The Harrisville Planning Board held its regular monthly meeting at the Town Office Building located on Chesham Road on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
Members Present: Sherry Sims, Ned Hulbert, Heri Tryba, Pete Thayer (alternate), Courtney Cox, Selectman Andrew Maneval, Noel Greiner (alternate), Nick Colony (alternate)
Members Absent: Anne Havill (alternate)
Members of the Public Present: Winston Sims, Mary Day Mordecai, John Cucchi, Anne Cucchi
Ned Hulbert called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.
Attendance and Voting Members
Mr. Hulbert stated that the voting members are Sherry Sims, Andrew Maneval, Courtney Cox, Heri Tryba and Ned Hulbert except on any vote of the Cucchi application in which case Sherry Sims would recuse herself and Pete Thayer will be a voting member.
Approval of Agenda
Motion advanced by Andrew Maneval. All voted in favor to approve.
Minutes of previous meeting 7/13/16
Noel Greiner motion to approved the minutes as amended minutes and distributed by Sherry Sims. Seconded by Courtney Cox. All voted in favor.
Sherry Sims stated that, in light of Peter Crowell’s resignation, Courtney Cox has now been named a full member of the Board by the Selectmen.
Subdivision Application cont’d from 7/13/16: John J. Cucchi, Jr, Skatutakee Rd, 2-lot subdivision, Map 30, Lot 32
Anne Cucchi announced that Anne and John Cucchi request that the Planning Board table their application given their filing of a Writ of Certiorari and that they hope the Planning Board will refrain from any discussion of their application until their application is refiled. The Cucchis stated they believe the Select Board has asked for Winston Sims’s recusal and they are aware that Mr. Sims has contacted the Cucchis’ consultants without their knowledge or approval.
Andrew Maneval clarified that the Select Board as a whole has not asked and hasn’t taken position on Mr. Sims’s recusal and that it is first up to Mr. Sims to decide and, secondly, for the Conservation Commission to decide if Mr. Sims should recuse himself. Mr. Maneval further stated that the Select Board wouldn’t take up the matter until both of these options and processes had been exhausted.
John Cucchi requested that the Conservation Commission (Con Comm) not remain part of the process since Winston Sims has contacted Clough Harbor. He expressed concern that Mr. Sims’s gesture had an effect on their application before the application was accepted.
Ned Hulbert responded that, as advised by the Town Attorney and based on procedures of other towns, the only understanding ever made by the Planning Board (PB) with the Conservation Commission (Con Comm) was that the Con Comm can comment on an application in advance of its acceptance by the PB for issues of potential interest or concern to the Con Comm regarding shoreland, steep slope or wetlands, etc. This verbal agreement made in spring 2015 ensures that the PB does not overlook water or erosion-related issues (as noted in town ordinances or regulations) before accepting any application. He noted that any Con Comm input on any application prior to acceptance is advisory and non-binding. The Cucchis then left the meeting.
The Planning Board discussed the question of what motion the Cucchis had filed. Andrew Maneval stated it was his belief the Cucchis had filed a Certiorari Motion seeking to direct the town, or town bodies, to act in a way that is consistent with the law. Mr. Maneval further stated he doesn’t know specifically what was filed but it sounded as if the Cucchis are claiming the town, or one or more of its bodies, has violated due process, or statute or some aspect of NH state law.
Sherry Sims asked about procedure. Given that the Cucchis had askemd the Planning Board to table the application, did it affect the noticing procedure. Ned Hulbert offered to ask Silas Little, town attorney.
Andrew Maneval moved to continue the application from the Cucchis to next month’s meeting at which time the Board will have consulted with counsel and considered whether or not the application is null and void. Second from Pete Thayer. All voted in favor.
Sherry Sims raised a question about applications in general and the board’s handling of “non-substantial” conditions with respect to acceptance of applications versus substantial conditions which may be too onerous for the Board to include in a conditional acceptance. Ned Hulbert stated he would like a training session on substantive v. non-substantive matters with respect to applications, especially given that some Board members are new to the application review process. Mr. Hulbert stated he believes it would be beneficial if all members shared a common understanding. Sherry Sims added the Board is in the position of balancing the applicant’s rights with the board’s ability to do its job.
