APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING

MINUTES

February 18, 2003

APPROVED Ė March 4, 2003

 

CALL TO ORDER

PLEDGE OF ALLEGAINCE

 

PRESENT:

Mr. Greg Farris, Mr. Harold Lynde (arrived after the meeting had commenced), Mr. Jean-Guy Bergeron, Mr. William McDevitt,

Mr. Richard Derby

 

Also present:

 

ABSENT:

Mr. Tom Gaydos, Town Administrator, members of the press and general public.

 

None.

††††††††††††††

Chairman Farris opened the meeting at approximately 6:30 pm.

 

Mr. Farris said that the benefit for Officer Lyons was an incredible event that showed the pride of the community.

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

February 4, 2003

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Bergeron) To approve the February 4, 2003 meeting minutes as written.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

February 11, 2003

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Bergeron) To approve the February 11, 2003 meeting minutes as written.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

OPEN FORUM

 

Mr. Bergeron stepped down from the Board.

 

Mr. Jean-Guy Bergeron, Marsh Road said that he had an inquiry regarding an item under New Business.He asked the Selectmen if he should make his inquiry during Open Forum, or wait until New Business.Mr. Farris suggested waiting until New Business and speaking during the discussion.Mr. Gaydos said that the item under New Business - Jack Mansurís Auto certificate approval had been added to the agenda because he wanted to seek clarification of the stateís approval documentation process.

 

Mr. Lynde arrived.

 

APPOINTMENTS

 

The Selectmen convened as the Board of Health - with Chairman, Paul Zarnowski

 

6:35 P.M. WAIVER OF ARTICLE K, Paul Zarnowski, Health Officer

 

Mr. Zarnowski said that Denise and David Hall, 78 Jericho Road (ML 242-10-223) were seeking a waiver to Article K per 295:16 (septic tank and leach field - 75ft. from poorly drained soils).He said the Townís requirement was 75ft. and the stateís requirement was 50ft. from poorly drained soils.†††

 

Mr. Ted Hatem presented the plan to the Board of Health.He began by providing a brief history of the property. He said that the stateís regulations would be met.He said that the systemís footprint was increased by 20% - 25%, but didnít feel that it would encroach the wetland.

 

Mr. Lynde asked the location of the pre-existing system.Mr. Hatem said the new system and the septic tank would remain in the same location as the existing.Mr. Lynde asked if the well would be encroached if the system were moved closer to the house.Mr. Hatem answered yes.Mr. Zarnowski noted that the existing system was in the water table and the new system would be out of the water table, providing adequate treatment.

 

Mr. Bergeron asked if any new material would be brought in to the area.Mr. Hatem said that clean sand fill would be brought in to obtain the separation from the season high water table.Mr. Bergeron asked if the soil would then be a different classification.Mr. Hatem said that there would be a cleaner treatment.

 

Mr. Lynde asked how much higher above the seasonable water table the new system would be.Mr. Hatem believed it would be about 1ft than the original grade, on the upslope side.He said that there would be a separation of approximately 4ft.

 

MOTION:

(Lynde/Bergeron) To grant the waiver to Article K (295:16 setback from poorly drained soil) from 75ft. to 50ft. for ML 242-10-223.

 

VOTE:

 

(6 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

6:45 P.M. WAIVER OF ARTICLE K, Paul Zarnowski, Health Officer

 

Mr. Bergeron stepped down.

 

Mr. Zarnowski said that RBC Highland Apartments, 9 Highland Avenue (ML 29-7-101) were seeking a waiver to Article K per 295:12(a) - 20ft. separation to bed (requesting 14ft) and nitrate setbacks (state requirement).

 

Mr. Ray Dion, Felix Septic System reviewed the plan for the Board of Health.He provided a brief history of the parcel.He informed that he had been working with the state regarding the type of system.He noted that there was no up spot on the property to move the system.He said they were trying to replace the system with the new codes.Mr. Zarnowski pointed out that the system would be the enviro-septic system using the same footprint as the existing stone/pipe system.He said at the time the original plan was done, there were no nitrate setback regulations from the NHDES.He said different components were being used, which would provide for a larger capacity.He went on to explain what the nitrate setback requirements were.

 

Mr. Lynde asked if there were any other waivers needed.Mr. Zarnowski said there were no other waivers needed.Mr. Lynde confirmed that the new system would be better than the existing.Mr. Zarnowski said that the system being put in would be 1/3 bigger capacity than the existing because of the components.

