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04/21/2021 PB Minutes

2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574


Planning Board

April 21, 2021



6 p.m.


Town Hall: Johnny Stevenson, Mike Bruno, Kevin Roy, Kim Koprowski and Marie Stevenson

Alternates: Peter Roy (Anthony Rodrigues excused absence)

Remote: Chris Jensen


Chair Stevenson opened the meeting at 6:00.  He then appointed Peter Roy as a voting board member for the evening.


Pledge of Allegiance


Rek’lis Site Plan Review

Mike Bruno motion to accept the checklist as complete.  Chris Jensen second.  7-0 passed.


Mr. Bruno asked the applicate to present the site plan for Rek’lis kitchen expansion and deck.  The kitchen will expand to a bump out 8 feet and another 8 feet of deck.  Kitchen expansion with porch will become 323 square feet.   There will be an 8-foot overhang from the kitchen to the deck.  With this bump out it will allow for an in and out from the kitchen next to the bar.  Marlaina Dowling said that is will make a much better flow.  They wanted to be able to get chairs and tables out of the dirt and up on a deck.  The parking area will go back to one handicapped spot.  Mr. Stevenson asked if just one handicap spot is enough? How many spots are required for handicapped Kim Koprowski also asked. Only one is needed answered Marlaina.  The downstairs bathrooms are completely accessible.    Mr. Stevenson: do you have to go down from porch to porch?  Yes, to go in and out.

No other questions from the board

Public input


Rita Farrell missed the presentation and asked if there would be a summary in the office in the am.  Deb is out tonight.  Kim Koprowski is taking notes she will have a summary ready for Deb in the morning along with the recording.


Mr. Bruno motion approve Rek’lis kitchen renovation and deck. 

Peter Roy second.  7-0 passed.

Mr. Stevenson signed the paper copies for Rek’lis SPR.  The mylar will be dropped off at the town office.

Closed Rek’lis Site Plan Review



Open Friendship House updated plans conceptual

Friendship House 2958 Main St.

 Larry Berg explained the project.  Here are his notes.


Facility Owner: AHEAD, Inc.

SUD-RTF Facility Administrator: Bonfire Behavioral Health, LLC (Amatus Recovery Centers)


Currently seeking licensure for 36 beds as a Substance Use Disorder Residential Treatment

Facility (SUD-RTF)

Rita Farrell asked the speaker to slow down and to speak louder.  Margaret Gale said that she believes that the board is intentionally making it difficult for the public to hear.  Mr. Bruno explained that with masks, video, and an embedded microphone in the OWL camera this board is doing everything it can to reach the public.


Residential floor:               14 double occupancy rooms     28

(old) detox wing:                4 double occupancy rooms          8


DH-DHHS shall conduct a clinical and life safety code inspection as necessary, to determine full compliance with RSA 151 and He-P 826 prior to: (1) The issuance of an initial license.

Life Safety code inspection: 3/2/2021

Clinical code inspection: 4/7/2021

(Town signoffs 4/12/2021)


Proposed Residential Increase/administrative to residential conversion.


Proposed increase from 36 beds to 44 beds via conversion of 7 main floor administrative offices to residential. No waiver required from NH-DHHS.




60 Parking spaces (57/3)


Hours of Operation


24/7 residential care

Typically, no visitor access to the facility – limited visitation to residents on Sundays

No on-site outpatient treatment initially proposed.

 Kevin Roy motion to waive Site Plan Review for Friendship House renovations. Mike Bruno second.   7-0 passed.

Closed conceptual for Friendship House.


4-14-21 minutes.


Peter Roy motion to approve the minutes from 4-14-21.  Kim Koprowski second. 7-0 passed.


Mr. Stevenson read an email from Chris McGrath.  (added to the minutes)


While Mr. Bruno appreciated Mr. McGraths letter, there is nothing in the rules that says that an applicate by regulation is limited to one conceptual. While Mr. McGrath is asking for an additional phase.  The board represents the community and the taxpayers in this town and that should be first and foremost that we adhere to our own rules. With that being said; projects in the past could have used some kind of consulting.  Major projects in the past probably needed to have a profession planner. This would have been a very helpful tool.  It should be used carefully.  He appreciates Chris letter but all the things he stated about not being welcoming he does not agree with.  We are a very welcoming board.  He thinks the board is very open to applications. Giving the applicate early notice of using a planner. This is giving them the benefit of not being caught off guard after they have started the process.  This is Mr. Bruno’s opinion of the letter.  Mr. Jensen: very well said.

Mr. Stevenson: Mr. McGrath missed a meeting with the professional planner, and he is missing the context of the meeting.  He may have heard rumors.


Kevin Roy spoke up to say that employees need more training in the front office.  Training should not be on a Thursday in Concord.  A better job should be done in the front office when applications come in.  This is just his opinion.

Possibly having Tara Bamford train the board on better procedure.

Nancy Strand asked if Mr. McGrath assessment on tax dollars for the marketing plan by Sullivan was accurate.  Mr. Jensen answered that about $15,000 is being used in tax money.


Mr. Bruno wished to thank Mr. McGrath for his many years on the board.  Mr. Jensen, and Peter Roy agreed.



Kim Koprowski motion adjourn.  Kevin Roy second. 7-0 adjourned   


 Respectfully submitted.

Deb Bayley – p/z clerk