Chichester Board of Selectmen
September 6, 2005
Present: Chairman DeBold, Selectman Colbert, and Patty Wooster, Administrative Assistant. Selectman MacCleery was absent. Chairman DeBold opened the meeting at 7:00PM.
SUBJECT: Mr. Brandon Giuda
HIGHLIGHTS: Mr. Brandon Giuda met with the Board of Selectmen to make a formal complaint against the Planning Board. Mr. Giuda had attended the Planning Board’s meeting that was held on September 1, 2005. A couple who resides in a modular home that is located on a relative’s property under Article III Section 3c (elderly housing) came before the Planning Board asking for a Home Occupation permit. According to Mr. Giuda, he felt that the Chairman of the Planning Board, Mr. Tracy Scott had acted inappropriately when he eliminated a discussion regarding the use of the word “solely” as applied in Article III Section 3c.
Mr. Giuda comes to the Board of Selectmen with two issues concerning the Planning Board:
¨ The Planning Board having more than one standard depending on who the people are; and
¨ Ordinances being applied in less than a uniform matter, specifically the word “solely” in Article III Section 3c
Chairman DeBold said that he received an e-mail from Mr. Giuda. Chairman DeBold read a line from the e-mail that was sent to him by Mr. Giuda: Seems to me at the PB tonight that there may be more than one standard being used, depending on who the people are. Mr. Giuda went on to clarify what he meant by that statement. Chairman DeBold read from Mr. Giuda’s e-mail: However, there is no question in my mind that different approaches are being used by some individuals on the PB depending on who is in front of the Board. Chairman DeBold stated that he thought Mr. Giuda was being very emphatic about his feelings regarding who is coming before the Board. When asked, Mr. Giuda confirmed that he thought sometimes standards changed depending on who came before the Board.
Chairman DeBold asked Mr. Giuda for specific facts. Mr. Giuda said that he was presenting this case. When asked how he could compare this case to others, Mr. Giuda stated that he has attended many Planning Board hearings, and that he has seen different standards applied on occasions when the applicants were friends with Board members or just were nice people, like the elderly couple that applied for the home occupation. Chairman DeBold said he personally did not see any blatant or intentional application of different standards. Mr. Guida stated that he saw it in January and February. Mr. Giuda stated that he has seen a change of attitude with some of the Planning Board members, one minute being abrupt with people and when the next person comes in front of the Board they were nice and polite. Mr. Giuda suggested that the Selectmen ask people who have come in front of the Planning Board in the last twelve months if they thought they were
being treated fairly and equally. Chairman DeBold thought that may be a good idea.
The second issue was the intention of the word “solely” being used in Article III Section 3c. Mr. Giuda read Article II Section 3 c: More permanent use of a house trailer or mobile home to an existing residence as a temporary accessory solely for the purpose of elderly housing for relations, permitted during life of occupant and thereafter removed…Mr. Giuda thought the intent of the elderly housing was for the sick and frail. Chairman DeBold said that he does not know what the intent of the Article was. The discussion that took place at the Planning Board was how the word “solely” is meant, is it meant that the temporary housing be used “solely” as a residence or “solely” for elderly relations.
The couple that came before the Planning Board stated that they wanted to have a home occupation in the basement of their modular home and they have two employees. The couple also stated that they are away for three to four months every year and that their two employees continue to work at the residence. Apparently this information was voluntarily given to the Planning Board. Mr. Giuda stated that the business can not be run by a distance. Ms. Andrea Deachman said that the Planning Board never asks if a person is on the premises 365 days a year. Mr. Giuda said that the question should be asked; he suggested that the Planning Board look at the State’s definition of “home occupation”. Mr. Giuda stated when the conversation appeared to be turning away from a favorable vote for
the couple, that Mr. Scott incorrectly terminated the conversation and that Mr. Scott “pushed” for the home occupancy. Mr. Giuda feels that the home occupation was granted incorrectly and that the couple should have to go before the Board of Adjustment.
Mr. Tom Jameson who was in attendance at the Selectmen’s meeting was concerned about the relationship between one member of the Board and the couple. He felt that this member should have recused himself from the vote. He felt that the “tone” of the hearing was set in the beginning. Selectmen Colbert asked the Planning Board members in attendance if they felt they were “cut off” or “pushed off”. Mr. Jameson felt that he was.
Chairman DeBold was in agreement that Mr. Scott did somewhat shorten the discussion and that should never have been done. Mr. Giuda suggested that the Board of Selectmen review the performance of the Chairman of Planning Board.
SUBJECT: Mr. Bob Mann
HIGHLIGHTS: Chairman DeBold advised Mr. Mann that he had called and invited Mr. Bob Cavacco to this evening’s meeting. He thought that the Administrative Order from NH Department of Environmental Services (“DES”) would have made Mr. Cavacco more active. Chairman DeBold said that Mr. Cavacco apparently has made a decision not to attend this evening’s meeting. Mr. Mann asked what actions the Selectmen were going to take regarding Marsh Pond Dam. Selectman Colbert said it is leaning toward removing the Town’s section of the dam. Mr. Mann stated that Mr. Cavacco does not want to give land easement in lieu of payment for his portion of the dam replacement/removal. Mr. Mann asked if the Board would send one more letter to Mr. Cavacco. The Board
Mr. Mann stated that at the last Conservation Committee Meeting the members discussed the maintenance of the 31 acre parcel that the Town owns located on Main Street. Mr. Mann asked the Board if he should put maintenance for that parcel in the Conservation Committee’s budget. Currently, Mr. Fred Shaw is mowing parts of the land and Mrs. Patterson’s sheep are grazing on the land. Chairman DeBold accepted Mr. Mann’s offer. Selectman Colbert stated that someone had approached him about leasing the land. This person would fertilize the land and cut down the hay. This person wanted a five (5) year lease. Chairman DeBold stated that a five (5) year lease was too long of a time. He said that land will perhaps be used to build a new school.
Chairman DeBold asked Mr. Mann what the status of the Plummer Property was. Mr. Mann said that the Conservation Committee received a variance and is waiting for the surveyor’s report.
SUBJECT: General Business
HIGHLIGHTS: Chairman DeBold met with the Chief Engineer at DES to discuss Marsh Pond Dam. He said after the meeting he is fairly certain that the Town will NOT be required to retain a professional engineer for a design of the removal of the Town’s portion of the dam.
Selectman Colbert stated he thought the Zoning Subcommittee was supposed to give the Board of Selectmen, Board of Adjustment and Town Attorney an opportunity to review any proposed changes. Chairman DeBold stated he thought that was the intent.
The Board reviewed a letter from Mr. Doug Hall regarding the signage at Super Shoes. Chairman DeBold asked Patty to send a letter to Mr. Hall acknowledging his letter and to draft a letter to Super Shoes.
The Board signed payroll and accounts payable.
Legal correspondence, mail and e-mail were reviewed.
The Minutes from August 30, 2005 were reviewed and approved.
Being no further business, Chairman DeBold adjourned the meeting at 10:00pm.
Chairman Richard DeBold