Pillsbury Memorial Hall

93 Main Street

Sutton Mills, NH 03221


Tuesday June 9, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.


CALL TO ORDER: Roger Wells called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and called roll.


ROLL: It was determined that there was a quorum and the meeting could begin.


MEMBERS PRESENT: Roger Wells (Chair), David Angelli, Glenn Pogust, David Hill (alternate), Debbie Lang, Peter Stanley, Jim Lowe, Dane Headley (Selectman), Mike Tardiff and Katie Nelson (Central NH Regional Planning Commission)

MEMBERS ABSENT: Peter Blakeman



  1. Approval of May 12, 2020 Meeting Minutes.

David Hill asked if we could include page numbers on the minutes in the future. Chair Wells said that was possible.

IT WAS MOVED (Glenn Pogust) AND SECONDED (Debbie Lang) to approve the minutes of the Planning Board Meeting of May 12, 2020, as amended. THE MOTION WAS APPROVED. 




  1. Conceptual Discussion, 01-173-097, potential 9 lot subdivision of 99 acre parcel on East Sutton Road.


Karen Tuttle was there to answer questions. Chair Wells said he went to the site that day and had some helpful information prior to the presentation. He showed a yellow map and circled where Route 103 and Market Basket was in Warner. East Sutton Road connects to Eaton Grange Road. The road where the property is located is 18-20 feet wide of asphalt paving and no steep slopes. The property is 99-acres in size.  Chair Wells showed some photos of the property. It is primarily deciduous with some good sized trees. Using the town’s GIS map, Chair Wells showed where the housing lies in this area. There are single housing units and there are only steeper slopes at the back part of the property. There are no mapped wetlands but there is a stream running

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through it, however, so wetlands probably do exist. He does not believe the applicant will be going anywhere near these areas.


Karen said that Scott Frankiewicz, who works for NH Land Consultants did the drawings. Scott explained the lots on the map. In the front part of the parcel there are two large 6+ acre lots just south of the cemetery. Scott said that they are showing where they think there are wetlands, by using the topo maps. The second map was shown to prove out the conventional lot sizes. This shows 9 lots, all 2-acres in size or more. This would be a cluster subdivision. The lots on the top and bottom at the end of the road are just at two acres in size. Chair Wells suggested they check to make sure they have enough acreage considering the steep slopes. Mr. Stanley said they will have to minus wetlands, wetland buffers and steep slopes, which will show the net calculations for each parcel. He doesn’t believe it will be a problem, but that’s what they need to do.


Mr. Headley asked what setbacks were included for the wetlands they presumed to be present. Scott said it was drawn at 75’.


The third map shows a cluster with up to six units per building. One building has five units and one has six. A common area is included and then the rest is open space. Chair Wells wonders if the common area would be deed restricted open space. Karen did not know. Mr. Stanley said there is plenty of space to accomplish this if it was decided to have it so.


Mr. Pogust wondered how the ownership would work; would this be a condominium. Scott said it would be. There would be 1/9 of an interest of the land that goes with the development. Chair Wells said it doesn’t have to be a condominium. Depending on how they set it up, the road could be private or public.


The last map shows a condominium. This would create little lots around the houses. This is nine larger houses on a cul de sac road where there would be a defined open space. It would work best in this situation if they offered the homes with land fee simple.


Mr. Pogust asked the reasoning behind putting the houses together around the driveway as opposed to spreading them out in the buildable area. Mr. Stanley said the point is to have the main cut from the middle of the road and not look like houses just stashed along the road. It keeps it a more of a rural look. Chair Wells said they could make the cul de sac a little longer and that would make the houses further apart and the first two houses would be further away from the road.  Mr. Hill asked if the nine houses were on the two acres.  Chair Wells said in a cluster housing development, they are exempt from the 2-acre requirement.


Scott said that the lots would have to meet local regulations for lot sizing which the town doesn’t have. They still have to proof out wells and septic for each of these houses.


Karen said she doesn’t plan on building any of this. She owns the property and her grandparents Steve and Siri Johnson bought it over 80 years ago. They are buried in the cemetery on the property and her mother has since gone into a nursing home. They are looking to find a good use

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for the property. She was seeking information from the Planning Board as to what could be done with the property. Chair Wells asked for comments.

Mr. Hill said he liked the last option with the cul de sac but suggested elongating the circle.


Mr. Hedley agreed with Mr. Hill. This is what he would like as a homeowner.


Chair Wells told Karen that she could sell the land “wholesale” without any plans or approvals on it. What she is doing makes the property more valuable, but it is not required.


Mr. Pogust said he likes maps 2 and 4. They both create a nice little community.


Mr. Lowe said he prefers the cul de sac map. Before he moved to Sutton, this is the kind of community he lived in. He felt it was very comfortable.


Mr. Headley commented that 3,800 square feet would be appealing to older people who don’t want to deal with maintenance.


Mr. Angeli also likes the cul-de-sac. It could be tucked away and would be a nice little community. It feels more comfortable than the other three.


Ms. Lang said she prefers map #2. She shared that she was in a similar situation with some family land. She suggested trying to sell it wholesale. Times are changing and it is hard to second-guess what other people want to do with the land.


Chair Wells thinks it is important to remember that #2 is a buy-right plan. It is easiest to get approved but won’t be the least expensive to develop. It will be the most traditional. Checking with a realtor would help to figure out which would be more valuable. He would choose #4 but would rotate it to keep the homes on a more flat land. This might also make the lots a little bigger. He doesn’t think #3 would get approved by the zoning board because it is entirely different from the rest of the community in that area.


Scott thanked the board for the input.


