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August 11, 2003
Chichester Conservation Commission
08/11/03 Meeting Minutes
7:00, Chichester Grange Hall

Present:  Gwen Adams, Jeff Andrews, Stan Brehm, Bob Mann, Deb Soule and Walter Sanborn  

Minutes from the 07/14/03 meeting were approved.

The mail received since the last meeting was reviewed.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day Status

Bob distributed the final brochures for the event. These will be available at the Old Home Day display for the commission. A brochure will also be in the August 27th edition of the Suncook Sun. Bob, Jeff, and Linda Rauter will work at the event to help control traffic, distribute a survey, etc.

Old Home Day Display

Jeff displayed the many brochures he has gathered for the commission’s display at this event. He will bring his compost bin to show as an example for the one that is anticipated to be raffled at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day. Jeff will also bring a table and chairs. Bob will man the booth with possible assistance from Stan. Deb and Jeff will be participating in the Suncook River cleanup which is scheduled for the same time frame.

Natural Resource Inventory (NRI) Update

Jeff distributed copies of the draft NRI final report. Comments are to be back to him by Monday, August 19th at the latest.  Draft executive summary to follow.  Bob will place another article in Sun about the September 8th hearing.

Jeff also discussed having Dijit Taylor of the SPNHF give a presentation on conservation on October 13th (Columbus Day).  Due to the upcoming meetings and the holiday, the commission thought a meeting later in the fall would be better. Jeff will check with her for alternate dates.

Snowmobile Trail Proposal for Town Forest

Kevin Gagne, officer for the NH Trail Dawgs presented a proposal to move an established snowmobile trail to go through the town forest.  He proposed this since the trail currently traverses across land that is for sale and is very near an existing house. Also, the trail would help open up the forest to use by the town citizens. Mr. Gagne suggested his club could put up a gate and would help with cleanup after the snow melted in the spring. Stan suggested a turnout to allow for 2 cars to park at the entrance before the gate. The club has a $1,000,000 insurance policy and DRED offers a $2,000,000 policy if there is an easement. His proposal was redirected from the Selectmen to the commission for review and comment. Bob suggested that a public meeting should be held to get feedback on whether the townspeople are in favor of this idea.  One was scheduled for Monday, September 15th at 7:00 in the Grange Hall. After public comment, a regular conservation commission meeting would be held since the September 8th meeting will be dominated by the meeting for the NRI. After Mr. Gagne left, the commission decided a site walk of the town forest and proposed trail was warranted to understand potential impacts. Deb offered to contact Mr. Gagne to set up a site walk for early next week.

Wetland Mitigation for Connemara Drive

Jeff discussed the status of this project. The $10,000 Mr. Mullaney mentioned at the last meting has been spent by the town and is no longer available to be put toward purchasing easements in town. Mr. Mullaney is offering deed restrictions or conservation easements for the wetland area on the affected proposed lots for his wetland mitigation requirement. Pros and cons of accepting the easements were discussed.  The disadvantages would be the lack of public access to the easement for recreation, the effort required by the commission to walk/patrol the easements annually for little public benefit in return, the difficulty in traversing so many variably shaped easements across many lots (and therefore dealing with many owners), the lack of desired upland habitat included in the easement, the relatively low preliminary NRI rating for the easement area, the potential for litigation for easement violations, and the current state and town wetland rules already provide much of the protection that would be also afforded by easements or restrictions (i.e., no building is allowed 100’ from wetland areas).

A motion was made by Stan and seconded by Jeff to not assume the responsibilities of a conservation easement and to not object to the use of deed restrictions by the developer for mitigation purposes for this project if there was no conservation commission oversight required. The commission voted unanimously 6-0 to approve this motion. Jeff will write the follow-up letter to Mr. Mullaney regarding this matter.  

Goals for the Commission for the Next Year

Goals mentioned at the October 14, 2002 meeting were discussed. Most were moved forward as goals for the upcoming year. Additional goals suggested include: creating a land protection subcommittee of the commission, implementing the Sanborn-Cray Conservation Area management plan, better coordination with the Planning Board regarding environmental related rules, developing short and long term plans for the town lots, promoting source water protection in town for future municipal water supply development, and baseline water quality monitoring of Marsh pond. Given the number of items on the night’s agenda, this topic will be further discussed at the September 15th meeting when the list of goals will be prioritized and whittled down to manageable levels.  

Sanborn Cray Conservation Area Access Project

Jeff reported that no progress was made since the last meeting. Jeff and Bob met with the Selectmen to discuss this project. They would like a plan by October.

Luba Property – Status of Subdivision

Approval of the wetlands crossing is now in the Wetlands Board hands. The commission sent a letter to the Wetlands Bureau stating the commission was not in favor of a minimum impact application since the proposal did not meet the requirements.

Concord Motorsports Proposal

The commission received an application for wetlands dredge and fill at the subject site. The current drainage pipes would be removed and replaced with a different drainage layout. Jeff suggested that a federal stormwater permit may be required. The commission noted the lack of a catch basin for roof and pavement runoff at the northwest corner of the developed area. Other concerns were lack of proposed infiltration for the roof runoff, the possible impacts to Marsh Pond down gradient of the drainage pipes, and the lack of plantings to slow down runoff. Bob motioned to write a letter to the Wetlands Bureau to relate concerns and suggestions. Stan motioned to contact the landowner to see if they are interested in donating land/easement on remaining undeveloped part of lot. Stan mentioned the owner suggested this during a public meeting on the project. The commission unanimously approved this motion.

Master Plan Update

Walter said the master plan committee will meet Wednesday night to finalize their survey which will be sent to all taxpayers shortly with a return timeframe of a couple of weeks. Some of our suggested questions were added to the survey.  

Stephen Small books - “Preserving Family Lands”

Jeff suggested buying copies of book I in order to lend/give to landowners interested in conservation easements. The book explains that if landowners wish to keep their property in the family it is important to plan for the inheritance and capital gains taxes, etc. that could force their heirs to sell the land to developers. Each volume is $18 with lower prices available for bulk purchases (e.g. $7/copy for 100). Stan suggested that Jeff look at Amazon.com for cheaper rates. Once all of the rates are explored, the committee will decide how many to purchase. A set of the volumes may be donated to the town library.

Other

Deb discussed her efforts to get the conservation commission information on the town web site. She will check the web site to see if it has been added.

The October 13th CCC meeting has been changed to October 6th due to the Columbus Day holiday.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 PM.


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