Town of Pelham, NH

Pelham Conservation Commission

6 Main Street

Pelham, NH 03076-3723


Meeting: 01/16/02 Not Approved


Members Present: Members Absent:

Robert Yarmo, Chairman William McDevitt

Sanja Kakkad

Marc Duquette

Sandy Cupcho


Chairman Robert Yarmo brought the meeting to order at the Pelham Senior Center at 7:15 p.m.


Attendees: Frank Mitchell University of New Hampshire Land and Water Conservation Specialist

Julia Steed Mauson, Nonie Gravel, Graham Beady, Barbara Tanner, John Picard, Steve Morin, Charlene Bolia, Andrea & Ed Frucita, Chris Aldrich, Jackie & Jeff Costura, Alicia Hennessy, Deb Waters, Bob Lameraux, Charlene Bolia


Bob Yarmo welcomed all present and introduced the conservation commission members and Frank Mitchell from the University of NH. Bob explained that the purpose of the meeting was to facilitate a meeting of the neighborhood group of Little Island Pond people who were interested in the Picard parcel development plans and the possibility of working with the developer to conserve a portion. Bob Yarmo introduced Julia Steed Mauson who chaired the meeting.


Julia lead a discussion of the value of Little Island Pond to the neighborhood and to the town of Pelham. Little Island pond is 8 miles in circumference, spring fed, glacially formed, contains three islands, There are 21 year round residents and 22 summer residents on South Shore Drive. Comments by those who attended included:


       Cluster housing would be more appropriate as it would still allow a higher number of units but still persevere the most environmentally valuable portion.


       Pelham is not included as part of the Rockingham Land Trust area.


       The Pelham Conservation fund is currently at approx.$316,000 and 100,000 is committed to the purchase of another parcel in Pelham which would leave $216,000 in the fund.


       Bob Yarmo explained that the process to use the Conservation Funds requires public meetings and Selectman approval.


       An option is to purchase the Developments rights.


       Federal Income tax deductions might be available for those who make a contribution to the Conservation Fund to conserve a portion of the land. Land owners who sell their property at a lower than fair market value also might be entitled to a tax reduction as a charitable contribution would be made.


       Depriving someone of the economic benefit of the land was not legal.


Frank Mitchell of UNH introduced himself and explained his position involves helping groups like this get organized and helping them with direction etc on how to conserve land. Frank mentioned development leads to more surface water and less ground water absorption than open forest. This is due to the runoff from roofs, driveways and even lawns which do not absorb water like forest floors. He went on to state that there is a direct correlation between water quality degradation and land development. Sewage, Lawn fertilizers road salt etc. contribute to this water quality degradation.


Mr. Mitchell also discussed the options for funding conservation projects. He reported there are funds available but there is a lot of competition for them. He also reported that most projects are funded by private efforts. He also asked about the status of the Town Master Plan and Natural Resources Inventory was. Bob Yarmo reported that both were being work on and should be complete soon. Frank stated that it was important that those be completed and included suggestions for conservation areas. Bob Yarmo thought that those items were going to be included. Frank suggested the best method for this project to get funded would be with LCHIP.


The following proposal was discussed among the attendees. Instead of building 14 homes on a 2000 foot cul-de-sac with two wet land crossings build only seven homes on 1000 ft road. This would leave two thirds of the land as open space which would be purchased by the town conservation fund. Funding to purchase the parcel would come from both the Town and the abutters/neighborhood group. Donations from the abutters would be tax deductible and the abutters would not have any tax burden because they would not own the property. This would not likely generate as much income for the developer but it might be a workable solution. The Conservation Commission recommended that the group pick one or two people to represent them to meet with the developer to see if there is any interest in the proposal.


The meeting ended about 9pm.