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Town of Bethlehem
2155 Main Street
Zoning Board of Adjustment
Tuesday July 26, 2016
Present: Chairman Lon Weston, Patrick Doughty, Amy Delventhal, Ruth Heintz and Christina Ferraro.
Absent: Mike Culver and Alan Jackson
Lon Weston calls the meeting to order at 6:10
Lon Weston appoints Ruth Heintz and Christina Ferraro as active board members.
The board looks over meeting minutes from May 31, 2016.
Amy Delventhal motioned to approve Patrick Doughty seconds all approve. Minutes approved for May 31, 2016
Lon Weston explains the process for Special Exception for Ahead. Meeting all 5 Criteria will result in approval.
Patrick Doughty reads the Public Notice for Ahead.
Christine Ferraro reads off the checklist.
Lon motions to accept and Amy seconds the checklist as complete
New plans for Ahead at Lloyds Hill SE are presented.
Lon Weston opens the floor to public input.
Board listened to public input for several hours. Some concentrated on not wanting the project to be approved, others telling the need for such housing in the area. Several people spoke on how nice Ahead housing is. Concerns stemmed from noise issue from the solar array, and added traffic entering and exiting the Lloyd Hill road. Abutters were concerned on how this would impact the schools. A traffic study was completed and submitted with the application.
Public input is restricted.
Christina Ferraro reads the Criteria
Criteria 1: Board discussed visibility of the development from current dwellings. The applicant explained
that minimal existing vegetation will be removed, and the new construction will not be visible by abutters.
The applicant agreed to provide a Line of Site study.
Amy Delventhal motions to pass Criteria 1: Christine Ferraro seconds. 5-0 motion passes.
Criteria 2: Concerns about the impact of the traffic from the new Main St. driveway to an abutter’s west
facing porch, and visual impact of the solar array to an abutters approved future multiunit subdivision.
The applicant volunteered to add additional vegetative screening between their new road and resident’s porch. They also agreed to contingently plant reasonable vegetation near the solar array to minimize visual impact of the proposed Maplewood development.
Amy Delventhal motions to pass Criteria 2: Patrick Doughty seconds. 5-0 motion passes
Criteria 3: The applicant’s engineer explained data criteria used to develop traffic studies and the board
acknowledged their lack of expertise to dispute its conclusion. The applicant’s plan includes a community building to house the solar arrays’ inverter to further reducing any noise.
The board discussed increased traffic at length. The closest abutter to the access road is located on Route 302, which is the main east west truck route between Portland ME and Albany NY. The traffic count is at least 7000 cars per day, including about 4000 for local destinations. Some of the heavy trucks driving over the water and sewer infrastructure shake Main Street’s buildings. Relative to existing traffic the board agreed that this development’s traffic will not pose a substantial increase.
Amy Delventhal motions to pass Criteria 3: Christina Ferraro seconds. 5-0 motion passes
Criteria 4: Christina Ferraro motions to pass Criteria 4: Amy Delventhal seconds
4-1 1 opposed Patrick Doughty motion passes
Criteria 5: There is an existing fifty unit condominium and twelve unit subdivision across the street. A 100
unit Maplewood Golf Club condominium subdivision including a 16 unit subdivision on the abutting property had planning board approval before 2008. The board had a lengthy discussion about harmony with surrounding property, and intent of the ordinance. The intent of the multi-family ordinance reads:
A. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:
The purpose of this article is to provide for a more affordable (affordable housing – a conventional mortgage of not more than 30% of the median family income for the Bethlehem area as stated in the US census report. The 30% will include Mortgage, PMI, taxes and insurance. If a rental, it will include rent and utility costs) higher density residential dwelling unit than are currently available, while promoting the most appropriate use of the land, facilitating the economical and efficient provision of public services, and maintaining the scenic and historic qualities of the Town.
Patrick Doughty disagreed that the project was not in harmony with surrounding property.
Amy Delventhal motions to pass Criteria 5: Ruth Heintz seconds
Unanimous Motion passes. 5-0
Amy Delventhal motions to accept the Special Exception for AHEAD Lloyd Hills Limited Partnership Ruth Heintz seconds. 4 in favor 4- 1 opposed Patrick Doughty
Alteration of Terrain was discussed.
Lon Weston motion to request DET Alteration of Terrain application as a condition. Amy Delventhal seconded.
• Water system from the Bethlehem Village District
• 1974 grandfathered lot. For 100’ frontage
• Sightline Study
• Vegetation screening for solar array
• Keep Natural Resources
• Alteration of Terrain
Amy Delventhal motion to adjourn: Ruth Heintz seconds all in favor 5-0
Meeting adjourned 10:20pm