TOWN OF† PELHAM
PLANNING BOARD MEETING
August 21, 2000
The Chairman, Victor Danevich, called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Mr. Scanzani called the roll.
PRESENT: ††††††††††† Victor Danevich, Bill Scanzani, Paddy Culbert, Henry DeLuca, Alternate† Gael Ouellette,† Peter McNamara, Selectmen's Representative Deb Casey, Panning Director Vincent Messina.
††††††††††††††† †† †††††††††††† Jeff Gowan arrived shortly after the meeting started.
ABSENT: ††††††††††††† Alternate Michael Soby, Alternate Carl Huether, Alternate Richard Foote, Alternate† Doris Cvinar.
Victor Danevich announced that Mike Soby, has stepped down and has been re-appointed as an alternate through his normal term expiring at the end of March 2001.†† Peter McNamara has taken Mr. Soby's place and will serve as a full time Planning Board member at a voting capacity for a term expiring through end of March 2001.
Victor Danevich started the meeting by introducing CLD to discuss what constitutes a plan as complete for acceptance by the Planning Board.† Mr. Messina added that he wanted to make clear what CLD's capabilities are and the broad range of services they provide.
Dave Brouilett of CLD introduced Tom Sommer, also† of CLD.† Mr. Brouilett handed out brochures and a checklist (approx. 10 pages) of everything CLD looks for in a plan.† The checklist consists of the type of work they do in surrounding towns that give them a good range of understanding the subdivision regulations. Typically one of the biggest issues is drainage.† CLD checks calculations and drainage reports.† Once they do, the Planning Board reviews the whole package such as the† plans and drainage report as well as traffic studies, site distance issues, capacity issues, environmental group and highway group.† Once accepted CLD makes sure that these things are adhered to and a pre-construction meeting is set.† During construction, inspections are done at certain junctures and after any significant rainstorm.† The debated issue of enforcement is something that Mr. Messina and CLD will discuss.† In addition CLD will do a bond estimate for the town based on average unit prices.† Finally a recommendation is made to the town as to whether or not to accept the plan.† CLD only makes recommendations; the board makes the final decisions.†
Mr.† Danevich† started the discussion with regard† to the shortened time frame of† 65 days for final approval.† Mr. Messina was asked what the current process is for a plan to get on the current agenda.
Mr. Messina† spoke of† two types of subdivisions.† The one or two lot subdivision concerns are generally lot line, lot shape, lot sizing,† very basic not technical.† He said there are no requirements for† traffic impact studies,† detailed drainage analysis or economic impact studies.† He went on to say† the next level of subdivisions† is of substance, such as ten lots.† Mr. Messina said one of the changes made is at the preliminary when the ten lot is passed to CLD.† Mr. Messina pointed out the gray areas and when all the
necessary studies such as economic and environmental (specifically wetlands) would take place.† Mr. Messina advised that CLD's checklist is primarily administrative functions.† Phase one is the preliminary approval and recommendation to the board if the plan should be accepted for consideration.† Phase two is after the plan is accepted.† Mr. Messina further informed that CLD would do a detailed analysis.† He went on to say, as an example, if CLD and an engineering firm use different modeling schemes but end up to be similar, then somehow didn't work, it's not expected of CLD to make engineering changes.† The engineering firm would correct the problem.†† Mr. Messina then reviewed what would transpire during a pre-construction meeting based on CLD's checklist.† Mr. Messina said the board would receive the final engineering review of the plans done by CLD (subject to state approval), design verification by CLD, bond checks, and for verification, the developer will sign the checklist.† He stated the next step is road construction to be monitored by CLD.† Mr. Messina ended by saying there would be scheduled and unscheduled inspections and he has the utmost confidence in what CLD recommends.
Mr. Danevich reiterated the three phases of plan process:
††††††††††††††† 1) prior to board taking jurisdiction
††††††††††††††† 2) once board has jurisdiction (CLD's involvement)
††††††††††††††† 3) once plans approved††
Mr. Danevich said he would like to discuss when a plan would go to CLD and when it wouldn't.† Also, he would like tighter control on the pre-checklist.
Ms. Casey thought that some of the discussion should have focused on financial issues.† She gave an example, such as, if someone with 10 lots is to go through CLD, why isn't someone with 5 lots required to also.†† Ms. Casey also wanted to know why the town is picking it up.
There was a discussion of who picks it up.† It was revealed that historically, for all the preliminary , the town has.† In the case of a five-lot subdivision, the risks would have to be reviewed.† Ms. Casey then asked† if there are no risks why shouldn't they go to CLD.† Mr. Messina answered by saying if there was very little question the checklist would be reviewed and there would be no engineering verification at that point.