 

MOTION:

(Lynde/Derby) To grant the waiver to Article K - 295:12 (a) for ML 29-7-101which requires approval from the Town to seek approval from state regulations.††

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

The Selectmen reconvened.

 

Mr. Bergeron returned to the Board.

 

Update of LCHP Grant - Picard property

 

Ms. Deb Waters and Ms. Julia Steed-Mawson met with the Selectmen and informed that the Conservation Commission had been awarded an LCHP grant (in the amount of $60,000) to acquire the Picard property.She said that there were ancillary costs to satisfy LCHP.She went on to discuss some of the items needing to be satisfied.She said that some of the items may be able to be obtained easily so efforts wouldnít be duplicated.†† She said that the process would need to be done point, by point.

 

Mr. Lynde asked when the process would be complete.Ms. Waters said a timeline had to be submitted, and all of the work would have to be done within eighteen months.She said one problem was that the closing was scheduled for February 28, 2003, therefore she requested permission from the Selectmen to close in advance.Mr. Lynde confirmed that the Conservation Fund would be reimbursed once the LCHP process was completed.Ms. Waters answered yes.Mr. Farris said that Mr. Bob Yarmo, Conservation Commission had previously explained the process to the Selectmen and noted that the closing would probably occur before the grant money arrived.Mr. Gaydos asked if LCHP was acceptable to the process.Ms. Waters said it would have to be negotiated.Ms. Steed-Mawson noted that conversations had occurred with LCHP, and was aware of the process needing to occur.

 

Mr. Bergeron asked if the costs to complete the grant would exceed $10,000.Ms. Steed-Mawson did not believe that the costs would exceed $10,000 based upon the rough estimates done.

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Lynde) To accept the LCHP Grant.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

Mr. McDevitt thanked the volunteers for all the work behind seeking the grant monies.

 

7:00 P.M. PUBLIC HEARING for a permit to build a new residence on Jeremy Hill Road, a Class VI Road.

 

Mr. Lynde stepped down.Mr. McDevitt noted that Attorney DeCarolis had done some legal work for members of his family, but did not feel that it constituted a conflict.†††

 

Attorney Paul DeCarolis, representing Mr. Hal Lynde and Ms. Charlene Takesian, presented the plan to the Selectmen.He provided a brief history of the lot and showed two plans from the 1960ís that depicted the portion of Jeremy Hill Road (that was now a class 6 road) as a public right-of-way.It was his belief that the portion of Jeremy Hill Road being discussed had acquired its status of a class 6 highway by statute (if the Town no longer maintains the public highway for a period of five years).He said the portion of the road lead to the original Town fire tower.He said there was no question that since the 1970ís the Town had no longer maintained the portion of the road.

 

Attorney DeCarolis said there was issue with what rights the abutters had on a class 6 road.He said before the statutes were in effect, if a road were discontinued by Town vote, ownership of the road went to the abutters, but now per statute, if a road was discontinued by vote of the Town, the property owners would maintain the right of access to their property.He noted there were no records that the road was formally discontinued by the Town, but even if it were, the property owner would still enjoy the right, per statute, to access the property.

 

Attorney DeCarolis said if the road was not discontinued, it would become a class 6 road (public highway) that the Town would have no obligation to do any work to it whatsoever.He said the statute being referenced was 674:41, which granted the Selectmen the right to authorize the Building Inspector to issue a Building Permit for the property for use as a single-family home.He said the property would not be subdivided.He said if the property were to be subdivided, it would then fall under the Subdivision Regulations of the Town, which would require compliance.He said that the Zoning Ordinance required frontage onto a public right-of-way, which a class 6 road is considered to be.He pointed out the Subdivision Regulations called for frontage on a class 5 road, but the general Zoning Ordinance required frontage on a public right-of-way.

 

Attorney DeCarolis said there was concern from the abutters that the wetlands would be affected.He said that any approval could be conditioned that the state approves any plans.He said no waivers were being requested at this time.He said that the power lines currently in place would be utilized if possible, if not the right-of-way could be utilized for utility purposes.

 

Attorney DeCarolis requested approval from the Selectmen to the Building Department to authorize the issuance of a building permit.He understood that all other requirements would need to be met, including any conditions of the Fire Department.He said per statue a declaration releasing the Town of obligation had been drafted for review, and would need to be recorded at the Registry of Deeds, per statute.

 

Mr. McDevitt felt the road status was not clear and that Town Counsel may need to research.Attorney DeCarolis said based on the list compiled in 1972; he did not find that the portion of Jeremy Hill Road was closed subject to gates and bars.He was not aware that the road was formally discontinued, but did not feel it was relevant to the proposed.He noted if the road was subject to gates and bars, the property owners would still have the right to access their property.He said if the road was a class 6 highway, the property owner would also have the right to access their property.He said no record was found that the road was formally voted to be discontinued.

