8/9/2023 PB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
Planning Board Meeting
August 9, 2023
Present: Linda Moore, Mike Bruno, Alecia Loveless, Sean Gawlik, Martie Cook, and Jerry Blanchard
Absent: Anthony Rodrigues and Kevin Roy
Vice Chair Linda Moore opened the meeting at 6:00 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Linda appointed Jerry Blanchard as a voting member for tonight’s meeting.
Linda reviewed the Planning Board’s Rule of Procedure regarding public comment.
- Public Comment is after board business:
- Set a time limit in advance for the duration of each speaker determined by the Chair.
- One person at a time.
- No one speaks until recognized by the Chair.
- Speaker must go to the microphone and identify themselves and state their address.
- This is a time for members of the public to “speak.” It is not a question-and-answer session or a court of law.
The board set a time of 3 minutes per speaker.
The board invited Roland Shick to the podium for the review of the lot line adjustment application submitted for his property at 18 Main St and the Colonial Theatre (Bethlehem Redevelopment Association) at 16 Main Street.
Mike Bruno reviewed the application checklist while Martie Cook reviewed the abutters list. Mike Bruno motioned to accept the application as complete. Martie Cook seconded and a vote of 6-0 in favor followed.
Linda Moore explained that the applicants had been before the board previously for a conceptual and the question whether the project needed to go before the ZBA arose. At that time, it was decided that more research was needed. Linda requested that the clerk read the advice received from NHMA.
“Under RSA 674:19 these buildings are exempt from the setback requirements of the Bethlehem Zoning Ordinance. However, the lot line adjustment plan will make one of the lots less conforming and one of the lots more conforming. Arguably, as stated in the statute, since the proposed lot line adjustment is not a substantially different use of both parcels, even the proposed change in lot boundaries would also be exempt from the Bethlehem Zoning Ordinance.”
Mike Bruno motioned to approve the application for a lot line adjustment between properties owned by Roland & Lars Shick and Bethlehem Redevelopment Association based on the legal advice received from NHMA. Alecia Loveless seconded the motion which passed unanimously 6-0.
Eric Pospesil came forward to present the application for lot line adjustments Richard C. & Dina Southwell and Equity Trust Company.
Alecia Loveless recused herself for this application because she is an abutter.
Mike Bruno and Martie Cook reviewed the application checklist while Sean Gawlik reviewed the abutter notices.
Martie Cook motioned to accept the application as complete. Mike Bruno seconded the motion with a 5-0 vote to approve.
Tom Martin of 88 Ridge Road asked whether these changes affected the size of other properties.
Mike Bruno read a letter from Christopher and Sharon Heberg of 18 Ridge Road that outlined their concerns; increased traffic and maintenance of the private roads, and the significant erosion that has occurred due to recent clear cutting.
Rich Southwell indicated that he would reach out to the Heberg’s to discuss their concerns and assure the board that there is no intention to make any conditions worse and promises the road quality will improve.
Mike Bruno motions to approve the application for the Southwell/Equity Trust lot line adjustment. Sean Gawlik seconded the motion. Motion passes 5-0.
Trevor Presby was invited to the podium to present the proposed lot line adjustment for the properties located on the top of Agassiz owned by TTW LLC.
Mike Bruno and Alecia Loveless reviewed the application checklist for completeness and noted there were two items that needed to be added to the map; the district and the interval need to be noted.
Martie Cook reviewed the abutter list and found it was complete.
Mike Bruno motioned to conditionally accept the application as complete. Martie seconded the conditional acceptance. The motion passes 6-0.
Mr. Presby presented the application stating the resizing of the lots is an attempt to recreate where the boundary lines should be and approached the table with a copy of the current map along side the proposed map. The new lot lines make the lots more conforming for road frontage and added that nothing becomes less conforming, and no new lots are created.
Mike Bruno added that he liked that the all the roads were now on one tax map before Linda Moore opened the floor for comments.
Nancy Strand of Mt Cleveland Road asked about the future development of these lots and was concerned about public access to the top of the mountain via the old auto road and wanted to know if this lot would be part of any future development plan.
Trevor Presby stated the only plan at this time was to clean up the debris and create a small parking lot at the foot of the auto road for hikers to use rather than parking on the road. He also noted that the house at the top had been cleaned up and was open for hikers to use. Trevor made it a point to recognize the generosity of the former owner and noted the people who purchased the lot before TTW LLC would not have continued that.
Mike Jacobs of 153 Mt View Lane points to lot 16, which has road frontage on Mt View Lane, and wants to know if there is an expectation of how that would affect Mt View Lane. What kind of vehicle would likely use Mt View Lane to access this lot?
Trevor Presby responded that the intention for this lot line adjustment was to give this piece of property a bigger backyard. Anything more than that would require the road being brought up to town specs to become manageable.
Scott Caisse of 118 Whitefield Road asks if this newly configured lot would retain its current address of Mt View Lane and therefore would have to abide by the covenants attached to the deed.
Robert Keating of 161 Mt View Lane states Mt View Lane is a private road, and the deed restrictions will need to be looked at.
Martie Cook asks if the 5-acre lot is under current use with the summit lot.
Mathew Toms of 190 Mt View Lane has a question regarding a comment made by Trevor regarding crossing Mt View Lane for access. Alecia Loveless clarifies that the conversation was about giving access to the new enlarged lot from the summit road.
Martie Cook makes a motion to approve the lot line adjustments as presented for TTW LLC. Alecia Loveless seconded the motion which passed 6-0.
Trevor lets the board know he will have updated maps and an mylar to them next week.
The Planning Board reviewed the minutes from Julu 12, 2023. Mike Bruno motioned to approve the minutes. Sean Gawlik seconded, Alecia Loveless abstained, motion passed 5-0.
The Clerk requested a signature for a lot merger and then presented the board with a budget update. Mike is concerned that the consulting budget hasn’t been expended and time is running out. The Clerk lets the board know their next meeting will be a work session with the consultants. Martie adds that she thinks the consulting fee is built into the HOP Grant.
Jerry Blanchard motioned to adjourn the meeting at 7:18 pm. Martie Cook seconded. The meeting adjourned with a 6-0 vote.
Planning and Zoning Board Clerk