2020 Sandown Planning Board Meetings

Sandown Planning Board Continue Discussing Hoyt Hills Open Space Subdivision
By Penny Williams 12-17-20

The Sandown Planning Board on Tuesday, December 15, heard from Recreation Director Deb Brown about the Recreation Component the previous Hoyt subdivisions failed to satisfy.

Charlie Zilch, SEC & Associates speaking about the Multi-Family Residential Site Plan Application for an Open Space Development to consist of 48 two-bedroom townhouses at the easterly end of Ferguson Lane owned by D&H Construction of Plaistow, Inc., went over the various attempts to develop land owned by the Hoyt family. Several  subdivisions never got built. However, one issue that has never been satisfied is the Recreation Component.

Brown went over several meeting minutes and discussed the attempts to provide  the Recreation Component. But the minutes show that between 1995 and now the only Recreation Component that has actually taken place was the transfer of a 6 acre parcel to the Town to be developed recreationally. The parcel was donated to the town but no recreational work has been developed on the parcel.

The minutes show that there was a plan to develop Miller Field as a proposed recreational component, specifically parking, a bathroom and a ball field. However, the Hoyts never did anything there at Miller Field although other people have done some improvements over time.

This failure to actually provide the Recreational Component promised by Hoyt developments is a condition that has to be resolved before the current Hoyt Hills   Open Space subdivision can go forward. The board suggested that Zilch meet with  Hoyt and Brown and see what would be possible in terms of developing recreational improvements that would benefit the town.

One possibility would be to develop a ball field in one section of Hoyt land that can't be used for building because it is in the Flood Plain. Another would be to swap the 6 acre parcel for some other parcel Hoyt owns that could be developed and another would be to do the recreational development at Miller Field. This last one has difficulties since there are serious parking issues there.

Brown took the opportunity to ask the board to ensure that Recreation is included in discussions about what can be done to satisfy the recreational responsibilities and for further discussions down the road to determine what  recreational improvements should be acceptable from developments. She indicated the Recreation Department appreciates the monetary donations of $1000 per parcel many developments have provided in lieu of developing a subdivision recreation area most residents didn't want. But, she noted this amount hasn't kept pace with growth and costs. She also noted that the same is true of impact fees and that too should be looked at again.

Charlie Lanza, Hampstead Area Water Company, discussed what has evolved from the Hampstead Area Water Company testing of wells fir the development. There are  3 wells outside the development and 2 within the proposed development. He said the results have been positive and a final report will be forwarded to the Department of Environmental Services.

However, Planning Board member John White brought up the fact that at least one neighbor has had a problem with his well following the testing.

That neighbor called in and gave the details of his issues and said he is facing serious impacts and is wondering what can be done to help him. Lanza said he would meet with the homeowner and go over what his company is doing to correct the situation.

Zilch said the Sandown Fire Department has signed off on the development and the Fish & Game have as well. The other required permits have been received. The board voted to continue the public hearing on the Multi-Family Residential Site Plan Application for an Open Space Development to consist of 48 two-bedroom townhouses at the easterly end of Ferguson Lane on January 19. The hope is there will be a plan to meet the Recreational Component required.

The board heard from Nick Cristofori from CEI regarding how the Town will need to adopt an updated  an ordinance  at the Town meeting that regulates stormwater development at sites that disturb one or more acres.

Cristofori indicated he has an ordinance available to the Town and Town Engineer Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom Associates to review and use for this purpose.

He and Keach went over the need to develop stormwater regulations that will support and  carry out the ordinance and get these implemented in the Town's Zoning Ordinances and regulations. These regulations need to be in place by June so the Town has a little more time to deal with this aspect.

Zilch was also there to have the board chair and vice chair sign the Angle Pond Plans so they can be registered. Keach went over the conditions of the approval for this subdivision plan and said they have all been met. Given that Chair Ernie Brown and Vice Chair John White signed the plans.


