2018 Raymond Planning Board Meetings

Planning Board to Hold Hearing on Zoning Warrant Articles
By Penny Williams   12-27-18

A public hearing scheduled for the Dec. 20 Planning Board for Blaisdell Survey on behalf of Debra Murphy for a subdivision of a lot into two lots at 12 Smith Road was continued to the board's Feb. 7 meeting, as the applicant will be going before the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) for a variance.

With that postponement, the board moved on to a review of proposed zoning amendments presented by Community Development Director Ernie Creveling.

The first amendment addresses earth excavation. Adoption of the amendment would result in a Special Permit requirement for certain activities, instead of a Special Exception. This change would mean the Special Permit would be decided on by the Planning Board; in the past the Special Exception was decided on by the ZBA. Adoption of the change would improve process efficiency and will not result in any change in zoning boundaries or any currently permitted uses.

Board member Gretchen Gott questioned how the word "unreasonably" in the language of the article is measured. Creveling admitted it might be considered a grey area and said each instance is different.

Gott also questioned whether the amended article meets what the board wants it to do and expressed concern that there is no reference to sound. In response, Creveling referred to a reference to audio/sound in the Excavation Regulation. The amended article will get a final hearing at the Planning Board's Jan. 10 meeting.

 Resident Kathy McDonald asked why the decision was made to take the issuance of a Special Exception away from the ZBA in these instances and give it to the Planning Board as a Special Permit process. The board explained that it eliminates one of two trips for an applicant and said the Planning Board has more specific knowledge in this area.

The board also heard Creveling's presentation of an amendment intended to clarify the Shoreland Protection areas within Zone G-Conservation District. Adoption of the language would result in the clarification of zoning boundaries for Shoreland Protection Areas as defined within Zone G-Conservation District. The proposed new language broadens the scope of rivers, brooks, ponds and bodies of water.

Conservation Commission Chair Jan Kent referenced the Water Resource Management Plan from 2009, noting it has never been officially adopted. Creveling said this is one of the things that should be discussed at the Jan. 10 meeting, and recommended the board review this document and be prepared to discuss and adopt it.

The third amended Article was Article 11, No Net Loss of Wetlands; the proposed amendment was to provide additional flexibility regarding alternate mitigation opportunities for wetlands disturbances.

Jan Kent said the Conservation Commission is doing a wetlands inventory and will get it to the board as soon as it is completed. They discussed bundling the Lamprey and Exeter River Watersheds wetlands areas so as to provide as many options as possible for mitigation to address no net loss of wetlands for developments. As it is often difficult to mitigate a wetlands loss within the boundaries of a given development, this amendment would provide additional options to provide no net loss mitigation on another property or development within the same watershed. Jan Kent said this is the first step in getting this article fully amended.

The board also looked at a new amended zoning article that was presented as a petition article and found the language to be confusing. It addresses the permitted uses in C3 (Commercial/Mixed Use) East and C3 West.

McDonald, a signer of the petition, said the intent is to remove “no multi-family” in C3 East and West, and for those instances when it would be allowed, that it be  restricted to three bedrooms per acre of the development.

The board also heard from Brian Griset about his citizen petition to change the zoning for a parcel he owns on Nottingham Road in the Norris Farms Road area to C2 (Commercial/Residential). He thinks the Commercial zoning that exists for the three lots there, the last of which he owns, is not appropriate for the area. If it were changed to zone B (Residential/Agricultural), it could be developed as a Conservation Subdivision but would require development of a road to access the lot. He wants to develop it as a residential area for multi-family or elderly housing, with the plan at the moment for three buildings of six units each.

Gott wanted to hold a site walk before making a decision on changing the zoning. The board discussed the possible change and the potential impact, and Chair Jim Kent noted that the most appropriate use, given what is around it, would be C2. Changing it to Zone B would involve a lot more expense in terms of gaining frontages and Griset said he did not think that would be cost effective enough to consider. The board also questioned whether changing just the back lot could be considered spot zoning.

During this discussion it was suggested that Griset go to the ZBA and seek a variance to be allowed to build his development on the third lot in that zone. This would remove the Planning Board from the discussion and it would not require a petition article asking for a vote of the people. The board suggested that he go to the ZBA and seek a variance for his specific use for his lot.

The board also heard about a citizen petition that seeks to change C1 zoning to a Zone B for 3 Gile Road, the area where the Galloway Excavation is still active. The board questioned whether an individual could petition to make a zoning change where there is an active excavation site. Creveling said he was not sure the excavation site owner was aware of the petition, but all abutters and residents of the area in question will be noticed for a public hearing on Jan. 10, where it will be discussed.

Another citizen petition seeks to change three lots currently zoned Commercial to Residential along Long Hill Road. The board discussed the impact of losing commercially zoned area but noted that the lots are already residential in nature because there are homes on them. Chairman Kent said the lots have been zoned commercial for 30 years and there still is not any Commercial development there, but the residential nature had persisted.

McDonald said this should go to the people to decide. This too will be heard at the Jan. 10 public hearing.

Raymond Planning Board Awaits Legal Opinion on Smith Pond Road Proposal
By Penny Williams  11-20-18

The Raymond Planning Board on Nov. 15 ended up not addressing a subdivision application submitted by Roscoe Blaisdell of Blaisdell Survey, LLC on behalf of
Debra Murphy for property at 12 Smith Pond Road, a private road.

Murphy sought permission to subdivide the 7.0131-plus acre property to create a buildable lot. The subdivision had been proposed earlier and was deemed not eligible for subdivision because it is on a private road. The planning board had approved a subdivision on the private road three years ago but this decision was in error and was made without benefit of legal opinion.

Alternate member Jonathan Wood said the new application will likely need to go to the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) for a variance, and the board was advised by Community Development Director Ernie Creveling that they could discuss this application but could not make any decision until it is reviewed by legal counsel. Member Gretchen Gott recused herself and selectman liaison Scott Campbell and Stephen Feher, a member of the ZBA, said they should probably recuse themselves as well.

Chair Jim Kent said that given those recusals, in fairness to all, the discussion needed to wait for a legal opinion and for a time when there would be more than three sitting members. The board continued the application to the Dec. 20 meeting.

Blaisdell also brought a non-binding conceptual discussion to the board involving a design review for a proposed 10-lot conservation subdivision on Mica Drive, a paper road. This plan had previously been put forward as having dwellings on the site, where now he proposes to develop 12 small condominium lots with a couple of common septic systems and water provided by Pennichuck Water from the neighboring development.

The roughly 10-acre site where the 12 condominiums would be developed would have a back parcel of approximately 23 acres that would be conservation land, with an easement prohibiting it from ever being developed. A Home Owners Association (HOA) would maintain it and the members of the HOA would each own 1/12 of the entire site and have access to the conservation area.

Blaisdell said the road would be built to Raymond road construction standards but the HOA would own and maintain it.

The board discussed at length the crossing of a wetland for the construction of Mica Drive. Blaisdell did not have a mitigation plan for the wetland crossing but was informed it could be off site if nothing on site made sense.

Discussion also took place concerning how to and who could access the conservation land. Blaisdell said if someone wanted to go there, he or she could climb the ridge through the forest and noted there is a right-of-way where it can be accessed.

The board discussed whether logging and hunting would be allowed on the conservation land, and Batchelder Road abutter Margaret Mason, who has the right-of-way – a driveway - across her property that accesses the parcel, complained that people already cross and park on her land when they are logging or hunting, and the subdivision would increase that activity.

Blaisdell said the HOA would have to determine whether hunting and logging would be allowed but he did not like seeing them prohibited. Mason would like the right-of-way cut off but the board noted legal counsel would have to look at this and have that decision be part of the entire application.

Abutter Jess Emerson said the sight line at the corner of Batchelder Road, at her house on Mica Drive, should have trees removed to allow a reasonable and safe sightline. She was told that Public Works would look at the sightline issue.

Conservation Commission Chair Jan Kent asked if the general public would be allowed to use the 23-acre conservation land and was told they could do so because it would be conservation land. She raised the wetlands mitigation issue again and said the Conservation Commission would want to see a forestry plan and a plan addressing the hunting and logging issue.

The board noted that new road construction regulations are about to be implemented and advised Blaisdell to wait for them to be in place before doing his final Mica Drive design. The board approved concluding the conceptual design discussion.

Raymond Planning Board Approves 172-Unit Condo Subdivision
By Penny Williams  10-22-18

After more than a year and a half of discussions, the Raymond Planning Board has approved the Ridgewood Commons subdivision, formerly known as The Meadows, on Chester Road (Route 102).

That approval came Oct. 18, the same evening the Planning Board also approved the Freetown Commercial Subdivision at Freetown and Essex roads.

The Ridgewood Commons application was a “deliberative” session only, with no public comment allowed. This subdivision application, first introduced on April 20, 2017 and generating ongoing opposition from abutters, is for a 77.247-acre parcel with frontage along proposed roads, and proposed construction of 172 condominium townhouses in 43 buildings along with associated infrastructure off Route 102. The deliberative session dealt with the Special Permit that is required because the development will impact Zone G land, jurisdictional wetlands.

The board had to approve that the purpose and standards of the Special Permit regulations had been met at both the entrance to the development off Route 102 and at the emergency access at Jenco Road. The “purposes” concern the protection and preservation and improvement of the wetlands at the areas where wetland crossings are proposed, as well as wildlife protections. The applicant’s plans call for installation of culverts at both locations to control stormwater and drainage at the two locations.

The “standards” for the Special Permit require the plan design be done by a licensed engineer, have Raymond Conservation Commission approval, and meet funding requirements.

The board, after deciding both the purpose and standards required by the Special Permit had been satisfactorily met, voted to approve both the Finding of Fact for the entrance and the emergency access.

Member Gretchen Gott noted that the board and Town do not make the decision relative to Route 102, but the New Hampshire Department of Transportation does. She said the board preferred Option A, which involves implementing a full turning lane. Gott said she had concerns with the proposed emergency access, and said it is not good for the area and insufficient buffers are provided on Beaver Pond.

She also raised the concern that the board has not seen or reviewed the Home Owners Association covenants. She views the development as adding traffic, leading to safety concerns, and she expressed concern for the protection of vernal pools.

However, the board voted 5-2 to approve the Special Permit, with Gott and Scott Campbell voting no. The board then went through the conditions of approval with all the usual conditions and specific conditions being:
• The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) would determine what happens on Route 102 at the entrance.
• Bonding for emergency access.
• No construction vehicles or workers allowed to use the emergency access and Jenco Way.
• A 15 miles-per-hour speed limit.
• Curbs to be sloped granite.
• Wells for all dwellings within 500 feet of any blasting will have pre- and post-blasting inspection.

The board wanted to add another condition proposed by Chairman Jim Kent that stated the Town would review the wetlands twice a year for oversight, and would mitigate any violations. This came in for discussion, with Gott requesting it be amended to read that the Town could review and inspect the wetlands areas during construction and every two months thereafter.

It was noted that any violations or mitigation would be the financial responsibility of the applicant during construction, but after construction, the Town could inspect the wetland areas on a quarterly basis and the Town would fund the inspections and any mitigation of violations. This amended version passed and was added to the conditional approval.

Gott also tried to change the sloped curbs but that effort failed.

The board then voted 5-2 to approve the plan application, with Gott and Campbell voting no.

Abutter Kathy McDonald said during the approval of the minutes," You will be happy to know I won't be here any more talking about this plan because you have had the vote tonight." McDonald also requested the Sept. 20 minutes be amended to reflect all the content from RCTV, and in particular her comments, which were omitted from the minutes. The board agreed to have staff add any major omissions found after reviewing RCTV but noted the minutes did not have to be a transcript.

The board also approved the subdivision application for Freetown Subdivision, submitted by Joseph Coronati from Jones & Beach Engineers on behalf of Rye Harbor Realty, LLC and Shaw's Supermarket for a five-lot commercial subdivision at the corner of Freetown and Essex roads. The application required a Special Permit and Conditional Use Permit concurrently.

This site is the location of the former Silver Fox Restaurant and still has old asphalt and foundation remnants along with a detention pond and drainage system. The land being developed consists of two parcels owned by Shaw's and a third acquired from the NHDOT. 

