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11/18/2015 – PB Minutes

Town of Bethlehem Planning Board Meeting, November 18, 2015
BETHLEHEM PLANNING BOARD
MEETING MINUTES
November 18, 2015
BETHLEHEM TOWN HALL MEETING ROOM

Present: Mike Bruno, Chris McGrath, Don Lavoie, Steve Gorman, Andrea Bryant, Marie Stevenson, Sandy Laleme and Jeanne Robillard.

Excused: Dave Wiley

Mike calls the meeting to order at 6:00 and appoints Jeanne as full board member for Dave.

The board reviews the minutes from 10/28/2015.

Motion made by Chris McGrath, seconded by Andrea Bryant, to approve the minutes as submitted. Sandy Laleme abstains from the vote due to absence and the remaining members vote in favor. Minutes from 10/28/2015 are approved.

Cheryl Jensen is in to see the board regarding Northern Pass. She discusses the impact of the potential transfer station to be located at the corner of Brook Road and Route 302. She informs the board that the only way for the town of Bethlehem to have any control over project is to request “intervener status.” She has been to the Select Board and they are going to request intervener status. She is requesting the Planning Board do the same. Cheryl will send an email with information. The board will discuss the matter further at the December 9th meeting.

Dawn informs the board she has received a phone call from Brian Lee, who is the new owner of Stoney’s Auto Body on River Road. Brian is looking to restructure the property to house 3 individual businesses; a landscaping business, an auto body/fabrication business, and a contracting business. Dawn had questions whether or not he would need a full site plan review or just a change of use. There is no site plan review on file for the previous business. The board agreed Mr. Lee should come in for a full site plan review.

6:15 Mike opens the public hearing for the proposed warrant articles.

Article: Are you in favor of amending the language in the Bethlehem Zoning Ordinances,
Article II General Provisions, section C

From:
“No building or structure shall be greater than forty (40) feet in height, unless a Special
Exception is granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustments. However, under no circumstance
shall any structure, or building, exceed sixty (60) feet in height. Appurtenances, such as
antennae, will not exceed an additional ten (10) feet over the highest point of the building
or structure. Personal wireless service facilities and amateur radio antennae are exempt
for this provision. “

To:
“No building or structure shall be greater than forty (40) feet in height from the average
finished grade along the building front, unless a Special Exception is granted by the
Zoning Board of Adjustments. However, under no circumstance shall any structure, or
building, exceed sixty (60) feet in height. Appurtenances, such as antennae, will not exceed
an additional ten (10) feet over the highest point of the building or structure. Personal
wireless service facilities and amateur radio antennae are exempt for this provision. “

Andrea proposes that the words “along the building front” be deleted. Steve agrees. Select Board member Martin Glavac would like some background on this ordinance. Mike Bruno explains that the Planning Board is trying to clarify the ordinance because the current article is ambiguous and the matter was raised recently during a site plan review.

Motion by Andrea Bryant, seconded by Sandy Laleme to accept the article for the March ballot with amendments, to read:

From:
“No building or structure shall be greater than forty (40) feet in height, unless a Special
Exception is granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustments. However, under no
circumstance shall any structure, or building, exceed sixty (60) feet in height.
Appurtenances, such as antennae, will not exceed an additional ten (10) feet over the
highest point of the building or structure. Personal wireless service facilities and
amateur radio antennae are exempt for this provision. “

To:
“No building or structure shall be greater than forty (40) feet in height from the average finished grade, unless a Special Exception is granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustments. However, under no circumstance shall any structure, or building, exceed sixty (60) feet in height. Appurtenances, such as antennae, will not exceed an additional ten (10) feet over the highest point of the building or structure. Personal wireless service facilities and amateur radio antennae are exempt for this provision. “

All members vote in favor, article passes.

Article: Are you in favor of amending the language in the Bethlehem Zoning Ordinances,
Article II General Provisions, section E

From:
“In all districts building coverage on the site shall not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of
the lot area. “

To:
“In all districts building coverage on the site shall not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of
the lot area unless otherwise stated here in. For the purpose of determining maximum
lot coverage impervious areas are defined generally as an area the surface treatment
of which substantially restricts or prevents water from being absorbed. “(See special
exemption for District 1 Main Street, page 10)

Select Board member Martin Glavac asks for some background. Mike Bruno explains this article is meant to clarify the impervious surface portion of the current article, and to be sure there are exemptions in place for Main Street properties. Mike Bruno explains that the Planning Board is trying to clarify the current ordinance because the matter was raised recently during a site plan review.

Motion by Mike Bruno, seconded by Steve Gorman, to accept the article for the March ballot. The majority of members vote in favor, Chris McGrath votes against. Motion carries six to one.