Sandown Planning Board Hear Concerns on Hoyt Development Traffic Study, Wells,  and Financial Impact Study
By Penny Williams    12-2-20

Charlie Zilch, SEC  and Associates, met with the Sandown Planning Board on Tuesday evening, December 1, and went over the Multi-Family Residential Site Plan for an Open Space Development with 48 two-bedroom townhouses. This included a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) request associated with the impact on 6,791 square feet of land area in the Wetlands Conservation District. The project application was submitted by D & H Construction of Plaistow, Inc. and the property is located at the easterly end of Ferguson Lane.

Zilch and Town Engineer Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom Associates, discussed the Conditional Use Permit. Keach said the Sandown Conservation Commission had submitted a letter recommending the project to the Planning Board. The Sandown Conservation Commission signed off on the CUP and Keach agreed. The Planning Board then voted to approved the Conditional Use Permit.

Stephen Pernaw, principal of the Stephen G. Pernaw & Company, Inc. who did the Traffic Study related to the development, requested by residents in the neighborhood,  gave his report.

The report was based on the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Pernaw indicated that the traffic increases by the trips generated wouldn't be detrimental although he indicated the number of trips on the neighboring roads would be about doubled as a result of the development. He indicated there would be no congestion impacts and recommended specific stop signs and lines be used.

His findings were questioned by board member John White who had recused himself from the board for the hearing.

White felt that the number of trips and the amount of new traffic to be generated were under stated by the report. He also felt the public was misled by the numbers that related to just the snapshot in time that the traffic study was done. A caller later agreed with his questions relative to the findings. Pernaw indicated that his study was done accurately and his numbers were representative of what would happen.

Zilch went over the Financial Report that basically found that the impact of the development would be fiscally positive on the community, the schools and the adjacent residential properties.

Several residents raised serious concerns about the potential damage to their wells from the tests on the wells for the development by the Hampstead Area Water Company (HAWC).

The residents wanted some sort of a surety bond in place to protect them should there be any damage but Keach made it clear that the state does not allow a municipality to issue such a surety bond.

Keach indicated that while resident concerns might be reasonable, if HAWC hit any issues they would shut the test down.

Residents were not satisfied with this and expressed many concerns and issues with not being provided any assurances while the tests were being conducted and any protection against future damage resulting from these wells being put online.

Residents brought up concerns that the multi-family unit development would have a negative impact on property values;  would impact the fire department services; would impact school enrollment; and,  there were questions regarding a $60,000 payment made in 2006 at an earlier development that didn't happen for Recreation.

The hearing was continued.

The board approved releasing $507.50 of a PREA (Professional Review Engineer Account) fund payment by Darlene and Roger Jette for their property development at 2 Hawkwood Road. They had paid $1,000 and Keach explained that the $507.50 was not used to pay him for his services so would be released back to them. The board approved the release.

Sandown Planning Board Continues Ferguson Lane Multi-Family Site Plan Hearing
By Penny Williams   11-18-20

The Sandown Planning Board met Tuesday evening, November 17, and continued its main hearing and a potential subdivision discussion.

Chair Ernie Brown said the consultants for the Multi-Family Residential Site Plan public hearing scheduled for that night were unable to be present. Thus the property owner, D&H Construction of Plaistow, Inc., requested a continuance to the board's December 1, meeting.

The application, submitted by D & H Construction of Plaistow, Inc., called for an Open Space Development to consist of 48 two bedroom townhouses, as well as an application for a Conditional Use Permit for associated impacts to an estimated 6.791 square feet of land area situated in the Wetlands Conservation District.

This property is located at the easterly end of Ferguson Lane.

Brown also said Tim Lavelle, Lavelle Associates, had not submitted all the information needed to discuss a possible subdivision of property owned by Annette Titorenko so requested a continuance to the board's December 1, meeting.

The board approved both continuances and spent the balance of the meeting discussing what they wanted to do regarding reviewing potential upgrades and changes to the town's Master Plan. It was decided to stick to Open Space, Town Center, and Site Plan Review as the initial parts of the Master Plan the board wants to work on going forward.


