2021 Hampstead Planning Board Meetings


Hampstead Planning Board Approve Rolling Hill Road Conditional Use Permit and Continue Seven Other Applications  
 By Penny Williams   12-7-21

Monday night, December 6, the Hampstead Planning Board met with a full agenda that wound up having multiple continuances.

The first hearing was for a Conditional Use Permit for an ADU located at 74 Rolling Hill Road. The board had no questions and noted that when a plan is provided as carefully developed and is as complete as this one was it goes through pretty quickly. The board voted to approve the Conditional Permit for the ADU.

The board discussed reducing the Hadley Road Extension Subdivision bond, lowering it from $90,000 to $11,327.

The board had an extended discussion of a proposed 2022 Zoning regulation that would deal with wetland buffer zones.

The board and Conservation Commission Chair Tim Lovell discussed this and its impact but Town Engineer Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom & Associates warned the board that as proposed, the regulation could have several unintended results that would not benefit the town.

The board would have needed to approve the proposed regulation so it could be properly posted at that meeting but after an extensive discussion with Keach, both the board and Lovell stated they wanted to do this right so decided to discuss it further at the board's next meeting.

In addition, the rest of the requests before the board were continued.

*The Brianna Woods Subdivision whose conditional approval expired on December 6, was continued to the January, 3, 2022 meeting.

* The  Conditional Approval for 290 and 291 Stony Ridge expired on December 6, and this was extended for 30 days to the January 3, 2022 meeting.

* The 20 Bonnies Way subdivision of land was continued to the board's February 7, 2022 meeting in order to allow the request to meet with the Zoning Board of Adjustment that falls after the January 3, board meeting..

* A subdivision request for 46 James Drive was discussed but ultimately was continued to the board's January 3, 2022 meeting.

* The board discussed the 2 Starwood Drive amended site plan that seeks development of a boat storage area and a parking area. However, after some discussion this too was continued to the board's January 3, 2022 meeting.

* An amended site plan for 24 Hazel Drive that was seeking to show a boat storage area was discussed. However,  the Fire Department had some specific requests that needed to be addressed and this hearing also was continued to the board's January 3, 2022 meeting.

* A Lot Line Adjustment was  sought for 91 and 99 East Main Street essentially to move the present lot line that goes through the driveway. This presentation had not received the needed State permits or addressed all of the Town Engineer's issues. After a discussion this application was continued to the board's February 6, 2022 meeting.

 


Hampstead Planning Board Reviewed Stormwater Management Regulations
By Penny Williams    11-3-21

The Planning Board on Monday evening, November 1, reviewed the Stormwater Management Regulation draft prepared for them by the Rockingham Planning Commission (RPC).

Jenn Rowden, RPC Land Use Program Manager, presented the draft regulation for Stormwater Management to the Planning Board for their review and comments. She noted this new regulation, when finalized, will replace the regulations currently on the books and will make the town compliant with the ongoing MS4 requirements.

There were several aspects of the regulation that provided options for the board to make a decision on. One was the size of the disturbed land threshold. After a discussion she recommended 20,000 square feet and the board agreed.

The standard for storms was raised to the fifty year storm after a brief discussion.

She and the board discussed the possible option of being allowed to provide off site mitigation if stormwater management isn't possible at a given fully developed site. The board opted to include this in their regulation. The board also included 'as built' for stormwater management development details.

The fact there is a requirement for landowners to report on the functionality of their stormwater management was discussed. It was felt that it would be a burden for homeowners to have to hire an engineer to do an inspection and develop a report. It was decided that would be handled on a case by case decision at the discretion of the planning board. There would be an inspection after the first year and then every three years as needed.

Rowden indicated that the decisions and selections made by the board would be included in the document and she would come back one more time for a review of the regulation before it would be have a public hearing.

There was a lengthy discussion before the meeting actually got underway with residents who were there for the subdivision hearing for 20 Bonnies Way. It was announced that this hearing had been continued to  December 6, but the group of residents had numerous questions.

The board discussed the 661 Main Street conditional approval expiration and voted to extend the conditional approval for 30 days.

The board discussed at length the 27 Hazel Drive conditional approval that expired on November 1, as well. The applicant has withdrawn the amended site plan to expand the parking lot but this impacts the right to operate on the site.

The board decided to give the applicant the opportunity to make the necessary changes to the site plan. The board voted to extend the conditional approval for 60 days until the board's January 3, 2022 meeting and asked that a letter be forwarded to the applicant regarding their decision.

The board dealt with the amended site plan for the  Route 111 Auto Sales. The changes were presented by Chris York, MEI, and the owner was present.

The originally approved site plan was amended. The board requested the development of this site be phased and the changes presented for the amended site plan would apply to phase one. The deviations from the originally approved plan modifies where the building will be located. The board voted conditional approval since the changes are basically technical and the original plan was approved.

The board reviewed the Warrant Article proposal regarding soil based lot size and after a discussion approved the article but did not set a date for the necessary public hearing.

 


Hampstead Planning Board Denies 200 Central Street Subdivision
By Penny Williams   10-5-21

 The Monday night meeting of the Hampstead Planning Board on October 4, brought forward a subdivision application denial despite a warning that if denied the applicant was prepared to go to the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) or to court.

