APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

PLANNING BOARD WORK SESSION

October 15, 2001†††

 

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

 

The Secretary, Bill Scanzani, called the roll:

 

PRESENT:

Victor Danevich, Paddy Culbert, Bill Scanzani, Peter McNamara, Henry DeLuca, Selectmenís Representative Hal Lynde, Alternate Gael Ouellette, Alternate Robin Bousa, Interim Planning Director Clay Mitchell

 

ABSENT:

 

Jeff Gowan

 

APPOINTMENTS

 

Police Chief Evan Haglund

 

Mr. Danevich began the meeting by asking Police Chief Evan Haglund, who also serves as the Town Safety Committee Chair, to bring the Board up to date on any topics of discussion from the Town Safety Committee.

 

Police Chief Evan Haglund said the main complaint was motor vehicles.He suggested that the Board discuss future road connectivity better, when reviewing subdivisions.

 

Mr. Scanzani asked if the list of certain streets (with problem names) had been renamed.Chief Haglund said it would be done in the projected future.Mr. Scanzani then asked if some of the older homes would be renumbered to meet the new standard of numbering, which was every 50í.Chief Haglund said the entire 911 issue would be coming back for review.Mr. Scanzani wanted to know if there were any recommendations for the subdivision regulations regarding streetlight requirements.Specifically, he wanted to know if there should be an automatic requirement for streetlights at major road intersections, as well as placement of signs and road striping.Chief Haglund believed that such issues should be discussed with the Planning Director to be brought to the appropriate departments, as well as being reviewed by the Safety Committee.Mr. Scanzani said the Board wanted to ensure that the bond amounts collected would cover the cost of fully completing subdivisions.He said that any direction the Safety Committee could provide during the planning process would be greatly appreciated.

 

Mr. Culbert believed that intersections required a streetlight.Chief Haglund said it had not been dictated.Mr. Lynde said in the past, the lights had been used as intersection markers, but had since been changed from low to high lumination.He felt that the white lines on the edge of the road helped with safety, because drivers could divert their eyes from oncoming traffic and focus on the lines.

 

Mr. Lynde asked if there was a current process for the Safety Committee to review plans.Mr. Mitchell said the new regulations state that the Safety Committee is required to comment on plans prior to approval.He said the process was not working now, but would be in the future.Mr. Culbert asked if he would be allowed to bring a set of plans to the Police Chief, Fire Chief and Highway Agent until the new process was working.The Board agreed, as long as Mr. Culbert worked under Mr. Mitchellís direction.Mr. Jim Pitts, Town Administrator, said that when the Board reviewed a plan, it should have already had all information as well as going to the Safety Committee for comment.Mr. Danevich discussed the problem with plans being presented with street names because the Townís minutes and audio records would then have incorrect information if the street names later changed.Mr. Pitts said the regulations (that havenít been properly enforced) require that street signs be in place at the time a road goes in.Mr. Danevich said one way to stop a name from being recorded, was to not sign the plans until an accepted street name was shown.Mr. Scanzani felt that the Chair of the Safety Committee should also sign off on plans.He also believed that the cisterns should be noted on the plan at the time it was recorded.Mr. Danevich suggested using one set of plans and having each department add comments and sign so that all information was easily available for review by the Board.

 

The time line for approving plans was discussed.Mr. Scanzani suggested that once a plan was received by the Planning Department, it was not placed on an agenda until thirty days later, therefore giving each department a chance to review before the plan was reviewed by the Board.

 

Fire Chief David Fisher

 

Mr. Danevich started the conversation by discussing cisterns.He confirmed that the physical location and size of a cistern was not decided until house size and location was decided.He felt that flexibility should be given on the plan so that at the time of building, the Fire Chief could then determine location and size.

 

Fire Chief David Fisher said that usually builders/contractors/developers would inform what the square footage of the first homes built would be so that the size of the cistern could be determined.He noted that the cistern could be added after a road, but needed to be in place before combustible materials were brought in.Chief Fisher said that one of the recent problems was that underground utilities were being used more often.He said that would create a problem, because the first plans would not have the utility information noted.He said they have not been adding a square on the plans to note where a cistern system should be located.He said that if a cul-de-sac or road was longer than 1000í the plans would need to be brought back in so that an additional cistern could be added.

