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04/13/2021 ZB Minutes

2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574



Tuesday April 13, 2021



6:00 pm


Present:  Andrea Bryant Chair, Shane MacElhiney, Ruth Heintz, and Vice Chair David Van Houten

Unexcused absence:  Patrick Doughty

Alternate.  Martie Cook

All stood for the Pledge of Allegiance

Chair Bryant opened the meeting at 6:02 pm.  She then read the Agenda.

Agenda item:

Minutes January 26, 2021

Shane MacElhiney motion to approve minutes from January 26, 2021.  David Van Houten second.  All in favor 3-1 motion passed.   Ruth Heintz abstained.


Board Business

The Zoning office received an Email from Joyce and Peter Menard 

To: Bethlehem Planning Board and the ZBA.

Re: Douglas Drive right of way and the DOT’s master plan for trash truck traffic through Bethlehem

We are writing this email with great concerns and great worry for the future of the town of Bethlehem and its’ community. It has been brought to our attention that if Casella is granted the permits necessary to construct another landfill in Dalton, NH. by NHDES that the proposed tractor trailer truck route from the north would go directly through the town of Bethlehem in order to access the new landfill. This enormous influx of tractor-trailer traffic would then be rumbling pass homes, churches, our elementary school, markets, restaurants, cafes, antique shops, the library, the post office, B&B’s, the town hall, a park and 2 golf courses. Is that what we want for Bethlehem?

The negative impact to the town of Bethlehem of such an unthinkable plan would be irreversible for decades because we all know for a fact the once in, Casella never leaves! To even begin to imagine this scene is horrific. Our daily lives impeded by trucks hauling trash, sludge, and leachate rumbling and spewing smells, that we know all too well, passing buildings that have children, members of the community and visitors going in and out doesn’t even make sense! And imagine the environmental and traffic dangers it will pose, daily. Our town will become a victim again to another landfill and this time we will become the tragic “dump town” of the North Country.  Is this what “Just Be Bethlehem” envisioned?

Casella Waste has now submitted their wetlands permit application and a solid waste application to NHDES, therefore, it would seem that now would be the appropriate time for the SB and the ZBA to take legal action and look into this matter especially since Douglas Drive will be their only access which is in District III  not District V so wouldn’t that be a violation of our zoning? Douglas Drive is the key component for this landfill to be built in Dalton and without it there would be “no” new landfill in the North Country. Also, wouldn’t using Douglas Drive for landfill activities plus trash, sludge, and leachate truck traffic be a change in it’s use and therefore need Bethlehem’s ZBA approval?

In closing, if we can stop Casella regarding Douglas Drive then we wouldn’t need to worry about any trash trucks trashing through our town for decades to come. But if not, then we can still seek good legal advice to stop the trucks from traveling through our town in order to get to the landfill in Dalton. So, please, what is your plan?

Thank you,
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Menard

51 Peppersass Lane

Bethlehem, NH


The board determined that this is not a Zoning Board matter.  Zoning Boards and Planning Boards do not seek work.  They can only act when there is an application in front of them.

The letter/email was forwarded to the Planning Board at the Menards request.  The Administrator for the Zoning Board forwarded the letter to the Selectman’s office.  Administrator Tim Fleury has shared it with the Select Board. No further information is available.

Ruth Heintz and Andrea Bryant will be seeking a seat on the Zoning Board.  Election is July 13, 2021.

Next Zoning Board meeting July 27, 2021

Shane MacElhiney motion to adjourn.  Andrea Bryant second 3-0 passed


Respectfully submitted.

Deb Bayley Planning/Zoning Administrator