APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

PLANNING BOARD MEETING

December 3, 2001   

 

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

 

The acting Secretary, Mr. Peter McNamara, called the roll:

 

PRESENT:

Victor Danevich, Paddy Culbert, Jeff Gowan, Bill Scanzani (arrived at approximately 9:00 pm), Peter McNamara, Henry DeLuca, Selectmen’s Representative Hal Lynde (arrived at approximately 7:45pm), Alternate Gael Ouellette, Alternate Robin Bousa, Interim Planning Director Clay Mitchell

 

ABSENT:

 

Jeff Gowan

 

Mr. Danevich informed that Ms. Ouellette would be voting in Mr. Gowan’s absence, and that Ms. Bousa would be voting on Mr. Scanzani’s behalf until he arrived. 

 

PRELIMINARY DISCUSSION

 

Preliminary Site Plan Discussion - Pelham Track 2001 regarding site plan review limited to 15 minutes

 

Scott from the Pelham Track Committee said they were proposing an eight-lane 400-meter rubberized track for the new elementary school.  He discussed what money had been raised and what money was still needed. 

 

Mr. Danevich discussed the plans and said he had not received comments from the Fire Chief, which was to be forthcoming.  He asked that a construction schedule be provided.  Scott said that this spring/summer they would be looking to clear trees and the rest would be out to bid.  He ended by discussing their non-profit status. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. Bob Lamoureux, Blueberry Circle wanted to know if the new track would cost the taxpayers.  Scott said currently it did not, but they possibly would draft a warrant article for the balance of funds.  Mr. Lamoureux asked if there was a fund set up to accept donations.  Scott said a fund was being set up and if anyone was interested they could donate to ‘Pelham Track 2001’. 

 

Mr. Harris discussed the need for the Town to have the track for not only runners but also residents, both young and old. 

 

Mr. Lynde arrived.

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/DeLuca)To authorize the Planning Director to issue a non-binding letter to Pelham Track 2001 to: 1)  include Fire Chief review in final comments, 2) obtain Conservation’s review due to prime wetlands in the area; 3) letter of intent that addressed the construction schedule.

 

VOTE:

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

 

ADMINISTRATIVE

 

ML 12-41 Spring Street - William Perkins, P.E., Hearthstone Realty Corp. - Bond Release for installation of Fire Hydrant

 

Mr. Danevich informed that a full bond released was being requested. 

 

Mr. Lynde stepped out of the room.

 

Mr. William McChesney, CLD (Town Engineer) did not recommend a bond release until the inspection/operational test was completed, at a cost of approximately $6,000. 

 

MOTION:

(Culbert/DeLuca) To deny the bond release.

 

VOTE:

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

 

Continued - NEW BUSINESS

 

Mr. Lynde returned to the Board. 

 

As a point of administration, Mr. Bob Lamoureux, Blueberry Circle asked Mr. Mitchell if the next agenda items would have to abide by the new subdivision regulations that were accepted by the Planning Board.  Mr. Mitchell said there was a statute that states that the date the subdivision regulations take effect, is the date the subdivision regulations were posted.  He noted that the subdivision regulations were posted November 8, 2001 and was followed by a public hearing of the Planning Board on November 19, 2001.  His proposed resolution was to review submissions prior to November 8, 2001 under the old subdivision regulations and to review any submissions after November 8, 2001 under the new subdivision regulations.  He suggested that the Board seek Town Counsel’s opinion of his resolutions.  Mr. Danevich asked how zoning issues should be reviewed.  Mr. Mitchell felt the same resolution should be applied to zoning.  Mr. Danevich confirmed that the three agenda items under ‘Continued - NEW BUSINESS’ should be reviewed under the old subdivision regulations and the old zoning for the meeting in session, and then seek a formal opinion from Town Counsel. 

 

Mr. Culbert asked if the date for submissions should begin either on November 8th or 9th.  Mr. Mitchell said he would research.  He said that the notice posted for the change in the regulations was done in the morning of November 8, 2001. 

 

Mr. Matt Amert of Meisner/Bremm Corporation wanted to know how an approved preliminary plan would be affected.  Mr. Mitchell said that comments made during a preliminary review session were not binding on the Board or the applicant. 

 

Mr. Lamoureux wanted further clarification of the timeclock the Board followed and gave an example of how an application could be effected if Town vote passed certain ordinances.  Mr. Mitchell believed that Town Counsel needed to provide opinion on the matter.  Mr. Danevich informed that in the interest of time, the Board would vote to hear the next three agenda items in accordance with the old subdivision regulations and old zoning until Town Counsel could provide an opinion.     

 

MOTION:

(Culbert/McNamara) To review 1) ML 5-104, 113, 115; 2) ML 12-44 Phase II; and 3) ML 11-254 under the old subdivision regulations and zoning as well as to direct Mr. Mitchell to seek Town Counsel’s formal opinion.                   

 

VOTE:

(7 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

ML 5-104, 113, 115 Sousa Realty & Development - Proposed 20-Lot Subdivision for Submission

 

Mr. McNamara read the list of abutters aloud. There were no persons present who did not have their name read.

