Planning Board Minutes for October 7, 2015

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

The meeting was called to order at 7:06 p.m. by Chairman Leslie Casey.  In addition to the chairman, members, Laura Lewandowski, Mark Smith, and Ann Sweet were present.  Laura Merrifield represented the selectmen.  Absent was member Stacy Glover.  Dorothy and Peter Miles were present as observers, considering membership on the board.  A request for their appointment as member and alternate will be presented to the selectmen for their approval at their next meeting.

A motion (Lewandowski/Casey) to approve the minutes of September 2, passed without dissent.

Review of previously amended bylaws governing planning board operations
Having confirmed that the planning board membership was amended at the 1984 Town Meeting to expand from five to seven members and that three alternates were made possible by Town Meeting vote of 1988, the board added that information to the text.  The new version will be placed on the town website and an electronic copy sent to the town hall for its electronic archive of institutional documents like the CPO.

Chairman’s report
Chairman Casey reported on the following:.
•    A memo had been sent to the selectmen notifying them of expired driveway permits for Ed Csenge.  Failure to request a new driveway permit precludes
access to a building permit, should one be sought. She declared that no action was asked of the selectmen, only that the memo be put on file for their future reference.
•    Chairman Casey and Ann Sweet attended three Law Lectures given by the NH Municipal Association.  The notebooks given to participants are available in the town hall.  The topics are treatment of non-conforming “grandfathered” lots, rules governing agricultural land uses (mostly permissive and encouraging), and the importance of enforcement of building and fire codes
•    Chairman Casey attended a Peterborough conference on strong towns.  The importance of creating a sense of “place,” avoiding heavy debts from overly optimistic development, creating a sense of local responsibility for the continued prosperity (even existence) of the town is vital.  Having given up its school and with its library’s continuation in question, “Sullivan needs a reason to exist,” said Chairman Casey.  She passed around a recent article from the Keene Sentinel reporting Marlow’s efforts to create a vision for its town.
•    A meeting of the Transportation Advisory Committee of SWRPC on September 14th was attended by Chairman Casey and Ann Sweet.  Chairman Casey reported on Sullivan’s Centre Street’s very poor condition.  Fitzwilliam was reporting similar conditions on its Tier 4 road (119).  Tier 4 roads are almost all reported to be in less than fair or very poor condition.  The committee was sympathetic but dubious about solutions, given the shrinkage of federal and state funding for roads.  There was one piece of good news:  funding for Route 9 between the Little store and the Roxbury line has increased, so a stronger renovation is promised than originally.
•    Steve Hamilton’s concerns expressed at a selectmen’s meeting of interest to the planning board included possible violations of conditions set for the auto repair shop on Centre Street, the possible business activity on the Walters property on Route 9, and the use of the land adjacent to the Little store without Site Plan Review.
•    Planning  board files need to be regularized in order to be more accessible.  Mrs. Merrifield said the selectmen are considering moving PB files to a new cabinet in the main room of the town hall to assure the security of the Town Clerk’s/Tax Collector’s office.

 Discussion followed the listing of the lecture topics:
A definition of “farm stand” should be added to the CPO.
Should building and fire codes be adopted at Town Meeting?  If so, enforcement mechanism would be needed.  Selectman Merrifield described some problems with lack of a code, especially the exemption of any construction of less than 700 square feet from a building permit requirement.  The recently adopted requirement for an occupancy permit is limited to confirmation that sewage disposal, well installation, setbacks, and driveway and apron installation meet the town’s requirements.  Members agreed that education of the community to encourage acceptance of any changes will take time.
One question was asked about the fate of empty spaces belonging to the town (e.g., the police department).  Mrs. Merrifield said the selectmen would be glad to consider any proposals.

There being no further business, a motion (Lewandowski/Merrifield) to end the meeting at 8:48 p.m. passed without dissent.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Sweet, Secretary