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Minutes of Town Board Meetings

Minutes of 6/20/2017

June 28th, 2017


June 20, 2017

Members Present: Acting Chair Paul Bussiere, Chris Pappas, Joan Karpf and John Trammell
Public: Robert Carey, Counsel for the ZBA, Jae Whitelaw, Counsel for the PLBD, Jason Bielagus, Counsel for the Trainor’s, Rachel Hempe, Counsel for Sullyville, LLC/Beech Hill Campground/Sullivan’s, Bob & Judy O’Leary, Len Wood, Walter Mycroft, Joe & Lisa Trainor, Chris Allen, John & Anita Greer, Jason & Mary Sullivan, Mike & Genesis Sullivan, John & Elaine Niemiec
Minutes taken by: Rena Vecchio
Pledge of Allegiance: 7:20 PM
Acting Chair Bussiere asked that all persons identify themselves when speaking. He asked the board to please introduce themselves to the public.
Attorney Bielagus asked if they could also record the meeting. The said Chair said yes.
The Chair said he was only taking new information tonight. He asked if anyone had new information that they wanted to present before the board went into deliberation.
• Jason Bielagus said that there was an issue with a 91-A request to the Planning Board/Town. They requested any information on that Lot from this owner, any previous owners, variances, special exceptions, site plans or permits, if any. At this time not all the information is in. He feels it would be easier to deal with any incoming information that may be pertinent, then to have the board make a decision and have to deal with that and the new
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information. What would you do then? That is why they would like the
hearing to be left open..
• Chair Bussiere said that the process usually goes to deliberation and if any decisions are made, the losing side has 30 days to go back to the ZBA with any new information and further to the courts. So he said he feels that gives both sides ample opportunity to bring forth new information.
• Rachel Hempe said they would object to the request to leave this open. We have additional information they would like presented tonight. They have no idea what the 91-A request is and therefore cannot even say if it is relevant.
• Bob Carey said he had two questions for Jason Bielagus.
1. What investigations had he and his clients done of public records?
2. What specific arguments presented on behalf of Sullyville, LLC did he feel he did not have the ability to counter?
• Jason Bielagus said the first thing that pops up is the 2002 meeting:
1. What was the application for?
2. What notice was given, if any?
3. Under what Statute was it done?
4. What effect if any were those 2002 proceedings?
We do not have enough information to answer any of these questions tonight. We looked into:
1. Coos County Registry of Deeds
2. Town Tax Cards
3. Land in question files
4. Clients looked at minutes
5. Tyler Phillips, Horizon Engineering, looked into the title search
• Bob Carey said that Jason Bielagus had contacted him and Jae Whitelaw thru email and letters June 16th, asking the ZBA to leave this open until all
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information was in. He said he contacted Jason today asking what his position was and as of 7 PM had not received a response.
• Jason Bielagus said he was on the road for 3 hours.
• Bob Carey asked if the board wanted to go into non-public to consider the request to keep the hearing open.
• Paul Bussiere asked the board and they agreed that they wanted to go into non-public.
Paul announced the board would take a 5 minute recess to go into non-public to consider the request to keep the hearing open.
The board came back into the public hearing.
Paul said there was a question to the board from Jason Bielagus about not closing the hearing tonight. He asked Jason if he had anything else to say:
• Jason said that he talked to the ZBA Counsel, Bob Carey and the town Counsel, Jae Whitelaw and it appears that there is only one persons emails still not in. Jae said she expects to get those emails from the board member on a disk no later than next week, hopefully. All the files have been gone thru by Jason and the Trainor’s and the staff of the town. It is my belief that it is just the one board member. Jason said if that is the case, that they have everything pertaining to the land, correspondence to the owners and previous owners, permits, etc, they do not think they need to leave the hearing open if they are satisfied that all the information is in except for the one board member.
Paul asked if anyone else had something new to present:
• Rachel Hempe introduced herself. She said she will not rehash what was discussed at the last meeting. She said that they do have new exhibits that show that Sullyville/Beech Hill has been a legal grandfathered
Rachel went on with her presentation:

