APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

PLANNING BOARD MEETING

May 5, 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, Bill Scanzani, Peter McNamara, Henry DeLuca, Gael Ouellette, Robin Bousa, Alternate Bob Yarmo, Selectmen Representative Hal Lynde (arrived after the meeting commenced), Planning Director Amy Alexander

 

ABSENT:

 

Alternate Raymond Brunelle

 

ADMINISTRATIVE

 

Map 1 Lot 57 - V&G Development Corporation - Jones Farm Road - Request for Full Bond Release

 

Ms. Alexander did not recommend bond release at this time because the silt fences were still on site.  She said the developer was notified. 

 

There was no public input.

 

MOTION:

(Scanzani/DeLuca) To continue the request and date specify to the June 2, 2003 meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(7 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Map 6 Lot 179 - 128 Realty Corporation - Mammoth Road - Preliminary Conceptual Review in accordance with Section 8 of the town of Pelham Rules and Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land Chapter 260

 

Mr. Peter Zohdi, Herbert Associates presented the plan to the Board for discussion.  He described the location of the proposed 8-Lot subdivision.  He said each of the lots complied with the subdivision and zoning regulations.  He said the cul-de-sac was configured due to the soil types.  He invited the Board to walk the site. 

 

Mr. Lynde arrived.

 

Mr. Scanzani asked what amount of wetland would need to be crossed.  He asked if any Board members could recall a project with that much wetland crossing.  The Board members could not recall a similar crossing.  Mr. Zohdi explained that studies had been done and submitted to the Wetland Bureau.  He said that approximately 350ft. of wetland would need to be crossed.  He noted that there were two box culverts (each being 72”x42” corrugated metal). 

 

Ms. Bousa asked that potential alternate access through abutting parcels be noted on the plan when it was brought back before the Board.  Mr. Zohdi said the only way to access through the back parcel would be to leave a right of way so that the wetland would not need to be crossed again. 

 

Mr. Lynde asked if there was an existing house on the property.  Mr. Zohdi answered no. 

 

Mr. Culbert asked if a different type of culvert would be better for the site.  Mr. Zohdi’s understanding was that the size of the culvert determined the impact to wildlife, versus the type of culvert.  He said if the Board wanted, he would be willing to review other culvert types.

 

Mr. Scanzani asked what the length of the cul-de-sac was.  Mr. Zohdi said the total length was approximately 1650ft.  Mr. Scanzani said when the plan came back to the Board for review he wanted to review the drainage plan and calculations.  Mr. Zohdi invited the Board to walk the site. 

 

The Board decided to unofficially walk the site on May 17, 2003.  If the plan becomes accepted for consideration an official site walk will be scheduled and posted, welcoming abutters. 

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Map 4 Lot 180-17 Two M Construction Co. - off Benoit Avenue Extension - Proposed 2-Lot Subdivision for Continued Consideration

 

Ms. Alexander informed that Two M Construction Co. withdrew their application (pending information from the state).  She said abutters will be notified when the plan will be heard again. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked if the applicant would also withdraw their application for a Variance, which was an agenda item for the Board of Adjustment.  Ms. Alexander answered yes.   

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Map 5 Lot 75 - Keyes Hill Realty Trust - off Keyes Hill Road - Proposed 7-Lot Subdivision and Seeking Special Permit for Wetland Crossing for Resubmission (Note: This will be continued to the June 2, 2003 meeting.  No discussion will occur.)

 

Ms. Alexander said there was a problem with abutter notification; therefore the application would be continued to the June 2, 2003 meeting. 

 

NEW BUSINESS - continued from April 21, 2003

 

Map 11 Lot 93 - Cormier & Saurman Building, LLC - Dutton Road - Proposed Elderly Housing for Site Plan Review and Seeking Special Permit for Wetland Crossing

 

Mr. Scanzani read the list of abutters aloud. There were no persons who did not have their name read, or who had a problem with notification.  He informed that Anthony and Audralee Linardos did not claim their registered letter from the Post Office, which was sent twice. 

