Harrisville Planning Board
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
The Harrisville Planning Board held a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at town offices and via zoom.
Members present: Ryan Stone Co-Chair, Lisa Anderson Co-Chair, Andrea Hodson Select Board Representative, Kate Neary, Pete Thayer, Ned Hulbert, Courtney Cox, Jon Miner, Don Scott
Members absent: Noel Greiner
Members of the public: Mary Day Mordecai, Carol Ogilvie, Scott Stone
Attendance, Roles and Voting members
Co-Chair Ryan Stone noted that voting members for the evening were himself, Lisa Anderson, Ned Hulbert, Courtney Cox, and Andrea Hodson.
Approval of agenda
Mr. Stone requested a few additional items for the agenda: following the review of the proposed zoning ordinances, board members would vote on the zoning ballot; second, the request by Scott Stone for 10-15 minutes at the end of the meeting to revisit his plans to submit a subdivision application; and the request by Phil and Kathryn Miner for PB signature on one page of their subdivision plat from 2011, approved by the PB at that time. With those three additions, all voted in favor to approve the agenda.
Minutes of previous meeting 12/9/2020
With the correction to the minutes that Co-Chair Ryan Stone was in attendance, all voted in favor to approve the minutes of the previous meeting.
Transportation Committee update
Mary Day Mordecai reviewed that the committee received the nearly $10,000 MAST grant. The radar sign installations will take place in the spring, and a speed study will be conducted before and after installation to see what kind of effect the radar signs have. Historic Harrisville continues work on trails on HHI property to keep pedestrians safer. The Trails Committee continues its work on trailhead signs and updating the trail map, also with funds from the grant. Ms. Mordecai noted that one condition of receiving the grant is the requirement of public education on projects, after which the planning board reiterated its willingness to support this effort.
Finally, the Transportation Committee will continue dialogue with the Select Board to ensure the Complete Streets Resolution is kept in mind when road projects are planned. Committee representatives are working with the Road agent and SB on upcoming projects for 2021, in particular whether roads are planned for narrowing or widening to provide as much shoulder as possible.
Ryan Stone asked about the speed study done in 2018 time frame and whether or not the results from that study would be reviewed to compare with the forthcoming speed studies. The committee will take up this suggestion.
EAC (Electric Aggregation Committee/Community Power) update
EAC representatives noted that the second public hearing on Community Power would start at 6:30 on Thursday, January 28, at town offices and via zoom. EAC will be calling people to participate and Mr. Hulbert asked as many PB members as possible to attend. The committee has reworked the Electric Aggregation Plan and will be posting a new version to the website’s Community Power page. Andrea Hodson noted that the substantive changes relate to the reserve fund, which is section 3 of document. The plan also was reformatted to include appendices. The survey seeks to get a sense of what’s best for people for how to receive information. The goal is to have all updated information posted to the website by Friday, January 15.
Proposed ordinance revisions for Town Meeting 2021 – Vote by PB members
Lisa Anderson noted that previous minutes of the Planning Board and Ordinance Review Committee contain a review of the zoning amendment process and the evolution of the proposed changes. She thanked the Ordinance Review Committee for its work.
The five proposed zoning ordinance amendments are as follows:
Amendment #1– Change to Article 6.1.4 to allow, by Special Exception, certain structures to be located closer to boundary lines than currently permitted. Following favorable comments by members,Lisa Anderson moved that the PB accept and approve Amendment 31 as written to proceed to ballot for Town Meeting 2021 Andrea seconded.The motion was seconded. In a roll call vote, Ryan Stone, Ned Hulbert, Andrea Hodson, Courtney Cox and Lisa Anderson voted in favor. This amendment was unanimously approved for ballot.
Amendment # 2– Proposes to delete Article 6.1.3 and 10.3 as these deal with Accessory Dwelling Units and are redundant articles, as ADUs are addressed in Article XXIX. With no questions raised, Lisa Anderson moved to accept and approve the amendment as written to go to ballot for Town Meeting 2021. Ryan Stone seconded. In a roll call vote, members voted unanimously in favor to approve this amendment for ballot.
