TOWN OF PELHAM

PLANNING BOARD MEETING

JANUARY 3, 2000

 

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm.

 

The Acting Clerk called the roll:

 

PRESENT:       Jeff Gowan, Paddy Culbert, John CaraDonna,  Alternate Henry DeLuca, Alternate Victor Danevich,  Selectmen’s Representative Greg Farris, Planning Director Vincent Messina     

 

ABSENT:        Clark Harris, Michael Soby, Alternate Carl Huether, Alternate Richard Foote

 

The Chairman announced with regret that Mr. Harris had submitted his resignation as a member of the Planning Board.  He also announced that Mr. CaraDonna would serve as Interim Secretary until March.

 

The Chairman announced that Mr. DeLuca would be voting for Mr. Soby and that Mr. Danevich would be voting for Mr. Harris.

 

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

 

ML 10-315  Route 38 Storage Facility/70 Bridge Street – Site Review

 

Mr. Peter Zohdi, Herbert and Associates, appeared before the board to present the site plan for ML 10-315.  Mr. Zohdi explained that this site plan was accepted for consideration at the December 6, 1999 Planning Board meeting.  The board conducted a site walk with the Conservation Commission present.  Mr. Zohdi reported that he had received a phone call from the State Highway Department that the two driveway access permits had been approved.

 

Mr. Zohdi stated that a list of material not allowed to be stored at this storage facility is not available.  He explained that that there is an RSA that outlines criteria for storage materials at storage facilities.  He will make a note on the site plan referring to this RSA. 

 

Mr. Zohdi offered photographs of similar storage facilities to the board for review.  He also presented a rendering of the proposed facility.  Mr. CaraDonna asked if the applicant had referred to the architectural guidelines when creating this rendering.  Mr. Messina stated that the applicant is in compliance with the guidelines and that they meet the required setbacks.  Mr. Gowan noted that the proposed storage facility would not be visible from Route 38. 

 

Mr. Gowan asked for clarification on the proposed plantings.  Mr. Zohdi indicated where the plantings would be located on the site and stated that these plantings would be done according to the schedule shown on the site plan.  Mr. Zohdi further noted that there are extensive renovations underway at the Stone Cottage and he believes that the board will be very pleased with the results.

 

Mr. Messina stated that he is in receipt of only one of the driveway permits and that he would need the other one submitted to the file. 

 

There was no public input.

 

Mr. CaraDonna asked for clarification on the abutting properties.  Mr. Zohdi explained that all of the abutting properties are zoned commercial. 

 

Mr. Culbert requested that the wattage of the proposed lighting be shown on the plan.  Mr. Zohdi explained that the proposed lighting would be the same as that which was installed in the new Chunky Cinema parking lot.  He will include this note on the plan.

 

Ms. Alicia Hennessey, Conservation Commission member, asked for clarification on the distance between the proposed storage facility and the lotline.  Mr. Zodhi stated that the lotline is 45 ft. from the closest building.

 

MOTION:  (Culbert/Danevich)  To approve the plan subject to the receipt of the other State Driveway Access Permit and a note being added to the plan designating the wattage of the proposed lighting.

 

VOTE:  6 – 0 – 0   The motion carries.

 

MOTION:  (Culbert/Danevich)  To approve the waiver request to the parking regulation, which requires 41 parking spaces versus 25 parking spaces.  

 

VOTE:  6 – 0 – 0  The motion carries.

 

 

ML 7-10  Crown Atlantic Company LLC/27 Old Lawrence Road – Proposed Removal and Replacement of Telecommunications Tower for Site Plan Approval

 

Attorney Thomas Hildreth, McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, Nashua, N.H., representing Crown Atlantic Company LLC, appeared before the board to present the site plan for the proposed replacement of the telecommunications tower on ML 7-10.   Mr. Hildreth explained that this is a continuation of a hearing held on December 6, 1999.  On Wednesday, December 8th, Crown Atlantic Co. met with the Conservation Commission to discuss the same proposed configuration.  On December 11th, a site walk was conducted by the PCC and the Planning Board.  At that time, the owners of the property strongly urged that the replacement tower be constructed behind the existing tower, closer to the town forest land. 

