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Minutes of 2/4/2021

February 9th, 2021

Town of Carroll Planning Board
Meeting Minutes
February 4, 2021
7:00 PM

“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 RSA 91-A:2.”

Due to COVID-19/Coronavirus crisis and in accordance with Governor Sununu’s Emergency Order #12 pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04, The Town of Carroll Boards are authorized to meet electronically. The Board will be conducting meetings through the Zoom app.

Planning Board Members Present: Chairperson Alex Foti, Vice Chairperson Mike Finn, Selectperson’s Representative David Scalley, Julie Roesbery, Donna Foster and Brian Mycko

Public Present: Karen Moran, Jeremy Oleson, Robert Gauthier

Minutes Taken by: Heather Brown, Secretary

ITEM 1: The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Foti at 7:01 p.m.

Chairperson Foti stated the reason for the virtual meeting was due to the Carroll Town Hall being closed because of COVID-19. He then asked all participating members to state their name and remote location and if anyone was present at their remote location.

Foti – at home, in room alone; kids, Aaron and friend Diane are in another room
Foster – at home, in room alone; husband in another room
Finn – at home, in room alone; wife in another room
Roesbery – at home, in room alone
Scalley – at his office, alone

ITEM 2: Pledge of Allegiance

ITEM 3: Approval of Minutes

Chairperson Foti asked if everyone had a chance to review the minutes from the last meeting to make sure they were accurate as the application that we (the Planning Board) approved for Mr. Gould was appealed by the Select Board, so it is going to go to Zoning Board and then could end up in a contested situation, so it’s important our minutes are as accurate as possible.

Chairperson Foti stated that he did not have any edits, but if anyone else did to speak up.

David Scalley requested to make a notation to the meeting minutes on page 3, last paragraph, and first sentence:

Andy Smith: from a timing standpoint there is, we intended to go to the Zoning Board, but in consultation with the Chairmen (Planning and Zoning) and Mr. Scalley, we all agreed there was nothing, no variance. This is what we were requested to do. We went back to the surveyor, asked him to do a new plan, done with our best efforts to do what the town would like, met with the Fire Chief and Police Chief, were coming with a plan as requested that shows this and believes the Planning Board does have the right to approve this subdivision plan as presented.

David Scalley stated that he was never in a consultation with the Planning and Zoning chairs with Andy Smith and would like that to be corrected.

Amended minutes (page 3, last paragraph) to read:
Andy Smith: from a timing standpoint there is, we intended to go to the Zoning Board, but in consultation with the Chairmen (Planning and Zoning), we all agreed there was nothing, no variance. This is what we were requested to do. We went back to the surveyor, asked him to do a new plan, done with our best efforts to do what the town would like, met with the Fire Chief and Police Chief, were coming with a plan as requested that shows this and believes the Planning Board does have the right to approve this subdivision plan as presented.

David Scalley requested to make another notation to the meeting minutes on page 5, second paragraph, second sentence and last sentence.

David Scalley: So in the 2004 subdivision approval, those bottom two lots were being served by one driveway and because of the third driveway up top we couldn’t get a driveway in the condition where it was in the original subdivision approval, that why we put the hammerhead in and extended the road to be part of the road, then that lower driveway would be removed so those two lots could be served by one driveway. Now if you do this again for a landlocked lot that was purchased and you want to put a third driveway on there. We already negotiated a deal last year or the year before to put the hammerhead in so there was only two lots being served by one driveway. I do agree with Mike (Hogan), it has to come to the Zoning Board. We’ve already set precedent, we’ve done it with Longview, Woodland Acres and Ben Jellison’s lot, not even six months ago, approving a third house lot on a single driveway. And when you come to the Zoning Board that driveway is going to have meet a certain criterion to meet the hardship to have that third lot off there.
David Scalley stated the second sentence should read: Now if you do this again the landlocked lot that was purchased and you want to put a third lot off this driveway. – Chairperson Foti agreed.
David Scalley stated the last sentence should read: And when you come to the Zoning Board that driveway is going to have to meet a certain criterion to meet the hardship to have that third lot off this driveway. –Chairperson Foti agreed these were good edits.

