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Minutes of Town Board Meetings

Minutes of 1/5/2017

January 9th, 2017

Carroll Planning Board
Meeting Minutes

January 5, 2017

“These minutes of the Town of Carroll Planning Board have been recorded by its Secretary. Though believed to be accurate and correct they are subject to additions, deletions and corrections by the Planning Board at its next meeting when the Board votes its final approval of the minutes. They are being made available at this time to conform to the requirements of New Hampshire RSAS 91-A: 2.

Members Present: Chairperson Ken Mills, Bonnie Moroney, Michael Hogan, Donna Foster, Selectman’s Representative Brian Mycko, Richard Krapf and Karen Saffian


Members of the Public: Attorney Jae Whitelaw, Gardner Kellogg, Jason & Mary Sullivan, John & Anita Greer, Andy Smith, Tom Tremblay, Robert & Ann Gailey, Joe & Lisa Trainor, Attorney Jason Bielagus, Dianne Hogan, Andrew & Colleen Chen, Richard Gould, Robert & Judith O’Leary, Chris Allen, Tyler Phillips and Dave Scalley

Minutes taken by: Secretary, Rena Vecchio

The meeting was called to order at 7:04 PM.

Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Minutes

The Board needed to approve three months of minutes:
1. September 1, 2016 Bonnie Moroney made a motion to: approve the minutes as written for September 1, 2016. Richard Krapf seconded and the motion passed unanimously. (Ken Mills, Richard Krapf, Bonnie Moroney, Brian Mycko and Karen Saffian)
2. October 6, 2016 Bonnie Moroney made a motion to: approve the minutes as written for October 6, 2016. Michael Hogan seconded and the motion passed unanimously. (Ken Mills, Richard Krapf, Bonnie Moroney and Michael Hogan)
3. December 1, 2016 Brian Mycko made a motion to: approve the minutes as written for December 1, 2016. Bonnie Moroney seconded and the motion passed unanimously. (Michael Hogan, Bonnie Moroney, Donna Foster, Brian Mycko and Richard Krapf)


CONSULTATION

Andrew and Colleen Chen were before the board to consult on their property, Twin Mountain Plaza, on Route 3 South. They are looking to open the plaza again. Andrew Chen spoke and said they were looking for guidance from the board. They were unsure what to do for the Site Plan. They are planning on painting the outside and the parking spaces. The rest would be renovations on the inside. Chair Ken Mills said when they are ready to hand in the application they can talk to the secretary and she will help them. He said he knew there was damage inside and probably issues to address and that would come with the Building Permit and the Building Inspector. But the Planning Board would deal with safety issues with the Fire and Police Chief and exactly what they were doing with the building would depend on what the Site Plan would entail. ( expansion of use or change of use, etc)

SITE PLAN FOR SULLYVILLE, LLC/BEECH HILL CAMPGROUND/JASON & MARY SULLIVAN – EXPANSION OF USE

A letter from Ron Haskell was partially read with the Chairs reply; Paul Schaffer and Len Wood sent emails. All were against the expansion. All will be attached to the hard copy in the office.

The Chairman opened the continued Public Hearing for the Site Plan Application from Sulleyville, LLC/Beech Hill Campground/Jason & Mary Sullivan for an expansion of use. He said that the public hearing would be:
• Limited to discussion/questions from the board first
• The public was to raise their hand, give their name and the chair would write their names down and they would be called upon in order
• Everyone was limited to 5 minutes so all would have the chance to speak
• No opinions, unsubstantiated comments without facts, property values if not demonstrated with documentation (abatement requests, etc) and person attacks or disparaging comments would not be tolerated

John Greer raised his hand and said he had just a quick question. He asked if this was Phase 1 or 2 or would there be other phases of this expansion? The Chair asked the Sullivan’s if there were other phases. They said no not at this time. They only wanted to add the 30 sites and that would be it. But they are allowed 309 sites total and a future owner may want to expand.

Mike Hogan told the Chair they were getting off point and questions were supposed to wait. Ken agreed, apologized and the board moved on.