Sandown Planning Board Approves Meaney and Loader Applications
By Penny Williams    7-22-20

The Sandown Planning Board met Tuesday evening, July 21, and had a full agenda that didn't turn out that way.

The Continued Hearing for the Multi-Family Residential Site Plan Application for the Open Space Development and the Conditional Use Application for Hoytwood, off of Ferguson Lane owned by  D&H Construction of Plaistow, requested a continuance to the board's August 18, meeting so didn't happen. In addition, Deb Brown, Recreation Director, failed to show up for a scheduled discussion on Recreation Donations, so that didn't happen.

The board heard a request from Bob Meaney regarding his request for a building permit on Hersey Road, a Class VI road. He had been before the Board of Selectmen in June and had received their approval for him to build on lots he owns on Hersey Road, a Class VI road. He had to comply with providing an agreement to the Town that the Town would provide no maintenance on the road, that he would provide the town with a hold harmless agreement, and these documents would be filed at the Registry of Deeds. He agreed but he still had to go before the Planning Board. The Board of Selectmen had approved his request subject to comment from the Planning Board.

Meaney had approvals from both the Danville and Sandown Fire Departments. Town Engineer Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom Associates, recommended the board forward a favorable letter to the Selectmen regarding Meaney's request for a building permit. The board unanimously approved doing this.

The board held a public hearing for a Lot Line Adjustment application from Christopher Loader regarding property located at 219 Main Street. Kevin Hatch, Cornerstone Survey, Chester, presented the request and Keach said his application was about as perfect as you could get.

The 60-foot lot line adjustment is an even area lot exchange for the purpose of providing a greater buffer zone for the business, Chestnut Hill Auto that is on one lot and the new dwelling that will be built will be on the abutting lot, both lots owned by Loader. The dwelling will face Chestnut Hill Lane.

A couple of residents questioned the driveway entrance being on Chestnut Hill Lane rather than Main Street but Keach agreed with Hatch that this is the safest and best practice for the driveway. It was noted that had Hatch put the driveway entrance on Main Street both Keach and the State would have rejected that and asked that it be put on Chestnut Hill Lane. There was a brief discussion and the board unanimously approved the request subject to Hatch setting the remainder of the boundary markers, which he said he would do immediately.

Board Chair Ernie Brown and Vice Chair John White were asked to sign the Mylars for the Nordic Realty Trust two lot subdivision at 56 North Road that was approved with conditions August 16, 2019.

 Keach at the time said  the conditions for approval included receiving the NHDES Subdivision Permit; waivers noted on plan; and, certification that all boundaries are set. The board Tuesday night signed the Mylars because  Keach said the State Subdivision Permit has been issued and received, he has provided a "clean" letter and the waivers have noted on the site plan and he had received notice that the bounds had been set.

Brown and White then signed the Mylars as requested so they can be filed at the Registry of Deeds.

White  brought up, taking a look at the town's Open Space Zoning Ordinance that is 10 to 12 years old. He feels that there have been two Open Space plans submitted recently and this marks a trend and he feels things have changed and the ordinance needs to be updated. The board and Keach discussed this at length.

White suggested that other towns might be doing the same but Keach told him that the other towns are moving to adopt the Sandown ordinance which he wrote because it is considered a model. However, Keach noted that Sandown site plan regulations and requirements might need updating and it wouldn't hurt to look at the Open Space ordinance.

Brown agreed and the board decided it will return to two meetings a month after Labor Day if both are needed in order to devote one meeting to a workshop on this subject.


Sandown Planning Board Took Jurisdiction of Multi-Family Condo Site Plan
By Penny Williams  6-19-20

On Tuesday night, June 16, the Sandown Planning Board took jurisdiction of the proposed David Hoyt Multi-Family Condominium Site Plan.

