Harrisville Planning Board
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Meeting Minutes

The Harrisville Planning Board held a regularly scheduled meeting and public hearing on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at the town offices and via zoom.

Members present: Ryan Stone Co-Chair, Lisa Anderson Co-Chair, Jon Miner Alternate, Don Scott, Courtney Cox, Kathy Scott Select Board Alternate, Ned Hulbert, Kate Neary Alternate

Members absent: Andrea Hodson Select Board Representative, Noel Greiner, Peter Thayer

Members of the public: Mary Day Mordecai and Earl Horn for the Transportation Committee, Wendy Pelletier from Cardinal Surveying, Ed Brooks, Howard Clark, Jr.

Voting members
Co-Chair Lisa Anderson thanked the members attending in person, enabling the required quorum to be present.  She subsequently named the voting members, who may attend by either means but who must vote by roll call, as follows: Ryan Stone, Lisa Anderson, Ned Hulbert, Kathy Scott and Courtney Cox. PB member Don Scott served as zoom host to facilitate the sharing of documents.

Agenda and Minutes of previous meeting 12/8 and site visit 12/11
Jon Miner moved to approve the agenda. Kathy Scott seconded. All voted in favor.  Following discussion of the 12/8 minutes, Jon Miner moved to approve both sets of minutes as submitted. Courtney Cox seconded. All voted on favor with Kathy Scott abstaining on the minutes of the site visit as she had not attended.

Transportation committee – update
Mary Day Mordecai updated the PB that the speed radar sign on Route 137 has been relocated slightly and seems to be working better. In the coming year, the TC will focus on educating the public, obtaining feedback and analyzing data. Another MAST grant was awarded for the school safety zone speed radar sign and associated signage.

On Mason Road paving, scheduled for this year and approved at last year’s town meeting, the TC is looking at road width and how the Complete Streets mission integrates with road paving projects in general. The mission of Complete Streets is safe and available transportation for pedestrians, cyclists, and horseback riders, as well as vehicles. Three members of the Transportation Committee have researched, measured, analyzed the traffic study conducted by SWRPC, and reviewed local and state standards. They’ve also talked to residents.

Ms. Mordecai noted most want the road paved because of dirt and dust. In discussions on road width, she noted, the Road Agent advocates 22’ but the TC would prefer the narrower, 18’-width, as studies have shown narrower width encourages slower vehicle speed. The Road Agent is concerned 18’ is not adequate for two-way traffic. The TC ultimately determined the practical decision is 20’, with special attention paid to shoulder and ditch maintenance.  Ms. Mordecai asked for Planning Board input to ensure the TC is aligned with it.

Ryan Stone asked about the anticipated start date of work in the school zone, which the TC anticipates is spring. Kathy Scott asked the TC to please consider the historic perspective and bigger picture of the town’s character in recommending any road design changes, as Harrisville has not been comfortable with suburban solutions.  Regarding any engineering costs for additional research the TC may want to do, Earl Horn noted they would be reimbursable through grant money.  The TC assured that any long term planning or projects would involve dialogue with both the PB and Select Board.

Minor Subdivision Application – Brooks Living Trust, 103 South Road (Tax Map 40 – Lot 6)  Lisa Anderson reviewed the procedural process for board members and the applicants. Courtney Cox and Jon Miner, having reviewed the submission, informed PB members they deemed it complete with all the requisite paperwork.  Courtney Cox then formally moved to accept the Minor Subdivision application as complete. Kathy Scott seconded. In a roll call vote, the voting members voted unanimously in favor.

Lisa Anderson then opened the public hearing. The Brooks have requested to subdivide into two lots the 7.10-acre parcel they own on the south side of South Road. The new Map 40 – Lot 6-1, with no dwelling, would contain 2.04 acres, and lies directly across South Road from their existing home. It would remain protected and undeveloped as this was their reason for purchasing it. The new Map 40 – Lot 6, a lot with an existing dwelling lying on both sides of South Road, would contain 5.06 acres.  Wendy Pelletier of Cardinal Surveying and Land Planning took board members through the plan details, showing existing and proposed plot plans, including septic, well radius, frontage and lot dimensions. The plans also denote wetlands, shoreland and stream setbacks.

PB members and the applicant also discussed the history of the road, a section of which runs through Map 40 – Lot 6 and which the town owns. The applicants confirmed that both proposed lots have the required frontage to qualify as buildable lots and that the plan received approval from DES for meeting subdivision conditions.  The applicants answered questions from board members regarding setbacks after which, with no additional questions raised, Lisa Anderson closed the public hearing.

PB members noted that the proposal makes sense from the property owner’s perspective and meets the conditions outlined in the regulations.  Lisa Anderson then formally moved to approve the Minor Subdivision application for Brooks Living Trust. Courtney Cox seconded. By roll call, voting members unanimously voted in favor.

The Co-Chairs will follow up with Wendy Pelletier regarding recording of approved plat and the registry fee.

Randall Carmel, 132 Silver Road, Map 51 – Lot 28, Applying for a Conditional Use Permit for a detached Accessory Dwelling Unit – The PB formally received the application for a detached ADU from Don Scott, representing the property owner. Mr. Scott provided an overview of the proposal, and shared aerial and ground photos, and architectural drawings The owners would like to remove their garage and, in a new location within required setbacks, construct a 1,000 square foot ADU. A new driveway would accommodate two cars. Existing septic has adequate capacity, though DES has approved the addition of a new tank, which will connect to existing. Members requested details on existing and proposed living space. Jon Miner and Courtney Cox will review the application for completeness.

Conceptual Consultation, Howard Clark, Jr. – Wilderness Trail, con’t – Ryan Stone noted that the PB reached out to town counsel and NHMA and hopes to have additional information for Mr. Clark and PB members next week. The board seeks clarification on RSA 674:41, specifically language limiting municipalities’ authority to approve development on private roads and Class VI roads, and language related to “streets giving access” and access via “private easement or right-of-way.”. Wilderness Trail is private.

Courtney Cox noted that a sticking point for the board seems to the allowable condition in the RSA, whereby development can be permitted if on A street which existed before July 23, 2004 and is shown on a subdivision plat that was approved by the governing body or zoning board of adjustment before the municipality authorized the planning board to approve or disapprove subdivision plats, so long as one or more buildings have already been constructed on other lots on the same street. The question arose as to whether prior approved subdivisions in the area are relevant.  The town’s current subdivision regulations date to 2005, which is subsequent to the original subdivision.

Master Plan ReView Steering Committee – Update  – Lisa Anderson noted a zoom orientation meeting is planned for the Agricultural and Food Supply, Education, Housing, and Water Protection topics of the Master Plan. She added that the article in Common Threads yielded a good response.

2022 Planning Board Budget – Ryan sent the board’s proposed budget to Amy Roberts. Members reviewed and agreed with the submission, noting the reduction in the line for professional services.

Education Training Calendar
OSI Monthly Webinar Series – Planning Lunches at Noon (Plan): every third Thursday of the month  from noon to 1pm about various planning and zoning topics (free) OSIinfo@osi.nh.gov  603-271-2155; April 5, 2022 NHMA Local Officials Hybrid Workshop 9-4 Free

Lisa Anderson also offered to set up a zoom educational training for interested board members.

Members moved to adjourn at 9:10 pm.