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TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
Wednesday January 11, 2017
BETHLEHEM TOWN HALL MEETING ROOM
Attendance: Present: Vice Chair Dave Wiley, Chris McGrath, Sandy Laleme, Marie Stevenson, Johnathan Stevenson and Steve Gorman
Absent: Chairman Mike Bruno
Dave Wiley opened the public hearing at 6:00pm and read the public notice. To consider Zoning Ordinance changes to be voted on at voting day on Tuesday March 14, 2017. He began with reference to a confidential letter from the Bethlehem Select Board. Chris McGrath motioned to have Dave Wiley read the letter and make it public. Dave Wiley seconded the motion. Motion carry 5-1 Sandy Laleme opposed
Mr. Wiley read the letter which summarizes that the Selectboard is hopeful that the Planning Board will vote to recommend passage of the zoning amendment at the conclusion of the Public Hearing. It also states that RSA 675:3, VIII, requires the Planning Board to insert a notation on the ballot stating whether the board recommends or doesn’t recommend the zoning amendment.
Amendment #1 is as follows:
Finding and Statement of Purpose – Amendment #1
The Selectboard of the Town of Bethlehem has negotiated a host community agreement with North Country Environmental Services, Inc. The agreement is conditioned upon adoption of a zoning amendment to expand zoning District V to include approximately an additional 100acres as shown on a plan that will be available at the public hearing on the matter, and in the Planning Board office at the Town Hall. Landfilling would be permitted use within the additional acreage if the amendment passes. The Selectboard, therefore, pursuant to RSA 673:3, proposes the amendment set out below for a vote at the 2017 town meeting.
PROPOSED AMENDMEMT TO
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM’S ZONING ORDINANCE
Are you in favor of the adoption of Amendment No. 1 as proposed by the Bethlehem Board of Selectmen, to amend the Town Zoning Ordinances to enlarge District V (the “Landfill District”) by substituting the language below for the part of Article V entitled “District V: (Landfill District)” [existing language of Article V is displayed in regular type; language being proposed is highlighted in bold type and replaces the metes and bounds description of District V now in Article V]:
A building or structure may be erected, altered, or used and a lot may be used or occupied only for the following purposes and in accordance with the following provisions after site plan review by the Planning Board and a building permit is issued by the Board of Selectmen. For purposes of this provision, “building or structure” does not include a landfill cell (including its footprint, content and final grade slope) or infrastructure for landfill gas management, leachate management, groundwater monitoring, or storm water management which is approved by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
This District shall include the land lying within the area described as follows:
Zoning District V (162.42 Acres) as shown on attached map entitled “Zoning District V 162.42” and more particularly described as follows:
Beginning at a 4” by 4” concrete monument found up 10” with a brass cap, said concrete monument being the southeasterly corner of land now or formerly of Daniel Tucker and a corner with land of North Country Environmental Services, Inc. said monument being located N88°10’54”E a distance of 652.94 feet from a 5/8” rebar found up 7” on the easterly side line of Trudeau Road, said rebar being the southwesterly corner of land now or formerly of Daniel Tucker, and the northwesterly corner of land now or formerly of North Country Environmental Services, Inc.; thence turning and running N04°26’35”E a distance of 18.86 feet to a point; thence turning and running N05°15’03”W a distance of 471.51 feet to a 5/8” rebar found up 13”on the boundary line between land now or formerly of Daniel Tucker , and land of North Country Environmental Services, Inc.; thence turning and running N72°43’42”E a distance of 138.39 feet to a point on the boundary line between lands of North Country Environmental Services, Inc. and other lands of North Country Environmental Services, Inc.; thence turning and running N10°59’38”E a distance of 542.21 feet to a point; thence turning and running N72°52’20”E a distance of 919.09 feet to a point; thence turning and running N46°30’07”E a distance of 100.68 feet to a point; thence turning and running N34°41’55”E a distance of 53.49 feet to a point; thence turning and running N54°34’09”W a distance of 54.41 feet to a point; thence turning and running N35°31’46”E a distance of 32.50 feet to a point; thence turning and running S54°34’12”E a distance of 53.80 feet to a point; thence turning and running N34°08’42”E a distance of 118.12 feet to a point; thence turning and running N84°43’11”E a distance of 79.88 feet to a point; thence continuing N34°41’13”E a distance of 218.55 feet to a 5/8” rebar found up 12”; thence continuing N34°41’13”E a distance of 8.0 feet to a to the point in the southerly sideline of a 50’ right of way also known as U. S. Forest Service Fire Road 313; thence turning and running along the southerly side line of said right of way S54°20’27”E a distance of 54.03 feet to a point, said point being S07°33’37”E a distance of 3.38’ feet from a 4” by 4” concrete monument found up 