Harrisville Planning Board
Meeting Minutes
July 10, 2019

The Harrisville Planning Board held its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at the town office building located on Chesham Road.

Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm.

Members present, Lisa Anderson Co-Chair,Ned Hulbert, Noel Greiner, Don Scott Alternate, Peter Thayer, Andrea Hodson Selectboard Representative, Courtney Cox
Members absent: : Ryan Stone Co-Chair
    Members of the public: Anne Howe, Mary Day Mordecai

Attendance and voting members
Lisa Anderson noted that the voting members for the evening were herself, Ned Hulbert, Pete Thayer, Courtney Cox and Andrea Hodson.

     Members voted to approve the agenda following agreement that the Transportation Committee update would occur prior to Broadband discussion.

Minutes of previous meeting 6/12
Members voted unanimously to approve the minutes as written.

Update from Transportation Committee
Mary Day Mordecai reviewed the committee’s work with the DOT, specifically on the proposal for a crosswalk at the General Store. Mike O’Donnell of the DOT visited the site and, in a letter to the Select Board, outlined three potential options. The first is to do nothing; the second is to follow normal protocol statewide for installing crosswalks, which involves installing flashing yellow beacons on either side of the road; and the third option, which would be a specially adapted plan involving a permanent radar sign on the existing speed limit sign instead of flashing beacons, as well as crosswalk signs facing in both directions on either side of the road. In either case, signs denoting an upcoming crosswalk also are required. Ms. Mordecai explained that the Transportation Committee hopes for the third option. Mr. O’Donnell noted to the committee that, for this to be possible, the town must hire a state-approved engineer to analyze and prove the feasibility and safety of each scenario. The TC planned to address the SB Thursday night.

Ms. Mordecai added that the committee has $1000, previously approved, for an engineer; and a grant from MAST through Southwest Regional Planning Commission also was possible, though the deadline for this is the end of July.  The board asked Ms. Mordecai additional questions regarding an engineer’s scope of work and the town’s obligations. The town would be obligated to pay for the wiring of any needed lights and for the cost to maintain the lines.

Following discussion, Lisa Anderson moved that the PB endorse option #3 as presented to the Transportation Committee by Mike O’Donnell of the DOT, which is a variance from the standard DOT process for crosswalks and for which DOT approval would be based on an engineering assessment. Courtney Cox seconded. All voted in favor, 5-0.  ThePB noted its desire for no additional signs but, instead, the use of existing signs along Main Street. Later in the discussion the PB also endorsed the Transportation Committee’s application for grant money to defray the cost of an engineering analysis.

Ms. Mordecai then updated the board on Mr. O’Donnell’s site visit to the intersection of Route 137 and Hancock Road. He looked at the profile and agreed it was not good. For now, his informal recommendation is a permanent radar sign on the existing 35 mph sign 200 feet north of the intersection. He also suggests trying to work with the landowner to keep the grass / vegetation low. It was unclear exactly how much of the vegetation is in the state right of way, but Mr. O’Donnell noted that the state would not maintain that on a regular basis.

The PB expressed appreciation to the Transportation Committee for its work.

Broadband Committee
Lisa Anderson shared with the board the draft application form and application procedures for a Conditional Use Permit for a Personal Wireless Facility. Following review, discussion and suggested edits, Ms. Anderson stated she would bring the suggestions before the Broadband Committee at its next meeting, as well as discuss the proposed timeline for a preliminary consultation for an upcoming applicant. She also updated the PB on the Request for Information sent out by the Select Board to current broadband providers doing business in the area. Providers have two months to provide information on the numbers of served and unserved customers. The results will influence the draft RFP which subsequently will be issued by the SB as the next step to improving broadband service for Harrisville residents and businesses.

Following additional discussion about the timing of a preliminary consultation, the board felt it would be helpful to have Carol Ogilvie attend. Though differences of opinion were expressed about the timing of meeting with the applicant, a majority of members ultimately felt the application form and the document outlining procedures could be approved in August with the consultation held at the September meeting.

Ordinance Review Committee
Lisa Anderson noted that the committee is on schedule with its 2019 priorities, endorsed by the PB, and had two meetings scheduled in the coming weeks to continue its work.

Master Plan
Work on the Master Plan was tabled until September.

Planning Board Documents
Lisa Anderson noted thedesire to establish a working group to tackle updating all the PB forms, including those posted on the website, to ensure they are current. As an example of what’s needed, the board reviewed the Voluntary Merger form. Andrea Hodson offered to continue to assist.

PB Membership
The board noted its continued interest in identifying prospective members.

Community Forum with SWRPC
Members discussed potential dates to meet with SWRPC as part of the SWRPC’s survey/focus groups of area towns, data from which will be shared with the PB. Subjects include housing, transportation, economic development and social engagement.  Members opted for August 13 to meet with the SWRPC representative and will invite additional residents to attend. Lisa Anderson will get back to the PB about the exact time.

Meeting adjourned at 8:55 pm.