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Minutes of 5/6/2021

May 12th, 2021

Town of Carroll Planning Board
Meeting Minutes
May 6, 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, Brian Mycko, Austin Alvarez, Julie Roesbery

Public Present: Imre Szauter, Heather Brown, Lisa Harley, Kevin Leonard, Principal Engineer, Northpoint Engineering, LLC, Greg & Lori Hogan, W Vecchio, Charl, Roger Phelps, Yatin Patel at 7:20 p.m.

Minutes Taken By: Judy Ramsdell

Item 1: The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Foti at 7:02 p.m.

Chairperson Foti stated this is the May 6, 2021, meeting of the Town of Carroll Planning Board and pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04, we are conducting this meeting electronically because of the on-going COVID outbreak and to ensure the safety of all participants. He then asked all participating members to state their name and remote location and if anyone else was present at their remote location.

Foti – Home, two kids home plus husband and friend, Diane, but not with him
Finn – at home, wife Linda in other room
Mycko – home alone
Alvarez – home in the upstairs office, wife is downstairs
Roesbery – home alone

Chairperson Foti stated that there is not a quorum, and asked for Brian to be activated for the duration of this meeting. He is now a seated member of the board.

Item 2: Pledge of Allegiance

Item 3: Approval of April 1, 2021 Minutes

Chair Foti had a couple items to be edited from last month’s minutes:
Page 2, Fourth Paragraph: Kevin said he was here in the fall for a conceptual (add review)
Halfway down in the same paragraph: same page: While doing this sub-division and merger says we (should be they--not the board, but the applicant would clean it up).
Under Item #7, last page, last line: The route (should be root)
No other board comments.
Kevin Leonard had some edits as follows:
Page 3, Second Paragraph, Fourth line down: there is a forest buffer between the pit and the pit is upwind (should be upland not upwind)
Page 7, middle of the first paragraph: They are actually called hydro (should be high load not hydro)
Same paragraph about 8 lines from the end: One of the things are alternation (should be alteration not alternation)
Page 8, #3: They are proposing to provide open space as part of the development and replace (should be preserve not replace)
Page 11 – last line – have some turning distances ( should be movements not distances)

Mike Finn made a motion to accept the minutes as edited. Austin Alvarez second. All in favor, no opposed. The minutes of April 1, 2021 are approved as edited.

Item 4: Conceptual Consultation – Greg Hogan; subdivide land

Greg Hogan said down at the former police station 480 Route 3 there is a piece of land that they would like to see if it can be subdivided. It will be a small parcel. Part of the reason for doing this is it is partially on the snowmobile trail. In the future they may want to sell that property, but they don’t want to sell that small piece with it. They want to protect the snowmobile trail, and there is a billboard on that piece they would like to keep as well. Knowing it is not an acre lot, and it won’t conform to the regs of the town, which Greg and Lori are fine with. They want to keep that in their name and protect the snowmobile trail, so it could never be closed. They would keep the billboard sign. They would keep that in the deed saying it would be permanent. It may be as small as a 1/10th of an acre approximately until they know they can do it and then will get it surveyed. Alex asked if their idea is to have a lot that will not be a buildable lot, and it will be preserved for access for the snowmobile trail? Greg said yes. Alex asked if they had considered creating an easement that would preserve this piece of land to give it to the snowmobile club? Greg said they want to keep that piece and keep the billboard for obvious reasons. Alex said he has not encountered a case like this before, and with his lack of experience he personally doesn’t see an issue with it. Any thoughts or questions on this from other board members? Mike Finn asked if they are planning to have it surveyed and registered for tax purposes? Greg said absolutely, they will do it legally and get it done properly. It will be a subdivision on the tax map and will be surveyed with pins. Alex was wondering if we can do a waiver to get it through that way? Alex doesn’t foresee any big issues. Because of the unusual nature of the request, we should do a little research to be sure we don’t encounter any obstacles, or having it appealed by the Board of Selectmen, and end up in another conundrum like we currently are. Let the board do a little homework and make sure there is no unforeseen circumstance to be addressed. Alex doesn’t see it being an issue. Nice they are doing it and appreciate it. It certainly helps the community. Lori Hogan said she wants to let the Board know that it is a state approved billboard and has been for many, many years. It is registered and approved. Alex said that is pre-existing and not even an issue. Alex said it is on our end to see what we need to cross the t’s and dot the i’s because we are essentially creating a non-conforming lot. Alex said he doesn’t see it being an issue because it cannot be built on, but he just wants to be sure we are doing it the right way. Alex said we don’t want a long, drawn-out battle with the select board. Alex will do it quickly so if they want to come to the next meeting and get it done.