The proposed 4 lot subdivision at 200 Central Street  would create three new lots and one lot that would contain the current dwelling. Jim Lavelle, Lavelle & Associates introduced Attorney Bernard Campbell, Beaumont & Campbell, Salem, at the October 4 meeting. Campbell, he said, would give his research and recommendation concerning the main issue facing this application - whether some of the proposed lot have legal frontage.

In previous hearings, both Town Counsel Diane Gorrow and Building Inspector Kris Emerson indicated that the proposed subdivision does not have the required frontage on an approved roadway and further that the frontage does not meet regulations that require it to not have any intervening property or street 

Lavelle also previously stated that the proposed driveways had been given the ok by Road Agent Jon Worthen but board members questioned the sight distances, noting they would be less than required by the zoning ordinance. Lavelle said the Road Agent and Building Inspector can give discretionary approval for driveways.

The frontage issue arises from the history of Central Street. Central Street when it was straightened many  years ago left a bump out of property between where Central Street previously went and where it goes now after being straightened. Ownership of this bump out is not clear. The proposed lots actually front on the old location of Central Street and not on the current Central Street, which is the core of the issue.

The board has said the burden of proof lies with the applicant and if further research can find evidence to prove to the Town Counsel and Building Inspector and the board that the frontage on the Old Central Street meets Hampstead zoning regulations it will consider it.

Campbell presented his findings that he indicated showed that the section of Central Street that would provide frontage for the lots is acceptable for frontage since it is maintained by the town as access to the Hadley Street Cemetery. Campbell said since there is no record to be found of the Town discontinuing this piece of roadway it remains viable. He pointed out prior to 1933 this section was a portion of Central Street.

In his presentation Campbell said if the board doesn't approve the application he will represent the applicant and take the issue to either the ZBA or if necessary to court. He asked the board to take action and make a decision.

Board member Randy Clark made a motion to approve the application but added he plans to vote no because there are two of the lots that do not have proper frontage and the proposed driveways have inadequate sight lines. The board unanimously voted to deny the motion.

The board heard from Jenn Rowden, Rockingham Planning Commission who has been assigned to assist the town with updating its Master Plan and developing regulations required to meet the Environmental Planning Association (EPA) Stormwater Management requirements.

Rowden reported there is a draft of the Vision Chapter of the Master Plan but she is still looking for additional community input. She indicated there would be a final version for the board by spring. The changes to the chapter are minimal but bring it up to date.

Rowden and Town Engineer Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom & Associates, discussed the complex regulations that need to be developed by the town. At this time the town is not in compliance but using and adapting models of regulations in place in other municipalities Keach thinks this can be accomplished fairly quickly with Rowden working with him.

Paul Carideo, the sole member of the Stormwater Management Committee, spoke up saying he needs more members of the Stormwater Management Committee so that this committee could work with Rowden and Keach and save the town money as the regulations are developed. 

 


Hampstead Planning Board Approve Stony Ridge Road Lot Line Adjustment
By Penny Williams   9-8-21

In an unusually short meeting, the Hampstead Planning Board met Tuesday evening, September 7, and approved a Lot Line Adjustment and answered some questions during a conceptual discussion.

Alex Camm, Greenman Pederson Inc., presented the Lot Line Adjustment request to the board for property located at 32 and 40 Stony Ridge Road. The board took jurisdiction of the application and it was noted that the Town Engineer, Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom & Associates, had requested some corrections be put on the site plan, notify the board when the boundary markers are installed, receive a clean letter from his office, and this action needs to happen within 90 days.

Camm pointed out the changes made on the site plan as requested and agreed to send a letter to the board when the boundary markers are set. He indicated that all of Keach's comments and requests had been met.

The board discussed this briefly and conditionally approved the proposed Lot Line Adjustment.

The board then heard some questions from Buddy Collins regarding a development being considered for 618 Route 111. He asked some questions during the conceptual discussion and the board answered them.

It appeared his plans for the commercial lot all meet regulations but he indicated he needs to get state approval for access to the property and this may require some engineering.

 


Hampstead Planning Board Discuss Camp Tel Noar, 27 Hazel Drive and Owens Court
By Penny Williams   8-3-21

Monday night, August 2, the Hampstead Planning Board had a relatively short agenda and they made short work of it.

The first case was that of Camp Tel Noar whose Conditional Approval expired that day. Camp Tel Noar, referencing  no camp last year leading to a financial situation, requested an extension of the conditional approval to March 7, 2022. The board approved the request with little comment.

The second case was that of 27 Hazel Drive. This case has been on for awhile. In June it was presented proposing to increase the size of the parking lot with no changes to anything else on the original site plan. The parking lot was not fully built when the site plan was approved back in the 1980s. The purpose now is to expand the parking lot so the owner, a wonder paraplegic veteran, will be able to access the building directly.

The brother of the disabled owner amended the site plan to allow for direct access to the front door to accommodate the disabled brother, claiming there have been miscues and issues between the owners and their consultant.  Monday night the brother represented himself saying the board had all the documents they had requested and that all the issues had been addressed. At issue is much was filed earlier in the day. Their consultant showed up after the fact.

