2021 Chester Planning Board Meetings


Chester Planning Board Discuss Zoning Amendments and CIP
By Penny Williams   12-9-21

The Chester Planning Board met Wednesday evening, December 8, and went immediately into non-public regarding a legal issue.

Coming out of non-public the members discussed a number of issues of interest to the board but there were no appointments scheduled and no public hearings.

The board approved by consensus the issue of withdrawing the Copier Lease from the SAU  portion of the CIP.

The board then agreed they would hear the Garabedian site plan on January 5, 2022 only if all the material requested was in. Member Mike Weider gave the board members a site to review an excellent and informative seminar on mining and suggested forwarding it to Garabedian's engineer, Doug Maguire .

Planning Director Andrew Hadik went over a few hearings that will be coming up and will likely appear on the January 5, and January 12, agendas.

Hadik said he, Road Agent Mike Olsen and a DuBois and King Engineer walked the Jenkins Farm development. He indicated they found much had been done. One thing was the head walls had been fixed and the roads were in pretty good shape. However, he indicated that many of the driveway culverts are filled and need attention as do the drainage catch basins. However, he said things were further along than expected.

The board briefly discussed five potential zoning amendments.

* A definition for impervious surfaces requested by Myrick Bunker.

*An addition under Bed and Breakfast regarding detached building not being allowed but that a Variance could be sought.

* Increase the number of alternates for the Zoning Board of Adjustment from 3 to 5

* Wetland Conservation District Setback put at 65 feet.

* Myrick Bunker's reorganization of the sign ordinance. This the board felt needed further research.

The board then turned to a discussion of Table 10 of the CIP. The members focused on the CIP as needing to be made more realistic with how items would be funded. If something isn't expected to happen within the seven year coverage time it should either be put off to the side or removed entirely.

The board held what has become an annual conversation about how to determine what should be on the CIP as well as determining why those items on the CIP is needed and when it would happen and how it would be funded. Board members were concerned that the CIP is a good tool if used properly for planning and preparation but too often it isn't being properly used. They also discussed the path the CIP should follow as it goes to Budget and Board of Selectmen but felt the Planning Board is still where it should initially be dealt with.

Hadik told the board he had spent time with StreetScan and was very impressed. This system tracks the health of the town's road's pavement surfaces and evaluates and prioritizes repairs. The data is then available to the town through the Streetlogix allowing town's to have better management of their planning and maintenance of their roads.

Hadik said working with the software would allow the town to see the actual costs of road maintenance and what roads would need repair and when. He felt it would help reduce the cost of maintenance and noted that a great deal of road work has already been done and that they would see road maintenance costs start to go down.

 


Chester Planning Board Discuss Garabedian Pit Plan and Two DJ Development Conceptual Subdivisions   
By Penny Williams     12-2-21

The Planning Board met Wednesday night, September 1, and discussed the proposed plan for the Garabedian Gravel Pit as well as conceptually discussing two possible subdivisions.

The board met with Doug MacGuire, Vice President of the Dubay Group to discuss two possible subdivisions by DJ Development, owner David Haddad and to discuss the proposed plan for the Garabedian Gravel Pit .

The board had previously asked MacGuire to redo his proposed plan and make some changes and get the plan to the Town Engineer DuBois and King which he had done. However, Planning Director Andrew Hadik was unaware until the day of the meeting that this had been done. DuBois and King reviewed the plan only for setting the bond.

MacGuire felt the proposed bond amount was unnecessarily high especially since he proposes to develop the pit in phases and return to the board annually to review where they are with regard to the plan and what they want to develop next.

The board wasn't opposed to phasing in the development of the whole area, starting with the 20,000 yards initially proposed by MacGuire. MacGuire stated he felt his plan was complete although board members were not in total agreement with that assessment.

There was a discussion of the reason for the bond, that being the wear and tear on Fremont Road that will result from the trips of heavily loaded trucks while the pit is being worked.

The town has a big financial investment in Fremont Road and the board was taking every measure to ensure that any damage done to the road from trucks working the pit would be repaired at the expense of the developer. The thinking of the board was that the half a million Letter of Credit recommended by DuBois and King was justified.

MacGuire wanted to have a lower bond amount that could be adjusted annually when they returned to the board for review but the board wasn't in favor of that.

The board raised some environmental issues they felt haven't been addressed and the fact that DuBois and King has not reviewed the proposed site plan except from a bond setting perspective. The board held out for that engineering review and recommendations on the proposed plan as well as an attorney review and road agent review.

MacGuire didn't want to return to the board discuss the plan any more except to have it approved. He was told the board wouldn't move forward until it had all the recommendations and comments they needed from the engineers and attorneys. MacGuire pushed for a January 5, public hearing but was told that might be too soon.

The conceptual review of the two subdivisions that MacGuire described as significantly unique and different in terms of approach cover property located off Raymond Road and Haverhill Road.

The Raymond Road piece would be an Open Space subdivision with 8 buildings. It would be a zero lot line development with a 25 foot wide driveway into the development.

The condominium units would basically be 4 bedroom units and would be under a Homeowners Association. The board questioned whether fire equipment would be able to address the proposed unit layouts properly but noted the Fire Department would address that. The board said there were some questions whether the proposed plan met the zoning requirements. The wetlands and property lines still need to be properly addressed.

The property off Haverhill Road might possibly be developed as a work force housing development using an open space development model. The board was even more concerned about the driveway proposal being acceptable for emergency equipment but felt the push should be to keep the condominium units focused on Age Friendly Work Force house price market.

The board noted that as presented this proposed plan could need several variances. One would be needed for the total acreage needed for the plan as proposed; one would be needed for frontage issues; and, one would be needed for the dwelling size.

It was felt that the plan should go to the Technical Review Committee for its review and input and that at that meeting MacGuire would find out what's needed and what has to be addressed in his proposed plan.

The board spent some time reviewing the CIP and the changes made before it is finalized to be presented.

 


Chester Planning Board Continues More Department Capital Improvement Plans
By Penny Williams   11-11-21

The Chester Planning Board met on Wednesday, November 10, and continued reviewing Department Capital Improvement Plan items.

Andrew Hadik, Planning Director and the board reviewed four department CIP items. They started with the Chester Library, discussing things with Library Director Kandace Knowlton.

The main issue under discussion was the Patio for the library. Knowlton made it clear it is a matter of needed space driving the patio. She also indicated that the bid she received for the patio this year is fifty percent lower than the previous bid  so it is important to go for this item this year. Previously the amount for the patio was $36,000 but this year's bid was $18,000.

The board told her to check and see what the Library Trustees and/or the Library Foundation could contribute to this project and get back to the board next week.

Chester Academy SAU was represented by School Board Chair Royal Richardson and Superintendent Sharon Locke. The board went through a number of items on the SAU CIP list starting with the lease of computers which happens on a yearly basis. The school and SAU buildings' phone system needs replacement since it can't be repaired because it is so out of date. The SAU also wishes to lease its copier machine.

The board discussed the CIP eligibility of the computer and copier leases. In the end Locke and Richardson were told the board would work with them and find a way to have these items in the CIP. But it appears as though it will be both or neither.

Other items discussed included a variety of building related upgrades. The boiler replacement and buried fuel tank came in for some extended comments. Richardson pointed out the SAU has a Capital Reserve Fund for the boiler replacement that they hope will cover the cost. They need to get the tank assessed to see when it needs to be repaired or replaced.

Fire Chief Phil Gladu and the board discussed the big ticket item of replacing the fire engine. The town started last year to prepare for this by starting a Capital Reserve Fund and putting in $400,000. Selectman liaison Chuck Myette is hoping the truck replacement can be moved out an additional year to allow growing that fund more and tax payers being able to put a lesser amount in to the Capital Reserve Fund.

Gladu told the board it will take a year to 18 months to get the truck actually delivered on site once a contract for it is signed. He was not against moving it out another year on the list.

Road Agent Michael Oleson discussed the need for a new truck. He wants to order it as soon as tax payers approve it at Town Meeting and it will still take months to get it. He told the board he might be able to find a truck in April at a lower cost but to go out and search for one would require him having the money ready to pay for it.