Crown Atlantic has subsequently gone and assessed the site from a construction point of view and discussed how to access this site with minimum impact.  Some preliminary flagging of trees was completed.  The PCC has prepared a letter to the board for their review. 

 

Mr. Gowan noted that although the applicant and property owners are proposing to move this tower closer to the town forest, there are not many large trees that must be cut. 

 

Mr. Hildreth stated that with formal feedback from the board, the applicant intends to re-engineer the plan and return for final review. 

 

Mr. Gowan asked Mr. Hildreth to review the history of this tower with the audience and board. 

 

Mr. Hildreth explained that this tower facility was first approved by the Zoning Board of Adjustment in November 1995.  At that time, the approval was for a 180 ft. self supporting lattice type style tower.  In January 1996, the Planning Board approved the site plan for the tower.  Bell Atlantic Mobile constructed a 150 ft. tower at the time because that is the height that met their current needs for elevation in 1996.  In 1999, Nextel Communications appeared before the Zoning Board of Adjustment to secure a special exception for their portion of the tower.  The ZBA voted at that time to “reaffirm” the original decision to allow the construction of a 180 ft. tower.  In March 1999, the Planning Board voted to approve the amended site plan, the addition of another equipment shelter and a 10 ft. extension of the tower.  Mr. Hildreth explained that since that time, Crown Atlantic has been approached by two additional carriers – Omnipoint and Sprint PCS – who wish to locate on this tower.  Given their requirements for additional cable, loading requirements and needed height, Crown Atlantic will need to replace the existing structure in order to accommodate the additional users.

 

Mr. CaraDonna asked if the board had secured legal opinion on this application request.  He believes it is a non conforming use according to the new ordinance.  Mr. Culbert explained that this tower was approved for 180 ft. of height prior to the existence of the new ordinance.  Bell Atlantic only built to 160 ft. and a condition of the approval was that they return to the board for review if they were to increase the height from 160 ft.  Mr. Gowan stated that Crown Atlantic is actually attempting to improve the situation and bringing the structure closer to the criteria of the ordinance. 

 

Mr. Farris stated that the applicant has permission to increase the tower height to 180 ft.  This is also an issue of safety as the existing tower is not structurally sound for the proposed use.  Mr. Gowan added that the tower is being relocated to a more appropriate site on the parcel.  Mr. Culbert noted that the applicant is satisfying parts of the new ordinance at the same time.  He suggested that the board seek legal opinion on this matter prior to approval of the site plan.

 

PUBLIC INPUT:

 

Ms. Alicia Hennessey, Conservation Commission Chairman, asked if the applicant would be appearing before the PCC to discuss tree removal.  Mr. Hildreth said yes, they would be coming back to the PCC.  Ms. Hennessey explained that there was a problem with Nextel Communications following through on the landscape plan outlined by the PCC and that they caused a serious fire during construction of their portion of the tower.  Mr. Dan Cyr, Town Forester, has been contacted to assess the damage and advise as to mitigation of this damage.  Mr. Culbert asked for clarification of wetlands on the site.  Ms. Hennessey stated that there are wetlands on this parcel and the fire caused extensive damage to the forest.  She offered pictures of the damage that occurred to the five acres of town forest.

 

Mr. Culbert asked for clarification on whom would be held responsible for the damage to the town forest.  Mr. Farris believes that that Nextel Communications would be considered a tenant of Crown Atlantic.

 

Ms. Hennessey suggested that any money from lumber from the trees cut should go into the forestry fund.  Mr. Gowan stated that this issue could be discussed with the PCC when the applicant meets with them. 

 

It was the consensus of the board to move forward with this site plan as revised and presented. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ML 10-01  Hilbert/LeBlanc Road – Proposed Two Lot Subdivision

 

Mr. Messina presented the plan for a proposed two lot subdivision of ML 10-01. 

 

Mr. Farris questioned why Mr. Messina was presenting the plan rather than the applicant or owner of the property.  Mr. Messina explained that this plan was submitted to the Planning Department in October but due to a number of delays, it has been postponed.  The applicant is pressed to get this construction under way as soon as possible and requested that Mr. Messina present the plan.  This plan was accepted for consideration by the Board at the December 6, 1999 meeting.  The applicant has not been before the Conservation Commission with the proposed wetlands crossing as their next meeting is not until January 12, 2000.  The engineer on the original project is no longer doing any work.

