2018 Raymond Planning Board Meetings

Raymond Planning Board Conditionally OKs 21-Lot Conservation Subdivision
By Penny Williams    1-24-18

The Raymond Planning Board conditionally approved a proposed 21-lot conservation subdivision, to be named Lakeside Estates, on 86 acres between 36 and 61 Langford Road on Jan. 18.

Builder Bruce Delle Chiaie has said the subdivision would feature 1,400- to 3,000-square-foot, two- and three-bedroom homes plus garages on lots of three-quarter of an acre to 1 acre in size, with individual well and septic systems.

The continued hearing that evening on the submitted application was presented by Scott Cole of Beals Associates, Inc., of Stratham. He noted that a site walk took place Dec. 17 and the site plan had been before the Technical Review Committee (TRC), which included the Department of Public Works and the Town's Engineer, on Jan. 2 regarding road design issues. He said design revisions and three waiver requests resulted from the TRC meeting.

Cole said he had just received a letter from the Town Engineering firm, DuBois and King, regarding a few minor issues, and Chair Jim Kent said the board had only just received the same letter. After a brief discussion it was decided to review that letter before proceeding to the waiver requests.

DuBois and King suggested seven issues that should either be added to the plan or revised, and Cole agreed to all of the suggestions. He said several had already been addressed and the rest would be.

The board then turned to the waiver requests. The first had to do with proposed road width. Town regulations require a 24-foot roadway but the design proposed and the waiver requests the roadway width be 22 feet with 4-foot shoulders on either side. After a brief discussion the board approved this with only Gretchen Gott opposed. She said 4-foot shoulders would be insubstantial and she preferred the 24-foot width.

The second waiver request dealt with the cul-de-sac and the Town regulations of a collector road that has 150 to 500 vehicle trips per day and a speed limit of 35 miles per hour. Cole said the road is more of a rural road than a collector road and has been designed to slow traffic; they are proposing a 25 mph speed limit.

The TRC had supported this waiver and the planning board voted unanimously to approve it. The board also voted to send a letter to the Board of Selectmen recommending the speed limit of 25 mph for the roadway be approved, as it is a public road and approval for that 25 mph speed must come from that board.

The third waiver concerned the grade in the cul-de-sac. The design calls for slightly more than the Town regulation specifies, and to get the exact percent required would necessitate elongating the cul-de-sac and approach, which would increase the percent of the roadway grade and allow for greater speed. The board after a brief discussion voted unanimously in favor of granting the waiver.

The board and Cole discussed design changes in terms of easement language changes and drainage issues, including adding culverts and ditch easements along Langford Road and between lots 1 and 2.

The proposed cistern came up for discussion as well, and the TRC wants the development’s Home Owners Association to own and maintain it. At the TRC meeting, Fire Chief Paul Hammond said Raymond does not own or maintain any development cisterns and this should be a condition of approval. The board agreed, and while Cole said he found this unusual, he didn't refuse.

Lorrie O'Connor from the Conservation Commission requested that the back lot line of each lot have a placard marking it, and said the commission wanted a placard every 25 feet marking the exterior of the open space area, an area of more than a mile.

The board and the applicant's surveyor took exception to the exterior marking request, calling it excessive, and the board accepted blazing the trees as marking for the exterior boundary.

The Conservation Commission also wanted to be able to review the Home Owners Association documents. It was decided that if there is something the commission disagrees with in the documents, that would have to be brought back to the Planning Board and then passed on to Legal Counsel for resolution.

The School Impact Fee per lot was established at $3,369; the total impact fee for the project would be $70,749. The board then made a motion to conditionally approve the proposed open space subdivision and member Jonathan Wood read the conditions into the record. The board voted unanimously to conditionally approve the application.

In other business:

• The board took up an application for a lot line adjustment presented by Blaisdell Survey LLC on behalf of Derek and Tanya Martin for property at 8 Langford Road.

