APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

PLANNING BOARD WORK SESSION

January 14, 2002   

 

The Chairman, Victor Danevich called the meeting to order at 9:00 pm.

 

The Secretary, Bill Scanzani called the roll:

 

PRESENT:

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

 

ABSENT:

 

Selectmen’s Representative Hal Lynde

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

ML 8-20 & 22-9 Louise Gaudet - Old Gage Hill Road South - Phase II - Proposed 18-Lot Subdivision

 

Ms. Bousa said her only concern with the traffic report was the site distance.  She felt that the current distances of 254’ for a right turn should be 335’ and the 276’ for a left turn should be upped to 390’.

 

Mr. Peter Zohdi, Herbert Associates discussed the site distances and said he would meet with CLD (Town Engineer) to ensure compliance with the old regulations.  He said they could either alter the existing road or they could request a waiver.  He said the lot lines had been changed so that all the well radiuses were contained on the individual lots.  Mr. Zohdi discussed the buildable areas.  He said that Mr. Sommers (CLD) suggested, and his client agreed to add an additional set of catch basins.

 

Mr. Scanzani read a section from the old regulations regarding site distances.  Mr. Zohdi said each of the radiuses on the curves had a site distance of 150’ from the centerline.  Mr. Tom Sommers, CLD (Town Engineer) said the concern was the visibility for right and left turns at Old Gage Hill Road.  Mr. Zohdi said the site distance would be checked to see if it was reasonable.  Ms. Bousa recommended that the design speed requirements for the 35mph speed limit should be met. 

 

Mr. Danevich noted that if the plan were approved it would be subject to re-verification of the site distance compliance per CLD’s concern. 

 

Mr. Culbert asked if the catch basins were necessary.  Mr. Sommers felt that because there was an area, not just a road draining, that the catch basins would be needed. 

 

Mr. Scanzani asked if the stubs at the end of the cul-de-sacs were high and dry for future connection.  Mr. Zohdi answered yes.  He said that the locations for the stubs were the best location. 

 

There was no public input.  

 

Mr. McNamara asked what distances the applicant was being asked to comply with.  Mr. Danevich said under the old regulations, there were no distances noted.  Mr. Zohdi said if he didn’t have the requested site distance of 335’ for a right turn and 390’ for a left turn, he would come back to discuss with the Board. 

 

MOTION:

(Scanzani/Culbert) To approve the plan based on the site distance shown on the plan, and verification that it is correct at the site. 

 

VOTE:

(6 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

PUBLIC HEARING

 

Residential Growth Limitation

 

Mr. Mitchell said there had been a case involving the Town of Hudson where it was decided that if a growth management ordinance was applied to a lot, an impact fee could not be collected.   He said the New Hampshire Supreme Court had taken up the case and until a decision has been rendered, the Board should presume that the law is to not have both a growth ordinance and an impact fee.  He suggested placing a hold onto the growth ordinance until the NH Supreme Court made a ruling.  Mr. Danevich said there was also a current United States Supreme Court case pending regarding Tahoe property that could also effect legislation.  He supported impact fees. 

 

Mr. Scanzani noted that residential growth was not the amount of plat approved by the Board.  He said the number of lots being built was slower than the number of approved lots.  He then discussed the economic vitality of the community.

 

Attorney Diane Gorrow, Town Council felt the Board should consider holding off with a growth ordinance until appropriate studies had been completed.  She said that there was a state statute, which allowed communities the opportunity to implement a growth ordinance.  She said there were three requirements to enact the growth management were: 1) master plan; 2) CIP; and 3) growth management process that compared regional growth rates.  Mr. Danevich asked if the statute required an economic plan or full-time code enforcement officer.  Attorney Gorrow answered no, but there would need to be a scientific basis.  She recommended tabling the ordinance until the court cases were decided upon. 

 

Mr. Scanzani said that the Town was actually below the normal growth rate compared to the surrounding communities and wanted to know if a growth ordinance would be in appropriate.  Attorney Gorrow said that growth ordinances were designed to stop excessive growth.  She said if the Town’s growth was below the surrounding areas, the Town would have trouble supporting a growth ordinance.  Mr. Scanzani asked what would happen if the ordinance came forward as a petition and passed Town vote.  Attorney Gorrow said the Town could bring a declaratory judgement to the court to invalidate the ordinance. 

 

Mr. Scanzani made a motion to not place the residential growth ordinance onto the Town Warrant.  His reasoning was based on the review from Town Council and the Planning Director, and also because all the statutory requirements had not been met.  Mr. Culbert seconded the motion. 

 

MOTION:

(Scanzani/Culbert) To not place the residential growth ordinance onto the Town Warrant.

 

VOTE:

(6 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Mr. Danevich said the Residential Growth Ordinance would be withdrawn and not placed on the ballot.

