08/24/2022 PB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
Planning Board Hearing
August 24, 2022
PLANNING BOARD: Vice Chair Anthony Rodrigues, Kevin Roy, Kim Koprowski, Alecia Loveless, Martie Cook and Chris Jensen.
Absent: Chair Bruno
Vice Chair Rodrigues opened the public hearing at 6pm.
Pledge of Allegiance
Adair Cottages subdivision – Notice of Decision
Amended Site Plan Review Regulations
Zoning Ordinance discussion – if time allows
Minutes from 8-10-22
Present: Steven Keach from Keach Nordstrom Associates, Inc.
Andy Smith from Barger Peabody and Smith RE
Joel Bedor – owner ADAIR
Tara Bamford town planner
Tara Bamford town planner shared her computer screen for the audience for the notice of decision for the ADAIR SUBDIVISION – Mr. Keach – has no issues with the document. Steven Keach – Tara was very thorough. He wants to discuss S7 on page 6; he felt his way was a better mousetrap than Tara’s, though Tara’s is an acceptable method.
Martie Cook asked about the legal repercussions of no bond on the project. Tara’s – it’s “not done in the North Country” but later said that other towns do put bonds on because other they have difficulty with projects without them.
Tara explained that towns like Bethlehem and others have much fewer staff. Her approach has fewer steps involved with cash deposit to the town – estimated by the town’s counseling engineer and approved by the planning board.
S7 reads: The following conditions shall apply to ALL phases:
S7. Prior to the start of construction of each phase or issuance of any building permits for that phase the following must be provided.
- Engineer’s estimate for road improvements, shared septic systems, wells and drainage.
- Performance guarantee in the amount approved by the Planning Board for road improvements, shared septic systems wells and drainage in a form acceptable to the Town Counsel.
- Cash deposit provided to the Town, in the amount estimated by the Town’s consulting engineer and approved by the Planning Bord, to be put into escrow for inspection fees.
- Security and inspection fees shall include the portion of Adair Lane required to access the phase from Guider Lane.
- NHDES approval for Septic System Construction shall be provided to town.
Chris Jensen motioned to approve ADAIR subdivision with Tara’s key 1 thru 15 and S1 thru 22 with items involving time limits appeals and enforcement. Martie Cook seconded. 4-2 motion passed. Kim Koprowski and Kevin Roy opposed.
The complete notice of decision with be available on the Bethlehem website.
Closed ADAIR SUBDIVSION
Open Site Plan Review updates prepared by Tara Bamford town planner.
4.03 minor site plan review
Andrea Bryant 403 – B. Why are structures up to 5,000 for farming? Tara – for greenhouses and seasonal farmstands. Andrea said she never thought about greenhouses. Tara – it is common policy decision. We want to encourage agriculture.
It’s a policy decision not size. Tara – looked at the sizes of typical farm stands around – seems be the size of a small farm not an industrial greenhouse like Pete & Gerry’s.
10.07 c signs. Board decided to take the word “moving” out.
Shawn Gawlik- Vintage Market coordinator – Wayside Restaurant. Do we need to have a certified engineered plan every year? It is just tents and people.
Martie Cook – all outside events – if it is under 400 square feet it is a minor and over 400 a major site plan is required. Tara- your board can decide the rules during the conceptual meeting.
Tara- currently you need SPR for any outdoor use. Tara- current regs are 200. We are trying to make it easier. Kim Koprowski asked about having a temporary event permit. Tara – we need to define temporary.
Tara – We are trying to make more things exempt and more things just a sketch to create more flexibility. Martie Cook, can we have them come in for a conceptual? Tara- No you cannot; by law you can’t require a conceptual. But you can ask.
Nancy Strand – There are currently two huge eating tents at Presidential Mountain Resort that have been there for weeks. We need to define temporary – length of the event? Owners may define temporary differently. Alecia Loveless a music festival could be 3-4 days.
4.03 Minor Site Plan Review
The board discussed an appropriate time frame and decided on 7 consecutive days.
- now reads: Outdoor event venue utilized for no more than 7 consecutive days
Ian Dowling – Rek’lis – Do events in the field and on Rek’lis property need to come to the town for anything? We have several a year.
Tara Bamford – for the record your Site Plan included that there would be outside events – your Site Plan approval covers this. The board agreed
Andrea Bryant asked about WREN having their craft fair. Will they have to come before the board also? Martie Cook – anything outside, any public use of the land no matter what the size.
Tara – you can refer to S quite a bit – use your discretion for the Spirit of the minor. Be flexible but stay within the legal process.
Closed public hearing
Alecia Loveless left
Public comment – letters from Don Lavoie and Chris McGrath for feedback on Site Plan Review.
Most comments were addressed already. Signs, fuel tanks and lighting.
Kim Koprowski – she must move her fuel tank and add outdoor lighting – Tara Bamford – she could site 402.j and ask to be exempt from Site Plan Review.
Anthony Rodrigues – the board decides if minor or major? Tara – Yes Anthony
Kevin Roy – Board can make the decision – People may say: it’s my property; I’m going to do what I want. Just be respectful and respect your neighbor.
Kevin Roy asked Tara about adding windmills to minor site plan review. We currently have a windmill ordinance.
The board decided to add to 4.03 J. Addition of free-standing solar panels and small wind energy systems for on-site use.
Tara – laws changed as provided by 676.4 – Finding of facts is added -703 provided the minutes contain all the information required by RSA 676:3, AS AMENDED, and the signature of the Planning Board Chair on any submitted drawings, maps or other materials showing the details of the approved development activity.
Notice of action 9.01
Temporary outdoor 4.03. F. outdoor event venue utilizes for no more than 7 consecutive days.
Adopted tonight accept the SPR as edited tonight. Chris Jensen second.
Tara Bamford – timing – this board has done a lot tonight and we should look to the next meeting to go over Zoning.
Nancy Strand – shouldn’t the zoning ordinances be with the Zoning Board. Tara – no, the planning board and the select board under the state law have public meetings on zoning regulations They always ask for ZBA input.
Nancy Strand – there are North Country Council grant monies for member communities to hire a consult – Letter of interest by the 23rd of September. She said that at another meeting Chris Jensen said it should come from planning or zoning. Tara is in partnership with NCC – it’s a change for affordable housing.
Nancy Strand feels very strongly about affordable housing plans; maybe it can help us.
Tara Bamford – its more on making sure specifically that your regulations aren’t a barrier onto developing housing. It’s just to do some public education.
Chris Jensen would be happy to write a letter and have the chair sign it. There is no obligation just getting on the list if we want to be able to pursue it later. It gets you in line to have a conversation with Karla to see if you have a project that fits.
Kim Koprowski motion to accept minutes from 8-10-22. Kevin Roy second. 4-0 passed
Next meeting – 9-14-22
Gravel pits – Monday August 29th starting at 4:30. – Kevin Roy and Anthony Rodrigues
Kim Koprowski motion to adjourn. Anthony Rodrigues. 4-0 adjourned