Annual Calendar – review for fall – upcoming applications, public hearings, CIP
Heri Tryba reviewed the upcoming calendar based on the 2015 version, which includes:
August- Planning Board organizational review. Ned Hulbert elaborated that it’s an opportunity to assess how the board is working – what’s working well, what could be improved.
Sept – Initiate Capital Improvement Plan work. Peter Thayer asked at what point does Planning Board get involved with a CIP initiative. Discussion as to role of Planning Board in the process in relation to town’s duty, as described by Andrew Maneval, to set aside funds for future purchases, particularly infrastructure-related
Sept – Law Lectures (OEP runs usually late Sept)
Oct – Work on crafting possible zoning amendments
Nov – OEP Fall conference
Dec – deadline for noticing for public hearings
Jan – Planning Board budget drafted; PB submits its report for Town Reports; Notices of public hearings
Feb – Articles drafted for Town Meeting (due 6 weeks ahead); recruit new members
Mar – Town Meeting
Apr – Training and orientation for new board members
May – OEP Conference
Heri Tryba – Stated he would like to add Master plan priorities and working groups
Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) – grant application
Heri Tryba reported that the Selectmen voted 2-1 on conditional approval to apply. Application being assembled for early September submission. Selectboard needs to see the application prior to submission. Sherry Sims, Ned Hulbert and Heri Tryba met or spoke with school board, Wells Memorial Principal and Harrisville Children’s Center and received support letters from them. They are working on obtaining greater public support, including from Historic Harrisville, The Harrisville Inn, Trails Committee and Aldworth Manor. Heri Tryba requested that another representative from Planning Board meet with Conservation Commission on Fri 8/18 at 8:00am at the Town Offices. Ned Hulbert agreed to attend this meeting. Heri Tryba and Scott Oliver attended the mandatory state informational meeting in Concord today. Heri Tryba will meet on August 18 with JD Mack, from SWPRC, for advice on the application. Given Oliver Strube’s need to step back as point person, Sherry Sims and Ned Hulbert will fill his role.
Peter Thayer asked if the Town needs to pay 20% and if that is done by warrant. Heri Tryba responded “yes,” that he hopes for grant decision by this December which, if obtained, gives time to seek warrant article from town in March. He foresees a possible timeline as follows: engineering studies in 2017, design and initial construction in 2018 with completion by 2020. A 2-3 year timeframe. Andrew Maneval clarified that town puts up 100% but is then reimbursed for 80%. Sherry Sims noted possible other sources include private foundations/donations
Heri Tryba described the preliminary design as an on-shoulder dedicated lane, stretching from the old Harrisville Depot through town to Nelson Road, up to Tolman Pond Road and also on Chesham Road to Aldworth Manor Road. He explained that the preliminary idea is based on the school bus route, allowing for where it does and does not go, and takes into account the greatest overall need and safety concerns.
Andrew Maneval clarified that the Select Board will not agree to a condition-based approval and the Town’s being told by the state where and how project would have to be implemented. Ned Hulbert confirmed that Harrisville would have the freedom to decide on specifics. Andrew Maneval added that the Town will oppose any kind of restrictions.
Heri Tryba responded that given the best information available, he believes the grant won’t be conditional and that the town would have discretion to alter specific streets/trails involved with the goal being to create safer, non- motorized means for residents to travel to village and schools.
Sherry Sims moved that the Planning Board write a letter of support in support of application as way of implementing Master Plan. Seconded by Nick Colony. All voted in favor.
Heri Tryba stated he believes we’ll have time in 2017 to finalize specifics. Andrew Maneval emphasized the importance of this initiative as a long-term project for the wellbeing of the Town, grant aside, and that the community’s interest is more important than any money from TAP.
Complete Streets Program – timing, people involved
Heri Tryba recapped the Select Board’s support for the program and informed Mari Brunner of SWRPC of this. Heri said she would prefer to have SWRPC agents at a possible mid-Sept meeting with 1-2 or more Planning Board members, a Selectman if he wished to attend, the Road Agent, member(s) from walkability/transportation, a member from Harrisville Trails group, also attendees from other key town organizations such as HHI, the school.
Andrew Maneval stated his hope is that training would serve as a kickoff and that as many as possible would be involved. It would be great if Wes Tarr were interested and would come. Ought to include Jay Jacobs and/or Andrew and maybe Ned Hulbert as well as Trails committee, school representatives and townspeople, including representatives of local businesses.