The intent is to subdivide the property with frontage on three roads to create five commercial lots that will be serviced by an internal roadway aligned with the exit from the Cork N Keg and Strikers East Bowling Center. This application concerns the creation of the five commercial lots; when a tenant is found for each lot, that tenant would have to bring its own site plan before the Planning Board. The subdivision will have town water and each lot will have its own septic system.

The board discussed the traffic study that had been submitted and found no issues, except for a possible stacking at the entrance to the first lot. That could be addressed when a site plan from a prospective tenant was brought before the board.

The Raymond Conservation Commission has reviewed the plan and had no problems with it.

The discussion then turned to reviewing the Conditional Approval Permit, which had been approved, and the Special Permit’s purposes and standards. The board went through both the purpose and standards, and their finding of fact on both counts was that the applicant had satisfactorily met the requirements.

The board then addressed the waivers being requested. These dealt with waiving the Town's requirement that the proposed road be a collector road and would instead be reduced to a rural local road; that the 400-foot tangent requirement be waived; the K value be reduced to 15 rather 35; plan scales be reduced; and the site plan review regulations be applied when the site plans come back to the board. The waivers were all approved.

Abutter Robin Murphy said she was concerned about the development’s adding additional water to her property. Plan presenter Joseph Coronati explained that the proposed drainage design and stormwater control management plan would prevent any additional water being directed to her property.

The board went through the usual conditions for conditional approval, with the addition of the finding of fact for the Special Permit and the approval of the Conditional Permit. The specific condition was added that the road is to be private but should it become public, it would have to meet all Town road construction and standards in force at that time. The board unanimously approved the application.

In other business, the board decided that the open meeting date of Nov. 5 would be utilized as a workshop to go over items that keep coming up as requiring a waiver from existing zoning ordinance requirements.


Ridgewood Commons 172-Unit Condo Development Set for Oct. 4 Decision
By Penny Williams     9-24-18

The Raymond Planning Board, after a three-hour hearing Sept. 20, continued the Ridgewood Commons - formerly The Meadows - hearing to its Oct. 4, meeting. On that date the Planning Board will be in “deliberative” mode, which means no public comment will be allowed and no new information introduced.

The continuation is to allow the board to go through the process of determining whether the purposes of the developer’s requested Special Permit have been met for two wetland crossings.

Ridgewood Commons is proposed for 41 Chester Road (Route 102), with 172 condominium townhouses in 43 buildings. The developer is Keith Martel. The two-lot subdivision has 9.048 acres fronting on Chester Road and 77.247 acres with frontage on proposed roads. The plan has been under discussion and review for more than a year.

An application for the Special Permit, as the development will impact Zone G land - jurisdictional wetlands - was not dealt with at the May 3 meeting because the board and applicant were awaiting a Raymond Conservation Commission report, which has now been sent.

Chair Jim Kent limited abutter and public comment discussion to three minutes each. Most of the abutters and their consultants complained about the restriction, but even with the restriction, the meeting lasted more than three hours.

The biggest point of discussion was whether wetland buffers should be 75 feet or 50 feet; the applicant's site plan shows 50-foot buffers. Attorney Pat Panciocco, representing the developer, argued that the 50-foot buffer was approved by the board because Gangee Pond and a perennial stream were not shown on Town documents to be considered major, meaning the 75-foot requirement did not apply.

She also pointed out that no appeal from that decision was made within the allowed 30-day period.

However, the Town recently found documentation for Gangee Pond and its stream, and the letter submitted by the Raymond Conservation Commission recommends the 75-foot buffer be required. The letter was dated Sept. 12 and signed by Conservation Committee chairman Jan Kent. She is no relation to Planning Board chair Jim Kent.

The letter states, "The board (Conservation Commission) recommends that the applicant represent on the plan and comply with the 75-foot setback under Zoning for Gangee Pond and the perennial stream flowing from Gangee Pond to the Exeter River under, 'other perennial major brooks, streams or ponds... '"

The letter goes on to explain that because the Gangee Pond perennial stream feeds directly into the Exeter River, just as Fordway Brook does, it should fall into the category of  "and other perennial major brooks, stream..." and does therefore fall under the Shoreland Protection Area requirement.

The letter continues, "Upon review of the GRANIT data, the stream is shown in GRANIT and the town's zoning ordinance does not state that the streams must be shown or named in GRANIT. Gangee Pond and the perennial stream are included in the Water Resource Management Plan under the Little Rattlesnake Hill Watershed." GRANIT is New Hampshire’s Geographic Information System (GIS) and stands for Geographically Referenced Analysis and Information Transfer System.

The Conservation Commission letter states that not applying the 75-foot buffer setback could "set a precedent for future developments with ponds and streams falling into the 'other' category."

Panciocco, however, reiterated that as the 50-foot setback had been approved and no appeal of that decision raised within the appeal period, there was no basis to reverse the 50-foot setback decision. In addition, she noted there are no structures within this area and only a little grading planned in the area between the 75-foot and 50-foot setback points.

Planning Board Attorney Laura Spector Morgan of the Mitchell Municipal Group said that because the ruling was not appealed, it is now a little late to reconsider it and the ruling should be considered a final decision.

Another point raised was the protection and preservation of an historic stone culvert, which the applicant said would be untouched by the development. A question was asked regarding using the historic dwelling on the property for a proposed clubhouse or administrative offices, but the applicant made it clear that the house cannot be renovated, saved or used, and that the Raymond Historical Society had been apprised of this at the initial meeting on the development a year ago.

Abutter Robert McDonald showed a video of rising water from the site near Park Place as a result of recent heavy downpours and told the board and the applicant he wanted a bond to cover his home's well and 1 Park Place property if the plan were approved. The applicant said that what was being proposed in terms of stormwater management and control would result in reducing the flow of water McDonald is concerned about.

Questions were raised regarding blasting, and the applicant agreed to adopt the Town's preference for a 500-foot radius for pre- and post-blasting surveys of foundations and wells, noting that the permit the blasting company must obtain from the Fire Department covers all the concerns raised. The applicant also pointed out that the likelihood of blasting occurring near any existing dwellings is very slight because of the size of the parcel.

Abutter Kathy McDonald asked if a specific access was a driveway or a roadway and whether emergency equipment could access the dwellings slated for that access way. The applicant pointed out the access way is less than 1,000 feet so emergency vehicles have sufficient access and that because it is a private way, it doesn't matter what it is called, but suggested considering it a driveway.

At one point in discussing impact fees, it was said that the development would be phased in. This led to a question about heavy construction vehicles using Jenco Way and the emergency access road. The applicant said this would not happen; instead, all construction vehicles and construction worker vehicles would enter from the entrance off Route 102.

A discussion of the Conservation Easement was clarified by Attorney Spector Morgan, who said the "Conservation Easement and a Recorded Restriction and Covenant have the exact same force and effect."

 It was determined that the Home Owners Association (HOA) will vote to select a management company and a professional management person managing the property will work for the HOA.

Panciocco told the board she and the applicant think a decision should be given that evening and they were not prepared to extend the hearings. However, Panciocco made a concession as the meeting reached the three-hour mark, saying the applicant would be agreeable to wait for a final decision until the Oct. 4 meeting, with certain conditions

Those conditions included that the public hearing and the record be officially closed as of the Sept. 20 meeting, and no ex-parte contacts or any new information be allowed. The board accepted this offer and the record was closed. The Oct. 4 meeting will be a Deliberative Session to address the Special Permit and the final decision only.


Planning Board Conditionally Approves Lane Road Gas Station Complex
By Penny Williams   9-9-18

The Raymond Planning Board on Sept. 6 changed its previous vote and approved a proposal for a Mega-X, LLC Development gas station, convenience store, donut shop and quick-serve restaurant on Lane Road.

On June 7, the board had voted 3-3 on the proposal, with a tie vote sending the plan down to defeat. However, after receiving a letter from Jon Levenstein, attorney for Mega-X, with the applicant's request for a rehearing and/or reconsideration of the decision, the board on June 21 agreed to rehear the proposal.

The decision to re-hear the proposed development was related to the attorney's letter, which states, "This request is based upon the fact that the decision purportedly denying the site plan review application was both procedurally defective and not supported by evidence presented to the Board by both the applicant, the applicant's experts and the experts retained by the Town of Raymond."

 The letter noted that while the board voted 3-3 on a motion to approve the site plan review, it never voted to deny the application. He said the Planning Board Handbook published by the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning makes it clear that when a motion fails in a tie vote, attempts must be made to craft a motion that the majority will support. That did not happen.

As a result, the Planning Board heard the proposal Sept. 6. It was presented again from the beginning because it was considered a new hearing.

Huseyin Sevincgil of MHF Design Consultants, representing Mega-X, went over the application. The parcel is 19.8 acres and the planned development would cover 5 acres, with a well being dug on property the applicant owns across the road to provide water to the site being developed.     

Sevincgil discussed the placement of the building, the six fuel islands with 12 fueling stations and canopy, the diesel truck fueling station, and the truck parking area, and presented how the three access ways would work within the developed site - two being two-way and servicing the auto vehicle fueling areas and the retail building, and a one-way access for trucks to the diesel fueling area up to truck parking and around and back down to the road on the other side of the development.

He described a berm to be constructed along the easterly boundary that would have an eight-foot fence on top and plantings that would bring them to nearly the top of the fence, acting as noise suppression and a sight barrier.

He said the applicant had agreed to put in a by-pass lane to make entering the development safer. He also reviewed the safety of the nationally used fire suppression system to be used by the gas station and the spill containment measures planned; went over the intersections approaching the development, saying they would accommodate trucks turning; and discussed the pre-blast survey conditions that would monitor all wells within a 500-foot radius, with random wells monitored within 2,000 feet. Within the 500-foot radius, all foundations would have pre-blast and post-blast testing.

The board then reviewed the criteria for determining whether the development would have a regional impact and decided it would not. 

The board also addressed three waivers, all of which they granted: relief from using a scale of 1 inch to 20 feet on the site plan; relief from having 75 parking spaces, with 52 spaces agreed upon instead; and relief from Raymond's noise ordinance, which states noise cannot exceed 5 decibels over ambient levels. The Town has no way to measure this and it is considered an "unrealistic standard."

During the abutters’ comments, it was discovered that several abutters’ addresses were not listed as having wells, although they do, and are within the 500-foot radius. A couple of others who were within the general area had not been listed and wanted to be on the abutter list as well, and Chairman Jim Kent asked the applicant to make sure these addresses were added to the list.

The abutters repeated concerns about noise from the trucks, with discussion that the noise would be difficult if not impossible to control, as would enforcement of the “no idling and no overnight truck parking” requirements, despite signage the applicant agreed to.

Several residents pointed out the increased traffic would add to the noise issues as well as causing increased potential for accidents. And much concern was expressed over the possible contamination of the water supply, as the development is close to the protected drinking water area. One woman claimed the development would increase the opportunities for drug use, and a man stated that the planning board, if it approved the plan, would be acting in total disregard of the wishes and directives of residents who oppose the development.

The board after further discussion accepted a motion to approve the proposed development, and alternate member Jonathan Wood went over the list of the usual conditions that would be applied to the application, which include:
• A bypass lane.
• A blast survey of wells and foundations within a 500-foot radius and random wells within 2,000 feet, with the inclusion of the addresses discovered that evening.
• Site work Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. only, and building construction Mondays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. only.
• Hours of operation of 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and lights dimmed by 11:30 p.m.
• No idling or overnight parking, with any trucks present after 11 p.m. to be considered to be trespassing.
• An Operations and Maintenance Manual to be filed at the Registry of Deeds and to include routine semi-annual inspection of oil-water separating tanks, with a report provided to the Raymond Water Department.

The board voted to approve the development, with only Gretchen Gott opposed. She noted that her reasons for voting no include her concern over potential water quality pollution, noise issues, and, the difficulty of enforcement of no idling and no overnight parking.

Planning Board Approves Site Plan for Downtown Yoga Studio
By Penny Williams  8-20-18

The Raymond Planning Board on Aug. 16 approved a change of use request for a site plan that would bring a yoga studio to downtown.