 

Attorney Paul DeCarolis discussed the application with the Board.  He explained that proposal was for Elderly Housing as defined in section 307:49 of the Zoning Ordinance and went on to review the requirements therein.  He discussed the open spaces in the parcel.  His understanding was that the abutters were interested in keeping the area as natural as possible, which he said could be further reviewed by the Conservation Commission.  Attorney DeCarolis said that of the fifteen units proposed, three of which would be two-bedroom units. 

 

Mr. Culbert asked what age Attorney DeCarolis was qualifying for the Elderly Housing.  Attorney DeCarolis said the Elderly Housing age of 62 was in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance. 

 

Mr. Scanzani confirmed with Ms. Shirley Wakefield that she received copies of the plans, as she requested.  Ms. Shirley Wakefield, South Shore Drive said that she had received copies of the plans.  Mr. Scanzani said that abutters had submitted letters to the file that contained concerns regarding: 1) the runoff water from the large wetland area; 2) 60ft. slope down to Little Island Pond; 3) tree cutting; 4)  wetland crossings; and 5)  abutters not willing to grant second egress onto private road. 

 

Mr. Peter Zohdi, Herbert Associates presented the engineering portion of the plan.  He said that they met with the Fire Chief, who requested an emergency access way through to Smith Road (private road).  He said it would have a bar, or the opticom system, whatever the Fire Chief requested.  Mr. Zohdi went on to review the plan.  He said that the septic was currently being reviewed by the Health Agent.  He said the drainage study and plan had been submitted to the Planning Department. 

 

Ms. Ouellette recalled that the Fire Chief had wanted access to all sides of the building and wanted to know if it were possible for each building due to the WCD.  Mr. Zohdi said that fire departments normally wanted to shoot at least three sides of the building, which they would be able to do, per the current plan.

 

Mr. McNamara asked Ms. Alexander if the application met all the criteria for acceptance.  Ms. Alexander said according to the current subdivision regulations, the application met all the criteria for acceptance.

 

Mr. Lynde and Ms. Ouellette stepped down, due to a possible conflict.

 

MOTION:

(McNamara/DeLuca) To accept the plan for consideration.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 2) The motion carries.  Mr. Lynde and Ms. Ouellette stepped down.

 

Mr. DeLuca asked what the wetland impact would be.  Mr. Zohdi said approximately 300SF would be impacted.  He said he would discuss constructing a retaining wall with his client. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Attorney Michael Donovan, representing the Little Island Pond Watershed Association didn’t feel that the plan met the terms of the zoning ordinance.  He asked the Board if an administrative decision had been made relative to if the plan met the terms and requirements of the zoning ordinance.  He noted that per Site Plan Review Regulations, Section 248:40 a building was required to be accessible on all sides to fire trucks.  He believed that buildings 1,4 and possibly 2 would have problems with fire truck access.  He said that the required lot area for multiple dwellings was three acres of non-wetland soil per building, which was not met with the proposed plan.  Attorney Donovan discussed the building setbacks and didn’t feel that they would be met for building one and three.  He provided the Board with the court decision (from 1989) regarding the private road status of Smith Road.  He did not believe that access/emergency access could be obtained without the permission from the trustees of the road.  Attorney Donovan said there was a second encroachment on the WCD that may need a permit.  He said a permit could not be granted until a favorable written letter had been received from the Conservation Commission.  He questioned if the wetland needed to be encroached to make productive use of the entire tract.  He said that per the zoning ordinance, a two-family home could be built on the parcel and still have productive use of the tract of land.  Attorney Donovan reiterated his belief that the plan did not comply with the zoning ordinance.  He discussed the interpretation of the Elderly Housing Zoning Ordinance and said that the Elderly Housing requirements shall govern only in the event of conflicting requirements of other ordinances.

