TOWN OF PELHAM

PLANNING BOARD MEETING

October 16, 2000

 

The Chairman, Victor Danevich, called the meeting to order at 7:45 pm.

 

The Secretary, Bill Scanzani, called the roll:

 

PRESENT:       Victor Danevich, Bill Scanzani, Selectman’s Representative Deb Casey, Planning Director Vince Messina, Alternate Gael Ouellette

 

ABSENT:        Jeff Gowan, Paddy Culbert, Henry DeLuca, Peter McNamara, Alternate Carl Huether, Alternate Richard Foote

 

Mr. Danevich informed that the Planning Board regretfully accepted the resignation of Alternate Doris Cvinar.

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Mr. Dave Brouillet, CLD appeared before the Board to discuss quality plan reviews, both residential and commercial.  He began by handing out a list of elements for subdivision and site plans.  The list was made up of four specific points: 

1)      Safety;

2)      Environmental impacts;

3)      Efficiency of service and livability;

4)      Economics. 

 

Mr. Brouillet began with safety.  He noted the components of safety, such as life safety equipment, and their response time.  He also discussed stopping site distances, errors in driving, traffic calming and proper signage.

 

The next point he discussed were environmental impacts, such as storm water runoffs and not increasing peak run off.  Mr. Brouillet used the drainage report for Jones Farm Road as an example of a well engineered road. 

 

Ms. Ouellette asked if CLD reviews developments and notes specific future natural causes which may affect a downstream load.  She inquired if CLD would be able to recommend downstream improvements of a potential problem.  Mr. Brouillet answered that CLD currently reviews during pre-development and also post-development.

 

Mr. Brouillet went on with the environmental impact discussion and said they try to maintain the wildlife corridors.  He also spoke of maintaining the existing topography by trying to minimize 20’ fills and 20’ cuts and use the land as it is laid out.  He also mentioned maintaining esthetic nature of a rural area and said it would be up to the Board to decide.

 

Mr. Brouillet discussed the third point, which was efficiency of service and liability.  He said that the issues, which generally arise from subdivisions, are average daily traffic counts and cul de sac lengths and if they would be temporary or permanent.  He said that traffic trends should be reviewed and how patterns shift when changes are made to the residential area.  Mr. Brouillet said that providing for pedestrians and recreation should be considered along with possibly providing sidewalks.  He said that the development of neighborhoods in relation to schools and parks should be reviewed.  He also said thought should be given to providing for social and community parties.  He ended by saying the plan should be consistent to the Town master plan and relate to the overall Town vision of itself.

 

Mr. Messina left the meeting (he returned at a later time, see notation below).

 

Ms. Casey inquired as to what guidelines in the Town’s master plan the Board should follow.  Mr. Danevich pointed out the master plan is dated from 1993.  Mr. Brouillet said the master plan tries to address, such as  how a community will be in fifty years and how to get to that point.  He said other issues to contemplate are the number of single family homes allocated versus duplex open space development with bigger buffer areas. 

 

Ms. Casey said that there are some aspects of the master plan that the Board doesn’t address.  Mr. Brouillet said one point on the master plan is Town water and sewage.  He noted that the 5,000 - 10,000 gallon cisterns are costly to install and they have a general life span of fifty years which the Town would have to replace at it’s own expense.  He suggested community wells and a better infrastructure for water and sewage. 

 

Mr. Brouillet’s next point was to provide parking to avoid disruption of traffic circulation.  He discussed on site parking for businesses and noted that the Fire Department would like access around the building for institutional buildings.

 

Mr. Brouillet said that having consistent architectural standards for site plans was important and noted that the stone cottage was an example of a good plan. 

 

The last point Mr. Brouillet discussed was economics.  He said this remains an important factor.  Points such as life cycle cost analysis, maintenance cost and roadway cost versus home affordability.  He noted there appear to be several families in Town with small children and said the social economic trend should be discussed.

 

Mr. Brouillet said that CLD performs a thorough review and will make the Board aware of all the facts to ensure the Board is able to make an educated decision.  He said in the pre-construction meeting they go through a two-page checklist therefore they can make recommendations for current and future problems if any. 