Harold Wood Jr., of Wood Engineering, presented the Planning Board with a request on behalf of Molly's Yoga Studio for a change of use of the existing storage area in a building located at 67 Main St., adjacent to the railroad right-of-way. The building previously housed a barbershop and beauty salon but is now empty, and has an occupied two-bedroom apartment on the second floor. The plan is to remodel the storage area for the Inspired Yoga and Health Spa, also known as Molly's Yoga.

The applicant, Molly Schlangen, sought two waivers: one from the required number of parking spaces under Town zoning requirements, and another from the stormwater management run-off requirement regarding paving the presently gravel parking lot.

The site plan as presented calls for two parking spaces less than the required number but after a lengthy discussion about where other parking spaces exist that would be close enough to the new business, the board approved the waiver request.

The only abutter comment came from a representative of the Ray-Fre Senior Center across Main Street, who expressed concern that parking spaces would be reduced for the elderly and handicapped members of the senior center. During the discussion it was made clear that there would be ample parking available for the new business on Main Street, around the Town Common, and on the right-of-way access road to the water tower.

Wood said that paving the parking lot would possibly increase run-off by 2 percent, and after a brief discussion the board approved the waiver request.

The hours of operation on the site plan were 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. but alternate board member Jonathan Wood suggested more flexible hours of operation of 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The board approved the expanded hours and asked that this be changed on the site plan.

Another site plan change involves removing the mention of the previous occupant as a beauty salon and replacing it with “unoccupied office space.” This is indicated on the new site plan. The septic system was approved by the state and the gallons used would be covered by the approved septic system for either a salon or office space.

The only public comment was favorable, welcoming the new business as the kind of enterprise sought for the downtown area. The studio would be able to post on its website that those attending the spa should not use spaces for the senior center, and the owner agreed to remind customers of the parking concerns.

The board voted to approve the request with the usual conditions and the specific conditions about adding to the site plan the changed unoccupied office space for the hair salon and the changed hours of operation.

In other business:

• The board took up a request for two building permits on Class VI Branch Road. There are already houses on the road as well as the Raymond Sportsmen's Club. The residents of the road maintain it year round.

As there are already homes on the private Class VI road, the board said its only concern with recommending the approval of the building permits was the Fire Chief's recommendations that the roadsides be cleared back, that the road be maintained so emergency vehicles could pass and turn around, and that they file a limit of liability with the registry. He also recommended but cannot require that the new buildings include fire suppression, i.e., sprinklers.

The Planning Board voted to write a letter recommending the Board of Selectmen approve the building permits with Fire Chief Paul Hammond's concerns as part of the approval. Board member Gretchen Gott abstained because she wanted a site walk, but the board acted once Community Development Director Ernie Creveling agreed to take her to see Branch Road. Selectman Scott Campbell recused himself as a member of the board so he could discuss the matter when it comes before the selectmen.

• The board heard from Jennifer Rowden of the Rockingham Planning Commission and Raymond Conservation Commission Chair Jan Kent, who is not related to Planning Board chair Jim Kent, regarding the Conservation Commissions Request for Proposals (RFP) for a wetlands inventory.

Among the reasons for doing a wetlands inventory is to ensure that the Town's zoning ordinances and regulations protect wetlands. Such an inventory would be expected to benefit the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment by having data on hand regarding wetlands. Such an inventory also allows for updating zoning ordinances and regulations in terms of wetland protection.

Much time was spent discussing Prime Wetlands but there was little appetite for Raymond to seek Prime Wetlands identifications, which are state regulated and controlled. The board was most interested in the Conservation Commission’s seeking the mapping of 5-acre wetlands but probably not for going to the expense of mapping wetlands of 2 acres. In the end the board favored asking in the RFP for cost estimates of mapping 2-acre, 5-acre and 8-acre wetlands.

The wetland mapping would not include vernal pools. Rowden said mapping of vernal pools in Raymond would be cost prohibitive, particularly as Raymond is a "wet" town. However, she said it might be possible to map vernal pools on conservation land.

Rowden said mapping and identifying the wetlands is an excellent outreach tool and would be more accurate than what is presently available. The information developed would provide a protection plan for the wetlands areas that would include water quality protection as well as information to enhance land use regulations. She said the RFP seeks a firm to do the mapping, provide a report and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) files to the Town and a do a wetlands evaluation.

Kent said the Conservation Commission, Rockingham Planning Commission and the Planning Board would be jointly responsible for the RFP along with Town officials, and eventually for it to be approved by the Board of Selectmen. It is too late for the work this year so the RFP can be developed and sent out by mid-fall, with responses due back in roughly six weeks. She said that doing everything related to the wetlands inventory would probably take several years.

Discussion also took place on whether a budget amount for the mapping and report should be included in the RFP. Kent said she was unsure about whether to do this and if it were to be done, how much to put in. Kent and Creveling will refine the RFP, and Rowden suggested a sub-committee with members from both Conservation and Planning be involved in this process with the Rockingham Planning Commission.

• The Board discussed holding a work session to review and make changes to current road standard regulations, and decided to spend the last hour of the Sept. 6, 13, and 20 meetings as work sessions. Creveling said he would get the possible changes in draft form for the board to review prior to the next meeting.

Raymond Planning Board Gives Conditional OK to Lane Road 55-Plus Development
By Penny Williams   8-13-18

The Raymond Planning Board has conditionally approved the Blackstone Reserve 55-plus application for a development at 61 Lane Road that will include 66 detached, ranch-style homes along with a clubhouse, outdoor activities area and internal street network.

The continued public hearing Aug. 9 focused on items left for further discussion at the close of a public hearing July 26. Those items included blasting and traffic information.

The board heard that DuBois and King, the Town’s engineering firm, had completed its review of the traffic study and had no further questions, concerns or comments. It was noted that the Highway Safety Committee, the Town Engineer, and the staff had all signed off on the traffic issue.

Brian Pratt of Fuss & O'Neill and David Haddad, the developer, turned to the blasting issues. Pratt noted the state requires a pre-blast survey to include all wells within a 100-foot radius, but the developer has agreed to increase that radius to 500 feet and not only inspect and monitor all wells but all dwellings within that 500-foot radius.

Planning Board member Gretchen Gott had a series of questions for the developer and the board. She asked whether the planned housing construction would meet the handicap-convertible requirement and regulation in the zoning, and Haddad said the dwellings would be handicap convertible. He was asked to note that on the plan set.

Gott also asked why the board was not fulfilling its obligation to review the deed and condominium documents. Chair Jim Kent said typically the board has left that review to its legal team, who have the necessary expertise in that regard. Gott said she thinks the board should be examining these documents, and Pratt gave her a copy of them. She said that not having had an opportunity to read the documents before then, she would not be able to vote in favor of approving the development that night.

Community Development Director Ernie Creveling said the handicap-convertible construction is reviewed at the time of building. Board members said they were comfortable with this and with the legal team’s doing the review of the deed and condominium documents.

Gott also asked about the restriction against clotheslines for the proposed dwellings and was told this is common today in developments. She said in addition that she continues to have concerns about the requirement that there be no residents under age 18 and raised the possibility of having a handicapped 18-year-old in residence, although no school impact fees are being assessed to help with the Town's financial obligation.

And she said she has concerns about restricted backyard use. It was noted that the developer had made some adjustments to the proposed dwellings that might be so impacted by moving them further from the back lot line and agreeing to construct smaller homes at those locations.

The board then reviewed the usual conditions of approval, adding those specifically brought up during the hearing that included: improvements to Lane Road and a 4-foot shoulder on Lane Road; a $100,000 bond for the clubhouse with a two-year trigger after phase 1 if phase 2 has not started all roads if changed from private to public must be brought up to current Town road standards and all waivers granted would then become null and void; covenants stating that no one under 18 can be a resident; and the radius for the pre-blast survey to be 500 feet and all dwellings and wells within it to be inspected and monitored.

The board voted to conditionally approve the application, with only Gott opposed.

Resident Kathy McDonald asked the board what would happen if after the development has been approved, the state said it could not be restricted to the 80-20 ratio of over 55 as proposed. Kent told her the development would then have to come back before the Planning Board and go through the changes.

In other business:

• Prior to the meeting, the board members had gone on a site walk on the Freetown Subdivision proposal at the corner of Freetown and Essex roads, reviewing the area relevant to the application submitted by Joseph Coronati from Jones & Beach Engineers on behalf of Rye Harbor Realty, LLC and Shaw's Supermarket for a five-lot commercial subdivision. The subdivision will require a Special Permit and a Conditional Use Permit concurrently.

Kent noted that the site walk had been fairly brief and low key and Creveling said they saw the center line of the road marked and had gone to both ends of the property.

Five-Lot Commercial Development on Freetown Road is not a Shaw's
By Penny Williams     8-6-18

A new commercial development is in the works for the Freetown and Essex roads intersection.

The Raymond Planning Board at its Aug. 2 meeting heard from Joseph Coronati of Jones & Beach Engineers, on behalf of Rye Harbor Realty, LLC and Shaw’s Supermarkets, with a proposal for a five-lot commercial subdivision.

The development, to be called Freetown Subdivision, would not include a Shaw’s Supermarket.

The subdivision will require a Special Permit and a Conditional Use Permit concurrently. Board chairman Jim Kent read letters of authorization from Turner Porter of Rye Harbor Realty LLC in Exeter, Joel Guth on behalf of Shaw's Realty Co., and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT), which stated that Rye Harbor Realty LLC is currently working with the NHDOT and had received Governor and Executive Council approval on March 21 to purchase a 3-plus or minus-acre portion of the old New Hampshire Route 101 Limited Access Right of Way.

Coronati explained that the site for the five-lot commercial subdivision is the former location of the Silver Fox Restaurant and still has old asphalt and foundation remnants along with a detention pond and drainage system. The land being developed consists of two parcels owned by Shaw's and a third acquired from the NHDOT.

The intent is to subdivide the property with frontage on three roads to create the five commercial lots, which would be serviced by an internal roadway aligned with the exit from the Cork N’ Keg restaurant and Strikers East Bowling Center. The application contained a design plan, stormwater analysis and erosion control plan and the applicant has met with the Conservation Commission and the Technical Review Committee.

There is a small wetland impact for the proposed internal roadway, so a Special Permit is being sought. A Conditional Use Permit is being applied for because the development would add more than 2,500 square feet of impervious surface for the proposed roadway.

Coronati made it clear the application is strictly for the creation of the five commercial lots and emphasized that each lot will have to bring its own site plan before the Planning Board. The subdivision will have town water, and each lot will have its own septic system. He added that under way is the purchase of another lot from Shaw's, and when that purchase is concluded, two additional lots could be created.

The board accepted the application as complete to review and addressed the criteria to determine whether the proposed project had a Regional Impact. The board concluded no Regional Impact exists.

Board member Gretchen Gott wanted a site walk and the board agreed to meet at the site on Thursday, Aug. 9, at 6 p.m., before their scheduled meeting. The hearing on the development will be continued to Thursday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m.

During discussion of when to schedule the continued hearing, Gott made it clear she is concerned about the board’s using its second monthly meetings for hearings, rather than for the usual work sessions. She said the board has much that needs to be attended to in a workshop format.

Public Comment drew an objection to the proposed development from Ronald Piercey, who owns adjacent property on Essex Drive. "I don't want them in there," he said, but appeared to be under the impression that a Shaw's Supermarket was being proposed, which it is not. A second resident, James Fleming, also an adjacent property owner, clearly thought a Shaw's was to be built.

Kent emphasized that no Shaw's supermarket was proposed. The plan instead calls for five smaller commercial business lots.

Greg Bemis, sitting in as Selectman liaison for Scott Campbell, asked why there are no road impact fees. Community Development Director Ernest Cartier-Creveling explained the impact fees had been taken off because the methodology is difficult, the amount gained is not sufficient to do much work, and the money needs to be spent within six years. He said if they decide to use an impact fee to fix a road, it sometimes provides only a very small portion of the total cost.

It was suggested the board look into exaction fees, and the board was assured it has the authority to do this without voter approval. Gott said this is yet another issue needing to be addressed, a reason why work sessions should take place.

In other business:

• The board approved a request for a continuance to Sept. 20 of the Ridgewood Commons, formerly known as The Meadows development on Chester Road.

