Harrisville Planning Board
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Meeting Minutes

The Harrisville Planning Board held a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at the town offices.

Members present: Ryan Stone Co-Chair, Jon Miner, Ned Hulbert, Andrea Hodson Select Board Representative, Don Scott, Kate Neary, Courtney Cox, Peter Thayer, Kathy Scott Select Board Alternate, Lisa Anderson Co-Chair
Attendees: Richard Clark, RW Clark Construction; Carol Ogilvie

Attendance, roles and voting members – Ryan Stone noted the voting members for the evening included himself, Pete Thayer, Courtney Cox, Don Scott and Andrea Hodson.

Approval of Agenda- Board members approved the proposed agenda.

Minutes of previous meeting 9/14/2022 – Following discussion confirming members’ agreement to do homework on their own for the Katy Lane subdivision application, all voted in favor to approve the September minutes.

58 Bancroft Road, Conditional Use Permit Application for Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) con’t – In November 2021, the Planning Board conditionally approved this application pending delineation of wetlands on the site plan to ascertain whether proximity of the structure to a brook triggered the need for ZBA review for a special exception under the town’s zoning ordinances.

Mr. Clark presented the site plan with the wetland delineation around the ADU, proposed to replace an existing structure. The applicant and board members confirmed that the structure is outside the 50 foot wetland buffer, lying between the 50 and 100’ foot zone. Under the ordinances, a structure in this zone cannot occupy more than 20% of the land, which the PB confirmed the ADU does not. However, the board confirmed that the applicant is required to appear before the ZBA for a special exception for replacement and expansion of a non-conforming structure within the wetland buffer. The board presented the application form to Mr. Clark and notified him of the next possible ZBA hearing date, based on timely submission of the ZBA application.

The PB raised the question of how long a conditional approval by the PB remains in effect, noting it is one year from the date of the decision, and noted this needs to be added to the PB application forms.

Electric Aggregation Committee – Andrea Hodson updated the PB that the EAC is working on revising the Electric Aggregation Plan to submit to the Select Board for approval. Following SB review, the plan will be submitted to the PUC.

The intention of the revisions, required subsequent to rulemaking by the PUC, is to add detail on 1) how load-serving entities will be implemented; and 2) how customer data will be protected.  Ms. Hodson noted that 18 NH towns are in different stages of submitting updated plans. Neighboring towns of Dublin, Hancock and Nelson are in the process of launching Community Power.

Separately, the EAC is exploring with ReVision Energy potential solar generation sites on five town and/or school properties. Site visits are anticipated sometime this month and will not involve any cost. ReVision has offered to provide estimates of potential energy usage and potential energy savings.

Community Conversation on Recycling in Town – The next Community Conversation is Tuesday, November 15, at 7:00 pm at the Granite Mill, 69 Main Street.  Lisa Anderson and Ned Hulbert are working with the Recycling Committee on format and logistics. Aspects of Recycling to be discussed include municipal operation, collaboration possibilities, and individual opportunities to contribute to sustainability. Given ongoing volatility in the recycling market, the Recycling Committee is exploring long-term planning needs and prospects.

Master Plan ReView, update – Members reported the status of work on various sections of the Master Plan. Ryan Stone asked all members to email him with the subjects they are working on so he can confirm the information in the spreadsheet update. While not firm, the objective is to complete the synopses for each section by year end to Town Meeting.

Land Use Permitting Fees – Board members discussed the status of application fees assessed by the Town in comparison to fees assessed by neighboring towns and whether or not they should be adjusted based on the administrative and noticing costs to Harrisville. All agreed that the goal isn’t to make money but to recoup for the Town the costs of processing applications.  The Admin will make recommendations based on amount of time involved, and postage and newspaper noticing costs. She also will check if verified mail is allowed under RSAs and the cost difference between certified and verified mail.

Application Process Review – Members reviewed the current process as followed by the board, and the regulations and rules of procedure around application review, with OSI Manual as an integral guide. They discussed what changes are needed, if any, in the areas of:

-Application forms – They discussed formatting revisions, and updates to forms to make them more user-friendly for applicants and the board;

-Site visits – Members asked if they should they be mandatory or optional;

-Completeness Review – Following discussion of differing perceptions of this phase, members suggested that the board rely more on the application review team and not duplicate that team’s efforts during the vote on completeness, as questions or concerns about proposals are intended to be addressed during the public hearing portion.

Members also discussed at length their understanding of the different phases of application review and pre-application review and the public hearing process.  Carol Ogilvie noted that, typically, an application is reviewed by the PB designee(s), who make a recommendation to the board, which then accepts the recommendation, declares the application complete and immediately moves into the public hearing.

Courtney Cox offered to help train other PB members with the application review process so that, over time, all members become equally proficient in this step.

Education / Training Calendar
-Planning Lunches at Noon (PLAN), 12-1pm on the following dates:
– September 19, 2022. Topic: MLUR Survey Results;
– October 20, 2022. Topic: Getting Ready for Town Meeting/Zoning Amendment Calendar;
-November 17, 2022: Resilient Land Use Guide for NH;
-December 15, 2022: Housing Supply Report (NH OSI, virtual and recorded, no cost)

-NHMA Right to Know Workshop for Meetings and Records (in person – $65; by zoom – $55), October 13, 2022, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

New Business
The annual PB/SB appreciation brunch will be held Sunday, October 16, from 11-1.

Co-Chair Lisa Anderson submitted her letter of resignation as Planning Board Co-Chair and will transition to a regular member. At next month’s meeting, the PB will discuss replacing the co-chair position.

Meeting wrap-up
Ryan Stone asked members to consider the following five application process related questions for discussion at the next meeting:

  1. Do applications request everything the board needs (e.g., digital copies of plats and application paperwork)?
  2. Should the PB require site visits or make them optional?
  3. Does the board need to require an authorization form/letter from the property owner when a contractor or another party submits the application and/or appears before the board?
  4. Do application forms need to be amended to add signature lines, a section for notes/conditions?
  5. What changes need to be made in the application review process?

Members moved to adjourn at 9:40 pm.