He and the board discussed the bridges in Chester that need to be repaired or replaced and they figure it will come sooner than later.

The Hansen Road bridge should be considered before the Shepherd Home Road bridge just from a traffic standpoint. The engineering for the bridge work will probably cost $150,000 each and will need to be done before contracting for construction. They also discussed the Wason Pond bridge.

Oleson said that if he gets in the neighborhood of $1,500,000 each year for the next several years he could have Chester roads in good shape. He and the board discussed using the StreetScan tools in planning road work.

Hadik told the board there will be two conceptual subdivision discussions coming before the board in the next couple of meetings.

One conceptual discussion involves the Roach property which has been bought and the plan is develop condominiums and a private road. The second will be an Open Space development for 10 workforce housing units.


Chester Planning Board Continue Capital Improvement Plan Discussion
By Penny Williams   11-4-21

The Planning Board met Wednesday night, November 3, and a lengthy CIP discussion ensued. In addition there was a long discussion of how the CIP process is handled annually, a discussion that arises almost every year.

The board discussed the Police Department CIP items with Police Chief Aaron Berube, the Recreation Department items with Recreation Director Corinna Reishus, and General Government Buildings with Selectman Steph Landau who sat in for the ill Maintenance Director Paul Cavanaugh.

There wasn't anything new on the Police CIP and Berube indicated he does his best to keep expenditures and purchases as low as possible. He said a new cruiser has been ordered and while it will take longer than usual to get it will be delivered. The pick-up truck the department wants was downsized from a 250 to a 150 and he said his portable radios are out dated and at end of life and need replacement. He indicated he is also looking at getting a block of computers for the cruisers instead of replacing them one a year.

The plans for the new police station have halted and the $500,000 related to this pushed out to year 7. Berube indicated he would be happy to settle for a sally port which is back to where the discussion began several years back.

Reishus questioned why the new well pump and pipe project had been added to her slate from maintenance. It was later suggested it be put back in General Government Buildings Maintenance.

There was a discussion regarding the request for a fitness trail that hasn't changed much over the last couple of years. The request for engineering costs for the replacement of the Wason Pond Bride came in for a lot of discussion but Planning Director Andrew Hadik supported the $124,000 cost. The number one issue for Recreation is to get the Wason Pond bridge fixed.

Landau said there is a key card reader request for Government Buildings which set off a discussion regarding why the Town Hall has so many locked doors these days. The keys and locks need to be changed in all the buildings to be entirely safe and secure but this is a costly item. He indicated that the boiler request is for the old junior high section of town hall and at $29,500 isn't all that expensive a request.

There was a lot of discussion around the needs for Stephens Hall including the elevator replacement. The estimated upgrade and repair for the building is almost $200,000 but Landau indicated it actually might be more than that.

The parking lot at Stephens Hall and past the Library and the Post Office needs repairs and drainage issues need to be looked at. He also said that the dish washer at the Commercial Kitchen in Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) needs to be replaced and this started a discussion.

The cost of a commercial dish washer would top $10,000 but it was asked why a residential washer wouldn't work for the number of times it is needed. The only drawback would be if the MPR has to be used as a safe place with 40 or more people to feed. No hard and fast decision was reached.

Hadik reported that Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission is prepared and able to provide planning board support. A Circuit Rider would be available at some point if needed.

Hadik discuss zoning amendments saying the Growth Management Ordinance would require an in-depth study according to Attorney Bennett before changes could be made. This is because it is necessary to prove the changes are needed. A petition with 25 signatures could request such a study.

Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) Chair Billie Maloney put forward two zoning amendments. The first was to increase the number of alternate members for ZBA from 3 to 5. The second regards putting ADU detached dwelling language added to the Bed and Breakfast regulations.

Hadik reported that she does not support the proposed amendment from Myrick Bunker, Building Inspector and Code Enforcement, to reduce the wetland set back from 75-feet to 50-feet.

 


Chester Planning Board Discussed Planning Director's Need for Help
By Penny Williams  10-28-21

The Chester Planning Board discussed the Planning Director's need for help, on Wednesday October 27, and settled on looking for an administrative assistant not just a clerk.

Andrew Hadik and his board discussed  what would make the most sense and what kind of help would best address his needs. The board made the point that they were aware that he needs help immediately. They discussed whether someone who would be at the administrative level one or just a clerk would provide the best assistance.

After discussing the alternatives the board agreed that the best help for Hadik would be someone at the administrative level 1, They would be looking for someone to work 10 hours a week at a pay of $18.97 an hour. This would be someone who would fit on the matrix at grade 10 step 1.

While the board thought it would be difficult to get anyone when only offering 10 hours it was suggested to look at potential college students. The board felt someone at the administration level 1 would be most useful and helpful for Hadik. The hope would be that the individual would be looking to receive some training from him and possibly think long term and be learning how to replace Hadik at his retirement.

The board discussed the Selectmen's discussion regarding getting a Planning Circuit Rider and that the Selectmen had added $5,000 to the budget to contract with Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission for a person to fill that role. There will be additional discussions regarding this possibility and Hadik will look into the possibility.

The board approved the SAU request to release $32,657.87  in impact fees to be applied to the HVAC for the Chester Academy Library and for a new carpet for the library.

The board discussed at length the suggested zoning changes that Myrick Bunker, Code Enforcement and Building Inspector, had put forward. The present Chair of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, Billie Maloney, has let Hadik know she would like to come in and discuss these suggestions with the Planning Board. Several of the suggestions relate to buildings being placed within the wetlands buffer zone. Bunker suggested reducing that zone from the present 75 feet to 50 feet.

Board members were not in favor of this. They suggested the ZBA needs to press harder on the hardship angle of seekers wanting to reduce the wetlands set back. Hadik and the board agreed that Maloney should come in and discuss these suggestions from Bunker.

The board got into an elongated discussion of Class VI roadways, Rangeways and Kings roadways. The members feel this is an area that needs further research and information and that Chester has a number of Class VI roadways that might be Rangeways or with a little work might be upgraded to Class V road ways.

The board discussed the Street Scan and StreetLogix data and felt it is a very worthwhile data storage system that the Road Agent could make use of in planning for his road work.

The board felt this was very sophisticated data and noted that StreetScan will reviewing Chester roads again in the near future and updating changes that have been made since their first review. It was felt this data could change spending on roads and is an excellent tool for the town to have.

Future meeting dates on the CIP Project Reviews are scheduled for November 3, and November 10, with CIP finalization on November 17.

 


Chester Planning Board Determine Ark Animal Homecare Doesn't Need Full Site Plan Review
By Penny Williams   10-7-21

The Chester Planning Board met Wednesday evening, October 6, and discussed whether the Ark Animal Homecare site plan required a full site plan review.

After a discussion it was determined that some clarifications are needed but the board didn't feel the a full site plan review by the Town Engineering Firm DuBois & King was necessary.

Board members did want the exact calculation of pavement removed and replaced to ensure it wasn't adding any additional impervious surfaces since the lot at Edwards Mill is already at 28 percent where only 15 percent is generally allowed.

Ark has purchased the lot and it will provide the necessary parking for the employees and the vans as well as providing a building where animal patients can be seen on property although there will be no animals housed overnight. Proof of purchase was also wanted since the former owners name was still on the paperwork the board had.

It was noted that there might be waivers required and possibly a variance but overall it was thought that the site plan provided was sufficient and a full site plan review by DuBois & King was not needed.

The board after a brief discussion voted to approving giving Planning Director Andrew Hadik signature authority for purchases up to $100.

The board discussed the new desk printer Hadik wants and which is in the budget. Member Michael Weider didn't personally feel it was necessary since there is a big printer in the hallway at Town Hall but the rest of the board said they were not opposed to him getting the desk printer and Weider agreed.

Hadik reported on the paving progress for Jenkins Farm and Wilcombs Way subdivisions. He indicated Hemlock Lane is to be paved and there will be some reconstruction of Rand, Parker and Holman roads. The side roads will be narrowed to 22 -feet while the main road will remain at 24-feet. It appears the last section of Harantis Lake Road will be finished and thus can be removed from the lists of roads requiring work.

The board went into non-public. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 13.