Ken Mills said as the meeting goes on, if any board members had something to say, he would call on them. He asked the board if they had any questions. They had none. He asked the Sullivan’s why they were expanding. Jason Sullivan said they needed to modernize to accommodate the larger campers. He said campers are getting bigger and bigger and they need to make modifications to the campground to stay in business, to compete. He said the KOA did the same to accommodate the new larger RV’s. Their tent sites and no electricity sites, are the sites that are empty.

The public was called upon:
• Judith O’Leary said she was afraid of traffic as they sit at the top of a hill. She is also afraid that the campgrounds septic will run down the hill and into their well. Jason Sullivan said that they have an approved septic system and it all comes thru the State as recent as 2015. Mary Sullivan said they are not hooked up to town water but are on a well too and they would not take the chance to contaminate their water either.
• Kellogg Gardner, Engineer for the Sullivan’s, asked if the board would like to see the maps. The Board said yes. He showed where the new septic system was and the wells.

The Chair asked if any member of the public wanted to see the plans.
• Jason Bielagus, Attorney for Joe and Lisa Trainor, said the plans were different, not the same as last December’s. It was explained that they took out the shaded area for total expansion and just shaded in a dark grey the 30 proposed sites. Attorney Bielagus wanted to know if there were now two different site plans. The Chair told him no, the illustrations had changed only, the 30 sites were still there and that was what the application was for. Bielagus wanted to know what the status of the total expansion was. The Chair reiterated that the application was for 30 sites and that was all the board was dealing with.
• Jae Whitelaw, Counsel for the Town, told the public and board that this was a public meeting, one person at a time speaks and speaks loudly enough for all to hear. If the plans were being submitted tonight they would go into the record as such.
• Karen Saffian asked if there were any plans to expand more to the full 309. Mary Sullivan said no. They are a family run business and do everything themselves. To expand to that would mean hiring staff and that is not what they wanted to do.
• Attorney Bielagus said the plan that was submitted last month showed the future expansion and this plan does not. Have things changed? The Chair said he has been under the impression that intent was always 30 sites. He asked the Sullivan’s if that was true and had anything changed? The Sullivan’s responded that the 30 sites were what they were after and nothing has changed. Attorney Bielagus asked what the future expansion was going to be? The Chair said again that that was not the task of the board. The task was 30 sites and it is a continuation of the public hearing from last December.
• Lisa Trainor said she gets the 30 site expansion. But the expansion is taking place on land that is zoned RES1.It has never been changed by going to the Zoning Board. She is afraid that she is going to lose her privacy and the peace and quiet. She said that if the expansion goes thru they will be able to see the oversized campers and they will tower over her fence and be able to see right into her property. The Chair said that the zoning issue will have to be addressed.
• Anita Greer said she and her husband are full time residents now. She is really worried about the traffic coming up the hill, can’t see anyone coming or going from there because of the contours of the road. She said the visibility is very bad coming out of the campground. The other issue is trespassing on our property. The people will come up from the river and go thru their property to get to the campground. They have never called the police because they don’t want to be jerks about it.
• Richard Gould wanted to know about fire safety and feels they should have some type of water available. He is afraid that with 300 campfires there is a chance of a fire going right up the mountain to his property. He feels the Sullivan’s are good people and do a good job. Ken said he is aware that the Fire Chief was at the December meeting and stated that he is fine with the situation now and with the additional 30 sites. If the campground expands beyond that, he would want to see something done, like a fire pond. Michael Hogan said he has camped all over the United States. Even at very large campgrounds, he has never seen 300 campfires going. He said also that campers are very conscious of fires and will tell other campers their fire is too large or will put it out.
• Joe Trainor says he feels that the first plan shows the expansion of the entire campground not just the 30 sites. He said why or how could they pay for a septic for only thirty sites? The Chair stopped him saying he is suggesting something personal and it will end. Ken again stated the expansion is for 30 sites only. You have given us personal feelings not facts. Mr.Trainor stated that the campground has cleared property.
• Jason Sullivan said he has cut trees and pulled stumps.
• Bonnie Moroney asked if the map they brought in for the December meeting was the same as the map that was given to them when they purchased the campground. Joe Trainor and Jason Bielagus wanted to know why the date on the map was for October 2016.
• Brian Mycko wanted to know if the Sullivan’s actually have put in a transformer. Jason Sullivan asked if he could show on the map where it was. He showed site 97 and said there is a road that was there when they bought the place. It was used before they bought it and they use it now. That road leads to their group area. The group area is used by boy scouts, girl scouts, youth groups,etc. They had the transformer put in to help modernize the group area.
• Rena Vecchio asked if when they started the tree cutting, were they under the impression that they did not have to come before the town for any kind of approval? The Sullivan’s answered yes.
• Joe Trainor feels the sequence of events is funny. He heard a backhoe going at the campground. He went over and saw the backhoe working on the sites. He feels the Sullivan’s should not have been doing that. They were furthering the site plan without approval.
• Robert Gailey said he owns a home on Moose Lane since 2008. He lives here part time in Twin and is in Florida for the winter. When they bought the property they liked it, there was no snowmobiling and heard through his real estate agent that the campground probably would not expand. That is now taken with a grain of salt! We have had trespassers and come they have looked in our windows. We hear fireworks and dogs barking. His concerns are a lot of people in that one small area, majority of people are between the ages of 17-24, feels that even though the water gets tested it is not always right and you don’t find out till it is too late. Also is worried about property values.
• Karen Saffian wanted to know how often the campground is full. The Sullivan’s said Holiday Weekends they are full. The rest of the time depends on so much but they are rarely full.
• Tyler Phillips said his understanding was that the application was accepted at the last meeting. Ken Mills said that the application for 30 sites was accepted as complete not the illustration. Ken said the December map showed the expansion that was not being considered at this time. The new illustration that was handed in tonight only removed the sites not being considered. Ken said that reviewing the Submission Requirements is usually done line by line. This is the start of the Site Plan. State Requirements always require compliance and the applicant is responsible for ensuring that.
• Tyler’s comments:
1. Proposed topography (existing, is shown)
2. Wetlands and streams should be shown
3. Maintenance of vegetation
4. Zoning Districts should be shown (they are on the map)
5. Any abutter well within 200 feet
6. Fire protection (Fire Chief has already consulted with the Sullivan’s and the Board.)
7. Proposed landscaping/screening
8. Lighting plan
9. Strong drainage calculations
10. Road design (Fire Chief had also consulted with board)
11. Engineering designs of water systems (is shown on map)
Permits he feels board should look at:
1. Alteration of terrain
2. DOT
3. Wetlands permit
4. Building permit
5. Feels there may be need to subdivide due to “camping cabins”
6. Construction permit
Things he feels board should do:
1. Make things more visible to public/abutters
2. Doesn’t feel board follows procedures
3. Feels board should revisit going over application again and give reason for everything so people understand
4. Feels board is not doing their job, doesn’t follow the Campground RSA
5. Not enough on plan