Amended minutes (page 5, second paragraph) to read:
David Scalley: So in the 2004 subdivision approval, those bottom two lots were being served by one driveway and because of the third driveway up top we couldn’t get a driveway in the condition where it was in the original subdivision approval, that why we put the hammerhead in and extended the road to be part of the road, then that lower driveway would be removed so those two lots could be served by one driveway. Now if you do this again the landlocked lot that was purchased and you want to put a third lot off this driveway. We already negotiated a deal last year or the year before to put the hammerhead in so there was only two lots being served by one driveway. I do agree with Mike (Hogan), it has to come to the Zoning Board. We’ve already set precedent, we’ve done it with Longview, Woodland Acres and Ben Jellison’s lot, not even six months ago, approving a third house lot on a single driveway. And when you come to the Zoning Board that driveway is going to have to meet a certain criterion to meet the hardship to have that third lot off this driveway.

Vice Chairperson Finn requested feedback/reasoning on why the Select Board made the decision to override the Planning Board.

David Scalley responded that it would have to be discussed with legal or he could come to the Select Board and direct that question. That’s not a Planning Board question to be answered by the Select Board.

Vice Chairperson Finn explained that the Planning Board made a decision and has some right to know. His concern is that when the Town runs into an issue, whether it’s the Zoning or Planning Board and it results in a legal action, they never get the feedback on what was done wrong or the circumstances that created that legal issue, so the Board doesn’t learn anything to not repeat the same problem again. He feels that we can all agree, that we’re all citizens here and we volunteer to be on this Planning Board, and he’ll be the first one to say that he’s not an expert on Planning matters, but sits on the Board, and when things happen and it gives the town a problem…

Vice Chairperson Finn stated that it’s not a question of whether it was airtight decision or not, but more ‘what did we do wrong here’ so we can make sure we don’t repeat. I realize it’s a driveway issue. If you share with us, or maybe even taken your advice and went to legal counsel first… Without getting feedback we are not going to learn anything.

David Scalley stated that it’s going to the Zoning Board of Appeals right now. The Select Board appealed the Planning Board’s decision of having three lots off one driveway and the description of a definition. And that’s all I can really say until the Zoning Board hears the case and what their decision is, is when the clarification can be decided.

Vice Chairperson Finn requested that after the legal portion is done that feedback be given, so the same mistake is not made again.

David Scalley responded that they absolutely would, as they did that with the Zoning Board on another issue that there was a problem with and after it was all said and done we explained to the Zoning Board where the mistake was made.

Chairperson Foti stated that is could be technicality too. We don’t know that a mistake was made.
Vice Chairperson Finn responded that he was just speaking rhetorically.

Julie Roesbery stated that a decision was made and it didn’t come back to us. We need to understand the decision that was made.

Chairperson Foti stated that it’s the process and it would not come back to the Planning Board; it would go to zoning. That is the due process. Which if the Select Board does not agree with the decision that we made, they have the right to go to the Zoning Board. I do agree it would be very helpful for the Board, as Mike pointed out, the fact that we are all volunteers and we do our best to apply the regulations as we see them and understand them. Certainly, having legal counsel weigh in on the decision that is made will help us be more prepared for future cases that may be similar in nature. I do think the process is the process that should be followed, there really is no mechanism to go back to Planning Board. Once we made the decision, we made the decision. We can’t just change it, even if we’re told, or even if we’re shown or get convinced that it was the wrong decision, it still needs to be zoning to agree to that.

Vice Chairperson Finn made a motion to approve the minutes from January 7, 2021 as amended. Julie Roesbery seconded the motion. ROLL CALL VOTE: Foti-in favor, Finn-in favor, Foster-in favor, Roesbery-in favor, Scalley-in favor, Mycko-in favor. Motion carries, minutes from are approved as amended.

David Scalley asked Chairperson Foti if he could address the Board.

David Scalley explained to the Board that they are seeking a new applicant for the position of Land Use Secretary, as Heather will be moving up in her position and taking over the admin. position. Heather has also accepted to continue working with Land Use as well as working through the Selectmen’s admin position, so there will be some backup until there is an applicant for the seat.

ITEM 4: Adjourn

Vice Chairperson Finn made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Chairperson Foti seconded the motion. ROLL CALL VOTE: Foti-AYE, Finn-AYE, Foster-AYE, Roesbery-AYE, Scalley-AYE, Mycko-AYE. All in favor. Motion carries. Meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.