Gott said that among the many listed continuances and hearings held, a distinction should be made indicating when the board actually heard the proposed plan and said it should henceforth be referred to as Ridgewood Commons.

Kent read a letter from the developer’s attorney, Patricia Panciocco, requesting the extension to Sept. 20. The letter added, "Simultaneous with this request Mardan also grants the Raymond Planning Board an extension of the statutory review period until the Sept. 20 date."

• The board discussed the Critchett Road and Little Woods Landscaping excavation pits that will be the topic of the Aug. 9 meeting. The hearing is expected to be administrative only in nature.


Site Plan for Lane Road 55-Plus Housing Continued to Aug. 9
By Penny Williams

The Raymond Planning Board’s public hearing on the proposed Blackstone Reserve 55-plus housing development site plan application bogged down July 26 with repeated questions and concerns, mostly focusing on blasting and traffic. And after nearly three hours, the hearing was continued to an extra scheduled meeting set for Aug. 9. The matter had also appeared at the July 12 meeting.

Chair Jim Kent read two pieces of correspondence into the record to start the hearing. The proposal for 61 Lane Road includes an internal street network to support 66 detached, ranch style homes along with a clubhouse and outdoor activities area.

The first correspondence was from Public Works Director Steve Brewer regarding the Highway Safety Committee meeting. He wrote that the proposed modification of Lane Road and the speed data collected show speed is consistent with the required sight lines. There are no school bus concerns, as this is a 55-plus development that prohibits anyone younger than 18 from living there; there were no further recommendations from the committee.

The second correspondence was from Bruce Lewis Engineering in response to questions raised at the July 12 meeting. Regarding a concern about
radon, the letter notes that radon is tested for and occurs naturally. Lewis Engineering said the Public Utilities Commission has no jurisdiction regarding the water system. A certified individual holding the position of handling the day-to-day operation of the system is required. The letter also notes that if a second well is needed, it would be located where it could use new fractures but remain as close to the first well as feasible. In the event a second well is needed, the two wells would both be used, each producing one half of the needed supply.

Brian Pratt of Fuss & O'Neill civil and environmental engineering presented the site plan on behalf of David Haddad, the developer, who was also present. Pratt, responding to issues that had been raised at the previous meeting, said the attorney had told them they cannot restrict 100 percent of residents to age 55 and over, so the plan is to go with an 80/20 distribution, with the prohibition that no one under 18 can be a resident.

He said the few changes made in response to comments, input and DuBois & King's review letter were very minor and would not reflect any site plan changes, as they related to such items as drains under the detention ponds and drainage filtration adjustments.

The speed data collected indicates the average speed on Lane Road is 38 miles per hour in one direction and 40 mph in the other direction. Pratt said he had spoken with the Chief of Police about putting out the speed trailer and was told additional patrols were being added. Pratt said their plan is to put up warning signs prior to the intersection going in both directions on Lane Road.

A $100,000 bonding amount for the clubhouse was approved by Pratt, as it will only be a shell in phase 1. Should phase 2 not happen, that bond would cover finishing the clubhouse construction for residents in phase 1.

Pratt said proposed dwellings 40- 43, nearest the abutter, have been moved forward slightly and will be smaller units, thus addressing the abutter's concerns. In addition, he said the plan is to add to the buffer zones.
Fire Chief Paul Hammond told Pratt the fire department response time would be approximately 6 to 7 minutes when the station is staffed and up to 15 minutes when it is not staffed.

Blasting issues are still being addressed, and Pratt said he had not heard back from Hammond regarding his blasting questions.

Board alternate John Beauvilliers asked about widening the Lane Road shoulders to four feet in the area where the development plans improvements for the roadway, and Pratt said that could be done. Beauvilliers also questioned how deep the blasting would be and Pratt responded that it would likely be 10 or 12 feet deep, which is considered fairly light.

Board member Gretchen Gott said she doesn't want Pratt setting the blasting survey parameters but wants the Planning Board to do that. She also questioned the proposed lighting and asked if it would be compliant with the Dark Sky concept, and was told it would be.

Gott then went on to amplify her concerns about the idea that school impact fees won't be set, as anyone under 18 is prohibited as a resident. She pointed out that a student with an IEP (individualized education program) is guaranteed educational coverage up to age 21, so if there were be an 18-year-old with a Special Education IEP living there, taxpayers could incur a major financial cost for education. She asked for this issue to be examined by legal counsel.

Another issue discussed at length concerned a possible future decision by the development’s residents to ask that the roadway become public. This involved a long discussion about the roads not being built to town standards.

Pratt agreed that the covenants could include a statement saying the roads must remain private, but Gott pointed out this probably would not stand up in court. She also asked if it was correct that condominium owners could rent out their units. Pratt said that is true but noted the renter would be bound by all the same rules, regulations and covenants.

The board determined that the $100,000 bond for clubhouse construction would be triggered if phase 2 were not begun within two years of completion of phase 1.

Turning to waiver requests, the board heard one resident shout a question as to why the board would approve a waiver request without getting input from the abutters and residents involved. Kent explained the waivers are only one aspect of the whole picture used by the board to either approve or disapprove a proposed site plan application.

A waiver to allow the developer to use 30-scale rather than 20-scale was approved, and Gott suggested this should be looked at as it comes up at almost every hearing.    The next waiver was to change the scale used in showing utilities, which was approved as well.

The developer also sought and received a waiver seeking relief from showing cross sections for utilities for the two internal intersections of the emergency access, as there are no utilities there.

Pratt asked for and received a waiver from classifying the internal roadway as a "collector" road and changing it to "rural." The town's roadway classification is another area the board thinks should be looked at for possible updates.

The next two waivers were for road design issues. The first was to allow an 8.25 percent grade for the access roadway, where the regulation says no more than 8 percent.  The board approved this 4-1, with Gott voting no and claiming that even 8 percent is too steep and is a safety issue.

The second road design waiver was for the requirement of 200 feet minimum for horizontal curves; the developer sought a reduced amount because he wants tighter curves to encourage slower speed. Gott objected but the board approved it 4-1, with Gott opposed.

Alternate member Jonathan Wood then said he wanted to make a condition of approval that in the event the roads were ever changed from private to public, all the roads would be brought up to current Town standards and any waivers previously granted would become null and void.

A design waiver for relief from the requirement of 400 feet straight tangents, again to reduce speed, was approved, as was a waiver for using Cape Cod or asphalt curbing rather than granite.

Another condition was suggested, this one having to do with school impact fees. The Planning Board can grant a waiver from school impact fees, and Wood suggested that if waiving the entire impact fee were not satisfactory, the board could consider assessing 20 percent of the probable fee to match the 80/20 population assignment.

It was pointed out that the impact fees are only used for building capacity and would not have any impact on a special education student issue, should it arise. The board after further discussion voted to waive the school impact fees for the development.

 Public comment returned to the blasting issues and what the survey parameters would be, which have not been determined as yet. Another issue was the condition of Lane Road to be improved before the development could start. One resident claimed there are more accidents than reported. Noise as a result of residents in the development was also mentioned as a concern, as was the potential for increased drainage outflow having a negative impact on properties across the street.

Pratt responded to the issues raised and as the time for the meeting to end was nearing, Kent went over the possible conditions of approval that had been brought up and the issues that still need to be dealt with:
• Traffic.
• Blast radius.
• Possible conditions of approval: a 4-foot shoulder on Lane Road, $100,000 bond for the clubhouse with a two-year trigger after phase 1 and no phase 2, all roads if changed from private to public to be brought up to current Town road standards and all waivers granted becoming null and void, and no one under 18 allowed to be a resident, as specified in the covenants.

Kent and the board said they could not respond to these issues before the end of the meeting and decided to call a special meeting on Aug. 9 for the continuance of the hearing.

Three Raymond Excavation Sites Receive Compliance Approval
By Penny Williams    7-23-18

The Raymond Planning Board met minus staff and several members and alternates on July 19, following a site walk to the Candia South Branch Brook LLC Excavation at 263 Route 27, the Hard Rock Development Excavation accessed by Industrial Drive, and Waldoborough LLC Excavation at the intersection of Scribner and Gile Roads.

The evening’s agenda featured public hearings to review and ensure compliance of the three excavation pits, whose earth excavation permits had each been issued June 1, 2017.

Candia South Branch Brook, LLC was represented by Tom Severino, who told the board that the site covers about 20 acres, with about an acre or an acre and a half disturbed, without vegetation but with a gravel surface that is considered stable though not restored.

Board member Gretchen Gott noted a small piece of the silt fencing that is down is not causing any problems. She asked about the Zoning Board of Adjustment’s (ZBA) Special Exception and Variance that had been granted for screening and processing of asphalt, and Severino responded that recycled asphalt is an important material and recycling it is much better than dumping hunks of asphalt.

The board moved to approve compliance and voted unanimously in favor. Gott brought up a question regarding whether pits were supposed to be locked when not in operation, and noted that none of the three they had visited had been locked. A note was made to have staff speak to Severino regarding this.

Next up was the compliance hearing for the Hard Rock Development, with Arleigh Greene representing it along with Jim Watkins. Gott asked about New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services concerns regarding a retention pond not yet built. Green told the board that the work at the site was not near where the pond was to be built and no storm water was leaving the site.

Gott also asked about a barrier that is supposed to be in front of any rock wall that exceeds a 1.1 grade. She asked why an orange fence could not be installed to act as a warning and a barricade for the rock wall, and Green said there were large rocks there that were moved when the rock face was changed, which happened fairly often.

Gott also asked about signs around the perimeter of the site that are supposed to be placed every 50 feet but that were not visible. Green said that if the board would back off from requiring the orange fencing and allow additional rocks for the rock wall barricade, he would take care of putting up the perimeter signs. He also agreed to tighten up the gate closing the site.

The board made a motion for conditional approval of compliance subject to additional rocks as part of the rock face barricade and the installation of the agreed upon perimeter signs. The motion was approved.

The final compliance hearing was for Waldoborough, LLC. John Galloway told the board that not more than 200 to 300 yards of material had been removed from the site over the last year, and that the area is overgrown and needs to be mowed.

Gott questioned why the plan states that there can be no removal of material after 8 p.m. when she thought it should read 6 p.m. That change will be made, and the board approved compliance.

 Chair Jim Kent raised the issue of a proposed amendment to the Earth Excavation Regulations provided in a memo from Community Development Director Ernie Creveling. Gott said she did not want to discuss it without Creveling’s being present, and Kent said he merely wanted to get on the record that the changes were being suggested.

He read the memo, which states the regulations might be changed to have staff do the mandatory annual site walk inspection and that the excavation compliance hearing would only be needed if the staff during their site walk found the excavation to be out of compliance. The board said the discussion of the proposed change should be posted for the next meeting.

Kent also noted that he had received a form that showed a fairly new resident, Ronald Eubanks, wanted to give back to the community by serving on the Planning Board, the Business and Economic Committee, the Ethics Committee, the Budget Committee or the ZBA. Gott suggested Creveling contact Eubanks and urge him to attend the various boards and committees so he could decide where he might best fit in. It was noted that of all mentioned boards and committees, the ZBA needed the infusion of new members the most.


Over-55 Subdivision Proposed for Raymond’s Lane Road
By Penny Williams    7-16-18

Brian Pratt of Fuss and O'Neill, on behalf of David Haddad, presented the Raymond Planning Board on July 12 with a proposed age 55 and over senior housing development at 61 Lane Road. The development would consist of an internal street network designed to support 66 detached, ranch-style condominium dwellings, along with a clubhouse and recreation area.

The development would encompass 62 acres on the road lot at 61 Lane Road and the landlocked lot behind it. Each of the 66 dwellings would have a garage, and the internal roadway would be 26 feet wide with a sidewalk along one side. The road would be private, and would be maintained by a Condominium Association. A second, emergency access would be gated but unlocked, designed for emergency vehicle use but not as a public way.

The condominium development would include two cul-de-sacs that would support a few dwellings each. Community water would be provided by a well and if needed, a second well. On-site septic systems would be scattered throughout the development. The drainage and storm water management design would include three infiltration ponds as well as swales, catch basins and pipes to significantly recharge the ground water and manage the storm water runoff.

