The Harrisville Planning Board held its regular monthly meeting at the town office building located on Chesham Road on Wednesday, December 14, 2016.
Members Present: Sherry Sims, Heri Tryba, Courtney Cox, Pete Thayer alternate, Noel Greiner alternate, Jonathan Miner Selectboard attendee
Members Absent: Nick Colony
Members of the public present: Winston Sims, Gary Kinyon, Julia Rowse, Doug Miller, Kathryn Miner, Phil Miner, Scott Stone, Michael Bentley, Jay Jacobs, John Newcombe, Edward Goodrich, David Kennard, Julia Pakradooni, Colin Kennard, Bob Kingsbury, Brian Foucher, John Cucchi, Anne Cucchi, Craig Thompson, Lisa Anderson, Anne Howe
Meeting called to order by Ned Hulbert at 7:05 pm.
Attendance and voting members
Ned Hulbert stated that the voting members are himself, Sherry Sims, Jonathan Miner, Courtney Cox and Heri Tryba.
Approval of Agenda
Noel Greiner motioned to approve. All voted in favor.
Minutes of Previous Meeting 11/9/16
Sherry Sims asked for any comments or changes. There were none proposed. Noel Greiner motioned to approve. Heri Tryba seconded. All voted in favor.
John Cucchi Letter re: Writ of Mandamus
Please see attached for Mr. Hulbert’s statement from the Planning Board to Mr. Cucchi and for Mr. Cucchi’s letter to the Planning Board, both of which were read at the meeting.
Public Hearing: 3-lot minor subdivision, Seaver Silver Lake Farm Trust, Map 70, Lot 3, Westside Road & Wells Lake Road
Sherry Sims summarized for the board that, at the November PB meeting, John Newcombe submitted an application and information related to the 3-lot subdivision on Westside Road and that, on the following Monday, most of PB met to review the application for completeness. All comments, requests and suggestions of the board were subsequently addressed by the applicant, including confirmation of inspection of the test pits and making sure lot numbers were correct, as well as requesting a waiver from the PB on items which did not apply to the proposed work. Additionally, Mrs. Sims stated that all other application materials were received.
The PB first considered the waivers, requested by the applicant in a letter accompanying the application’s Letter of Intent. The waivers related to the location of utilities, indication of soils and slopes, a final road profile and cross-section, and watershed and drainage computations. The motion to waive Items 2L, 2P, 2T, 2U was made by Mr. Greiner and seconded by Courtney Cox. All voted in favor to grant the waiver of the four items with Heri Tryba abstaining as he was absent from the review meeting. Mr. Greiner then made a motion to accept the application as complete with all the information provided by the applicant. Courtney Cox seconded. All voted in favor.
The applicant, represented by Attorney Michael Bentley of Keene representing John Newcombe as Trustee of Seaver Silver Lake Farm Trust, explained the applicant’s proposal and provided mapping of the 55-acre lot to be subdivided. Two of the lots (one of which is 2.1 acres and the other 2.81) already have existing structures on them, the intent being to create two freestanding lots. The remaining lot of 50 acres will remain undeveloped. Mr. Bentley described the locations and sizes of the lots and addressed the open question of the boundary lines of Phil and Kathryn Miner’s 100×150’ parcel. It is the applicant’s hope to agree with the Miners on the boundary lines and to map the placement accordingly as soon as possible. Mr. Bentley clarified the applicant’s goal to obtain conditional approval subject to the resolution regarding the Miner parcel, including locating, surveying and marking the agreed upon boundary, after which the applicant will amend the plan accordingly, all of which would be recorded at the Registry of Deeds.
When Mrs. Sims asked if the PB would need to continue the application subject to the boundary line agreement between Seaver Silver Lake Trust and the Miners, Ed Goodrich stated that there is a statute, part of which states if boundary lines cannot be located on the ground with certainty, owners can enter into an agreement on their location, thus clarifying that the issue for this application is not a boundary line adjustment but a boundary line agreement. The board agreed that a conditional approval would resolve the matter regarding PB adjudication.
Gary Kinyon, attorney for Phil and Kathy Miner, stated that the Miners are in agreement with the applicant’s statements about resolution of the boundary location and the applicant’s request for conditional approval from the PB. Mr. Kinyon then raised a question about road frontage for the two lots with structures, given that the parcels straddle both the Agriculture/Residential District and the Lakeside District for which road frontage requirements differ. Mr. Goodrich stated that one lot has 251 feet of road frontage and the other, in the Lakeside District, has 202 feet. When Mr. Kinyon asked if the latter lot was all in the Lakeside District, Mr. Goodrich noted that all of the development and the frontage is in the Lakeside District, with a small corner set back.
One other abutter, Julia Rowse, spoke to say she had no problem with the application and that it appeared everyone agrees on the matter.
The PB then closed the public hearing portion and entered into conversation. Members were satisfied that their questions were answered and that all the necessary information had been provided. Sherry Sims made a motion that the PB grant conditional approval to the proposed subdivision subject to the resolution of the location of the Miner parcel with a boundary line agreement. The PB voted in favor of the motion by a unanimous vote of 5-0.
Discussion/decisions about Proposed Zoning Amendments
The board continued its discussion from prior meetings of language surrounding the draft Housing/Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) zoning proposal. The PB hopes to have a public hearing on the proposal in January.
Conversation focused on two controversial topics: first, a proposed owner/occupancy requirement, which some members viewed as too restrictive for property owners and others viewed as necessary to preserving the connection between residents and the community. Anne Howe noted that the current law reads that the owner still has to live in one of the dwellings “except in the case of “bona fide absences”; and, second, the proposed requirement of a Conditional Use Permit from the PB as opposed to a Special Exception from the ZBA, which Jonathan Miner and others viewed as unnecessary work for the PB and more in keeping with the responsibilities of the ZBA and other members viewed as more appropriate for the PB. Sherry Sims stated there already exists phrasing in the zoning ordinances for Special Use Permits granted by the PB and hopes to maintain consistency.
Questions arose regarding trustee-owned properties, future sale of properties and the proposal of duplexes by right instead of Conditional Use Permit. Anne Howe expressed concern that the ramifications of the language in the proposed ordinance hadn’t been sufficiently considered.
The board agreed that issue of duplexes warranted more time than allowed and determined the issue would be set aside for this year. The board also agreed to postpone drafting of a new conservation subdivision ordinance. Sherry Sims then made a motion to present the draft ADU Ordinance as agreed by consensus tonight, and make consistent the related articles, to be the basis for the public hearing on January 11 for a proposed zoning amendment, and that the Board will drop for this year any proposed changes to Conservation Subdivision Ordinance. Noel Greiner seconded. All voted in favor.
Ned Hulbert stated that he and Heri Tryba would meet with the Selectboard again on December 22 to discuss CIP initiatives including Broadband, Complete Streets and a proposal for the website. Given time constraints, the PB Co-Chairs distributed a memo to board members for review regarding their ideas for a town website budget proposal for 2017. The PB scheduled a Special Meeting on Thursday, January 5, at 7:00 pm to discuss the CIP issues.
Brian Foucher of the Broadband Committee attended to request that the PB take a position on asking for funding for the broadband initiative. Mr. Foucher suggested a roadmap for the town for moving forward, citing the Town of Dublin’s planned submission of a warrant article for the same engineering design and Chesterfield’s funding of preliminary concepts. Mr. Foucher aims to determine if there is a way to bring fiber to Harrisville, where the strategic sites for towers lie and emphasized that his is not a customer-focused initiative but a matter of a long term infrastructure project for the community and its businesses.
Meeting adjourned at 9:25 pm.