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Planning Board Minutes 03/10/2015
I       Call to Order

Chairman Paul White called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Present: Jim Jansz, Phil Lowe, Joe McMahon, Tina Vanasse, Rick Viles, Paul White, Code Enforcement Officer Brandon Woolley, Recorder Maureen Scanlon.

Guests present: Ronald Edwards, Ray Sylvester from Blue Heron Building, Phil and Edie Harnden, George Sawyer from Sawyer Engineering.

II      Public Hearing – Site Plan Review – Requesting to Construct a Second Residential Care Facility – (Property owned by J.J. Realty Trust Partnership, LLC) (Applicant is NeuroRestorative Associates) –
Map 5, Lots 27, 27A & 27C       

George Sawyer from Sawyer Engineering reviewed the proposed project and answered questions from the audience.    

The Public Hearing was closed at 7:09 p.m.

Chairman Paul White called the regular meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.

III     Correspondence
        Maureen Scanlon reported that included in the Board member’s meeting packet was a copy of the memo she sent to the Board of Selectmen (and Town Manager) advising them of the open Board position (recently vacated by Donna Cook) and asking them to appoint a new member.  This subject generated conversation regarding the issue previously brought to the Board’s attention regarding the number of Planning Board members.  Brandon Woolley had previously reported that during his research efforts he discovered that the number of Board members was originally five and was temporarily raised to seven during the planning and development stages to construct a new Town Office building on the site of the old Potter Academy school.  However, the number of members was never officially accepted to continue as seven.  There was discussion regarding the benefits of having more members on the Board to assure that a quorum is present in order to proceed with meetings.  

        Phil Lowe made a motion to propose a change to the ordinance to reflect the number of regular Board members to seven.  It was seconded by Rick Viles.  Motion carried with all in favor.  This item will be added to the Annual Town Meeting Warrant.        

IV      Open to Public Questions – None  

V       Review of Minutes (February 10, 2015)

Tina Vanasse made a motion to approve the minutes from February 10, 2015 as presented.  It was seconded by Phil Lowe.  Motion carried with all in favor.

VI      Old Business  

  • Site Plan Review – Requesting to Construct a Second Residential Care Facility – (Property owned by J.J. Realty Trust Partnership, LLC) (Applicant is NeuroRestorative Associates) – Map 5, Lots 27, 27A & 27C
Paul White asked the Board if they have any further questions regarding this proposed project.  There were none.  It was noted that all fees have been paid to date and that there are no Department of Environmental Protection issues to be addressed.

Tina Vanasse made a motion to accept (approve) the project as presented.  It was seconded by Phil Lowe.  Motion carried with all in favor.  

  • CEO Updates
Nothing reported

  • Goal Setting Items
  • Voting Matrix (finalizing process)
No discussion

  • Review of Escrow Funds for “Outstanding” Subdivisions
No discussion

VII     New Business

  • Rezoning / Redistricting Request Review – (Property owned by Highland Realty Corporation)(Applicant is Sawyer Engineering & Surveying Inc.) – Maps 30 & 31, Lots 20, 36, 38, 39 & 40
George Sawyer from Sawyer Engineering explained the reasons for this request from his clients, Highland Realty Corporation.  He stated that this whole odd shaped parcel, with existing houses on it, was put together by the Macgregor family when several different parcels were combined.  The Macgregor family then deeded it to a family trust known as Highland Realty Corporation.  The District Boundary division line cuts through the middle of the resulting parcel.  He stated that in one section of the town’s (Land use) ordinance it states that if the District Boundary is paralleling a natural feature that the boundary should be to the natural feature.  This parcel has a brook that runs through it that they are asking have designated as the District Boundary line.  This would then designate an area of this property which is currently in the Rural District as being in the Village District.  

They are also requesting that the small lot section in the upper right hand corner of the entire property be redistricted into the Village District.  There was some discussion on the reasoning for this additional request.  Brandon Woolley explained that the creation of Anderson Road after the lots in this area were already established caused a problem with the resulting lot sizes being unofficially altered in order to accommodate the development of the road.  This created several non-conforming lots by today’s requirements.  This smaller lot section falls into this category.  By changing the district designation of this smaller lot it will make this lot less non-conforming.  

In regards to the first half of this request which is to relocate the District Boundary Line to the brook that is located not far from the existing line.  Section 3 of the Land Use Ordinance (Establishment of Districts) item D.6 (Interpretation of District Boundaries) reads as follows:

“Where the physical or cultural features existing on the ground are at variance with those shown on the official map, or in other circumstances where uncertainty exists with respect to the location of the boundary, the Planning Board shall interpret the district boundaries.”

Brandon Woolley explained that this allows the Planning Board to interpret the District Boundary line as intended to be to the existing brook on the property and not where it is currently drawn on the map because this only affects this parcel that is in common ownership.  Basically, it would result in a clarification in the parcel and district lines.  It would not have to be voted on at the Annual Town Meeting as a change in the entire District Zoning Map.     

In regards to the second half of this request it was determined that due to the fact that this smaller lot (which is part of the entire area that is under common ownership) is now sandwiched between two public easement roads it no longer meets the minimum lot size requirements of the Rural District.  It was mentioned that there is a possibility that this lot could be considered grandfathered since it was in existence before the roadways became public easements.  However, by moving the District Boundary Line for the aforementioned larger lot it would then allow them to take advantage of the 50 percent rule and include this lot section in the Village District making it a less non-conforming lot (which eventually could be built on).  

There was discussion on how to procedurally address the two requests.

Joe McMahon made a motion to hold a Public Hearing on this matter.  It was seconded by Rick Viles.  Motion carried with five in favor and one opposed.  

A Public Hearing will be held at the next Planning Board meeting on April 14th.  A Site Walk will be held at this location on Thursday, April 9th at 6:00 p.m.   
VIII    Adjournment

Tina Vanasse made a motion to adjourn at 8:06 p.m.  It was seconded by Rick Viles.  Motion carried with all in favor.

Respectfully Submitted,
Maureen F. Scanlon
Administrative Assistant/Deputy Clerk