The proposal is to move an existing property line of two pre-existing lots owned by the Martins by taking 2.4536 acres from Lot 13, reducing it to 10.8850 acres, and adding that 2.4536 acres to Lot 14, making it 5.0627 acres. The application was deemed complete and it was explained that the Martin dwelling is on the larger lot and that the Martins wish to enlarge the smaller lot for a relative to build a home.

Waivers for Raymond’s Meadows Subdivision Under Discussion
By Penny Williams   1-18-18

The Raymond Planning Board heard waiver requests Jan. 11 for The Meadows subdivision application, in which developer Keith Martel proposes to build 172 condominium townhomes in 43 buildings on an 86-plus-acre parcel at 41 Chester Road (Route 102).

The project first went before the Planning Board on April 20, 2017, with continued hearings in June, August, September and November 2017.  The Planning Board conducted a site walk on May 21, 2017.

At November’s hearing the applicant had offered four new conceptual site designs that were intended to limit the number of waivers needed for roadway infrastructure. However, the board rejected them at that time and requested that the applicant return to his originally submitted plan with an approved 50-foot right-of-way drawn on it. This right-of-way would show that in the event the private roadways within the subdivision were to become public, there would be 50 feet available for the road to meet Town regulations.

Speaking for the applicant, Attorney Patricia Panciocco reviewed the two general waivers and said all of the other roadway waivers would fall under the umbrella of those two. Once the two general waivers had been dealt with, she said, they would proceed road by road to deal with horizontal and straight tangent issue waivers.

Martel showed the board members where each area on each of the proposed development roadways would require a waiver, either because the curve or turn would be tighter than allowed by Town regulations, or the distance between the curves would be less than what is required by Town regulations.

Before they could get to the first waiver, however, Attorney Scott Hogan, representing neighbors Bob and Kathy McDonald, said the plan as presented is not a new plan and does not show a 50-foot right-of-way. The lines drawn on the plan to show where a 50-foot right-of-way would be go through parking lots and other areas, he said, and noted the land within the 50-foot right-of-way needs to be removed from what is considered usable land. He said that because all the waivers would be related to these, they should not be considered.

The board went into non-public session for a discussion with their attorney, Laura Spector-Morgan. When they returned to public session, they asked that the applicant redo the land area calculation by the next meeting.

The board then returned to the subject of the waivers. Panciocco made it clear the first was a general waiver that sought to provide the AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) criteria to the roadways utilizing the curves and other roadway designs to minimize speed. The board ultimately voted to grant the waiver.

Planning Board member Jonathan Wood made a motion to waive the specific town regulations regarding private roads adhering to design and construction requirements, acknowledging that to do so using the current regulations would create a high speed, unsafe road in the dense condominium development.  The only member of the board to vote no was Gretchen Gott, whose concern is that the development’s condominium association would not be able to enforce the 15-miles-per-hour speed limit.

Before getting to the second waiver, which dealt with the classification of the roadways within the development, Hogan questioned the hardship element and said the board had already established that all the roads would be collector roads. He made the point that if these roadways need waivers, then the development plan is not suited to the land.

The McDonalds expressed concern that the decision in September to call the development roads collector roads rather than arterial roads is now being changed to call them rural roads. Chair Jim Kent noted that at the time that was the best estimate based on what was before the board, and further review has shown that the rural road classification is better.

Panciocco said the waiver asks that Town road design and construction regulations be waived so that Daisy Way would be classified as a collector road and the other development roadways and the emergency access would be classified as rural roads. The board unanimously approved the second waiver.

The board then turned to the third waiver request, which deals with the area on Buttercup Lane where the turn and distance between the curves do not meet Town regulations. Martel said that if he were to straighten that particular stretch he might be able to add more buildings, but the design made sure a vernal pool and wetlands in the area were not impacted.

Kent said that it was obvious that more discussion was possible and the board would not reach a decision on this waiver that evening. The board continued its hearing to Feb. 1 at 7 p.m.







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