 

Mr. Tony Basso, Hayner/Swanson Corporation presented the plan to the Board.  He said the lots totaled approximately 47acres.  It was his belief the area had been rezoned as residential two years ago.  He said the land sloped toward the northeast and contained some wetlands.  Mr. Basso said they were proposing to consolidate lots 104 and 113 and then subdivide.  He said the development of the road would require two wetland impacts (2,075sf and 6,275sf).  He said the site would be served with on-site wells and septics.  He explained that stormwater would be handled with catch basins and culverts.  Mr. Basso informed that lot 115 contained an existing house that would be demolished and redeveloped as a single-family residence. 

 

Mr. Mitchell said he had minor design concerns that were discretionary with the Board.  He recommended the plan for acceptance under the old regulations. 

 

MOTION:

 

(Culbert/McNamara) To accept the plan for consideration under the old regulations.

 

VOTE:

(7 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Mr. Danevich asked if there had been any waiver requests submitted.  Mr. Mitchell answered no. 

 

Mr. Lynde wanted to know if Long Pond Road was Town owned because it had been closed subject to gates and bars.  Mr. Basso pointed out the location of the Town owned portion of the road and also where the discontinued portion of the road was located.  Mr. Lynde confirmed with Mr. Basso that the road had been discontinued by vote at Town meeting.  Mr. Lynde felt that a through road should be researched, rather than creating a cul-de-sac.  Mr. Culbert’s recollection was that the road remained discontinued all the way to Hudson.  Mr. Basso said they had done thorough research.  Mr. Lynde ended by saying he felt there was a need for open space, due to the large size of the proposed development. 

 

Mr. Danevich read into the record a letter dated November 5, 2001 from Ms. Mary MacFarlane of Realty Trust, Tewksbury, MA.  The letter asked that a right of way be left so that a portion of her land would not be landlocked.  Mr. Basso said his client would provide a right-of-way.  Mr. Lynde asked if the wetland crossings would have been required if they followed the original passageway.  Mr. Basso said they moved the passageway because the wetland crossing impacts would have been larger if they followed the existing passage.  Mr. DeLuca asked if there were any wetland crossings for the driveway.  Mr. Basso said no.  He said he would provide grading plans to the Board for review.

 

Mr. Mitchell felt the following concerns should be reviewed either with CLD (Town Engineer) or the applicant: 1) drainage easements should be reviewed; 2) slope easements added; 3) what maintenance the Town would have for ML 5-114; 4) the measurements for upland area should be area; 5) slope information should be included; 6)  no land set aside per 674:36; 7) ledge outcroppings.  Mr. Culbert wanted written opinion regarding the road’s status.  Mr. Lynde didn’t believe the Town owned portion of the road was sufficient to handle the added traffic. 

 

Mr. Danevich scheduled the parcel for a site walk, December 8, 2001.  He noted that the economic impact statement had not been received.  He requested that a traffic study be performed. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. Jay Lynch, Mary Farm Trust, said they would like to review the plan once CLD reviewed.

 

Mr. Bob Yarmo, Chairman, Conservation Commission, asked that the environmental reports be forwarded to the Conservation Commission.  He wanted to note that

 

Mr. Bob Lamoureux, Blueberry Circle, wanted to know if the wildlife corridor was included in the parcel.  Mr. Basso didn’t review the report. 

 

Mr. Bill McChesney, CLD said the road leading to the residents was a class 6 road that needed improvements.

 

Ms. Alicia Hennessey, 71 Dutton Road asked if gates and bars would be removed.  Mr. Mitchell said such information would be included in the detailed report of the road that was previously requested by the Board. 

 

Mr. Basso confirmed the Board’s concerns as follows: 1) drainage easements;  2) slope easements & calculations; 3) contiguous upland areas; 4) open space; 5) discontinuance information for the road; 6) environmental impact study; 7) stake road; 8)  traffic study; 9) set meeting with Conservation Commission; 10) site walk December 8, 2001.  Mr. Lynde informed that open space land generally was a minimum of two acres and relatively flat.

 

Mr. Mitchell added that the applicant needed to draft a proposition for the right-of-way as it intersects with the Town owned road.  He also asked that an estimate of blasting be submitted in order to set an appropriate bond.  Mr. Basso said he would provide a ledge profile for CLD’s review.

 

Mr. Danevich noted that the plan would be continued to be reviewed on January 7, 2002. 

 

ML 12-44 Phase II Hart, Jordan & White - Shephard Road/Mulberry Lane - Proposed 28-Lot Subdivision for Submission

 

Mr. Danevich noted that Ms. Ouellette had stepped down for Phase I of the plan, but was not a direct abutter of Phase II.  He asked the Board if anyone objected to her remaining on the Board.  There were no objections.

 

Mr. McNamara read the list of abutters aloud. There were no persons present who did not have their name read.