 

Mr. Danevich asked if the proposed procedure was acceptable.Chief Fisher said he did not have a problem with the procedure.Mr. Danevich said the Board would not approve a plan until the cistern locations had been resolved by Chief Fisher and noted on the plan.Chief Fisher said that CLD (Town Engineer) was not aware of the cistern requirement and suggested that the Board discuss the requirements that should be on plans.

 

Mr. Scanzani asked if the procedures in place would alleviate problems with cisterns and receiving plans in time to review.Chief Fisher believed it would.Mr. Scanzani asked if there should be any other life safety requirements considered for the subdivision regulations other than what was included in the BOCA Code.Chief Fisher discussed the current road connectivity and said that cul-de-sacs did not work.He said response time issues were major with safety services.He felt that the Board should seriously consider plans and their future development issues at the time of initial review.He also felt that emergency ways could be worked into the process as well.

 

Mr. Danevich asked if a plan could be done which identified hot spot areas for the Board to review.Chief Fisher said a plan had been drafted that provided approximate response time mapping.Mr. Danevich asked that the issues be identified for future development projects.

 

Mr. Scanzani discussed how the Board handled right-of-ways in the past and said what the Planning Department needed was GIS mapping.He said it would allow the Board to review the elevation of the current subdivision and tie it to the abutting parcels.

 

Mr. DeLuca said the reasoning for cul-de-sacs in the past was for the ďfamilyĒ feel and the residents didnít want the streets to connect through.He said now that the safety issues have been identified the Board would need to view subdivisions in a different way.Chief Fisher said the main communication problem was that he didnít see a copy of the plan until the development was being built.

 

Mr. Danevich said the proposed subdivision regulations included a procedure for how bonds would be handled with regard to cisterns and road signage.He said the Board would not entertain a bond reduction until the road signs were in place.

 

Mr. Roland Soucy, Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer said he would like to see a predetermined bond reduction schedule as part of the approval.He said the developers would then know at which points the bond would be reduced, and by how much, as long as they received a positive report from CLD (Town Engineer).

 

Mr. Scanzani suggested that a set of plans be provided to the Safety Committee for site development.He felt that there should be an additional person, such as Mr. Soucy, on the Safety Committee to review the site development plans.An example Mr. Scanzani gave was the regulations didnít provide any height requirements, such restrictions were contained in the BOCA Code.Mr. DeLuca felt that the Highway Agent should also review the roads before the bond was reduced/released and before they were approved by the Town vote.Mr. Soucy felt that CLD should also review before the bond was reduced/released.

 

Chief Fisher discussed who was allowed to speak directly to him regarding subdivision plans.He wanted it known that anyone who wanted to, could meet with him to discuss plans.Mr. Danevich said the Board, during his term of 2 1/2 years, had never restricted people from speaking directly with the Fire Chief, Police Chief or any other appropriate agent.The Fire Chief said there were engineers who had the impression they were not allowed to speak directly to him.He said there were crossed communications in the past with cisterns being installed, but that he had since resolved the issue with Mr. Mitchell.

 

Mr. Lynde said he was unsure of how to deal with a developer/engineer that was presenting a plan and providing information from a meeting with the Chief.Chief Fisher said that type of problem would be alleviated by having him sign and write any concerns on a copy of the plan.Mr. Danevich said the agreement the Board had with Conservation was that they review the plan and that their signature didnít mean that the plan was approved.

 

Mr. Danevich asked for an update of the Code Enforcement Fire Department position.Chief Fisher said they were interviewing the last candidate and hoped that within the next ten days they would have a recommendation for the Board of Selectmen.Mr. Danevich asked what the primary task would be for the person.Chief Fisher said that the person would primarily work with the Fire Department bringing up the inspections and then assisting the Code Enforcement Officer.Mr. Danevich said there were concerns with having a part-time Code Enforcement Officer because of the number of new homes that would be built.He said that additional resources would be a tremendous value and benefit to the residents as well as to the Town.†† Chief Fisher gave a brief description of what the Fire Code Officer would be responsible for.He felt the position would be tied into the Town Code Officer position.He was unsure how many hours would be dedicated to the Town, but could assess the position after the person was actively doing the job.