Mike Hogan, being the Chair at the December meeting, said the board has never required a letter on the Submission Requirements that were marked Not Applicable (N/A). When the board is doing these applications they are very aware that businesses are needed in this town. Campers may stop at the gas station or go into the store. There are two sides of this and the town wants to do the right thing and welcome business. Ken said this is a broad spectrum application. What is not applicable here may be applicable on another application.

Jae Whitelaw said she understands what Tyler is saying. The minutes do not reflect how the board went thru the application if they did. If they did not, go line by line, they need to. The application was accepted, and if they went line by line, the board now needs to determine if it is an allowed use. If it is not, they need to guide the applicant on what to do. A waiver for this would be a waiver for the Submission Requirements. Ken said some things can be addressed by adding conditions on to an approval.

Joe Trainor said the board is telling them to be objective. But if things are not on a plan, then it becomes subjective. Why would the Sullivan’s need a backhoe if they weren’t changing the topography? Brian asked the Sullivan’s and they replied that they removed the stumps with a backhoe.

Attorney Bielagus informed the town on why we have zoning. He explained that half of the campground and is located in the R-B (Residential-Business) District and the other half is in RES1 (Residential 1) District. He read that on RES1 there are no campgrounds allowed. Jae said we have just discussed this. The board needs to determine if this is a permitted use in the RES district and if not, is there some other way that it could be allowed. The board will determine this.

Chair Ken Mills announced there will be a break between 9:00 & 9:05.

The Chair resumed the public hearing at 9:10.