Item 5: Consultation – Yatin Patel: relocation of sign, Fosters Crossroads

Yatin was not in attendance. Tabled at this time.

Item 6: Subdivision & Lot Merger Application submitted by Kevin Leonard of Northpoint Engineering, LLC, on behalf of Pike Industries, Inc. The applicant proposes to merge Map/Lot: 204-005-000-000 and Map/Lot: 204/006-000-000, located at Route 3 North, Twin Mountain, NH and then subdivide 11.11 acre frontage from Lot 5. New lot is located in the southeast corner of Lot, across from Ledoux Drive, Land above the bluff will create buildable area for new lot. Bluff and wetland at bottom of bluff is expected to remain undisturbed. This property is zoned Industrial (IND).

Chair Foti said that this application was accepted as complete at the last meeting. We were looking at three waivers: not to delineate the wetlands since they are not impacted by the development; second one was to not worry about the boundary survey on the rear of the parcel, as it is not affected by the subdivision. The third waiver is to use the available LIDAR maps for topography. These were the waivers for the subdivision/merger. Kevin said that he is representing Pike Industries, and he is working for 3G Eagle, LLC. Chair Foti said that we don’t need to go through the whole plan again. There is probably more questions on the site plan side rather than the subdivision and lot merger. Alex said that we looking at these waivers, the three waivers he was requesting, one for the wetlands, one for boundary survey, and one for the LIDAR maps. Chair Foti asked the board for any concerns on the waivers? Mike Finn does not have a problem. Alex agrees with Mike. Alex said that he now understands the wetlands are not impacted by this plan, and he certainly has no issue with the boundary not being surveyed in an area that is not going to touched. LIDAR maps are pretty good these days, and he sees no reason to spend funds on that. No questions on the subdivision and lot merger. The site plan application is separate from this application.

Brian Mycko made a motion to approve this application. Mike Finn second. All in favor, no opposed. The motion passes. The application for the subdivision and lot merger is approved.

Item 7: Site Plan Application- Submitted by Kevin Leonard of Northpoint Engineering, LLC, on behalf of Pike Industries, Inc. The applicant proposes to pursue a Planned Unit Development (PUD) conditional use permit and acceptance of the concept plan to serve as a schematic master plan of a commercial phased development on the new 11.11-acre frontage lot. The project is looking to bring commerce, job opportunities and tax revenue to the town. Phase One is expected to consist of a middle building site which will consist of 8,464 square foot distribution/warehouse with a small office. Property is located at (proposed new lot) Map/Lot 204-005-001-000, located on Route 3 North, Twin Mountain, NH. This property is zoned Industrial (IND).