 

Mr. Peter Zohdi, Herbert Associates presented the plan to the Board.  He said that a few years ago the Board had approved a portion of Shephard and Mulberry and decided that there could be no further development until there was a connection out of the development.  Mr. Zohdi said they had a verbal agreement with the Selectman and the owners of the abutting parcels to extend all the roads and obtain a connection to Spring Street.  He said all the lots complied with the subdivision regulations and zoning.  He noted that everything had been submitted to CLD for review.  He said that the environmental study was in the process of being completed. 

 

Mr. Mitchell said that most of his issues had already been addressed, except signage for the four-way stop.  He said that other than design considerations, it was his opinion that the plans were complete per the old subdivision regulations. 

 

Mr. Culbert

 

MOTION:

 

(Culbert/DeLuca) To accept the plans for consideration.

 

VOTE:

(7 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Mr. Zohdi said he would not be requesting any waivers at this time.

 

Mr. Lynde addressed the need for open space in the area of Town.  He felt another issue was the road design. 

 

Mr. DeLuca asked about the jog on ML12-44-25.  He also discussed lots 15-17 and the possible need to have them combined.  Mr. Mitchell felt that lots 25 & 26 should possibly be combined as well.  He didn’t feel that lot 25 met zoning for frontage.  He said that there were additional lot lines that needed to be straightened out.  Mr. Zohdi said he would review with Mr. Mitchell. 

 

Mr. Mitchell said his general design issue was drainage on lots 25 and 26, which he asked that Conservation review.  He said that there was an impact to the WCD on lot 4. 

 

Mr. Scanzani arrived.

 

Mr. Lynde asked that the wildlife corridor impacts be reviewed.  He felt the road could be shifted to not impact the WCD.  Mr. Danevich asked if there were a way to go around the Town parcel.  Mr. Zohdi discussed the history of the area.  He said the section of road that went through the Town parcel was approximately 500’-550’.  Mr. Zohdi explained that Gove Environmental was currently preparing the wildlife study and it would be presented at the next meeting.  He also noted that he was working with Mr. Mitchell to provide some open space to the Town. 

 

Mr. Culbert would like the Fire Chief involved in case he desired a fire substation.  Mr. Zohdi said he would speak with the Fire Chief.  Mr. Danevich said the fire substation question was on his list of questions for the Safety Committee.

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. Ray Brunelle, Pelham, said he was not a direct abutter but wanted to discuss the wildlife corridor, lack of open space.  He asked that consideration be given to recreation and a trail system.  Mr. Zohdi said he would take the comments under advisement.

 

Mr. Paul McLaughlin, Birch Lane, asked what quid pro quo the Town would receive in exchange for allowing a road to be built on Town owned land.  Mr. Mitchell said negotiations were ongoing.  He said because the road would be providing access, and would not cost the road anything, he was unsure of what exchange would take place other than more safety for residents. 

 

Mr. Mike Scanlon, Shephard Road, asked if there had been a study to show that adding the connection would save time for emergency response.  Mr. Scanzani said it was faster to connect through Town owned land.  Mr. Scanlon asked if the developer had a contingency plan in case the Selectmen denied access.  Mr. Zohdi said there were other options.  Mr. Scanlon asked if there would be road access other than Shephard road.  Mr. Zohdi answered yes. 

 

Mr. Bob Lamoureux, Blueberry Circle, wanted to know what the Town would receive.  Mr. Danevich said that the Town had received conservation easements.  He added that landowners had been very generous.  Mr. Lamoureux felt a fire substation would be a good consideration.  Mr. Zohdi said he would work with Mr. Mitchell and the Fire Chief for their needs.  Mr. Lamoureux discussed the wildlife corridor and felt the Board needed a second opinion regarding the needs.  He asked if there were regulations regarding soils.  Mr. Mitchell said soil information would be included in the environmental impact study. 

 

Mr. Lynde requested that topography be done for the entire area.  Mr. Zohdi said he had a ground topo of the proposed subdivision and would provide an expanded topo of the area at the next meeting. 

 

Mr. Bob Yarmo, Chairman, Conservation Commission, felt that in this instance and certain other instances that a third party, or separate consultant, should review the land and provide an environmental study.  Mr. Scanzani asked if a Town wide study was being created.  Mr. Yarmo said that the natural resources chapter has been reviewed and will be reviewed at the next master plan meeting.  He felt that individual studies should also be done.  Mr. Scanzani discussed the necessity for completion of a Town environmental study in relation to new subdivisions.  Mr. Danevich noted Mr. Yarmo’s concern for independent studies and said the Board would discuss during a future work session.

 

Mr. Danevich informed that a site walk would be performed Saturday, December 8, 2001.  The next hearing will be conducted January 7, 2002.

 

Mr. Danevich reviewed the Board’s concerns as follows: 1) open space; 2) irregular shaped lots; 3) road designs; 4) driveway problems; 5) lot 25-27 (as previously discussed); 6)  lot 15-18 (as previously discussed); 7) lot 25 requiring a variance from zoning; 8) drainage and impact on WCD specifically lots 25-26; 9) wildlife corridor; 10) overall topography; 11) bonding of Town road portion; 12) traffic study; 13) open space concerns; 14) EIA report for January meeting; 15) written Selectmen comment (Mr. Zohdi to contact Mr. Pitts for meeting with Selectmen); 16) Conservation comment.