 

Mr. DeLuca asked if the Chief had reviewed installing sprinklers rather than cisterns.Chief Fisher said the Town was responsible for maintaining cisterns.He said that he had discussed sprinklers for commercial/industrial buildings approximately ten years ago with the Board who decided it wouldnít happen at that time.Chief Fisher said that he would strongly recommend sprinklers for commercial/industrial buildings today.He also strongly recommended that all new residential and commercial buildings be sprinkled.Mr. Danevich asked what would need to be done to implement the policy of all new construction being sprinkled.Chief Fisher was unsure who would have the authority.He felt that implementation should be worked on in conjunction with the Fire Department.He said he could come up with a proposal for the Board if they were interested.Mr. DeLuca asked if sprinklers were implemented, if cisterns would be eliminated.Chief Fisher answered no.He ended by saying all the steps being taken were great, but the important issue was the distance an ambulance traveled.

 

Mr. Scanzani felt the Fire Chief should put together a proposal for sprinklers.Mr. Danevich discussed the proposition.There was a consensus from the Board to have the Fire Chief draft a proposal for sprinklers.Mr. Mitchell would research if a building change code would need a Town vote.

 

 

 

Mr. Roland Soucy, Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer

 

Mr. Danevich began by asking Mr. Roland Soucy, Code Enforcement Officer if he felt it was time to propose that the Code Enforcement Officer position be changed from part-time, to full-time.Mr. Soucy felt that if the position were changed to full-time, there would be enough work between the Building Inspector and the Code Enforcement Officer position to keep an individual busy.Mr. Danevich asked if Mr. Soucy would support a Warrant for a full-time Inspector/Code Enforcement position.Mr. Soucy didnít feel that the new Fire Department Code Officer would have sufficient time to dedicate to the Planning Department.Mr. Danevich said the Board would either propose the position into Mr. Mitchellís budget or enter a Warrant Article.

 

Mr. Bill McDevitt, Selectman, said he wouldnít support a Warrant Article for the position.He said if last yearís Warrant was reviewed, the intent was clear to have the position be joint between the two departments.He felt the position should be clear and should be resolved internally.He believed the public would question the position voted for last year if an additional Warrant Article was submitted this coming March.

 

Mr. Soucy said that it would have to be made clear what the Planning Departmentís and Fire Departmentís Code Officer would be handling so there were no misunderstandings.

 

Mr. Danevich noted the amount of subdivisions that were coming up and felt that the expectations of the new Code position had grown since last year.He was unsure if the new person would be able to handle the volume of work.He said the main complaint from abutters was the timeframe in which inspections (building, electric, and plumbing) were completed.Mr. McDevitt discussed the code issues that had been coming before the Selectmen.Mr. Danevich said that having a service person that would return phone calls would help.Mr. McDevitt noted how difficult it was to have a part-time position approved.Mr. Scanzani said the Planning Department was self-funded and that all the fees, inspections, etc. needed to be done as a Board, could be funded through the fees collected for those inspections.He said the funds didnít need to come from the general publicís taxpayers roll.He went on to discuss the problems that could arise by not having the personnel to review all the new homes.

 

Mr. Lynde felt that the problem with the service was that the Town had allowed itself to become overloaded with work.He said the infrastructure couldnít handle the approvals.He suggested hiring more members from CLD to review plans.Mr. Scanzani didnít feel that the average number of new homes being built would rise considerably.He pointed out that with more homes built, there would be more people wanting to change things, now that they owned them.Mr. Soucy wanted it known that most people received good service from the three Town inspectors.He said that working with homeowners was easier than working with contractors.He spoke of the difficulty with working with certain contractors and the amount of time spent doing reinspections.He noted it was also difficult doing the job without a full-time Planning Director to help field the inquiries.

 

Mr. Mitchell said that he discussed the Planning Department, Planning Board and Zoning Board with the Budget Committee.He said he told the Committee that the fees charged at the Planning Department were to be used for the administration of the office, not to pull a profit in the general fund.He said the Townís fees were getting up there.He warned that the Supreme Court has ruled that if fees were unreasonable, they would be knocked down.Mr. Mitchell felt the Town should reinvest the money into an efficient Planning Department.He suggested discussing the budget with the Selectmen and the Budget Committee.

There was a brief discussion regarding the Planning Departmentís workload

and how work could be delegated.