 

Mr. Scanzani noted that the Board’s continuity might be lost due to the change in Board members over time.  He said the other problem is the time given in which to make decisions.  He said from a residential outlook, the Town has always been single homes with 3-4 bedrooms.  He discussed the need for alternate housing styles and he gave two examples, senior citizens wanting to downsize and young professionals.  Mr. Brouillet said those issues would be for the Board to decide and noted that there would have to be appropriate buffers between the residential and commercial areas.

 

Mr. Danevich said he would like to highlight some of the points noted on the examples of plans provided.

 

Mr. Danevich began with the commercial plan and pointed out a few of the areas he appreciated:

1)  Locus map;

2)   Notes, which contained information such as the designation (light industrial), the hours of operation, HISS;

3)  Parking lot calculation (including a notation of what is required);

4)  Flood pane notes;

5)  Building setbacks (including a notation of the required footage);

6)  Exterior lighting;

7)  Planting conformances;

8)  Easement and right-of-ways implemented;

9)  Noting the location of wetlands and ponds;

10) Handicap access markings and designations;

11) No-cut zone prominently noted;

12) WCD and prime wetland designations were clearly noted;

13) Fencing designations;

14) Well radius deviation (on the commercial property) from 175’ to 100’ was noted;

15) Wetland notes and legend which specified the environmental service firm;

16) Stamps are clear (Planning Board, various surveyors etc.);

17) Guardrail detail (construction and what it will look like);

18) Septic and leach pump chamber detail (ball valve and check valves);

19) Detailed drawings and notes of the construction sequence and erosion control which show how to go about constructing;

20) Detail and description of the catch basin and mitigation pond;

 

Mr. Scanzani gave the following examples of items he appreciated on the commercial plan:

                        1)   Latest revision date;

                        2)   Detailed legend;

                        3)   Legend is detailed and well laid out regarding the topography;

                        4)   Detail of the road lines and how they will be angled, the fog line detail, where the existing guardrail will be removed and the radius of the curves entering and exiting;

                        5)   Description of distribution boxes;

                        6)   Detail makes approval process easier and more importantly the engineering

                              specifications for the person doing the construction;

                        7)   Culvert notations (which included information for the piping and proper base);

 

Ms. Ouellette appreciated the notes being included on the actual page, versus having the notes on a previous page.

 

Mr. Brouillet said the overall goal is to inform CLD of the problem areas upfront to alleviate questions later on.  He advised that CLD also enforces that proper construction is done using the correct materials.

 

Mr. Brouillet informed that, at certain times, representatives of design engineering firms don’t want their clients to bear the cost of extra designs until the Board decides what direction the plan will go.  He said often that level of detail is not provided unless specifically requested.

 

Mr. Scanzani said the Board hasn’t previously required interior detail, but felt a plan of this size those details should be required.  Mr. Brouillet believes those requirements may be submitted to the Fire Department but feels such detail would prove helpful.

 

Mr. Scanzani asked how the Board could maintain awareness of new technologies.  Mr. Brouillet said CLD could make recommendations and informed that regarding road construction, there haven’t been many changes.  He said once they receive the design information from the engineers they will review to check how proven the technology has been.  Mr. Scanzani noted a website (WWW.Smartroads.com) which informs how to incorporate certain new technologies.

 

Mr. Danevich moved on to the residential plan and gave the following examples of detail which he appreciated:

                        1)   Final stamps are legible and the preparer’s name is clearly indicated;

                        2)   Level of detail regarding the road crossing and WCD district;

                        3)   Indication of temporary construction easements and what is allowed;

                        4)   Certain off-site items were noted for reference; 

                        5)   Conservation notes for compliance are all listed on the plat (and he requested that this type of notation be included on future plans);

                        6)   Cross-section detail;

                        7)   WCD crossing and head walls;

                        8)   Level of detail in connection with Erosion control, sequence of construction, wetland impact etc.

 

Mr. Scanzani pointed out the level of detail with the cistern.

 

Mr. Scanzani said it would be helpful if the legends and abbreviations were on each page.  Mr. Brouillet cautioned that the more requirements per page might lengthen the pages for the set.

 

Ms. Ouellette asked if it would be helpful to give a legend classification for soil.  Mr. Scanzani said that there are notations, such as dashed lines.