Town Engineer Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom & Associates, indicated he had seen the final plan and felt that most of his comments had been addressed. However, he recommended that conditional approval be given with two special conditions: one that a clean letter be received by the Planning Board Office from Keach concerning this amended site plan; and, that there be a performance guarantee provided.

Based on that the board conditionally approved the amended site plan. However, there was a discussion about requiring plans and documents to be discussed at a meeting provided at least two weeks in advance which hadn't happened with this case. The board plans to push harder for this requirement and is considering possibly refusing to hear a case if this requirement isn't followed and information for a hearing gets brought in the day of the hearing.

The board approved the Owens Court Amended Site Plan that allows for boat storage on the front of the lot and that the proposed second building be brought before the board within a year or at that point it would need to be reviewed again.  It was decided that the Owens Court site plan would come before the board for review again on September 4, 2023.

The board members discussed the new NH Housing Appeals Board where contested ZBA decisions are heard rather going to the Superior Court where judges may have little expertise in Land Use regulations and requirements.

 

 


Hampstead Planning Board Workshop Decisions and Master Plan Survey Information
By Penny Williams   7-23-21

Several decisions were made by the Hampstead Planning Board on Monday, July 19, at their workshop session.

There was an extensive discussion of the Briana Woods Subdivision located at 651 Main Street. The discussion centered on the protections for the Endicott Pear Tree that is at the entrance to the subdivision. The gist of the discussion provided by Town Engineer Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom Associates, was that the design, construction planning was all providing the best that can be done and decisions should be left to the construction crew.  Keach explained the area around the tree and indicated the road will be approximately 10-12 feet away from the tree when the road construction is complete. Keach suggested leaving the note regarding the distance “as determined in the field”. Tim Lavelle, Lavelle & Associates presenting, stated they are doing the best they can to preserve the tree, however there are no rules saying the tree needs to remain.

Keach reviewed a list of special conditions and member Randy Clark made a motion to approve the subdivision of land for property  located at 651 Main Street with special conditions. The board approved conditional approval.

 

The board held a conceptual discussion regarding 45 Danville Road. Randy Knowles from the Dubay Group was present to represent the landowner, Paul  Gosselin, and the owner of HHF, Ted Curtin.

The intent is to construct  a 20,000  square foot building with the required additional 108 parking spaces. There is a 50-foot buffer between the commercial site and the residential zone. Knowles commented that the plan will meet the parking space requirement on the site  with a total of 247 spaces with this proposal.

Gosselin stated he has been in conversation with Hampstead Area Water Company (HAWC) about bringing the water  line down Danville Road with his intent is to connect to HAWC to serve his site and lessen the burden on neighboring private wells. Gosselin stated he would also like to improve the traffic flow within the existing parking lot.

Gosselin stated they are proposing indoor and outdoor pickle ball courts. The plan  would be disturbing less than 100,000 acres and would not need  an Alteration of Terrain (AOT) permit. Once a formal application is submitted the board will receive all the required information, turn  around plans, landscape plans, etc. There were no member comments.

Jenn Rowden, Rockingham Planning Commission, Master Plan Sub Committee was present to update the board on the status of the Master Plan survey results. Rowden stated the goal was to obtain 500-800 people and they reached the  goal of 800 responses. The main themes included:

• Most residents want to maintain Hampstead’s rural character and see minimal growth, but many expressed a desire to encourage concentrated commercial development. There were diverse opinions about whether all development should be slowed.

• There is an overall desire to increase connectivity in the town. This included physical connectivity with trails and sidewalks, but also increasing community connectivity to enhance residents’ participation in local activities.

• Many are concerned about protecting Hampstead’s natural resources, particularly water resources and open spaces, and potential negative side effects from increased development of all types.

• Services provided by the Town are generally highly regarded, but with several services many responded as neutral. The large number of neutral responses indicated that many participants are unaware of the services or do not utilize them.

Asked what features should be pursued the responses were:

• There was a mix of the types of commercial property uses that were more desired in Hampstead, but generally low impact businesses/industry or services (such as restaurants) were preferred. There is a notable response from a small amount of participates to have limited or no additional commercial development.

• For future housing options, more residents preferred single family and generally did not want more multifamily or manufactured housing. There was concern from many participants regarding the affordability of living in Hampstead.

• Amenities such as open spaces, trails, farmers’ markets, bike paths and recreation facilities were also desired by most residents.

Rowden stated one of the next steps would be additional outreach in the fall; the committee may reach out to different demographic groups to drill down and get more  specific feedback.  Rowden stated the next step is to publish the survey results and  share with the town departments. She indicated that a quarter of the people who took the survey asked for more information.

Rowden reminded the board that the story map, the online version of the Master Plan, will start to be created and suggested some short video clips of towns people. The next Master Plan Sub- Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 5 at 6 p.m. The goal of the meeting is to work on the vision statement.

 


Hampstead Planning Board Continues All Three Public Hearings: 200 Central Street, 651 Main Street Subdivision and 27 Hazel Drive
By Penny Williams   7-8-21

The Hampstead Planning Board met on Tuesday, July 6, and continued all three scheduled public hearings.