 

Mr. Soucy said that additional work was placed upon him when the Board placed conditions on plans.He asked if a list of conditions could be drafted for each plan so that he didnít have to research in places such as the drawings, the minutes etc.He believed that the Planning Departmentís new computer software would have the capability to compose the list.He asked that the condition list be inserted into the subdivision file for easy reference.Mr. Soucy said that some of the commitments the developers and engineers made were not possible to meet.Mr. Mitchell said there would be spreadsheets that listed the conditions.He said the new regulations would require an individual sheet for conditions, which would be signed and recorded at the Registry of Deeds.He said the Planning Director was to review for accuracy.

 

Mr. Danevich spoke of the deficiency with the computers in the Planning Department.He felt the Town needed to take a more proactive approach to IT budgeting and PC acquisition, which he offered to help author and write.

 

Mr. Danevich said the Board was committed to provide the Building Inspector the conditions placed on plans.

 

There was a brief discussion regarding when building permits were issued.

 

Mr. McNamara discussed the volume of code enforcement work as well as the comment made by Mr. Soucy that the Townís legal expenses would rise if he noted all the problems viewed.He wanted to know if builders were aware of what they should and should not do.Mr. Soucy said there were also problems with homeowners not knowing zoning.Mr. McNamara wanted to know if he received a positive response when he caught people not doing what they should.Mr. Soucy said for the most part people were decent and understood what his job was.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Mr. Danevich asked Mr. Mitchell to review the changes to the proposed Subdivision Regulations.

 

Mr. Mitchell said he had met with Mr. Dave Brouillet of CLD (Townís Engineer) and incorporated the changes suggested.He said the engineering comments would be cleaned up after his next meeting with Mr. Brouillet.Mr. Mitchell then reviewed the changes made to the proposed Subdivision Regulations.

The significant changes made were: 1) abutter notification process; 2) specificity issues commonly asked to be waived; 3) site specific soil map requirements; 4) zoning / variances; 5) cul-de-sac lengths; 6) signage;

7) various studies; 8) traffic impact analysis (which he asked that Ms. Bousa point out any standards);

9) two bonding sections (which would be discussed with Mr. Brouillet to tie the two together); 10) building permit and certificate of occupancy issuance requirements; 11) roadway design.

 

Mr. Mitchell said that the Board members would be receiving an electronic copy of the regulations in the next day or two.He ended by asking that the Board members review the document for any grammatical errors.

 

Mr. Mitchell discussed the piping used in the Town, and asked if the regulations could provide that only pipe approved by the NHDOT.He wanted to know if the Planning Director and CLD could approve an in-field material change request for use of an alternate type of piping.There was a consensus from the Board to give Mr. Mitchell and CLD the ability to approve the material change (as long as the sizing did not change).

 

Mr. Mitchell discussed zoning amendments and said that the last date to post and publish a notice for the first hearing would be December 21, 2001.Mr. Scanzani asked what the last hearing date could be.Mr. Mitchell said the last date for a hearing could be no later than the third Thursday in January.Mr. Danevich said he would work to put a schedule together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADMINISTRATIVE

 

Bond for Robin Way & Honey Lane - Phase II

 

Mr. Mitchell said if the Board wanted to revoke the bond, or conditionally revoke it based on the letter of September 27, 2001.He said that they had ordered the guard rails, they installed the catch basin and were moving with the process as best as they could.Mr. Scanzani asked if he was receiving cooperation.Mr. Mitchell answered yes.Mr. Danevich said it had been going on for over a year and was not confident that the issues would be resolved within a suitable time frame.Mr. Mitchell said the Townís agreement granted two years for completion (which he didnít know when it was signed.Mr. Danevich reviewed the number of prior discussions and reiterated that he did not have confidence that the work would be done by the end of construction season.

 

Mr. Mitchell then read aloud a letter submitted by Mr. Tim Fraize dated October 1, 2001 which discussed the drainage problems with Honey Lane on ML 6-193 and 6-195, which continued not to work.He ended by requesting that the Planning Board not reduce the bond.

