them.  Mrs.
Lewandowski said she would vote to approve. 
Chairman Hamilton expressed concern that the difference between the
wording on the petition and the wording that was approved by the selectmen in
their review of the petition might cause legal challenges in the future.  After some discussion, it was agreed that the
word changes did not change the intent of the petition, and a vote was called
for.   A motion (Smith/Patnode) to have a vote to approve or not approve
passed without dissent.
The result of the vote was four approvals and two
abstentions.

 

The hearing ended at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

Chairman’s report

 

  • The
    planning board summary for the 2014 Town Report has been completed.
  • The ZBA
    approved, with conditions, the Birch proposal for an abattoir on the
    corner of Old Concord Road and Heights Lane.  Mr. Birch must now come before the
    planning board for Site Plan Review.
  • The
    budget for the planning board for 2015 will be $1122.  The planning board spent only $977 of
    its 2014 budget of $1600.
  • Notice
    from the Department of Environmental Services was sent to the planning
    board that the 2007 excavation permit awarded by the State in 2007 had
    been transferred to the new property owners, Mr. and Mrs. John Bunce.  It was pointed out that the previous
    owners, the Laventures, had no permit from the town as required by State
    and town regulations.  Selectman
    Patnode said the selectmen would investigate.
  • The
    regional master plan has been completed and offered to towns on CD.  Sullivan’s CD is available to anyone
    interested.  The plan is also in the
    SWRPC website.
  • Should
    the term Community Planning Ordinance be renamed as the zoning bylaw?  No one felt that necessary.
  • There
    seems to be activity at the Walters’ property on Route 9.  Mr. Walters was supposed to return to
    the ZBA for approval of a business on the site.  He also is expected to need a building
    permit from the selectmen.
  • The
    Master Plan 2015 was handed out with special thanks to Bob Switzer for all
    his contributions to its research, formatting, and compilation. 
  • Mrs.
    Sweet noted with thanks, that Chairman Hamilton’s generous tribute to her
    part in the Master Plan update is not printed in the acknowledgments, at
    her request, despite the approval vote at the December meeting.

 

Selectmen’s report

  • After
    considerable review with department heads, the selectmen’s budget has
    begun to be reviewed by the budget committee.
  • The
    sale of the older police cruiser is under negotiation.
  • A new
    one-year contract with Twin Bridge Services for IT repair and updates has
    been signed.
  • A new
    contract with the sheriff department has been signed.  The selectmen have heard no complaints
    about service from people in town
  • The
    selectmen voted to accept a $1000 grant from the New England Grassroots
    Fund for 2/3 the cost of an energy audit to be conducted, after energy
    committee review of 5 proposals, by Margaret Dillon.  The remaining $500 will come from a
    building fund.  The energy committee
    had discussed best next steps for saving energy in town buildings and
    decided a town hall audit would lead to projects to reduce energy
    consumption.  Jeff Brooks assembled
    the research on auditors for the committee’s review.
  • Municipal
    Resources Institute is currently providing financial services for the town
    (payroll, accounting, etc.)  The
    town has been very vulnerable to the loss of administrative
    assistants.  The town may need to
    continue outsourcing financial services, even when a new administrative
    assistant is hired.

 

Chairman Hamilton, remembering an earlier discussion, asked
how the planning board could have a capital reserve set up for the professional
production of the 2015 Master Plan.  He
had had an estimate for an update of a Master Plan from SWRPC of over $10,000,
and he suggested professional help might be needed for the 2015 update.  Selectman Patnode said the planning for a
capital reserve fund must be done by November of 2015 for the 2016 town
meeting.

 

Chairman Hamilton reminded the planning board that he plans
to step down in March. 

 

There being no further business, a motion (Lewandowski/Patnode) to adjourn passed without dissent at
8:11 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Ann Sweet, Secretary