The board dealt first with a subdivision of land at 200 Central Street/ Jim Lavelle, Lavelle & Associates, presented the proposed 4 lot subdivision that would create three new lots and one lot that would contain the current dwelling.

Lavelle said the proposed driveways had been given the ok by Road Agent Jon Worthen but board members questioned the sight distances, noting they would be less than required by the zoning ordinance. Lavelle said the Road Agent and Building Inspector can give discretionary approval for driveways. However, the board decided to hold this discussion at the next presentation because it was more concerned with what they felt was the lack of frontage on an approved roadway.

Both Town Counsel Diane Gorrow and Building Inspector Kris Emerson indicated that the proposed subdivision does not have the required frontage on an approved roadway and further that the frontage does not meet regulations that require it to not have any intervening property or street  

Central Street when it was straightened a number of years ago left a bump out of property between where Central Street previously went and where it went after being straightened. Ownership of this bump out is not clear. The proposed lots actually front on the old location of Central Street and not on the current Central Street which is the core of the issue.

The board said the burden of proof lies with the applicant and if further research can find evidence to prove to the Town Counsel and Building Inspector and the board that the frontage on the Old Central Street meets Hampstead zoning regulations it will consider it.

Lavelle requested a continuance for 60 days. The subdivision hearing will be heard again on the board's September 7, meeting.

The board then heard from Lavelle regarding the subdivision at 651 Main Street that has been carefully designed to protect the Endicott Pear Tree that is at the entrance to the subdivision, Endicott Drive.

Lavelle and the board discussed the protection provisions that have been added to the subdivision design. The plan has met most of the regulations but board members wanted more detail regarding the slope of the entrance and the implementation of guard rails and possibly a bigger radius for the tree's protection.

There was a lot of discussion that many adjustments will unquestionably take place during construction but the board voted to continue the hearing to their August 2, meeting.

Andrew Chisholm who has advocated for the tree's protection asked that the University of NH Extension  individuals be allowed to work with the construction company to ensure the tree is properly and completely protected.

Finally the board heard from Lavelle regarding the amended site plan for 27 Hazel Drive. At the previous meeting when this hearing came up Lavelle said he had no information regarding what the owner wanted to do with the lot.

As of Tuesday night, July 6, he said he still didn't have any information and therefore this can't move forward since the amended site plan isn't ready. The board continued this hearing to their August 2, meeting.

 


Hampstead Planning Board Continues Belle Hearing, the 200 Central Street Subdivision Hearing, the 27 Hazel Drive Hearing and Approves Edwards ADU and Winchester Heights Condos
By Penny Williams   6-9-21

On Monday night, June 7, the Hampstead Planning Board continued several hearings, some of which were already continued from before.

The board continued upon request, the subdivision of land located at 651 Main Street for the developer Maison Belle. This is the subdivision that has been dominated by efforts to preserve and protect the historic Endicott Pear Tree. The subdivision is for an  8 lot plan with the single Cul de Sac - Endicott Lane. The hearing was continued from May 3, and was continued again Monday night to the July 6, meeting of the board.

The  second hearing that was continued was a continued hearing from April that concerns a subdivision for property located at 200 Central Street. The subdivision of the parcel at 200 Central Street proposes subdividing the parcel into four lots, one of which would contain the current dwelling. All four lots would meet or exceed the required lot sizing by soil; all have sufficient frontage; and, the developer has the State Subdivision permit in hand.

The board and the public were concerned about the driveway sightlines for the new lots and the negative impact of adding four more wells. The subdivision requires a new well for the lot with the dwelling that is already in place.  The board approved continuing this hearing to the board's July 6, meeting.

The third hearing that was continued was a hearing that was continued from May 3. The property  is located at 27 Hazel Drive.  The parking lot of the site was not fully built when the site plan was approved back in the 1980s. The purpose originally was to expand the parking lot so the owner, a wonder paraplegic veteran, would be able to access the building directly. However, there was a discussion about reducing the overall size to allow for a quicker decision. It was decided the proposed amended site plan would be reduced in size and that a design for the drainage would be added. The board approved continuing the hearing as the company representing the owner had withdraw from representation for the June 7, meeting. It was continued to the July 6, meeting.

Ellen and Bob Edwards presented a request for approval of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) over their three car garage located at  30 Picadilly Road. The board had few questions and the Edwards had provided all the information required so the board approved the ADU request.

There was a discussion regarding the conversion of the Winchester Heights dwelling units to Condos presented by Charlie Zilch, SNC. He reviewed the plan, thirty, 2 bedroom units in nine buildings. There will be a Homeowners Association and a limited community area. Zilch indicated he added a community garden area as well as some Recreation Vehicle parking for residents of the complex.

He indicated that everything has been reviewed by Steve Keach, Keach-Nordstrom Associates, Town Engineer and by legal. The board moved to approve the conversion with the standard conditions.

Chair Steve Wentworth read into the record the Land Subdivision Regulation updates and the board approved the amended regulations as presented.