This site plan application is for a Planned Unit Development with no residential units. Our planned use development regulations pertain to common areas and things like that that relate to residential developments and are not applicable in these circumstances. Key issues at the last meeting: question about snowmobile access which falls around the middle of the lot and the snowmobile club would like to maintain it as it is because of the difficulty of crossing Route 3 in that section. There was a question on the waiver of setbacks. The explanation of that is that the trucks are going to need to come in out back into the bay areas for loading and unloading of cargo. It is in the interest of everybody for that to happen in the back side of the lot rather than the front so the buildings need to be brought forward to Route 3 just enough to not meet the setback requirements. That would then allow to have the loading area out back out of sight and out of the frontage on the lot. The biggest area of discussion was fire protection. We will definitely need to discuss that and see if Kevin was able to come up with a solution. The existing fire hydrant is 1,000 feet down Route 3 across the street. Chief Oleson brought up the fact that if there is an issue, it might be quite challenging to lay a fire hose across the street on Route 3, a very busy road. His preference would be to add a hydrant on this side of the lot versus building water tanks to ensure fire protection for the development. It is more of a financial decision/logistical decision that the applicant needed to think through and give us an idea. There was a question about hours of operation that Kevin hopefully has an answer to. We have received a letter from the residents of the neighboring section of Parker Road. Alex read the letter, which is attached and are a part of these minutes. There are a number of signatures and list of dates submitted that reference the buffer zone history relating to the property by the Carroll Board of Adjustment. Chair Foti read the dates, which are attached and are a part of these minutes. Alex has some questions about this petition, and would like to hear public input from the people who signed the petition. The petition is specifically referring to the sand and gravel lot. This application is creating a separate lot, and this will have a planned unit development on it. The sand and gravel plant lot is not being touch by this application. Alex was not entirely clear what is being asked. Mike Finn said the last point was that they were concerned about a tree buffer zone more than anything else. They were concerned what kind of tree buffer would be maintained. There were 22 signatures so it is probably the whole neighborhood. There is nobody here to talk about it tonight. Is the concern over the gravel plant, which Alex said he fully agrees that there should be some vegetative buffer around the gravel plant verses this new development which is quite different in nature from the gravel plant, which is highly industrial creating dust and noise. Can Kevin speak to any vegetative buffer between the road and the asphalt? Kevin said he wants to point out the right of way is pretty wide so there is a grass swale and slope that goes to the pavement and property line. Kevin said to his knowledge the industrial zone doesn’t have any buffer requirements. Alex said it is not a requirement. It is a request to see if there is a way that this can happen. Kevin said he thinks the board would be flexible to propose some plantings between the property line and the proposed driveways. He doesn’t know if the buffer is going to be 50 feet. Alex doesn’t think they can fit a 50-foot buffer in. Kevin said he doesn’t envision it to be completely screened. It would be more like adding landscape elements to soften the view shed from the road. They can propose something like that. Alex said especially adding plantings along the driveway. Kevin said that he wants to point out they are seeking a conditional use permit for the idea to get a planned unit development. The next step when we get past this one would be comprehensive design plans for each phase as they are advancing with drainage and utilities. They can include landscaping in that phase. Kevin asked if the board wants a condition on the CUP and PUD with some sort of language or treat it on a case by case as the phases progress? Alex said he would like to hear the board input on this, but he is always keen on respecting the neighbors’ wishes and be as good of a neighbor as possible. However, Alex said he also feels just looking at the plans maintaining a significant vegetative buffer is not really possible. Using landscaping to soften the looks of the development is a good thing. Alex said this development all it is really facing primarily is the UPS center. Not sure how he sees the people who signed the petition are directly impacted by this. Julie Roesbery asked if it is going to be similar to UPS where it is all trucks going in and out and there is no buffer at all. UPS is just sitting there with no trees, and it is very noisy and a lot of traffic. Is there any buffer at all? She said you mentioned the trucks coming in to the back so will we be looking at the back of the facility from Route 3? Kevin said that would be the alternative. What they are proposing is to have a front with a vestibule and the overhead doors are in the back. Trucks would actually back in and go inside. Alex said to keep in mind is that the trucks are going into the back of the building. The front of the building is not what is utilized by the trucks to load or unload the cargo. Julie said so it not going to be like what UPS does. Alex said he feels including considerations for landscaping in the individual developments is going to be sufficient from his perspective as far as this concept plan goes. As we get into the details of each building, we can figure out how to best incorporate shrubbery and things like that to make it more integrated with the surrounding landscape. Austin said he agrees that would be fine if we just make a notation that we are going to consider that in each phase as it gets developed.

