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09/08/2020 ZBA Minutes

2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574



Tuesday September 8, 2020




6:00 pm



Present:  Andrea Bryant Chair, Patrick Doughty Vice Chair, Shane MacElhiney, Ruth Heintz, and David Van Houton

Alternate.  Martie Cook

All stood for the Pledge of Allegiance

Chair Bryant opened the meeting at 6:15 pm.  She then read the Agenda.

Agenda item:

Minutes 7-14-2020

Shane MacElhiney motion to approve minutes from 7-14-20.  David Van Houton second.  All in favor 5-0 motion passed. abstained


Agenda item:

Patrick Doughty motion to approve Martie Cook as ZBA alternate.  Shane MacElhiney second.  All in favor 5-0.  Motion passed

Nomination of officers:

Shane MacElhiney nominated Andrea Bryant as Chair and Pat Doughty second.  All in favor 5-0


Pat Doughty nominated Shane…Shane didn’t want to do it, so he supported David Van Houton


 Andrea Bryant nominated David Van Houton as Vice Chair and Shane MacElhiney second. 

All in favor 5-0


Election of officers.  The board voted to keep Andrea Bryant as Chairmen and elect David Van Houton as Vice Chairmen.  

Agenda item:

Special Exception criteria

Andrea and Ruth worked on new language for the 5 criteria.  They explained the redundancy in the language of the criteria and important criteria missing from what we currently have. The new suggested criteria are based on the language from nearby towns. Ruth stated the new language will help make the applicant more aware of the need to present solutions to their request for a Special Exception.

Andrea read the proposed criteria.  Patrick suggested the first 8 words be taken out.  Since they all start the same way.  Mr. Jensen said it looks a lot more streamline.  There were some thoughts from David Van Houton regarding how to measure excessive demand, noise, and pollutants.  Andrea explained that the applicate should be informed of these things and come up with a suitable solution.  They need to know they have to be accountable. Martie Cook explained it is not who is using it; it is what it is being used for. ZBA Criteria – Proposed warrant article

Zoning Board Proposed changes  

ZBA meeting 9/22/20 

(Written together and accepted unanimously)

Special Exceptions Criteria


The proposed use, structure, or change to a structure or use:


  1. shall meet the requirements of the Bethlehem zoning ordinances and is consistent with the spirit and intent of the Bethlehem Master Plan.


  1. shall not negatively impact the health, safety, or general welfare of the neighborhood and/or the town, including but not limited to noise, odor, vibration, glare, hours of operation, traffic, lighting, runoff, and/or pollutants.



  1. shall be compatible with the character of the neighborhood and the town and will not diminish or have a negative effect on property values.


  1. shall not overload or result in an excessive demand on municipal services and/or facilities, including but not limited to schools, emergency services, water and sewage, waste disposal and road maintenance.



Andrea motion to accept the new language for the Special Exception criteria.  Patrick Doughty second 5-0 motion passed.

Next step will be presenting the new criteria to the Planning Board on Wednesday September 24, 2020.  Andrea asked if anyone would be available to speak to the PB with her.  Martie Cook volunteered.

The board would like to do a Hybrid ZOOM meeting next.  The next meeting is scheduled for December 8, 2020.  Mr. Jensen explained the difficulties involved in HYBRID/ZOOM at the town hall.  The sound is not good.  The Select Board is looking into the issue.


Respectfully submitted

Deb Bayley

Planning/zoning clerk