 

ML 11-254 Maurice Picard - Dutton Road - Proposed 17-Lot Subdivision for Submission

 

Mr. Scanzani read the list of abutters aloud. There were no persons present who did not have their name read.

 

Mr. Jack Simplenski, Benchmark Engineering presented the plan to the Board.  He noted the limited access to the property.  He said they were proposing to create seventeen-lot residential subdivision.  Mr. Simplenski said the access road would end in a cul-de-sac.  He noted that they proposed a stub road that would eventually connect through to Blueberry Circle.  He pointed out the wetlands and the flow of drainage toward Little Island Pond.  He said there were two dredge and fills necessary so the parcel could be accessed (4,700sf and 3,000sf).  He said the homes would be serviced by individual wells and septics.  Mr. Simplenski submitted the drainage study to the Board.  He showed the Board a graph of the proposed grading.  He said they were requesting a waiver for the length of road (measuring 2,000’ from the road, or 1300’ from the stub).  He said the plans had not yet been reviewed by CLD. 

 

Mr. Mitchell said the information submitted was complete, his concerns were design related.  He pointed out that the Board received a letter from Attorney Mike Donovan, which had since been forwarded to Town Counsel for review.  He recommended that the plans be accepted.    

 

MOTION:

 

(Culbert/Scanzani) To accept the plans for consideration.

 

VOTE:

(7 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Mr. Scanzani confirmed that the waiver for length of road had been received.  Mr. Lynde asked if the cul-de-sac would be permanent.  Mr. Danevich answered yes. 

 

MOTION:

 

(Scanzani/Culbert) To accept the waiver for consideration for the length of cul-de-sac at 2000’. 

 

VOTE:

(7 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Mr. Culbert noted that under the new regulations, the length of cul-de-sac would not be accepted.

 

Mr. Mitchell commented that several lots were under constraint.  He noted specifically the narrowness of lot 9, the building constraint and narrowness of lots 7, 13.  He felt that if homeowners were to put additions onto their homes, that they may go into the wetland area.  He said that lot 6 also had a strange shape.  The construction of the proposed drainage was also a concern of Mr. Mitchell.  He felt that all the lots should be reviewed for the placement of the houses.  Mr. Mitchell felt that the Board could request site specific.  He said that the treatment swales appeared to be located in the WCD.  He also asked for clarification of the outlet structure location.  He asked that Conservation review and provide comments regarding the storm water management system. 

 

Mr. Danevich read aloud a letter submitted by Ms. Shirley Wakefield, which noted concerns regarding drainage.  Ms. Wakefield had a discussion with Mr. Simplenski regarding reworking the culvert system.  Mr. Danevich read aloud a memo that was submitted to the Conservation Commission by seven residents of South Shore Drive.  The memo expressed the drainage concerns from South Shore Drive into Little Island Pond.  The residents felt the properties would be imperiled and wildlife would be affected.

 

Mr. Scanzani asked if any of the driveways would require wetland crossings.  Mr. Simplenski answered no.  Mr. Scanzani discussed the shape of the building envelopes and felt that only three lots had reasonable shapes.  He asked they had considered combining lots to obtain reasonable lot shapes.  Mr. Simplenski was convinced that he could have reasonable building lots and said he would be agreeable to submitting site specific plans.

 

Mr. Culbert said that the plans showed the locations of the homes, wells and septic and wanted to know where the yard would be.  Mr. Scanzani wanted to see where the tree cut line would be.  Mr. Culbert wanted to know how the lots would fit into the economic study.  Mr. Danevich confirmed the concerns as being a cleared area in the back yard and the useable lot size calculation. 

 

Mr. Lynde felt that the cul-de-sac length issue should be reviewed first.  He felt that all of the lots would be problems due to the wetland.  Mr. Danevich speculated about the actions the applicant could take to develop the land, such seek a variance from the Board of Adjustment.  Mr. Lynde commented about the Board of Adjustment subdividing land inappropriately and noted his concern regarding the wet areas of the parcel.  Mr. McNamara, who is also a member of the Board of Adjustment, didn’t feel they were subdividing land.  He felt if planned properly the applicant would not need to appear before the Board of Adjustment.  Mr. Culbert felt that the applicant would be forced to come in with a shorter cul-de-sac after all the studies were reviewed. 

 

Mr. Simplenski pointed out that they had quite a bit of usable land and said they had excellent test pits.  He said the crossings were not major and didn’t feel there would be an excessive environmental impact.  He explained how the drainage system would perform and believed that the runoff would be less than it currently was.  Mr. Simplenski didn’t feel that there would be many disturbances due to gentle grades.

