TOWN OF PELHAM
PLANNING BOARD WORK SESSION
March 19, 2001
The Chairman, Victor Danevich called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm.
The Secretary, Bill Scanzani, called the roll:
Victor Danevich, Bill Scanzani, Jeff Gowan, Peter McNamara, Paddy Culbert, Henry DeLuca, Alternate Gael Ouellette, Selectmen’s Representative Deb Casey, Interim Planning Director Clay Mitchell
Alternate Carl Huether, Alternate Richard Foote, Alternate Michael Soby
Mr. Danevich informed that Ms. Ouellette would be voting in Mr. Gowan’s absence, until Mr. Gowan arrived.
Formal Adoption of Safety Committee
Mr. Danevich said the Safety Committee had asked to be involved with site review plans and the subdivision regulations. He said that Mr. Mitchell would draft a paragraph based on the outcome of the discussion to have a legal posting and Board vote at public hearing to formally adopt the Safety Committee.
Mr. Danevich informed that the Safety Committee would consist of five members; the Fire Chief, Police Chief, Planning Director, DOT and the Town Administrator. He said the group would be passive and no formal response would be required. He said plans would be sent to the Safety Committee when received by the Board for review and comment and they will provide a written comment.
Ms. Ouellette clarified that the Safety Committee would be classified as an advisory board to the Planning Board. Mr. Danevich answered yes. He added that the Committee would not absolve or supercede any of the member’s other duties.
Ms. Casey asked if there would be stipulations of the areas that were to be addressed by the Safety Committee. She felt there were certain things, which should be mandatory for the Committee to review. Mr. Danevich agreed and used as an example, the approval of street names.
Mr. Scanzani asked if road site distance and road construction (for emergency vehicles) would be part of the Committee study. Mr. Culbert felt those issues should be decided by the Town Engineering firm (CLD). Mr. Scanzani discussed the importance of CLD reviewing that site development plans prior to the Board approving them based on a safety standpoint. Mr. Culbert agreed, and noted that factual data should be used and able to withstand any kind of legal tests.
Fire Chief Fisher said the only aspect for reviewing plans would be strictly for Town and people safety. He said the Police Department worked in accordance with RSAs, as did the Fire Department. He noted that
one of the safety issues mainly reviewed were street names, to help alleviate confusion. Mr. Scanzani asked if there was an opportunity to change the street names, which were problems. Chief Fisher said yes, but felt that it was difficult to do after the fact and believed it should be done up front.
Mr. Danevich confirmed that the Board was in agreement to formally adopt the Safety Committee. He noted that Mr. Mitchell would draft a letter stating the responsibilities of the Committee.
Safety Committee Update
Mr. Danevich asked for Chief Fisher to provide guidance to the Planning Board regarding issues, such as cul-de-sacs. Chief Fisher explained that the Fire Department and Highway Department determined the radius for permanent cul-de-sacs. He said they preferred the permanent cul-de-sac to have the radius paved (so that nothing could be placed in the middle). Chief Fisher then explained that they preferred temporary cul-de-sacs to be completely hot top so when the road was eventually extended the sides could be dropped off. Ms. Casey asked if there was a benefit to having a green space in the middle for such things, as traffic calming. Mr. Fisher answered yes. Chief Fisher felt that school busses should also be a consideration when cul-de-sac radiuses are reviewed.
Mr. Danevich asked what the preferred footage radius was and then asked if there were weight issues for a fully loaded pumper if, in an emergency, it would need to pass a vehicle on a very long driveway. Chief Fisher said that the current radius being used was acceptable. He said that safety would need to be considered if a house had a very long driveway. He explained that the Fire Department would have to lay a 1000’ line of hose to get water to the location. He also spoke of the problems with no turn-around at the end of the drive. Mr. McNamara asked if there was a safe length for a driveway. Chief Fisher said further review would need to be done. He spoke of a study that had been done which concluded that the maximum for a cul-de-sac was 1000’.