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• The binder handed out have the items A-Q that were discussed at the last meeting. New items R-S-T are copies of the NH Campground Guides dated 2004 with 142 sites, 2001 with 137 sites and 1989. They also included the Lot Line Adjustment plan, #1884, that shows the merger of 2 lots equaling 45 acres.
• Exhibits W-II are State Septic approvals with the first one being in 1973 and along with them are the construction and operation permits to be run as a legal campground. The town was copied all of these approvals and they are in the files. And along with the approvals you will see the campsites that were hooked up to the system.
• Exhibit JJ include demo and building permits. Mr. Bousquin has copies in their files of the building permits he had obtained.
• Exhibits KK and MM shows Sullivan’s receipt from camping there in 2002 and photos from 2002-2005 and then they bought the business in 2006. In 2002 the town grandfathered the campground of 142 sites and the group camping area. The area was allowed to lawfully be used as a campground since 1973.
• Have given exhibits that show the 30 proposed RV sites are a natural expansion reflecting growth and trade. At the last meeting we mentioned
the case in Hampton of the Penny Arcade expansion. They were run by attendents and then were allowed to bring in coin operated arcades because it was a natural expansion.
• Campfires will be blown away by the northwest winds away from the Trainor’s.
• The Fire Chief said he has no problem with the expansion and no problem with the fear of extra campfires. He said the Sullivan’s keep the area clean of debris. Police Officer Tadd Bailey said they have only had 5 service calls to the area. The letter is in the binder in the town hall.
• Sullivan’s have very strict rules for noise and dogs.

Page 5
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• The proposed RV sites cannot be seen from the Trainor’s home, but can be seen by the second floor of their garage. In July 28, 2003 the garage was built without a permit and was before the Selectmen because of it (exhibit TT).
• All these Exhibits show this was a lawfully operating campground. Until very recently in NH there were no requirements to have town site plan approvals . (Sam Bouchy, President of the Campground Assoc. told them that) Mary Sullivan has been to the town office and gone thru all the campground files and only recently has one of the campgrounds had site plan approval. They were only done by the State. The town only regulated the use. It has been said that the owners of Beech Hill have had no site plan
• Plan # 448 was for a merger, with Note 2, saying that all sites out of Lot 1 must be removed, is irrelevant because lots were merged into one campground that was grandfathered. Everything that was to be removed were, tent sites, so a chair and picnic table were probably the only things to be removed. (Check 6B submitted by the Trainors.) Even if the sites had been removed they contend that the proposed sites are a natural expansion of a non-conforming campground.
• Town has taxed the sites shown in PP, QQ and RR. They have been taxed for 40 tent sites, 43 sites with water and electricity and 57 sites with water, electricity and sewer.
• There was talk of why Mr. Bousquin never mentioned to the other boards he went in front of, of the Note 2 on his Plan # 448. He never had to because they were tent sites and they were basically removed. He was not playing around with the boards. He went in front of Mr. McGee and Mr. Ricardi, both PLBD members and neither mentioned having to remove the sites again. Mr. Bousquin had 6 meetings with the PLBD, ZBA and Selectmen and nothing was ever brought up. He could not dupe all 3 boards. No one, abutters or board members, ever questioned the legality of the campground.