 


Chester Planning Board Holds Conceptual Discussion on 11 lot Open Space Subdivision
By Penny Williams    9-23-21

The Chester Planning Board on Wednesday evening, September 22, held a Conceptual Discussion with Jay Lopez, Keach Nordstrom & Associates, who spoke on behalf of Dana Redmond, Lifestyle Homes, LLC.

Redmond has two parcels at 181 Haverhill Road he proposes to combine and then develop an 11 lot Open Space subdivision. There is a dwelling on a  lot that will either be reconstructed or torn down and a new dwelling erected. There are 36 acres in all. All the lots will be one acre in size and there will be the one existing lot with the dwelling and 10 new building lots.

Each lot will have its own septic and well. There will be no wetlands impacts and there are no existing right of ways. The proposal is contemplating one unit per three acres with a total of 35 bedrooms so there will be 3 and 4 bedroom dwellings. To get additional bedrooms the proposal would need to get a Variance.

Ownership and monitoring and control of the open space was discussed. It abuts open space on another development. The preference is for the town to own the open space, making it easier to control, monitor and enforce usage issues. This might well mean a Homeowners Association would not be needed.

The board noted that a cistern will be needed. The plan proposed sprinklers in the dwellings but the two minute type that allow for residents to escape while a cistern will allow perhaps a dwelling to be saved.

Redmond thanked the board for their suggestions and said they would look at their design and go from there.

The board discussed its budget. Planning Director Andrew Hadik said at this point it is up three tenths of one percent.

The board discussed adding a part time position (10 hours a week) to assist Hadik with the Planning Board work. They decided to add this to the budget but didn't have a specific amount this would add. It was noted that the Board of Selectmen were discussing adding a part time position so possibly this position could be shared with the Planning Board. During this discussion the board roamed around discussing the position as a part time clerk or possibly a person who would be learning the job to be ready to replace Hadik at his retirement.

The board discussed the matrix, merit pay, and professional department performance reviews. Considering they have time to add an exact amount for the part time position they left the budget where it was until they could discuss the possibility with the Selectmen.

 


Chester Planning Board and Garabedian Gravel Pit Engineer Reach Agreement
By Penny Williams   8-27-21

On Wednesday, August 25, the Planning Board met with the Garabedian's engineer for the Garabedian Gravel Pit and reached a number of agreements in a calm and respectful manner.

Doug Maguire, Dubay Group, after meeting with Planning Board Director Andrew Hadik earlier, was more in sync with the board's concerns and issues than at his previous Planning Board and Selectmen's meetings. It became obvious that he understood their concerns and the reasons for them while the board had a better handle on what the plan was for the gravel pit activities.

Maguire noted that the Stowe Road issues in terms of the gravel coating and the blockage had all been addressed and compliance was felt to have been reached regarding these issues. The logging operation has been halted as the board had requested. No activity will take place until there is an approved site plan.

Maguire said he is working on getting an updated site plan prepared and it will reflect conditions  that will result from the planned excavation. The board added that it is important for him to indicate the estimated trucking numbers planned. Once the updated site plan is submitted to Hadik, DuBois and King will review it and the site.

It made sense for Maguire not to return before the board until after the updated site plan has been submitted and reviewed. A reclamation plan and the Letter of Credit or a cash assurance will have to be provided as well.

The board emphasized that the plans need to show how much excavation is expected now and estimates of when more will be happening and how much that will entail. Maguire said he didn't expect to be dealing with any more than the stipulated 5 acres and he didn't expect the gravel pit to be active for 20 years.

 He indicated that the Garabedian's approach will be a stepped approach and he will provide a plan detailing the scope and design. The board indicated that erosion and ground water protection measures need to be provided. In other words there needs to be a present working plan and an overall plan submitted.

Maguire agreed that a public hearing would be held for the site plan and notices would be sent to abutters.

There was a brief discussion relative to the Ground Hog operations involved in the logging and gravel pit operation. Contracts, inspections were discussed and a third party inspection was agreed upon.

Maguire stated again that the plan is to work only the five acres and excavate 20,000 yards the first year.

The board emphasized how the trucks removing the product leave and enter  the site is very important. There is to be no right hand turn onto Fremont Road. The board expressed its concern for the impact of the truck traffic on Fremont.

Maguire couldn't help making a remark regarding what he described as a rude selectman during the Board of Selectmen's meeting but added that this meeting was a much better meeting.

 


Chester Planning Board Has Concerns With Garabedian Gravel Pit Proposal
By Penny Williams   8-12-21

The Chester Planning Board met on Wednesday evening, August 11, and has some serious concerns with the Garabedian Properties proposed excavation of the Garabedian Gravel Pit off Fremont and Stowe roads.

Doug Maguire Dubay Group, Inc., presented the proposed plans for the new area of the site for excavation. His site plan was from 1991. He indicated nothing much had changed but that in his proposed plan he had met the current gravel pit excavation requirements where they had changed.

The intent is to start excavating on a larger basis. He said they had added stone to Stowe Road to make it safer for trucks going on it and also to prevent any mud from being transferred to Fremont Road by trucks leaving Stowe. He also indicated there has been an Intent to Cut filed and that Ground Hog Landscaping will be the contractor doing the work. He said papers have been filed with the Town (on Tuesday) and they will go on to the state after the Selectmen sign them.  

Maguire will be at the Selectmen's meeting regarding the issues on Stowe Road
on Thursday evening, August 12.

The board had serious concerns with what has been done already at the site and to Stowe Road. It also has issues with the plans for excavation and work already being conducted at the site.

Board members questioned Maguire's assumption that the site plan for the operation of the gravel pit  is grandfathered. They also said they've received calls from residents regarding the condition of Stowe Road.

The rocks and gravel put down makes biking, horseback riding and jogging impossible and there is a blockage of the road. The board wants the Stowe Road issues mitigated immediately so that residents can conduct their usual activities. It was also noted by Road Agent Michael Oleson that he did not give permission for the upgrade to Stowe Road. He did say he had told them he wanted to prevent mud from being tracked out onto Fremont Road.

The board pointed out that just because the owners declare the gravel pit "active" or that filings for a permit have been made doesn't make it active. It was noted that there hasn't been any activity for a number of years until now.

Selectman Liaison Chuck Myette said trucks are going to the pit empty and then coming out loaded so currently there is activity. There is equipment on site and in addition to the logging there is work being done to remove the top soil so gravel pit excavation activities for profit product can be achieved. To prove it has been active paperwork and records of the operations, the products sold and when are needed.

After a long discussion the board said they want all trucking in and out of the gravel pit stopped until their concerns are resolved. Grandfathering must be proven and a current site plan must be developed and provided. In addition bonding must be developed for the proposed operation and another for the use of Fremont Road to cover any damage the trucking may create.

The board was upset about finding out about this gravel pit activity after the fact. The board basically told Maguire he needs to start from scratch, bringing everything into compliance with the current zoning and gravel pit regulations - local and state and federal. In addition things will need to be surveyed and monitored by the Town's Engineer.

The board stated there will be no more trucking in or out until all the required permits have been put in place and the updated site plan has been reviewed by the Town Engineer and the bonds are both in place. In addition Stowe Road mitigation needs to happen.

Maguire and the owners accepted the restrictions and Maguire said he would work with the town and state as well as doing additional research himself to get everything up-to-date and meet the boards requests.

The board held a Public Hearing for the site plan review of the application of Robert Swanson for the short-term rental of a pre-existing detached seasonal dwelling to be used as a Bed and Breakfast located at 504 Haverhill Road. Swanson received a Variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment to use the detached building for a B&B.

Planning Director Andrew Hadik went over the questions and answers for the site plan review noting that the B&B must meet all zoning and Bed & Breakfast regulations. It has been inspected by fire and code enforcement.

There will be a maximum of 4 people, three cars and the guests will abide by the noise requirements. The application was approved with the agreed upon conditions. The next step is to get the occupancy permit from the Building Inspector Myrick Bunker.

Oleson was asked by the board if he agreed that language regarding the responsibility of homeowners to maintain and clean their driveway culverts should be added to the Driveway Regulations. He said he did agree and that homeowners are responsible for their driveway culvert maintenance, cleaning and repair if needed. He will work with Attorney Steve Bennett and Hadik to come up with the language to be added.