Mr. Scanzani asked what the Chief preferred as a safe distance for Fire Equipment to a fire. Chief Fisher said 50’-75’ from a structure fire and they had a average hose lay of 200’. Mr. Scanzani asked at what hose length would they lose adequate water pressure. Chief Fisher said between 700’ - 1000’ and still maintain adequate pressure. He said they would recommend cisterns for any distance of 1000’ or longer. The Chief then asked the Board to assist in ensuring that developments had proper water supply per FBA1.
Mr. Danevich spoke of a recent subdivision, which would have water, supplied by Pennichuck. Chief Fisher informed the Board that although water would be supplied to the development, there would not be any cisterns added. He asked that plans be provided to the Fire Department for review so that in the future the Fire Department would be able to recommend cisterns or a way of holding water for emergencies.
Mr. Mitchell then spoke of one of the approved subdivisions (between Tenney Nashua Road on Mammoth), which he felt was invalid based on the fact that the Board was informed and approved the plan based on the houses having septics and wells, but in fact they would have water supplied.
Chief Fisher said that Mr. Mitchell and he have created a system in which the Fire Department would be provided with plans for review. He then spoke of the importance of street numbers. Mr. Danevich said that the Board would discuss proper signage as part of the bond release.
Mr. Danevich spoke of pre-fab concrete bridges and the concern of possible collapse if a pumper crossed. Chief Fisher noted that a full pumper weighed 12-18 tons. Mr. Gowan believed that the minimum weight requirements for all bridges in Town should be at least the weight of a full pumper. Mr. DeLuca noted that bridges should be rated and posted.
Mr. Danevich confirmed that cisterns should be placed 1000’ apart. Chief Fisher said the hydrants in Town were based on the hydrant distance in OSHA standards. Mr. Scanzani asked if thought had been given to cement versus fiberglass cisterns. Chief Fisher answered yes. Mr. Danevich asked about the gallon size and longevity of cisterns and the concern of if one were emptied. He asked if a procedure was in place to ensure they were filled. Chief Fisher said it was the Fire Department’s responsibility to maintain. Mr. Danevich asked what gallon size the cistern should be. Chief Fisher said it had all the calculations had been done and there was a packet given to the developers with all the requirements. He noted that the developers receive 3500 gallons credit.
Mr. Danevich asked about the issuance of building permits with regard to combustible materials being on-site prior to a cistern being operational. Chief Fisher noted that NFPA1 gave that specific information and said that nothing combustible should be put on the site until the cistern is operational, however the Fire Chief could grant a waiver in certain instances.
Mr. Scanzani discussed dry hydrants and confirmed that the Fire Department approved the location. Chief Fisher answered yes. Mr. DeLuca discussed the possibility of using a pool. Chief Fisher said there were rules, which govern those instances.
Mr. Danevich asked how the new code enforcement officer would fit with the Planning Department. Chief Fisher said it would take some time before the person would be hired. He said he would like to have that person be able to issue tickets as well as go to court. He said he would like the person to assist with everyday code enforcement duties. He said the position would be a full-time position working first with the Fire Department. Chief Fisher requested that the Fire Department review all plans (commercial or industrial) would be reviewed by the Fire Chief before the Planning Board took action. Mr. Danevich asked if that could be implemented by the Safety Committee duties. Mr. Mitchell answered yes. Mr. Gowan suggested that the plan be reviewed after consideration. Chief Fisher reiterated that they would like to review prior to Planning Board approval. Mr. Danevich said the same opportunity would be provided to the Police Department and the DOT. Mr. Danevich suggested that plans be forwarded to the Safety Committee upon the time that the Planning Director accepts that all data had been received. Mr. Gowan didn’t want the Board to assume that no answer meant not approved. Mr. Culbert didn’t want plans to be held up. Mr. Scanzani suggested site plan reviews be signed off and dated prior to being recorded at the registry of deeds.