Snowmobile access, has there been any further consideration on that? As a planning board, we need to consider the interest of the town and snowmobiling has a very strong following in the town, and is important not only to our residents but to our economy. Just want to understand what the provisions are going to be to ensure that continues. Kevin said that both Pike and his client have every intention to make sure the snowmobile access is maintained. Kevin spoke to Larry Major, who is the real estate development director for Pike yesterday and reviewed that map we were looking at last month and explained to him the idea that the crossing wants to stay where it is and the preferred route would be for the trail to come to the north side of the new lot and then come down the side of Route 3 and cross where it crosses now. Mr. Major doesn’t see an issue with that, but he needed to check with his leadership and get back to Kevin by the end of the week or so. Kevin also offered when he continues his conversations with DOT on the driveway permit, he can talk to DOT about the actual idea of moving the crossing straight across to eliminate the need for snowmobilers to travel south come across and then travel north. He doesn’t know if they would be respective to that, but it might make more sense for everybody. He can broach that when he meets with them. Alex said he would be comfortable putting in snowmobile access be preserved somehow. Brian Mycko is the snowmobiling person, and he said that works. He said he knows that DOT has had a lot of trouble with permits for snowmobiles crossing the roads.

Fire protection, what are Kevin’s thoughts on that and how are they going to address that? Kevin said that Greg Hogan got some flow rates of the main over on Parker Road and Kevin got that data to Milestone Engineering and Construction, who is going to build Phase I. They connected with Hampshire Fire, who is a sprinkler contractor that designs those systems. Kevin said that they learned the existing pressures and flows to support a sprinkler system are marginal. The concern is you bring the water main across, and you won’t have pressure or flow to simply plumb to the sprinkler system without putting in a cistern and a fire pump to boost the pressure. Alex said so that connecting to town water won’t be sufficient to provide enough flow? Kevin said that is right. Frank Lemay and Kevin met with Chief Oleson last week and talked about the situations and what he was looking for. We cycled back with Hampshire Fire and what they were proposing to do was an on-site cistern to support the sprinkler system and adding an allocation with an on-site hook-up for the fire trucks that would serve as an on-site source for the fire department to connect to. The one part we are not finally tuned in on is how many gallons does the Fire Chief want? Kevin said he sent him a suggestion of 5,000 gallons based on what Frank thought would be reasonable. Kevin is waiting to hear back from the Fire Chief. Alex said it sounds like you have made some progress and that is great. Would Kevin have any concerns with a condition on the approval that you have an agreement with the Fire Chief for what this system is going to look like final? Kevin can continue his negotiations with Chief, and as long as there is an agreement the Board is good. Kevin said that is reasonable. It would be helpful to know what the Chief is thinking he wants for gallonage. Kevin said he understands that the Chief is trying to evaluate the situation and make sure it is adequate. Alex said from the planning board perspective we worry about the fire protection not just for the building itself but for the protection of the rest of the town, our residents, and our fire department staff. We would want the Fire Chief to agree to it anyways before we issue an approval. Mike Finn said because of the nature of the businesses going in here, does the NH State Fire Marshall have to get involved in terms of approving the sprinkler system or suppression equipment as far as the buildings are concerned? Kevin said that it is building code related. We are storing commercial vehicles inside, which Phase I will do, and that triggers a need for a sprinkler system which is actually unusual for that size building. You usually need a bigger building to warrant sprinklers, but it is the use that makes them required. Per building code, they need to be installed for the use, and a fire protection engineer would design them to state standards.

Alex asked Kevin if he had any thoughts or ideas on the hours of operation? Kevin said he confirmed that the hours of operation will be from 5:30 a.m. and Phase 1 will probably end the day by 4 to 5 p.m. Thinking of the bigger picture for what might be there, he was proposing 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Kevin said that he did track down UPS hours, and what was available on line was: 5:15 to 6:30. These proposed hours are very similar to UPS. Alex said it seems reasonable to him.