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• Lastly there is a lot of talk of Special Exception or Variance being needed but they disagree. Because under Common Law, which is what they are working under, there is no requirement for a Special Exception or Variance. In the letter from the PLBD of April 2002 and the minutes of the ZBA, it concludes that there was no need for a Special Exception or Variance for this lawful non-conforming use.
Rachel ended the presentation and asked if there were any questions from anyone.
Bob Carey suggested that the board address the meeting minutes of May 11, 2017 before they continue.
Chairman Bussiere asked for a motion and then they could have a discussion.
John Trammell made a motion to: approve the minutes of May 11, 2017 as written. Paul Bussiere seconded.
The secretary said she wanted the last Alternate voted and approved on May 11th as Aaron Seatian be corrected to Aaron Seaman.
Jason Bielagus said he had numerous errors and omissions he wanted corrected. He said Len Woods made a comment on the view from his land, Jason said he made an important point when talking about #448 and a comment credited to Anita Greer made no sense.
Paul said he wanted everyone to make a list of the errors and hand them in to the secretary along with the cleaned up recording of the tape recording from May 11th. Rachel said she wanted to be able to listen to the recording also. Paul said the minutes would be accepted by the board and the secretary would listen to both recordings to make sure they could definitely be the same, just cleaner with less background noise. So both parties could submit their errors to the secretary on paper. Lisa Trainor wanted to make sure that the recording is to be part of the official record. Paul said he knows that NH law requires the paper copy of the minutes. Jae wanted to make sure it would be the board that would see all of the
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error’s and the board would decide whether they agree or not. Paul said yes. Paul also said that the minutes are corrected in the following month’s minutes.
Joe Trainor wanted to address a few things said by Rachel. He said that Exhibit TT did not address the garage but the lean to on the garage. He said Rachel had said that Bousquin had gotten all the building permits that he needed but there were none in the files at the office. Bring them in.
Paul said there is still a motion on the floor and he will get back to Joe after that is dealt with.
Paul Bussiere made a motion to: approve the minutes as written.
Bob Carey spoke up saying he thought the board should table the minutes and wait to compare the minutes and errors at the same time.
Paul asked to remove his motion. Paul Bussiere made a motion to: table the minutes of May 11, 2017. Joan Karpf seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Joan Karpf wanted to ask 2 questions to the Sullivan’s. How many months are you open? Jason Sullivan, 5 months. And what is the average amount of people at each site. Mary Sullivan, it varies but 4 might be the average.
Joe Trainor said he disagrees with the statement that Officer Bailey can say there were only 5 service calls to the campground. He said he spoke directly with Chief Trammell about that and he told him the way the computer system was set up they would not be able to tell. (They would have to have the last name in order to check.) He said about the tax cards:
• 1978/78 sites
• 2004/86 sites
• 2012/no sites just buildings
• 2016/no sites but structures that are year round and owned separately and not subdivided