Hadik informed the board that two residents involved in the discontinuance of Carkin Lane who at the end of the last meeting were 100 percent on board have turned a 180 and are now not on board. The issue will be handled by their attorneys and the Town Counsel.

 


Chester Planning Board Hear Final Drowne Gravel Pit Reclamation Plan and Discuss Carkin Road Cul-de-sac
By Penny Williams   7-29-21

The Chester Planning Board heard from Kevin Hatch, Cornerstone Survey, about the final information needed to end the controversial Drowne gravel pit issues on Wednesday evening, July 28.

Hatch presented the plan changes for the Richard and Norma Drowne gravel pit reclamation project at Mill Pine Village. The Cease and Desist the town has on the pit at the moment will be lifted once all the changes and information Hatch provided is verified and carried out. At that point the final excavation will be allowed and the reclamation process will get underway.

The most important element was the time line and Hatch verified that the Drowne's have agreed to have everything finished and ended by December 31, 2022. This will include the reclamation process, the final excavation that the request for permit for instigated this whole investigation, and the removal of remaining material and equipment from the site. This will bring all commercial enterprise to a close at the gravel pit site and the reclamation will go forward. The final excavation has to do with removing the berm from the island in the pond that is a bird sanctuary. The planned diversity of environments and habitats within the reclamation effort is important.

Once all the agreement and changes have taken place the Letter of Credit will be released which will close the book on Mill Pine Village.

The hope is that everything agreed to will be moving toward the closure of the pit activity and that will begin when the agreement documents are signed by August 1.

The board also held a conceptual discussion with Fran Bechtold and Russell Quintal regarding the discontinuance of Carkin Road cul-de-sac.

Road Agent Michael Oleson proposed extending the current road by some 60 or 70 feet and ending it which would provide space for the town to store plowed snow and relieve the issues of the homeowners driveways and drainage.

The board discussed Oleson's suggested solution and after a long discussion it was decided that it can probably be done in such a way as to not require a Variance for Bechtold's frontage issue. If a variance has to be obtained it would make sense to go for an equitable waiver for a variance which is to right a mistake that was made.

The actual physical changes will come when the road is redesigned and upgraded. However, Oleson said it could remain a gravel road or be paved but that would be up to the residents.

The board agreed that the lot lines, based on Oleson's solution, should be marked and the property deeds corrected. A signed and stamped plan be presented to the Planning Board and to the Zoning Board of Adjustment if necessary. A survey will need to be done for the lot lines to be established and Quintal said he would arrange for that to happen the next day.


Drowne Gravel Pit Discussion Continued Again at Chester Planning Board
By Penny Williams  7-15-21

The Chester Planning Board met Wednesday evening, July 14, to discuss with owners Richard and Norma Drowne the reclamation timeline for the gravel pit in the Mill Pine Subdivision

However, the discussion the board expected to hold with the Drowne's and Surveyor Kevin Hatch, Cornerstone Survey, was continued again at the request of their attorney.

Chester Planning Director Andrew Hadik previously indicated the pit owner has the burden of proving the following: an end date for the pit excavations;  an approved reclamation plan; whether appropriate reports have been filed annually; the conditions of operations; what is grandfathered; and, when was excavation below the waterline approved

The board hopes to get some answers at their next meeting scheduled for July 28.

The board heard the details of the request for a lot line adjustment requested by John and Susan Riddle, 123 Town Farm Road with the Olson Family Revocable Trust, David and Teresita Olson at 113 Town Farm Road. This would be a like for like land swap that would move the lot line out of one driveway and make that lot more conforming.

There are two waivers being requested, one for soil and the other for topography, neither being needed for the lot line process. The board members had no questions and the request for the lot line adjustment was approved.

The board held a Conceptual Discussion with Robert Kilmer regarding the Scott Subdivision that is located on an eleven plus acre parcel between Route 102 and East Derry Road. The plan is to consolidate two lots and create five building lots with driveways off East Derry Road and Route 102.

Killmer noted that a Variance will be needed for the driveways in at least two instances, one because of sight line issues and the second because it will be a shared driveway that will cross another property's line.

There was a discussion about whether the plan would need a denial from Building Inspector Myrick Bunker or if the Planning Board could write a letter to the ZBA saying for the plan to move forward a Variance is needed. It was felt the board could provide the letter stating the plan's need for a Variance.

There was a discussion about drainage Hadik said the board relies on the Town Engineer to handle that aspect of the site plan review. However, the point was emphasized that runoff from construction sites should be carefully designed.

It was noted that there may be a vernal pool on the property and if so a 100-foot buffer for protection will be required as well as defining and protecting the pathway between wetlands and vernal pool. 

The board heard the request from residents of the Lincoln Lane subdivision who wanted to utilize the $3,000 held by the Conservation Commission to create a gathering spot located in the grass area of the Cul de Sac.

The $3,000 is in an account that was intended to be for the repair and maintenance of the footbridge at the Lincoln Lane subdivision. However, the footbridge that exists is on the Class VI road. Conservation checked with legal and found the funds could be used for something else and the residents came up with the proposed gathering place project.

The main issue with that is the Town owns that property and if anything is built there who would cover the cost of maintenance and liability down the road. The board didn't object to the $3,000 being used for a purpose other than the footbridge but felt it had no up or down decision power regarding this as it would be subject to the Road Agent agreeing that the project would have no impact on drainage and the Board of Selectmen making the yes or no decision since it is Town owned property.

The board approved the release of $6,017.10 from the phase 11 Village at Chester improvement fund to the Highway Department for upsizing the culvert. This closes out this fund.  Going forward funds will be available through impact fees. The board approved the release of the funds.

 


Chester Planning Board Continued Drowne’s Mill Pine Subdivision Gravel Pit Excavation and Police Department Impact Fees Approved
By Penny Williams    7-8-21

The Wednesday, July 7, agenda for the Chester Planning Board called for Richard and Norma Drowne along with Kevin Hatch, Corner Stone Survey, to discuss the gravel pit excavation in the Mill Pine Subdivision.

There has been an ongoing discussion of the Drown pit for several meetings. At the previous meeting Planning Director Andrew Hadik suggested that a  temporary Cease and Desist Order should be served on the pit.

The pit owner, David Drowne has the burden of proving the following: an end date for the pit excavations;  an approved reclamation plan; whether appropriate reports have been filed annually; the conditions of operations; what is grandfathered; and, when was excavation below the waterline approved.

At the Wednesday evening meeting, Hadik reported that he Drowne gravel pit discussion was being postponed at the request of the Drowne’s attorney.  Hadik indicated this issue may be on the Chester Planning Board agenda again for the board's July 7 or July 28, meeting.

Then the Board approved a request by the Chief of Police, Aaron Berube for the release of impact fees.  For the 2020-2021 fiscal year it had been decided that the Police Department's Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) purchases would be paid from impact fees instead of the annual CIP Expenditures warrant article. 

The Police Department currently has $12,900 in undesignated impact fees.  The Chief requested the release of $3,115.00 in impact fees for a “bundle savings pack” which is a cruiser camera and a body-worn camera. 

According to Chief Berube, this saves the Town several hundred dollars.  The total invoice is $6,230.00, the other half of which will be covered by the cruiser funding.

The board scheduled a conceptual discussion with Robert Kilmer, regarding the Scott Subdivision that is located between Route 102 and East Derry Road.

The Scott Subdivision is a 5-lot re-subdivision of two combined pre-existing lots (1-84 and 1-84-1).  There was no conceptual discussion because the engineer did not show up for his appointment.

Lastly, the Board went into Non-Public under  RSA 91 A:3, II (l) Consideration of legal advice provided by legal counsel, either in writing or orally, to one or more members of the public body, even where legal counsel is not present.

 


Chester Planning Board Held Conceptual Discussion about Detached B&B
By Penny Williams  6-10-21

The Chester Planning Board met Wednesday night, June 9, and had a conceptual discussion with Robert Swanson and Ken Walsh about their proposal to create a Bed & Breakfast in a detached building located at 504 Haverhill Road.