 

Mr. Derby read aloud Article 15 from 1934 which was to see if the voters would vote to close a portion of Tower Hill Road, subject to gates and bars from the Mansfield residences to the entrance of the Jeremy Hill look out station.Attorney DeCarolis believed the Article referenced the road to the fire tower, leading toward the South, but the portion of the road currently being discussed was from the road to the fire tower, leading toward the North.

 

Mr. Farris asked if there was any other access to the property, other than from the class 6 road.Attorney DeCarolis said that the owners owned a separate lot of record, but did not know the feasibility of gaining access from that parcel.He said if the owners came in through their existing property, the property would have to be consolidated, a class 5 road would need to be built, which would open the entire parcel up for possible further development.Mr. Farris asked if the parcel could come forward for a subdivision approval in the future.Attorney DeCarolis said the owner would have to go to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.He discussed the ways in which the parcel would be able to be subdivided, such as by going before the Planning Board, or the Zoning Board of Adjustment.Mr. Farris asked what the width of the right-of-way was.Attorney DeCarolis did not recall, but was fairly sure it was not 50ft. wide.He said that the access could not go beyond the stone walls, currently on the property.Mr. Farris asked if the Selectmen could place a condition on the road, to not be expanded or widened.Attorney DeCarolis felt that would be a reasonable condition.He said the proposed what to improve the access basically to the condition for a driveway.He reviewed what the length of the road would be.†††

 

Mr. Bergeron said that Mr. Bob Fletcher informed him that the road had been closed in 1934.He asked if the status could be confirmed.Attorney DeCarolis said per the document Mr. Derby read, Jeremy Hill Road was closed up to the fire tower road.He was not aware that the portion being discussed was ever closed.Mr. Bergeron asked if the parcel was land-locked.Attorney DeCarolis said the parcel was land-locked, subject to the class 6 road.He said the only other way to possibly access the parcel (based on the tax map) would be to go over ML 3-173, but that would require the construction of a class 5 road, which would in turn open the entire parcel (29 acres) up for further development.He went on to discuss the reasons the parcel could not be subdivided as it currently existed, without a Variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.Mr. Bergeron asked if the Selectmen could grant authority based upon a hardship.Attorney DeCarolis said that there was no hardship requirement for the Selectmen approval.He discussed the criteria to be followed for the Selectmen to grant authorization for a building permit, which included the release of the Townís responsibility to the road.

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. David Hennessey, Dutton Road, noted that per Zoning Ordinance 307-10(c) stated that driveway permits shall be obtained by the Planning Board, or its designated agent for all new, or relocation driveways that enter onto class 5, or class 6 streets.He understood that clause was how the Planning Board exercised jurisdiction over class 6 roads.Mr. McDevitt said that the Selectmen had received a recommendation from the Planning Board.†††

 

Mr. Bob Francis, Jeremy Hill Road, believed there was a grey area as to where the road was closed subject to gates and bars.He felt it was important to note that the parcel of land was purchased after the road had been closed for many years.†††††††

 

Mr. Paul Steck, Jeremy Hill Road, noted that the parcel had previously been subdivided from a larger parcel owned by the Robinson family.Attorney DeCarolis said the parcel had been subdivided in the 1960ís and believed it was allowed because a portion of Jeremy Hill Road was considered class 5.He said that the new requirements for a subdivision required any subdivided lot would have to be onto a class 5 road.Mr. Steck asked if there would be a defined limit for the width, filling and grading (for equipment).He believed the access narrowed to 18ft.-19ft.Mr. Farris said the road would be nothing more than a driveway.He doubted that the Planning Board, or the Zoning Board of Adjustment would grant a subdivision, or a Variance based upon the width.Attorney DeCarolis said that 18ft. would be more than adequate for the driveway access, and noted that the Fire Department would have its own particular requirements that the owner would be obligated to follow.Mr. Steck said that the Planning Board mentioned conflicts with shared driveways and felt that the proposed may turn into a shared driveway system.Mr. Farris understood that shared driveways were an access to a parcel that began joined and then split to access the individual homes.He said the conflict normally was who maintained the first 10ft-20ft.He said the only conflict may be if the abutting parcel were to put a driveway in, there may be a question as to who would maintain the class 6 road.Attorney DeCarolis believed that the abutting parcel (ML 4-144) had a current plan before the Planning Board that showed access from Valley Hill.†††

