Pillsbury Memorial Town Hall
93 Main Street Sutton Mills, NH
Sutton Mills, NH 03221


January 21, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.


CALL TO ORDER:    Chair Wells called the meeting to order at 7:00pm. Roll was called.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Roger Wells (Chair), Glenn Pogust, Bill Curless, David Hill (alternate), Debbie Lang, Peter Stanley, David Angeli, Jim Lowe


Chair Wells called the meeting to order and took a roll caller. It was determined that there was a quorum.


Approval of Minutes from December 10, 2019

IT WAS MOVED (Glenn Pogust) AND SECONDED (Jim Lowe) to approve the minutes of the December 10, 2019 Planning Board Meeting, as amended. THE MOTION WAS APPROVED.


Notice of Resignation of Julie McCarthy

Chair Wells asked David Hill, alternate, to sit in as a full member of the Planning Board that evening, in the absence of Ms. McCarthy. He then asked Selectman, Bill Curless, what the next step was to fill Julie’s spot in a more permanent way. Mr. Curless said that Mr. Staney would need to inform the Selectmen of the vacancy and inform them of Mr. Hill’s availability and desire to move from an alternate to a full member of the Planning Board.  Mr. Hill would then need to go to the Town Office to be sworn in. Mr. Hill was agreeable to this.

IT WAS MOVED (Roger Wells) AND SECONDED (Glenn Pogust) to ask Mr. Stanley to inform the Board of Selectmen to appoint David Hill as a full member of the Planning Board and complete Julie McCarthy’s term.  THE MOTION WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.


Mr. Stanley said that the language had already been reviewed by the board and was to be heard at that night’s meeting in a public hearing. Unfortunately, it was discovered that one line of text had been inadvertently omitted, so there will need to be a second hearing on February 4th. This second hearing has been noticed already.  The missing text is:

  1. B) non-conforming building structure 2, d. no more than a 20% increase in the gross footprint of the non-conforming building or structure is a condition of applying part 2.

Chair Wells opened the public hearing.

There were no members of the public present at the meeting.

The public hearing was closed.

IT WAS MOVED (David Hill) AND SECONDED (Bill Curless) to hold a second public hearing at 7pm on February 4th, to consider the complete zoning changes, as previously approved. THE MOTION WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.

Chair Wells and the Planning Board discussed the regular meeting date for February. It was determined that February 18th would be the next regular meeting so as to include Peter Stanley, who would be unavailable the last week in February.


Chair Wells said he spoke with the mapping company. There was supposed to be a report provided to the town, which he had insisted on in the contract. The intent of the report was to clearly explain for every map and its layers, where the data came from. This will help the town know how to re-do these maps if needed in the future. They’ve never received a report. Instead of doing a report, the map company said that they will incorporate this information into the mapping process. They will start loading the information the following week.

Chair Wells noted that the contract includes a statement about errors and omissions that are found in the maps provided by the company. He said he found some errors that he feels they are from data transfers that don’t communicate well with each other. He plans to make a PDF of the areas where there are mistakes he has found and send them in to the mapping company so they can make the necessary changes. The contract states that these changes will be made at no charge. Chair Wells said he anticipates spending the next several weeks on this task.

The layer in the mapping program called “Buildings” didn’t seem to be very useful and Chair Wells wasn’t sure it was needed. He had wanted to use this feature as part of the master plan and their discussion of the property lines and villages. However, it is costly to have it updated ($25,000), so he would like the board to agree not to move forward with the update.

Mr. Pogust felt the map with hand-drawn representation of the lot lines that Mr. Stanley had put together was good enough.  Chair Wells said that this was fine but showed that some of the lot lines were incorrect on the maps but this was OK as it was still a close representation.  Mr. Stanley said even if they chose to update the maps through the company, the lot lines would still not be 100% correct.

It was the unanimous consensus of the Planning Board to not move forward with the $25,000 upgrade to the mapping program.


