Planning Board
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Meeting Minutes

Members present: Ryan Stone Co-Chair, Courtney Cox Co-Chair, Andrew Maneval Select Board Representative, Jonathan Miner, Peter Thayer. Absent: Lisa Anderson, Don Scott
Attendees: Brian Foucher, Harry Wolhandler

Voting members –  Mr. Stone stated the voting members for the evening include Courtney Cox, Andrew Maneval, Jon Miner, Pete Thayer and Mr. Stone.

Agenda, minutes of 8/9 – Members approved the agenda as presented.  Andrew Maneval moved to approve the August meeting minutes. Courtney Cox seconded. All voted in favor.

Conceptual Consultation, Cobb Hill Estates, 279 Cobb Hill Road – Representing property owner Akhil Garland, Brian Foucher presented a proposal being developed for a county owned, 100-foot, public safety two-way radio tower atop Cobb Hill, behind the event barn.  The antennas would serve the county sheriff’s department and local law enforcement, with potential to accommodate the town highway department’s radios, SWNH Mutual Aid, or possibly private entities.

The board considered the concept relative to local land use regulations for communications facilities, Article XIX of the town zoning ordinances. The ordinances require site plan review and a conditional use permit from the Planning Board. Members noted that legal noticing requires a notice of regional impact to abutting towns. Also required is a balloon test for visual impact.

The tower would have a cast concrete foundation anchored to ledge, a lattice design, and solid core construction.  Mr. Foucher confirmed stamped engineering plans would be submitted as part of the formal application.  The PB considered associated electrical and power equipment and how this would be supplied.

As an aside, and for consideration by the Ordinance Review Committee, Mr. Foucher recommended replacing the word “diameter” with “radius” in the provision related to Fall Zone. (19.5.3.)

The question arose about how the tower might be assessed for real estate purposes, as the landowner is offering his land to public safety entities with no financial remuneration. The PB will consult with the Assessor on standard practice for similar scenarios and whether, if assessed, the assessment would go to the county.

Ordinance Review Committee – Andrew Maneval and Jon Miner are spearheading resumption of ordinance review work. They confirmed with Harry Wolhandler that they welcome support of the Conservation Commission. No meeting, agenda or specific priorities for this year have yet been solidified.

Members agreed to defer discussion of additional topics to the October meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.