The last item for the board to address was the issue of setbacks. The reason for requesting a waiver of the standard setbacks for this type of property is in the interest of allowing the trucks to be in the back of the property further away from other developments and from the road. Alex thought this seemed like a reasonable compromise. We are also not talking about a huge waiver of the dimensional requirements there. Alex personally doesn’t have any concerns. Does anyone on the board have any concerns? Mike said he doesn’t have any. Austin said he doesn’t. Julie asked if Pike is going to be operating there with their sand and gravel operation? Alex said that Pike’s portion is not being touched. We are not changing anything with the sand and gravel plant. Alex asked if there were any other questions or concerns with this conditional use permit?

Kevin said he would suggest that obviously they will get all state permits and a DOT driveway permit. Alex said that all necessary permits are a requirement.

No further discussion, Alex said that he would propose an approval and he will summarize what he has heard that we would like to set as conditions:
Preserve snowmobile access whether it is by maintaining the current accesses or obtaining DOT approval for moving that somewhere else on the property.
Address a landscaping plan when we get to the applications for the individual phases.
Fire protection will need to be agreed to with Fire Chief Oleson.
We would be granting a waiver of setbacks.

Any concerns or questions or can we move on to a vote?

Austin Alvarez asked if we are just approving the planned unit development? Each phase will come in separately? Alex said yes that those will come in as site plan applications. Right now we are looking at the whole idea of doing something with this parcel in a phased-approach, which is the PUD concept. Then as they start fine-tuning exactly what they are doing in each phase, that will be subject to its own discussion. Alex said that we can move on to a vote.

Mike Finn made a motion that we move, based on the four items mentioned, and approve the application. Brian Mycko second. All in favor, no opposed. The motion passes. The application for the conditional use permit is granted.

Alex asked Kevin he had already submitted a written waiver request. Was that in the original application? Alex said he just needs something in writing so that he can sign it. Kevin said there are waivers on the subdivision. Alex said that there were waivers for the setbacks for the buildings. Kevin said that is part of the PUD approval.

Kevin asked if he should be working with the planning department about recording final plans? Alex said he should get it to the town hall and as soon as they get it Alex will sign it and get it recorded. Kevin will work out the fees with them as well.

Item 5: Consultation – Yatin Patel: Relocation of Sign – Fosters Crossroads

Yatin is in attendance at this time. Yatin said he wants to relocate his sign. Apologized for being late. He needs a permit for the driveway from DOT. Still waiting on that, and they did a traffic pattern study. The state has the land that is very close to the parking lot, and they want Yatin to buy that land. There is an encroachment agreement from DOT to buy that land within two years, but they want Yatin to relocate the sign as well. They are not changing the size, light or anything else with the sign. It is just a relocation of the sign for the purpose of the traffic pattern study. He would like to ask the Planning Board if he needs to submit an application for a permit to relocate the sign? Alex said we would need an updated map to be recorded. Alex was checking to see what was needed. Alex said that on Page 2 of our site plan regulations it does state that changing of the sign does require a site plan review. Alex said he doesn’t expect that to be a challenging review as it is a minor site plan review. It will be the simplified version, and we can get it done in a single meeting. Alex asked Yatin to work with the office on getting in an application for the next meeting so we can get through that. Austin asked for clarification—where do we stand on this project? Yatin said he needs one more permit from DOT. The shoreland protection permit is already granted, and with the permit we need to stay at least 6 feet away from the rebar. Yatin has the Town of Carroll demolition and building permits. DOT is concerned with the traffic patterns. Yatin said the gas deliveries come early in the morning, and won’t affect the traffic pattern on Route 3. His building contractor and demolition contractor don’t want to start until they get the permit from DOT. It could be an issue for them as well, and they aren’t comfortable to start until they have the DOT permits and encroachment agreement. The state needs to weigh in on the project. They are supposed to give him something the second week of May. He is still waiting and has submitted all the documents they have been asking for, all the engineering and documents from 1971 what has been done with the property. They are just waiting to hear from DOT for the conditional permit for approval, and they can move forward and commit to the Town of Carroll and start. Alex was wondering what is Yatin’s thinking of when he can actually start the work? Yatin said he was hoping for end of April, start of May. They can’t play around in the winter in the shoreland area, and they were worried about the building falling in the river. They are using an excavator for the demolition so that wouldn’t be an issue. Yatin is ready to go as soon as permits are issued. Yatin said he needs the proper permits. Fingers crossed that he can start soon.