Mr. Danevich likes the detail of checklist and would like to further discuss the timing of completing an application within 15 days.† Mr. Sommer (CLD) said that other towns note submission deadlines on a calendar.† Mr. Messina advised that his office utilizes a calendar of dates noted for a deadline for submissions, which provide for a† 5-day review period and a 10 day notification period..†
Mr. Culbert questioned the phases and stated that in the past the Planning Board required all information up front.
Ms. Casey asked if the town set the 15 days and if it was normal for other towns.† Mr. Sommer (CLD) stated that he sees 20 days in most towns and believes that the town sets it itself.† Mr. Messina added that it is in the subdivision regulations.
Mr. Danevich said that the review of the checklist is administrative and would like better assistance in reviewing for completeness prior to being placed with the Planning Board.† He then asked what CLD's turn-around time is for a set of plans.† Mr. Sommer (CLD) answered that they usually would like to have them for a week.† Mr. Danevich asked if five working days were all right.† Mr. Sommer (CLD) indicated that in this climate they would like two weeks.
Mr. Culbert said that 15 days used to be adequate, but there weren't many plans coming through.† He said he would like to see at least three weeks.† Mr. Sommer (CLD) agreed and said they would like to see a minimum of 15 days.
Mr. Danevich then interjected that he would like to discuss:
††††††††††††††† 1) The process/time frame
††††††††††††††† 2) Content
††††††††††††††† 3) Who does that with discretion to #1.
Mr. Messina then stated that RSA 676:4 part 5† provided for the 15-day minimum.
Mr. Sommer (CLD) said in the ideal situation they typically give the plans/checklist to a project engineer/Jr. engineer to go over the sub-regulations, then he would review.† He added that at the minimum, they go over everything in the subdivision regulations as well as the good practice type of things.
Mr. Scanzani stated that some things in zoning are not quite in subdivisions.† He asked that those things be added.† Further, Mr. Scanzani asked if the completed checklist was submitted to Mr. Messina before the plan goes on the agenda.† He noted that there used to be a checklist along with a preliminary review that was reviewed† by the members of the board.† He said that now there are a lot more requirements for an applicant, therefore there are a lot more people that need to review.† Mr. Scanzani added that it is only up to this board to determine what consists of a completed application.† He ended by saying he would like to see the checklist and any additional notes CLD has with the plan when accepting into consideration.
Mr. Danevich came back to the earlier issue and read from the regulations 676:4 part B, which stated that the applicant should file the application at least 15 days prior to the meeting.† He read further from 676:4 part C:1, which stated that the board shall at the next regular meeting or within 30 days following the delivery of the application.
Ms. Ouellette wanted clarification regarding costs incurred prior to the board reviewing the plan.
Mr. Scanzani said that if certain studies are required up front for a completed application, the applicant would have to decide at that point whether to proceed or not.
Mr. Messina said that for 10 lots or more he strongly recommended that the plans are complete prior to starting, and that the developers understand that those costs are there.† He noted that hasn't been an issue with developers for 10 lots or more.† Mr. Scanzani added that they haven't required it of lots less than 10, except after the plan was accepted for consideration and for specific issues.
Ms. Ouellette asked about the number being changed to 5 and if the board has that authority.† Mr. Culbert informed that they could set perameters up for† 3 to 5 lot subdivisions, if sensitive to certain issues, such as environmental studies.† He doesn't see a need for studies for every subdivision.† Mr. Scanzani said they are not trying to† request anything more than they automatically do now.† It's just the timing of when things happen for review.
Mr. Gowan informed that he was the person that made the change, and it† was due to certain legal issues. He is in favor of doing as much, as the board can, and as early as they can.† He warned the board that before early on demands are made they need to be absolutely sure of the legalities.† Mr. Gowan suggested that plans be accepted faster so they go to the experts quicker so they can have more time to get all the studies done.† He finished by saying the clock could be pushed back if more time is needed beyond these actions.
Mr. Sommer (CLD) said his understanding is the developer and board must agree.† He said if the board doesn't have everything, the application can be denied.† Mr. Gowan said that is right, as long as the board could prove in court its due diligence.
At that point, Mr. Danevich asked Mr. Messina to check into the legalities.† Mr. Messina informed that he has information in his office.
Mr. Scanzani questioned the legalities, based on the RSA.† He agreed that the review of studies done by other boards couldnít be done until the Planning Board has accepted the plan for consideration.† Mr. Sommer (CLD) said they would review the studies included with the checklist for the board.† Mr. Scanzani then added that once the board receives the checklist and decides the application is complete, then,† 1) applicant sends the plan in within the time period; and† 2) plan for acceptance comes before the board with a completed application.† He ended by saying then you read the abutter list, set the plan for consideration, and have discussions if needed.