 

Limitation on auto sales within residential district

 

Mr. Mitchell drafted the limitation based on the numerous complaints received by the Planning Department of cars being sold on residential lots.  He said the limitation would be on the sale of two or more used automobiles within a twelve month time period, on one residential lot.

 

Mr. Culbert wanted to add that there could only be one dealership per lot.  Mr. Mitchell felt such language would change the intent.  Mr. Culbert discussed a recent Board of Adjustment meeting with the issue of more than one dealership per lot.  He asked that Mr. Mitchell send a letter to the Board of Adjustment informing them of the intent of the limitation. 

 

The Board discussed scenarios that may be effected by Mr. Mitchell’s draft for automobile sale limitation in which only one automobile may be sold within a twelve-month period of time.  It was clarified that the limitation was drafted due to resident complaints.  There was a concern that the limitation would create an enforcement problem.  There was also a concern that the entire Town would be penalized due to a few people violating zoning. 

 

Mr. Danevich noted that an alternative way to enforce sales would be to have zero cost permits issued for display along with the vehicle for sale.  He said the Board of Selectmen would be responsible for enforcement. 

 

Mr. Scanzani asked if the limitation should also include a limitation of displaying vehicles.  Mr. Mitchell discussed the need for a full-time Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. Walter Sikut, Marsh Road would like to maintain the right to sell more than one vehicle.  He felt if a person was selling for a dealer from their residential lot that the state could be contacted regarding the violation.  He believed that the whole Town should not suffer because of a few people violating the rules.

 

MOTION:

(Culbert/McNamara) To place, on the ballot, the Interim Planning Director’s changes to permitted uses under special exceptions.

 

VOTE:

(4 - 2 - 0) The motion carries.  Mr. Scanzani and Mr. DeLuca voted no.

 

Petitioned Article in accordance with RSA 657:4 - proposed change to increase minimum lot size requirements for single family and duplexes

 

Mr. Danevich read the Petition Warrant Article aloud, which if passed, would increase the minimum lot size requirement for single family and duplexes to two acres. 

 

Mr. Mitchell said that the Warrant Article must appear on the ballot with the Planning Board’s vote and whether the Board is recommending or not.  He felt if the lot size requirement was increased, the remaining lots would possibly be developed quicker.  He said once the lots were developed, there would be a point that the large lots would need to be subdivided.  He said at that point, there would be no opportunity for open space or recreational facilities.  Mr. Mitchell did not recommend the Petition.

 

Mr. McNamara asked if the increased cost for larger lots would slow development.  Mr. Mitchell answered no.  He felt that the Town would have more roads and the maintenance expenses would rise.  Mr. McNamara felt the Board should be clear about the problems the petition could cause for the Town. 

 

Mr. Scanzani noted that existing lots would not be grandfathered.  He was also concerned that, if approved, lots would still be able to be subdivided and would then require variances.  He felt the zoning density would create an economic and environmental issue.

 

There was no public input. 

 

Mr. Scanzani asked if the Board would have an out for hardship, if the petition were to pass.  Attorney Diane Gorrow, Town Council said she hadn’t researched the issue.  She said that there would need to be a reasonable basis for the lot size and supported by public health and welfare.  Mr. Scanzani asked how grandfathering would happen with the petition.  Attorney Gorrow said that grandfathering would apply regardless of the Article mentioning it.  She then discussed common law vesting.

 

Mr. Zohdi agreed with Attorney Gorrow regarding grandfathering.  He had a case earlier in the evening that had trouble due to grandfathering.  Mr. Danevich confirmed that Mr. Zohdi didn’t support the two-acre zoning petition because it did not specifically address the grandfathering clause, based on his experience with the Town.  Mr. Zohdi answered yes.  Attorney Gorrow said that proof of grandfathering was the purview of the applicant. 

 

Mr. Culbert made a motion to not recommend adoption.  His reasons were that the petition kept the industrial and single family sizes the same, but the industrial had 200’ of frontage.  He said the footage for commercial and residential use did not seem right. 

 

MOTION:

(Culbert/Scanzani) To not recommend adoption of the Petition Article.

 

VOTE:

(6 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. (The ballot is to read [0 - 6 - 0] to keep consistency with the Budget Committee’s procedure.)

 

Mr. Mitchell said, per the statute, there shouldn’t be a vote count on the ballot, but instead have a statement that simply reads ‘The Planning Board disapproves’.

 

There was a brief discussion regarding how the Town would defend the Article if it passed and someone decided to pursue a court case. 

 

Manufactured Housing

 

Mr. Danevich said there had been a question regarding manufactured homes and their limitation.