 

Mr. Scanzani discussed alterations to the plan, which would satisfy issues such as drainage and lot shapes. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

A daughter of Ms. Shirley Wakefield spoke on her behalf and read aloud a letter submitted by Ms. Wakefield.  Ms. Wakefield had a prior commitment, and was not able to attend the meeting.  The letter discussed protecting wildlife, the pond, and the environment.  In the letter, Ms. Wakefield noted that she would be most effected by runoff from the proposed development.  In conclusion, the following questions were asked: 1) who would be responsible if the wells from existing residents became contaminated; 2) any restrictions for existing residents building (2nd floor); 3) environmental impact on an already crowded school system; 4) police and fire department response; 5) road maintenance; 6) the number of new homes with very little industry in Town; 7) paper road and access to Little Island Pond; 8) who will stop contamination of Little Island Pond; 9) erosion, flooding, septic seepage, salt runoff in winter, contaminants from disturbed  bedrock; 10) can the 500’ cul-de-sac be legally enforced; 11) how will wildlife concerns be taken care of; 12) will the volume of water through the swales be enough; 13) how will stormwater be controlled.  Mr. Danevich believed that most of the questions would be answered through the environmental impact study. 

 

Ms. Ruth Gravel, 29 South Shore Drive, handed out a memo.  She questioned the shape of the lots.  Mr. Danevich read her memo aloud which noted the following concerns: 1) shape of  lots; 2) existing water problem and proper drainage of the added lots; 3) any plans for erosion, drainage, sediment and contamination control or quantity/quality of stormwater runoff; 4) will the paper road on lot 6 that is not part of Smith Trust deeded road provide access to the pond for the back parcels.  Mr. Simplenski discussed an addition 25’ planned to be deeded to the lots abutting the proposed subdivision.  He said that the 20’ right-of-way was entirely wet and he didn’t have plans to utilize it.  Mr. DeLuca clarified that the lines would be broken if the abutters accepted.  Ms. Gravel was concerned with the 25’ strip connecting to the paper road.  Mr. Danevich said he would investigate further.

 

Ms. Danielle Downes, 20 South Shore Drive, discussed the current slopes and the water runoff.  She was concerned with her neighbor’s septic running onto her property.  She noted that there was a lot of wetland in the area.

 

Mr. Fucarile, 109 Dutton Road, was concerned with the proposed subdivision being built up 3 1/2’.  He discussed the current drainage problem and was concerned with his property having more water after the proposed was developed.  Mr. Simplenski believed that the concerns were answered in the drainage report.  Mr. Fucarile wanted the road buildup issue to be addressed.  Mr. Danevich asked if he would attend the site walk Saturday to discuss and point out his issues.

 

Mr. Gerry Gravel, 29 South Shore Drive, questioned the 25’ buffer and wanted to know what would happen if the abutters didn’t accept the deed.  He wanted to ensure that any deeds were in writing.  Mr. Danevich said the plan would not be signed until the issues were legally resolved.

 

Ms. Andrea Fucarile, 109 Dutton Road, reiterated that there were wildlife issues.

 

Mr. Bob Yarmo, Chairman, Conservation Commission, was concerned with the soil capacity to support the development.  He discussed leaching into the water table due to the proximity of the pond.  He recommended site specic plans.  He also recommended a third party environmental study be performed.

 

Mr. Bob Lamoureux, Blueberry Circle, felt that the plan might come under the new regulations.  He discussed the water that flowed from Blueberry Circle and felt that it should be reviewed.  He asked if the state was involved in the required dredge and fill permits.  Mr. Lamoureux requested a 50’ no-cut zone on the edge of the proposed development that abutted his property.  He was concerned with more people using his property as a recreational area if the developer would not provide something within the development.  He questioned the test pits because the past year had been so dry.  He felt the number of houses in the development should be decreased.  He ended by saying he felt the 20’ right-of-way should be taken off the plan.

 

Mr. Danevich reviewed the concerns as follows: 1) two dredge and fill permits; 2) drainage study submission to CLD; 3) waiver request for cul-de-sac; 4) discuss the new subdivision regulations with Mr. Mitchell regarding the length of cul-de-sac; 5) Attorney Donovan’s letter of applicability to be addressed by Town Counsel; 6) constraining nature of usable lot 7, 9, 13; 7) buffer concern with lot 6; 8) easement drainage; 9) treatment swales within WCD; 10) stormwater treatment; 11) drainage into Little Island Pond; 12) lack of open space; 13) road names to be given to Selectmen; 14) further investigate paper road and right-of-way issue; 15) review gazebo off of Dutton Road; 16) wildlife corridor; 17) Conservation’s comment; 18) water runoff from Blueberry Circle; 19) site specific for entire parcel  (specifically the well radius, building envelope, septic and back up area, clear area, usability of lot size calculations, driveway, tree cut areas, size of home); 20) economic impact study (EIA completion); 21) traffic study.  Mr. DeLuca wanted to view the individual lines for the intention of the additional 25’ of deeded land. 

 

Mr. Danevich noted that the application would be continued to the January 7, 2002 meeting.

 

 

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

ML 10-110-361 - V & G Development - Dutton Road - Proposed 30-Lot Subdivision for continued consideration

 

Mr. Kurt Meisner, Meisner/Bremm Corporation presented the plan to the Board.  He said the drainage has been moved from the WCD area since the last time the plan was presented.  He said they added a trail easement along the south edge of the property as well as no cut zones along the west and south sides of the property.  Mr. Meisner said he had a letter from the Police Department that stated there were no accidents of record at the intersection of Garland Drive and Birch Lane.  He said the plans had been submitted to CLD with no comments in response. 