9” with a brass cap; thence turning and running N07°33’37”W a distance of 68.61’ feet through said concrete monument to a point on the northerly side line of said right of way, said point being the south easterly corner of land now of formerly of Forest Acquisitions, Inc and a point on the boundary line of land of North Country Environmental Services, Inc.; thence turning and running along the northerly sideline of the 50’ right of way S54°20’27”E a distance of 99.43 feet to a point; thence continuing along the northerly sideline of said right of way by a circular curve deflecting to the left an arc distance of 118.30 feet, said curve having a radius of 185.00 feet and a central angle of 36°38’16” to a point; thence continuing along the northerly sideline the right of way N89°01’18”E a distance of 1001.31 feet to a point; thence continuing along the northerly sideline of said right of way by a circular curve deflecting to the right an arc distance of 256.77 feet, said curve having a radius of 431.00 feet and a central angle of 34°08’01” to a point; thence continuing along the northerly sideline the right of way S56°50’41”E a distance of 124.17 feet to a point; thence continuing along the northerly sideline of said right of way by a circular curve deflecting to the left an arc distance of 295.96 feet, said curve having a radius of 683.00 feet and a central angle of 24°49’41” to a point; thence continuing along the northerly sideline the right of way S81°40’21”E a distance of 18.39 feet to a point on the boundary line between lands now or formerly of North Country Environmental Services, Inc. and the United States of America, Department of Agriculture; thence turning and running S06°40’07”E a distance of 51.76 feet to a point the southerly sideline of the 50 foot right of way; thence S06°40’07”E a distance of 1,939.24 feet to a 2” brass disk found in a stone pile, said disk marking the southeast corner of land of North Country Environmental Services, Inc. and a corner of land of the United States of America, Department of Agriculture; thence turning and running S87°46’43”W a distance of 1,784.31 feet along lands of the United States of America to a 2” brass disk found in a stone pile; thence continuing S87°21’05”W along lands of the United States of America a distance of 551.50 feet to a 2” aluminum disk found in a stone pile; thence continuing S 87°11’37”W a distance of 1,184.03 feet to a 2” aluminum disk found in a stone pile, thence turning and running N04°23’33”W along lands of North Country Environmental Services, Inc a distance of 208.87 feet to a 1” iron pipe found up 9”; thence continuing on land now or formerly of North Country Environmental Services, Inc., N01°10’45”W a distance of 58.67 feet to a 4” by 4” concrete monument found up 5” with a brass cap; thence continuing N05°03’32”W a distance of 384.86 feet to the point of beginning. Containing 162.42 acres.
All of the above courses refer to the New Hampshire State Plane Coordinate System, Grid North, NAD 83.
District V Permitted uses are as follows:
- Landfilling shall be a permitted use in this District.
- Any accessory building or structure erected, altered or used in the normal
course of landfilling are permitted provided such use is not injurious, noxious or offensive to the neighborhood, and provided however that an incinerator within the definition of RSA 149-M:4(X)(a) (Supp. 2004) for the purposes of generating power and or solid waste combustion is not a permitted use and is expressly prohibited.
Amendment #2 is as follows:
Finding and Statement of Purpose – Amendment #2
The Selectboard of the Town of Bethlehem has negotiated a host community agreement with North Country Environmental Services, Inc. The agreement includes the conveyance of land to the Town to be used for commercial/industrial development as permitted in the Town’s District III zone. The land to be conveyed to the Town is a portion of Map 209, Lot 27. In order to accept the conveyance, the Selectboard, pursuant to RSA 675:3, proposes to amend the Town’s zoning ordinance to transfer Tax Map 209, Lot 27, in its entirety from District II to the District III zone. The parcel is currently owned by Daniel Tucker and is under option agreement to sell to North Country Environmental Services, Inc. The Tax Map will be available at the public hearing on the matter, and in the Planning Board’s Office at the Town Hall. The Selectboard, therefore, pursuant to RSA 675:3, proposes the amendment set out below for a vote at the 2017 town meeting.
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM’S ZONING ORDINANCE
Are you in favor of the adoption of Amendment No. 2 as proposed by the Bethlehem Board of Selectmen, to amend Article V Zoning Districts and Uses, District III of the Town Zoning Ordinances to rezone Tax Map 207, Lot 27 to the District III zone by adding the Map and Lot # as set out below [additional language being proposed is highlighted in bold type]:
This District shall include all of the area of said Town of Bethlehem, lying within the boundaries of Map 405, Lot #54; Map 406 Lots #1, #2, #16, #17, #18, #20.1 through #20.4, #21.1 through #21.6, #22.1 through 22.18, #23, #24, #25, #34: Map 416, Lot #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, and #7 as delineated on the Bethlehem Tax Maps as of April 01, 1998, and including Map 209, Lot 27 as delineated on the Bethlehem Tax Maps as of April 1, 2016.
