PLANNING BOARD & CONSERVATION COMMITTEE
JUNE 26, 2000
PRESENT: Victor Danevich, Bill Scanzani, Paddy Culbert, Alternate Gael Ouellette, Alternate Doris Cvinar, Alternate Peter McNamara, Selectmen’s Representative Deb Casey, Planning Director Vincent Messina, Paul McLaughlin, Alicia Harshfield, Bob Yarmo, Selectmen’s Representative Hal Lynde.
ABSENT: Jeff Gowan, Henry DeLuca, Michael Soby, Alternate Carl Huether, Alternate Richard Foote, Bill Cookingham
The first guest speaker was Mark West from West Environmental who discussed environmental impact statements. Mark West is a wetland scientist with a background in wildlife. The goal tonight was to explain what and Environmental Impact Study should have what to do with the study and what to do once you get it.
He asked the following questions.
1. Does a town need an EIS regulation to require one?
2. What type of developments should trigger an EIS? Example - number of lots, what does an industrial park do? Is it near a wetland, river, and wildlife?
3. What is the goal of requiring an EIS? Example – better understanding of the resources and impact of the resources; focussing on a specific area.
4. What should an EIS cover? Should it be flexible?
5. How should the Planning Board utilize the results of an EIS? Example – help improve, protect & utilize the area
6. What is the difference between and EIS & other environmental studies including
Soils based lot Study Analysis
Wetland Impact Assessment
Wildlife Habitat Studies
Mark West then went on to show various outlines from other NH towns. Some were very simple others more intense. It basically came down to what the town wanted.
David Brouilett & David Louis from CPI were at the meeting. Dave Brouilett explained the 25 year storm regulations and the 50 year storm regulations. He also explained that the biggest problem is telling the contractor what needs to be done and the contractor telling that they’ll do only what they have to do. He also recommended that only 1 acre be disturbed at a time.
Bob Yarmo asked Mark West what kind of questions to ask.
Mark West said that the board needs to generate an outline and a series of questions that need to be answered or requirements and some forms.
Alicia Harshfield stated that the boards should look at the whole area and not just that particular parcel.
Victor Danevich asked Paul McLaughlin, Chairman of the Conservation Committee, to take a look at all the information that Mark has given and then figure out what triggers and EIS and what is the right approach, etc.
Hal Lynde stated his concern about an EIS done by a developer. He would feel better if the EIS came from the town.
Alicia Harshfield asked the Planning Board how they would incorporate and EIS knowing that it is time constrictive?
Victor Danevich stated that it would have to be further discussed by the board.
Mark West was thanked for coming to tonight’s meeting by both boards.
Bernie Waugh, Chief Legal Counsel of the NH Municipal Association’s Legal Department
Victor Danevich then introduced Chief Legal Counsel H. Bernard Waugh, Jr of the NH Municipal Association’s Legal Department.
Bernard Waugh stated that he had not read any of the town’s ordinances or regulations and his opinion would only be a 2nd opinion. He said that there are 3 steps – 1) the Master Plan, 2) The regulations and 3) the review of the application. The more factual that is done in the early studies the better it will be. He also stated that an applicant could reject an EIS unless it is tied to the Master Plan.
The Conservation Committee under State Law does not have a regulatory function (RSA 36-A). The local law can give the Conservation Committee a regulatory under state 674-21 II – Innovated Zoning Law. In looking over our regulations for the Conservation Committee it was very confusing and poorly worded. This is something that should be cleaned up. Here is a suggestion:
1) You must have standards and list them. In Hanover, his hometown, some of the standards are avoidance, minimization, mitigation measures and erosion control plan.
2) You must state the roll of the Conservation Committee.
Victor Danevich asked Bernard whom he would recommend to do this.
Bernard Waugh stated that it is a policy decision made by the Planning Board. It must decide what the Conservation Committee does.
Bernard Waugh was then thanked for coming to the meeting by both boards.
Victor Danevich stated that he sees the problems as improving communications, having a deeper insight into what must be done and the time constraints.
Alicia Harshfield explained that meetings are now on the 2nd Wednesday and they hear cases within 10 days. They do have a problem with a secretary.
Victor Danevich asked what could be done to improve and what to prepare for the Conservation Committee.
Alicia Harshfield said getting a copy of the Planning Board minutes would help and a summary of what the Planning Board requirements are & their expectations.
Much discuss between the members about many topics – one being that the Planning Board can ask the selectmen for an extension of time to find all the answers within reason from an EIS.
All members from both boards stated that the meeting was very beneficial.
The next joint meeting was scheduled for July 17th but may be postponed to July 24th. The boards will be notified.
MOTION: (Scanzani/Casey) To adjourn the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:45 PM.