 

Mr. Mitchell said his concerns from the prior meeting had been addressed.  He continued with his concerns to the shape and usability of lots 3 and  21.  He didn’t feel the buffer met the intent of the Board’s request for a wildlife corridor.  He felt the only way to protect the corridor was to extend the no-cut zone to the wetland.  He felt that 40’ was insufficient.

 

Mr. Scanzani agreed that there was no protection for the wildlife corridor. 

 

Mr. Lynde made a motion to deny the plan based on the fact that the plan didn’t comply with the needs of the Town.  He said there was no open space, no wildlife corridor, wetland crossings, road shapes, seep runoff coming onto Dutton Road.  Mr. DeLuca seconded.  He spoke of the Fish & Game report, which recommended that a wildlife corridor be a minimum of 300’. 

 

Mr. Meisner was surprised at the numbers being discussed.  He said the plan provided a 40’ wildlife corridor that was discussed at the previous meeting.  Mr. DeLuca said the wildlife corridor and snowmobile trail was discussed at the previous meeting and the abutters and the Board informed that 40’ was insufficient.  Mr. Meisner said if the directive from the Board was to extend the corridor to the edge of the wetland, they would do so on the west side of the parcel.  Mr. DeLuca asked what would be done to preserve the wildlife corridor on the south side.  He said 300’ would be needed.  He noted that the west side was mostly wet and not much of a corridor.  Mr. Meisner said at the meeting with CLD and Mr. Mitchell the plan before the Board was submitted.  Mr. Mitchell noted that during that meeting he informed that a 40’ wildlife corridor would not be sufficient. 

 

Mr. Lynde reiterated that there were no provisions for open space, wildlife or the wetlands.  He suggested that the west and south edges of the parcel remain as open space, eliminating the two lots on the south/west corner.  He understood the need for road connectivity, but spoke strongly about the Town’s infrastructure being maintained.  He discussed the grade of the subdivision and was concerned with the drainage onto Dutton Road.  He also spoke of the history of ground water problems in the area. 

 

Mr. Mitchell gave his suggestion for a change, so that only one lot would be lost and a sufficient portion of the wildlife corridor could be maintained and the developer could save money on road expenses.  His suggestion was to add a cul-de-sac on the south side.

 

Mr. Scanzani asked how wide a wildlife corridor would need to be for large wildlife.  Mr. Jim Gove, Gove Environmental referred to the NH Method of Evaluation compiled by NRPC, which determined 300’ would be the minimum and 500’ would be a better size.  He pointed out that the subdivision regulations didn’t provide for the elimination of lots for wildlife corridor purposes. 

 

Mr. Danevich said the motion could either be voted upon or pulled to work further with the developer.  Mr. Lynde and Mr. DeLuca withdrew the motion and second.  Mr. Meisner wanted to know if he changed the plan based on Mr. Mitchell’s comments to add a cul-de-sac if the Board would waive the length requirement.  Mr. Danevich informed that the Board would continue to work with the developer. 

 

Mr. Culbert wanted to note that the Board was not designing the plan. 

 

Mr. Danevich felt the wildlife corridor should be at least 100’ or more.  He was in favor of adding a cul-de-sac.  Mr. Scanzani wanted to know if there was a way to widen the wildlife corridor by obtaining land from other plans before the Board.  Mr. Meisner said he could only work with the plan presented. 

 

Mr. Danevich supported continuing work with the developer.  He said the Board could not support a wildlife corridor of less than 100’.  Mr. Gove wanted to know if the Board wanted an open space development without having an open space ordinance.  Mr. Meisner did not assume that the Board was asking for open space.  He said his goal would be to come back before the Board with the same amount of lots that met with the regulations.  He said road connectivity was the priority, based on the master plan.  Mr. Meisner discussed plan options. 

 

Mr. Danevich noted that the Board wanted a minimum of 300’.  Mr. Lynde said the total amount didn’t need to be contained solely on the presented plan.  He didn’t feel obligated to approve a maximum number of lots.  He felt there was a requirement to have reasonable development and have fair consideration of the Board. 

 

There was a consensus from the Board to have a minimum wildlife corridor of 300’.  Mr. Meisner wanted to clarify that the Board was requesting a 300’ wildlife corridor.  Mr. Mitchell further clarified that the western portion of the property would have the wildlife corridor extend to the edge of the east side of the WCD.  He said that a redesign was requested for the southern side so that the wildlife corridor could be 300’, which some of the Board members have indicated flexibility.

 

Mr. Mitchell disagreed with Mr. Gove’s earlier comment about the requirements of open space and went on to read a portion of the regulations (section 12 e,II).  The section provided that the Board could require that a portion of a development be set aside for open space. 

 

Mr. Meisner didn’t feel that the west portion was the problem, but rather the area on the south side. 

 

Mr. Scanzani felt that the area was prime enough to ask for 500’, not the minimum.

