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Conservation Commission Minutes 01/08/2007
Chichester Conservation Commission
01/08/07~Meeting Minutes
7:00, Chichester Grange Hall

Present:  Jeff Andrews, Zack Boyajian, Gordon Jones, Bob Mann, Dawn Marshall, Walter Sanborn and Mike Marchand

Meeting called to order at 7:04 pm.  Jeff volunteered to take minutes

1.  Review of Minutes from December 11, 2006 Meeting.  

Minutes were unanimously approved without any changes.

2.      Brad Towle, Planning Board Chairman

Brad stopped by to update the Conservation Commission on three projects that the Planning Board is working on.  First, he mentioned that since Bill’s RV (new location on Rte 4, near Bobcat of NH) is a new owner, that the 50 foot wetlands setback to a brook will be imposed (for where RV’s can be parked). Second, Brad reported that Milligan Nurseries will be submitting a plan for expansion of their operation onto a newly purchased 13 acre parcel located on the northerly side of Pleasant Street opposite to their current location. The original proposal was for the siting of additional potted plants, but now the plan is for clearing the five acres closest to Pleasant Street and using it for parking flatbed trailers. Brad would like the CCC to review the plan. Third, Brad mentioned that the Planning Board was proposing some changes to the zoning ordinances, including the definitions. There will be a Planning Board work session on Thursday, January 11, 2007 and a public hearing in February.

3. Mail Review

From Selectman's Meeting Minutes: The BOS have encumbered $7,200 for the final invoices due for the project by Brown Engineering to do the property survey of Carpenter Park.
Five Rivers Conservation Trust Newsletter – 5RCT is a land trust that covers several Concord area communities including Chichester.

3.  Goals status review
        Long Term
a.      Complete wetlands inventory  
Motion: Dawn/Zach to bring topic off table to discuss. Passed Unanimously.
Last month CCC agreed that letter should be drafted and sent to the Town Attorney relative to what constitutes legal notification of abuttors (to screened and potential high-value wetlands) of wetlands field rating work. Bob drafted letter and Jeff/Bob/Walter/Mike met with the BOS to discuss. BOS agreed that letter should be sent to Town Attorney.
Last month CCC agreed to work on question & answer document to help explain the purposes and advantages of the high-value wetlands study. Zach/Mike reported no progress to date on Q&A document. Jeff provided copy of article (Stormwater Magazine) that included advantages of wetlands.
Jeff contacted VHB after last months meeting and asked if they could send phase 2 landowners list. VHB sent Jeff Excel spreadsheet list and pdf map showing abutters to screened potential high-value wetlands. VHB said to check list with most recent tax map list before using.
All agreed that notification (as recommended by Town Attorney) including enclosed Q&A document should suffice and that a separate public hearing  was unnecessary since it would not provide CCC with any new information. In notification letter landowners would be provided with phone numbers and dates of CCC meetings in case they had additional questions. All agreed that we should also ask VHB to remove the word “Prime” from the bottom of the map and any future phase 2 contract.

b.      Increase involvement with the Planning board.
See item 2. Jeff received copy of minor zoning changes from Andrea Deachman. No open space conservation  projects proposed yet.
c.      Sanborn –Cray Management
Jeff brought the remaining tires to BCEP.
Motion: Bob/Jeff. Resolution to rename Sanborn Cray Conservation Area to Madeline Sanborn Conservation Area since Madeline was the only donor for the projects to protect the area. Passed unanimously.
Zack added newly purchase 5 acre Plummer parcel to his Arcview v.9 map. Zach also reported that NH Granit has new 2005 GIS aerial photo coverage that includes Chichester.
Walt reported that he walked the new trail to Marsh Pond and that he was saddened to see “mudflats” since the pond has been there his whole life.
Bob/Jeff met with Mr. Cavacco again. The discussion was promising in that he agreed that he would consider some type of legal easement or access agreement whereby the town would retain ownership of the dam site as long as he had legal rights to the pond level. Such an agreement will likely facilitate the application process for grants/loans for rebuilding the dam. Bob/Jeff updated the BOS. Bob has requested copies of similar legal agreements from the DES Dam Bureau staff.

d.      Carpenter Park Survey
Jeff received copy of final “progress print” of the survey and the final invoice. Brown Engineering reported that all of the bounds have been set. Jeff reviewed the plan and said it looked good.  Mike thought the vernal pool on the south side of the park may be on the town land after all – he will check. Bob will bring plan and invoice to BOS for their review/approval and payment of the final invoice. Jeff mentioned that the contract does not include recording or additional copies of the plan.

Short Term
a.      Access to Sanborn-Cray - Nothing new other than all trash removed now.

b.  Establish a stewardship account - The budget line has been established with zero balance.

c.  Adopt Criteria for accepting a conservation easement  
Mike had a list of questions to consider before accepting a conservation easement.  He recommended that CCC try to get 5RCT to be grantee on larger parcels. Discussion on criteria versus just wanting a candidate parcel to meet a certain percentage of the goal questions. Mike won’t be able to attend the February meeting but he will try to give the CCC a draft of the criteria before the meeting.

d.      Habitat/ vernal pool inventory of Town-owned land – Draft report complete. Mike received no comments from reviewers

Website – Bob asked for volunteers (none). Bob will ask Lee-Ann for information.

Land protection contacts – Nothing new to Report

4. Other
Wildlife Action Plan Maps - Mike presented CCC with two sets of Chichester specific maps. North Chichester is in dark green, which means it is in a valuable regional habitat block.
New Law on Conservation Easements - Gordon passed around an article about a new federal law that provides landowners with a window (2006/2007 only) to put conservation easements on their land and obtain significantly increased tax benefits. Farmers can deduct 100% of their income, others can deduct 30% of their adjusted gross income to 50%, and the carry forward period for deductions is increased from 5 years to 15 years.
Town Report – Bob made some changes to his draft and will send them out for final review
Secretary – Due to the difficulty of taking minutes and participating in meetings Bob will discuss the process of hiring a paid secretary with the BOS.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:19 pm

Upcoming Meetings/Events
February 12, 2007  7:00 PM at Town Hall – Regular CCC meeting


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