The Harrisville Conservation Commission met for its regular meeting on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at Town Offices, 705 Chesham Road.

Members present: Harry Wolhandler, Winston Sims, Kathy Scott, Andrea Polizos
Members absent: Les LaMois
Members of the public: Adam Drew, Cody Griffin (Pellettieri Associates), Don Scott

The meeting opened at 7:00 pm.

Winston Sims requested the additional item of discussion of impervious cover and the Ordinance Review Committee’s recommended zoning amendment.  Mr. Wolhandler agreed.

Minutes of 10/3/2018 – review and approval
Members agreed to move discussion to the end of the meeting.   

Wetlands Expedited Permit Requests Mr. Wolhandler noted that the subsequent proposals for expedited permits were based on the desire for work to be done while the lake is drawn down.

1 –Pellettieri Associates on behalf of George & Ann Colony –14 Eastside Road (Map 72 – Lot 8) Cody Griffin of Pellettieri Associates, using a topo map, tax map and site plan, described the characteristics of the property and the proposed reconstruction-in-kind of the retaining wall along the shore of Silver Lake. Abutters to the property owner’s adjacent properties were notified. The company will use a 12’ access way behind the storage building to bring in the necessary equipment. Mr. Griffin pointed out the existing conditions of the retaining wall and what sections would be reconstructed, all within the footprint of the existing wall. The stairs will remain undisturbed, as will the returns on the wall, but other portions will be rebuilt.

As the Permit by Notification (PBN) application was already submitted to the state, Mr. Griffin was not requesting the HCC’s signing of the application, but hoped for the committee’s blessing. Tree protection will be in place while work is done. The wall’s foundation stones may be reset, and will have to be pulled out, but Mr. Griffin noted that they will reuse as much material as possible and there will be a lean for structural stability.

Kathy Scott noted that the Select Board has discussed the requirement of bonding due to the placing of heavy equipment on the road, the impact on the road drainage and concerns of neighbors. Mr. Griffin acknowledged the potential request.  The HCC had no further questions.

Kathy Scott then recused herself for the following:

2 – Don Scott for Adam Drew, Chesham Road
This was a consultation and request for support from the HCC, as Mr. Scott noted that Mr. Drew filed an application with the ZBA for a special exception and also filed for a shoreland permit with the state. Mr. Scott showed photos and a site plan, describing the property and the proposal to remove the old garage shed off the lot and add a new garage shed to the back of the house and stairs on the side. The house is a 24×24 foot square with a shed attached and a free-standing garage shed. With stair access to the basement, the bulkhead will be removed.

Mr. Scott noted that the expansion is away from the lake in a more conforming manner. The existing shed is within the 15’ setback and, with the addition to the back of the house, will still remain within the required 15’ setback by 2 or 3 feet.  Mr. Drew and Mr. Scott responded to questions about the access ways and orientation on the lot of the structure and addition. A new septic will be installed, for which Mr. Drew has already received his permit from DES. The total disturbance area is 4,700 square foot, including the septic field. The area that will remain wooded is 2,354 square feet, which meets the threshold requirement of 25% within the 150’ setback from the water. Mr. Scott also stated that the percentage of impervious cover will drop from 19.4% to 18.3%, below the 20% requirement. Dripline infiltration beds will be added as well as a foundation drain.  There are no proposed changes to the shoreline frontage, except possibly to redo the existing patio, already calculated into the impervious area. There were no other questions from the HCC. The HCC will send its comments to the ZBA.

3 – Don Scott for Doug and Terri Miller, 40 Westside Road, on Silver Lake (Map 73-Lot 11)
Mr. Scott explained the proposal to restabilize the owner’s existing shoreline stone terrace. He showed photos of the existing house, dock and shoreline, as well as plans of the property and proposed work. He explained that, over time, with all the storms and erosional effects of wave lap, the terrace stones, at one time level, have become uneven, loose and unsafe for walking.

Mr. Scott’s plan includes removal of the existing wood railroad tie and to replace it and the unsafe stones with all granite and Goshen stone pavers with cobble stone edges. When the lake is drawn down, two boulders/steps that are in the water also will be replaced.  Mr. Scott further explained how the wall would be retained through restabilization and relocation of some of the stones. The total work area is approximately 75 square feet, essentially a rebuild in place of the existing structure.  A wetland permit for a planting project and a Permit By Notification for the terrace are being filed.  The proposed plan for plantings will be for the area behind the boulders, and will involve excavating soil and laying a fabric liner between the boulders and the lawn.  All low plants of native vegetation will be introduced. Access for equipment will be through the existing driveway and around the side of the house.

