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Planning Board Minutes 12/03/2009
Chichester Planning Board
Minutes of Meeting
December 3, 2009

Members Present: Chairman Thomas Jameson, Vice Chairman Richard Moore, Richard Arell, Kevin Mara, Stan Brehm, Mike Valotto, Allen Mayville, and Secretary Jamie Pike.

Chairman Jameson opened the business meeting at 6:35pm.

Pursuant to RSA 673:11, Chairman Jameson appointed Mr. Valotto as a voting member to fill a vacancy for the purposes of this meeting.

The minutes of November 5, 2009 were reviewed and minor corrections were made regarding the statements of Mr. Brehm.  A motion was made by Mr. Brehm and seconded by Mr. Mayville to approve the minutes as corrected.  Motion passes.

The minutes of November 19, 2009 were reviewed and a motion was made by Mr. Brehm and seconded by Mr. Mayville to approve the minutes as written.  Motion passes.

Mr. Jameson reported to the Board that he met with the Budget Committee and the Board of Selectmen in regards to the FY 2010 budget proposal.  It was recommended at that time to reduce the legal services line from $3,000 to $2,500.  The Board had requested the $3,000 budget as a conservative amount in anticipation of the extended services needed in the coming season to review and receive opinion on the upcoming zoning amendments.  The budget as proposed only allows for approximately 18 hours of services over the course of the year.  It was the consensus of the Board upon the recommendation of Mr. Moore to draft a letter to the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee to support the proposed budget of $3,000 for legal services explaining it anticipated requirement and the future year’s budgets would be looked at closely and proposed appropriately in accordance with what the Board anticipates as its need for the ensuing year.

Mr. Pike explained that the Budget Committee and the Board of Selectmen are exploring the possibility of expanding the Administrative Assistant position from Regular Part-time to a Full-time position.  The Board was asked to prepare a letter of support of the expansion.  The consensus of the Board was that this expansion was appropriate as that since the position over the past 2 years has improved the process of the Planning Board greatly in the way of better reviews, more organized meetings, and the completion of more competent work.

The Board discussed the LLA procedure following a review of comment from Town Counsel.

Design Review/Public Hearing; Acorn Creek Properties, LLC; Map 3 Lot 32; Dover Road; Site Plan Amendment

A motion was made by Mr. Jameson and seconded by Dr. Mara to continue the Review and Hearing until the meeting of January 7, 2009 at the request of the applicant.  Motion passes.

Design Review; Stephen G Kehas and John L & Cheryl A Monroe, Lot Line Adjustment; Map 6 Lot 7 and Map 6 Lot 8a; Canterbury Road

Mr. Jeff Green, surveyor, was present to speak on the merits of the application.

Mr. Green explained the proposal in detail.  Currently Map 6 Lot 7 is 87.1± acres with an existing home, barn, shed, and garage with 800+ feet of road frontage.  Map 6 Lot 8a is 18.63± acres and is a non-conforming backland lot without any road frontage.  The intent of the plat is adjust the lot lines of the two lots to add a total of 7.883 acres to Lot 8a with the provision of 187.93 feet of road frontage on Canterbury Road.  The acreage of the lots after the line adjustment will be 26.2± acres and 79.2± acres for lots 8a and 7 respectively.  Lot 7 will remain a conforming lot and Lot 8a will be an expansion of it conformity providing some road frontage.

Mr. Green explained to the Board that the lot is becoming more conforming and is not expanding but rather decreasing upon its non-conformity.  Currently access to the backland lot is provided by a woods road.  The frontage proposed provides the maximum possible without the removal of existing building on lot 7.

Mr. Moore questions the legality of what the Board can and cannot do to take action on this application referencing previously received Town Counsel opinion.  It is the understanding of the Board from this opinion that the Board does not have the jurisdiction to approve a non-conforming lot with the less than required frontage, and that the applicant shall have to first seek a variance from the ZBA for the less than required frontage.

Mr. Green, in his professional opinion, does not feel that a variance is required or able to be sought from the ZBA on the grounds that it would appear to be an Area Variance to decrease the frontage requirement for the now non-conforming lot.  Currently the non-conforming lot has zero feet of road frontage, and questions his ability to ask for a variance to request less than zero feet.

It was further explained by Mr. Green that the only purpose for the Lot-Line-Adjustment(LLA) is to gain lawful access to the property.  Mr. Green referred to a previous ZBA case from 2007.  In this case there were 2 existing non-conforming lots with less than the required road frontage.  At that time the Planning Board upon Town Counsell opinion referred the applicant to the ZBA to seek a variance for the expansion of the non-conforming lots.  Upon a hearing by the ZBA, the members felt that Counsel opinion was incorrect and that the LLA was not an expansion of a non-conforming use.  

Excerpt of ZBA Minutes dated May 23, 2007:
“Ed [Meehan] also spoke with Chris Northrup from the NH Office of Energy and Planning who was very familiar with our zoning.  Under Article III, Section E.I. which states, “Where a lot of record at the time of passage of this ordinance does not conform to the area and frontage requirements, such lot may be occupied by any use permitted within this ordinance”, Mr. Northrup’s opinion is a non-conforming lot that is a lot of record wouldn’t need a variance and would not lose its lot of record status.  He feels that the Planning Board has the authority to grant the lot line adjustment.