Mr. Culbert mentioned that is when the board is required to open for the public.† Mr. Scanzani disagreed and said that it's not necessarily at the point of acceptance.† Mr. Gowan spoke of his understanding, which is, the board is not required to take public input unless it's also a zoning issue.
Mr. Scanzani spoke, saying† that accepting a plan for consideration is only taking jurisdiction.† In his opinion, the board should look at the checklist, at the plan, then make a motion to accept into consideration, and then have more of a discussion if needed.
Mr. Sommer (CLD) suggested starting the detail list through CLD, then, if there is additional information, an extension may be needed.
Mr. Gowan brought up the point, that if the board has the type of meeting that scrutinizes the plan, and accepts it, then gives it to CLD, who finds flaws,† essentially time is wasted in the beginning.† Mr. Scanzani said that by the next meeting† the plan may be completely different and can't be immediately acceptable for use of other boards,† because the Planning Board looks at things in stages.††
Ms. Casey gave her appreciation to the information being shared, but would like to take action and have the board change the number of days.† Mr. Culbert began to make the motion for the board to provide for a 30-day window.† Mr. Gowan asked if this motion would require a public hearing.
Mr. Danevich spoke up and made a note to take action to include on the schedule for the next meeting.† He then† reiterated that the board would walk away with the completeness of the plan.
Ms. Casey spoke about neighboring wells and septic systems and asked for their inclusion on the checklist.
Mr. Sommer (CLD) agreed with adding it to the checklist and informed that it is a State requirement.
Mr. Danevich made a recommendation that the checklist is formalized on town letterhead for a public hearing and also to make it a town document posted on the Internet for feedback.† Mr. Scanzani recommended that the members of the board review/add to make it all-inclusive.† Ms. Casey suggested that certain health ordinances also be included.† Mr. Culbert would like to see added that over 3 lots, which are environmentally, sensitive should have an environmental impact study.† Mr. Danevich finished by saying there are several studies that will be reviewed by town counsel.† Mr. Sommer (CLD) added the note that the checklist was based on the subdivision regulations,† if there are certain issues to be reviewed,† the regulations should be reviewed as well.
Mr. John Grenda, Woodlawn Drive, spoke about the board's procedure regulations, which may provide for a preliminary conceptual phase.† He said the second phase is the design review phase in which the board discusses the design and engineering details.† Mr. Grenda then read information he got from the Internet off the New Hampshire board's site in the section of frequently asked questions.† He said there was a discussion about the 65-day time period.† Mr. Grenda feels the Planning Board is putting itself in a bind by being too kind/considerate to applicants.† In his opinion, it's the applicant's job† to prove they own property, not the town's job to prove ownership.† Also, Mr. Grenda likes the CLD checklist, but feels the applicant should also sign so if there's missing information when it goes in front of the board, they can deny consideration.† Mr. Grenda advised that two days after the next meeting there are plans which will reach the† 65-day mark, and the board would have to request a 90-day extension.†
Mr. Danevich† informed that conceptual designs, which donít require any level of detail, are accepted.† He further added with regard to the 90-day notice,† he hasn't had any problems due to this.† Mr. Scanzani feels the 65-day window is adding stress to the Planning Board, especially because in the past it was a 90-day period.
Mr. Gowan feels that the meeting to review the checklist should be as demanding as possible, then shorten the acceptance process, thus lengthening the final scrutiny time.
Mr. Messina added that he reviews his checklist to make sure that all components are included for a 10-lot subdivision.† He then spoke of the large gray area and how a plan is assessed for possible consideration.†† Mr. Messina explained this is where the problem begins, such as, what kind of expertise is required prior to accepting the plan for consideration and also spending money for professionals do it.†
Ms. Casey said the board didn't expect Mr. Messina to make all the detailed decisions on his own.† She added that public input, as they know, is good, but the board has the final say.
Mr. Messina explained that when a plan is presented for discussion the board members couldnít have or discuss detailed information.† He said it's only when it comes before the public and before the respective boards for consideration that they can make further input for modifications to the plan.† He suggested the detailed analysis time period be extended.† Mr. Gowan agrees that having a strong checklist will help the board to not deny acceptance.† Mr. Scanzani added that the only thing the board is doing before accepting consideration† is checking† for† a completed application.† He said it may not be approved at that point, but the fact is, the application is complete.
