Pillsbury Memorial Hall 

93 Main Street 

Sutton Mills, NH 03221 



    DRAFT Minutes for Tuesday January 9, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. 


CALL TO ORDER:  Chair Pogust called the meeting to order at 7:00pm. He noted there was a quorum and took the roll.  


ROLL: Glenn Pogust (Chair), Roger Wells (Vice Chair), Chuck Bolduc, Jason Teaster, Christine Fletcher, David Hill, Mike McMannus (Select Board) 

ABSENT: Kristin Angeli, Peter Blakeman 


ALSO PRESENT: Joanna Murphy, Mark Rosenthal, Lee Booker, Dan Rahilly, Cathy Popkin, Jane Williamson, Beth Hoyt-Flewelling, Michael Acerno, Sara Lamott, Josh Grover, Peter Stanley, Sutton Land Use Coordinator. 


Case 2023-12: Sossong Driveway Permit  

This was an application that was continued from the November meeting. The Town has not heard anything on this application since the last meeting and no one was present on behalf of the applicant. There was therefore nothing to vote on or continue, so a new application would need to be submitted to the Town by the Sossongs for further discussion/decision.  


Second Public Hearing on the District Overlay Meeting 

Chair Pogust said that a public hearing on the topic was held in December. Town Counsel has indicated that there was a section in G 4, section 8, which had stated that appeals from the Planning Board would go to the Zoning Board of AdministrationAdjustment. This had to be amended because this is not the step that is permitted, but rather the only way to appeal is to the court system directly. Besides that change, the only other change is in the preamble to say that the purpose of the Ordinance is to “enhance” the high quality neighborhoods in the villages as opposed to “creating” high quality neighborhoods.  


Chair Pogust said the Board has heard similar objections  repeatedly in prior hearings. He wouldn’t cut anyone off, but he did not see the need to hear the same things again at this hearing involving the amendment.  


It was moved by Jason Teaster and seconded by Chuck Bolduc to open the floor to public comment. The motion was approved unanimously. 


Joanna Murphy said she has been to two meetings about the overlay district proposal previously. The lot size of two acres and 250’ of road frontage required in the villages should keep the rural character of the villages and keep the environmental integrity of the town. From 1980 to 1990 the population in Sutton increased by 70%. In 1987 these changes to lots size and frontage were put in place to slow growth and lessen the stress on natural resources. She said the 2018 Sutton Conservation strategic plan states that development pressures have been maintained and that future development will need to consider the Town’s community character. Joanna thought the suggested changes were irresponsible and reckless and research needs to be done on a case to case basis for each property. The Planning Board has had 18 years to implement an aquifer protection overlay district and has not. Additionally, a wetlands overlay district should have been created, and both of these should have been done before this village overlay district was suggested.  


Joanna thought a survey of those in the town should have yielded more results before the 2021 master plan was created. She said in 1999 when a survey was sent out about the upcoming master plan, the Town received a 32% response. The latest survey only got a 16% response after two ads were put in the paper and the survey was only available to those who have a computer. In the past, each chapter was reviewed by the public and then hearings were held before the entire plan was approved. She would like to table the entire thing, and address the overlay districts that should have been done, based on the 2005 Master Plan (wetlands overlay district plan and aquifer protection overlay district). This will help determine where development is appropriate.  


Joanna said she got a lot of signatures at the Transfer Station about this issue and from people who didn’t even know the discussion was going on. She was against increased density.  


Josh Grover said he echoed Joanna’s statements and thought the plans seemed very poorly thought-out and needed more input from the community.  


Jane Williamson requested that the article be tabled and not go forward on the March vote. Chair Pogust said the ordinance as drafted does not by itself affect any particular property in Sutton. It will only have impact on properties in a village district at a later date if an overlay district is approved in the future. The Planning Board is proposing a set of  rules to be used when a village overlay district is proposed, subject to public hearings and comment which then goes to Town meeting to be voted on. Jane thought that Chair Pogust’s comments were contradictory. Chair Pogust said when he refers to the Master Plan, it is essentially a guide, not a set of rules. The Zoning Ordinance is voted on by the Town and nothing in the proposed ordinance creates a village district. Everything will be subject to comment and no village overlay district will be created until it is approved at Town Meeting. Jane thought there was a definite problem with communication. Chair Pogust said the Village Overlay District doesn’t exist until someone maps it out and it is presented at public hearings and is voted on at Town Meeting. Jane thought that a lot of changes had been made between December and that evening. Chair Pogust said that they have not changed anything. But the Planning Board decided at the last hearing in December to withdraw their village overlay district proposal for now. There is a long sequence of events before anything involving a particular village district overlay can be put into place.  