There were two requests for bond releases. One was for release of  a letter of credit  in the amount of $43,600 for Barlow Millwork and this was approved as Keach said everything had been successfully completed.

The second request was for release of $90,000 bond for the Four Season Estates that was to be built in phases but has now been stopped where it is with phase one completed and no plans to do anything more. The board approved this after a brief discussion.

 


Hampstead Planning Board Address Accessory Dwelling Unit Requests and Subdivisions
By Penny Williams      5-5-21

The Hampstead Planning Board, Monday, May 3, had a full agenda dealing with ADU submissions, subdivisions, an amended site plan and reviewing Winchester Heights subdivision Condominium conversion.

The first Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) submission by Joe Scotti was a continuation of a plan that the board on April 6, had previously stated was not in compliance with town ADU ordinances. The major issue is that the plan proposed ADU didn't directly attach the ADU to the Primary Dwelling Unit (PDU). The owner was advised to visit with Code Enforcement Officer Kris Emerson again and rework his plan.

The plan he presented Monday evening was not substantially different from the April version with the ADU still not directly attached to the PDU but attached by using a heated hallway. The board did react favorably and a final plan was presented by Scotti that attached the ADU directly to the garage going into the PDU mudroom.

After limited discussion the board voted to approve this final plan for the 272 Kent Farm Road proposed ADU,

Next up was an ADU request submitted by Mike Colbert for 18 Jody Lane. This plan showed the ADU connected to the PDU through the laundry room and all the other requirements were met. The board quickly approved this ADU request.

The first subdivision request was to subdivide one parcel into two lots at 264 Stage Road. The plan was presented by Tim Lavelle, James Lavelle & Associates.

The proposed plan had received Zoning Board of Adjustment approval for lot size by soils. There was one waiver requested, relief from the requirement for the lot line to be perpendicular to frontage which the board approved.

After a brief discussion the board approved the subdivision with the standard conditions provided by Town Engineer Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom & associates..

The second subdivision plan was also presented by Lavelle and it was for 651 Main Street and for the developer Maison Belle. This is the subdivision that has been dominated by efforts to preserve and protect the historic Endicott Pear Tree. The 8 lot subdivision plan with the single Cul de Sac - Endicott Lane - was still incomplete. State permits are still needed as is a drainage design.

Lavelle presented three waivers. The board after a discussion decided to deal with the waivers Monday evening and proceeded to combine two of the waivers relating to the Cul de Sac. These dealt with reducing the length and scope of the Cul de Sac and the board approved this. It also approved the other waiver for a slope less than 2 percent and only 25 feet not 100 feet from the main intersection. This was part of the effort to protect and preserve the Endicott Pear Tree.

There was a discussion about further protective measures being taken to protect the Endicott Pear Tree and about the final plans for a 30,000 gallon cistern to be located in the subdivision. The board approved continuing the proposed subdivision plan presentation to their June 7, meeting.

Lavelle presented an amended site plan for 27 Hazel Drive. The plan proposes to increase the size of the parking lot with no changes to anything else on the original site plan.

The parking lot was not fully built when the site plan was approved back in the 1980s. The purpose now is to expand the parking lot so the owner, a wonder paraplegic veteran, will be able to access the building directly.

There is a time element for the owner and it was suggested that the parking lot reconfiguration plan presented be reduced which would allow for a quicker decision. It was decided the proposed amended site plan would be reduced in size and that a design for the drainage would be added. The board approved continuing this amended site plan to their June 7, meeting.

There was a discussion about the proposed change on the Winchester Heights subdivision development from a single owner model to Condominiums. 

Josh Manning presented the request and the discussion determined that there were no changes to the plans in place other than the legal question of the ownership model. It turned out the plan already has the approval for the change from the Attorney  General's Office but needs the approval of the Town Attorney and the board.

Since this was 'just a discussion,' the board decided to approve Manning's request to continue it to the June 7, meeting. The building can continue at the development but until this ownership model conversion is finalized there can be no occupancy permits issued and it remains a 55 and older development.

 


Hampstead Planning Board Approves East Road Lot Line Adjustment
By Penny Williams    4-6-21

Monday evening, April 5, the Hampstead Planning Board finally approved the 62 East Road Lot line Adjustment.

Jeff Duford had faced opposition to his request for  a Lot Line Adjustment, which does create a buildable lot out of a lot previously unbuildable. Initially the board determined his presentation and plan were insufficient in facts and details.

Resident and abutter Colleen King at a previous meeting insisted the presentation of this plan was illegal because it had been presented in 2010 and denied by the board at that time. However, the board solicited a recommendation from Town Attorney Diane Gorrow that indicated there were sufficient differences between the plans to allow this one to go forward.

The lot line adjustment allows a small triangle of land to be removed from the front lot and  attached to the back lot previously considered non-buildable because it had no frontage so now it becomes a conforming buildable lot with frontage.

King and board member DJ Howard both suggested approval of this plan would set a bad precedent but Duford had his driveway design redone and it finally met the board and Town Engineer Steve Keach's approval. Keach (Keach Nordstrom Associates) noted the proposed lot line adjustment makes two non-conforming lots conforming. The board narrowly approved the lot line adjustment by a 4 to 3 vote with the requirement that a 15-foot easement be parallel to the driveway.