A 15-foot buffer is proposed around the perimeter, with a 200-foot “no disturb” buffer around Fordway Brook. Landscaping would include a 15-foot no disturb buffer as well as landscaping at each dwelling. Lighting would be minimal, with each residence having its own outside pole fixture, and poles with lights only at the main intersections of the internal roadway and at the entrance.

Electricity and cable would be brought in underground from Lane Road. A 30,000-gallon cistern would be located at the center of the development, and traffic, based on the traffic study, is expected to be low. An improvement to Lane Road is contemplated in order to improve sight lines to a 300-foot distance, and signs would be placed along Lane Road warning about the development ahead.

The board and Pratt then went through the exercise to determine whether the proposed subdivision would have a regional impact, and it was decided that it would not have any regional impact. This decision came despite concerns raise by Planning Board member Gretchen Gott, who identified emergency response as a potential regional impact concern.

It was noted that the proposed subdivision had received a variance in June from the Raymond Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA), allowing it relief from the prohibition on elderly housing in a Conservation District. It was also noted that the proposal has a variance for housing in the Fordway Brook area despite steep slopes, because the area where the housing is proposed will be leveled off.

The board noted it held a site walk on July 9, and said the Conservation Commission had notified the board it has no concerns with the proposal. Pratt said an Alteration of Terrain permit has been applied for, and the well will be tested this coming week. Pratt said the proposal has conditional approval from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services for the subdivision because technically, the dwellings are condominiums. Pratt added that he was working with Public Works Director Steve Brewer on any remaining drainage issues and was waiting for the latest letter from engineers DuBois and King.

Most of the member questions pertained to the cistern and the fact that houses would not have sprinklers; to sight lines at the entrance to the subdivision on Lane Road; and to traffic generation. The board decided to ask the Police Department to put its speed check machine on Lane Road to ascertain typical speed in that area, and said they were using rural road standards as more appropriate than collector road standards for the subdivision’s main road.

Pratt confirmed that the plan is to build the subdivision in at least three if not four phases. The first would see 15 dwellings, the main access, the clubhouse shell, and the cistern installed, with the second constructing another 15 dwellings and finishing the clubhouse.

Pratt agreed to bond the clubhouse and said it would have an exercise area and bathroom in the basement as well as heat and water equipment. He said the condominiums will be owned and buyers are expected to live in them. The garages will serve two cars and each condominium driveway will accommodate two additional cars. All dwellings are planned to have basements. The vernal pool that has been identified will be protected with signs and a buffer, and Fordway Brook is protected by its steep slopes.

Pratt said that at the present time, they are planning an 80 percent age 55 and above, and 20 percent no age restriction mix for residents, but are in the process of seeking 100 percent 55 and above. An age prohibition will state that no one under age 18 or 21 can live there.

The board then opened the hearing to public comment, where blasting concerns were raised. Pratt went over the blasting well survey and protection area that would be performed and established before and after blasting.

In addition, abutters raised concerns over traffic and water, the latter concerning the drag the subdivision’s water demand would allegedly put on their wells and fire protection. Residents claimed the cistern would not be sufficient for dwellings so close together. However, no concerns were raised by either Police or Fire during the Technical Review meetings. Several residents also raised the concern that the single well would not produce sufficient water for the proposed 66 dwellings.

Another concern was wear and tear on Lane Road, and Pratt said when the project undertakes improvement in that area of Lane Road and a culvert that goes under it is enlarged from 12 inches to 18 inches, any damage would be mitigated, although he does not foresee any to begin with.

A resident also raised concerns about radon in the area being introduced into each of the dwellings, and Pratt said there would be a substantial check done for this.

As the time limit for the meeting was approaching, the board decided not to start on the requested waivers but rather continue the public hearing. The board reluctantly approved holding a special meeting on July 26 at 7 p.m. to continue the public hearing. It was also noted that the board will meet Aug. 2 only to vote on a request from Ridgewood (the Meadows) for a continuance.

In other business at the July 12 meeting:

• Elmer Pease of Granite Meadows, PD Associates, requested yet another continuance for his proposed development at Old Manchester and Scribner roads (exit 4 of Route 101). There was a brief discussion of the proposed development, which had been conditionally approved in 2007 and is within the Sewer Overlay District. Gott said she would like to see the continuance limited to a year but the board voted to extend conditional approval for two years.

• Kevin Hatch of Cornerstone Survey Associates, representing Jewett Revocable Trust and Arlene Jewett, for property located at 32 Harriman Hill Road, asked the board to approve a request for a subdivision of a single lot into two lots. This lot is where the American Legion building and parking sit, and the subdivision would keep those on a single parcel and split off a 2.9-acre lot for future commercial use. The board approved this unanimously.


Raymond Planning Board Sets Rehearing on Lane Road Gas Station
By Penny Williams 6-25-18    

After receiving a letter from the attorney representing Mega-X, LLC, whose application for a proposed gasoline station, convenience store, donut shop and quick-serve restaurant on Lane Road was denied by the Raymond Planning Board June 7 on a tie vote, the Board agreed at its June 21 meeting to schedule a rehearing on the matter on Sept. 6.

The letter by Attorney Jon Levenstein served as the applicant's request for a rehearing and/or reconsideration of the board's decision.

"This request is based upon the fact that the decision purportedly denying the site plan review application was both procedurally defective and not supported by evidence presented to the Board by both the applicant, the applicant's experts and the experts retained by the Town of Raymond," the letter states.

The letter points out that while the board voted 3-3 on a motion to approve the site plan review, it never voted to deny the application. He said The Planning Board Handbook, published by the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning, makes it clear that when a motion fails in a tie vote, attempts must be made to craft a motion that the majority will support. Thus Levenstein claims "the application is still before the Board, as a majority never approved a motion to either approve, approve with conditions or deny the application."

His letter makes a case for the applicant’s having produced substantive evidence in support of the proposal that there are no environmental concerns; no concerns by experts over the capacity of the eastbound interchange at Exit 4 of Highway 101 to handle maneuvering of trucks or truck traffic in general; and discomfort with the proposed tractor trailer spaces was only expressed by one member, Gretchen Gott.

As a result, Levenstein said the applicant “is entitled to a rehearing/reconsideration of its application."

The board discussed the letter briefly and a motion was made to approve a rehearing. The motion was approved by all board members except Gott. The rehearing will be scheduled for the Sept. 6 meeting.

In other business:

• The board discussed at length scheduling a site walk to excavation sites, and decided to meet on Thursday, July 19, at 6 p.m., at the Severino excavation, Candia South Branch Brook Holding/Ron Severino, at 263 Route 27; continue to the Hardrock/Stoli Properties, LLC excavation, Arleigh Greene at Industrial Drive; and finish up at the Waldoborough, LLC/Galloway excavation site at 3 Gile Road. The regular board meeting would be delayed to an 8 p.m. start that night.

The board also decided that it would visit the Littlewoods, LLC/ Gregoire excavation site at Bohle Way and the Thibeault Sand & Gravel, LLC at Route 27 on Aug. 16, with the time to be decided in the future.

• The board decided to hold its Lane Road site walk, cancelled previously because of weather, on Monday, July 9 at 6:30 p.m.

• A hearing on The Meadows was continued to the Aug. 2 Planning Board meeting. The Meadows, now known as Ridgewood Commons, is a proposed 43-building development of 172 condominium townhouses at 41 Chester Road (Route 102). Developer is Keith Martel. The two-lot subdivision has 9.048 acres fronting Chester Road and 77.247 acres with frontage on proposed roads.
• Resident Kathy McDonald said she attended a workshop on buffers and made copies of material that she distributed to the board.


On Tie Vote, Raymond Planning Board Denies Lane Road Gas Station
By Penny Williams   6-11-18

In the end, after several hours of discussion and a major concession by the applicant, the Raymond Planning Board voted 3-3 June 7 on a proposed Mega-X gasoline station, convenience store, donut shop and quick-serve restaurant on Lane Road, meaning the plan was denied. There is a 30-day appeal period.

During the meeting, Huseyin Sevincgil of MHF Design Consultants, Inc., on behalf of Mega-X LLC, discussed the three items about which the board had requested more information at the previous meeting. A landscaping proposed now removed pin oaks and called for red oaks and Colorado blue spruce trees for the berm landscaping. The spruce would be 6 to 8 feet tall when planted and the red pine would be 8 to 10 feet tall at planting.

In addition, the applicant agreed to the additional signage as requested, and agreed when the board added a request for a sign reading “Police Take Notice.”

Sevincgil provided data and information on the fire suppression chemical to be used, saying it is the same as is used throughout the country and contains nothing that would violate the Clean Water Act, as it is essentially baking soda. He said Clean Harbors would be called immediately for a clean-up if more than 25 gallons of fuel were spilled or in the event of a fire.

Neighboring residents spoke up to add to their previous concerns and complaints. Rick Whalen said the issue is not the plan but the location, which is next to a residential area and a drinking water protection area.

Another concern raised was what would prevent the business from becoming a 24-hour operation in the future. Chair Jim Kent explained that the applicant would have to return to the Planning Board to do so, but the residents pointed out that a future board might approve it, exacerbating resident complaints about noise, fumes, and safety.

Also expressed were concerns about Highway 101 Exit 4 difficulties resulting from increased truck traffic, but the applicant pointed out that no concerns were raised by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT), the Raymond Traffic Safety Committee or Raymond Police and Fire.

The applicant was asked for a construction timeline and the board restricted on-site heavy construction to Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. When non-site construction would occur, Saturdays could be added. The applicant said it would take four months for construction, including roughly two months of heavy site construction.

This led to a discussion of blasting, and the applicant agreed to a 500-foot radius for pre-blasting inspection of all wells and dwelling foundations, with wells within a 2,000-foot radius randomly checked.

The discussion among residents and board members continued over what would happen if a truck stopped at the location and its allowed driving time was at an end, meaning it could not move for 10 or 11 hours. Some said this was not correct, as the trucker could drive to a legal place to stop, since staying at the Lane Road location would be illegal after it closed for the night.

The board said the message would get out very fast if a truck did stop and then idled and was ticketed by the police. However, residents wanted assurances that someone would be monitoring the area other than the neighbors. The board said regular police checks for enforcement would occur.

Planning Board member Greg Bemis raised additional concerns about the inadequacy of exit 4 off to handle increased truck use. Member Gretchen Gott expressed concerns about bonding for a passing lane that would be considered after the business had operated for a year and said she has no issue with the convenience store but does with the trucks.

 Sevincgil said the owner would agree to implementing the passing lane right away, without waiting a year to see if it were needed, a major concession. The board said they appreciated that decision.

The board discussed conditions of approval and made a motion to approve the request, resulting in a 3-3 tie. That meant the Mega-X request failed. Voting against the plan were Gott; Bemis, who is the selectmen’s alternate member; and alternate member John Beauvilliers. The conditions included, as detailed above, blasting regulations, “Police Take Notice signs,” site and building construction hours, hours of operation from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., and a bypass lane built prior to the issuance of any occupancy permits.

In other business:

• The board put off an excavation compliance hearing until July 19 and arranged to do a site walk at four excavation sites starting at 5:30 p.m. July 19, followed by a delayed meeting start time of 8 p.m. The excavations are at Severino, Hard Rock, Gregoire, and Pritchett Galloway.

• A hearing on The Meadows was continued from June 21 to the Aug. 2 Planning Board meeting. The Meadows, now known as Ridgewood Commons, is a proposed 43-building development of 172 condominium townhouses at 41 Chester Road (Route 102). Developer is Keith Martel. The two-lot subdivision has 9.048 acres fronting Chester Road and 77.247 acres with frontage on proposed roads.


Liberty Utilities Offers Information on Proposed Gas Pipeline
By Penny Williams   5-29-18

Michael Licata, director of Government and Community Relations for Liberty Utilities, visited the Raymond Planning Board on May 24 to discuss his company's proposed Granite Bridge plan, which would bring natural gas availability to the Raymond area.

He said New Hampshire has two natural gas companies - Liberty Utilities and Unitil. Liberty services the area from Nashua to Laconia and has about 91,000 customers in 31 communities, while Unitil services the seacoast. Licata said Liberty also provides natural gas in the Salem/Windham area.