In other words, a lot line adjustment to a lot of record does not make the lot lose its lot of record status, in Mr. Northrup’s opinion.  You may still have to adhere to setbacks and other zoning requirements.

Brent Moses stated that at his last Planning Board meeting Stan Brehm said he would make a recommendation to the BOA about his intent and that this could probably be taken care of without attending a BOA meeting.  From the beginning the PB didn’t know if they could take care of the lot line adjustment or if Mr. Moses would need to go to the BOA.

The BOA received a letter from the PB dated 4/6/07 stating they had a discussion with town counsel and it is the opinion of the Town than any change to size of a non-conforming or substandard lot would need a variance granted from the BOA.”

Upon the findings of the ZBA, the application was remanded to the Planning Board as a variance was not required.
Mr. Moore feels this case is quite different in nature from the previously referenced case as before both lots had non-conforming frontage.  

Mr. Green stated that the applicant does desire to change the use of the non-conforming lot.  The current use is a backland lot for agricultural and forestry purposes and that a variance would be needed to change the use to a lot for residential purpose before the issuance of a building permit.  Mr. Green spoke on many other similar types of LLAs that he has represented in many other Towns, and all were allowed by their Planning Boards.

The Board feels that they should go back to Town Counsel for further review of this case and clarified opinion the proper procedure of this application and if a variance is required to be sought from the ZBA, what type should the applicant seek.

A motion was made by Mr. Jameson and seconded by Mr. Valotto to continue the discussion until Monday, December 14th at 6:00pm to provide the opportunity to receive additional Town Counsel opinion.  Motion passes.

Discussion: Ed Dudek; Map 4 Lot 154; Site Development

Mr. Joe Wichert, surveyor, and Mr. Ed Dudek, were present to speak on the merits of the proposal.

Mr. Dudek owns an auto recycling business in Londonderry and desires to replicate such in Chichester.  The subject property was previously used to process contaminated soils.  The lot is approximately 20 acres and also features a sawmill.  It is also intended to convert the sawmill into a wood pellet processing plant.  It is understood that ZBA action is required for a use variance and the granting of a special exception as the property lies within the Commercial Village which was expanded in 2009 to include this parcel.

The developer intends to use the existing developed areas and retrofit them to the desired uses.  The sawmill will be used for the wood pellet plant and the area of the soil processing will be used for the auto recycling yard.

Currently Mr. Dudek’s Londonderry business is being certified as a ‘green’ yard and shall seek this same certification for the proposed Chichester location.  Mr. Dudek explained that being a ‘green’ yard, all fluids are removed from the automobiles in an enclosed location to protect the subject property and abutters from any contaminated run off.  The pellet processing procedure involves the processing of wood chips through a dryer and a hammermill and then pressing the resulting product into wood pellets.  The members of the Board brought forward concerns and made the applicant aware of the Chichester Noise Abatement ordinance.  

The processing plant is intended to operate 24 hours a day, while the auto recycling yard would only operate during normal daytime hours.

The current site is buffered by significant vegetation on all sides especially the front providing a visual buffer from the road.

The Board discussed with Mr. Dudek at length the basic operations of the facility.

Other Business:

1.  Impact Fee Study – Mr. Pike presented the Board with revised fee schedules from CNHRPC.  It was explained that the Fire Impact fee was removed as this fee was based on vehicles and RSA 674:21,V does not allow impact fees to be used or charged for the purpose of purchasing vehicles.  The Board was asked to review the materials and provide comment at the next meeting.
2. Workforce Housing Study – Mr. Pike presented the Board with a rough draft of the study to be used as a reference in the creation of a Workforce Housing Overlay District.  Mr. Pike presented an overlay district map prepared by CNHRPC in accordance with the discussion held at the November 19 meeting.  The boundaries presented included the area south of Bear Hill Road and North of a route extending from Pembroke to Epsom by way of Staniels Road, Horse Corner Road and Short Falls Road.  The area included in the overlay proved to include 52.25% of the residentially-zoned area of the Town and conforms to the requirements of the statute.  After much discussion amongst the members of the Board, it was decided to increase this district to encompass the entirety of the Town to provide fair and equitable availability for all land owners within the community.  It is clearly foreseeable that the ‘Workforce’ would desire to live close to Pittsfield, Concord, and Epsom as these areas provide easy access to the region’s job centers.  Mr. Pike also shared his findings that currently Chichester has 623 affordable homes in Chichester and that the anticipated ‘fair share’ requirement through 2020 totals only 613 homes.  Although it is conceptually proven that Chichester has met its regional ‘fair share’ of affordable housing for the foreseeable future and has met the terms of the statute, the Board desires to propose the overlay district with a trigger mechanism that would allow a developer to build such housing upon a finding by a court of proper jurisdiction that Chichester has not met its fair share of regional workforce housing.

3.  Mr. Pike is continuing to draft the requested zoning amendments for the Board and should have them available for review within the coming week.

4.  There was discussion concerning the letter to be drafted to Town Counsel in reference to the LLA previously discussed.  Mr. Pike shall draft a letter and prepare the minutes in the morning and seek additional comment from Board members via e-mail before sending such to Town Counsel.

Being no further discussion, a motion was made by Mr. Jameson and seconded by Mr. Brehm to adjourn the meeting at 10:20pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jamie A Pike

                                                                        Approved as corrected.

Thomas Jameson, Chairman

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