Amendment #3– Proposes to correct the lot numbers, incorrectly stated, to district boundaries within the historic district ordinance, Article XI. Lisa Anderson moved to accept and approve the amendment as written to go to ballot for Town Meeting 2021. Ryan Stone seconded. In a roll call vote, members voted unanimously in favor to approve this amendment for ballot.
Amendment #4 – To change the term “building” to “structure” in Article XXVI, the Definitions section, to better reflect the various categories of built objects that can be accessory to a primary building. Lisa Anderson moved to accept and approve the amendment as written to go to ballot for Town Meeting 2021. Ryan Stone seconded. In a roll call vote, members voted unanimously in favor to approve this amendment for ballot.
Amendment #5– To update Article XII, the Wetlands District Ordinance, to reflect current wetlands science and to establish buffer zones to protect wetlands’ functions and value. The PB thanked the ORC and the Conservation Commission for their work on this amendment. In discussion, Don Scott requested that the phrase “by establishing a 100’ buffer zone” be added to the ballot language following the words “means of protection.” Following members’ input, all agreed to this change to the amendment explanation in the ballot and to revisions to clarify the proposed amendment itself. The new amendment and the question on the ballot will read: Are you in favor of the adoption of Amendment #5 as proposed by the Planning Board for the Harrisville Zoning Ordinance to amend Article XII with an updated Wetlands Protection District Ordinance?”
At the conclusion of the discussion, Lisa Anderson moved to accept and approve the amendment as written to go to ballot for Town Meeting 2021. Ryan Stone seconded. In a roll call vote, members voted unanimously in favor to approve this amendment for ballot.
Amendment #6– To remove language related to watercourses from the Wetlands Ordinance and place it in the Floodplain Management Ordinance. Members voiced no issues with this amendment as proposed. Lisa Anderson moved to accept and approve the amendment as written to go to ballot for Town Meeting 2021. Ryan Stone seconded. In a roll call vote, members voted unanimously in favor to approve this amendment for ballot.
Lisa Anderson then explained that, now that the board has reviewed and voted on the ballot, Town Counsel will be asked to review it.
Scott Stone (Map 51 – Lot 34) returned to discuss his continued plan to apply for a major subdivision of his 17.9-acre lot on Blood Hill Road. He hopes to attend next month’s meeting for the design review phase, followed by submission of a formal application in March or April, depending on the survey work. He noted he has 802’ of frontage on Blood Hill Road. He will propose three 2-acre lots alongside each other, proceeding north on Blood Hill Road with 250’ of road frontage for each lot.
The board thanked Mr. Stone for the advanced notice. When discussion about regulations for construction along Class VI roads, an issue raised at the board’s February 2020 meeting, Mr. Stone stated he doesn’t believe anything in the ordinance prohibits it, allowing for meeting of other conditions. Members and the prospective applicant agreed that Blood Hill Road is not maintained by the town and provisions are in place for homeowners along the road to release the town of liability. Mr. Stone noted that two other people already own houses along the road and that it is the responsibility of future property owners to arrange for road maintenance with the property owner at the top of the hill, who is informally responsible for maintaining the road though not legally required to do so. As a final point, Lisa Anderson noted that for major subdivisions, the State will require a wetlands scientist. Mr. Stone is aware and noted the only water present is a brook on his end of the parcel. He added that his project is four years in the works.
2011 Subdivision of Phil and Kathryn Miner
Ryan Stone explained to the board that the 2011 subdivision application and approval for the Miners included two plats. One of the plats was not signed. In addition, the Miners remain in possession of an unsigned mylar that was not submitted to the Registry of Deeds. The Miners were informed that the PB will review the subject plat, so that the current PB agrees everything is in line prior to signing and submitting to the Registry of Deeds. Courtney Cox and Pete Thayer will review the plat.
Members moved to adjourn at 8:55 pm.