 

Mr. Ken Silverman, Jeremy Hill Road, asked what the minimum width was for a class 5 road.Attorney DeCarolis said the minimum width for a class 5 road was 50ft.There was a brief discussion regarding a plan that had gone before the Planning Board and was denied because the road could not be widened to the required 50ft.Mr. Silverman asked if a stipulation could be placed so that a class 5 road could not be built for the purpose of allowing a development to go in.Mr. Farris said that Town Counsel would have to provide opinion regarding what stipulations could be placed.Attorney DeCarolis noted that if a petition was received to bring the road up to class 5, it would require Town vote.Mr. Silverman said a comment had been made that the distance from the applicantís existing property was too far to provide access to the parcel being discussed.He reviewed the map and believed that the proposed length of road was almost the same distance.Mr. Farris said that consideration would need to be given to the topography.He said that emergency access was also a consideration.Mr. McDevitt noted that the applicant had the statutory right to access their property without proving hardship.†††

 

Mr. Hal Lynde, applicant, Jeremy Hill Road, said that he was trying to stay out of the process and noted that he owned 29 acres of land with 1500ft. of frontage onto a Town road.He said there were no wetland or slope issues.He said the intent was to put a single family home onto the property.He said that he would maintain the road and minimize the impact on his neighbors.Mr. Lynde noted that if he was allowed to build the proposed home, the lot with the existing home would be put up for sale.He discussed the road and said his intent was to maintain the gravel base.Mr. McDevitt asked what the current width of the road was.Mr. Lynde did not have exact measurements.Mr. McDevitt believed the status of the road should be clear and that legal counsel should advise.He discussed the case with Old Lawrence Road.†††

 

Mr. Derby made a motion to hold the decision until April 15, 2003 so that a site walk could be performed.†††

 

Mr. Lynde said that he would like to move forward with creating plans.He welcomed a site walk.

 

Mr. Hennessey discussed the case involving Old Lawrence Road and the distinction between that case, and the proposed case by Mr. Lynde.

 

Mr. Lynde said he thought the road had been closed to gates and bars, so he reviewed the minutes dating back to the 1960ís and found nothing.

 

Ms. Charlene Takesian, applicant, Jeremy Hill Road asked that the Selectmen not wait until April 15, 2003 to make a decision.She agreed that the status should be reviewed, but wanted to move forward with the planning stages.

 

There was no second to Mr. Derbyís motion.Mr. Farris asked if questions were given to legal, if a response could be obtained within a two week period.Mr. Gaydos said he would contact legal, but if there was research, it may take longer.Mr. Farris asked Attorney DeCarolis to work with Town Counsel to provide helpful information.He asked that the information be provided for the Selectmenís March 4, 2003 meeting.Mr. Derby asked that the Fire Chiefís concerns also be noted at that time.Mr. McDevitt said he would like to know the width of the road.Ms. Takesian said the road would only be wide enough to put a driveway in.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Municipal Building

 

Mr. Gaydos said an explanation was provided regarding the design of the ceiling and how the glass structure would be accommodated.Mr. McDevitt said that Ms. Jan Becker of Breadloaf would be providing additional information.

 

Mr. Lynde returned to the Board.

 

Mr. McDevitt said that the Municipal Building Committee would be meeting to discuss the use of Sherburne athletic fields to provide recommendations to the Selectmen.He went on to discuss the donation opportunities that he brought up during the prior Selectmen meeting: 1) Memorial Tree Fund; 2) Sherburne Hall Fund; 3) Historic Town Hall Preservation Fund.He noted that the Building Committee did not consider the renovation of the gymnasium.He reviewed the types of uses the gymnasium could have.He further explained the donation opportunities and asked that the Selectmen approve them in concept so that he could get them moving.The Selectmen briefly discussed the proposed donation possibilities.

 

MOTION:

(Lynde/Derby) To allow Mr. McDevitt and Mr. Gaydos and the Municipal Building Committee to start investigating the scope of findings for the three proposals.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

Regional Water District

 

Mr. Bergeron reviewed his notes from the Regional Water District held on February 13, 2003.He requested that the Selectmen review the minutes from the meeting and provide and comments, or questions in writing as soon as possible.He said that the Town of Bedford had paid over $500 for copies of materials being provided.He noted that one town had offered a donation of $50 to defray the costs.He asked if Pelham would also donate $50 for such costs.He ended by saying the Regional Water District intended on meeting every two weeks through June, or July 2003.

