Town of Sutton

TOWN OF SUTTON

Pillsbury Memorial Hall

93 Main Street

Sutton Mills, NH 03221

PLANNING BOARD

Draft Minutes of the Regular Meeting

September 25, 2018

 

These Minutes Are Not Official Until Approved by the Board at its Next Regular Meeting

 

Board Members Present: Roger Wells, Chair; David Angeli, Jim Lowe; Glenn Pogust; and Julie McCarthy, Alternate

Board Members Absent: Debbie Lang, Vice-Chair, and Bill Curless, Ex-Officio Member

Staff Present: Diane Lander, Land Use Coordinator

Others Present: Sutton Residents John Herbert, David Hill, Cathy Popkin, and Sarah Woolverton; Laurel Boivin, Eversource Community Relations & Economic Development; Dane D’Arcangelo, Eversource Western Regional Arborist; Rich Little, TDS Representative; Tom Schamberg, Wilmot Resident; and Scott Whitcomb, Eversource Field Engineer

 

Voluntary Merger of Lots of Record

Request by Joseph and Elizabeth Jablonski to merge Tax Map 04-104-045 (3.77 acres) and Tax Map 04-115-056 (4.09 acres).  Both lots are owned by the Tron Brothers Revocable Trust.  Joseph and Elizabeth Jablonski are trustees.

Public Hearing – Public Hearing, continued from July 10, 2018 and August 14, 2018 meetings

Request by Eversource pursuant to RSA 231:158, Effect of Designation of Scenic Roads, to trim and remove trees on Keyser Street, which is a Sutton designated scenic road.

 

Call to Order Regular Meeting

Chairperson Wells called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Roll Call

Chairman Wells designated Alternate Board Member McCarthy to sit for Board Member Lang.

Chairman Wells asked that, to help Board Members and members of the public follow a discussion, please do not speak until recognized by the chair.

Approval of Minutes of the Regular Meeting of August 14, 2018

Chairman Wells asked if there were any corrections.  Being none, Chairman Wells asked for a motion to approve the minutes.

Motion: Board Member Pogust moved to approve the minutes of the August 14, 2018 regular meeting as presented.  Board Member McCarthy seconded the motion.  The motion carried 4 to 0 in the affirmative. Board Member Angeli abstained as he did not attend the August 14th meeting.

 

Voluntary Merger of Lots of Record

Request by Joseph and Elizabeth Jablonski to merge Tax Map 04-104-045 (3.77 acres) and Tax Map 04-115-056 (4.09 acres).  Both lots are owned by the Tron Brothers Revocable Trust.  Joseph and Elizabeth Jablonski are trustees.

Motion: Board Member Pogust moved to accept the application as presented.  Board Member McCarthy seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously in the affirmative.

Chairman Wells asked if there were any questions from the board.  Hearing none, he asked for a motion to approve the application.

Motion: Board Member Lowe moved to approve the application as presented.  Board Member Pogust seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously in the affirmative.

The Board Members signed the application form.  The Land Use Coordinator will send the form to the Merrimack County Registry of Deeds to be recorded.

Public Hearing

Chairman Wells summarized the process to be followed during the Public Hearing.

  • Members of the public must wait until the applicant has presented, the Board has asked the applicant questions, and the Chairman has officially opened the Public Hearing.
  • Additional comments and questions from members of the public are no longer allowed once the Chairman closes the Public Hearing.
  • The Board will then discuss and decide on the application.

Public Hearing continued from July 10, 2018 and August 14, 2018 meetings.  Request by Eversource pursuant to RSA 231:158, Effect of Designation of Scenic Roads, to trim and remove trees on Keyser Street, which is a Sutton designated scenic road.

Keyser Street

The Land Use Coordinator received an email from Jane Williamson, which had been forwarded to the Board Members and a copy of which is in each Board Member’s binder.

Chairman Wells read a letter from Sandy Reilein that had been received during the day.  In her letter, Sandy Reilein states she does not give her permission to take down the trees at the front of her lot.  Chairman Wells then commented that tree removal on a scenic road can require approval of both the Planning Board and the land owner.

