12/13/2022 PB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Town of Bethlehem
Planning Board & Zoning Board Joint Meeting
December 13, 2022
Working Session Minutes
Present: Chair Michael Bruno, Vice Chair Anthony Rodrigues, Martie Cook, Kim Koprowski, Kevin Roy, Ex-officio Veronica Morris, Zoning Board Chair Andrea Bryant, Zoning Board Alternate David Van Houten.
Absent: Alecia Loveless
Chair Bruno called to order at 6:01pm.
This is the Planning Board’s last opportunity to review the ordinance changes prior to the advertising of the Public Hearings. Consultant Tara Bamford reviewed the proposed ordinance changes.
Article II: There was language added to the setback requirement section. A home occupation section was added as a permitted use. Some home occupations will require Site Plan Review based on potential public safety impacts and impacts on neighboring properties. Home occupation was changed to home business.
Article III: Discussion on removing the word Facilities from the title. No changes made.
Article V: Written description of zoning district will be the final authority. Clarification on District I. Decision to freeze District I as of April 1, 2022. Merger of lots to create a District 1 Main Street property would not be permitted.
Use tables were reviewed.
“Other Uses” language has been added to allow the ZBA to approve compatible but unanticipated uses that are “similar in nature to the uses listed” by Special Exception. This will allow for flexibility and emerging uses that are not specifically addressed.
The height limit was incorporated back into dimensions standards tables with reference to any exceptions with footnotes.
Sign ordinance brings the language from the Site Plan Regulations into the zoning ordinance for consistency. No changes to the lighting ordinance. Multifamily correction to discrepancy in the parking requirement that was found in the previous meeting. Added language under open space and cluster development these changes were discussed at the previous meeting.
Discussion on the Manufactured Housing Ordinance. Manufactured housing was updated to current HUD standards. Manufactured houses will be an allowed use and that will be reflected in the use table.
Ms. Bamford cleaned up the definition section removing any unnecessary terms and adding language and term for anything that needed additional clarification.
There was a discussion on the definition of home business. The words outdoor storage and activity were added to the definition. Under Article II: Home business the word “guest” was discussed, by this definition renting a room in your home would be considered a home business and would require Site Plan Review. Removed guest from the definition to prevent interpretation that resident-owned short-term rentals would require site plan review. The planning board is intentionally deferring discussion pending the grant application and further discussion of housing.
Added required definitions and terms that are necessary to meet FEMA regulations.
Reviewed and discussed a proposed stormwater/aquifer ordinance. The inclusion of the public wellhead protection area was deleted. It was determined that the proposed change could be a substantial change and should be re-discussed later when there is more time to thoroughly review.
The Board discussed the proposed warrant articles. The following categories were recommended by Ms. Bamford:
• Housekeeping (typos, updates)
• Floodplain (if not updated, will be kicked out of the NFIP)
• Home businesses (new use & definition)
• Nonconforming Uses
• Other (No – not substantive) – will go into house keeping
• Manufactured Homes (changing from special exception to permitted)
• Signs (changing to the same as the site plan language)
• Aquifer – will go in housekeeping
Some categories were combined resulting in 7 amendments in total.
Further discussion of the proposed stormwater/aquifer ordinance changes.
The Public Hearing dates were discussed. Ms. Bamford recommended scheduling two public hearing. Ms. Bamford requested permission to send the proposed changes to the attorney prior to the public hearings.
Vice Chair Rodrigues motioned for Ms. Bamford to communicate with legal regarding the drafted ordinance changes, and to move forward with the public hearings on Jan 4, 2023 and Jan 25, 2023. Mrs. Koprowski seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Ex-officio Morris motioned to approve the suggested changes from Ms. Bamford as written at present with our comments and remarks and for the document to be sent to the attorney. Motion withdrawn. Motion amended to move forward with the text discussed tonight
including changes. Ms. Cook seconded the amended motion. The amended motion passed unanimously.
Ms. Bamford inquired about her agreement for 2023 and the revised Site Plan Review Checklist and approval forms that were sent out on November 25th. The Board will review the forms and discuss them at the December 13th meeting and will discuss the contract and scope of work for Ms. Bamford’s services. There was discussion on encumbering any remaining funds that were appropriated for consultation services.
Ms. Cook let the planning board know that the grant application has been submitted for $45,000.00.
Ms. Cook motioned to adjourn the meeting, Vice Chair Rodrigues seconded, motion passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 pm.
Nicole McGrath, Clerical Assistant