Liberty’s current pipeline capacity in what is known as the Concord Lateral is tapped out, and to service new customers, Licata said capacity has to be increased. The $140 million Granite Bridge plan would connect a new pipeline between existing infrastructure in Stratham to existing infrastructure in Manchester, accomplished by construction of a new line entirely within the New Hampshire Department of Transportation land along Route 101 that is designated as an energy infrastructure corridor. Liberty Utilities would be the first company to take advantage of this designation, which resulted from legislation.

The proposed pipeline would connect the existing Joint Facilities Line that has available capacity and bring gas to the Concord Lateral line. By using the energy infrastructure corridor, no interstate commerce would be associated with the proposed line and therefore no federal preemptions. In addition, the location would avoid eminent domain issues.

The plan also involves construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facility to be built on 140 acres in an abandoned quarry the company hopes to buy in Epping. This facility would store 2 billion cubic feet of liquefied gas, and because it would be situated in the bottom of the quarry, would preclude the majority of sight issues. The facility, to be located west of Exit 6 of Route 101, would have easy access from that highway, and would take gas directly from the pipeline and cool and store it at the facility.

The tank would be 200 feet in diameter and stand 150 to 175 feet high. It would be designed to exceed requirements as a “full containment” design, with an inner stainless steel tank surrounded by insulation and a concrete tank surrounding that. Its location in the bottom of the former quarry would provide another layer of containment, Licata said.

The pipeline would be monitored 24/7 by a control center in Londonderry, and the line would be checked four times a year, Licata said. He noted that the project would use thicker pipes buried more deeply and additional shutoff valves in areas identified as high consequence areas, based on population density.

The company would pay property taxes on the pipeline in each town through which it passed. Raymond would have 5.7 miles of pipeline, which should bring a $675,000 property tax payment in the first year and $18 million over the 40-year life of the pipeline.

Licata added that the project is expected to generate 330 full-time jobs, and the companies involved would all be from New Hampshire.

Liberty Utilities made its initial Public Utilities Commission (PUC) filing on Dec. 22, 2017. Once approval is gained  - affirming that it is needed and the proposal is the lowest-cost way to achieve meeting the need - the next step would be to review the site evaluation, which Liberty has targeted at getting underway by the beginning of next year. That would take at least a year to complete, with two years to construct the pipeline and three years for the construction of the storage facility, although both construction projects would take place at the same time.

Licata referred the board to www.granitebridgenh.com for more information.

Resident Bob McDonald questioned the amount projected for property tax payments to the Town, and Licata said he would verify his information.

Concerns with Noise, Road Widening Continue Over Lane Road Gas Station Plans
By Penny Williams   5-21-18

Huseyin Sevincgil of MHF Design Consultants, representing the Mega-X plan to construct a gasoline station and convenience center on Lane Road, addressed the Raymond Planning Board on May 17 to respond to questions that had been raised at the board’s April meeting. And more questions arose as well.

Two waiver requests were to be presented, but over the course of consulting with Raymond officials, it was determined that the waiver for a berm was not necessary and the applicant could proceed with the 2 to 1 berm slope without a waiver. The second waiver was for relief from the Town's noise ordinance, which brought out neighborhood concerns.

Responding to previous concerns, Sevincgil said a 30,000-gallon fire cistern has been added to the plan and will require Fire Department approval. He said snow storage parking spaces had been increased from four to five and the propane tanks had been relocated, with the new location put on the plan per Raymond Fire Department request. In addition, “no idling” signs and “no overnight parking” signs would be placed at the truck parking lot.

The board questioned whether the fire cistern would be big enough for the project, but Sevincgil said the Fire Department had specified that size. It would be filled by truck, with a pump house built along one edge; the Fiberglas tank would be about 10 feet in diameter. The design must be approved by the Raymond Fire Department and as a condition of approval, will require bollards around the pump house for safety.

The board had few comments regarding the parking spaces for snow storage but did note that the “no idling” and “no overnight parking” signs must be posted at the entrances to the site as well as at the truck parking area.

The board discussed the berm landscaping as part of the sound barrier for the site. The berm will be 7 feet high with an 8-foot fence along the top, and landscaping on the berm to assist in deadening sound. The board asked that the plantings be brought all the way down to the base of the berm, and after a long discussion, asked that pine trees, not hardwood, be used in the landscaping.

Raymond Community Development Director Ernie Creveling said the noise waiver request should be approved because the Town noise ordinance is "impractical and unenforceable" because it is outdated. The board discussed the plans for sound mitigation, and it was apparent that the safety warning sound from trucks backing up would be the worst of the sound annoyances.

Abutter Rick Whalen said the back-up warning beeps would be very annoying for the neighborhood. Board member Gretchen Gott said she is concerned about the noise issue as well, and another resident asked if there would be night deliveries; the owner said he did not know whether that would occur.

The board made a condition of approval that there would be no overnight deliveries, and approved the waiver from the noise ordinance requirement.

The board also discussed road widening. It previously had approved allowing the station to be in operation for a year before a road traffic study would be revisited to determine whether the warrant limits had been reached that require road widening. Gott said she thinks that should occur sooner rather than later.

Raymond Public Works Director Steve Brewer sent a message to the meeting that the estimates for the bond for the road widening were too low and had not been adjusted for 2019-2020 rates. He suggested $96,073.82 should be rounded up to $100,000 and a design be requested from and provided by the applicant for the proposed widening. The road widening calls for an 8-foot widening with a 2- to 3-foot shoulder. The requirement for a return to the traffic study after a year and bonding for road widening would be part of the conditions of approval.

Residents spoke of their concerns with noise and with trucks spending the night in the parking area. Whalen told the board, "You have heard us but you are not listening to us." He added that the issue is that the parcel in question is not the right location for the proposed commercial project, as it is right beside a residential area.

Discussion also took place about the well for the gas station and convenience store, which would be located on property across the street. The owner admitted he has not bought that parcel yet.

The board noted that a pre-blast survey for blasting during construction would require all wells within 2,000 feet to be examined before and after blasting. However, only foundations within 200 feet are required to have a foundation examination.

The board discussed whether the 200 feet should be expanded, but Chair Jim Kent questioned whether the Planning Board had the authority to do that. A message from Creveling said a condition of approval for an expanded distance could be employed to increase that distance.

The board and residents then discussed the fire suppression system, with residents concerned that the chemicals used would have a negative impact on their wells and Sevincgil assuring them it would be safe and would be contained and controlled by the stormwater management system and would not be a health threat in the first place. The board asked that more information be supplied about the fire suppression system, along with additional information on the landscape plans for the berm.

The board voted to continue the hearing to the first available date, June 7.

Planning Board Gets Overview of Traffic, Road Construction Standards
By Penny Williams     5-15-18

Lucy Gibson from DuBois and King, Raymond’s Town engineering firm, provided the Planning Board with some of the key standards used in traffic studies and for development or review of road construction design at a workshop meeting May 10. The board is looking for ways to address the number of similar traffic and road design waivers that come before it as site plans are presented.

Gibson went over the basics of roadway design and traffic studies, and noted that both seek consistency and safety and provide the tools for road investment, with the goal of matching that investment with need.

She spoke about AASHTO, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group representing highway and transportation departments in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. It includes all five transportation modes: air, highways, public transportation, rail, and water, and its primary goal is to foster the development, operation, and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system.

AASHTO serves as a liaison between state departments of transportation and the federal government. And it issues standards for design and construction of highways and bridges, materials, and other technical areas.

Gibson spoke about the classification of roads, saying it is based upon the importance and the level of use of a road. She noted the three classifications of roads – arterial, collector and local, explaining that an arterial has the highest level of use, while collectors act as links between local and arterial roadways.

Gibson and Raymond Public Works Director Steve Brewer spoke about specific Raymond roads in those three categories, and Gibson suggested Raymond regulations could benefit from some changes. Arterial roadways by definition in Raymond, she said, have volumes on the low side, and some of the roads designated as collectors should be local roads in her opinion.

The Planning Board said Town officials involved with planning, roads and regulations need to have a "conversation" about alternatives to cul-de-sacs, with an attempt to create connectivity to eliminate the cul-de-sac.

A discussion took place about the reliability of traffic study findings, and it was noted that when a study occurs, the time it is done and the environmental conditions in place always play a role in the conclusions reached. Gibson said the studies collect data and make assumptions, and the information provided is the "best guess" for what conditions will exist when a development build-out is completed. She added that they don't always know about additional developments that may take place and their impact numbers, or that a particular restaurant or store in a commercial development will be unexpectedly popular, skewing the numbers.

Gibson said Raymond roads in general fall in between rural and urban environments and are designed to fit area environment, use, need and safety concerns. The factors impacting stopping and roadway sight lines govern much of road design, and she added that there are differing costs associated with terrain. Road design factors are influenced by speed, she added, and the curvatures in a road design are factors in creating a roadway for the specific level of speed desired, as are the horizontal and vertical curvatures.

She also noted that road width and shoulders, whether cleared or with growth, also play a role. Gibson said local roads look to reduce speed so as to make them safe for pedestrians, with curvatures often used as a "calming" tool for speed.

Raymond has many streets that started as cow paths and as such are narrow and winding. Gibson suggested the stringent nature of Raymond road standards may be one of the reasons for the number of waiver requests and should be re-evaluated in terms of what applies to collector roadways vs. arterial.

Brewer discussed a number of Raymond roads from the point of view of use. It was noted that while some of the cattle path roadways could not be dramatically redesigned, they can be improved during repair and renovation periods. Gibson discussed the fact that when a speed limit is posted, most drivers go faster than the limit but that roadways for new developments need to balance use with safety and be designed for the desired speed.

Warrant levels for stop lights and turning lanes were explained as well, with Gibson saying the State views providing a signal only if absolutely necessary, and looks for alternatives such as a roundabout. Requiring turning lanes depends on the level of use of the road involved and safety considerations, she added.

Gibson noted there are alternatives to AASHTO guidelines and provided the board with references for other standards.

The Board heard that some tweaking to Raymond standards should happen to meet residents’ expectations but it was pointed out that Raymond does not have a lot of data to support any changes. There was discussion about putting together roadway design standards specific to Raymond, and it was suggested that it would be helpful for the Planning Board if data from existing subdivision roadways could be collected with a view to speed posted, actual trip use, and the impact of local roads on collector roads. Some said the numbers associated with Raymond standards for collector roads are too low.

However, before any changes can be made in Town requirements, the Fire Department would have to be involved. When a road not designed as a collector road becomes a collector due to development, it can only be improved and brought up toward that standard through repair to better deal with increased volume. A hindrance to accomplishing this is the need to get residents’ cooperation in terms of easements and rights-of-way for such improvements, officials said.

Meadows Development Gets New Name, Disputes Continue
By Penny Williams   5-9-18

The proposed Meadows development now is to be known as Ridgewood Commons, but little else has changed. And public comment from neighbors Robert and Kathy McDonald and their land use attorney, Scott Hogan, continued to occupy a large portion of a hearing before the Raymond Planning Board on May 3.

Ridgewood Commons is proposed for 41 Chester Road (Route 102), with 172 condominium townhouses in 43 buildings. The developer is Keith Martel. The two-lot subdivision has 9.048 acres fronting on Chester Road and 77.247 acres with frontage on proposed roads. The plan has been under discussion and review for more than a year, with continued discussion set for the June 21 Planning Board meeting.

An application for a Special Permit, as the development will impact Zone G land -  jurisdictional wetlands - was not dealt with at the May 3 meeting because the board and applicant are both awaiting a Raymond Conservation Commission report.

The Planning Board heard from Attorney Patricia Panciocco on behalf of the applicant, who said they had withdrawn one of the two remaining waiver requests. The withdrawn waiver concerns granite curbing, but because the plan as presented meets the required standards, it was withdrawn. However, the waiver concerning driveway slopes was still to be addressed.

Panciocco made the point that the downward slope requirement should be waived because there is no Town right-of-way and no front property lines, both primary components of the requirement. She went through the waiver criteria and said strict compliance would be a hardship because it would mean the applicant would have to install not just one stormwater drainage management system but two. She said that would not be necessary because the proposed closed drainage system would take care of the stormwater runoff.