Charlie Zilch, S.E.C. Associates, presented the site plan to the board. He first reviewed the history of this development which actually began in 1993. Zilch went over the various iterations between then and now and said the present site plan calls for an Open Space Development consisting of 48-two bedroom townhouses. The applicant is also seeks a Conditional Use Permit for associated impacts to an estimated 6,791 square feet of land area in the Wetlands Conservation District. Hoyt, known now as D & H Construction of Plaistow, Inc., is the property owner and the property is located at the easterly end of Ferguson Lane.

A site plan put forward in 2009 and withdrawn was a conventional site plan calling for a development that would consist of 24 4-bedroom dwellings.  That development site plan would have been approved had it gone forward but vernal pools were found on the property that had to be protected and that was the start of the market collapse leading to the withdrawal of the development at that point.

The current property includes 80.6 acres with frontage on Ferguson Lane and the 48, two bedroom townhouses will be contained in 13 buildings which will have 3 or 4 units each. The style and set up[ is almost exactly the same as the Angel Pond Woods development. There will be shared septic systems and 2 dug community wells.  There will be one internal roadway, Cole Circle, which while built to town road standards will be a private road and in the Home Owner Association documents it will state that it will always be a private road. There are 53.3 acres of open space or 66 percent of the property and the stormwater drainage and the wetland crossings have been designed by Bill Hall, Civil Design Consultants.

Town Engineer Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom Associates said the plan is extremely well done and meets zoning and engineering requirements. He said the Condo documents should include that the units can only be two bedroom and this would be a deed restriction.

The board asked Keach if the application was complete and he said yes. Without much further discussion the board voted unanimously to take jurisdiction of the site plan and since it met all the requirements for the Conditional Use Permit that was part of the jurisdiction.

Keach recommended that the board, as a condition of approval, include the applicant assuming a portion of the cost to improve Ferguson Lane. It is already a failing roadway and the construction traffic associated with the development will cause more damage and the road will need to be redone. The board agreed to this.

There were several residents who came with their concerns which largely had to do with traffic issues. The residents felt people already drive too fast on Ferguson Lane and the development would add to that. They wanted something done to slow the speed. There were concerns raised about the construction noise and several questioned whether this development would cause their property values to be decreased or their taxes to be increased. Several questioned whether there would be sufficient buffer zones to basically hide the development. Zilch, Hall and Keach fielded the questions and provided what answers were possible.

The state permits and other documents need to be gotten and the board continued the hearing for 60 days. It can be pushed out further if need be but this was at least a start.      


Sandown Planning Board Holds Public and Compliance Hearings
By Penny Williams    5-6-20

The Sandown Planning Board met Tuesday evening, May 5, and approved the public hearing review of a minor subdivision as well as signing off on a compliance hearing.

The Public Hearing was to review the minor subdivision application of Roger and Darlene Jette at their 2 Hawkwood Road location. The plan is to subdivide the  2.18 acre lot into two lots, one with 1.02 acres and the second with 1.11 acres. The house will remain on the lot accessed from Hawkwood Road and the new lot will be accessed off of Main Street. A state driveway permit has been applied for as has the state subdivision permit. The plan is for a new dwelling to be built on the new lot. There are no wetlands on the two lots but there could be wetland impact from a neighboring lot.

There were two waivers requested by Tim Lavelle, Lavelle Associates, who represented the Jettes. The first waiver was a request to not have to rebuild the shoulders of Hawkwood Road. Lavelle pointed out this road has just fairly recently been improved and the shoulders as well and it made no sense to tear the shoulders up. Town Engineer Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom Associates agreed and recommended the board approve this waiver request which they did.

The second waiver request asked that the Jettes not have to provide recreation to the single lot that will be created. The Sandown Planning Board has had a long running discussion about trying to do away with this requirement for minor subdivisions (1 to 3 lots) but that has not happened as yet. Throughout the years developers, in some situations, have been allowed to make a voluntary donation to the Recreation Improvement Fund in lieu of providing actual recreation to a subdivision. Keach recommended that this waiver request be approved which the board did but reaffirmed their intention to address this issue in the near future.

