Planning Board
Wednesday, March 13, 2024
Meeting Minutes

The Planning Board held a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at town hall.  The meeting opened at 7:00 pm.

Members present: Courtney Cox Co-Chair, Ryan Stone Co-Chair, Andrew Maneval Select Board Representative, Pete Thayer, Don Scott, and Lisa Anderson. Members absent: Jonathan Miner
Attendees: Ned Hulbert

Agenda and voting members – Following a change in order of the agenda items, all voted in favor to approve. Mr. Stone noted the voting members for the meeting include himself, Courtney Cox, Pete Thayer, Lisa Anderson and Andrew Maneval.

Minutes of February 5 and February 14 meetings – All voted in favor to approve both sets of minutes.

Housing – Ned Hulbert joined to share an update and data on the regional housing crisis, noting:

  1. ARPA funds have been made available to regional planning commissions to assess housing needs. Three documents of data, put together in the fall of 2023, came out of this;
  2. RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Assessment) data includes a summary of housing assessment data in the region and town by town comparisons of housing numbers as they relate to population and land area. The data show that Harrisville is losing population but may regain it in the coming years;
  • Data also include projections on housing needs in the coming years, particularly workforce housing. The question arose whether Harrisville is meeting these targets;
  1. Additional data show employment numbers.

Mr. Hulbert noted J.B. Mack of Southwest Region Planning Commission is available to talk to the Planning and Select Boards if the town is interested in assistance with interpreting numbers or has other questions. The board also discussed with Mr. Hulbert potential ordinance changes that would be needed to accommodate more housing in town, as well as exploring collaboration with other groups, such as Historic Harrisville.

On the matter of the NH Housing and Finance Authority’s housing conference in Concord on March 26, Mr. Hulbert encouraged the PB to send and cover the $65 cost for an interested volunteer who has professional experience in housing matters. Mr. Maneval indicated the Select Board’s support of the idea but noted the decision lies with the PB. The PB supported the idea but prefers to keep Ned Hulbert the key point of contact to the PB on the housing issue. Mr. Hulbert noted he will stay in touch with the board, recommending a quarterly update, and possibly attendance with Paul Clark at the board’s April meeting for a report on the conference. The board further agreed that a meeting with J.B. Mack would be helpful.

Planning Board Membership – Lisa Anderson and Ryan Stone are both up for renewal of their terms. Both expressed interest in continuing.

Election of Officers – Andew Maneval moved to nominate Ryan Stone and Courtney Cox to continue as Co-Chairs. Pete Thayer seconded. All voted in favor. Ryan Stone then nominated Pete Thayer to continue as board Secretary. Courtney Cox seconded. All voted in favor.  These members will connect with the Town Clerk to sign oaths of office and the newly adopted Conflicts of Interest Policy.

New member recruitment – This item will stay on the agenda as PB members reach out to potential prospects.

PB liaison to Recycle Center Committee – The PB is looking for a member to serve on the RC Committee.

Zoning Ordinances – With the newly adopted amendments at Town Meeting, the Recording Secretary will update the town’s zoning ordinances for posting and for distribution to board and committee members.

Master Plan ReView Steering Committee / Gwarlingo Tri-Fold – The Co-Chair requested that members submit their suggested changes to him. Lisa Anderson will then share the edits with Gwarlingo to finalize the document. The next step for the committee is working on charts to link into the digital version of the Master Plan.

New business:
-The Conservation Commission Chair requested that the PB consider ordinance changes to regulate land uses near aquifers for aquifer and groundwater protection. The PB will take this up with the Ordinance Review Committee.

-The Co-Chair shared updated application forms and plat submission requirements for Minor Subdivisions and Lot Line Adjustments/Annexations. Members had minor suggestions, which Mr. Stone will incorporate but board otherwise approved for posting.

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.