 

Mr. Brouillet said in the past CLD has pointed out certain items, which need to be submitted, but the Board has approved, subject to CLD’s final approval letter.  Ms. Casey asked if Mr. Brouillet was recommending that plans not be approved until CLD’s final approval letter had been received.  Mr. Brouillet said the Board could go that course of action, or the Board could go in the course of action that if it’s in the subdivision regulations as a requirement and it’s not in the plan, then don’t accept the application.

 

Mr. Scanzani noted that the Board determines what is considered a completed application before accepting for consideration, such as not passing WSPCC approvals.  Mr. Brouillet said the developers at that point would feel as though they are being put through an unnecessary burden because they wouldn’t be able to receive certain permits until local approvals are granted.

 

Mr. Scanzani informed that in the past there was a checklist used to determine a completed application before the plan was submitted to the Board and the engineer was also given a copy of the checklist to review.  Ms. Casey said that would be a function of the Planning Director and believed that was a previous recommendation.  Mr. Danevich said it is in the process of being drafted.

 

Ms. Casey noted that the residential plan the Board was using as an example was last revised July 7, 2000 and therefore should have the regulation listed regarding the Health Ordinance for the wells.  Mr. Brouillet asked if it would be acceptable to list on the plan that all work must comply with all Town ordinances.  Mr. Scanzani inquired as to when BOCA was last revised.  Mr. Brouillet believed it was 1995.

 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

Mr. Danevich summarized the last WCD work session and listed the three areas to review:

                        1)   Text of the document needs to be updated and clarified;

                        2)   Setback buffers will be revised and tiered at 50’, 75’ and 100’;

                        3)   Applicability verbiage for buffer setbacks

 

Mr. Scanzani noted that the existing problem is that additional spacing is needed for septic, but the new ordinance also includes the building, sheds, etc.  and he feels this would create more non-conforming uses.

 

Mr. Danevich passed out the most recent document for Open Space Development.  He informed that they would now move to a public session. 

 

Mr. Danevich informed that Mr. Culbert would be taking over the cul de sac working group with Mr. McNamara and Ms. Ouellette.

 

Mr. Danevich said Mr. DeLuca would provide a Building Committee update during the next meeting.

 

Mr. Danevich noted that the CIP plan would soon be presented to the Board of Selectmen.

 

Mr. Danevich encouraged the Board members to review the Rules and Regulations document specifically:

                        1)   Definition needed for a Certified Wetland Scientist;

                        2)   Administrative change 15 days to now read  30 days prior to submitting to the Planning Director;

                        3)   Change references from a 90-day approval period to now read 65-day approval period;

                        4)   Change references from the plats being signed by just the Chairman, to read the Chairman and the Secretary.

 

Mr. Danevich suggested the Board members review House Bill 733, which detailed reporting requirements.  He then read a brief segment of the document.

 

Mr. Danevich discussed the dates for the upcoming meetings.

 

Mr. Messina returned to the meeting.

 

PLANNING DIRECTOR UPDATE

 

Mr. Messina informed that legal is continuing to review the WCD, and will respond to the two items:

                        1)   Impactivity;

                        2)   Sequencing. 

He also noted that legal has reviewed and incorporated the changes made to the open space zoning ordinances.

 

He informed that there was a highway safety meeting on October 13th, at which time he updated the safety committee with the changes made to the Valley Hill developments.  He also updated the committee regarding the potential future developments on Spring Street.  

 

Mr. Messina noted that the issues, which arose during the Safety Committee meeting, were relative to the traffic calming mechanisms.  He said there are limited options of what can be placed in traffic islands.  He informed there were concerns with maintenance and open space in cul de sacs.  He said the committee reviewed the traffic report and were very happy with the traffic pattern planning in the Valley Hill area.

 

Mr. Scanzani inquired about the issue of what an adequate emergency response time for from the center of Town.  Mr. Messina said it is in the process of being determined and should be complete within the next week.  Mr. Scanzani noted the importance for the determination due to the upcoming CIP meeting.

 

There was a brief discussion regarding possible emergency sub-stations versus road connectivity and how each effects emergency response timings.

 

Mr. Messina brought up the issue of generating a scope of work for Green Meadow Drive.  Ms. Casey said they would need more Board members present before the issue could be decided.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:28 pm.

 

                                                                                    Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                    Charity A.L. Willis

                                                                                    Recording Secretary