The board then heard the request for an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) for 212 Kent Farm Road. The board eventually took jurisdiction of this proposed plan but continued it until their May 3, meeting, telling the owner his proposed plan is not in compliance with town ADU ordinances.

The major issue is that the plan proposed didn't directly attach the ADU to the primary dwelling. The owner was advised to visit with Code Enforcement Officer Kris Emerson again and rework his plan.

An ADU request for 28 Hadley Road went the other way and was quickly approved having all things in compliance including the 500-foot driveway that is sufficiently wide and with a turnaround for safety equipment. This is a new house and ADU being built by Maison Belle LLC and the plan was presented by Tim Lavelle. James Lavelle Associates.

Lavelle presented a subdivision plan for 651 Main Street on behalf of Maison Belle LLC. The subdivision will have 8 new house lots with water and sewer on each.

Here the issue has been the Endicott Pear Tree which sits on a lot line. The history of the Endicott Pear Tree and the protection of this tree has been pushed by  Andy Chisholm. The Endicott Pear Tree  in Hampstead is considered the oldest pear tree in the state. The tree from which the Hampstead tree comes lives in a small protected area in Danvers, Massachusetts.

The Endicott Pear tree is generally considered to be the oldest cultivated fruit tree in North America. A sign states,   "Growing on this site is the oldest cultivated tree in America, planted ca. 1632 by John Endecott, first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The 'Endecott Pear Tree' is a living link to the earliest European settlers of our nation. Endecott was granted 300 acres where he settled and farmed, calling this property 'Orchard Farm.' This ancient tree lives as a symbol of heritage, strength and resilience. The tree is a European pear (Pyrus communis). There have been references in diaries since. It seems generally agreed that the tree was planted somewhere between 1632 and 1649."

New Hampshire is one of 17 states having one of the  clones of this tree and the Hampstead Tree arrived in Hampstead in 1843 which corresponds to records of when the Danvers tree was grafted.
   
Chisholm worked with the NH Agriculture Department and the NH Historical Department to verify the facts and history of the Hampstead Endecott Pear Tree. He enlisted the aid of the state, the UNH Extension and the town of Hampstead, to protect and preserve the tree whose existence is being threatened by a proposed subdivision whose property line presently bisects the tree. There was a letter from UNH placed in the record regarding the tree as it relates to the proposed subdivision plan and the proposed Cul de Sac named Endicott Lane.
      
Keach said the tree shows signs of needing an arborists attention and he made several suggestions about the tree and its location such as making a small lot line adjustment that would actually put the tree on the neighboring Chisholm property and become his issue. Keach also pointed out a Conditional Use Permit is required along with the other state permits which the developer doesn't yet have. After a discussion the board continued this hearing to the May 3, meeting.

The board received and looked at briefly the landscape plan provided by the Stateline Trailer Sales. A full blown Landscape design plan was not required but the board had asked for a proposed plan for what plantings would be provided and this was what they looked at and determined it met the board's request.

It was noted that Secretary Deb Soucy has tried to get in touch with the Rockingham Planning Commission regarding working on the Master Plan. Selectman Liaison Sean Murphy pointed out that the Capital Improvement Committee has started a list that includes: The Hampstead Central School $9 million project; the Fire Station $1.3 million project; The Veterans Memorial Gym replacement at an estimated $4 to 6 million; the Middle School parking and road $600,000 project; and, Town Garage  Expansion project. The list should be forwarded to Jen Rowden, Land Use Planner at RPC for use on Hampstead Master Plan work.

In Other Business:

* Heaven’s Kitchen, a ministry of St Anne’s Food Pantry and St Anne’s Parish in Hampstead would like to take a moment to thank everyone for their support of our Serve the Server community meals we have offered over the last few months.  Due to your participation and generosity, we have been able to provide over $12,000 to be given to the staffs at On the Corner Grill, Jamison’s, and Rick’s of Kingston. 
The Pandemic has really had an impact on the lives of us all over the course of this past year for sure.  It was a natural response for our organization to look for ways to help.  The weekend our locals’ schools in Hampstead moved to remote learning, Heaven’s Kitchen responded by providing daily pick up of breakfast and lunch 5 days a week as we know many families rely on those meals offered at school.

 Through the end of August, we provided about 10,000 meals for our local families through this program. 

Of course, through it all, St Anne’s Food Pantry continues to supply weekly groceries for 30-35 families each week.  We know the need is still high so please call 603-339-3731 if you have a need or know of a family that could use some help.
At our last community fundraising dinner this past Thursday, we ran out of meat for roughly the last 15 meals.  It is our biggest fear as you can imagine and want to apologize deeply to any families who did not get the meals as ordered.  No excuses, we just missed the mark by a bit, and we will work to improve going forward.  As I met those cars that arrived after we ran out as you can imagine, I was not looking forward to giving the bad news.  What was a terribly difficult moment however turned into one where I really experienced the beauty of the human spirit and the grace in our communities. 