The building in question is a seasonal cottage on the 504 Haverhill property that has been used by family. It has water and electricity and septic but the deed restricts it from being used as a year round dwelling. It is accessed off of Jack Road and Swanson received the ok for this from the Board of Selectmen.

The board informed Swanson and Walsh that under the regulations the fact the building is detached means it can't be used as a Bed & Breakfast without getting a Variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

The process they need to follow is to apply to Myrick Bunker, the Building Inspector for a permit for the B&B making sure he is aware the cottage is detached. Bunker will deny the request and that will send Swanson to the ZBA for the Variance, which  if granted will allow them to come back to the Planning Board for site plan review.

Scott Bourcier, Gale Associates, came before the board asking to be considered as a secondary or second resource for Land Use inspection and monitoring services. Bourcier was formerly with DuBois & King, the Town Engineers, and handled much of Chester work.

The board and Bourcier discussed how this might work. He told them he is working with Road Agent Mike Oleson on the North Pond Road project.

Board members had several questions and concerns such as how would it be determined which company would address a project. They wondered if there would be overlap. They also questioned what Gale Associates can provide that differs from what DuBois & King provide.

After a lengthy discussion the board decided to set up another interview, possibly privately, to continue the discussion after they got some things answered. Bottom line they told Bourcier they had to determine what the best fit would be for Chester.

The board discussed whether signs for marking conservation easement lot lines and buffer zone could have the regulation requirement of 6 by 6 inches be reduced to 4 by 4 inches particularly if such signs are stock signs at the 4 by 4 inch size. If signs don't come stock 6 by 6 inch they would have to be special ordered at a greater expense.

After a discussion the board felt 4 by 4 inch signs are adequate in size especially since they are required to be placed every 50-feet. It was decided to grant a waiver to allow the 4 by 4 inch size and to work on amending the regulation if 6 by 6 inch signs don't come as a stock item.

Chair Brian Sullivan was authorized to sign the contract extension with the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission.

Planning Director Andrew Hadik told the board there are three active gravel pits in Chester,  They include Garabedian's on Fremont Road; Mill Pine Village (Drowne Gravel Pit); and, Ed Mencis' pit off North Road that is in a recreation area.

Further discussion of the Drown pit included Hadik suggesting that a  temporary Cease and Desist Order should be served on the pit. The pit owner, David Drowne has the burden of proving the following: an end date for the pit excavations;  an approved reclamation plan; whether appropriate reports have been filed annually; the conditions of operations; what is grandfathered; and, when was excavation below the waterline approved.

Board member Chuck Myette, who is also a selectman, said he would  bring the request for a temporary C&D before that board at their next meeting.

Starting with the board's June 23 meeting, they will return to in person at the town hall. A hybrid approach is possible so long as there is a quorum at the Town Hall meeting room.

 


Chester Planning Board Approves Vissing Home Rental and Eversource Transmission Structure Replacement
By Penny Williams   5-27-21

On Wednesday evening, May 26, the Chester Planning Board held two public hearings and passed both applications.

The first public hearing was a site plan review that does not need engineering that was submitted by Yvonne Vissing, 726 Raymond Road, for short term rentals of her home.

She received a Variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment in March allowing a short-term rental of the in-law apartment that is not specifically permitted in the C-1 zone.

 She explained that she had a bedroom with kitchen and separate entrance that she would like to rent on a short term basis. She has adequate off street parking. Her desire is to allow a maximum of four guests;  2 guest vehicles; and,  she would be open 7 days a week.

Under the newly enacted B&B zoning regulations guests could not rent for more than a 30 day period and not more than 45 days in a year.

Vissing said she really isn't interested in going that route, rather she is looking for weekend guest rentals.   

The board approved her request with the standard conditions but she is subject to the zoning regulations for bed and breakfast now currently in place.

The second public hearing was with Eversource whose request was for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). The CUP would be to replace a single 391 Line transmission structure.

The structure to be replaced is a wooden pole that needs replacement due to age and weathering. A steel pole will replace the wooden pole and will be 10 to 15 feet higher due to changes in codes and regulations.

Conor Madison explained that there would be a wetland incursion but the company would use the mats to protect the wetlands and the area would be fully restored. The access to the pole would be from Candia Road.

A letter from Conservation Commission Chair Victor Chouinard recommended approval saying the Conservation Commission fully supports approving the request.

There was a discussion about what Eversource and its partner companies are doing about the property destruction caused by ATV incursions using the access ways the company has created in reaching poles/structures for replacement and repair.

Matt Flanders said that gates have been installed in several areas and other steps taken in partnership with Fish & Game and local police. He said the next step is getting the access areas seeded so the growth will obscure the access ways and this is due to begin soon. He noted no trespassing signs have been put up and the company continues to work with homeowners on this issue.

The board discussed this very briefly and voted to approve the CUP to Eversource for the 391  transmission line structure replacement.

The board discussed returning to in-person meetings going forward and it was noted that a hybrid approach will be taken so those wishing or needing to participate by zoom can continue to do so.

The board continued the discussion about the David Drowne excavation permit request which has not been signed.

Chester Planning Director Andrew Hadik said he would have more information for the board at their next meeting regarding the issue of whether Drowne's pit is grandfathered; whether the reclamation plan is in effect; how much more material Drowne plans to remove; and, when the sunset date is for the pit.

Hadik indicated he would research minutes back in 1987 and 1995 to try and come up with data and facts regarding whether the pit is actually grandfathered or not so both the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen can move with regard to the permit request.

Selectman liaison Chuck Myette was asked to inform the Selectmen that the Planning Board is researching this issue but is concerned about whether the pit is grandfathered.

 


Chester Planning Board Reached No Resolution in the Drowne Reclamation Plan and Jenkins Farm Subdivision
By Penny Williams   5-13-21

The Chester Planning Board Wednesday evening, May 12, held two difficult discussions and reached no resolution in either one.

The board discussed the Drowne Gravel Pit and Composting Operation Reclamation Plan with Kevin Hatch, Cornerstone Survey Associates, in the absence of owner Richard Drowne. Hatch had prepared the plan the board had and was able to provide the board members with some answers but not the critical ones needed.

The board has concerns over the development of the gravel pit that has far exceeded the original 1987 plan approval and permit over the years. The board is concerned that Drowne now apparently wants to extend excavation to another 50,000 cubic yards and for another two years. The board wants a confirmed end date.

Hatch suggested this is the final excavation planned and is to complete the reclamation that will include joining two existing ponds. He said he believes the work is to be done this year but that Drowne isn't sure as he is very busy.

The board suggested that if the two ponds are joined an island should be developed for a wildlife habitat. However, they are concerned that additional excavation is being contemplated and are not happy about being asked to approve an excavation permit to do so. Hatch suggested the 50,000 cubic yard figure was arbitrary and what will actually be excavated to complete the work is very likely much less.

The board noted in their discussion that the pits growth over the years has not been monitored and this is an issue the board needs to look at so something similar doesn't happen again.

Hatch offered to develop a better site map with more accurate numbers and get it to the board members. He also said he would speak with Drowne and try to get a specific end date as the board requested.

The board left things there and will review the reclamation plan and the new site plan map from Hatch at their next meeting. They also would like to have Drowne come in and discuss their concerns.

The other discussion that really went nowhere was with Jill McAlpine, Jenkins Farm Subdivision resident representing the subdivision residents along with their attorney. John Bisson, Cronin, Bisson & Zalinsky, P.C. concerning the fact  the road that needs to be adopted by the Town isn't finished and the common lots have not been conveyed to the Homeowners Association which itself hasn't been conveyed to the residents, all still being held by developer Keith Martel.

The lengthy discussion ranged over the two main issues - the road that Martel is supposed to have ready by June 1, for adoption consideration and the status of the common lots and the Homeowners Association - without coming up with any conclusions.

The community lots connected to the Homeowners Association that have not been conveyed is a major concern of the residents. McAlpine and Bisson were trying to determine what if anything the Planning Board and the Town could do to make the conveyance that was in the approved 2011 subdivision plan happen. The common lots were supposed to have been conveyed to the Homeowners Association and that hasn't happened.