 

Mr. Lynde made a motion to take into account the abutting property to establish a minimum of 300’ - 500’ wildlife corridor with a willingness to be flexible.   Mr. DeLuca seconded.  There was a discussion regarding breaking up the south and west sides in the motion.  Mr. Lynde amended his motion to establish a wildlife corridor, on the west side, that had a goal of 500’ wide with a minimum of 300’ (with a willingness to be flexible) taking into account available land on abutting property to make up the width.

 

MOTION:

 

(Lynde/DeLuca) To establish a wildlife corridor, on the west side, that has a goal of 500’ wide, with a minimum of 300’ (with a willingness to be flexible), taking into account available land on abutting property to make up the width.

 

VOTE:

(7 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Mr. Meisner wanted to clarify that the Board would be requesting that the abutting property make up 50% of the land needed.  Mr. Lynde said they would request a reasonable portion. 

 

MOTION:

 

(Lynde/DeLuca) To establish a wildlife corridor, on the south side, that has a goal of 500’ wide, with a minimum of 300’ (with a willingness to be flexible), taking into account available land on abutting property to make up the width.

 

VOTE:

(7 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Mr. Danevich said the Board also supported the cul-de-sac waiver request, if they chose to add a cul-de-sac. 

 

Mr. McNamara wanted to know if the lot sizes of 21 & 23 and the sectioning of the lots would be solved if a cul-de-sac were added.  Mr. Scanzani answered yes. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Ms. Leslie Kennedy, 15 Garland Drive, didn’t understand why her neighborhood had to be sacrificed so the developer made a profit.  She said that there were current water problems, so she had her water and well tested.  She wanted to know what recourse the current residents had if there were problems due to the proposed development.  She said there was a lot of water that ran off the hill.  Ms. Kennedy discussed her concern with the traffic.  She spoke with Police Chief Evan Haglund after the last meeting who said he was not favor of having a direct connect of Garland Drive through to Dutton Road.  She said once the wildlife areas were separated the herds would become inbred and eventually die out.  Mr. Mitchell suggested that Ms. Kennedy provide the Planning Department with a copy of the well/water report to be included in her building file.  He said that the presumption with septic and wells was that if the well radius was in place and the lots were of a reasonable size, there would be a sufficient amount of ground water to have reasonable use.  Mr. Mitchell said water quantity issues were a civil matter, not a matter for the Town.  He ended by saying the recourse would be for the court.  Ms. Kennedy asked what the recourse would be for water quality issues.  Mr. Mitchell said if it could be proven that the pollution came from the subdivision then the Town could deal with it. 

 

Ms. Maryalice Cookinham, 14 Appaloosa, felt that the wetlands were being compromised by the proximately of the proposed houses.  Her other concern was the wildlife.  She asked the Board to reconsider the plan and listen to the concerns of the existing residents.  She would like to have the land developed in a way so that the water didn’t run off to Dutton Road or the existing developed area.  She asked that the Board lower the number of new homes. 

 

Mr. Mitchell said that installing the corridors would also provide for trees and non-impervious surfaces to help remediate the volume and velocity of water. 

 

Mr. Scanzani said that the drainage studies calculated the water and per the subdivision regulations, no additional water would be allowed to come off once the land was subdivided.     

 

Mr. Scott Albis, 32 Birch Lane, wanted to know if the Safety Committee had reviewed the plans.  Mr. Danevich said the committee had reviewed and were in favor of the road connectivity. 

 

Mr. Bob Lamoureux, Blueberry Circle, said that there were bedrock springs in the area.  He started to discuss how the water levels could be tested and used a development in Dracut as an example.  Mr. Danevich was familiar with the development and said there was no comparison since the project in Dracut was for commercial multi-tenant building. 

 

Mr. James Wheatley, 34 Birch Lane spoke on his mother’s behalf.  He said that the surveyor and the Town told his mother, at the time she purchased her property that she owned 93’ from the side of her house.  He said the land had been maintained for approximately thirty years.  Mr. Meisner said that a copy of the Wheatley’s deed had been provided to them.  He said the plan showed the correct boundary lines.  Mr. Wheatley wanted to know what made Mr. Meisner’s surveying correct.  Mr. Wheatley showed a copy of his plan to Mr. Mitchell.  Mr. Meisner said the plans provided for 60’ from the edge of the right-of-way.  Mr. Wheatley wanted to know why his mother was paying taxes for 1.6 acres if she didn’t own the property.  Mr. Mitchell said he would research the issue. 

 

Mr. Paul McLauglin, Birch Lane, confirmed there was a large amount of water in the area and recalled a time in 1972 when the roads became impassable due to a flood.  He was concerned with the amount of water in his well and it’s depletion once the new subdivision went in. 

 

Ms. Alicia Hennessey, 71Dutton Road, asked if the northeast corner would be maintained as a no-cut zone.  Mr. Danevich said that Conservation had made the same comment. 

 

Mr. Bob Yarmo, Chairman, Conservation Commission, asked if the plan would benefit from a third party environmental report.  Mr. Danevich understood the point and said that the Board would discuss the issue at a future work session. 

