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


December 18, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.


CALL TO ORDER:   Derek Lick, Chair, called the meeting to order at 7:03pm.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Derek Lick, Betsy Forsham, Samantha Gordon, Katy Schneider, Mark Beauchemin, Zachary Brock, Peter Stanley


Chair Lick said there was a quorum.

Approval of Minutes

IT WAS MOVED (Betsy) AND SECONDED (Sam) to approve the minutes of November 20, 2019, as circulated. THE MOTION WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.

Master Plan Update – Roger Wells, Chair of Sutton Planning Board

Mr. Wells said 2005 was the last update of the Master Plan, so it is overdue.  In the past, a questionnaire was sent out to the townspeople to get their suggestions. There was not a lot of feedback. This time around, they are doing an online survey as well as meeting with as many local groups and committees that want to meet about this to get their feedback.

Mr. Wells said the Planning Board asked themselves three main questions to begin the process. He added that these are the same questions being posed to those they have been presenting to the various groups and committees within the town.  The questions are:

What is most precious to you about the town?

What is the most concerning to you about the town?

What should we be doing that we are not?

The Planning Board members thought on these questions over a span of time and tried to come to a consensus about how to answer each of these questions in the most concise way possible. One of their main goals is to keep the new master plan as concise as possible. Versions of the past master plan, many have felt, were unnecessarily long.

The Planning Board came up with the following answers to the questions:

What is most precious about the town?  Rural beauty, friendliness of citizens, small historic villages

What is most concerning about the town?  Increasing taxes, protection of environment, maintenance of town infrastructure

What should we be doing? Encouraging land uses that increase the tax base, encouraging more open space easements, providing incentives for appropriate growth

Chair Lick asked if it was the thought of the Planning Board that the town or Conservation Commission should be acquiring theses easements, or would the townspeople be encouraged to attain them.  Mr. Wells said both. 

Sam asked what an incentive for appropriate growth was. Mr. Wells said that the allowance of other uses besides residential in some areas, could increase the tax base. He said that perhaps a tax rate could be negotiated at a lower rate to also encourage the startup of a business in the town.  Mr. Stanley noted that their current zoning would never allow for the villages, as they are now, to be built. There was some discussion about the differences in Planned Unit Development, Planned Residential Development and Cluster Housing.

Chair Lick asked what the scope of the master plan was. Mr. Wells said it had to do with environmental, land use, economics, demographics, etc.  

Mr. Wells asked the Zoning Board to consider the same three questions. Discussion ensued to include the following:

Most precious parts of town:  Rural character, wild, undeveloped forested areas, accessible land for outdoor usage for the public, wildlife, maintenance of open spaces and agricultural land, accessibility to schools, high speed internet, community involvement and small-town events, historic buildings

Most concerning parts of town: Taxes, usage of ATVs on class six roads, maintenance of and provisions for necessary infrastructure to hold town events

What things should we be doing:  Encourage further building of villages with mixed use.  Encourage more trails, create a dog park in North Sutton, create a center of town to encourage a cohesive community, leverage exit 10 off of I-89 for a use other than residential. Find a venue for more musical events (like Musterfield), create an Economic Development Committee

There was discussion about workforce housing and the idea that adding this kind of housing increases the population of children who will need the school services. There was some back and forth discussion about whether or not this was true.

The Planning Board thanked Mr. Wells for coming to the meeting and discussing the Master Plan so far.


IT WAS MOVED (Sam) AND SECONDED (Betsy) to adjourn.



The meeting adjourned at 7:56pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Kristy Heath, Recording Secretary

Town of Sutton