For the most part, each person who received the sad news not only were very understanding but made their donation just the same!  To those folks, my deepest gratitude and I hope that you will give us another try when we schedule our next event. 

One quick note announcing another program we will be breaking ground on, literally, in the coming weeks.  St Anne’s Food Pantry will be creating a community garden space next to and behind the food pantry building.  Keep an eye out for our progress.

 

 


Hampstead Planning Board Continues All Four of Its Hearings
By Penny Williams    3-3-21

The Hampstead Planning Board continued all four of the applications on its Monday night, March 1, agenda, after discussing just two of the applications.

The hearing for the application of an Accessory Dwelling Unit at 272 Kent Farm Road requested by letter a continuance to April 5, and the board approved this.

Jim Lavelle, Lavelle Associates, requested a continuance to the April 5, meeting for the application for a Lot Line Adjustment at 264 Stage Road and the board approved the request.

Jeff Duford brought the board a requested design for the proposed driveway for his Lot Line Adjustment application for the property located at 62 East Road, which after an in-depth discussion the board determined was insufficient in facts and details.

The board, after putting Town Attorney Diane Gorrow's response to their question regarding whether this proposal was in fact illegal because it wasn't materially different from the proposal that was put forward in 2010 for this property, decided that there were sufficient differences to consider hearing this proposal. Gorrow had suggested this but said the final decision had to made by the Planning Board. It was significant, the board pointed out, that the 2010 proposal was a subdivision proposal whereas the current proposal is just a lot line adjustment.

Public comment from abutters continued to question whether this proposal should be allowed primarily because of concerns with the proposed driveway, which the board itself has concerns with. The board instructed Duford to have the driveway design done professionally and if possible to have his engineer, Kevin Camm, or someone who could respond to board questions, accompany him at the April 5 hearing.

Lavelle introduced the subdivision of the parcel at 200 Central Street. The subdivision proposes subdividing  the parcel into four lots, one of which would contain the current dwelling.

All four lots would meet or exceed the required lot sizing by soil; all have sufficient frontage; and, the developer has the State Subdivision permit in hand.

The board and the public comment mostly centered on the driveways for the new lots. They don't appear to meet the required 400-feet  sight lines but there were no specific footages on the plan although they do appear to meet the State requirements that are only 200-feet.

The driveways were the primary concern although abutters raised concerns over potential harm to their wells by having four new wells dug and put into operation in the neighborhood. The subdivision requires a new well for the lot with the dwelling already in place.

Lavelle said the developer has three choices regarding the water and hasn't decided on which way to go.  A cistern could be put in; there could be two locations for a hydrant; or, the Hampstead Area Water Company water line at Hadley Road could be extended to service the subdivision.

Lavelle requested a continuance to the April 5, meeting at which time he would have answers on the well issue and the driveways issues. The board approved the continuance.

The board discussed a work session down the road with the Town Engineer Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom Associates to correct or improve several zoning and site plan requirements.

The board thanked member Paul Carideo for his years of service since he has decided not to run for re-election. Carideo urged board members to be cognizant of things they have approved and to check on them regularly to ensure that what the board approved is actually what is or has been developed.

 


Abutter Questions Legality of Lot Line Adjustment Request to Hampstead Planning Board
By Penny Williams   2-20-21

The Hampstead Planning Board met on Tuesday, February 16, and dealt with a number of issues including an abutter contesting a requested Lot Line adjustment as illegal.

Colleen King spoke up after Jeff Duford  discussed his request for a Lot Line Adjustment for property located at 62 East Road. Kevin Camm is the Engineer on the project and he was not available. The reason for the adjustment, according to Duford, is to allow a new driveway to be put in off of Cherubs Way to the a new house lot.

It was noted that a driveway permit is needed and a driveway plan since this is actually a new subdivision and there has to be adequate turn around for emergency vehicles. It was also noted that because of the topography there is also a culvert needed under the proposed driveway. The board indicated more information on this request was needed and were discussing continuing it to the next meeting.

King, speaking during public comment,  told the board this property and the design had been denied by the Planning Board back in 2010 because it was an odd shaped lot, landlocked until a triangular piece was added making it even more odd shaped, and the driveway issues of sharpness and drop.

She indicated that a 1980 Supreme Court ruling was that when a plan is denied and is later brought back substantially unchanged it should not be considered. She requested that the plan be denied and not even considered.

The board discussed this briefly and asked Secretary Deb Soucy to contact Town Council about this issue and get clear guidance with respect to moving forward with this Lot Line Adjustment request. The board also asked her to get information from Camm as well regarding this plan and the plan that was proposed and denied in 2010. The board then continued this to their March 1, meeting.

The board was concerned with extending the Conditional Approval of the Camp Tel Noar Yurt Village Expansion. Given the current COVID-19 circumstances the board decided to give Camp Tel Noar a 6 month extension and then at the August 2, meeting, discuss the situation again.

The board was not in favor of accepting Tim Lavelle, Lavelle Associates, reasoning in support of his presentation for a subdivision for property at 264 Stage Road. The proposal is to subdivide the property into two lots with Hampstead Area Water Company providing the water for the new lot.

