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Planning Board Minutes 07/01/2010
Chichester Planning Board
Minutes of Meeting
July 1, 2010

Members Present:  Chairman Thomas Jameson, Vice-Chairman Richard Moore, Ex-Officio Jeffrey Jordan, Richard Arell, Stan Brehm, Kevin Mara, Allen Mayville, Thomas Houle (alt), Mike Valotto (alt) and Jamie Pike, Secretary.

Chairman Jameson called the meeting to order at 6:35pm.

The minutes of the June 3, 2010 meeting were reviewed and a minor grammatical correction was made.  A motion was made by Mr. Brehm and seconded by Mr. Jordan to approve the minutes as corrected.  Motion passes.

Application Submissions:

Bethal Builders, LLC, Map 4 Lot 168, 136 Dover Road (Applicant: Signs4Jesus)

Fab Cusson of Signs4Jesus was present to speak on the merits of the application.

Mr. Cusson described the project in detail to the Board.  The applicant proposes a free standing electronic message board of 42.77 sq/ft and a 168 sq/ft onsite control room used to operate the sign.  Mr. Cusson explained that there is no need for a septic system or water supply as this is not a place of business.  The only traffic entering or exiting the property would be maintenance vehicles.  The current plan is to operate the sign over the internet from a home office.  The control room will be used to house the mechanics of the sign as well as electric, phone and cable.

Mr. Cusson was informed that in accordance with CZO Section 3.18 Outdoor lighting, electronic message boards are prohibited.  Mr. Cusson explained to the Board that he had referred to the site review regulations where in Section V. F. iii., electronic message boards that change at intervals no shorter than 15 minutes may be approved following a site review and public hearing.  It was recognized that the Lighting Ordinance originally adopted in 2004 provided this exception, however the ordinance was amended in 2006 to prohibit such signs.  This revised language was not adopted as part of the site review regulations.

The Board asked Mr. Cusson about the location of the ìbusinessî.  It is noted that signs are limited to on-site business locations. (CZO Section 3.07)  Mr. Cusson explained to the Board that Signs4Jesus is a registered business in the State of New Hampshire with an address 136 Dover Road.  It was explained that the business of Signs4Jesus is to erect and display messages of religious content.  As there was no activity occurring on the property, the Board felt that there was no business located at 136 Dover Road.

Member of the Board also brought forward that the proposal is located within the Commercial Village.  This district has strict architectural standards and an electronic message board, as proposed would not fit within the village character model.  Also, this district has a specified list of approved uses, of which this business does not seem to fall into.

After review, a motion was made by Mr. Mayville and seconded by Mr. Jordan to accept the application as complete into the jurisdiction of the Planning Board.  Motion passes.

Chairman Jameson opened the public hearing to allow for public testimony upon the application.

Abutters present:  Karen Towle of K. Towle Realty Trust, Map 4 Lot 166

Ms. Towle spoke in favor of the application as she felt it would embrace the character, add to the aesthetics and be an asset to the community.

Cara Lynn Torrey of 70 Smith Sanborn Road, spoke against the application as its approval would be precedent setting and the community cannot afford to look like the Las Vegas strip.  Ms. Torrey also expressed concern over the content of the sign and who would control such content, and felt that the rural character of Chichester would be destroyed.

Being no further discussion, a motion was made by Dr. Mara and seconded by Mr. Jordan to deny the application as presented whereas, CZO Section 3.18, C prohibits electronic message boards, and whereas, CZO
Section 3.07, A restricts signage to onsite business location only, and whereas, CZO Section 2.04, F does not expressly permit the proposed business.  Motion passes.

Preliminary Conceptual Consultations:

K Towle Realty Trust, Map 4 Lot 166, 126 Dover Road (Applicant: RV Solutions)

Karen Towle was present to speak on the merits of the matter.

Ms. Towle was present before the Board as she had received a notice of violation from the Board of Selectmen regarding the operation of an RV rental business from the location and the display or storage of more than 5 rental units upon the property.

Ms. Towle stated that the property is currently in compliance with the Site Plan approval, but there may be more than five (5) rental units on the property during the off season and when the units are not rented.  Previously the units were stored at another location, but do to economical constraints this location was abandoned.  Ms. Towle also explained that the rv rental business is conducted almost entirely on-line and that rarely a customer may visit the site to conduct a rental transaction.  Ms. Towle is requesting a 90-day stay on the enforcement of the zoning ordinance and site plan conditions to allow sufficient time to find a new location and vacant the current premises.  The Board directed Ms. Towle to schedule a meeting with the Board of Selectmen as this was not within their jurisdiction.

State of New Hampshire ñ DOT, Map 3 Lots 53, 58, 60 & 61, Dover Road (Applicant: Glenn Richard)

Glenn Richard was present to speak on the merits of the proposal.

Mr. Richard was before the Board on this evening to determine if Site Review was required upon the subject lots for the construction of a private storage garage.   The lots combined are approximately 3.6 acres and are encumbered by drainage easements following the reconstruction of Route 4.  

It was determined by the Board that a basic Site Review would be required.

Other Business:

Mr. Pike was asked to forward two zoning complaints to the Board of Selectmen regarding Atlantic Traders and Giant Landscaping for excess signage.
The Board reviewed two requests for information from the Department of Safety:

  • Northeast Landscaping, Fleet Inspection Station.  As the applicant would not be allowed to inspect other vehicles than their own, the Board recommended approval of the station license.
  • CAM Autoreposessions, Vehicle Transporter.  As the applicant has not applied for a home occupation permit, the Board does not recommend approval of the dealer license until further action has been taken by the applicant.  A letter will be sent to the applicant.
Being no further discussion, a motion was made by Mr. Brehm and seconded by Dr. Mara to adjourn the meeting at 9:25 pm.  Motion passes.

Respectfully submitted,

Jamie A Pike

                                                                Approved as written.

Thomas Jameson, Chairman

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