Jane felt the Planning Board was being rude to them and thought the proposal could cause many negative issues in the villages. She thought Chair Pogust was pro-development and that is why he is in favor of these ideas. Chair Pogust disagreed. Jane didn’t like the suggestion of cul-de-sacs on the rendering of possible development in the villages. Chair Pogust said that was just a suggestion of something that someone could do with their property. Jane said she didn’t know why everything had changed between December and now and she didn’t know what the hell the Planning Board was trying to do.  


Chair Pogust said that if people don’t understand things, there is no reason why they cannot simply ask members of the Planning Board or the Land Use Coordinator, who is available every day. He said they aren’t doing anything in secret and are more than happy to talk about these issues when they see each other in town, etc. Jane said she didn’t feel as though they could trust the Board. Chair Pogust said he felt sorry that Jane felt that way.  


Cathy Popkin commented that it was said that the Master Plan doesn’t identify overlay districts, but it actually does. Chair Pogust said the fact is that the villages already exist in the town, they have small lots and low road frontage. All they did in the Master Plan was to identify where the villages were located. The Planning Board then came up with a proposal for one district and there was concern that Sutton Mills seemed to be “targeted” and so they took that off the table. The village overlay district would be delineated later on and it may look completely different. Cathy added that she didn’t think the Planning Board was being diabolical. However, she felt the timing of this wasn’t ideal. What they want to do is to create a mechanism by which they can apply the guidelines to a district, many times over. She didn’t feel good about that. Chair Pogust said the only places this could be done are the existing villages and they have opened it up to all the villages because people were anxious about the Board focusing only on Sutton Mills. He reminded everyone that before any further development could happen in any of the villages, there would be a list of requirements that have to be met and studies done and permits acquired. It would not be easy.  


Lee Booker said he was confused; is the current ordinance on the website? Chair Pogust said it was and explained how to get to the ordinance easily from the home page of the Town’s website. He offered that it is also printed on paper and available at the Town Office.  


Joanna said the Planning Board is talking about four villages. People from North Sutton, South Sutton, Blaisdell Lake and Sutton Mills signed her petition. Everyone feels that those areas are already dense. The Board is basing their decision on a survey taken by only a few people, during Covid. She said the villages don’t want this. She would like the Board to consider tabling the vote. They moved there for the rural character. There are a lot of things that need to be reviewed and more public input and another survey is needed before they move forward with anything. 


Chair Pogust asked if anyone else from the public wished to comment.  He told the audience that once the public comment period was closed there would no more opportunities to speak. No one asked asked to be heard. 


It was moved by Roger Wells and seconded by Jason Teaster to close the public comment portion of the meeting. The motion as approved unanimously. 


Chair Pogust said that the Town mailed out a postcard about the survey of the Master Plan to every property owner in 2019; it was made available. They also had advertisements and hearings on the subject.   


Roger said he understands that the citizens are upset. However, there have been misrepresentations made that evening and he said they don’t need to get into what is going on in the Country already and yelling at each other about things that are not facts. Someone said that the lots are all to have only 75’ of road frontage; that isn’t true.  Someone said that natural features have not been taken into account; absolutely not true. The plan he drew was to show what might be possible if there were steep slopes, wetlands, floodplain, and conservation land. That is how it was done so they weren’t hiding anything. They also said they didn’t think all of this would happen as not every owner would want to use the opportunity to develop or subdivide their property. If the citizens are suggesting that the kinds of things the Planning Board is proposing should go somewhere else, aren’t they then impacting that other rural area? Another important point raised in the public comments was the protection of the historical nature of the villages. Under the current ordinance, that cannot be done. A conditional use permit has been proposed to try and maintain the historic character of the villages; these are included in this new ordinance. Right now, people are allowed to build whatever they want in the villages. The Planning Board is proposing some control over what possible development would look like. If someone has a large piece of property and wants to stay in the village and cannot afford to, they may wish to subdivide and sell a portion of their property to enable them to stay in their home. The Planning Board tried their best to present the facts honestly and clearly although he knows some members of the public don’t agree.  


Regarding the Master Plan, Roger said they got 195 responses from the survey, but also met with 10 different organizations in the town, got their input and went back to them to show them how they had made the changes requested. He doesn’t know a better way to have done this and he doesn’t want to fight. He thinks a number of the people objecting to the proposed ordinance don’t understand and it would behoove them to meet with Peter Stanley, Land Use Coordinator or someone from the Planning Board to get a better understanding. Ultimately, everyone will show their feelings on voting day.  