 

 Mr. Culbert questioned the “partiality” of the board by having the Planning Director present this plan.  Mr. Gowan agreed that it was unusual but that the board could always vote the plan down.  The members of the board are required to be impartial.

 

Mr. Farris asked why this falls into the realm for the Planning Director to present the plan.  Mr. Messina explained that there were extenuating circumstances and he feels responsible for the delay in getting this plan to the board for review.  He feels that the engineering and the septic plans are complete and meet all of the town regulations and requirements.  The plans have been signed and stamped by the engineers.  Mr. Messina would recommend approval subject to a favorable letter from the PCC and a special permit for the wetlands crossing. 

 

Mr. Farris asked for clarification on the well location and questioned whether it was outside of the WCD buffer as requested.  Mr. Messina explained that according to the site specifics septic design, the well is located outside of the WCD buffer.  Mr. Farris referred to the presented plan and disagreed.

 

Mr. Farris feels that there are too many outstanding questions on this subdivision proposal and without the applicant present to answer them, it would be setting a precedent for the board. 

 

The subdivision plan for ML 10-1 was date specified to February 7, 2000.

 

 

ML 3-88  M & P Trust/Gettysburg Estates/Mammoth Road – Proposed 14 Lot Subdivision

 

Mr. Peter Zohdi, Herbert Associates, appeared before the board to present the subdivision plan for ML 3-88.  Mr. Zohdi stated that Jim Gove, Gove Environmental, completed the soils on this site and Steven Haight, Herbert Associates, was the engineer on the project. 

 

Mr. Zohdi stated that this subdivision plan was accepted for consideration at the December 6th board meeting.  A site walk was conducted by the board and the Conservation Commission where the site was reviewed and concerns regarding drainage were addressed.  The Conservation Commission made a motion at the site walk to approve the WCD crossing and to pull the cul de sac back 15 ft. to avoid grading in the WCD. 

 

Mr. Zohdi noted that three highway access permits were approved by the State for the lots located on Mammoth Road.  He is seeking approval of this plan from the board. 

 

Mr. Gowan reported that the large hole was viewed and discussed at the site walk.  It was obvious that the abutters to this parcel receive a lot of water run off but not from this parcel. 

 

Mr. DeLuca stated that many concerns from abutters relative to the existing water problem were discussed.  It was apparent that the proposed cross culvert will pick up most of the water flow and he is reasonably satisfied with the proposed drainage.

 

Ms. Hennessey, Conservation Commission Chairman, explained that the PCC initially recommended that the proposed road be moved to protect the wetlands.  Site distance was a problem, therefore, the PCC recommended that the original plan for the road location be followed. 

 

Mr. Culbert asked if the proposed road would have any culverts.  Mr. Zohdi explained that the proposed road would have a cross culvert.

 

Mr. Messina stated that the traffic study had been received and reviewed. 

 

Mr. Rick Plenge, Traffic Consultant, CLD, explained that site distance was a minor issue.  Mr. Plenge suggested that the high brush be cleared from both sides of the proposed road.  According to Town and State accident data for the last five years, 11 accidents have occurred at the intersection of Nashua and Mammoth Roads.  This data indicates that there is no call for any immediate action to correct the problem. 

 

Mr. Plenge stated that currently a left turn warrant exists southbound on Nashua Road that the town needs to look at.  This could be the cause of some of the accidents that occur at this intersection.  According to the turn counts, a left hand turn lane is indicated at this point.  Mr. Messina stated that he had spoken with the NRPC about this issue and the project is at least two years out on the DOT scheduling list.  Mr. Culbert stated that Mammoth Road would make it a State issue but a turning lane on Nashua Road would be a town issue.  He requested that the State be made aware of the problem in writing.  Mr. Gowan stated that exactions could be considered for this turning lane. 

 

Mr. CaraDonna asked if any accommodations had been made for the open pit discussed at the last meeting.  Mr. Zohdi explained that the hole would be left as is because a dredge and fill would be required to fill this it. 

