12/14/22 PB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Town of Bethlehem
Planning Board Meeting
December 14, 2022
Present: Chair Michael Bruno, Alecia Loveless, Kim Koprowski, Kevin Roy, Ex-officio Veronica Morris
Absent: Vice Chair Anthony Rodrigues, Martie Cook
The meeting was called to order at 6:00pm and the pledge of allegiance was said.
Conceptual Design Review:
Sharon Washwick presented the conceptual for Washwick Insurance located at 2212 Main Street, formerly Mascoma Savings Bank. There are no plans to change the outside of the building. There is plenty of parking. The sign has already been approved by the Selectboard. Chair Bruno noted that the lighting of the sign should comply with the planning board lighting ordinance. Ms. Washwick will use the existing lighting.
Ex-officio Morris made a motion to exempt the project from site plan review. Mrs. Koprowski seconded the motion, 4 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 (Ms. Loveless) abstained.
Site Plan Review
Herb Lahout, developer, gave a brief overview of his proposal. He would like to add 5 apartments building to his existing development (Map 206 Lots 61-1 & 61-3). The apartments will be for work force housing. The proposed buildings will be the same design as the existing apartment buildings within the development and will be limited to 2 bedrooms per unit.
The application and checklist were reviewed. Chair Bruno motioned to accept the site plan application as complete. Ex-officio Morris seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Lahout presented the project. He plans to develop the site one apartment building at a time, starting the with the building on Situ Road, closest to Maple Street. Each apartment building will be six units, with a washer/dryer in each building. He anticipates starting construction after the road ban is lifted in May/June.
Jonathan Sanborn (abutter) asked for clarification on the project location. He was shown the location on the site plan map. Mr. Roy asked for clarification on the proposed relocation of a seven-unit building that was shown on the plans. Mr. Lahout let him know that work is already complete. Chair Bruno told Mr. Lahout that the timeframe for completing the development is two years from the date of final approval. An extension can be requested if needed.
Chair Bruno ask if the Board would like to complete a site visit of the proposed development.
Mr. Roy noted the project is an extension of an existing development. The wetlands are delineated on the map. The board agrees a site visit is not needed. Chairman Bruno motioned to approve the site plan review for Lahout Park for the 5 proposed apartment buildings. Mrs. Koprowski seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Horizons ADAIR update:
Planning and Zoning Secretary Deb Bayley reported that the project has been suspended. The development has received an approved wetlands permit. Ex-officio Morris recommends contacting the applicant to confirm that the project is officially on hold.
The chair tabled the minutes from October 27th due to a lack of quorum of members present at that meeting. The board reviewed the minutes from November 9th. Mrs. Koprowski motioned to approve the minutes from November 9th, Mr. Roy seconded the motion. The meeting minutes from November 9th were approved unanimously.
Reviewed the scope of work for consultant Tara Bamford. The board discussed the need to budget funds for consultation services in 2023. Chairman Bruno motioned to increase line item 10-121 by $500 for a total of $1,500 for consulting services. Ms. Loveless seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Master Plan yearly worksheet
The Board reviewed the goals on the Master Plan Implementation Table Page 71, from the 2016 Master Plan.
Mr. Roy is concerned the stormwater/aquifer ordinance changes were made hastily, without a thorough review. The acceptance of the proposed amendment was a departure from the process that was used on rest of the ordinance amendments. Mrs. Koprowski shared his concern. The Board members agreed the changes were approved quickly. Veronica noted that the Stormwater changes could be removed.
Chairman Bruno motioned to ask Tara to hold off on any changes that were made to the Aquifer Ordinance that were made last night (12/13/22). Mrs. Koprowski seconded the motion. Ex-officio Morris specified that it is the Aquifer Protection Ordinance. This will allow the board to review the proposed changes more thoroughly and use the same procedure as the other proposed amendments. The motion Passed; 4 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstained (Ms. Loveless). Chairman Bruno to follow up with Tara tomorrow.
Nancy Strand asked for clarification on the goals behind the ordinance amendments. She asked the board to clearly communicate to the public the changes and the reasons behind them. She asked if the planning board reviews driveway permits. Driveway permits are not reviewed by the planning board unless they are part of a commercial site plan.
Ms. Strand points out that tonight is Planning and Zoning Secretary Deb Bayley’s last meeting. She would like to thank Ms. Bayley for her tenure and work.
In response to Ms. Strand question Chair Bruno said that a lot of the amendments are housekeeping amendments. There will be two public hearings in January to review the amendments and the amendments will be on the ballot in March. Mr. Roy said at the public hearing the board should provide a summary to the public regarding the changes and why they were made. The board’s intent is to clean up the ordinance, bring regulations into compliance with state and federal regulations, and make the process easier to understand and follow.
Chairman Bruno thanked Mrs. Bayley for her 7 years of service, being the face for the public and being responsive to his questions. Mr. Roy encouraged Mrs. Bayley to become a planning board alternate.
Ms. Koprowski motioned to adjourn. Mr. Roy seconded the motion. Motion to adjourn the meeting passed unanimously.
Meeting adjourned at 7:35pm.