Harrisville Planning Board
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
The Harrisville Planning Board held its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at the Town Offices, located on Chesham Road.
Members present: Ryan Stone Co-Chair, Ned Hulbert, Pete Thayer, Courtney Cox, Kathy Scott Select Board Alternate Representative, Don Scott Alternate
Members absent: Lisa Anderson, Co-Chair; Noel Greiner Alternate
Members of the public: Carol Ogilvie; Charlie Sorenson
Co-Chairman Ryan Stone opened the meeting at 7:00 pm.
Attendance and Voting Members
Mr. Stone noted that the voting members attending were himself, Ned Hulbert, Pete Thayer, Kathy Scott and Courtney Cox.
Approval of Agenda
All voted in favor to approve the agenda.
Minutes of previous meeting 11/20/2019
All voted in favor to approve the minutes as written.
Second Public Hearing on Proposed Zoning Amendments
Carol Ogilvie reviewed the proposed changes in the Definitions section of the ordinance. She noted that, since the first public hearing in November, the only modification was to further define the term “cooking” to address the most essential concepts in the preparation and storing of food. It was noted that the Building Inspector should review this, and all draft amendments, to ensure consistency with building code regulations. The Ordinance Review Committee will provide him a copy for comment.
During discussion of the proposed Solar Ordinance, some PB members disagreed with the committee’s decision to exclude ground-mounted panels from impervious surface calculations. The committee noted it had considered this, but believes the benefits of encouraging renewable energy systems outweighs any potential detriment. The committee also still recommends that the foundations of solar systems remain impervious even if the panels do not. PB members believe the panels to be comparable to decks and expressed concern about inconsistency within the ordinance. The ORC believes the special exception process will address potential concerns and gives abutters the opportunity to weigh in. The PB can ultimately decide what to propose at Town Meeting, and will vote on each of the proposed amendments at its January meeting.
Ms. Ogilvie then addressed proposed amendments to the Sign ordinance, which, as she explained, stem from the court case requiring content-neutral language. Since the November hearing, she noted, the only change is removal of 17.2.9 regarding temporary signs as no reason is seen for differentiating regulations between permanent and temporary signs.
Ms. Ogilvie will proofread the document for accurate formatting and numbering. She noted no changes were made since the November hearing in proposed amendments numbered 5 through 9. As for proposed changes to the definitions of structure and of impervious cover, she noted these need to coincide with the amended provisions related to these definitions. The zoning ballot will provide an explanation of the way the definitions tie into setback provisions in other regulations. PB members had no issues with the above described changes.
Subsequently, Mr. Stone closed the public hearing and the PB addressed its regular business, noting that Ms. Ogilvie will draft the zoning ballot for PB consideration at the January meeting, the latest date at which the ballot could be supported or not.
The PB then noted it would consider at its January meeting the petitioned Zoning Amendment submitted by Jay Jacobs, related to the ability to apply for a Special Exception for a side setback of 25 feet, as opposed to 40 feet, for accessory structures in the Residential and Agricultural. The PB will issue a Public Notice to hear this at its January 15 meeting.
SB will discuss the new membership recommendations of the PB co-chairs at the SB’s next meeting.
Broadband Committee update
Ned Hulbert updated members that a Bidders’ Conference for prospective service providers was being held December 12, 2019. In addition, the Broadband Committee would draft a Warrant Article based on RFP responses, which are due late January. In conjunction, the BB committee will embark on public outreach efforts, including Community Conversations, an article in Common Threads and through the website to raise awareness of the need for, and benefits of, improved internet service throughout town.
Transportation Committee update
Mr. Hulbert then updated the PB on the Transportation Committee’s fundraising efforts to defray expenses for the crosswalk engineering study. To date the Committee received $1,000 each from four sources: Harrisville Community Fund; Historic Harrisville; the Select Board; and private donors. With this amount available now, the engineer is available to conduct the study by the end of the month. If Mr. Hitchcock is able to endorse the preferred option, and the DOT approves it, he could then provide the Transportation Committee with the estimated costs for completing the project. An additional possibility for funding is through a MAST grant.
Local Energy Solutions Conference/NH Local Community Power Law
Mr. Hulbert attended a recent conference in Concord on an emerging movement coming out of SB 286, which allows for municipal and county aggregation of electric customers. Mr. Hulbert noted this allows for more local control of energy solutions, expansion of customer choice and potential for more accurate monitoring of actual usage. Mr. Hulbert recommends that the town further pursue this opportunity, noting that 10 other states are engaged in this model, California being the furthest ahead. If the town decides to go down this path, it would need an energy advisory working group and would need a large enough customer base, estimated to be 70,000 accounts, to get a response. The law imposes no geographic boundary requirements.
Upcoming training sessions
Ryan Stone noted that the Keene Chamber of Commerce is hosting a workforce housing seminar at Keene State College Alumni Center from 8-10am on December 12. Ned Hulbert will attend. On January 21, 2020, NHMA will hold a Right to Know Law workshop for anyone who needs a refresher or who hasn’t had a chance to attend.
Submission of Application for ADU, Dixon, 124 Skatutakee Road (Map 20 – Lot 57)
The PB formally received an application submitted by Don Scott, representing Jesse and Regina Dixon, for a detached accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in the lakeside district. This requires a Conditional Use Permit from the PB. Two members will review the application for completeness and respond to the applicant within 7 days, as required. If the application is deemed complete, notices will be sent to abutters for a public hearing at the next regular meeting of the PB, January 15, 2020.
Expenditures to year-end
Members were asked of any outstanding expenses to be submitted to the office in order to close out the books for 2019. The only item believed to be remaining is an invoice from Carol Ogilvie. The Co-Chairs will follow up.
Meeting adjourned at 9:30 pm.