 

Mr. CaraDonna asked if the large tree referred to by Mr. Gove at the last meeting would be saved.  Mr. Zohdi stated that the large tree would be identified and flagged. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT:

 

Ms. Paula Hargreaves, 92 Nashua Road, asked what happens to the drainage from this development and how will the extra water effect her land.  Mr. Zohdi explained that according to the drainage report submitted to CLD for review, there would be less water directed to Nashua Road than there currently is.  The applicant is not doing anything to the water that flows on Mammoth Road as there is no impact to the water flow from this development. 

 

Ms. Hargreaves asked how long it takes to create a wetland.  Mr. Jim Gove, Gove Environmental, explained that once something has occurred to alter the hydrology of an area, a wetland could develop within six months.  Ms. Hargreaves pointed out that there are wetlands on her property that were not there before.  She is very concerned about how this development will effect the lot that she has subdivided at the rear of her property.   Ms. Hargreaves asked what recourse she will have if this subdivision is approved and she does end up with more water on her property.  Mr. Gowan explained that she would have to go through the courts in a civil action. 

 

Mr. Farris feels that according to the drainage plan, there will be less water going through the culvert as it exists now.  Mr. Zohdi explained that the velocity of the water is being slowed down and diverted to a cross culvert.  According to the regulations, the pre development and post development drainage cannot effect other landowners.  Mr. Zohdi noted that all drainage studies have been submitted to and reviewed by CLD.  The driveway access permits have been reviewed and approved by the State.  The economic, environmental and traffic impact studies have been submitted as required. 

 

MOTION:  (DeLuca/Culbert)  To approve the plan.

 

VOTE:  6 – 0 – 0  The motion carries.

 

MOTION:  (Culbert/Farris)  To approve the waiver request to allow a cul de sac length greater than 560 linear feet. 

 

VOTE:  6 – 0 – 0   The motion carries.

 

 

ML 01-161  Estate of Charles Jack/Greenmeadow Estates/Mammoth Road – Proposed 9 Lot Subdivision

 

This hearing was continued.

 

 

HEARINGS

 

ML 9-136-1  Webber/Simpson Road – Proposed 2 Lot Subdivision

 

The Clerk read aloud the list of abutters.

 

Mr. Steve Luger, certified land surveyor, appeared before the board to present the subdivision plan for ML 9-136-1.  Mr. Luger explained that this is a proposed two lot subdivision of ML 9-136-1 which is located off of Simpson Road.  The parcel consists of approximately 20 acres.  The rear of this parcel abuts Beaver Brook with the frontage for both lots on Simpson Road.  The site specific soil survey was completed by Shower Environmental Services.  A HISS soil map was completed prior to that.  Most of the soil is a Hinckley type soil.  Mr. Luger reviewed the topography of the parcel. 

 

The original parcel contains a farmhouse, a barn and several out buildings.  Test pit information has been provided and indicate that the soils are adequate for the proposed septic system. 

 

Mr. Gowan asked for clarification on the driveway location.  Mr. Luger explained that the driveway location would be up to the property owner.  Mr. Gowan suggested that the occupants stay within the stone walls that already exist on the property. 

 

Mr. Culbert asked for clarification on the discontinued well.  Mr. Luger explained that the well has been discontinued and is no longer in use.  Mr. Culbert is concerned that this well will not be discontinued.  Mr. Luger stated that the applicant has no problem filling this dug well in. 

 

Mr. Farris asked for clarification on the rear 17 acres and questioned why the applicant did not go all the way back with this subdivision.  Mr. Luger explained that the rear acreage is a relatively flat meadowland which the applicant wishes to keep for grazing purposes. There is a 5 or 6 ft. drop to Beaver Brook.  The vast majority of the soils are Hydric B.  

 

Mr. Culbert asked if the applicant intends to continue with this development to Riverbend Lane.  Mr. Luger is unaware of the applicant’s future intentions.  Mr. Farris feels that there is the potential for a continuation of the right of way from Riverbend Lane to possibly 8 new house lots.  Mr. Gowan stated that if the applicant builds a road, the board could request that the environmental and fiscal studies be completed. 

 

Mr. Culbert requested that if the applicant comes back for any more lots, he be asked to complete a full blown conceptual plan of the rear parcel.

