APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

PLANNING BOARD MEETING

January 16, 2001

 

The Chairman, Victor Danevich, called the meeting to order at approximately 7:30 pm.

 

The Secretary, Bill Scanzani, called the roll:

 

PRESENT:             Victor Danevich, Bill Scanzani, Jeff Gowan (who arrived at approximately 7:40 pm), Peter McNamara, Paddy Culbert, Henry DeLuca, Alternate Gael Ouellette

 

ABSENT:               Selectmen’s Representative Deb Casey, Interim Planning Director Clay Mitchell,   Alternate Carl Huether, Alternate Richard Foote, Alternate Michael Soby

 

ADMINISTRATIVE

 

Irene Drive Bond Reduction Request

 

Attorney Ed Richards appeared before the Board on behalf of Mr. Mahoney, the developer of the project.  His understood there were two requests.  The first being a bond reduction to retain $41,000 for the Irene Drive bond,  and second, a bond reduction to retain $104,000 bond retention amount for Honey Road and Robin Road.  He said that his client agreed to both amounts. 

 

Mr. Scanzani made a motion to approve both the bond reductions based on the review of CLD and the Planning Director. 

 

MOTION:             (Scanzani/Culbert) To approve the two bond reductions as recommended to $41,000 and $104,000.

 

VOTE:                   (6 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

FINAL PUBLIC HEARING FOR PELHAM OPEN SPACE PLANNED DEVELOPMENT (674:21)

 

Mr. Danevich informed that the ordinance had already been read into the record and the Board would begin by reading the changes into record.   Mr. Scanzani noted that the final version of the ordinance being reviewed by the Board was dated January 16, 2001. He then read into the record the changes made from the last work session of January 3, 2001.

 

There was a brief discussion regarding line 157.  It was decided to have the sentence include the word ‘shall’ so it would read as follows: “The Planning Board shall adopt regulations to administer this exemption as part of the subdivision regulations.”

 

Mr. DeLuca discussed the possibility of decreasing preservation land acreage (noted in line 37) as an incentive to developers.  Mr. Danevich informed that it could not be changed this year, but could next year.  

 

Mr. Danevich read into the record a statement Ms. Casey provided in her absence. In the statement she renewed her concern for cost of the adult housing being $220,000 - $250,000.  She didn’t feel that many of the seniors in the community could afford that type of pricing.  Ms. Casey then renewed her concern with the age 55 level.  She felt the Board’s responsibility was to prepare for the future, which, in her opinion was not in adult housing, but in the preservation of land.

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

J.R. Gauthier, Tenney Road asked if the lot sizing was 15,000 square feet.  He questioned if the Board was proposing to have strictly open space.  Mr. Scanzani said if the area was 10-lots or more, the plan would have to show that it could be developed as open space.  He noted that the Board had the ability to waive the open space if a street were being extended or such.  Mr. Gauthier asked if it was to be the conceptual plan.  Mr. Danevich said page one of the plans should show the open space plots.  He then noted that the Board could waive the open space if there were good reasons to go instead with a conventional plan.  Mr. Culbert pointed out that the ordinance made it mandatory for a plan to be presented as open space.  Mr. Gauthier believed that the open space concept was good, but not if it were going to be forced or the Board’s decision.  Mr. Scanzani informed that open space was only for 10-lots or more.  He said there were 47 such lots remaining in Town.  He said there might be instances where open space wouldn’t work due to the interconnectivity of roads. 

 

Mr. Peter Zohdi, Herbert Associates said his understanding was the word ‘shall’ was to be removed from line 29.  He wanted to know why the Board would want to grant waivers.  He felt the Board should leave some authority with the landowners.  Mr. Danevich noted that the final decision was to have the word ‘shall’ remain.  Mr. Zohdi suggested leaving the wording, and if the Board wanted the plan another way, they could then ask for it.  Mr. Danevich reiterated that the wording could not be changed.  Mr. Gowan explained how the Board came to its decision.  He said the word 'shall' ensured that the Board had the ability to view open space developments.  He said he was not predetermining that open space would work in all cases, but in the cases that it would work, at least the Board would have the chance to view.  Mr. Scanzani felt that the open space was a lot less obstructive than the WCD ordinance. 

 

Mr. Zohdi asked for an explanation of lines 146-147, specifically the word ‘unit’.  He suggested that the Board delete the word ‘unit’ and replace with the word ‘lot’.  Mr. Zohdi then questioned lines 107-109.  He noted the exclusions listed and wanted an explanation for the wetland area.  Mr. Gowan explained that the area of high and dry normally buildable land is the percentage, which should be set aside for open space.  Mr. Scanzani said that a friendly amendment would help clarify the intent.  He suggested adding the word ‘calculation’ into the sentence.  He then read aloud his suggested wording.  Mr. Gowan gave his suggestion, which was acceptable to the Board. 

 

Mr. Zohdi then noted line 33, which would ask the voter to vote upon a regulation that has not been created.  Mr. Danevich said it would be discussed later in the meeting.  He said the intent was to complete the subdivision regulations proposed documents well in advance of the Town vote.  He said copies would be available prior to Town vote.  Mr. Zohdi said the problem he had was that the Board didn’t have a right to waive zoning.  He suggested to remove the word ‘shall’ and add it to the subdivision regulations.  There was a discussion regarding the waiver language.  Mr. Danevich noted that three attorneys concurred with the proposed language. 