Sutton Mills Village

Chair Wells said they need to decide how deep off the roads they should go when creating the zones. Mr. Pogust said if the zone goes out to 114 it would attract development away from the villages. Don’t they want to make development come into town?  Mr. Stanley said one of their goals in any village or mixed use, they are going to need some minimal amount of parking, and not towards the street. They’ll want it behind the businesses if possible. If they don’t have the depth they will need to create it in that area to accommodate parking, or they need to create some kind of language in the zoning for the other zone that remains that by special exception they can extend a parking area into it.  Chair Wells said they will want some relatively flat land for this. He identified a spot on the map where development could occur. He asked how the Planning Board felt about the lines he had suggested for mixed use development. It was noted that spot zoning wasn’t allowed, so they need to create a significant area for the zoning.

Mr. Pogust said if it makes sense to go out towards 114, they should. Mr. Stanley advised that to the State, there is nothing between a wetland and a filled wetland besides money unless there is a conservation easement on it. Mr. Pogust said if they want to promote the villages, they should keep the mixed use closer to them.  A different kind of business outside of the villages would need to be approved by the ZBA. Chair Wells and the Planning Board discussed possible separations of zones on a map. There was discussion of moving around conserved land and wetlands. Lot lines were considered and rough zones were drawn. Peter said that the lines of the zones can be changed down the road. This is not permanent.

South Sutton was reviewed next.  Similar discussion was had to determine the zones.  Mr. Curless remarked that the South Sutton Village has a lot more land available than the other villages. Mr. Lowe asked how they envision this process going forward. Are they going to get pieces of land and market them to businesses?  Or do they expect people to just come and decide to move their businesses into town on their own. Chair Wells said he thinks that the Town needs to have an economic development committee to work on promoting the multi-use areas of the town. Mr. Stanley said they will need to come up with some templates for acceptable appearances of buildings in the areas so it continues to look quaint/rural etc.  Chair Wells suggested picking one or two sites and come up with a pretend plan. Mr. Stanley said mixed uses will be permitted subject to the design restrictions that are established.

Mr. Stanley said once they agree on the conceptual zoning boundaries, he will have the maps re-made to better communicate their ideas to the public.

North Sutton Village was reviewed next. Similar discussion was had to determine the zones. It was noted that there are some large buildings that could be transformed at some point, into businesses and mixed uses.

Blaidsell Lake Village was the last map to review.  There are some steep slopes in this area to avoid.

Chair Wells said the maps would be sent to the members of the Planning Board. He suggested that board members take some time to drive around where the lines are proposed and see if they are happy with them. Think of the arguments that may come up. They are proposing the allowance of mixed use which will include residential and other uses. These other uses will need to be made clear. Chair Wells said there need to be incentives for someone to go through the process to bring business into the town. Mr. Stanley said he would like to create language that references “what’s there” and not arbitrary lot lines. (?)  He suggests looking at what they have that they like the look of already and try to promote this in the language.

Chair Wells asked the board to review the document he had sent which asked them to consider what the rules of the village zones should be. There were topics covering permitted uses, lot requirements, parking requirements, historic compatibility requirements, historic conservation incentive, site plan requirements, submission requirements, application procedures, and definitions. He wished for input from everyone at the next meeting. He thought they should come up with definitions for the 10 permitted uses referenced.

It was noted that the definitions and requirements can be waived by the Planning Board if the applicant shows how they could work outside of them in a way that would be acceptable. Mr. Pogust said a variance can always be granted from the ZBA if the right circumstance came along. There is room for that.

Once the maps are cleaned up and the suggested regulations as well, Chair Wells said he will give them to the consultant to have them work them into ordinance language.

At the February 18th meeting, this should be cleaned up and the consultant will be there to answer their questions on what can be and needs to be presented in the master plan.

Chair Wells said that the master plan meetings are going well. He and Mr. Stanley agreed that some common themes are the villages, taxes, and the rural character of the town. Chair Wells said he wondered if they should meet with the police chief, road agent, and welfare agent to get input.  Would it be worthwhile?  Mr. Stanley said it would be difficult to get them all together at once, but their input would no doubt be helpful.

IT WAS MOVED (Jim Lowe) AND SECONDED (Glenn Pogust) to adjourn the Planning Board meeting of January 21, 2020. THE MOTION WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.

The meeting adjourned at 8:20pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Kristy Heath, Recording Secretary

Town of Sutton