It was pointed out that the road is not ready to be paved as pre-paving work still needs to be completed and it can't be considered for adoption until all the paving is completed.

It  was recognized that the cash being held for the road's completion will not be sufficient if further deterioration of the current level of development goes through another year without being completed and the final paving done. However, the board didn't see how that money could be used to fix the road since the town does not own it -  Martel still owns it.

In the end it was decided that the board needs to confer with their attorney and if he approves he can discuss matters with the Jenkins Farm Subdivision attorney. Planning Director Andrew Hadik will reach out to Attorney Stephen Bennett, Wadleigh, Starr & Peters, and ask him to meet with the board on May 12, in a non-meeting to go over these issues.

 

 


Chester Planning Board Held Conceptual Discussion with Ark Animals Homecare Veterinary
By Penny Williams  5-6-21

The Chester Planning Board met Wednesday night, May 5, and held a Conceptual discussion with Erica DeBeckers, Ark Animals Homecare Veterinary, about adding a building to her property for meeting clients and for storage.

She wants to add a 2,000 square foot building to her property to be able to see clients and to have space for much needed storage of goods. She envisions only two client rooms in the new building. This would add 2 new employees and there would need to be room for an additional 6 parking spaces. Her three mobile vans could be parked off property perhaps if that became necessary.

The reason for wanting to add the building is the growth of the number of primarily Chester residents who are bringing clients to her property for her services rather than calling for one of her mobile veterinary vans to come to the, thus saving $25. She told the board she will not have hospitalized clients on the property.

She needs to go for a Variance for a commercial operations permit that will entail a site plan review with the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA). She now operates under a Home Business permit but the business has grown beyond this. Right now she is operating out of a garage and there just isn't enough space and it isn't professional enough for her or her clients.

The board indicated that they thought her plan to go to the ZBA was the right next step. They warned her to have her building architect do a property survey to ensure that she isn't covering more than 15 percent of the property with impervious surface coverage but if she is she'd need to ask for a Variance for that as well. Once she has received the Variance(s) she would return to the Planning Board.

The board discussed the site plan put forward by Dan Jones for the construction of storage building and safety improvements to his rifle and pistol ranges at the Chester Rod and Gun Club located at 99 Rod and Gun Club Road. The board took jurisdiction of the site plan.

The building would be a 30 by 50-foot prefab metal building to be used for storage. This would take care of the tractor used for maintenance and his product and equipment storage needs. There would be no heat or water, just electricity. It would be located on the existing sand parking area.

The improvements to the two ranges are to reduce sound and deflect all munitions downward so providing containment. The board asked a few questions which he answered and the board approved his request.

The board discussed the Drowne gravel pit and composting reclamation plan.  The board noted that more has been added to the gravel pit than was originally permitted and this needs to be reviewed and discussed. The board decided to ask Dick and Norma Drown to come before the board to discuss the planned reclamation plan and the existing situation.

The board then went into a non-meeting with counsel for advice from counsel after adjourning their regular Planning Board meeting.

 

 


Building Fire Alarm Interrupts Chester Planning Board Meeting
By Penny Williams    4-15-21

The Chester Planning Board met Wednesday evening, April 14, and it was expected to be a short meeting before the board was to meet with its attorney. However, the fire alarm in the building went off where Planning Director Andrew Hadik was running a Zoom meeting. He had to evacuate and re-connect to the rest of the board on Zoom through his phone from outside.

However, the majority of the meeting had already happened and the board went into non-public with their attorney over consideration or negotiation of pending claims or litigation which has been threatened in writing or filed by or against the board.

Prior to this Hadik discussed the two bridges in town in need of repairs. He suggested that a way to proceed was to at least begin  dealing with one bridge starting with the survey and the steps prior to actual repair.

 He showed the cost of this would fall in the $124,000 range and he thought they should begin with doing the survey and the initial steps prior to construction. He noted that $31,000 would cover the cost of the survey of the Hanson Road.

He reported to the board that the Bryan Remillard has decided not to move forward with a  Processed Glass Aggregate project at his composting facility site near the Town Transfer Station.

He also reported that the NH Department of Environmental Services is giving a $16,023 grant to Southern NH Planning Commission to update Chester's Source Water Protection Plan.

The board members discussed whether the Police Department request for an impact fee recommendation for release had been followed the appropriate process. It wasn't clear but the board decided to approve the request for $1,590.60 in impact fees be released for police ballistic vests since it was on the CIP. This will be forwarded to the Board of Selectmen.

 


Chester Planning Board Approves Two Applications: a Beauty Salon and Short Term AIRBnB Rental
By Penny Williams   4-8-21

The Chester Planning Board approved the two applications it held hearings on Wednesday evening, April 7.

The first was an application by Diane Crespo for a two chair one sink beauty salon located at 15 Chester Street in the Gesel Strip Mall.

There was a beauty salon located there previously and the hook-ups are still in place. Crespo said she would have one employee but there would only be one of them working at a time.

Hours would be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Only one parking space for customers and one for the beautician would be needed. The board approved the application.

The second hearing was for short term rental of a home owned by Lauren and Jacob Josef at 87 Harantis Lake Road. The Josef's will live on campus at Phillips Andover during the school year so wish to be able to rent their home during those times through AIRB&B.

The  short term rentals would be seven days a week between September 1, and May 31. There would be a limit of 10 people allowed and five cars. Noise restrictions would be in place for Sunday through Thursday at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with amplified music being prohibited.

The Jacob's received a variance from the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) on March 22,  to allow a commercial use, short term rental, in a residential area. The planning board approved the request for a waiver for the Jacobs to not to have to provide a full site plan review.

It was noted that the home will need to be inspected by the Building Inspector and the Fire Department and any changes or corrections required by these departments will need to be met.

The board approved this application and then went into a non-meeting with their attorney after adjourning the meeting.

 


Chester Planning Board Public Hearing on Pulpit Rock Road Subdivision Canceled When Variance Denied
By Penny Williams    3-25-21

The Public Hearing scheduled for the Wednesday night, March 24 meeting of the Chester Planning Board was canceled due to the fact that the Variance for frontage sought by the applicant from the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) at their meeting was denied.

The board had planned to hold a public hearing regarding the application by the MacLean Family Revocable Trust of 2018 for 82 Pulpit Rock Road for an extension of the original conditional Approval for a 2-Lot Subdivision. However, this was canceled because the ZBA on March 22,  denied a Variance that would have allowed an existing house lot with 40’ of frontage where 290’ are required.

Planning Director Andrew Hadik turned to a number of issues he wanted to bring before the Planning Board. First off he said a language change has been made to the Impact Fee process policy and it has been resent to Town Manager Debra Doda for distribution to department heads. The change was sought by Myrick Bunker, Building Inspector, to address potential confusion.

Hadik said he has filed the $1,010,000 grant application associated with the Halls Village Road and culverts project. He sent the grant application in and CEDS (Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy ) approved adding the project to its list of projects that will be considered for grants by the EDA (Economic Development Administration). He noted it was suggested he beef up the component that deals with employment opportunities connected to the project. The grant will be up for approval in June.

He introduced Diane Crespo who plans to  open a 2 chair one sink beauty salon at 15 Chester Street in the location where a previous beauty salon was operated. The board discussed whether a full site plan review was needed and decided that since the Gesel Commercial Plaza property has had sufficient full site plan reviews all that was needed was a  minor review covering such things as hours of operation, number of employees, parking spaced required, signage and lighting.

Hadik said he already has the hours of operation, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. He noted since the shop would be open after dark during the winter, lighting will be needed as well as signage for the salon's location around the end of the building. He noted that there will be just one employee working at the shop at a time and an estimated three parking spaces at most are required. He indicated the board could take care of this as an abbreviated site plan review at their April 7, meeting and Crespo agreed.

The board discussed a question raised by Hadik regarding a change in the address of a home business permit. The business owner moved from Chester Street to North Pond Road and wishes to carry on a concierge service for arms - legally ordering and transferring guns for customers. There is a locked storage in place. The board decided all that is needed is an application for a new home business permit.

