Harrisville Planning Board
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Meeting Minutes

The Harrisville Planning Board held a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at Town offices, 705 Chesham Road, and via zoom.

Members present: Ned Hulbert, Don Scott, Pete Thayer, Catherine Neary, Kathy Scott Select Board Alternate, Courtney Cox
Members absent: Ryan Stone, Co-Chair, Noel Greiner, Jonathan Miner Alternate

Agenda and voting members
Following the addition of an update from the Transportation Commission, all voted in favor to approve the agenda. Members then move and voted in favor to approve the minutes of 7/8/2020 as written.

ORC update
The Ordinance Review Committee update is as follows: The committee has drafted a noise bylaw which it will submit to the Select Board to review; a draft amendment on setbacks in the Residential/Agricultural district is expected to be complete next week; thereafter the focus turns to proposed wetlands buffer requirements. Crafting a new ordinance may be more expedient than proposing amendments to the existing wetlands overlay ordinance. The next meeting of the ORC is August 17 at 3:00 pm.

Transportation update
     Ned Hulbert informed members that the MAST grant application was submitted to SWRPC on July 31. The committee applied for $10K for two speed radar signs and trail signs. Permission has been secured from the DOT for the signs. SWRPC will notify applicants in late October or early November if funds to be awarded.

Electric Aggregation Committee (EAC) update
The EAC, which includes Andrea Hodson, Amy Roberts, Andrew Maneval, Colin Kennard, Doug Gline, Ryan Stone and Ned Hulbert has been meeting Friday mornings. Ned Hulbert reviewed the committee’s goal of developing a plan to propose to the town for reduced electricity costs and for renewable energy options. The committee is exploring buying bulk at wholesale rates and also the idea of a reserve fund. They will schedule two community conversations in the coming fall, noting that the Select Board will have to approve any proposal prior to presentation at March 2021 Town Meeting. Any plan must meet certain standards regarding reliability and access and comply with other laws. There would be no tax liability to the town. Mr. Hulbert’s slide presentation to Planning Board members is attached. He added that other local towns considering Community Power models include Keene, Temple, Mason, Walpole, and possibly PB and Dublin.

The EAC is leaning towards a Community Power New Hampshire for Oct 2020 (not incorporated yet), giving the opportunity for Harrisville to be part of a larger CPNH entity with larger towns and cities. This entity will work with experienced power brokers and offer opportunities for sharing costs/projects with other towns. Mr. Hulbert also discussed weatherization as an avenue to help improve electrical efficiency in homes and buildings and renewable energy  as a way to tamp down costs spurred by energy use at peak hours/rates.

PB Mini-Review of Land Development Responsibilities
     Lisa Anderson reviewed the PB process for Voluntary Mergers, Lot Line Adjustments, and Minor and Major subdivisions, noting the first two application types are the most common. She then reviewed the application forms for Lot Line Adjustment/Annexation and reviewed why these are needed and used. Don Scott suggested, in addition to the listed criteria, that checking for wetlands should be added as wetlands cannot be counted toward lot sizes.

For Voluntary Mergers, members noted parcels need to be contiguous, that the owner of lots must be the same. This is not required for Lot Line Adjustments, as long as applications meet all necessary requirements during PB review.

Reviewing the Minor Subdivision Application and Checklist, Lisa Anderson noted that Minor is defined by 3 lots or less fronting on a Class V or better road). Lisa will check with the Ordiance Review Committee about adding a wetland requirement. For Major Subdivisions, encompassing 4 or more lots and/or requiring new streets or utilities or other municipal improvements, wetland requirements are already instituted.

The Co-Chair then reviewed the PB process of consultation, pre-application design review (in these first two steps are non-binding) and the submission of the application. Once submitted, the PB has 7 days to notify the applicant whether or not the information is complete. Then public noticing occurs. At a regular scheduled and noticed public meeting, the PB accepts the application, after which the hearing process begins.

Vision Statement of Master Plan
The PB has received feedback from Resident Interviews on the Master Plan Vision Statement. Twenty-two responses were submitted. The Co-Chair noted that the very thoughtful feedback is being synthesized and remains anonymous. Kathy Scott suggested the PB incorporate in an updated Master Plan the soil and topographic information and maps from an earlier rendition but that do not appear in the current edition.

The meeting adjourned at 8:25 pm.