 

Attorney DeCarolis said that the WCD ordinance allowed construction within the WCD right-of-ways and access ways per Section 307:40a.  He felt the three-acre requirement per building was inconsistent with similar projects in Town.  He said the Elderly Housing Ordinance stood alone and was unique.  He said the Elderly Housing Ordinance did not require three acres per building, but did require that the parcel contained not less than five acres.  He left the interpretation of the WCD crossing up to the Board. 

 

Mr. Zohdi said the only zoning issue brought up was the setback, which he believed was taken care of by providing a 30-foot setback. 

 

Mr. Culbert asked Mr. McNamara if the proposed plan was a case for the Board of Adjustment.  Mr. McNamara felt that Legal Counsel’s opinion should be obtained regarding the plan complying with zoning before proceeding. 

 

Mr. Scanzani asked how much of the parcel was ‘high and dry’ land.  Mr. Zohdi said the parcel contained more than six acres of dry land.  He had a plan that showed the soil types.  Mr. Culbert asked the Board’s opinion regarding sending the plan to Town Counsel.  There was a consensus of the Board to send the plan to Town Counsel for an opinion regarding zoning compliance. 

 

Mr. Peter Shelzi, 31 South Shore Drive said he was a resident for many years and believed the proposal for the parcel was absurd.  He said the area was environmentally sensitive and the watershed for the lake was important.  He believed that rental property would substantially change the character of the neighborhood.  He reiterated the sensitivity of the property. 

 

Ms. Julia Steed Mawson, 17 South Shore Drive submitted a letter to the Board that outlined her concerns.  She questioned some of the delineation of the wetlands and asked that the Board consider reviewing again.  She pointed out vernal pools and certain connection that were missing from the plan being presented.  She submitted photographs to the Board of the wetland.  Ms. Mawson noted that the wetland had already been impacted twice.  She said that investigation should be given to the hazardous waste impact, even though it had been mitigated by DES and was currently being monitored by wells.  She believed that alteration to the hydrology in the upland may have substantial impact, and should be investigated.  Ms. Mawson was concerned about a change in the character of the community.  She discussed her concern regarding the wildlife and the wildlife corridor.  Light pollution was also a concern, not only for residents, but also for the wildlife. 

 

Mr. Scott Godin, 79 South Shore Drive was concerned with the compliance of Zoning Ordinance Section 307:52c (slope grade) and asked that the landscape plans be addressed.  He was also concerned with Zoning Ordinance Section 307:83 (a)(b) &(c) (Board of Adjustment public interest) in connection with the newly purchased/protected land abutting the parcel.  He believed that taxpayers of the Town would also be concerned with the proximity of the proposed development.  Mr. Godin felt that there were many issues being crossed and didn’t feel the Board should move forward with the plan.    

 

Ms. Lisa Lafontaine, 18 South Shore Drive agreed with the abutter’s concerns being discussed and stated her objection to the proposed development.

 

Ms. Liz Schedeler, West Shore Drive was concerned with the increase of traffic onto Dutton Road and the safety of her children.


Mr. Dave Owens, Dutton Road was concerned with the safety on Dutton Road due to the addition of recent developments.  He didn’t feel the parcel was an appropriate place to build elderly housing because of the proximity to shopping, library etc.  He pointed out that it was not safe to walk in the area since there were no sidewalks.   

 

Mr. Paul Gagnon, Dutton Road noted that the Little Island Watershed Association had made an offer to purchase the property and was in the early stages of the negotiation.  He said a written offer would be delivered to the owner during the meeting. 

 

Mr. Zohdi suggested when the plan was being reviewed by Town Counsel that it also be reviewed by the Zoning Administrator.  Mr. McNamara felt that the nature of the questions would be best served by first obtaining Town Counsel’s opinion.  He said if Council wanted, the plan could then be forwarded to the Zoning Administrator. 