The board engaged in a lengthy discussion about sheet flowing drainage issues in subdivisions with a view to moving closer to demanding zero cumulative drainage. It was noted that possibly more onsite monitoring is needed to avoid unexpected demographic changes during build out.

Brian and Jonathan Remillard did not appear to discuss adding Processed Glass Aggregate at their composting facility on dump road.

 


Chester Planning Board Holds Conceptual Discussion of Processed Glass Aggregate Proposal
By Penny Williams  3-11-21

The Chester Planning Board met Wednesday night, March 10, and held a conceptual discussion regarding a potential trial run for Processed Glass Aggregate at Bryan Remillard's Composting facility site near the Town Transfer Station.

Chester Planning Director Andrew Hadik introduced Remillard who said he had been asked by the State to do a trial run of a 1000 pounds of glass for Glass Aggregate to see if it would be feasible to do  at his location.

In June of 2020, the Northeast Resource Recovery Association, a recycling nonprofit, launched a survey to collect examples of processed glass aggregate (PGA) use throughout the Northeast. The Survey garnered a total of 18 participants from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Vermont. Among the survey respondents, most indicated they used PGA for municipal projects with few having used it in private projects. There were no examples of PGA use in a state project. Bedding material for pipes, walls or foundations was the most common application of PGA among survey respondents. The year in which the PGA was used ranged from 1978 to the present and most respondents indicated they were very satisfied with the result after using the PGA.

Remillard explained that he would not be doing the procedure himself but has contracted with a company in the state that does this work. The board has several questions regarding the actual procedure.

Selectman Chuck Myette noted that there are four basic components that would need to be considered for this procedure to take place even as a trial run:

* air/dust component

* noise

* leakage

* truck traffic

It was noted that 1000 pounds of product for the trial run would likely require 375 truck loads, this would be a big increase in traffic.

The discussion noted that crushing the glass product produces dust that would need to be controlled, generally by the application of water. Remillard said he has a 300 gallon a minute well on the site that would be able to provide the needed water that would control the dust issue.  And, what leakage came from the initial pile of glass to be crushed (pulverized), would be absorbed into the mud created by the water used to control the dust but that the appropriate spot for the actual procedure would need to be chosen with this kind of control in mind.

The eventual product produced would basically be sand although 3/4 inch stone crushed minus 1 would be considered.

Uses for the product produced would be for around pipes and septic systems. It can be used in the base layers for roadways, but this hasn't proven totally successful.

The board suggested Remillard would need to provide it with a report that would review the environmental issues and how they would be controlled and thought a consultant would be needed to prepare this.

Remillard said he wasn't interested in going to that expense but would be able to give the board the operating manual and report that the company he plans to use has for their operation. The board after a brief discussion was ok with that.

It was decided that Remillard would get that information/operating document from the contracted company and have it for the board at their March 24, meeting and if not he would arrange for a subsequent date.

He reminded the board this is just a trial run he wants to do with about 1,000 pounds of glass to determine whether such a venture would be feasible at his location. The board was hopeful that the company he is contracting with to do the work would come to the March 24, meeting virtually, to answer their questions. Remillard said he would try to arrange that.

The board learned from Hadik that he is in the process of applying for CEDS grant. This is a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy grant possibility and he learned of it through the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission and is working with them on this.

Hadik said if the grant could be procured it would go a long way toward doing the Halls Village Road project. He indicated that the project, which is in the CIP, carries a $2.8 million dollar price tag but overtime the Highway Department has taken actions and completed some of the pre-project work which actually has reduced the overall cost to $1,010,000- $720,000 for the road re-widening; $160,000 for the main culvert and $130,000 for the second culvert which would deal with the overflow issue. He indicated if they get the grant the Town would be prepared to start the project by July 1, 2022 and have it completed by June 30, 2024.

The board was pleased to hear about the possible grant and encouraged Hadik to proceed with the application. Hadik said he hopes to have sufficient information to apply for a similar grant next year to address the two bridges in town that need to be repaired.

Myette brought up Selectman Steve D'Angelo's concerns with respect to impact fees. Myette asked if there is a specific procedure departments are supposed to follow when seeking impact fees to be released for the purchase of something they need.

Hadik said there is a specific policy. Departments send a request to the Planning Board which if it approves recommends to the Board of Selectmen that the amount of impact fees be released for the specific purchase. There should be no 'after the fact' request and approval. The board asked Hadik to send the policy to Town Administrator Debra Doda who would get it to the department heads.  

 


Chester Planning Board Hear Jenkins Farm Residents' Concerns
By Penny Williams  3-8-21

The Chester Planning Board met Wednesday night, March 3, and more than 50 Jenkins Farm residents joined the Zoom meeting to hear about the Field to Fork  Farm, 522 Haverhill Road proposed site plan.

Patrick and Daniela Connelly, owners of the Field to Fork Farm have proposed conducting agritourism events and activities at their farm. The proposal includes weddings, organic farming and animal husbandry classes and activities, health and wellness educational seminars, and other events. The farm is off Jack Road, a Class V1 Road and Route 121. The Class VI Jack Road does lead down into the Jenkins Farm subdivision which abuts the Connolly's farm.

Wednesday night's site plan review was looking at the conditions of the proposed agritourism events and activities, where parking would be,  hours of operation, number of guests allowed, and number of employees. The board went through the conditions and set the foregoing conditions.

The Jenkins Farm residents communicated amongst themselves using the Zoom Chat feature and the Planning Board reviewed those comments and heard from several of the residents directly when the board opened the discussion to public comment. The residents' primary concerns centered on noise that would accompany weddings and other events and the misuse of Jack Road for parking or for increased traffic through their development.

The board established that the Connolly's planned to have no other employees. The hours of operation would be 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday; 150 people would be allowed to attend ; evening music and noise would have a 10 p.m. cut off; and, parking was limited to 40 cars that would need to park in the specified corral area. In addition it was set that there would be no overnight guests or camping.

The use of the small strip of Jack Road that is also the Connelly's driveway for a few feet to access the events had been approved by the Board of Selectmen and the Connolly's had received a Special Exception to conduct commercial events on their farm in the residential zone from the Chester Zoning Board of Adjustment that also left setting the specific conditions to the planning board.

When all the residents had made their comments and requests for changes the  planning board  made adjustments to the conditions they had set.

Weddings and corporate events were limited to a maximum of 3 times a month between May and October and only on Friday and Saturday night with music until 10 p.m. Weddings and events held on other days/nights and holidays had an 8 p.m. end for music and noise. The number of people allowed and the number of cars allowed remained unchanged. The Connolly's agreed to put signs up directing cars turning on to the Connolly Driveway/Jack Road to go up their driveway and not to turn and continue on Jack Road and no parking whatsoever was allowed on Jack Road.

The planning board approved the proposed site plan with the changes made that satisfied most of the Jenkins Farm residents.

It turned out that the Jenkins Farm residents had not known of that meeting but notice of the meeting had been sent to the Jenkins Farm HOA and the developer but the individual residents were not notified.

 

 


Chester Planning Board Approves Wellness Counseling and Retail Herbal Sales
By Penny Williams    2-25-21

Wednesday evening, February 24, the Chester Planning Board had just one public hearing that of Heather Peloquin's application to open a Wellness Counseling Office and Herbal Retail sales business.

The business will be located in the heart of Chester at 15 Chester Street. This small plaza has the local Center Scoop ice cream shop that in season draws people to the location and it is adjacent to the Library and Post Office building.

Tim Peloquin, Promised Land Survey, presented the application for Heather Peloquin the operator and on behalf of the Francis Gesel Revocable Trust. He stated this business would provide a much needed service for the residents of Chester at an ideal location.

The application went before the ZBA the previous night and was granted a Variance for a commercial use in a residential area with no conditions. The ZBA and the Building Inspector Myrick Bunker, suggest that a full scale site plan review was unnecessary because the location has been reviewed on several occasions and there will be no differences with this application. The shop was granted four parking spaces for Peloquin, one other employee and customers. There is no off-site parking at the adjacent buildings or on Chester Street.

The hours of operation were set for Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., which will allow for classes to be taught at times during the evening.

There were no public comments and the board reviewed this very quickly but carefully and voted to approve the application. Peloquin will be able to get started on March first with a goal of opening on April 1.