 

Attorney Diane Gorrow, Town Council said she had received letters from a Town resident questioning the limitation of manufactured homes.  She explained the RSA and said that it stated the Town needed to allow reasonable opportunities for manufactured housing.  Mr. Scanzani said that the Town didn’t have any zoning for manufactured housing.  He said the Town currently had eight manufactured houses which made up approximately .23 of 1% of the total housing units in Town and felt that was an indication that snob zoning was not happening.  Attorney Gorrow said the court would review where manufactured houses were allowed as well as looking for discrimination. 

 

Mr. Danevich asked if the Board would like to reconsider pulling the zoning ordinance from the ballot based on Town Counsel’s current review.  He said that Council had provided a different light upon the previously reviewed statistics.

 

Mr. Culbert made a motion to reconsider taking the manufactured housing ordinance off the ballot.  Mr. McNamara seconded.  He asked if the Board had the authority to take it off the ballot.  Mr. Mitchell was unsure.  Attorney Gorrow didn’t feel that there was anything prohibiting the Board from reconsidering the ordinance.  She said there might be a question of proper notice.  Mr. Culbert added to his motion to seek Town Counsel’s opinion.  Mr. DeLuca suggested having the Board not recommend the ordinance if there were a problem and the ordinance needed to stay on the ballot.  Mr. Scanzani suggested having a motion that would delay the ordinance for one year.  Attorney Gorrow suggested reconsidering the placement on the ballot and an additional motion to clarify the Board’s position.

 

MOTION:

(Culbert/McNamara) To reconsider the Manufactured Housing Ordinance and take it off the ballot as well as to seek Town Council’s opinion.

 

VOTE:

(6 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

MOTION:

(Culbert/DeLuca) If the Manufacturing Housing Ordinance remains on the ballot, the ballot is to note that the Planning Board did not recommend it. 

 

VOTE:

(6 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

 

Open Space Planned Development

 

Mr. Danevich said that a memo had been received that questioned the legalities/technicalities of the ordinance.  Attorney Diane Gorrow, Town Council said the memo stated concerns with condominiums.  She didn’t feel the ordinance violated the condominium law.  Attorney Gorrow said the memo also questioned the manufactured housing restriction, which she did not see a problem with the way the ordinance was written.  Mr. Danevich confirmed that Attorney Gorrow didn’t have a problem with the context of the Open Space Planned Development Ordinance (OSPD).  Attorney Gorrow said she did not. 

 

Attorney Gorrow said there was also a question of a confliction with Article K, which she did not see a conflict.  Mr. Danevich confirmed that Attorney Gorrow did not recommend that the Board reconsider the OSPD.  Mr. Mitchell agreed with Attorney Gorrow’s findings.  Mr. Mitchell discussed the definition of condominium.  He then discussed the health ordinance and felt the more restrictive would be in effect.  Mr. McNamara brought up the fact that the ordinance contained a seperability clause, which would not invalidate the entire ordinance if something were to be proven defective or illegal.   

 

Mr. Danevich noted that the Board would not take action with regard to the OSPD ordinance.

 

Subdivision Regulation - Considering CLD’s proposed amendments for discussion and possible adoption

 

Mr. Tom Sommers, CLD (Town Engineer) said he would like the opportunity to fine tune the new regulations and make minor changes.  He reviewed Mr. Dave Brouillet’s (CLD) memo and discussed the recommended changes. 

 

Mr. Danevich said that schedule for a performance bond release had been requested.  The Board kept reviewing the proposed regulations.  Mr. Sommers said he needed to review Appendix 1 and Appendix 4 to ensure that the requirements matched up.  He also discussed the issue with flown topography and noted its importance.  He suggested if the Board did not want flown topography that instead of not allowing it, place restrictions on it.  Mr. Sommers ended by saying he would like to further review and check to ensure that the numbers were appropriate. 

 

Mr. Danevich said that NRPC had requested, for the GIS database, that only electronic submissions be made.  He noted that plans would not be signed until the electronic version was received.  He said CLD and NRPC’s proposed changes would be reviewed during the February work session. 

 

Mr. Scanzani suggested that section 13.08 (as-built section) be adopted as part of the subdivision regulations.   

 

There was a brief discussion regarding the word ‘may’ require or ‘shall’ require.  Mr. Scanzani made a motion to change section 13.08 of the subdivision regulations to read ‘shall’ require in place of the word ‘may’.

 

MOTION:

(Scanzani/McNamara)  To change the word ‘may’ to now read ‘shall’ in section 13.08 of the subdivision regulations. 

 

VOTE:

(6 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

December 13, 2001

 

MOTION:

(Culbert/McNamara) To approve the minutes from the December 13, 2001 meeting as amended.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 1) The motion carries.  Mr. DeLuca abstained.

 

January 7, 2002

 

MOTION:

(Culbert/McNamara) To approve the minutes from the January 7, 2002 meeting as amended.

 

VOTE:

 

(6 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

 A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting.

 

The motion was adjourned at approximately 11:10 pm.

 

                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                                Charity A. L. Willis

                                                                                                Recording Secretary