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05/23/2018 – PB Minutes


Planning Board

Wednesday May 23, 2018




6:00 pm



Present: Mike Bruno, David Rodrigues, Marie Stevenson, Chris McGrath, Dave Wiley and Linda Moore

Absent: Johnathan Stevenson

Chair David Rodrigues opened the meeting at 6:00 and read the Agenda.

Richard Gould is seeking a 1-year extension for his Ledgewood 2 subdivision that was approved April of 2016. He submitted a memo stating that this project requires a terrific amount of money to complete. He is hoping for a better economy.  Most of his buyers come from down south, one buyer was from Bermuda and 2 from Texas. The beauty of the area brings folks here for all the outdoor amenities that the North Country has to offer.  Ledgewood 2 is the expansion of Ledgewood 1

Dave Wiley motioned to accept the extension of 1-year for Ledgewood 2. Chris McGrath seconded motion passes 6-0.

Closed Ledgewood 2       1- year extension.  (expires April of 2019)

Checklist – update masterplan

Goals: keep the small-town feel, road specs, historic district and Air B&B and others of the same

Outstanding goals for the board to complete.   Ch. 2 goal 3.  Road specs for (Johnathan Stevenson) he will be back for the next PB meeting.

Historic district. Improving buildings along main street.  The master plans reads: only to consider a historic district; per Linda Moore.  Chris McGrath remined the board about asking UNH to have a historic district specialist come and speak.

Rita Farrell is part of the Preservation Society she said there is community interest in Historic Districts. Linda Moore was asking to what depth designating a historical district would bring.  She said that it really ties your hands at what you can do.  David Rodrigues explained that the master plan would only look at in a bare bones capacity.  Just the beginning stages.

Don Lavoie is a member of Bethlehem reimagined. The board would like to have them come in a talk with the board.  Along with someone from the preservation society and Historic district.  Rita Farrell everyone would be invited.  Great opportunity for preservation alliance.  Non-government group.

Goal 1 or chapter one. To keep the small-town feel.   David Rodrigues addressed how this could co- inside with the B&B (air) There are currently at least 30 seasonal/daily rental properties in Bethlehem.    Don Lavoie said that when you rent out your home its now nonresidential use.  Considered a hotel or motel.  Dave Wiley has go over this with Jack Anderson.  Rooms and meals tax 9% is the standard.  Jack Anderson and Dave Wiley have investigated the state’s single-family rents.  There is no legal ground that prevents you from renting your house.  Mike Bruno explained that the board only wants to possibly have a contact list for the property being rented out.  The Police will know who to contact if there is an issue with the property.  This will include seasonal rentals, and weekend tenants.  Don Lavoie said that health and safety is the duty of the Planning Board.   At the State planning and zoning conference the impact on towns is statewide.  Dave Wiley asked if there are laws being enacted?  No, it’s just a discussion at this point.  The safety and welfare of our neighbors are what the planning board should consider Don Lavoie said. David Rodrigues; you can see where it can lead.  We know it is an issue.  VT has recently come down at a state level.  We will watch what other states are doing.  Topic is closed until further information is available.


Don Lavoie ask about the word “Accessory”. Defined in our Zoning Ordinance for setbacks in District II.  Mike Bruno explained that the board reached out to our attorney Jae Whitlaw.  Her response was that it is a generally defined term.

Chris McGrath would like to motion to close noticing alternate planning board members. Dave Wiley seconded 6-0 motion passes

Chris McGrath mentioned that Danny Tucker is looking for his reclamation bond from 1985, for page 209, lot 27. Mr. Tucker will have to contact North Country Environmental Services to set up their own reclamation bond. Planning Board Clerk will notify him.

Chris McGrath on his own time. (not as a planning board member) contacted DES regarding the water quality of the Ammonoosuc River.  Finding’s from upstream and downstream were determined to be safe to swim and fish, according to the DES website.

Don Lavoie explained his involvement with Bethlehem Re-imagined Inc. 5013c with the IRS.  They are organizing fund raisers for a voting machine.   (Raffle tickets) They will be explaining how the revolving loan fund works.  Inventory on Main Street.   Buyer/seller possibility Croft Block- mixed use.

Linda Moore asked about the Turner Tavern building, Don said that there is a problem with the deed.

Mike Bruno asked about Baker Brook. Dave Wiley explained that they are still waiting for DES, regarding the septic. And the water quality of the brook.

Dave Wiley motion to adjourn. 6-0

Next meeting set for June 13, 2018

Respectfully submitted

Debra Bayley

Planning/Zoning Clerk