Ms. Tuttle said someone approached her about separating the land into two lots which is why she had the first plan made up. Chair Wells said that that would be the least expensive plan to make. He said it is most similar to what is across the street. The second plan is more expensive because a road has to be built. #4 with some modification is a desirable hybrid.


Chair Wells said that the Conservation Commission may be interested in some of the open space.





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Master Plan Update

Mr. Tardiff said they are up to 139 responses in the Master Plan survey. They sent out over 900 post cards. The furthest post card sent was to Bermuda. This is a little better than the towns of Hopkinton and Canterbury. He encourages people to remind those they see to fill out the survey.


Mr. Hill asked if it were taxpayers or citizens who could fill it out. Mr. Tardiff said it was open to all.


Mr. Tardiff said next time they meet they will have a summary of the results and a review of the open-ended question answers.


Continued discussion of Master Plan Process – review Draft Outline.

They are looking to get a simplified outline which would serve as a framework to jump into. They are still working on the mapping. Mr. Tardiff said he and Chair Wells considered combining chapters 3 and 4. They were hoping to discuss their draft, modifying it, and considering the data they are including and deciding why they are including it.


Mr. Pogust asked if there was a logic to putting the hopes and goals in front of what is current in each of the chapters?  His mind is they would look at what they are and then look at what they want. Maybe it’s better to start with the ideal and go from there? Mr. Tardiff said they have done this in all different ways. He likes to finish with recommendations, personally. It is up to the town.

Chair Wells said the titles are important, as is the first sentence or two. What will grab people’s attention the most? He feels it is “this is what we are, and this is what we want to be.” He would prefer they use more lay terms. Instead of “Introduction and Goals” perhaps have it say, “Why are we the way we are?”


Mr. Hill said the graph for historic population was confusing to him. To another lay person this may give someone trouble. Mr. Tardiff said the theme is to simplify the data. It is supposed to support the story. Chair Wells said that this graph tells the story that historically, as people get older, they leave Sutton. There is no housing for young people that is affordable. Mr. Pogust suggested changing the X and Y axis to make it a little clearer to read. Chair Wells said a projection should be dashed or dotted. Ms. Nelson said that those projections should be taken with a grain of salt. They were using data from the most recent census, which was 2010. Chair Wells said he would be more inclined to deal with this data in a sentence. Take the diagram and simplify it by saying what it used to be, and what it is now, and what they need to get back to.


In the circle graph, Chair Wells thought they should have a way to show producers, non-producers and retirees. Mr. Tardiff said that 70+ is a large number. The median age is 42, which is high. Mr. Pogust said their largest segment of population is in the working age group, but they don’t work in the town; there is nothing for them to do in the town.


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Chair Wells asked what they do with what the graph says? Mr. Hill suggested having a comparison of this data using older information, to show how it has changed. Chair Wells said he would be interested in Warner and New London as comparison towns. The explanation of “what does this mean” would be helpful. Ms. Lang asked how this information was collected. Ms. Nelson said in between the regular censuses they send out a smaller census to a small percentage of each community. This is where this information is collected. It was thought that New London and Newbury have very wealthy retiree communities. Ms. Nelson suggested using Bradford as a comparison as it was a closer match to Sutton.


The Venn diagram was next to review. It was thought that the middle segment would be better if it were larger.


The following graphs were difficult to read, and it was too hard to follow each town’s path. Chair Wells said that Sutton is following the pattern of all the communities, they are just on the low end of the pattern. Some of the colors were also very similar and it was hard to determine which town belonged to which. It was thought to remove Wilmot. They could spread out the data set to be more years between to make it easier to read. The consultants said they would simplify that graph. Ms. Nelson said that a pie chart would look cool showing the breakout of the taxes. Mr. Lowe asked if there was a way to show what change policies can make in the movement of the lines.


Chair Wells asked if it was illegal to ask the school district to pay property taxes. Perhaps the other towns could help pay for this. Mr. Headley said he could find out. It does not work out to Sutton’s benefit to have the schools there. Mr. Hill asked if once the bond for the school is paid off, will the tax rate go down?  Mr. Headley said no one talks about that so he does not think that’s the case. Mr. Pogust said that there are other major factors in the budget that are adding to their taxes. Mr. Hill recalled hearing that once the bond was paid off, the taxes would go down.

Mr. Pogust said he did not think they could ask for taxes for the property the schools are using.


Chair Wells thought the persons per square mile was an interesting graph. Sutton is at the bottom of the graph again because they are rural. This is attractive to many. Chair Wells said that they want to convey that Sutton wants to stay rural and to have it mixed with young, middle-aged, and old people.


Master Plan Survey – next steps

Mr. Tardiff said they are thinking of combining chapters 3 and 4 and will keep asking ‘who we are.”  They would be mapping layers and who all the land use and conservation lands belong to. They need to decide what goes into the appendix. Chair Wells said they need to remember that what makes us a community is our natural, historic and cultural resources.


Mr. Tardiff likes the terminology they used in the survey: rural beauty, small town atmosphere, existing villages. Should they continue to use these as a theme in the plan?  Chair Wells said to use whatever is most catchy. Use words that will make people want to read more. Mr. Pogust


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said it is what makes the small-town atmosphere. Mr. Tardiff likes the symmetry used in the survey and likes the terminology. He likes the idea of keeping that theme.


Next month, they will talk about the survey results.

They will figure out what the information is saying, and they will talk about the mapping layers.

Chair Wells asked if they could take chapter 2 and do a rough draft write up of it. Mr. Tardiff said they would try to do this.





IT WAS MOVED (Glenn Pogust) AND SECONDED (David Hill) to adjourn the meeting.



The meeting adjourned at 8:54pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Kristy Heath, Recording Secretary

Town of Sutton