Mr. Danevich confirmed that the Safety Committee would be formally adopted and a memo would be drafted.
Mr. Scanzani asked if an as built of the inside of a structure was required for large buildings. Chief Fisher said once the Planning Board approved they would. He also noted a file was maintained.
Route 38 Resurfacing
Mr. Danevich noted that a major resurfacing project would be underway from the state this summer. Mr. Scanzani noted a meeting would be held March 28, 2001, 7:00pm at the Town Hall. Mr. Danevich said the state didn’t provide for time for funding. He suggested that that some sort of letter be drafted regarding water collection or sewage, since the best time to implement would be at the time that the road was being redone.
Mr. Scanzani said his understanding was that the state would be taking a three-mile section (beginning at the Massachusetts boarder) and dig the entire pavement and redo the base drainage and in some cases widen the shoulders. He said safety barriers would also be added. He noted that the Town has not had an opportunity to have input. He felt that turning lanes should be reviewed at intersection such as at Jericho Road and Willow Street. He said the Board did not have the opportunity to present anything to the voters.
Ms. Casey asked when the state planned to resurface. Mr. Scanzani said the plan was to dig then put the base coat on some time this summer, then pave next year. He said that there were possible plans for islands along the route and said that some of the buildings would possibly lose business due to lack of access to their properties.
Mr. Dave Hennessey, Dutton Road also spoke of certain illegal curb cuts along Route 38 (the state highway) and noted that several businesses may lose their businesses.
Standardized Fiscal Impact
Mr. Danevich noted that all subdivision of 10-lots or more required a fiscal impact, which has now been set up in a standardized form. Mr. Scanzani discussed that fiscal impacts were required for lots of 10 or more and each developer was creating a different form for the fiscal impact. He said the procedure was being standardized as attached. ATTACHMENT #1. He discussed the multipliers and informed that the new census data for the year 2000 should be provided around April 1, 2001. He noted that the data might not contain all the demographic multipliers.
Mr. Danevich said he would like to review a subdivision. He said the tax impact was based on the number of bedrooms and noted that in certain instances it would be a negative tax impact for the Town.
There was a discussion regarding the census numbers and what should be used for a multiplier on the fiscal impact. Mr. Culbert felt that a true number should be used and revised when the new census numbers were made available. Mr. Danevich was in agreement as long as a procedure was in place to revise, when the new numbers were released. Mr. Scanzani discussed the fact that the numbers were always adjusting. Mr. McNamara pointed out the possibility of a person challenging a number that was arbitrarily adopted, and didn’t feel the Board had anything to base the number on. Ms. Casey disagreed, and noted if the school district records were reviewed the current data could be used. Mr. Culbert felt that the government standard should be used. Mr. Danevich said that the other numbers were taken directly from the tax rolls. Mr. Culbert said his concern was to use whatever numbers would hold up in court.
Mr. Dave Hennessey, Dutton Road felt that the Board should use the method recommended by NRPC. Ms. Casey said there was an upcoming NRPC meeting in which she would ask which method was preferred.
Mr. Gowan said there were a couple new members that had expressed an interest in joining. He said if he were appointed as Chairman, he would reveal the names of the members and give a progress report to the Planning Board. He informed the Committee would meet twice monthly as an advisory board to the Planning Board. He also noted that NRPC would be involved.
Ms. Casey asked how many people would be on the Committee. Mr. Gowan said as many people that want to be involved. He said currently there were half a dozen people interested.
Cul-de-sac Work Group
Mr. Danevich informed that Mr. Culbert would Chair the Group. He reviewed the file and handed the contents to Mr. Culbert.
Mr. Culbert informed that Ms. Ouellette and Mr. McNamara would be involved with the Group. He said they would be meeting the third Thursday of each month at 7:00pm at the Town Hall Annex beginning in April.
Municipal Building Update
Mr. DeLuca informed there would be a meeting on Wednesday. Mr. Scanzani informed that the $30,000 Warrant Article was approved, so during the next meeting the Committee would be used to try and finish the review.