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Derby) To donate $50 to the town of Bedford, to help defray costs for materials.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

Mr. Farris asked if Pennichuck was still openly for sale, now that the deal with the company from Philadelphia was off the table.Mr. Bergeron said the goal was to purchase Pennichuck.He said there were current negotiations being done, some of which were still non-public.He said that the charter was currently being worked on and based upon how the Town votes at Town meeting, Pelham will then know if we will be included on the charter, or if the Town would become a customer.

 

Mr. Bergeron read aloud a letter from Senator Andrew Martel dated February 10, 2003 that thanked towns for their adoption of the resolution to form a Regional Water District.Senator Martel said that he would do all he could to help the bill pass in an expeditious manner.

 

Town Report & (moved from New Business) Town Report Distribution

 

Mr. Gaydos said that the Town Report was being printed.He handed out a draft explanation of the warrant articles for review.Mr. Farris asked that comments be forwarded to Mr. Gaydos by Thursday.

 

Mr. Gaydos discussed how the Town Report had been distributed in the past and said that four stipulations had been added.He said that he had reviewed alternate ways for distribution, one of which would be to mail the warrant article explanation and sample ballots to every property (including P.O. boxes) via U.S. Post, using the Townís permit. He said a letter could be included that stated the Town Reports would be available at certain locations for residents to pick up.He noted if a resident were no able to pick up a Town Report, they could send a written request, and the Town would send them one.

 

The Selectmen discussed the circulation alternative of the Town Reports as explained by Mr. Gaydos.It was agreed by the Selectmen to have the U.S. Post mail (using the Townís permit) the warrant articles, with explanation and the sample ballots.

 

It was noted that there was no slight against the Boy Scouts, by not using the troops to circulate the Town Reports.†††

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Jack Mansurís Auto certificate approval

 

Mr. Bergeron stepped down.

 

Mr. Gaydos asked the Selectmenís guidance regarding the procedure for when the state forwards a permit for signature.

 

Mr. Jean-Guy Bergeron, Marsh Road, speaking as a resident had a question regarding the consent decree dated August 5, 1997.He asked if there had been any Board of Adjustment meetings for additional approvals on the property.His understanding was that the consent decree did not allow any more or any less.He reviewed the answers to some of the questions on the application.He did not feel the certificate application should be issued or signed.

 

Mr. Lynde questioned if the application should be run through Town Counsel for compliance with the consent decree.Mr. McDevitt agreed and noted that if the application complied with the consent decree, it would be in compliance with zoning.

 

Mr. Bergeron questioned if the building was commercial.He didnít know if it had been before the Board of Adjustment.He did not feel that the application fit into the consent decree.Mr. Farris agreed that Town Counsel should review.

 

Mr. Gaydos said that the junkyard permit would expire March 31, 2003.He said if the Town did not respond within a certain amount of time, it would be assumed that there were no problems.Mr. Farris suggested that Mr. Gaydos write a letter to the state explaining that the Board was seeking Town Counsel's advice in connection with the consent decree.Mr. McDevitt asked that Mr. Gaydos find out from Town Counsel what signing the document constituted.

 

Mr. Bergeron returned to the Board.

 

TOWN ADMNISTRATORíS REPORT/SELECTMENíS REPORTS

 

Mr. Gaydos provided the Selectmen with a draft employee evaluation form for review and comment.He handed out documents for the Selectmen to sign that confirmed their vote to appoint Ms. Lana Beloritsky to the Board of Adjustment.

 

Mr. Derby praised the Highway Department for their fine job during the recent snow storm.He also noted the job well done by the Fire Department in containing a structure fire on Bridge Street.

 

Mr. McDevitt had no report.

 

Mr. Lynde informed that the Planning Board meeting scheduled for February 17, 2003 had been cancelled due to inclement weather.He said the meeting was not rescheduled.†††

 

Mr. Bergeron said that he spoke with Superintendent Bruce Mason of the Transfer Station who reported everything was fine and plowed out.He then read aloud a press release from the Fire Department regarding the structure fire on Bridge Street.He ended by saying the benefit for Officer Lyons showed the spirit of Pelham.

 

Mr. Farris said that the Municipal Building Committee and Park and Recreation would meet jointly to discuss the athletic fields at Sherburne.He ended by discussing the benefit for Officer Lyons and said it was a proud moment in history for the Town.He thanked the surrounding Towns for their support during the event.

 

There was a brief discussion regarding the Coombs property and it was noted that once the snow was gone the property would be reviewed.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Bergeron) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:25 pm.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Respectfully submitted,

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Charity A. L. Willis

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Recording Secretary