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The Chairmen asked that there be no rehashing or no back and forth rebuttals. The board will ask question that are relevant to them.
Jason B. has a few facts he wants to clear up. Paul said I am not trying to be a jerk, but I am just trying to keep this going.
• Jason B.- How many campsites were there in 1979? Asking for their opinion and what they are basing it on.
• Rachel H.- In my opinion that is an irrelevant question. You can look at a tax card for that information. In my opinion, it is the use that is grandfathered not how many sites. Under common law, this is a legal growing campground.
Paul said that now he wants to say that the ZBA is looking at different criteria because they are dealing with de novo. They are looking at a non-conforming use and expanding it. I feel we have listened to what everyone has to say without cutting anyone short.
Len Wood, an abutter, said he was mentioned in the presentation by Rachel. In the minutes of September 5, 2002 Mr. Bousquin is before the board for a LLA only. On page 3, Mr. Bousquin said he will be adding another 150 sites. Len Wood says he cannot recall that at all and can’t figure out why he hadn’t said something. On October 3, 2002 they discussed the motion that had been made and changed it and no one was notified or the hearing was not continued.
Paul says there is a 5 minute break.
The meeting reconvenes.
Jason B. wanted to address things that had been said tonight by Rachel:
• If they applicants stick to the facts and stick to the law they cannot prove their case.
• Burden is on applicants to show that they have a pre-existing grandfathered use from 1979.
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• Are they using the ZO or Common Law for the proposed use? Neither will support them
• Septic approvals have nothing to do with the town. It is a prerequisite to have before coming to the town.
• Plan 448A ends any lawful campground use outside of Lot 1 because of Note 2 on the plan. With that said Lot 1 is the only lawful campground use.
• RSA 674:44, Site Plans, 1983, the towns Site Plans were 1993. Anything added after 1990 needed a site plan and a variance would be needed for Lot 2 in RES 1. They have neither.
• The Arcade case was trying to put an arcade in another room in a building to modernize, which is false “expansion”
• 1990 the plan said nothing outside of Lot 1 is not an allowed use
• Bousquins bought Lot 1 and did not buy Lot 2 until 1997 so Lot 2 had abandoned the campground use.
• In 2002 a notice was sent that said Bousquin was to merge his two lots. But there was nothing that was to be said about an expansion or anything else. To clarify that notice was sent for a merger. But nothing else was to be done and no hearing was going to happen.
• None of the conversations that Bousquin had with any of the boards was legal. There were never any applications or notices given or public hearings.
• Just because in 2002 they went before the board for a merger of lots does not make everything else legal. There was still no site plan or anything.
• Asking the board to deny the expansion and to determine what was lawfully pre-existing in 1979 or Plan 448, and that is what they are allowed.
Rachel’s rebuttal:
• In 1979 Exhibit G there were 200 acres
• Yes State does do the septic approvals
• Refute burden is on them in an Appeal
• 1995 show State approval for septic for 171 sites
• The footprint of the property is the entire merged lot
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Mary Sullivan said that in 2000 the State mandated that campgrounds come into compliance. You submit your septic design and the state does come out and inspect everything and they have a large map.
Chairman Bussiere closes public hearing. And tells the board they will now deliberate.
1. Existence of a non-conforming use
• Does the board believe that any part of the campground was in use before 1979? Go to Plan 375B
Board all agree that yes it did exist prior to 1979
• Plan 448A Lots 1 & 2 Does the board believe any of these lots were used as a campground?
Board all agree that Lot 1 has most of the campground. That Lot 2 is mostly empty but that Note 2 to remove sites from Lot 2 show that it had been used.
• Did the prior owners of Sullyville abandon any use of the campground?
Board all agreed that the Lot 2 should have been removed because of Note 2 on Plans 375B & 448A. The owners of Sullyville at that time agreed to the Note 2 and therefore abandoned the right to have the campground there.
• Plan 448A –In Paul’s opinion everything outside of Lot 1 is not part of the legal non-conforming use. The fact that Lot 1, zoned RB, merged with Lot 2, zoned RES-1, does not change the zoning. The lots become 1 lot with 2 different zoned districts.
Board all agreed that Lot 1 is a legal non-conforming use and Lot 2 is an illegal non-conforming use. Lot 2 zoned RES 1 would need to get a Variance.
Paul asked the board if they agreed to go into non-public to talk to Counsel. The board agreed.
The board returned from non-public.
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Paul asked the board if they had anything to add or talk about. John Trammell said he feels that most things handed in to the ZBA were things discussed at the PLBD and they are doing everything de novo. He feels they will need to come before the ZBA for a Variance.
Joan wanted clarification on the lots and what was legal and not legal. Plan #375B showed that everything outside of Lot 2 was an illegal non-conforming use. Which creates Plan #448A and Lot 1 is now the legal non-conforming use. Paul said he thinks that the campground, Lot 1, is part of the non-conforming use and is grandfathered. Chris asked for clarification also for the non-conforming use. Chris is asked Jason B. if he was asking to remove certain sites. Bob Carey objected and said that was not in question right now. The question is if there is a non-conforming use and can it be expanded.
Paul asked the board if they all agreed that Lot 1 was a legal non-conforming use. The board all agreed.
Joan Karpf made a motion: that Lot 2 does not fall under the a legal non-conforming use in the expansion according to Plan 448A.
After much discussion of the wording of the motion, Joan Karpf rescinded her motion.
Paul Bussiere made a motion that: the area of the proposed expansion is not part of the legal non-conforming use, referencing Plan # 448A, formerly Lot 2, Note 2. John Trammell seconded and the motion passed.
Chairman Bussiere announced that the ZBA granted the Appeal to the Trainor’s and all parties who joined in the Appeal.
The next meeting is scheduled for July 13, 2017.
Chris Pappas made a motion to: adjourn. Joan Karpf seconded and the motion passed unanimously. The meeting ended at 10:00 PM.
All submitted information, from all parties, will be available to view at the town office.