Item 8: Follow-Up – Driveway Regulations

Alex said that keeps being on our agenda, and Dave is purposely avoiding our meetings so we don’t have to talk about it. Alex said the zoning board agenda that was posted today said the select board has decided to sue the zoning board so it is going to court. Our taxpayer dollars at work. We are just going to have to wait until we hear on a resolution from them. Austin Alvarez asked about the driveway regulations is that part of a sub-divided piece of property? Austin was not here for that. Alex said that there is parcel up at Ledgewood there is really no way to access it. They wanted to building a house on it, and the neighbors have agreed to provide an easement so they could leverage their existing driveway and extend it to have access to this lot to build a lovely, million-dollar plus home which would bring the town some nice revenue and everybody is happy. Our zoning regulations do not talk about driveways, but there is a definition which is in our site plan regulations and the definition of a driveway is that it serves no more than two lots. That would make this to require a waiver to have a third lot on the same driveway. Alex said the Board granted that waiver. The select board for reasons we still are yet to understand since Dave has not been willing to talk about it while this litigation is going on. The select board has appealed the decision. If the select board doesn’t agree with a decision the planning board make it goes to zoning for an appeal. At the ZBA hearings it wasn’t entirely clear about what the appeal was based on. Originally it was based on the fact that Alex can’t remember and suggested Austin read the minutes. Austin said he did, but they were very confusing. Alex said there wasn’t a clear understanding of what the problem was, and nobody still seems to understand that. The ZBA unanimously agreed with the Planning Board decision. The select board appealed again as they can appeal twice. The second time they appealed on the basis that the Chairman of the Zoning Board was bias and should have abstained himself. Strange argument because it was a unanimous decision and even if he had not voted on it, it would have still been approved. The board agreed at that time there was no conflict of interest as there was no financial involvement. Their concern was that Aaron Foti owns Bretton Woods Vacations who rents space from Peabody & Smith which is owned by Andy Smith who is a friend of the person who is applying for this and Andy is representing him. There are several degrees of separation there. The ZBA thought that made no sense and upheld the PB decision. This is going to Superior Court to adjudicate whether to uphold the decision that the PB made when they started this or whether to reverse it. That is the big picture. Austin asked if this is solely an issue with town regulations, and doesn’t have anything to do with the state? Alex said this is solely the town’s regulations. He believes Bethlehem regulations states a driveway can serve three lots. It is a town decision. Not clear to Alex what the concern is, but obviously the select board feels very strongly about it.

Julie asked about a noise ordinance we were discussing back before Christmas. Julie said that Mr. Scalley said he would write something up on it and we would vote on it in March. Alex said that it was determined there is already a noise ordinance that exists in our zoning ordinance. The town does have a noise provision that is enforceable by the police so we didn’t need to bring it to a vote because it already exists. It was clarified at a meeting. Everybody does know now the town has a noise ordinance, and we have the ability to enforce it.

Chair Foti introduced Lisa Harley the new planning and land use secretary.

Roger Phelps asked about the Mt. Deception site plan. Alex said it was withdrawn. He is not sure if it is going to resurface. Mr. Phelps said he is calling in from Arizona.

Julie asked about an in-person meeting for next month? Lisa said she is not sure. Alex said we have a month to figure it out.

Item 9: Adjourn

Mike Finn motioned to adjourn the meeting. Bryan Mycko second. All in favor, no opposed. Meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.