Harrisville Planning Board
Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The Harrisville Planning Board held a regularly scheduled meeting and public hearing on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at town offices, 705 Chesham Road, and via zoom.

Members present: Ryan Stone, Lisa Anderson, Ned Hulbert, Courtney Cox, Andrea Hodson,      Don Scott, Pete Thayer, Kate Neary

Members absent: Noel Greiner, Jon Miner
Members of the public: Mary Day Mordecai, Rich Clark of Clark Construction, Wendy Pelletier of Cardinal Surveying

Ned Hulbert moved to approve the agenda. All voted in favor.

Minutes of previous meeting
Ned Hulbert moved to approve the October meeting minutes. All voted in favor.

Transportation Committee (TC)
Mary Day Mordecai updated the PB on the Transportation Committee’s work. She noted that Wes Tarr was invited to join the committee and will attend the meetings, his schedule permitting. Membership on the TC now includes Barbara Watkins, Police Chief Mike Tollett, Ned Hulbert, Allison Weber, and Mr. Tarr.

The Main Street speed radar sign has provided helpful data and Chief Tollett feels it is helping reduce speeding on Main Street. Topography on Route 137 is hindering performance of the speed radar sign in that location; the committee is consulting the vendor about replacement of the post. Separately, the TC submitted another grant application for radar signs for the Wells Memorial school zone. They won’t hear until late December at the earliest.

The committee continues to work on the road-width question for Mason Road, acting in an advisory capacity first to the PB and then the SB. SWRPC is doing a traffic volume test to help determine whether it should be paved or should remain dirt and how wide. The TC also is attempting to collect data from past traffic counts. Lisa Anderson will share contact information at UNH’s Technology Transfer Center, which supports municipalities with technology and training related to road and bridge work.

Ryan Stone then opened the public hearing on the following matter:

SRH Farm LLC, 58 Bancroft Road, Conditional Use Permit for a Detached ADU
Following confirmation that she and Jon Miner had reviewed the application and accompanying paperwork, Courtney Cox moved to accept as complete, and within the zoning ordinance guidelines, the application from SRH Farm for a detached Accessory Dwelling Unit. Lisa Anderson seconded.

During discussion, Don Scott asked about the brook running close to the existing structure and whether the applicant had a septic or other plan on hand show this. Rich Clark, representing the property owner, noted the ADU will be 4 feet further from the brook. Mr. Scott believed, by his calculation, the ADU would measure 55’ from brook. The current zoning ordinances for wetland buffers allow 20% development between the 50’ to 100’ buffer zone, stated Mr. Scott, and, given the parcel’s size, the proposal was well in keeping with this provision.

Separately, PB members noted the PB’s Checklist form for Conditional Use Permit applications should be amended to include the new Wetlands ordinance.

Following additional discussion, Lisa Anderson moved to accept the application as complete with the condition that the wetland buffer be determined and, if the zoning ordinance under Article XII is triggered, a special exception from the ZBA would be required. Ned Hulbert seconded. The board voted unanimously in favor. Mr. Clark confirmed he will furnish the septic plan with wetland delineation. If the wetland area, determined by the length of brook on the parcel, is less than 3,000 square feet, then only a 25’ buffer is required.

Subsequently, Ryan Stone read aloud the Conditional Use Permit criteria under Article XXIX as follows:  The specific site is an appropriate location for such use. Members agreed it is. The use as developed will not adversely affect the adjacent area. All agreed it wouldn’t. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians. Members agreed there wouldn’t be. Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use. The board agreed. The proposed use shall comply with all the frontage, setbacks, minimum land area, sanitary protection, signs, and parking requirements for itself or its most similar use, except where specifically waived by the board, the reasons for such waiver to be set forth in writing by the board. The board agreed. The proposed use shall maintain the visual and functional character, as well as aesthetic continuity, with the neighborhood. All agreed.

Members further agreed the proposal meets the size and dimensional requirements and other requirements, other than possibly the wetland buffer, for which ZBA approval would be required as stated on the permit.

Subsequently, Courtney Cox move to grant the Conditional Use Permit with the condition as stated on the permit application, provided in writing to the applicant. Andrea Hodson seconded. All voted in favor.

The public hearing was thus closed and the board proceeded with the following:

Conceptual Consultation, Howard Clark, Jr., Subdivision, Wilderness Trail
Mr. Clark requested guidance from the PB as to the feasibility of his family’s subdividing their roughly 73-acre parcel to create three 2-acre lots based on the existing private road network off Hancock Road and Wilderness Trail. He wondered if the current private drive would be acceptable, or up to standards required, for such a plan without extensive and costly upgrades.

Mr. Clark provided a map of the land noting the existing right of way access used by his family and several abutters. He noted he had spoken briefly with the Road Agent who is aware of the current condition of the drive. Members discussed the location of the right of way predominantly within the boundaries of the Clark lot and road specification requirements for private versus town roads. They also noted the possible option of a Conservation Subdivision versus a Major Subdivision. Members considered whether steep slope and/or wetlands ordinances would apply with Mr. Clark noting a surveyor would confirm the exact calculations for slopes and wetlands though neither issue is expected to be problematic for potential development.  Mr. Clark’s question focused on whether or not the road meets the requirements for building.

Following a lengthy discussion on whether or not the existing road is up to specifications, and unable to ascertain without at minimum a site visit and additional input from the Road Agent, the PB noted it would do the following: review existing driveway permits in the area; review and share technical requirements for private roads; ascertain and define the difference between a shared driveway and a private road; and outline steps to obtain approval for a private road versus a driveway. They also would at their own convenience visit the location of the existing drive.  Mr. Clark thanked the board for their time.

Master Plan Subcommittees – Historic Preservation and Housing
This subcommittee has completed its synopsis. Lisa Anderson is working to get other subgroups going and will share what the historic preservation group has generated.  Ryan Stone will reach out to Ned Hulbert and Andrea Hodson on the Housing Subcommittee meeting schedule and plan.

Educational opportunities
The co-chairs asked members to check the list of educational opportunities.

New business
-Wendy Pelletier of Cardinal Surveying, dropped off for review plats and an application for a two-lot subdivision at 112 South Road. The board acknowledged receipt of the submission and will review for completeness.

-The PB again noted it would like to address the Conditional Use Permit application checklist form at the December meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 9:35 pm.