Kathy McDonald asked how the runoff would be treated and was told there would be no chemical treatment. The designed drainage system would treat the runoff through several different treatment applications and after treatment, the water would be distributed into the wetlands.

Robert McDonald brought up references to the driveway slope issue made by the engineer during earlier hearings, and said he has a problem with the Planning Board's change from denying the applicant's waiver request for a 50-foot right-of-way to approving it. He said he wanted to know what went on between the attorneys to have created this change of position. The board approved a motion to waive the requirements relating to the driveway slope and associated drainage.

Panciocco then said for the benefit of the new Planning Board members and because the traffic study data had been reviewed by Steve Pernaw, a third party traffic expert, that she wanted to go over Options A and B as regard the treatment of Route 102.

She said Rebecca Brown of Greenman-Pedersen was present to explain the two Route 102 options that were discussed. The Planning Board supports the Raymond Highway Safety Committee's preference known as Option A, while the applicant and its experts and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) support Option B.

Board Chair Jim Kent reminded the board that in this situation, NHDOT has the final authority.

Option A consists of widening Route 102 to provide dedicated left- and right-turn lanes on Route 102 at the proposed driveway entrance to and from the development. These lanes would have to be long enough to accommodate 95th percentile queues, a deceleration area, and a taper, in accordance with NHDOT standards. To construct this, a substantial portion of the site would have to be donated to the NHDOT right-of-way, and the centerline on Route 102 would have to be shifted.

Option B consists of slightly widening Route 102 for a shorter distance to construct a bypass shoulder in each direction at the proposed site driveway entrance to the development. The bypass shoulder for the left-turn lane would be 10 to 12 feet wide and 50 feet long with a 400-foot taper before and after the driveway. The right-turn bypass shoulder would also be 10 to 12 feet wide for 315 feet with a 200- to 240-foot taper. This option would require significantly less land donation to NHDOT, and would not require a shift in the centerline.

Panciocco essentially asked the Planning Board to consider changing its support of Option A. McDonald presented the board with documentation of the area and another similar development already in existence and continued to dispute the traffic study conclusions. He asked the Board to talk to the State and try and persuade it to consider Option A rather than Option B.

Robin Jordan told the board she prays every night as she waits to make a left-hand turn across Route 102 to Genco Way. McDonald then offered information on accidents in that area that have occurred since the relevant data was prepared. Planning Board alternate Jonathan Wood asked if the hearing was past the point of making further comment to NHDOT on this issue, and the applicant said if there is a condition to approval that is in contrast to what the State supports, the State would look at it further.

Board member Gretchen Gott asked if the board's letter to NHDOT in support of Option A had been delivered, and Raymond Community Development Director Ernie Creveling said he was not sure. Gott asked that he make sure that it is forwarded to NHDOT.

At that point Attorney Hogan made his comments emphasizing and explaining again why he claims the property is overbuilt and overdesigned. He insisted that if the 50-foot right-of-way were in place, the design could not work, and repeated the requirement that roads in developments, whether private or public, must be constructed to Town standards.

Hogan also repeated the questions surrounding the board's change of decision from denying the waiver for the 50-foot right-of-way to allowing it. This change means the plan as presented does not meet the Town's requirements and the applicant's use of financial hardship is not allowed by law, he noted. 

Jordan requested another site walk for board members to look at the Genco Way emergency access road. Gott agreed, and the board, after a brief discussion, decided to take a site walk on Wednesday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m., gathering at the Genco Way cul-de-sac.

Mark Jacobs, a certified soil scientist hired by the McDonalds, raised a number of issues regarding water, drainage design and wetlands. He recommended the board consider a condition of the project be to provide environmental monitoring and inspections. He also recommended moving some of the buildings away from steep slopes to avoid erosion issues, and questioned why the buffer around the Gangee Pond was 50 feet when 75 feet is required. And he questioned the box culvert for the wetlands crossing, indicating there should have been at least an alternative resolution provided by a conceptual design for a bridge.

In addition, he said the buffers around the two identified vernal pools are insufficient and destined to extinguish them, and he recommended a migration study be done to determine from which direction wildlife enters and leaves the vernal pools. He also noted what he stated were soil type errors on the plan.

Gott said she also has concerns about vernal pool protection. McDonald asked why the buffers had been reduced on the plan, which is now considered the final plan, and Patrick Colburn of Keach Nordstrom Associates responded, saying there had been no questions raised about the buffer on Park Place, and as far as around the pond, there had been no changes made - it had been 50 feet on the original plan as well.

The board asked Creveling to check with DuBois and Kng regarding the required buffer zones and whether they had any issues with them on the plan presented. McDonald asked who was the Town's certified soil scientist who might have approved these issues and wanted a letter showing that the person was indeed a certified soil scientist and that the buffers are appropriate. He was informed that DuBois and King has a certified soil scientist who would have reviewed this matter.
Gott went over a list of concerns she has with the plan, including the time of clearing and construction phasing; information regarding the Home Owners Association and how it would be enabled to handle all the things the plan leaves at its doorstep; the need for barriers between buildings and Gangee Pond; a blasting schedule; and what would be done about stonewalls.

The board asked that DuBois and King thoroughly vet all the issues raised during that night’s hearing and that the applicant be prepared to address the questions raised, including vernal pond and migration study issues, at the next meeting. In addition, the board wants the DuBois and King final plan review to be provided for that meeting.

Following a discussion on a date for the next meeting, the board suggested June 7, but the applicant requested more time, and June 21 was agreed upon.


Raymond Planning Grants Conditional Approval for Light Manufacturing Facility
By Penny Williams   4-23-18

The Raymond Planning Board gave conditional approval April 19 to a request from Kenneth Poole to construct a facility for metal fabrication and light manufacturing at 3 Chester Road (Route 102) in the C1 (commercial) Zone.

The board, short two members, sat alternates Jonathan Wood and John Beauvilliers for the evening's meeting. Brian Jones of Allen and Major Associates introduced the plan and Poole, owner of the proposed facility, answered questions.

The site plan request had received a special exception from the Raymond Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) on Nov. 22, 2017 to allow light manufacturing at that location in Zone C1, where light manufacturing is only permitted by special exception. The proposed site plan also received a variance from the ZBA the same evening to allow light industrial in the C1 Zone where it is prohibited.

Poole currently operates Poole Sheet Metal and Welding in Brentwood. Poole Sheet Metal has been in business for 20 years and produces sheet metal fabrication for customers from a wide range of industries, from sheet metal enclosures and machine frames to custom fabrications for commercial countertops, kitchens, chemical processing and automotive parts.

Poole said he wishes to expand his operation and move it to Raymond. The company has eight employees. Poole said his plan is to construct a larger building in Raymond to allow expansion.

He is proposing to construct a 10,000-square-foot, single story building in the first phase of the site development and if business expands as anticipated, during the second construction phase he would build a 5,000-square-foot structure behind the first building, to be used primarily for storage.

The hours of operation are primarily Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and occasionally on Saturday mornings. The business never operates a second or third shift and never operates on Sundays, Poole said.

The parcel is 4.6 acres, and 20 parking spaces – more than the Town requires - are proposed to address future growth. The site will have municipal water and private, on-site sewage, electric and data lines. The water will come from across Route 102 and a 12-inch water line will have to be provided via a horizontal bore under the road. Electric and telephone lines will be underground on the property.

One large curb has been approved by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to accommodate large trailer trucks, and the driveway going around the building is wide enough to accommodate fire equipment and trailer trucks. The septic system proposed is designed to address full build-out capacity of 20 employees.

Jones explained the runoff and storm water management plan, which includes filtration and a detention pond. There will be sufficient water for suppression and for the buildings to be sprinkled, and the landscape plan indicates “dark sky” compliant lighting and buffers and plantings that exceed the Town's requirements. The building itself will be metal with a sloped roof, and the run-off from the roof will be directed into the filtration and storm water drainage system. The plan is to hire an expert to produce the drainage and storm water management plan

Jones said that noise would not be an issue. He said the noise element is controlled and contained within the building, and the insulation used in the building would help to deaden any noise generated by the machinery. The metal shavings that are created are recycled, he added, and Jones and Poole assured the board that Public Works Director Steve Brewer had no concerns with the plans.

Board member Gretchen Gott was concerned about the wetlands on the parcel, which basically bisect it, and wanted to schedule a site walk before approving the proposal, but after the board approved the single waiver to allow site plan use of 1 inch to 30 feet rather than the town's preferred 1 inch to 20 feet, the board was inclined to vote on the proposal that night, making a site walk moot. However, Jones and Poole told Gott she was welcome to walk the property whenever she wanted. The board voted to conditionally approve the proposed plan.

In other business:

• The board learned that the name of the proposed Meadows development at 41 Chester Road has been changed to Ridgewood Commons. That will be officially recognized at the May 3 meeting of the Planning Board. It was also noted that the development’s site plan has been substantially changed and should be the final plan. The previous plan called for 172 condominium townhouses in 43 buildings on 77.247 acres. The new plan will be introduced on May 3 as well.

• The board noted that it should consider changing the regulation requiring 1 inch to 20 feet for plans, as this is getting to be a consistent waiver request.

• The board will hold a work session on traffic on May 10. The proposed Mega-X gas station, doughnut shop and convenience store development on Lane Road will be the main topic for the May 17 meeting, and Liberty Utilities is scheduled for May 24.

• The board decided it needs to work on site walk protocols at an upcoming work session.

Lane Road Gas Station, Service Center Plan Gets Waivers, Continued to May 17
By Penny Williams    4-9-18

The Raymond Planning Board on April 5 once again heard from Huseyin Sevincgil of MHF Design Consultants about the proposed Mega-X plan for a gasoline station and convenience center with both a doughnut shop drive-through and a quick-serve, sit-down restaurant at 2 Lane Road.

The plan calls for development of 5 acres of the 19.8-acre parcel. It includes a truck parking area behind the building and the diesel fuel pumps, and blasting and earth removal would be required for construction. Retention ponds would be in place and a stormwater management plan instituted as well, along with a drainage and spill protection system and catch basins that discharge into oil and water separators where treatment will take place before the water is distributed to the wetlands.

Water would be provided from a well on a parcel across the street.

An Alteration of Terrain permit from the State has been applied for and a request permit for blasting will be provided to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) that will detail pre-blasting survey results of all wells within a 2,000-foot radius, with checks of those same wells post blasting.

The proposal calls for Fiberglas, double-walled, state-of-the-art underground storage tanks. Also planned is a monitoring system with an alarm inside the convenience center that will be visible to the employees, who will be trained on emergency response.

A berm would be constructed along the abutting property line that will be up to 13 feet high in places, on top of which would be an 8-foot wooden fence, serving as a sound and sight barrier. Snow storage will be accommodated by designating four parking spaces in the truck parking lot for that purpose and because of its location, the snowmelt will be treated through the drainage system before distribution.

Alternate board member John Beauvilliers asked if the lot across the street would be purchased and whether the well on that lot would be 500 feet from the fuel tanks. He was told that DES had approved the well location and the lot has been purchased.

Hours of operation would be 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the week and until midnight on the weekend. Sevincgil said that overnight parking would not be allowed and signs would be erected forbidding it. There would be no long-term idling as well, also noted by signs. If those rules are violated, the board was told that neighbors could file a complaint or call the Raymond Police Department.

Several waiver requests were submitted. One would reduce the number of parking spaces required by the Raymond ordinance from 75 to 52. Another would allow the plan scan to have one inch equaling 30 feet. A waiver might also be needed for the berm slope. The Fire Department requires a cistern, and a waiver might be required for this as well, but the building would have sprinklers. The placement of the cistern has not been decided, as the developer is working with the Fire Department to meet its requests for the placement of the underground storage tanks as well as the cistern.

The board approved the waiver for the plan scan measurements, and all but Gott approved the waiver for the reduced number of parking spaces. The board also encouraged the applicant to submit a waiver for a 2-1 berm slope.

Board member Gretchen Gott had concerns over the Community Impact Statement. She questioned whether there would be any environmental or neighborhood impacts and whether Town services would be impacted. Regarding noise, the board discussed that a five-decibel increase over ambient noise would be equal to a whisper. Gott wondered how this could be measured and was told Raymond does not have the equipment to do so.