Jae said have been given information tonight and the applicant has a fair amount of information that needs to be heard. She said the board can, in her opinion:
• Take all the information now and make a decision.
• Or continue the public hearing again, Listen to the info from the applicant. Take all the info and go over it for a couple of weeks. Figure out if there is more information that is need. This gives the board and the public time to get organized. If, at the next meeting, the board feels they still may need more time; then the Board will have to ask the applicants if the Board can have an extenstion of the time limits. She said she wants anyone with any information to hand it in to the board so it can be part of the process.

The applicants, Jason & Mary Sullivan, wanted to give their time line and history of the campground:
• In 1948 Public Service obtained an easement thru that property called a “tourist camp”
• In 1973 the property was listed as a campground and had 70 sites, most of which were in the RES1 zone. Campsites were across the street and all along the river too.
• In 1984 the property across the street was subdivided (along the river)
• In 1990 there was a subdivision done by then owners the Jones,
• In same year, 1990, Edmund Bousquin bought the front piece of the campground or Lot 2.
• In 1997 Bousquin bought the back piece, Lot 3, from the Jones. At that point the Jones had 3 campsites on the property and they had to be removed.
• In 1997 Bousquin went to the PLBD & ZBA
1. September 20, 2001 – Bousquin went to the ZBA to see if he could expand the campground. They told him to merge his property.” Mr. Caruso, a ZBA member asked if there was ever an existing campground in the second lot. Bousquin said one of the campsites was on ½ of the second lot. Mr. Caruso stated if any portion of the campground was used in the second lot then there is no issue concerning the expansion of additional lots unless it was stated in a Public Hearing there were only a certain amount of campsites for the campground.”
2. November 1, 2001 – Bousquin came before the PLBD to present a petition he had signed by Town of Carroll voters which asked to have his back Lot 3 changed from RES1 to R-B so he could expand. The board asked the secretary to call legal to advise if Mr. Bousquin’s is written properly. If everything is fine then they can proceed to put his request on as a Warrant Article.
3. December 6, 2001 – Mr. Cormier, a PLBD member asked why Mr. Bousquin did not ask for a variance on his property? The board said they had told him to get a petition for a warrant article.
4. April 4, 2002 – The secretary of the PLBD asked the Chair to write a letter for Mr. Bousquin stating his property was grandfathered. The Chair asked the secretary to write the letter, he would review it and they could send the letter to him.
5. September 5, 2002 – Bousquin came before the PLBD for a Lot Line Adjustment for Lots 2 & 3. Motion was made to approve the LLA with conditions:
• All existing sites (3) to be 5’ from the property line and all others to be 20’from property line. Andy future expansion to go before the ZBA for a Special Exception. 150 sites were proposed and approved.
6. September 12, 2002 – ZBA A motion is made to have a letter sent to the PLBD stating that Bousquin is grandfathered and that the issue does not need to come before the ZBA
7. October 3, 2002 – Went to PLBD correct minutes from September 5. Changed to: “All existing sites to be 5’ from the property lines and all other sites to be 20’ from property lines. Told board he went before the ZBA and they told him he was grandfathered. And he showed them a plan for future expansion.
Jae asked the Sullivan’s if they could provide a packet to the secretary of this information in two weeks. Then the secretary could make sure that the board had copies to view and she would get a copy and the abutters. They agreed. (Can they expand in this zone)

Bonnie asked why they just don’t go bother the ZBA now. Jae said the Sullivan’s thought they didn’t need approval. So they came before the PLBD. When the PLBD decides what has to be done then they will go before the ZBA because of a determination.

Karen asked when the sites were put in the RES1. Jason Sullivan said some were in 1973 and others in 1999.

Joe Trainor wants to know how many sites were actually there. Too many different numbers. Mary Sullivan said they had not added the cabins which is 7.

Mary Sullivan said they have on the entrance paper all the rules. They do not allow fireworks, they have quiet time and on barking dogs.

Jae said she rarely recommends the Board conduct individual visits to the site by the Board members. If they do, do not talk to the owners (not even ‘hi’) or have any conversations with them.

This public hearing is to be continued till February 2nd.

Brian Mycko made a motion to: adjourn. Bonnie Moroney seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Meeting ended at 10:00 PM.