Sherry Sims added the importance of reaching out to Harrisville’s many young residents and families, the church, library, Historic Harrisville, and the General Store.
Harrisville Community Conversations
The meeting is set for Monday 9/12 (moved from Tues Sept 13 and okayed by Historic Harrisville and others.) Update from Sherry Sims: working groups include the community activities, the gym group and the Walkability Group. She stated that thought the Pub Group never become a group, a lot of people expressed interest. Sherry noted the great energy from the May Community Conversations meeting and that the upcoming session will have the same agenda – food first, then breakup into conversation groups. The Planning Board eceived a grant from $400 from Harrisville Community Fund and spent all of that on food at the first gathering. Must be self-funded hereafter.
Ned Hulbert notified the Board that there is a portal for Community Conversations on the Town website. Announcement of 9/12 meeting is on there.
Heri Tryba mentioned the Broadband Committee hoped to do a presentation in Sept but timing difficult. Proposes including this in September Planning Board meeting. Lisa Sieverts is preparing framework for it.
Andrew Maneval recommended limiting discussion and not including water issues (proposed by Winston Sims) or Broadband at the September 12 Community Conversation. Others agreed.
Sherry Sims stated recommendations will be forthcoming in September with small changes to several different ordinances regarding affordable housing. By Oct will have something for Planning Board to work with to finalize before holding Public Hearings on the proposed amendments before a vote at Town Meeting in March
Nick Colony stated he believes residents in fact are not taking advantage of the broadband options already available to them, and that Harrisville has lots of connectivity. Idea being floated with FairPoint is maybe not bring fiber to every house (cost something like 425K per mile) but mashing copper wires (two per house which doubles capacity). Heri Tyba reported that FairPoint reported higher subscription rate in Harrisville and that the company already outperforms what they must provide under federal government regulation. Average user user only needs to download rather than upload. Next steps are to digest alternatives and meet again
Andrew Maneval suggested putting something on town website about what’s available, what limitations are.
Heri Tryba mentioned the committee would most likely request money be put aside in capital reserves for broadband planning and infrastructure investment.
Update from Ned Hulbert who stated he met with the school board on TAP and will meet next with them about regional cooperation. Will meet with Jack Dugan of Monadnock Development Corporation on August 23 to get recommendations.
Master Plan Committee
Ned Hulbert spoke of the draft proposal he put together for a Charter for a Master Plan Committee suggesting Andrew Maneval, Heri Tryba and Ned Hulbert submit the already drafted charter for the group for all to review. Will distribute for Planning Board members’ review before Sept. l
Aquifer Protection Ordinance
In his update, Ned Hulbert stated he and Pete Thayer met and are continuing to research the matter. Will present some thinking in September regarding whom to contact and also to make specific recommendations.
Historic Harrisville Inc. Board Representative
Sherry Sims stated that given Anne Havill’s departure from Planning Board, HHI would be happy to have Nick Colony take over Anne’s role as liaison, and as an informational conduit. Nick Colony has agreed. Andrew Maneval motioned to make appointment. Ned Hulbert seconded. All voted in favor.
Heri Tryba suggested Planning Board should think about long-term cooperation between the Board and HHI and raising level of cooperation to serve both groups’ long-term interests.
Town Website and Planning Board section of it
Ned Hulbert and Sherry Sims will review website content and report by the September 12 PB Meeting but may need technological assistance. Andrew Maneval added that because of the many staff transitions and various parties working on it and then getting pulled away by other commitments, the project is still being worked on. Gwen Ames has offered to help get involved and may be able to provide technical support for Recording Secretary and Angela Hendrickson to post Meeting Minutes.
Request for Business Cards
Sherry Sims noted that Planning Board has a supply budget and suggested going to Vista Print and then seeking reimbursement for any members needing business cards. Heri Tryba especially has needed them with all the out of town meetings he’s had.
Andrew Maneval stated he would check back with Jon Miner about flat screen monitor..
Sherry Sims circulated a thank you letter to Peter Crowell for his service for all to review and sign.
Announcement from Shane Long
Ned Hulbert read a letter from Shane Long announcing an Aldworth Manor/Labor Day weekend road race event and that any proceeds will go to a Walkability/Transportation Fund. He is seeking volunteers from Planning Board to help with event.
Motion to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 9:10 pm.
The next regularly scheduled Planning Board meeting is Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 7 p.m.