Planning Board
Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Meeting Minutes

The Planning Board held a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at Town Hall, 705 Chesham Road.

Members present:  Ryan Stone Co-Chair, Courtney Cox Co-Chair, Don Scott, Jon Miner, Pete Thayer, Kathy Scott Select Board Representative, Lisa Anderson
Attendees: Jon Buschbaum, Marcus Poisson, Ellen Sarah Hayes, Sherry Sims, Jeffrey Grosner, Winston Sims

The meeting opened at 7:00 pm.

Agenda and voting members – Courtney Cox moved to approve the agenda. Kathy Scott seconded. All voted in favor.  Ryan Stone then named the voting members as follows: Courtney Cox, Peter Thayer, Jon Miner, Kathy Scott and Ryan Stone.

Minutes of 5/8/24 – Courtney Cox and Pete Thayer abstained due to absence. The remaining members voted in favor to approve the minutes of May 8.

Marcus Poisson and Ellen Sarah Hayes, Application for Minor, 2-lot Subdivision, 62 Sunfish Lane (Map 20 – Lot 2) – Lisa Anderson, based on her review of the submission, moved to accept the application as complete. Courtney Cox seconded. No discussion ensued.  All voted in favor.

At 7:08 pm, Mr. Stone opened the public hearing and asked Jon Buschbaum of Envirespect Land Services to present the proposal. Referring to the submitted plat, Mr. Buschbaum described that Marcus Poisson and Ellen Hayes wish to subdivide their current 32.9-acre lot into two lots, with the original lot containing their dwelling to be reduced to 23.71 acres, and the second lot to contain 9.2 acres.  He noted the existing stone walls and infrastructure will remain undisturbed.

Mr. Buschbaum emphasized that the configuration of the new lot was chosen due to existence of the best soils for septic, and optimal location for a new house on the northern side of the parcel, and due to location of steep slopes.  These characteristics are indicated in the separate Soils and Topographic plan.

Addressing frontage requirements, Mr. Buschbaum showed that the proposed lot contains 647’ of frontage along Cherry Hill, a town or Class V road, and the newly configured Poisson/Hayes lot will contain 270.5’ of frontage, also along Cherry Hill Road.

The board asked about the tenths of an acre discrepancy in lot size calculations on the plan, and asked Mr. Buschbaum to revise it to indicate the acreage for the new Map 20 – Lot 2 as 23.71 acres, and the acreage for the new Map 20 – Lot 2-1 as 9.2 to correspond with the accurate acreage depicted in the plan notes.

The board also confirmed with Mr. Buschbaum the location of the 75’ setback from the center line of the stream for setback, as well as the setback radius for well and septic for future development on the new lot.

For an additional revision to the plan, the board asked Mr Buschbaum to add the frontage totals for both lots, currently indicated in survey increments.

Abutter Sherry Sims asked why the public hearing notice indicated the proposed subdivision included frontage along a private road; however, Cherry Hill is a town road and frontage for the lots is along Cherry Hill, though additional frontage exists on Sunfish Lane, which is private. The board agreed, confirming the notice did not need to say that, as the predominant or qualifying frontage is on Cherry Hill.  Ms. Sims otherwise indicated understanding of the plan and her support of the proposal.

With no additional questions from abutters, the board closed the public hearing at 7:26 to deliberate.

Following recommendation of the minor edits to the plan, reiterating the addition of total frontage for each, and the existing and proposed new acreage calculations to account for the .05 acre difference and to correspond with the notes.  Mr. Buschbaum agreed.  He also will a direction of flow for the stream bed.

The board then addressed the issue of current use, noting if the current, original lot is in current use, a current use tax would be assessed upon the completed subdivision, as the newly configured lot would not contain an adequate amount of acreage to stay in current use. The minimum acreage to qualify is 10. Should the applicants wish to keep Map 20 – Lot 2 in current use, they would need to meet with the Assessor to update their current use acreage and current use map configuration.  The board confirmed that the plan notes indicate Map 20 – Lot 2 is in current use.

Mr. Stone then entertained a motion. Kathy Scott moved to approve the Minor Subdivision for Marcus Poisson and Ellen Sarah Hayes, 62 Sunfish Lane (Map 20 – Lot 2) with the requested administrative changes to the plat to be made by Jon Buschbaum. Pete Thayer seconded. The board voted 5-0 in favor. 

Mr. Stone will issue a notice of decision. Jon Buschbaum will submit the mylar with requested corrections.

Ordinance Review Committee – Jon Miner is working with team to move the ORC forward.

Master Plan – Lisa Anderson noted the process of creating a pdf with active links isn’t working as planned; she is reaching out for assistance from a college intern.

PB Membership- The board is recruiting for two vacant alternate positions. The board currently has 5 full members and 2 alternates and is allowed to have up to 9 members.  The group discussed the roles of full members vs. alternates, taking into consideration the PB Rules of Procedure and the role of the SB representative to the PB, who serves as a full voting member.  During discussion it was agreed alternates are encouraged to participate in discussion, even if not voting.

Ryan Stone raised the idea of serving in alternate and full member roles on a rotating basis. He asked members to consider this, or whether to leave the process as it is currently followed, and also asked members to bring any recommendations for improvements in how the board functions. recommendations.

New business
Transportation Committee – The board briefly discussed positive feedback from Hancock Road and other residents to the new traffic signs and striping along Skatutakee Lake, which were recently installed to slow vehicles down and encourage sharing the road.   Several members expressed that the signage was superfluous or unnecessary.

Members then discussed at length their discontent with the Select Board’s recent vote to shift reporting by the Transportation Committee to the Select Board, when the Transportation Committee was established as a committee of the Planning Board, and to make that decision without discussing it with the PB, and that the SB’s vote followed the PB’s own vote to deny the TC’s request to change the reporting structure.  PB members discussed drafting letters to the SB and will invite the SB to attend the next PB meeting on July 10.

Historic Harrisville – Lisa Anderson updated the PB that HHI received the grant funding for St. Denis and will be coming forward with plans as needed.

Application submitted – The PB acknowledged receipt of an application from Brian J. O’Neill, owner of 57 Seaver Road, and Annala Derosia, owner of 480 Chesham Road, for a Lot Line Adjustment. Courtney Cox will review the application. The board will notify the applicant within 7 days if any additional information is needed.

Following a brief meeting wrap-up, the board adjourned at 9:50 pm.