 

Mr. Culbert said that the Board would seek Town Counsel’s opinion by having Ms. Alexander review the plan with Council.  Mr. Scanzani suggested that the plan not be sent out for engineering review until after obtaining Town Counsel’s opinion.  Mr. Zohdi felt that the plan should be reviewed by both Town Counsel and the Zoning Administrator.  Mr. Culbert said the plan could be sent to Town Counsel, the Zoning Administrator as well as the Fire Chief. 

 

Ms. Bousa asked if an Environmental Impact Analysis (‘EIA’) had been done.  Mr. Zohdi answered no.  He said the Board could advise what studies they would like done, at the applicant’s own risk, so that the process could continue.  Mr. Culbert discussed the EIA and noted that if the applicant had the study done, the Board would probably have an independent company review the study due to the sensitivity of the area.  Mr. Scanzani reiterated his feeling that studies should not be done until Town Counsel provides their opinion. 

 

Mr. Culbert asked if traffic studies were done for Elderly Housing.  Ms. Bousa said the regulations called for a study to be done for any development with more than ten single homes.  She said that Elderly Housing generated traffic at a lower rate than single family homes and didn’t feel a study would be necessary.  Ms. Bousa’s only concern was the sight distance for the driveway.  She said the traffic impact would be minimal. 

 

Mr. Yarmo felt that an EIA was necessary.  He recommended a peer review of the EIA, as well as peer review of the wetland delineation.  The Chair responded that everyone had previously agreed to this. 

 

The Board decided to continue the plan until the May 19, 2003 meeting. 

 

ADMINISTRATIVE

 

TF Moran Update/General Discussion

 

Mr. David Jordan of TF Moran provided the Board with an update of what work had been performed and what was currently being performed. 

 

Mr. Yarmo wanted to know what the inspector’s qualifications were and how they recognized construction problems (example: storm water mitigation during construction).  Mr. Jordan said that TF Moran had been inspecting erosion control and went on to discuss the process they took.  Mr. Yarmo believed the subdivision regulations may be missing the allowance/requirement for TF Moran to make recommendations for temporary erosion control.  The Board discussed erosion control and used the Appletree subdivision (Garland Farm/V&G Developers) as an example of erosion control that did not work.  Ms. Alexander said currently her concern was Samuel Drive.  Mr. Lynde pointed out if a developer wanted to ‘muck’ a road within their subdivision, they could, as long as the ‘muck’ didn’t leave the development.  Ms. Alexander said a concern with ‘mucking’ roads was the debris clogging the catch basins and detention areas.  She suggested adding something to the building permit application that required a construction entrance to a lot that was being constructed.  Mr. Scanzani suggested an addition to the subdivision regulations that limited the amount of land that could be disturbed during construction.

 

Mr. Lynde asked the Board if there was any direction for Ms. Alexander regarding the erosion control issue.  Mr. Culbert said Ms. Alexander should continue doing what she was. 

 

Mr. Scanzani said he would like to review the engineering reviews since he didn’t feel that any noted the serious problems that had occurred on certain sites.  Ms. Alexander said the reports were in a binder in the Planning Department.  Mr. Jordan noted that TF Moran had been inspecting erosion control even though the subdivision regulations did not call them to do so.  Ms. Alexander said that during pre-construction meetings clear direction was given regarding erosion control inspection and maintenance.

 

Mr. Scanzani suggested not using silt fencing.  Ms. Alexander said an alternative to silt fencing were large log looking bags that contained wood chips.  She said the wood chip bags would still need maintenance.  Mr. Culbert asked for information to be brought to the Board regarding alternatives for erosion control before a scientist discussed methods with the Board. 

 

The Board discussed areas in Town that have had erosion problems.  The question was asked if the subdivision regulations address erosion problems.  Ms. Alexander answered no.  The Board went on to discuss other issues that should be addressed, such as the identification of problem sites/existing problems before work is done.  Ms. Alexander said she sends letters to the developers so that proper documentation is contained within the Planning Department files.  She discussed the requirements of the EPA, which was to have updated storm water plans in place prior to a storm.  Mr. Lynde asked who performed the EPA compliance inspections.  Ms. Alexander said that the EPA had the right to inspect sites, similar to OSHA.  There was a discussion regarding how to enforce requirements.  Mr. Scanzani suggested asking Legal Counsel what could be put in place to protect the Town.  Ms. Alexander said for a stop-work order she would need an RSA violation. 

