01/26/2022 PB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
Planning Board Hearing
January 26, 2022
Continued from January 12, 2022
HYBRID ZOOM VIRTUAL HEARING
Balance Bethlehem building Site Visit 5:00 pm.
- Present: Michael Bruno, Chris Jensen. Kim Koprowski Peter Roy.
- At large: Marlaina Renton, Ian Dowling, Austin Pellegrini, and
David Smith – facilities manager at Rek-lis.
Ian Dowling and Marlaina Dowling spoke to the Abutters on site. Maurice and Leona Stebbins.
Rek’lis will be installing an 8 foot by 80-foot barrier fence along the shared boundary. The
Stebbins were satisfied with this.
They viewed the West patio facing Stebbins property. Marlaina pointed out that the fence will extend past Stebbins home to the North for their privacy.
The board visited the north side of the patio Marlaina pointed out that the Easterly side of property will be off limits to customers. Rek’lis plans on putting up a boundary to keep the customers on the deck.
Rek’lis asked the planning board if they had any further questions. No further questions.
The Board asked Ian and Marlaina if they had any additional info. They thanked the planning Board for coming out.
Marlaina advised the planning board that she will mention at 6:00 PM hearing; that the board cannot modify hours to be less than; when the restaurant is open. She’s confident that the music and hours of operation will abide by town ordinances.
Chair Bruno recessed the site visit.
The meeting reconvened at Town Hall at 6pm.
Town Hall: Chair Mike Bruno, Kim Koprowski, Kevin Roy, Anthony Rodrigues, Alecia Loveless, Chris Jensen and Peter Roy
Excused absence: Johnathan Stevenson and Alternate Tinker Stevenson
6:00 PM at Town Hall
Pledge of Allegiance
Chair Bruno appointed Peter Roy as a voting member for the evening.
Site Visit report for Rek’lis and open hearing
Vice Chair Koprowski: It’s nice that they got together with the neighbors and found a compromise. It was great to see the building in person and have a better visual of the project.
Peter Roy: The barrier was a great compromise.
Chair Bruno opened the hearing to the public.
Chris McGrath was supportive of project for Rek’lis and he’s happy that Rek-lis did the right thing and met with neighbors.
Mr. Stebbins: Was very happy about the fence on the west side, and string lights on the inside of fence facing Balance, not on their property. Very happy that there will be no lights on the Balance building and no addition of streetlamps. He thinks the fence will help with the noise and said: “it remains to be seen, time will tell”, but overall, he’s very pleased with what Ian and Marlaina did to meet their needs.
Technical difficulties again tonight. Harry Newell is bringing his laptop.
Participants can hear each other, but not the board.
Tim Fleury was asked to come to the meeting to possibly help.
Harry said it the same laptop that Selectboard uses without a problem.
Chair Bruno reviewed public comments from Chris McGrath and Mr. Stebbins so that online people knew what had been said.
Andrea Bryant said she supports the project.
Tara Bamford: you don’t seem to have any audio on.
Tim is here now. Now it’s working.
Thomas Lane asked if Rek’lis has a plan for additional parking. Mr. Bruno said yes, that was addressed 2 weeks ago.
Pam Sullivan: Can we view the site plan? Mike explained no changes to the building, exterior or footprint. OK, thanks.
Tara Bamford explained that she is a consultant for Bethlehem Planning Board. She gives input early in the process and helps make sure the package is complete.
Tara Bamford: It was a complete package as of January 11th. Section 8 of the regulations are subjective and referred to the project as being adequate. That’s when the board comes in and addresses.
Marlaina co-owner of Rek’lis: everything is the same as presented 2 weeks ago with one change, that planning board allow no hour restrictions, wants Rek’lis main lobby and Rek’lis tasting area to match in hours. Closed Wednesday. Open: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 12-9, Sunday 11-4 and Friday and Saturday 12-10.
Mr. Stebbins asked about notice ordinance. 10pm was answered.
Marlaina clarified that serving alcohol can be open until 1am but Bethlehem noise ordinance means that any noise created would have to move inside after 10 pm.
Chair Bruno: he voted for the change to be approved 2 weeks ago even before the two meetings and the site visit.
Anthony Rodrigues motion to approve Rek’lis tasting room; change of use at the
Balance Bethlehem building.
Peter Roy 2nd. 7-0 carried
Marlaina thanked Tara Bamford for all her assistance, explanations etc. It was good to work with her.
Tara Bamford: she felt the same working with Rek-lis.
Closed public hearing at 6:58 pm
January 12, 2022, minutes.
Anthony Rodriguez motion to approve minutes from January 12th. 2022 with changes.
Peter Roy 2nd. 7-0 carried
Board business: On December 8th the board discussed the scope of Tara’s services and contract.
Chair Bruno signed the document.
Chris McGrath suggests HB 400 bill that addresses the focused housing shortage and changing ordinances to be more relevant. He suggests the board write a letter to the governor to approve.
Tara said that it was a pleasure, working with Rek’lis and the Board and hopes we get
the technology fixed.
- Chair Bruno said that appreciates her input and keeping him on the right path.
- Chris Jensen appreciates Marlaina’s comments regarding Tara’s consulting.
Chair Bruno said that it’s been a big help having Tara rewriting ordinances and checklists to make them easier to understand and more useful.
Kevin Roy wants to know why we are having technical difficulties. It’s frustrating for the board and the public. It doesn’t occur when the select board meets.
Peter Roy motion to adjourn Kim Koprowski second. 7-0 carried
Respectfully submitted from Mike and Kim’s notes. Thank you!