Harrisville Planning Board
Meeting Minutes
September 11, 2019

The Harrisville Planning Board held its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at the town office building located on Chesham Road.

Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm.

Members present, Ryan Stone Co-Chair, Lisa Anderson Co-Chair, Ned Hulbert, Noel Greiner, Don Scott Alternate, Courtney Cox, Peter Thayer, Kathy Scott Selectboard Alternate Representative
Members of the public: Carol Ogilvie, Kate Neary, Charles Sorenson, Winston Sims, Anne Howe

Attendance and voting members
Ryan Stone noted that the voting members for the evening were himself, Lisa Anderson, Ned Hulbert, Courtney Cox and Kathy Scott.

     Following the agreed upon additions of a Broadband update and announcement of a Joint Hearing with the ZBA, all voted to approve the agenda.

Minutes of previous meeting 8/14
Members voted unanimously to approve the minutes as written, with Kathy Scott abstaining as she was not present.

Personal Wireless Facilities Application (PWFS)- Cobb Hill Estates
Ryan Stone noted that the applicant is awaiting engineering reports so is not ready to submit the completed application. The matters of a site plan review and conditional use permit for this application are postponed until all information is submitted.

Conditional Use Permit Application Form (for PWSFs)
Lisa Anderson noted that the only edits made to the previously distributed version discussed at last month’s meeting were related to formatting as well as the addition of a “notes” section for the PB’s use.  Following Ryan Stone’s question regarding examination of Articles 19.3.5 and 19.3.8, related to requirements for a conditional use permit versus building permit only for structures 70-feet high, the broadband committee agreed to review and report back.
Separately, members liked Pete Thayer’s idea of putting the procedural flow chart on the front page for the applicant to tear off. Carol Ogilvie will add a checklist line to note submission of both applications. Members all agreed that final approval of the form will wait until the next meeting or until all agreed-upon revisions are made.

Ordinance Review
Lisa Anderson described the Ordinance Review Committee’s work on the following proposed zoning amendments to date. The purpose of reviewing these draft amendments piecemeal is to allow PB members adequate time to review leading up to Town Meeting.

  • Accessory Dwelling Units– As the current provisions do not specifically address proposed ADUs related to new construction, the ORC proposes to remove the word “existing” so that opportunities are allowed for ADUs on both existing homes and lots with new construction. Members also discussed certain phrasing where using the singular may make more sense than pluralizing.
  • Impervious cover– Charlie Sorenson explained the ORC’s thinking behind proposing a 30% impervious cover threshold versus the current 20%. The new, more simplified, language would remove time consuming and potentially costly measures for applicants. It also would remove, or at least minimize, the potential for multiple interpretations among zoning officials as to what constitutes adequate scientific techniques for pervious/filtration systems or a decision about whether a particular surface is pervious or not.  Following discussion of examples of applications and what has to be demonstrated, the PB discussed whether to add a cross-reference to definitions of structure and structural footprint. Some difference of opinion was expressed among board members about keeping the 20% limit versus allowing the proposed 30% cap. In general, however, members liked idea of homeowners being able to make the most and best use of their property and believe the higher allowance makes more sense.
  • Sign Ordinance– Lisa Anderson noted the ORC’s intent to ensure that ordinance language complies with the Supreme Court decision on discriminating against certain types of signs based on content.The committee drafted a purpose statement to provide the basis for the ordinance language. It also proposes reducing side setback requirement as long as size requirements are met, and consolidated language of several provisions without changing allowed sign dimensions. The PB co-chairs will confirm with the Select Board regarding its preference for signs on town property. Mr. Sorenson noted that 17.1.2 will remain regarding the ability to get a Special Exception for externally illuminated signs. All discussed options for wording related to this provision.
  • Solar Energy Systems– This is being proposed as an ordinance because town doesn’t currently have one. The ORC’s proposal is derived from provisions the committee liked or didn’t in other towns’ regulations, and is intended to be kept simple. The proposed regulations are much more stringent regarding commercial systems, but all agree property owners’ rights should be protected. The group discussed the various types and sizes of alternative energy systems. Ryan Stone raised the possible need to require structural mounting to allow for technological changes in the industry. The ORC will revisit this.

Members generally agreed a Community Conversation on Proposed Ordinance Amendments makes sense and recommend repeating the format of Existing/Proposed Ordinances as presented at last year’s gathering. The tentative date is November 5 with public hearings to be scheduled separately for subsequent dates.

NHMA Lecture Series/Conference
Lisa Anderson noted the Law Lecture Series in Concord will be in November. She will email the schedule. Steve Buckley will lead the lecture on PB Roles and Responsibilities October 16 in Keene. Contact either of the Co-Chairs if interested.

Broadband Update
Ned Hulbert noted the BB committee will meet Thursday, Sept 12, at 8:00 am at Andrew Maneval’s office regarding Consolidated’s discussions with Harrisville Designs.

Meeting adjourned at 9:20 pm.