Article: Are you in favor of amending the language in the Bethlehem Zoning Ordinances,
Article V, District 1 Main Street Dimensional Standards

From:
“Any lawful non-conforming building or other structure located in District 1- Main Street
may be exempt from the dimensional standards for setback and frontage by special
exception granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustments”

To:
“Any lawful non-conforming building or other structure located in District 1 – Main Street
may be exempt from the dimensional standards for setback, frontage, and lot coverage by
special exception granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustments.”

Mike explains that this article supports the reference made in the article pertaining to lot
coverage.

Motion made by Andrea Bryant, seconded by Marie Stevenson to accept the article for the March ballot. All members vote in favor, motions carries.

Article: Are you in favor of the adoption of the zoning amendment as proposed by the planning board as follows:

Amend the Official Zoning Map of the Town of Bethlehem, as described in Article V,
Section A of the Bethlehem, NH Zoning Ordinance by changing the zoning classification
of a portion of Town of Bethlehem Tax Map 406 from District III to District II. This
includes all parcels located on Thornhill Road.

Mike Bruno provides background on this article and states that initially Thornhill Road was zoned district III, which allows for light industry and manufacturing, but in recent years it had been developed as a residential community. This warrant article would make the zoning of Thornhill Road more consistent with other residential sections of town. West Forest Lake Road, which is zoned as district II sets a precedent because it also sits in the middle of district III. Selectman Martin Glavac pointed out that the town took over the maintenance of Thornhill Road a number of years ago and in lieu of that does not feel the district change should move forward. He also feels the timing is poor as the Town is currently updating the Master Plan and thinks this matter should wait until after the adoption of the new Master Plan. The board discusses how this change will affect current property owners. It is noted that all property owners were sent a notice about the proposed warrant article. There were 8 Thornhill property owners present, all in favor of the zone change. Andrea points out that the majority of the Town is district II, which is mostly residential. Jeanne reminds everyone that they are not making the change tonight, but instead proposing the warrant article to appear on the ballot. The decision is still up to the voters, and Thornhill Road as district II is not inconsistent with the rest of the town. Planning Board alternate Don Lavoie inquires as to whether or not there are any current permits or Site Plan Review applications for Thornhill properties. Dawn responds that there are not.

Motion made by Andrea Bryant, seconded by Jeanne Robillard to accept the article for the March ballot. Andrea Bryant, Marie Stevenson, Steve Gorman and Jeanne Robillard vote in favor, Chris McGrath and Mike Bruno are opposed. Sandy Laleme abstains. Motion carries.

Master Plan Work Session:

Chapter 1, Land Use: June Garneau states this section has taken a lot of time and she would like to be able to finish it up tonight. The final piece is on the Landfill. There are two proposed entries which were emailed out on Monday. She is looking for comments. Mike Bruno proposes that the discussion about the Landfill section be postponed until the next meeting when there is a full board present. Selectman Martin Glavac requests that the Planning Board please not politicize the Landfill. He feels the section should be no more than 2 to 3 paragraphs in length.

Chapter 8, Recreation: June informs the board she took the recreation “stuff” out of Land Use
and/or Transportation and moved it to Chapter 8; She reminds everyone that she assigned “homework” segments to certain individuals for use in this chapter. She also integrated some of the last Plan into this chapter and created goals based on the copy that was written and the survey responses. This is a short 4 pages and after the board’s review it should be “go to go”. The board reviews the chapter introduction and the survey results. Upon review of the existing recreation it is decided to add a section on skiing. This section includes goals in the areas of snowmobile access, bicycling, hiking, golf and overall goals for recreation.

Chapter 2, Transportation: June states this chapter still needs some work, but she did shorten the section on road classes and the part about NH Highway Planning. She feels it looks better without all the recreation “stuff”. This section still needs goals and a summary. She asks the board to review what she has done to date and be prepared to work on this chapter at the next meeting.

Economic Development: June sent a sample from Shelburne via email. She is offering it as a recommendation for the Bethlehem Plan. She would like to board to compare it to the format and information in the last plan and see which they like better. Chris McGrath requests that individual businesses not be listed. June will continue to work on this

Housing Sample: June presented another sample for the chapter on housing via email and requests the board review the format and information in the last plan to see which they like better. Andrea would like a chart for the cost of housing as well as information on what percentages of homes are rented as well as what percentage of homes are seasonal/second homes. June will continue working on this.

The next meeting date is set for January 13th. The following individuals volunteered to look at specific chapters of the old Plan to make recommendations;

Cultural and Historical – Dawn and Andrea
Natural Resources – Perhaps the Conservation Commission
Community Facilities – Andrea
Utilities & Public Services – Dawn

June will continue to work on the following, incorporating recommendation from the committee:
Economy
Population and Housing
The maps
Implementation

Motion made by Andrea Bryant, seconded by Mike Bruno to adjourn at 8:40. All member in favor, meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Dawn Ferringo
Planning and Zoning Board Clerk

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