 

Mr. Andrew Landry, 19 Garland Drive, was concerned about the wildlife corridor.  He asked that the two lots on the southwest corner not be developed, but remain as they currently were, a wildlife corridor. 

 

Mr. Mitchell asked what direction the surface drainage would flow.  Mr. Meisner said the water would flow downward from Garland Drive toward Dutton Road. 

 

Mr. Culbert asked that individual septics be noted on the plan. 

 

Mr. Danevich said the plan would be continued to the January 7, 2002 meeting. 

 

ML 10-352 Phase II Neil Fineman - Currier Road & Island Pond Road - Proposed 13-Lot Subdivision for continued Consideration

 

Mr. Peter Zohdi, Herbert Associates presented the plan to the Board.  He noted that at the last meeting the Board approved Phase I.  He said that Phase II was pending waiting the addition of a buffer zone.  He said a buffer had been added and the set back from the property line was increased by 50’ so that the entire buffer would be approximately 250’. 

 

Mr. Lynde asked if there was a provision for open space.  Mr. Zohdi said that part of the parcel on Simpson Mill Road was given for both projects.  Mr. Bob Yarmo, Chairman, Conservation Commission addressed the issue and said that Conservation couldn’t support two dredge and fill locations off Currier Road, so the land had been exchanged for off-site mitigation, not open space provisions.   

 

Mr. Zohdi said he would further expand the newly added 50’ buffer to 100’.  There was a brief discussion if the amount of land would be usable and acceptable.  Mr. Zohdi then offered an additional expansion so that lots 23 and 24 would have a buffer of 150’. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. Bob Lamoureux, Blueberry Circle, felt that with the expanded area Mr. Zohdi offered, the wildlife corridor would be close to the size that the Board was seeking. 

 

Ms. Lois Landry, 19 Garland Drive, felt that if the prior engineering firm was looking to grant a 100’ buffer, and Mr. Zohdi offered a 100’ buffer the Board would not reach the goal of a 300’ minimum.

 

Ms. Alicia Hennessey, 71 Dutton Road, questioned what way to the wildlife corridor would be preserved.  Mr. Mitchell believed that preservation issues fell upon the Conservation Commission. 

 

Mr. Andrew Landry, 19 Garland Drive, asked if the Board was acting upon the issues that continued to be raised.  Mr. Danevich answered yes.  He said that resolution could come at work sessions and through Town vote. 

 

Mr. Paul McLaughlin, Birch Lane, suggested that when public meetings lasted for so long, that some people weren’t being granted the opportunity to hear all that was going on.  Mr. Danevich said the Board was working the issue. 

 

Mr. Lynde pointed out that there was still a need for community parks and open space in this part of Town.  He said the memo he handed out from Parks and Recreation needed to be addressed.  Mr. Danevich the Board would address the issues at an upcoming work session. 

 

MOTION:

 

(Scanzani/Culbert)  To approve the plan subject to the conservation easement of 100’ on the first two lots and 150’ of the second two lots as noted on the plan by Mr. Zohdi, with the understanding that conservation easement signs would be placed.

 

VOTE:

(7 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

ML 6-185 Robin Road LLC - Honey Lane/Noella Avenue - Proposed 2-Lot Subdivision for continued Consideration

 

Mr. Danevich noted that the case would be continued to the meeting of January 7, 2002.

 

ML 10-364, 365, 366 John Mansur - 76 Dutton Road - Proposed Lot-Line Adjustment

 

Mr. Danevich noted that the case would be continued to the meeting of January 7, 2002.

 

ML 1-52 Charles Banister - Corner of Sherburne & Mammoth Roads - Proposed 2-Lot Subdivision continued for Consideration

 

Mr. Danevich noted that the case would be continued to the meeting of January 7, 2002.

 

ML 8-20 & 22-9 Louise Gaudet - Old Gage Hill Road South - Phase II - Proposed 18-Lot Subdivision & Special Permit application for wetland crossing for Submission

 

Mr. Danevich noted that the case would be continued to the meeting of January 7, 2002.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

ML 2-131 Irene Steckiewicz - Bush Hill Road - Proposed 2-Lot Subdivision for Planning Director’s report on completeness (no testimony will be taken at this time)

 

Mr. Scanzani read the list of abutters aloud. There were no persons present who did not have their name read.

 

Mr. Mitchell said the plans were complete and recommended their acceptance.

 

MOTION:

 

(Scanzani/Culbert)  To accept the plan for consideration.

 

VOTE:

(7 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Mr. Danevich informed that the case would be continued to the meeting of January 7, 2002.

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

Mr. Danevich said that the November 19, 2001 minutes would be heard at the next public hearing.

 

 

SITE WALK

 

 ML 5-104, 113, 115 Sousa Realty & Development - Proposed 20-Lot Subdivision

 

ML 12-44 Phase II Hart, Jordan & White - Shephard Road/Mulberry Lane - Proposed 28-Lot Subdivision

 

ML 11-254 Maurice Picard - Dutton Road - Proposed 17-Lot Subdivision

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

 A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting.

 

The motion was adjourned at approximately 12:45am.

 

                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                                Charity A. L. Willis

                                                                                                Recording Secretary