Town Engineer Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom Associates, in his review letter raised a question about the lot sizing by soils for the proposed subdivision. The state requires one thing but the Hampstead Zoning regulations requires another and when these conflict the board goes with the town regulations most of the time. The board noted in a similar case, the Williams property, they had required the town regulations not the state requirements be met. 

The board indicated the proposed subdivision doesn't meet the town's criteria and they determined that Town Attorney should be involved before continuing this hearing. The board voted to continue this to the March 1 meeting.

The board, after a discussion with Lavelle over a request to waive the cul de sac size at 339 East Road, approved the request.

There was a conceptual discussion regarding a possible Depot Road Development at 70-90 Depot Road. It would be a combined 15 acres for multiple unit dwellings, totaling 31 bedrooms.

In the end it was the board's suggestion that the lots need to be voluntarily merged back together and the developer should consider a minimum of 20 units under multi-family dwellings.

The board discussed at length the change of use at 2 Starwood Drive whose hearing request had been withdrawn. There are issues with the parking lot having been increased in size without a plan and that boat storage is on the lawn which is not the right use of the land.

An amended site plan is needed  and the board needs to know exactly how many boats will be stored on the land and how much of the land will be used for such storage. A temporary permit doesn't get the job done, the board noted.  If the storage of boats is to be permanent  there must be compliance and monitoring and a plan is needed for the parking lot enlargement and the boat storage area for the board to review.

It was noted that the owners of the boats using the land for storage are the same owners who did something similar at Owens Court. They used the same approach of a temporary permit and the board said this is not applicable and requested a formal site plan for both the Starwood Drive storage area and the Owens Court area.  It was noted if the boat owners go for the storage permit at Owens Court they will lose the vesting for their proposed building at that site that they haven't built yet.

 


Hampstead Planning Board Reviews Zoning Amendments
By Penny Williams   1- 5- 21

The Hampstead Planning Board met Monday night, January 4, and reviewed the four proposed amended Zoning Amendments, recommending them to the Warrant as presented.

The articles are as follow and the full copy of the amendment text of the proposed amendments is available in the Town Clerk's Office.

* Article 1
To see if the Town will vote to amend Article III-5:4 A, In Commercial Zone C2 by replacing the existing language with the following: “The minimum lot size shall be the appropriate square footage required under Article II-1 (Soil-based Lot Size) and Article II-2 (Wetlands Ordinance) for the soil and slope which constitute such lot, or 45,000 square feet, whichever is larger.”
Recommended by the Planning Board

* Article 2
To see if the Town will vote to adopt Article I-2:3 Building Permits Required, Under General Provisions, “C. For any Building Permit issued which includes elements of roofing, siding, windows, and doors; these exterior elements must be completed within 12 months of issuance of said Building Permit.”
Recommended by the Planning Board

* Article 3
To see if the Town will vote to rezone the land consisting of the area on the Northerly side of Route 111, bounded on the Northeast by the existing C-2 Zone at Map 12, Lot 15, bounded on the Southwest by Village Green Road, bounded on the East by Route 111 and bounded on the Northwest by a line which is four hundred feet (400’) distant from the Northerly line of Route 111, from Zone A (Residential) to Zone C-2 (Commercial).
Recommended by the Planning Board

* Article 4
To see if the Town will vote to adopt Article I-2:10 Unregistered Motor Vehicles and Boats, Under General Provisions, “No lot in the Residential or Recreational Districts may be used for the outside storage of more than two unregistered and/or uninspected motor vehicles. No more than one unregistered boat shall be permitted on a lot.”
Recommended by the Planning Board

During the discussion on Amendment 1, board member Randy Clark suggested that the 'or' be changed to 'OR' to make the zoning amendment's meaning clearer. Member Paul Carideo said this had been discussed previously and the board had been satisfied with it as written. Clark asked Attorney Bernard Campbell, who was in the audience waiting for the amendment he had an interest in to be discussed, for an opinion. Campbell indicated he didn't feel the change was necessary.

Resident Carl Cote brought up his concerns with Amendment 4 providing the board members with copies of how surrounding towns deal with this issue. He was concerned that referenced boats might be construed to apply to kayaks and row boats as well as noting that 'garage' would be a more appropriate designation than 'outside storage.' The board heard him out but insisted these things had been considered and the request for the amendment had come from the Code Enforcement Office and declined to make any changes.

It was also noted that Article 2 had come from a request from the Code Enforcement Office but there was no discussion regarding this amendment and there was no discussion of changes for Article 3.

The board then discussed the Change of Use application sought by Claire Aoun concerning her plan to rent the property at 2 Starwood Drive to open a Used Auto Sales business.

After a lengthy discussion the board voted to continue the application to their February meeting. The issue is the present owner of the property, acquired additional land, paved that property but didn't get Planning Board approval for either project and therefore is in violation of the ( property owner's) current approved site plan.

The board felt they couldn't address the applicant's request for a change of use for the property until the violations were addressed and an amended site plan had been approved by the Planning Board. However, they didn't want the applicants to be charged any money because of the wait so continued their hearing to the February  1, meeting.

 

 

 

 


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


Top of Page

 

Back to all Hampstead Planning Board News Articles