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BETHLEHEM PLANNING BOARD
June 24, 2015
BETHLEHEM TOWN HALL MEETING ROOM
Present: Dave Wiley, Chris McGrath, Steve Gorman, Marie Stevenson, Sandy Laleme and Don Lavoie.
Excused: Mike Bruno, Andrea Bryant and Jeanne Robillard
Dave Wiley calls the site visit portion of the meeting to order at 5:30. The board walks the site with Chris Hodge and reviews the plans. There is a discussion regarding leaving as many of the large white pines in place and moving the sidewalk from the west side of Arlington Street to the east side of Arlington Street. Dave closes the site visit at 5:55.
Dave opens Presby SPR Public Hearing at 6:30 and appoints Don Lavoie as a full member for Andrea.
Dave reads the public hearing notice.
The board reviews the checklist. Several items are missing: Erosion and Sediment Plan and drainage calculations, a Wetlands Permit, D.O.T. Permits and an Environmental Impact Assessment.
Thad Presby explained that he wanted to have a better feel for how the board was going to vote on the project before he contacted DES and DOT, but knew these components would be necessary before moving forward.
Motion made by Chris McGrath, seconded by Steve Gorman, to accept the application as complete contingent upon receipt of the following missing items; wetlands permit, DES approved septic, DOT permits and an environmental impact assessment.. All members vote in favor, motion carries.
Motion made by Don Lavoie, seconded by Sandy Laleme to make NH Municipal attorney recommendations public. All members vote in favor, motion carries.
(Attorney emails attached to the hardcopy of these minutes, stored in the Bethlehem Planning Board Minutes, 2015 binder in the Bethlehem Planning Office.)
A conversation takes place regarding whether or not this project needs to go to the ZBA for a variance. The issue of whether or not the increased bulk storage would constitute a 25% increase in finished living space is discussed. The board is divided as to whether or not the increase in bulk storage is defined as livable space. If livable space, the applicant needs to be referred to the Zoning Board. If not than the Planning Board can hear the Site Plan Review before them.
Motion made by Sandy Laleme, seconded by Chris McGrath, that the Planning Board move forward and hear the Site Plan Review application. All members in favor, motion carries.
Thad Presby presents the plans which include increased bulk storage, new gas pump islands, a new convenience store with 25 parking spaces, and new septic for the store.
Don Lavoie raised the question about lot coverage and reminds the board that District II has maximum lot coverage of 25%, which Don states includes impervious surface. Thad thinks the project will be close and may have to look at an alternative.
Motion made by Sandy Laleme, seconded by Chris McGrath, to approve site plan review contingent upon all state and local permits and the project meeting the impervious surface ordinance. All members vote in favor, site plan review is approved for Presby Energy.
Dave closed the public hearing for Presby Energy site plan review at 7:14, and opens the public hearing
for the Arlington Hotel modifications.
Dave reads the public hearing notice and lets everyone in attendance know that the Planning Board conducted a site plan visit.
Gardner Kellogg and Chris Hodge present the new plans which include relocating the proposed parking
area from the corner of Rt 302 and Lewis Hill Rd to a newly purchased lot directly behind the proposed site on Arlington Street. The new plan funnels all traffic through Arlington Street and moves the foot traffic of people off of Main Street and Lewis Hill Rd. A service road would remain off of Lewis Hill Rd. The applicant would bring Arlington Street up to the town road specifications per Brett Jackson, and add a paved sidewalk to the east side of Arlington Street. The plan would include leaving the vast majority
of old pines per the earlier site visit.
Dave opens the meeting for public input. Donna Devlin-Young, Lewis Hill Road, discusses green space and lighting. Amy Delventhal, Lewis Hill Road is concerned the map is not to scale and that she, as a direct abutter, will be greatly impacted by noise and lights. Margaret Gale, Cherry Valley Road, is concerned that the number of hotel rooms has increased. It is explained to her that the size of the building falls to the Select Board and the Building Inspector. Carol and Rod Haywood, Lewis Hill Rd, are concerned about the parking lot which will abut their property. Amy Delventhal and the Haywoods request an acoustic fence be installed. Derek Davidson, Lewis Hill Rd, is concerned about the water that has already been redirected over the years and is not convinced the drainage problem has been solved.
Dave invites the public to the table to review plans. Numerous discussions take place. Dave calls the
meeting back to order at 8:30.
Sandy asks Gardner Kellogg if there is any flexibility with the parking area. Can the lot be brought in an eastward direction to increase the distance between the lot and the abutters, and allowing for an increased berm.
The board discusses possible contingencies for approval; Bethlehem Village District’s approval of the
sidewalk, the addition of a berm between the parking lot and the abutters, flexibility in moving the parking lot in an eastward direction, and approval from Brett Jackson in regards to Arlington Street meeting town road specifications.
Joel Strulovic, owner of the Arlington Hotel wishes to offer that the evidence is on their side that they are willing to do whatever the board wants in order to complete this project.
Don Lavoie’s preference is to continue the meeting to a point in time when the Arlington has met all the contingencies. Chris McGrath disagrees reminding the board that they just approved Site Plan review for the Colonial Theatre without a site map.
Motion by Dave Wiley, seconded by Sandy Laleme, to approve the modifications to the Arlington Hotel Site Plan Review contingent on the following: The new plan must be approved by the fire chief. Arlington Street will be reconstructed per the Town of Bethlehem road specifications and the town’s road agent. The sidewalk on the east side of Arlington Street will be installed if approved by the Bethlehem Village District. In light of the recent acquisition of the paper road adjacent to the parking area, the applicant shall be allowed to shift the parking lot to the east to give a larger buffer for abutters. The plan will include as many of the large white pines to remain as possible. An 8 foot vegetated berm will be installed on the west side of the parking lot, parallel to the wetlands boarder in an effort to block light and noise from the parking lot for the abutters; said berm to contain scattered evergreens. The green space will be lit minimally with park lighting. An as build plan will be provided to the Planning Board. The Planning Board authorizes Vice Chair Dave Wiley to authorize the changes. All members vote in favor. The modifications are approved with contingencies.
The board reviews the minutes from June 10, 2015.
Motion made by Marie Stevenson, seconded by Steve Gorman, to approve the minutes from June 10, 2015 as presented. All members in favor, motion carries.
Motion made by Steve Gorman, seconded by Marie Stevenson, to adjourn the meeting at 8:52. All members in favor, meeting adjourned.
Planning and Zoning Clerk