Lauren Boivin, representing Eversource Community Relations & Economic Development, said that Eversource is not in the practice of relocating poles in order to not take down trees and still prefers the originally proposed plan calling for the removal of the large pine.  She then withdrew from consideration the two alternative plans to removing the large pine on Ms. Reilein’s property that were previously proposed and said that, if the Board denies Eversource’s request, the trees and poles will be left as is.

Board Member Pogust stated that zig-zagging the two trees would increase stability.  Lauren Boivin replied that the zig-zag was an alternate plan developed per the Planning Board’s request but now the focus is to fix the non-conforming pole and remove the one tree.

Chairman Wells asked, and the Board agreed, to open the Keyser Street Public Hearing.

David Hill asked if Eversource or the Board needed to determine if the tree is in a right-of-way or if it is in an easement.  Chairman Wells replied that was not needed.  Both the Planning Board’s approval and the land owner’s approval is needed if the tree is in an easement, and Sandy Reilein has not given her approval.  The Planning Board’s approval is needed if the tree is in a right-of-way and the Planning Board has not yet voted on Eversource’s application for Keyser Street.

Cathy Popkin asked if this was not a matter of integrity but rather a matter of compliance.  Chairman Wells replied that Eversource updates its rules, replacing existing rules with new best practices, and that it wants to take down a tree to put in a new best practice.

Hearing no further comments or questions from members of the public, Chairman Wells asked for a motion to close the Keyser Street Public Hearing.

Motion: Board Member Lowe moved to close the Keyser Street Public Hearing.  Board Member Pogust seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously in the affirmative.

Board Member Lowe asked for a clarification.  If the tree is in an easement, Sandy Reinlein not giving approval stops Eversource from taking down the tree.  If the tree is in a right-of-way (i.e., Town owned), the Planning Board makes the decision to allow or not allow Eversource to take down the tree.

Board Member Pogust summarized his position in an effort to provide specifics for further Board discussion.  He is inclined to vote against Eversource’s application for Keyser Street because there could be other ways to increase the spacing between the power and neutral lines, there is no real danger, and the residents oppose the request.

Board Member McCarthy asked what Eversource and/or TDS would do with the wire on the tree.  Chairman Wells replied that only the TDS line is rubbing on the tree and the Planning Board could suggest adding a sleeve around the wire.

Hearing no further comments or questions from the Board Members, Chairman Wells called for a motion to approve or not approve Eversource’s application for Keyser Street.

Motion: Board Member Pogust moved to deny Eversource’s application for Keyser Street.  Board Member Angeli seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was taken and the motion carried unanimously in the affirmative.

Chairman Wells summarized the Board’s primary reasons for denying Eversource’s application for Keyser Street.

  • The Board clearly felt the issue of the distance between the power line and the neutral line could be dealt with on the existing pole.  Furthermore, Eversource could not demonstrate that the only way to provide “acceptable” spacing between the primary and secondary lines on the newly replaced pole was to take down the large pine.  There are numerous alternative spacing arrangements on poles along Keyser Street, including newly erected replacement poles, and there is likely an alternative that would meet Eversource’s objective without requiring the removal of the large pine.
  • The Board did not see any imminent danger from the line rubbing against the existing tree.  The power line does not touch the tree, only the TDS fiber-optic cable rubs against the tree.  A preventative sleeve can easily be installed and there is no fire danger from the existing contact.
  • There was almost unanimous objection voiced by residents at the public hearing, including residents who would be directly affected by a disruption of service even if Eversource was correct in warning that the existing configuration would be more susceptible to disruption from falling trees than the proposed configuration that required the removal of the large pine.  A point of note, which may or may not be directly relevant, is that Sandy Reilein sent the Planning Board a letter denying permission to take down any trees on her property.

 

New Business: No New Business was brought before the Board.

 

Old Business: No Old Business was brought before the Board.

 

Other business that may legally come before the Board

Administrative

Updating the Driveway Regulations and the Zoning Ordinance

  • The Town’s Highway Department Driveway Permit application does not conform to the Zoning Ordinance or the recently updated Subdivisions Regulations.
  • Elly Phillips, Town Administrator, and Betsy Forsham will look into where specifically the regulations are not the same.

Discussion of suggested changes to the Conditional Use Permit application.