With no further questions for Mr. Scott, Andrea Polizos moved to accept the proposal as presented. Winston Sims seconded. The vote was 3-0 in favor with Kathy Scott having recused herself.  Harry Wolhandler signed the application on behalf of the HCC.

Update on approved building permits
Mr. Wolhandler noted that building permits had been approved for Hillsborough Aggregates of Route 137, The Raynors of 3 Main Street, John Stinchfield of Silver Road and the Potter Family Trust of Westside Road.  Mr. Wolhandler will confirm the town received copies of applications.

Ordinance Review Committee – Proposed Amendment related to Impervious Cover
Mr. Scott shared a slide of the existing language compared to the proposed language, and the background leading up to the proposed amendment. The ORC seeks to streamline and make more consistent the language in the ordinance, specifically Article 4.1.14.  The ORC also proposes to clarify the property owner’s responsibility to demonstrate steps taken to meet the required threshold and to allow some flexibility in storm water management techniques through methods and materials that have been available but that are not taken into account with the existing zoning guidelines.  The available infiltration systems and the institution of new zoning guidelines on this matter would allow the ZBA to allow in excess of 20% impervious cover, which is the existing limit. The proposed amendment also would list examples of mitigation and management techniques, which the HCC noted is available from DES in the NH Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Management (March 2016) and which the HCC will post on the website. Click here for the link

Winston Sims wished to discuss planning for prevention of repetition of damage from the August 2017 storm. The HCC wished to save the topic for another night and Kathy Scott noted she felt engineering and road drainage were better left to other departments and suggested raising the issue with the Select Board. The chair agreed the HCC, as an advisory board, should bring concern of the matter to the attention of the other boards but asked Mr. Sims to wait until next month agenda to discuss the topic.

Conservation Funds
Mr. Wolhandler moved to the topic of The Conservation Fund and ideas for a proposed Warrant Article at Town Meeting to allow for more flexibility of the use of available funds by the HCC. He will draft an article for Common Threads, due by November 20, and talk to the Town Attorney. He also recommended soliciting feedback from the public prior to Town Meeting.  Members reviewed what they had discussed at its May 2, 2018 meeting, including the hope of easing restrictions on the spending of conservation funds. The HCC will not propose changes to the Land Conservation Capital Reserve Fund, but could request reimbursement for expenses incurred.

NHACC invoice
Andrea Polizos moved that the HCC expend $250 for the HCC’s annual dues to the NHACC. Kathy Scott seconded. All voted in favor.Mr. Wolhandler will submit the invoice.

NHACC Conference
Mr. Sims and Mr. Wolhandler attended. Mr. Wolhandler noted that fish and game is working with DES on wetlands legislation. Mr. Sims believed proposals are much more in the direction of less restrictive regulation. Mr. Wolhandler noted the attempts to streamline the filing and application process and that the state hopes to finalize proposed legislation in April.

To accurately identify wetlands, all agreed mapping should be done by a wetlands soil scientist.  Once new guidelines are set at the state level, the HCC can make recommendations to the Ordinance Review Committee for the 2020 Town Warrant.

Aquatic Invasive Prevention
Mr. Wolhandler will confirm what remains of the $1200 budget and recommended an organized means of checking boat ramps on a continual basis and a training program. Kathy Scott recommended offering a training in April /May and maybe an additional session for spring for summer season for lake hosts and weed watchers. Mr. Sims recommended gathering the Lake Association leaders to get feedback on their experiences and concerns with the Lake Host program. Don Scott recommended an open education training to train everybody in town to be weed watchers.

Given Mr. LaMois’s absence, there was no update on Jaquith Road. The Patton property remains in probate. Mr. Wolhandler confirmed the Monadnock Conservancy holds the easement and its role is to monitor the boundaries.

Pending applications
David O’Neil is applying for an extension on his excavation permit with the Planning Board and John Cucchi is applying for a lot-line adjustment.

October meeting minutes
Members agreed to postpone approval to the December meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 9:20 pm.