11/08/23 PB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
Planning Board Meeting
November 8, 2023
Present: Anthony Rodrigues, Linda Moore, Mike Bruno, Martie Cook, Kevin Roy, and Jerry Blanchard
Absent: Sean Gawlik and Alecia Loveless
Anthony Rodrigues opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance at 6:00 pm.
Jerry Blanchard was appointed as a voting member for tonight’s meeting.
Casey and Jose Bonilla of High Points Bakery – Bonilla Breads came before the Board for a conceptual meeting for their new bakery which will be located at the former Lloyds Hill building located at 2061 Main St. Casey explain they have been operating a homestead bakery on Lewis Hill Rd and now plan to move it to this new location and expand on their offerings to include breakfast and lunch sandwiches and soups. They also plan to open at 6:00 am in order to give breakfast options to people with an early work schedule.
Mike Bruno asked about seating and wanted to know what the capacity would be. Casey explained she had met with the fire chief Jack Anderson who said they could have as many as 100 but they will probably keep it to 50 – 75.
Additional questions came up about the timing of the opening and parking. Casey and Jose will be doing all the cosmetic work within the space while the owner Thomas Carter will be taking care of the structural work. They would like to have the space open in the spring. Casey notes that there is Main Street parking as well as several public parking lots around town that patrons could use.
Mike Bruno raised a question regarding the responsibility of the building owner to come before the Planning Board and not the tenant.
Anthony Rodrigues opened the public hearing for the Bethlehem Earth Materials subdivision at 6:10.
Tom Smith presented the application, reviewed the plans with the board, and opened for questions from the Board.
Martie Cook asked Anthony if he wanted to recuse himself as he is an abutter to the property. Anthony didn’t feel that was necessary as he would have no financial gain should the subdivision be granted.
Upon review of the checklist and the plans it is noted that the District number and the ROW are missing. Tom Smith indicates he will fix those items and drop off new plans to Dawn tomorrow.
Marti Cook motioned to accept the applications checklist as complete pending the addition of the district number and the ROW. Mike Bruno seconded the motion which passed unanimously 6-0.
Anthony Rodrigues motioned to accept the application as complete. Linda Moore seconded the motion which passed unanimously 6-0
Anthony opened the public hearing up for discussion/questions. Margaret Gale wanted to know if there was a Wetlands impact and reviewed the map with Tom Smith and was satisfied there was no impact to Wetlands.
Kevin Roy motioned to approve the application for subdivision. Jerry Blanchard seconded the motion which passed unanimously 6-0.
Anthony closed the public hearing at 6:29 pm.
Anthony opens the public hearing for the State of NH and their project located at the Fire/EMS Training Facility located on Trudeau Rd at 6:31.
Ben Curcio of Tight and Bond shares his screen and presents the project via Zoom and noted the following changes/updates.
- All current buildings would be demolished.
- The driveway would be removed, expanded, realigned, and repaved.
- A new CDL Training Site would be added and offer courses.
- A new classroom building will be added.
- The Drill Yard would be expanded.
- There would be a dedicated space for parking.
- A small pavilion would be added to the site.
- There will be a utility upgrade; from overhead power to underground with a new transformer.
- A new septic system is to be installed.
- There is an Alteration of Terrain permit for a storm water basin.
- Future work will include a heated garage.
Ben turns the presentation over to Keith Hemingway from the State of NH and the project architect Cheryl Dowling.
Martie Cook raises concerns over lot coverage and is concerned the project will be over allotment.
Joe Persechino from Tight and Bond jumps in to address this concern and reminds the Board that this is a State-owned property and project, and technically it does not need to comply to the local zoning ordinances. Joe once again reiterated that this meeting was a curtesy review process only; however, from a general perspective, the project is required to go through the Alteration of Terrain program which addresses storm water treatment and quantity that runs off the site.
Mike Bruno would like to arrange for a site visit. Keith will reach out to make arrangements.
Chris Jensen of Lewis Hill Rd asks if there is any wetlands impact and also wants to know what the cost of the project is. Ben Curcio states that there shouldn’t be any impact to wetlands. Keith Hemingway states that the 1st phase is budgeted at $2.3 million.
Kevin Roy states there is a lot of public concern regarding the activities such as frequency of activity and hours of operation. Also, what is increase in traffic and wants to know what the potential increases will be for lights, trainings, and sirens and thinks there should be a general description of what will be going on at the new facility. Keith Hemingway will have to ask the fire training folks to put together an outline of how the site will be used and the hours of operation.
Linda would like more information regarding the lighting. Ben Curcio assures the board that all lights will be dark sky compliant. Cheryl Dowling states all lights will be downward facing.
Mike asks if the CDL training will be a replacement for the current CDL training in Twin Mountain. Keith Hemingway replies no and indicates it is an opportunity to increase training statewide.
Anthony closes the public hearing at 6:50.
The Board reviews the minutes from September 27, 2023. Jerry Blanchard motions to accept the minutes as presented. Linda Moore seconds and the motion passes 6-0.
The Board reviews the minutes from October 25, 2023. There was a brief discussion regarding where the STR amendment stood at the end of this meeting. Mike states the language needs to be changed in the STR amendment from “owner lived outside of Bethlehem” to “non-owner occupied.”
Martie believes the intent is to align with the fire code. Martie will review the recording of the meeting and get back to the board.
Mike motions to accept the minutes from 10/25/23 with the “non-owner occupied” change to Amendment 6. Jerry seconds and the motion passes 5-0. Linda Moore abstains due to absence.
- Board reviews notice for the 11/29/23 public meeting.
- Dawn informs the Board there is an application for a minor subdivision submitted by JCB Inns and a request to have the public hearing before 12/3/23. The board agrees to a 5:30 start time on 11/29/23 to accommodate.
- The board reviews the Planning Board budget for 2024. It is suggested we reduce the amount of advertising from $1200 to $200. The Board also decides to add $4000 to the Master Plan line with the intent of beginning the process in 2024 with the RFP process.
- FEMA letter regarding Flood Plain insurance. Is it a Planning Board action or a Select Board action. Dawn will reach out to NHMA and Tara for guidance.
- Dawn distributed a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” put together by Nicole McGrath. Just some technical questions that is would be nice to have the answers to.
- Kevin updates the meeting he attended with Eversource at the Southwell property. He wished they had staked out the ROW. Eric will go ahead and stake it out for review. There is concern about the 60’ width of the ROW.
Mike wants to bring up some concerns about the STR for the next meeting. There have been numerous emails that bring up valid concerns and wants the Board to be prepared to have the conversations at eh next meeting.
He also wanted the board to look at the SPR, specifically Article IV. Mike feels this clearly states that Thomas Carter should come before the Planning Board for SPR for the former Lloyds Hill building, and not the tenants. Dawn will reach out to Thomas Carter to have that conversation.
Whenever any development of a site associated with a nonresidential use or multifamily dwelling is proposed, before any construction, land clearing or building development is begun, before any permit for the erection or placement of any building or authorization for development on such site shall be granted, and before any site plan may be filed with the Grafton County Registry of Deeds, the owner or their authorized agent shall apply for and secure approval of such proposed site development in accordance with the procedure contained herein.
Linda Moore motions to adjourn at 7:34. Jerry Blanchard seconds. The meeting adjourned 6-0.
Dawn Ferringo, Planning and Zoning Board Clerk