Dave Wiley explains that the Planning Board is required to approve or not approve the amendments and also explained that no matter what the outcome of the board vote it will still be on the ballot and go to the voters on March 14, 2017. Don Lavoie said the PB has to recommend or not recommend the amendments not, approve or not approve. Dave Wiley agreed that was correct.
Jessie Delventhal Parker asked if the board was going to recommend or not recommend and asked how often they do not recommend. Chris McGrath gave examples of times the vote was opposite of what the Planning had recommended. Mary Ellen Russell asked who created this and was told this was a Host Agreement created by the Select Board. Andrea Bryant said due to the impact on the town she would not recommend the zoning change. Chris McGrath read a letter that he wrote with his views.
The Master Plan shows that a lot of people were not in favor of the landfill.
Some people will or will not be happy.
Chris Jenson would like to know if the board can take a neutral position.
Cheryl Jenson asked if this is time to say how we feel. She asks not to recommend this.
Amy Delventhal said that Casella is not going away and said it’s just too fast to make a decision. She also said it has become an emotional climate, that facts need to be circulated, and other host communities get a lot more money so we should be receiving top dollar for what we are giving away.
Rita Farrell referenced RSA 675:3 and said the Board has the option to repeal the amendment.
Julie Seely would vote against and said a 20 year agreement is ridiculous. She also said we are not getting a good deal; that it is much less than what other towns get.
Dave Wiley said we are not the Select Board and said this vote is for the zoning change. He also explained the taxpayers have the final vote in March.
Ms. Delventhal said the PB offers guidance and said their recommendation will carry a lot of weight.
Chris Jenson said this is the last chance for the public to have an opinion.
Jeannie Robillard said there has not been a single study or piece of documentation that would give qualitative data on what the effect of those changes would be on the town and expressed concern with changing a residential area to industrial.
Heidi Cook said there was very little research that went on with the industrial park. Jane Storella does not want our children to be left the burden of a dump this size. Linda Moore wanted to be sure that people realized that this would be a huge scar to a beautiful area so close to the river. She said she will be voting no.
Steve Dignazio said there are a lot of projects going on in town and this is not our only option for taxes.
Cheryl Jensen said there are not any plans to look at so how do we know the latitude and longitude are true? Dave Wiley assured her that the attorneys are well informed. He also said this will all be heard at Site Plan Review. Mary Ellen Russell said she has people stay at her apartment through airb&b from all over the world to come for the hiking and the main street of Bethlehem with all its beauty. She asked the board why they would want this.
Christine Zontini thanked the board and said she appreciates that the board will come to a compromise after hearing different views. She said she is a young professional, who is the future of this town who does not want to be involved in a 20 year agreement with the dump with 20 years of trash.
Julie Seely said adding an industrial park with tenants will add potential water polluters and said to keep one potential polluter there (NCES). Cliff Crosby said he would like everyone to support the amendment.
Chris Jensen said he would like Sandy Laleme to recuse herself from the vote. Sandy will not recuse herself. Don Lavoie said the board cannot change a warrant article and said what Mrs. Farrell was referring to about repealing was if the Board wanted to repeal a portion of the ordinance, not to repeal an amendment to the ordinance. He would vote not to recommend.
Gabe Bosseau lives on his great grandparents land just 1 mile from the landfill. He said wants to be able to raise his children here and said he does not recommend the plan.
Steve Gorman said they are here to vote on expansion of the landfill but there are questions they haven’t been able to ask. He said he wants to have an open discussion and wants more information about traffic effects etc. Chris McGrath said that would be discussed at Site Plan Review.
Dave Wiley said he is confident in the taxpayer’s decision in the voting process.
Andrea Bryant said there are 32 people in this room and believes 22 would not recommend this zoning change. Sandy Laleme said whether we vote to recommend or not recommend it will still be up to the voters in March. She also said the full host agreement is on the town website.
There was discussion about if amendment #2 changing the zoning to District III for the Industrial Use doesn’t pass this year; it will be on the ballot for two more years. If it doesn’t pass after the third year the Town will not get the land.
Steve Gorman said we are putting our names on the facts and said this is a big deal and we just don’t have enough information.
Cheryl Jensen said she would like Sandy Laleme to recuse herself and said Andrea Bryant was hounded by Casella to recuse herself due to conflict of interest.
Sandy Laleme said she will not recuse herself from the vote.
Chris McGrath made a motion to continue this hearing until January 25th, 2017. To get more specific information. Steve Gorman seconded. 4-2 motion carries (Dave and Sandy opposed).
Steve Gorman said he would like to walk the grounds and get more information about traffic, wells, power lines, etc.
Dave Wiley said he trusts the voters and believes those issues would be addressed at Site Plan Review.
Jonathan Stevenson asked if they can have no comment and not give a recommendation. He was told they thought the Board had to give a recommendation but he would like to have a definite answer on that.
Sandy Laleme said she has faith in the voters.
Steve Gorman motion to adjourn, Marie seconded 6-0 motion carries.