 

Mr. Dave Hennessey, 71 Dutton Road said he was uneasy with the word ‘shall’.  He wanted to know in what way a developer would have to appear before the Board of Adjustment, for a special exception or a variance.  Mr. Culbert noted that Town Counsel said it would be a special exception.  Mr. Hennessey noted that a variance required proving hardship and meeting five criteria.  Mr. Scanzani read aloud RSA 675-5, section 3 regarding appeals.   Mr. Zohdi didn’t feel that the proposed zoning would be adopted.  Mr. Gowan reiterated that open space would guarantee that open space is considered. 

 

Mr. Danevich read briefly from the proposed subdivision regulation wording.  He noted the specific exception requirements. 

 

Mr. Gauthier agreed with Mr. Zohdi regarding the word ‘shall’ and felt that it should be within the subdivision regulations versus the zoning. 

 

Mr. Scanzani suggested the possibility of changing the word ‘shall’ to the word ‘may.’  Mr. Culbert said from the beginning, he was against making open space mandatory.  He said for conceptual plans he was in favor of deleting the word ‘shall’ and replacing with the word ‘may’ within the zoning regulations, but keeping the word ‘shall’ for 10-lots or more within the subdivision regulations.   Mr. Danevich asked for a consensus of the Board.  Mr. McNamara and Mr. Gowan were concerned with the legalities of changing the word ‘shall’.  Mr. DeLuca didn’t feel that the change should be made at this late stage. 

 

Mr. Hennessey said the ordinance was designed to be neutral.  He said if the word ‘shall’ were to be included the regulations should be tight so builders would be comfortable.  He felt that in certain instances, the existing zoning should be extended to new subdivisions and the builders should have the assurance in the regulations.  Mr. Scanzani said that there were 10 pages of proposed subdivision regulations, which would be available prior to the Town vote.

 

Mr. George Harris, Ledge Road said in three Towns that he knew of, the Town was working directly with the landowners to purchase property.  He wanted to know what was different with Pelham.  Mr. Danevich said it was being handled through Conservation.  Mr. Hennessey said the first purchase since the ordinance passed last year would be coming through shortly. 

 

Mr. Scanzani reviewed the three clarification changes discussed: 1) Open Space Requirements I - the word ‘calculation’ to be added; 2) Section G - replace ‘individual units’ with ‘lots’; 3) Regulations #7 replace ‘is authorized to’ with ‘shall adopt regulations to administer this exemption as part of the subdivision regulations.’

 

MOTION:             (Scanzani/Culbert) To accept the friendly amendment changes to the wording of the final version of the Pelham Open Space Planned Development document.

 

VOTE:                   (6 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

MOTION:             (Scanzani/Culbert) To put such wording on the ballot that the Planning Board recommended the Pelham Open Space Planned Development.

 

VOTE:                   (6 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

MOTION:             (Gowan/Culbert) To show the Planning Board’s vote tally be added to all four ordinances.

 

VOTE:                   (6 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

Mr. Danevich informed that for the next worksession the intent of the Board was to have a draft of the proposed subdivision regulations ready for inspection. 

 

PLANNING DIRECTOR’S REPORT

 

Mr. Danevich read into the record a memo from Town Counsel to Mr. Mitchell regarding petitioned zoning.

(ATTACHMENT #1)

 

Mr. Danevich read into the record a memo dated January 12, 2001 from Town Counsel to Mr. Mitchell regarding Wetland Conservation District pre-existing structures.  (ATTACHMENT #2) Mr. Danevich said if the memo satisfies the questions the Board could vote and to have it adopted and endorsed or the Board could ask for further clarification from Town Counsel.  There was a brief discussion regarding the current wording.  Mr. Danevich said he spoke with Town Counsel and Mr. Mitchell regarding the wording.  He said Town Counsel believes that the current wording is defendable in court.  Mr. Danevich would like to add an additional paragraph to the memo to further clarify the word ‘or’.  Mr. Gowan would like to review the letter further and have consistencies with references to WCD and wetlands.  Mr. Scanzani renewed his concern with the word ‘or’ and felt if an additional paragraph was added to the memo it would help clarify the Board’s intent. .  There was a brief discussion regarding the typographical changes the Board would like to change.  Mr. Gowan felt it would be a good idea to have the memo addressed to the Board and also reference the fact that the Board should vote to confirm the Board’s intent.  Mr. Scanzani would like further clarification of intent as well as carbon copies to all the pertinent Town Boards.  Mr. Danevich said he would have Town Counsel review and update for the next Board meeting. 

 

Mr. Danevich asked to formalize the Master Plan.  He said NRPC and Mr. Mitchell were looking for a Chairperson.  Mr. Gowan said he would Chair with certain conditions.  He mentioned that he could possibly get certain members from the previous Master Plan Committee. 

 

REQUEST FOR NON-PUBLIC SESSION

 

MOTION:             (Scanzani/Culbert) Request for a non-public session for legal reasons per RSA 91-A, II a

                                and c.

 

VOTE:                   (6 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

MOTION:             (Scanzani/Culbert) To seal the minutes of the non-public session indefinitely.

 

VOTE:                   (5 - 0 - 1) The motion carries. 

 

The Board returned to public session for the purposes of adjourning.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

 A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting.

 

The motion was adjourned at approximately 11:05pm.

 

                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                                Charity A. L. Willis

                                                                                                Recording Secretary