David Hill thanked Joanna Murphy for the information she presented that evening which he felt was more positive than the comments she presented at the Board in the past.  


Chuck said he is a resident of Sutton Mills and has been working on this amendment for a long time with the Planning Board. This overlay district, to him, represents a set of rules that would allow Sutton Mills to continue existing. This option for residents of village districts, (which are not yet defined), gives an opportunity for development in the future that would keep in tune with the character of the district, such as providing living spaces for elderly parents. From a conservation perspective, denser development in a few areas is better than developing a bunch of two-acre lots in big, wide open areas. He loves their rural character and if he had to see a couple well-designed houses that fit in with the character in Sutton Mills, this ordinance allows them to put some guardrails on that, which is good.  


David said he has heard people ask to “table” this. The Board has worked on this for well over a year and back even further to the latest Master Plan. Every meeting they have is open to the public so they have the right to sit in and hear what is going on. Chair Pogust added that people can approach members of the Board outside of a meeting to discuss and ask questions as well. David said that the second or third time they got objections to the Sutton Mills overlay district, they had a motion to remove consideration of the Sutton Mills designation of the overlay district. The time that has been put into these guidelines that would protect any village overlay district, should be voted on. There won’t be 20 new homes in Sutton Mills. There has been a lot of misinformation spread about the purpose of this overlay district. Input will be welcomed from the public over a long period of time before anything is designated as a village and an overlay district is put upon it.  


Chair Pogust said he has read a lot of Planning Board minutes going back to the late 80’s and 90’s. In the late 80’s people were coming into the town and seeking approval of massive subdivisions. 76 lots on Corporation Hill were proposed, for example. That is the kind of development people were talking about. If they don’t do something to create some varied options, the Town will be nothing but 2-acre lots with big houses on them, owned by people who aren’t even part of the community. They are people who won’t live here year-round.  The villages already exist.  The Planning Board is trying to create different options for people and their properties that provides for diverse housing erent . .  


It was moved by David Hill and seconded by Roger Wells to put the amended ordinance on the ballot. The motion was approved unanimously. 


A roll call vote was taken. Michael: Yes, Christine: Yes, Chuck: Yes, David: Yes, Jason: Yes, Roger: Yes, Glenn: Yes 



Case 2023-11 Seminara Conditional Use Permit 

There was no one there from this case and so there was nothing to vote on or address, and it was concluded that the applicant will have to re-apply and re-notice. 


Approval of Minutes 

Draft Meeting Minutes of December 12, 2023 


It was moved by Chuck Bolduc and seconded by Roger Wells to approve the minutes of December 12, 2023 as circulated. The motion was approved unanimously. 



Chair Pogust said he has spoken with all the Planning Board members to let them know that Dane Headley resigned from the Select Board which then left an opening on the Select Board and on the Planning Board for an ex officio member. He was asked to fill Dane’s position on the Select Board until Town Meeting in March and if he liked he could run to fill out Dane’s Select Board term. Jason has agreed to take the position of Interim-Chair to fill out Glenn’s term until the Planning Board has its annual election of officers in April. Chair Pogust said he will step down as Chair of the Planning Board and will continue being a regular member of the Planning Board until the time he is sworn in as a Selectman. At that point, he will then sit on the Planning Board ex officio. 


With Chair Pogust stepping down as Chair,  vice-Chair Roger Wells took over as Chair of the meeting and asked if anyone on the Planning Board would be willing to step into the Chair position in an interim role. Jason said that he was willing to serve and none of the other members asked to be considered as Chair. 


It was moved by Chuck Bolduc and seconded by David Hill to nominate Jason Teaster as the Interim Chair of the Planning Board. The motion was approved unanimously.  


Gilbert Subdivision – Signing of the Mylar 

Peter said there had been an issue with lot #3. Conditions of approval required having a shared driveway. The owners have created two bounded areas; one that is shared with lot 2 and 3, and accesses a second easement area utilized by lot 3 over lot 2. Easement language for maintenance has been put into place and the condition of approval requirements have been satisfied.  


The Mylar has been updated to show this information. Subsequent easement documents will be recorded prior to the recording of this Mylar. The Board signed the Mylar, starting with Jason Teaster, Chair. 




Chair Teaster adjourned the meeting at 8:05pm. 



Respectfully submitted, 


Kristy Heath, Recording Secretary 

Town of Sutton