Mr. John Grenda, of Woodlawn Drive, stated that a lot of applicants have taken advantage of the board.† Furthermore, he said if a few more applications were rejected due to enough erroneous or missing information on the plat, the board may send the message that it won't be burdened with plans such as this which take up time making corrections.†
Mr. Danevich said that the Planning Board members donít see a lot of the behind-the-scenes work.† He added that Mr. Messina takes the first steps to review the plans for completeness and may delay adding them to the Planning Boardís agenda prior† to consideration for completeness until further information is supplied.† He stated further† that the denial of the plan also happens (not frequently) and is in the interest of the developer to resolve the issues that come before the board.† He ended by saying he doesn't feel a time constraint by the 65 days.† Mr. Sommer (CLD) suggested that the applicant signs and dates the checklist before the public hearing.
Mr. Danevich reviewed the discussion :
††††††††††††††† 1) Post notice from 15 to 30 day extension change
††††††††††††††† 2) Will look at ordinances for any references (or subreferences) with regard to† extension change †††† ††††††††††††††† ††††and any legal requirements
††††††††††††††† 3) Obtain electronic format of checklist from CLD and post (available for downloading) onto the ††††††††††††††††††††† †††††Internet on town letterhead
††††††††††††††† 4) Suggested that we obtain a copy of the updated 676:4 for the Planning Board members
††††††††††††††† 5) Each of the Planning Board members should review the checklist for
Mr. Gowan asked that CLD provide Mr. Messina† with any recommendations for stronger penalties.††† Mr. Sommer† then gave a brief summary of CLD's background.
Mr. Scanzani began the Well Ordinance update by discussing† the attachments to the minutes from June 19, 2000.† He specifically discussed the Proposed Addition to the Pelham Subdivision Regulations and Town of Pelham's Water Supply Regulations.† He also spoke of well construction and capacities.† Ms. Casey added that the health officer recommended that all† wells are pump tested.† Mr. Scanzani pointed out the differences between the Board of Health Water Supply Regulations and what he is proposing.†† Mr. Gowan asked if Mr. Scanzani †would incapsulate the differences for the board to compare.† Ms. Casey said that legal may have already determined certain issues.†† Mr. Scanzani asked for a copy of the legal notice, which addressed this.† Ms. Casey said she would have to get approval to provide it.† Mr. Scanzani suggested that additional brochures and information be provided to the builder or consumer regarding water issues.† Mr. Messina noted that there is additional information on the well tests for the homeowner.†
At this point a discussion transpired regarding water testing and a possible FAQ being put together for homebuyers.
To end the discussion, Mr. Danevich asked that Mr. Scanzani put together a comparison sheet for the next hearing meeting.
Mr. Culbert said that the last four meetings of the Open Space Committee were used to create a final draft for review.† He said they had been comparing surrounding towns.† He closed by asking board members to let him know if they had any changes or questions within one week.†
Mr. Messina then said the zoning ordinance is the enabling law for the town, which permits, open space development and how the Planning Board opts to implement that in detailed subdivision regulations.
Mr. Danevich advised the next steps would be to set two public hearings once all the feedback is in.† He also wanted the information included on the Internet.† Mr. Gowan said he has some information to include as well.
Mr. DeLuca provided an overview from the Building Committee's the last two meetings.† Spoke of comparing needs vs. price.† The town needs to look into what their needs are.
Mr. Gowan said the CIP committee is reviewing forms of capital projects.† Gave the dates of upcoming meetings and the agendas for each.† The final document needs to be in the hands of BOS in October.
Mr. Danevich then gave a brief update of the cul de sac and the research being done on the Internet.
Ms. Casey said that she spoke with town counsel and conservation expects that by the next work session information should be complete and posted† ten days before hand.† Mr. Gowan asked what the last day is for zoning ordinance.† Ms. Casey informed that it is January 31st.
Mr. Danevich reviewed the cases for the next meeting, which will be held Thursday, September 7, 2000.
MOTION:†† (Scanzani/DeLuca) To accept the minutes of the June 5, 2000 board meeting as amended.
VOTE:† (6 - 0 - 0)† The motion carries.
MOTION:† (Gowan/Scanzani) To accept the minutes of June 19, 2000 board meeting as††††
VOTE:† (5 - 0 - 1)† The motion carries.
††††††††††††††† Mr. Culbert abstained.
MOTION:† (Scanzani/Culbert) To accept the minutes of June 26, 2000 board meeting as†††
VOTE:† (4 - 0 - 2) The motion carries.
††††††††††††††† Mr. DeLuca and† Mr. Gowan abstained.
MOTION:† (Gowan/Scanzani) To accept the minutes of July 6, 2000 board meeting as
VOTE:† (6 - 0 - 0)† The motion carries.
The next scheduled meeting is set for Thursday, September 7, 2000.
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Respectfully submitted,
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Charity A. L. Willis
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Recording Secretary