  • The Land Use Coordinator will revise the application and present it to the Board at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

Planning Board request to add reference to Zoning Ordinance re: Steep Slopes.

  • The ZBA agreed to adding a reference to Article XI at the end of Article II.L.1.  A back reference to Article III.L was not needed as is already in Article XI.
  • Motion: Board Member Pogust moved to add a reference to Article XI at the end of Article II.L.1.  Board Member McCarthy seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously in the affirmative.

Posting Notices of Decision on the Town’s web page and distributing the notice through the “News.”

  • The ZBA voted that the Town, if it so wanted to do so, could post ZBA Notices of Decision on the Town’s web site but without distribution via the News.  The Planning Board agreed to follow the ZBA: the Town, if it so wanted to do so, could post Planning Board Notices of Decision on the Town’s web site but without distribution via the News.

The Planning Board Rules of Procedure with respect to alternates will be updated as follows:

  • Alternate members may serve on the Planning Board as authorized by RSA 673:6 and participate as non-voting members.
  • Alternates may sit at the table and those who are not activated to fill the seat of an absent or recused member or who have not been appointed by the chair to temporarily fill the unexpired term of a vacancy may fully participate, exclusive of making, seconding, or voting on motions.  At all times, the chair shall fully inform the public of the status of any alternate present and identify the members who shall be voting on the application.

The Planning Board will now formally vote to accept an application when it is formally submitted to the Board.

The Planning Board is already complying with the NH legislation recently enacted.

The “New Resident” letter will help inform residents, especially new residents, about Town rules and regulations.  Chairman Wells will forward the letter to the Board of Selectmen.

The Board met David Hill, a 14 year resident of Sutton who lives on Roby Road.  He drove a school bus for the Kearsarge School District for 40 years and has been active on a board for community services in Keene.  The Planning Board Members encouraged him to submit a letter to the Selectmen if he would like to be on the Planning Board as an alternate member.

Correspondence

The following were noted by the Land Use Coordinator and copies are in each Board Member’s binder.

  • NHDES: Request for nominations for the New Hampshire Rivers Management and Protection program (RMPP).
  • Hazard Mitigation Committee: Elly Phillips, Town Administrator, will be the Town’s contact.  Board Member Pogust has volunteered to attend the meetings as the Land Use representative.
  • Wetlands Permit 2018-02173.  Gary C. Dellert, 170 Camp Kemah Road, Map 2, Lot 485-102: (1) repair existing concrete retaining wall along the shore, (2) removal of loose, deteriorating sections of retaining wall to provide stabilized foundation, (3) reface wall with 5” – 6” of concrete/gunite and rebar skeleton with no change in the length of the existing wall and to the existing height of concrete and decking, (4) complete construction behind wall by adding 1½”  crushed granite and replace old decking to height of current elevation.
  • Wetlands Permit By Notification.  Applicant: Richard D. Manuel, 44 Woodbridge Terrace, South Hadley, MA 01075.  Property owners and location: Joan and Richard Manuel, PO Box 584, South Sutton, NH 03273; Tax Map 02-490-166.  Demo and replace in kind as needed on existing grandfathered fixed dock.  Starting and completing in Fall 2018.
  • Wetlands Permit Application.  Update: Received notice the application was accepted.  Applicant: Wendy Weisiger, Society for the Protection of NH Forest, Concord, NH 03301.  Property owner: Jane Difley, President Forester, on behalf of the Society for the Protection of NH Forest, Concord, NH 03301.  Property locations: North Road & Mastin Road, Tax Map 05-14-369, 05-290-100, and 05-210-144.  The goal of this project is to restore & enhance instream aquatic habitat along two streams with the addition of instream large-wood structures on the Forest Society’s Black Mountain Forest.  Trout Unlimited and the Forest Society proposes to add approximately 132 large-wood structures along 1.88 linear miles of stream channel.  Large-wood structures will be constructed with a crew of 4-8 people.

Next Meeting.

The next meeting will be scheduled for Tuesday, October 9th.

Adjournment

Motion: There being no further business, Board Member McCarthy moved to adjourn the meeting.  Board Member Pogust seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.  The meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Diane M. Lander, Land Use Coordinator