 

Mr. Farris would like to see where the driveways would be located.

 

MOTION:  (DeLuca/CaraDonna)  To accept the plan for consideration.

 

VOTE:  6 – 0 – 0   The motion carries.

 

 

ML 8-208  Ploof/Windham Road – Proposed Two Lot Subdivision

 

The Clerk read aloud the list of abutters.

 

Mr. Peter Zohdi, Herbert Associates, appeared before the board to present the subdivision plan for ML 8-208.  Mr. Zohdi explained that this is a proposed two lot subdivision and land transfer of ML 8-208.  The applicant proposes to transfer .71 acres to the abutter and create a two lot subdivision of the remaining parcel. 

 

Mr. Zohdi explained that on July 12, 1999, the ZBA granted a variance for short frontage to the applicant for a two lot subdivision of ML 8-208. (Case #2162).  The new lot has 162.86 ft. of frontage on Windham Road. 

 

Mr. Zohdi noted that the power line transmission easement is not computed in the lot size calculations.  All of the usable area shown is located outside of this easement.  ML 8-208 has 7.49 acres, 3 of which are shown as usable.  The soils were completed by Jim Gove.

 

Mr. Messina stated that one of the early requests on this plan was that the soils study be done based on the pre-disturbed soil.  Mr. Gove explained that the area in which he conducted his soil investigation was inside the tree line in the areas that were not disturbed.  The only area of disturbance that he investigated was in the area of the driveway. 

 

Mr. DeLuca asked if the high tension wires were a concern in this area.  Mr. Zohdi explained that the transmission line easement is 300 ft. wide.  All houses and septic systems are located outside of this easement.  State regulations do not allow any building within this easement nor can it be utilized as part of the lot size calculations. 

 

Ms. Alicia Harshfield, Conservation Commission member, asked how far the prime wetland is to the edge of this parcel.  Mr. Zohdi located the town incinerator on the map and noted that the prime wetland is located well to rear of the incinerator parcel.  Mr. Farris pointed out that this parcel is closer to the old ash landfill than it is to the prime wetland. 

 

Ms. Harshfield stated that the incinerator gives off a high level of metals when they are burning and she questioned the health implications for the residents in that area.  Mr. Farris explained that the town has been given six months to deal with this issue as the incinerator does not meet current State standards.  They will either close the current facility, construct a new one or a new transfer station facility. 

 

MOTION:  (Danevich/DeLuca)  To accept the plan for consideration.

 

VOTE:  6 – 0 – 0   The motion carries.

 

MOTION:   (CaraDonna/Culbert)  To approve the plan.

 

VOTE:  6 – 0 – 0   The motion carries.

 

 

ML 6-250  Fosse, Arthur, Jr./Elston Estates/133 Marsh Road – Proposed 7 Lot Subdivision

 

The Clerk read aloud the list of abutters.

 

Mr. Doug Lees, Dana Perkins Civil Engineering, representing Arthur Fosse, appeared before the board to present the subdivision plan for ML 6-250.  Mr. Lees stated that this 9.3 acre parcel is located at 133 Marsh Road.  He explained that, as requested by the board, he has reconfigured the lots into more rectangular shapes.  The cul de sac has been redesigned as advised by the Road Agent and the road length has been extended to 630 ft.  The site distance issue has been addressed.  A site distance easement has been secured to achieve 355 ft. site distance.  The 6” calculation has been completed and submitted to the file.  A detention pond has been proposed to maintain peak flows of drainage.  Mr. Lees feels that the beaver activity most likely  caused the water problem for Mr. Giglio, an abutter.

 

Mr. Farris requested that the sidewalk be moved to the eastern side of the proposed road and that the sidewalk be extended to Marsh Road over Lot ML 6-250.  He requested that the board look at connecting these sidewalks in the future.  Mr. Gowan pointed out that the sidewalks are a requirement of the subdivision regulations when a development is within one mile of a school or church. 

 

Mr. Farris asked for clarification on the maintenance of the site distance easement.  Mr. Lees explained that the town would be responsible for the maintenance of this easement.  It would be transferred to the town with the road.  Mr. Lees stated that this easement would be recorded.