The board approved a request from the Police Department for the release of $634.00 in impact fees for the purchase of nitrile examination gloves.

Board member Michael Weider suggested this was a lot of money for these gloves since a package of 100 runs less than $30. He asked that it be checked and if this purchase is related to COVID-19 then the town should look for reimbursement. Nevertheless, the board voted to approve the release and it will go the Selectmen next.

The board discussed Farr's Auto that is a mixed use building with an apartment at one end of the repair facility. There may need to be condominiumization of this and similar situations in the future with financing from the SBA for the commercial work area and a bank generated financial loan for the apartment.

Planning Director Andrew Hadik said he had checked with Attorney Steve Bennett to see if Chester has to approve the condominiumization of such a mixed use building  and since Chester has no regulation that would be applicable the answers was no.

Hadik and the board briefly discussed what the best way to handle fees for building permits that have expired and are being renewed.

In the case of a single building it isn't a matter of significant consequence but if you had to deal with a development such as Candia Woods with the many building permits it becomes a different matter.

Weider asked that before the board makes any decision on this for Hadik to check and see how other towns handle this. which he agreed to do.

Hadik told the board that Eversource had made good on its promise to correct the issues at the Clark Road extension for the power line replacement work. He showed the board before and after pictures and it was noted that in the spring Eversource will seed the gravel area as promised.

The board went into a non-meeting with Attorney Bennett.

 


Chester Planning Board Move Zoning Amendments to Ballot and Warrant
By Penny Williams   2-11-21

The Chester Planning Board on Wednesday night, February 10, held a Public Hearing on their proposed Zoning Amendments and no one posed a question and the board forwarded them to the Ballot and the Warrant.

The board proposed and approved 5 Zoning Amendments, all of which had been thoroughly discussed at the previous meeting and earlier meetings. The proposed Zoning Amendments are as follows:

*  Proposed zoning amendment to Article 2: Definitions – To add a clarifying definition of “Internal Lot” as referenced in Table 1 and Section 6.12.2 – Internal Dimensional and Design Requirements with respect to Article 6 – Open Space Subdivision and Article 7 – Age-Friendly Subdivision

*  Proposed zoning amendments to Articles 2 & 5.3.3.12 – Bed and Breakfasts – To allow Bed and Breakfast facilities by Special Exception in the General Residential and Agricultural District (Zone R1), and to add a definition Bed and Breakfast in Article 2 -Definitions.

*   Proposed zoning amendment to Article 4.14.3.1 – Fences - To clarify that fences must be located on the fence owners’ lots.

*  Proposed zoning amendments to Article 6 - Open Space Subdivision -To eliminate the unit-density incentive bonus for age-restricted housing, and commensurately increase the unit-density incentive bonus for workforce housing, to help Chester meet its fair-share obligation to address the State’s critical shortage of workforce housing.
 
* Proposed zoning amendments to Article 9.4.10 - ADU Code Requirements - To amend Section 9.4.10 by adding an exemption to Article 3.1.1.1 of the Town’s Building Code, thereby removing the requirement of fire sprinkler systems for Accessory Dwelling Units.

For more information on the specific Zoning Amendments go to the Planning Board page on the Town Website and they can be found in their entirety there.

The board approved a request from the Chester Police Department for the release of Impact Fee funds to cover the cost of a duty jacket in the amount of $132.98.

The board discussed possibly changing the process for releasing and approving release of impact fees but in the end decided to leave things as they are.

Planning Director Andrew Hadik brought up a request he had received from Jenkins Farm LLC owner Keith Martel. Martel wishes to exchange the cash account for a Letter of Credit. The board discussed this briefly then approved authorizing the Town Treasurer to send a check to Martel for the amount of the Letter of Credit when it is received.

A lot line merger for two lots owned by Charles and Louise St. Aubin was discussed. The request is to merge two lots they own off of Harantis Lake Road into a single lot. Timothy Peloquin, Promised Land Survey, is handling this and all that is required is for the board to approve it. The board did approve the request.  

 


Chester Planning Board Reviews Zoning Amendments
By Penny Williams    1-28-21

The Chester Planning Board met Wednesday night, January 27, and reviewed the proposed zoning amendments.

Andrew Hadik, Chester Town Planner, and the board members went over the following proposed zoning amendments.

* Article 2 - Internal Lot Definition

* Article 2 & 5.3.3.12 - Add Bed and Breakfast

* Article 4.14.3.1 - Fence Location Clarification

*  Open Space Subdivision - amend density bonuses

*  Article 9.4.10 - ADU Code Requirements

*Another that one that may not actually move forward is designed to Upgrade Legal Language - shall/will to must.

The board approved the request from the Police Department for two impact releases one $125.00 for winter boots, and the other $70.93 for fire arms equipment, a total impact fee release of $195.93.

The board discussed when a site plan review could be considered a minor site plan review. Hadik said there are two coming up that Building Inspector Myrick Bunker felt didn't require a full site plan review but would need waivers. The board decided that even if it is a minor site plan review if waivers are needed the plan needs to come before the board for a public hearing but an engineering design would not be required.

Hadik told the board he had visited a site with Eversource personnel to view a property owner complaint about the work being conducted by Eversource and its impact on Clark Road. Hadik explained that Eversource immediately promised to return the area to exactly what it is was before they made changes for pole replacement as soon as their work was finished. Eversource also noted a wooden mat had been placed incorrectly and had been changed and any disturbance would be corrected come spring.

Hadik informed the board that the NH DES had approved the grant for them connected  with the Source Water Protection Plan. He added the plan still needs G & C approval but he was unsure what specific department this referred to.

 


Chester Planning Board Public Hearings Continued or Withdrawn
By Penny Williams    1-15-21

The Chester Planning Board on Wednesday, January 13, had three public hearings scheduled but two were continued and one was withdrawn.

There was a request from the MacLean Family Revocable Trust, 82 Pulpit Road  seeking an extension of the original conditional approval for a 2-Lot Subdivision to continue their hearing until March 24. The board approved this continuance.

There was a request from Patrick and Daniela Connelly, 522 Haverhill Road, to continue their site plan review to conduct agritourism activities and events at their farm, Field to Fork Farm, until March 3. The board approved this continuance.

The third hearing was for an application from Katelyn DePeron and Jonathan Dufresne, 518 Fremont Road, for a Home Business permit to operate a dog grooming business. This application was withdrawn.

The board then discussed a number of topics and issues, among them a review of the offsite improvement account. They talked about  Southwoods As-Built plans being received to allow building permits to be issued after these are reviewed and approved. And, Planning Director Andrew Hadik told the board he was continuing his research with respect to the Lincoln Lane Footbridge  replacement issue.

Another issue the board discussed was snowmobiles on other people's private property. In seeking an answer from Fish and Game Hadik indicated the Fish & Game stated that for any such activity, the snowmobile owner needed permission in writing from any private property owners whose land the snowmobile would be on. In addition the use of snowmobiles or any other motorized vehicle is not allowed on Jack Road or any other Class VI roads in Chester. Hadik said Fish and Game informed him Chester has never authorized the use of motorized vehicles on its trails or town owned property. This needs further investigation.

The board spent the majority of the remainder of the meeting discussing a Zoning Amendment for Bed and Breakfast places in Chester. The proposed amendment would limit the parties staying at a B&B to 30 consecutive days with a total of 45 days within a given year.

The board also discussed the number of bedrooms allowed and decided the number 4 was appropriate. The fact that only single family dwellings can be used answered a question about the use of an ADU but the single family dwelling used as a B&B must be owner occupied. The board decided that any applications would be required to have a site plan review.

The board discussed whether they thought micro wineries, brewing and distilleries should be added to businesses allowed. After an in-depth discussion the board decided this would not be a good idea and since there isn't any demand at present they didn't feel any zoning amendment would be needed at this time.

They concluded the meeting discussing what is meant by an Internal Lot in an Open Space development and agreed it was alright to add the definition of an Internal Lot to the associated zoning regulation. Hadik said he would draw something up to address this and bring it to the board.  


NH RSA 675:3 gives the Planning Board the authority to submit an ordinance or zoning amendment to the voters.


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