 

Mr. Scanzani said he had reviewed the site as well as been in contact with one of the people responsible for the development, who indicated that in no way would they fix the problem under any circumstances.Mr. Danevich then read aloud a memo dated September 27, 2001 from Mr. Mitchell to Mahoney/Talty.The memo listed the following conditions that needed to be completed before any additional money would be released:1) cut down swale to CLD recommended height - spring 2002; 2) finish coat to be added - spring 2002; 3) reduce slope and road shoulder as needed- spring 2002; 4) guard rails to be added at the end of the building season - 2002 - approximately 150í; 5) clean out and stabilize pipe entrance and exit Honey Lane; 7) redirect storm water at Lot 23 at 21 Robin, to eliminate substantial amount of standing water; 8) stabilize site for winter including all erosion and sediment controls.Mr. Danevich believed that the list of conditions highlighted the impact of non-action by the developer and would not support an extension, he asked that a motion be made to revoke the bond.

 

Mr. Culbert asked what the full amount of the bond was and if the amount would be enough to cover the work needing to be done.Mr. Mitchell said the bond amount was $104,000 and CLD informed the amount would be sufficient to complete the work.He noted that the two-year term would expire March 6, 2002.

 

Mr. Culbert made a motion to revoke the bond in its entirety.Mr. Scanzani seconded.

 

Mr. DeLuca wanted to know if there was a way of determining the amount of money needed for completing the work.Mr. Mitchell said the bond amount should be sufficient.He said the money contained a contingency amount.

 

Mr. Danevich said he was concerned with the winter and noted that there was a rock that would probably ruin a snowplow.There was a discussion regarding what could be done now, rather than waiting until 2002.

 

Mr. Culbert amended his motion to read that the entire bond amount would be revoked if the following conditions were not met within two weeks: 1) the stumps are to be removed; 2) the rocks causing safety problems are to be removed; 3) guardrailing is to be installed; 4) drainage problem on Mr. Fraizeís property shall be fixed, the swales cut, and the soil shall be stabilized with winter rye and hay.Mr. Scanzani warned that if there were a snowstorm the items would not be completed.He suggested getting a bill for the condition items and revoking the specific amount from the bond.There was a brief discussion regarding the condition items and if they would be able to be completed in the two week time period.Mr. McNamara wanted to know if the bond was to be revoked if the safety issues could be remedied.Mr. Danevich answered yes.Mr. Scanzani amended his second.

 

 

 

Mr. Danevich noted that Ms. Bousa would be voting on behalf of Mr. Jeff Gowan.

 

MOTION:

(Culbert/Scanzani) The entire bond amount will be revoked if the following conditions are not met within two weeks: 1) the stumps are to be removed; 2) the rocks causing safety problems are to be removed; 3) guardrailing is to be installed; 4) drainage problem on Mr. Fraizeís property shall be fixed, the swales cut, and the soil shall be stabilized with winter rye and hay.

 

VOTE:

 

(7 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

August6, 2001

 

Mr. Danevich submitted the changes made to the minutes to the Recording Secretary, Charmaine Goyette.

 

MOTION:

(Culbert/Scanzani) To approve the minutes from the August 6, 2001 meeting as amended.

 

VOTE:

 

(7 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

August 20, 2001

 

Mr. Danevich said the minutes review would be deferred to the next meeting.

 

September 6, 2001

 

Mr. Danevich submitted the changes made to the minutes to the Recording Secretary, Charmaine Goyette.

 

MOTION:

(Scanzani/McNamara) To approve the minutes from the September 6, 2001 meeting as amended.

 

VOTE:

 

(6 - 0 - 1) The motion carries.Mr. Culbert abstained.

 

 

September 17, 2001, October 1, 2001

 

Mr. Danevich said the minutes review would be deferred to the next meeting.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

Mr. Danevich said that he appreciated the document submitted by the Cul-de-sac Committee.The Board reviewed the document and suggested that certain paragraphs be clarified.†† Mr. Danevich said the document should be given to Mr. Mitchell, once a consensus from the Board was made so that it could be included in the proposed subdivision regulations.

 

Mr. Danevich reviewed the concerns/discussions that were brought up during the last site walk.

 

Mr. Scanzani briefly discussed building envelopes and believed they shouldnot only contain the square footage, but must require that there should also be a naturally occurring slope of less than 15%.Mr. Danevich didnít feel that the building envelope piece should be inclusive of slope percentages.Mr. Scanzani felt that the building envelope section should include a percentage because of wells and septics.Mr. Danevich felt that if lot sizes were being controlled, it should be done in one section of the regulations.He said he would make a note to add a discussion item for a future work session.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting.

 

The motion was adjourned at approximately 11:00pm.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† Respectfully submitted,

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† Charity A. L. Willis

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† Recording Secretary