 

Mr. CaraDonna asked if a site distance easement had been secured on ML 6-250-6.  Mr. Lees explained that it could be made a covenant on the deed to prohibit future plantings.  Mr. CaraDonna pointed out that the proposed road is located on a very dangerous curve.  He requested that the board remain consistent when granting easements for site distance. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. Robert Pellerin, 7 Nancy Avenue, asked if Mr. Elston’s home would remain where it is.  Mr. Lees said yes, it would.

 

Mr. Dan Brown, 11 Nancy Avenue, asked for clarification on the size of the proposed detention pond and its exact location.  Mr. Lees located the detention pond on the plan.  He explained that this lot has 48,000 sq. ft. including the detention pond.  Mr. Culbert questioned whether the detention pond could be used in the lot size calculations.  Mr. Messina stated that Lot #3 has 46,000 sq. ft. of high and dry contiguous area.  Mr. Culbert asked that this issue be addressed. 

 

Mr. Brown asked for clarification on the drainage plan for Lot ML 6-250-3.  He stated that he has spent a considerable amount of money to mitigate the water problem on his lot.  Mr. Lees explained that the proposed development and the way the road is constructed with catchbasins would not add any additional flow to this area.  Mr. Culbert stated that CLD must review and comment on these drainage calculations.  Mr. Gowan reminded the abutters that a site walk would be scheduled to address some of these issues.

 

Ms. Alicia Hennessey, Conservation Commission Chairman, requested that appropriate signage be utilized to designate the no cut zone for the WCD buffer.

 

Mr. CaraDonna expressed concern with the curvature of Marsh Road at this proposed intersection and requested that CLD look closely at the site distance and verify it with the posted speed limits.  He would also like to see a traffic study conducted on this project.  Mr. Culbert explained that the speed limits on Marsh Road are an enforcement issue, not a Planning Board issue.

 

Mr. David Brouillet, CLD, stated that CLD could render an opinion letter on the impact of the six lots on traffic flow.  They can also verify the site distance.  Mr. Brouillet explained that there are many safety factors built into the AASHTO requirements – reaction times, safe stopping distances, dry/wet pavement, etc. 

 

MOTION:  (Culbert/DeLuca)  To accept the plan for consideration.

 

VOTE:  6 – 0 – 0  The motion carries.

 

MOTION:  (Farris/DeLuca)  To accept for consideration the waiver request for length of cul de sac – 560 ft. to 630 ft.

 

VOTE:  6 – 0 – 0   The motion carries.

 

A site walk was scheduled for Saturday, January 15th at 7:00 am.

 

(Mr. Culbert left the meeting at 10:45 pm.)

 

 

ML 4-137  Rivier College/Mammoth Road – Special Permit for Driveway Crossing

 

The Clerk read aloud the list of abutters

 

MOTION:  (Farris/DeLuca)  To continue this case to the February 7, 2000 board meeting as Old Business.

 

VOTE:  5 – 0 – 0  The motion carries.

 

The hearing for ML 4-137 (Special Permit for Driveway Crossing) was continued to the February 7, 2000 meeting.

 

 

ML 4-137  Rivier College/Mammoth Road – Proposed 6 Lot Subdivision

 

The Clerk read aloud the list of abutters.

 

MOTION:  (DeLuca/Farris)  To continue this case to the February 7, 2000 board meeting as Old Business.

 

VOTE:  5 – 0 – 0  The motion carries.

 

The hearing for ML 4-137 (Proposed 6 Lot Subdivision) was continued to the February 7,  2000 meeting as Old Business.

 

 

ML 6-185  Mahoney, Thomas/Irene Drive Phase II – Proposed 20 Lot Subdivision

 

The Clerk read aloud the list of abutters.

 

MOTION:  (DeLuca/Farris)  To continue this case to the February 7, 2000 board meeting as Old Business.

 

VOTE:  5 – 0 – 0  the motion carries.

 

The hearing for ML 6-185 (Phase II) was continued to the February 7,  2000 meeting as Old Business.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

 

MOTION:   (Farris/DeLuca)  To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:  6– 0 – 0   The motion carries.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 10:55 pm.

           

                                                                                    Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                    Susan J. Tesch

                                                                                    Recording Secretary