Ms. Casey informed that this would be her last Planning Board meeting. She thanked the Board and Mr. Danevich for doing a fantastic job. Ms. Casey challenged the builders and developers to give the Town more than the requirements so that the ordinances seen would not be required. She urged landowners to consider keeping open spaces by giving the Town the opportunity to purchase or the first right of refusal. She also urged the residents of the Town to communicate to the Planning Board and the Municipal Building Committee their future view for the Town. Ms. Casey ended by asking the Board consider long range transportation planning since the Town had a place marker for $208,000 which would be available in ten years.
PLANNING DIRECTOR REPORT
Mr. Mitchell informed that after speaking with Town Counsel it has been determined that the Planning Board’s March 7, 2001 meeting will need to be redone. He said the meeting and the minutes have been deemed invalid. He said he would amend the regulations for future events of inclement weather. Mr. Danevich clarified that the Board did not make the determination, but that the Town Administrator had determined to shut the Town down and the Board followed suit. He noted that the cases to be reheard on April 2, 2001 would be ML 9-136-2 May Lane, ML 3-101 Tenney Road and ML 3-102, 102-1, 102-18 Tenney Road.
Proposed General Subdivision Amendments
Mr. Mitchell suggested the Board consider comprehensively amending the regulations. He felt the Board should adopt the regulations by reviewing the issues important to the Board and by the way the Board prefers to work. He suggested creating a framework in which he would help guide the Board.
Proposed Bond Release Policy/Procedure
Mr. Mitchell handed out a proposed comprehensive bond release form to help quicken the process. He said he would amend the regulations accordingly. The Board suggested the following amendments: 1) add “reduction/release” in the appropriate areas; 2) add cc: to Board of Selectmen; 3) check box for full bond release; 4) bond retainage amounts.
Mr. Mitchell informed that Tennessee Gas would be conducting exploratory drilling near Beaver Brook approximately 100’ away.
Mr. Mitchell informed that the DeCarolis versus Town of Pelham lawsuit had been settled. He noted that the Bush Hill Subdivision approval stands. Mr. Mitchell then noted that the Second Generation versus Town of Pelham (tower off Spaulding) suit has picked up speed and is approaching trial.
Ms. Casey suggested reviewing the previously approved plan (between Tenney and Nashua Road on Mammoth) with the water issue problems. There was a brief discussion regarding the next process. Mr. Mitchell noted his concerns with the plan as follows: 1) location of the pipes and who would be responsible for maintenance; 2) if pipes are not in the Town road who would ensure that easement were in place for maintenance.
Ms. Casey felt the Board should either vote on the plan or instruct Mr. Mitchell how to handle. Mr. Mitchell informed that the Board could willingly appear before the Board again or the Board could revoke the plan per RSA 676:4a
(Culbert/DeLuca) To have Mr. Mitchell approach the developer to bring the plan back before the Board with the proper water displayed (including fire hydrants) or the Board would take the proper steps to revoke.
(6 - 1 - 0) The motion carries. Mr. Scanzani voted no. He felt the Board was within their rights per RSA 676:4a to revoke the plan.
Mr. Danevich noted that the minutes of March 7, 2001 would not be reviewed per prior discussion.
Mr. Gowan felt the Board should not be discouraged by the vote against the zoning ordinances. He felt the Board should learn from the outcome and better explain to the public that the zoning would be in their best interest. Mr. Scanzani informed that the WCD and Open Space were both on the Master Plan from 1992 as well as being recommended by NRPC. He said that surveys from that time showed that 90% of people wanted to protect both. Mr. Mitchell said he was doing his PHD on these issues and would be pleased to donate his time to work with the Board and start educating the people of the benefits of open space. He suggested beginning as soon as the regulations were revised.
Mr. Danevich said that Planning Board elections would take place at the next meeting.
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting.
The motion was adjourned at approximately 9:40 pm.
Charity A. L. Willis