 

Mr. Lynde asked that the TF Moran engineering and plan review reports be included in the Board member packs for review.  He questioned if the Board wanted a TF Moran representative present at meetings.  The Board was in favor of having a TF Moran representative present at meetings once they had reviewed the subdivision or site plan and a report had been received.  It was suggested to have TF Moran present on site walks.  Mr. Jordan said TF Moran was available for meetings, they had not been asked to attend. 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Planning Board Procedures / Resident Information Sheet

 

Mr. Scanzani discussed the reasons he created the draft information sheet, which was mainly to inform the public of the process taken by the Planning Board.  He said that corrections had been made based upon input from the Board.  He took additional comments from the Board and said he would provide a copy to the Planning Department for dissemination to the public.   

 

John Bobula Land-use Report

 

There was a consensus of the Board that the report drafted by Mr. John Bobula did not accurately reflect the needs/suggestions provided by the Board.  There was a suggestion to have the Town Administrator meet with the Board.     

 

Collins Way Subdivision

 

Mr. Lynde read a letter aloud dated May 1, 2003 drafted by Ms. Alexander regarding the crushed gravel elevation being construction to a different design (approximately 2ft difference) than that depicted on the signed plan.  Apparently the previous Planning Director approved a field change that was not documented within the file at the Planning Department.  The Board discussed what steps could be taken so a similar situation did not happen again.  There was a consensus from the Board to have an engineer come back before the Board with design changes and explain the effects on drainage.  An updated plan would then be submitted to the Planning Department and signed.

 

RFQ - Engineering Services

 

Ms. Bousa asked for direction regarding the RFQ she drafted for engineering services.  She said Town Administrator Tom Gaydos had not contacted her to inform of the status.  Mr. Lynde said if the RFQ was complete, it should be forwarded to Mr. Gaydos, who will in turn delegate the task of sending notices to Ms. Alexander.  Mr. Culbert asked that the bids be returned to the Planning Board Chair, to be opened at a Planning Board meeting.  There was a brief discussion regarding the procedure that would be taken to send the RFQ out.  Mr. Lynde will verify that Mr. Gaydos is to be responsible for sending the RFQ out (possibly having Ms. Alexander handle).  Questions received by the Planning Department will be directed to the Planning Board Chair.  The return bid envelopes will be clearly marked so the Planning Department will not open the envelopes.  Sealed bids are to be forwarded to the Planning Board to be opened at a Planning Board meeting.  The RFQ publication notices will be posted in a wide range of publications, such as the Concord Monitor, Boston Globe, and Union Leader.  The Board wanted the RFQ sent out ASAP.     

 

Planning Board Objectives

 

Mr. Lynde noted that Ms. Alexander had been keeping track of items the Planning Board may want to consider changing within the subdivision regulations.  He said that he asked Ms. Alexander to submit a memo to the Board listing the items.  Mr. Scanzani said he had a list of objectives the Board should begin to address before it got too late in the year.  He suggested addressing the items during the Board’s work sessions.  Mr. DeLuca suggested that the Board members split the subdivision regulations and become familiar with different sections.  He said once a member became well versed in a particular section, they could then expand their ‘expertise’ to other areas of the regulations. 

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

April 21, 2003

MOTION:

(Scanzani/McNamara) To approve the April 21, 2003 meeting minutes as amended.  

 

VOTE:

 

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

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(Lynde/Ouellette) To adjourn the meeting. 

 

VOTE:

 

(7 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:23 pm.

 

                                                                                          Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                          Charity A. L. Willis

                                                                                          Recording Secretary