APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

PLANNING BOARD WORK SESSION

November 17, 2003

 

The Chairman, Paddy Culbert called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm.

 

The Secretary, Mr. Bill Scanzani, called the roll:

 

PRESENT:

Paddy Culbert, Peter McNamara, Bill Scanzani, Henry DeLuca, Gael Ouellette, Robin Bousa, Selectmen Representative Hal Lynde (arrived after the meeting commenced), Alternate Bob Yarmo (arrived after the meeting commenced), Planning Director Will D’Andrea

 

ABSENT:

 

Alternate Raymond Brunelle

 

DISCUSSION

 

Joint Planning Board/Board of Adjustment discussion

 

Board of Adjustment member Jeff Gowan was in attendance. 

 

Board of Adjustment Chairman Peter McNamara led the discussion.  He said the issue of what constituted adequate frontage appeared to be something that the Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment had discussed and it was clear that the boards had a difference of opinion.  Mr. Culbert said Mr. D’Andrea had been tasked with reviewing the language and bringing forward suggested changes.  Mr. McNamara reviewed the zoning language regarding frontage (page three) and believed the focus should be on the language that reads ‘...length of the lot bordering on the public right-of-way and serves as the access to the lot’, since that appeared to be the piece that was interpreted differently.  He handed out a depiction of different frontage scenarios for review. 

 

Board of Adjustment member Cindy Ronning arrived.  Planning Board Alternate Bob Yarmo arrived. 

 

Mr. Scanzani believed the 200ft. of frontage had to be contiguous and could not recall a time that the Planning Board didn’t require such.  He said the word ‘access’ was not defined in the zoning ordinance.  Ms. Ronning discussed frontage issues in connection with Simplex as well as back lot situations.  There was further discussion regarding access, and how language could be redrafted. 

 

Mr. Lynde arrived.

 

Mr. D’Andrea read aloud the subdivision requirements for back lot parcels.  Mr. Scanzani suggested similar language be added to the zoning ordinance.  Mr. McNamara will work with Mr. D’Andrea to draft language for inclusion in the zoning ordinances. 

 

Mr. Yarmo asked if additional language would be brought forward for the protection of WCD areas.  There was a discussion regarding a case that the Town did not appeal based upon advice received.  Mr. Yarmo questioned who would pay for an expert witness if one was going to be used, and where they would come from.  Mr. McNamara said the Board of Adjustment was limited, and didn’t believe they would be able to hire an expert witness.  He said if the applicant brought an expert to testify, the Board of Adjustment could request a 30-day continuance to have the opportunity to present information.  He said the more information presented during a case was essential when being reviewed by a judge.  Mr. Gowan asked if there was a way to determine if an applicant, at the time they submitted an application, was going to have expert testimony in attendance at a meeting.  There was further discussion regarding the need for having an attorney knowledgeable in land-use issues and how legal costs could be paid for. 

 

Mr. Gowan and Ms. Ronning left the meeting.    

 

Discussion of Planning Board’s goals and initiatives

 

The Board reviewed the first ten (10) items listed on the attached Planning Board initiatives and goals for 2003. 

 

When reviewing the escrow accounts (Item #4), Mr. Scanzani suggested setting up an account (for approval by Town vote) that is similar to an expendable trust fund, which would use monies received through fines to pay for other needed things by the Planning Department/Planning Board (i.e. GIS).  Mr. Culbert noted the funds could only be used for general activities.  Mr. Scanzani read aloud a portion of RSA 673:16 which outlined land use board staff and finances. 

 

Ms. Bousa said there had been a general discussion in the past regarding reviewing the fee structure and determining if revisions should be made so that costs could be recovered through an increase in fees.  She wanted to know if the fee structure was still being reviewed.  Mr. Culbert said he had gathered information and would work with Mr. D’Andrea to bring information forward. 

 

There was a discussion regarding money that had previously been collected by fees that had been returned to the general fund without a vote by the Planning Board.  Mr. Lynde was not familiar with the fees, but believed the money had been collected over a few years, tracked separately and therefore returned to the general fund because it had no specific purpose to the Planning Department.  Mr. Culbert was under the impression that the money was to be used for the Planning Department move, furniture etc.  Mr. Lynde said the account was being tracked, but it had no purpose such as a bond.  He said the Board had no authority to spend the money.  Mr. Culbert believed former Interim Planning Director Clay Mitchell had worked with Town Counsel who provided a letter that allowed the Board to spend the money.  Mr. Lynde said if there was a letter, he would track the money back.  Mr. Culbert was curious to find out where the money came from.  Mr. McNamara said the money may help the Planning Department/Board budget when presenting certain items (i.e. GIS) to the Budget Committee.  Mr. Scanzani discussed the types of fees collected through the Planning Department.  The discussion continued further into a discussion about fees funding an additional person in the Planning Department and the need for the Town to have GIS in place. 

 

The Board continued their discussion regarding what warrant articles would be brought forward through funding from Planning Board revenue:  1) Planner I; 2) GIS System.  Mr. Lynde suggested that the structure of the warrant article be the same as the article (during 2002 Town Meeting) that requested funds for CLD.  He said he would work with Mr. D’Andrea to draft the language. 

 

The Board went on to review the Planning Board initiatives and goals 2003 list. 

 

Mr. Scanzani discussed the importance of the aquifer and the possibility of creating zoning so it is not negatively affected. 

 

After further discussion regarding items on the goal list (Items up to #10), Mr. Culbert said the Board would continue their discussion at the next work session. 

 

MINUTES

 

November 3, 2003  - Deferred to the next scheduled meeting.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(Lynde/McNamara) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(7 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:20 pm.

                                                                                          Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                          Charity A. L. Willis

                                                                                          Recording Secretary