Keach said the plan, except for needing the two state permits, met all zoning requirements and since the board approved the waivers it met the planning and design requirements. He recommended that the board conditionally approve the subdivision which the board did.

The Compliance Hearing was for the DF Realty Trust Valerie Way plan which the board previously approved but which needed Board of Selectmen approval for the elimination of one existing easement and the approval of a drainage easement. The Selectmen signed off previously on the easements and forwarded the documents to the Planning Board.

Tuesday evening the board accepted a performance bond in the amount of $31,280 for the development and Keach indicated that all relevant documents had been received. He recommended the board accept the performance bond and that board officers should sign the documents and the site plan so it can be registered. Chair Ernie Brown and Secretary Ed Mencis signed the documents and plan making them ready to be registered.

In other business:

* The board discussed and approved a request to release the improvement bond for Kelley Green Estates on Wilkele Road in the amount of $12,960. Several board members had gone by to check the development and noted that it looked really good.

Sandown Planning Board Approves D. F. Realty Trust
By Penny Williams  4-9-20

At the Sandown Planning Board Tuesday night meeting on April 7,  the board conditionally approved the D. F. Realty Trust site plan for construction of two 5,280 square foot commercial contractor buildings on property located on Valerie Way.

   This plan was introduced in February when  the planning board heard from Meera Alanoly, representing developer Charlie Zilch, SEC Associates, regarding the site plan. This project was actually started back in 2002 as an 8 lot commercial development where the roadway was partially completed before the developer defaulted. The Town took over the bond and completed the roadway and drainage some 7 years later. D T Realty Trust bought 3 of the 6 lots remaining. One of those three lots , lot 7, is a building site that will be completed by summer. That meeting was continued to March but that meeting was canceled so it was taken up on Tuesday night.
   The two  DF Realty Trust lots are 5.9 acres with 150-foot frontage and 2.5 acres with 125 -foot frontage. The two lots will each have a contractor commercial building that will be a 4 bay buildings for rent. It is anticipated that the renters would be occupations such as plumbers, electricians and the like. The property owner, Steve Doherty, will be occupying the lot 7 building for his own business while renting the spaces in these two buildings.
   The two proposed  buildings will be similar to the building being constructed on Lot 7 by Doherty. Each will have its own septic and driveway and the two  buildings will share water and parking. There is a drainage and stormwater management plan for the two lots that will include a double catch basin and a closed drainage system that will discharge the water into an infiltration basin.

   A condominium complex that was built on Valerie Circle by Dean Howard abuts the parcels for these commercial buildings. At the February meeting, several condominium owners were present to ask questions and raise concerns.  Subsequently the Little Mill Condominium Association Board has reached an agreement with Doherty that addresses their concerns. Doherty has agreed to adding trees to block the construction and view of the two buildings. This was established Tuesday night.
   One condominium board member Tuesday evening raised a question of whether Doherty would assist with erecting a fence and another asked if the town would get the street name straightened out - from  Valerie Way to Valerie Court.

   Zilch said Doherty would assist with the fencing and Town Administrator Lynne Blaisdell said the town is aware of the need to correct the street sign and would take care of that.

    Zilch asked for a waiver from having to put high intensity soils at the site and Town Engineer Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom Associates, said the board should approve it because that soil is already there having been put there 15 years ago and that information is on file as existing. The board approved the waiver request.

   Keach said he recommended conditional approval of the site plan since it meets all the requirements and his letter is a clean letter, all comments having been addressed. He recommended the usual conditions as well as noting on the plan that the easements on the property had been before the Board of Selectmen and one has been eliminated and the other will be approved by the selectmen as soon as the planning board approves the site plan. The board conditionally approved the site plan unanimously.

    The board went through the reorganization process and current Chair, Ernie Brown was re-appointed chair and current Vice Chair John White was reappointed
as Vice Chair and Ed Mencis continues as Secretary.

   The meeting was held electronically as most, if not all, meetings are conducted during this pandemic period.


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

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