A turning lane possibility came in for discussion and Kim Hazarvartian, a TEPP, LLC. traffic expert, said the study found that a turning lane was not warranted. Alternate board member Jonathan Wood asked if any thought had been given to the coming increases in development in the area that would result in growing traffic numbers. He said a bond would be needed to cover the future requirement of a turning lane.

A compromise was suggested that would allow construction of the development without the turning lane, with a review of how it works for a year. It would then undergo another traffic study. Gott and Wood both expressed concerns with delays caused from vehicles turning off Route 101 without the turning lane.

The public had issues with trucks with respect to overnight parking and idling, claiming that despite signs to the contrary, it would happen. Abutting neighbors were concerned that the development would result in diminished property values. Several said the Town should implement its own “no idling” law that would allow local control.

Several residents also expressed concern about spills contaminating the aquifer, their properties and their wells. Kathy McDonald, although not an abutter, asked what the plan was for the rest of the acreage and was told it would be left in its natural state.

It was suggested that one way to make sure trucks didn't park overnight was to have the place gated. However, most board members said that was not practical and was anti-business.

The board discussed whether it could make a decision with a waiver pending and decided they could not so and would have to continue the hearing. The issues outstanding include bonding for the addition of a turning lane; signage for no idling and no parking, and for snow storage for four parking spots; decibel measuring and whether a waiver on this requirement is needed; contact with Police Chief Mike Labell regarding the possible increase in service calls and enforcement issues; and contact with Public Works on parking concerns.

The board then discussed again the potential compromise on the turning lane and polled members; the sentiment was to pursue the compromise and see if a turning lane was needed after a year of operation. Members also discussed conditions that would include bonding of the road, no overnight parking, and signage.

The board continued the public hearing to the May 17 Planning Board meeting and extended the 65-day clock to May 30.


Raymond Planning Board Approves Revised Impact Fee Methods
By Penny Williams   3-22-18

The Raymond Planning Board held a public hearing March 22 on a revised impact fee schedule and the methodology used to calculate impact fees, with discussion centering on whether to calculate amounts for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) per unit or per square foot.

Discussion began with the explanation provided by Bruce Mayberry of BCM Planning, LLC at a previous meeting as to whether to use the per square foot method or the per-unit method for calculation. Mayberry had said ADUs are not counted at present but that could be done if the Town determined which calculation method to use.

The board discussed using a new construction or 30 percent fee standard of $1,139 for ADUs. Some members said the per-unit computation, using the 30 percent standard fee, would be easier to implement but member Gretchen Gott questioned whether this would be the fairest method. She said she thought the square foot method would be more equitable.

The board noted that ADU size must be within 500 to 750 square feet, and that using the square foot method, the fee would be calculated using the number of square feet with a $2.48 figure. That works out to be more expensive than using the flat rate, 30 percent standard of $1,139.

The board agreed to try using the same rate for an ADU as is used for an attached townhouse, or $ 0.92 per square foot. That works out to be lower than the $1,139 standard 30 percent method. The board approved this method with the condition that they try it for two years, then review it.

The board then moved to a discussion of the entire revised impact fee proposal and appeared to favor staying with the square foot rate calculation rather than using the per unit calculation method for the impact fee schedule.

Resident Carol Watjus expressed concern that Lamprey River Elementary School is not in the impact fee schedule because of its deficiencies. She asked how the deficiencies – its portable classroom buildings - could be removed so as to allow impact fees to be used for the school. She said the town needs all the revenue it can get.

The board reminded her that if they were to charge for impact fees based on removal of the deficiencies and addition of capacity at the elementary school building before those things happened, it could be costly, and noted that Mayberry had said he would be uncomfortable doing that.

The board then voted to continue using the square foot rate for the impact fee schedule and to review it in two years.

In other business:

• Chair Jim Kent and Vice Chair Bob Wentworth remained in their offices for another year, and Alissa Welch was appointed secretary for the coming year. Two new members were introduced – planning board member Steven Feher, elected March 13, and selectman liaison Scott Campbell.

• The board determined that it needs to return to two meetings and one workshop per month. The board has substantial workshop issues - Traffic Road Design Course 101 that would include the Technical Review Committee (TRC), Highway Safety Committee, and Town engineers DuBois and King; a Conservation Commission wetlands report and an Ethics Committee report; and Liberty Utilities’ request for a workshop with the Town Economic Development Team.

After a long discussion, the board decided to schedule the Traffic Road Design Course 101 for a May 10 workshop, and the Conservation and Ethics matters to a June 14 workshop. The board will consider a July date for Liberty Utilities.

• The board reviewed an application from Jonathan Wood, who had previously been selectmen’s liaison, to become an alternate to the Planning Board. John Beauvilliers, who was defeated in a bid for reelection March 13, brought a similar request. Both were considered qualified and were approved.

Raymond Planning Continues to Debate Meadows’ Waiver Requests
By Penny Williams   3-19-18

The Raymond Planning Board continued to plow its way through waivers sought by the developer of The Meadows subdivision, despite Chair Jim Kent’s limiting the time for public comment to 3 minutes per person. At its meeting March 15, the board saw Bob and Kathy McDonald and their attorney, Scott Hogan, take up a considerable amount of time as they argued against the proposed development.

The Meadows is proposed for 41 Chester Road (Route 102), with 172 condominium townhouses in 43 buildings. Developer is Keith Martel. The two-lot subdivision has 9.048 Acres fronting on Chester Road and 77.247 acres with frontage on proposed roads.

Kent asked Community Development Director Ernie Creveling to summarize the status of the development application, as the previous hearing was quite some time ago. Recent meetings were postponed because of notice requirement errors and inclement weather.

Creveling said the development was deemed to have regional impact and the communities impacted were notified of meetings and provided information on the hearings. He said the original plan layout was preferred to other options offered and adjustments to the original plan had been made to building 2's location to accommodate a potential 50-foot right-of-way penciled in on the plan. An adjustment was also made to the location of buildings 13 and 14 to avoid interference with an identified vernal pool.

Creveling also noted that the entrance to the development had been changed to meet the need for student drop-off, pick-up, parent parking and bus turnaround. And he said the potential 50-foot right-of-way access had been illustrated on the plan, showing it would be available if the private roads ever became public.

Kent asked the board to vote on bundling waivers 3 through 6b and hearing them as a group, as they all fall under the AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) umbrella, considered the gold standard for road construction. The board has already approved previous waivers because AASHTO standards were in place, and these followed the same path.

After opening the question to public comment, more than an hour was spent arguing over whether the plan complied with Town of Raymond road standards and whether the plan complies with the required 50-foot right-of-way. Hogan and the McDonalds insisted that the proposed 50-foot right-of-way goes through parking lots and therefore is not in compliance. Hogan also claimed that the board had denied the waiver from a 50-foot right-of-way, then said the 50-foot right-of-way does not apply to condominium developments.

The argument continued until the board went into recess to consult with Attorney Laura Spector Morgan. Upon returning to the table, the board explained that they had reconsidered their vote to deny waiver 1 and determined that the plan does comply, meaning the roads would remain private, but if an application to make the roads public were made by the Home Owners Association (HOA), the HOA would have to comply with all Town road standard regulations. The board then granted waiver 1, reaffirmed the compliance of the plan with the potential 50-foot right-of-way penciled in as approved, and approved waiver 2.

The board also unanimously approved bundling waiver requests 3 through 6b. Kent suggested the applicant's attorney, Patricia Panciocco, use waiver 4 as an example. She did so, making the argument that the road design is deliberate in its focus - limiting vehicles to a speed of 15 miles per hour - and that the Town has no requirements or regulations for road design that meet less than a speed of 30 mph.

Bob McDonald asked that the difference be provided in percentage terms between what the applicant's road design provided and what the Town's requirements are. The board decided the information provided by the applicant, although not in percentages, was sufficient for the board to continue, but asked the applicant to provide the numbers in percentages at his earliest convenience.

Kathy McDonald then asked upon what hardship the waiver is based. Following discussion, it was noted that the hardship is that the Town does not have any specific regulations or requirements for roads constructed for 15 mph traffic speeds, and the waiver request does not nullify the intent of the regulations. The McDonalds asked if the present plan had been reviewed by the Technical Review Committee and whether it had been approved by the current fire chief. After a discussion the board said the plan has not changed so there would be no need for another Technical Review meeting.

The board then voted unanimously to grant waivers 3 through 6b and turned to waiver 7, the Emergency Access Road. The board decided to bundle waivers 7a, 7b, and 7c. Patrick Colburn of Keach and Nordstrom Associates presented that waiver request.

Planning Board member Gretchen Gott raised concerns about the grade of the emergency access road and questioned whether emergency equipment would be able to navigate the turns onto the development roadway. She said she did not think the access roadway was adequate, even though both Fire and Police departments have signed off on it.

McDonald questioned whether the current fire chief had signed off on this and it was pointed out by the board that Fire Chief Paul Hammond was part of the original review when he was Deputy Fire Chief, and as he did not raise any objections at that time, it can be assumed he, too, signed off on it.

Gott also raised the concern that expecting the HOA to maintain the roadways, especially the emergency access roadway, was asking a lot. Objections were also raised by abutters concerning the incline of the access roadway and the location where plowed snow would be pushed, and asked what would prevent vehicles from sliding off the road. Hogan noted the hardship doesn't work, as the applicant chose to design the roadway in this manner and that decision threatens run-off into the wetlands.

Colburn said the emergency access design took into account run-off and stormwater management by using a swale and a pond that would treat and then distribute the run-off. He said it does not pose any threat to public safety or to the environment.

Bob McDonald asked that the decision on this waiver be deferred until the New Hampshire Department of Transportation reviews it. Kent asked the applicant about guardrails and Colburn pointed out on the plan where guardrails were proposed.

The board discussed this briefly and voted to grant waiver 7, then turned to waiver 8, which dealt with the applicant’s request to use plastic rather than concrete pipes. Panciocco said the hardship was the cost of concrete pipes, and using the plastic would result in a savings of $40,000, which could then be used to provide extras such as trails.

Creveling affirmed that plastic pipe is more acceptable and that Town standards regarding this are out of date.

The board after a brief discussion voted to grant waiver 8. Gott asked that a note be affixed to show where the savings were spent.

After a brief discussion, the board then continued the hearing to May 3, when they would begin with waiver 9.

In other business:

• The board cancelled its March 18 site walk for the proposed Mega-X plan for construction of a gasoline station and convenience center that would include a doughnut shop drive-through and a quick-serve, sit-down restaurant on Lane Road. The board said the current snowpack would make the site walk not feasible.

However, Gott said she would not be prepared to make any decisions on the proposed Mega-X plan, whose next hearing is scheduled for April 5, until a site walk could take place. The board agreed to ask for authorization from the applicant to conduct a site walk on Tuesday, April 3 at 6 p.m.

Proposed Lane Road Gas Station Complex Presented to Planning Board
By Penny Williams   3-5-18

Mhf Design Consultants, Inc., of Salem, NH presented the Raymond Planning Board with its application March 1 on behalf of Mega-X LLC of Hooksett for construction of a gas station and convenience center with a doughnut shop drive through-and a quick-serve, sit-down restaurant on Lane Road.

The application was first presented in August and since then has been before the TRC (Technical Review Committee) and Highway Safety Committee. It was made clear from the outset that several unresolved traffic issues remain.

Huseyin Sevincgil of Mhf presented the plan and said they had made some adjustments to the original plan, such as reducing the overall size of the building by 120 square feet down to 5,800 square feet.

The parcel is 19.8 acres and the planned development covers 5 acres, with a well dug on property the developer owns across the road to provide water to the development site. The developers plan to seek a waiver to have fewer than the 75 parking spaces, as required under Raymond zoning regulations, asking instead to be allowed to have 52 parking spaces. They explained that many customers would use more than one of the onsite retail or fueling options.

Sevincgil discussed the proposed placement of the building, the six fuel islands with 12 fueling stations, and the canopy, diesel truck fueling station, and truck parking area. He also reviewed how the three access ways would work, with two of them serving the auto fueling areas and the retail building, and the third a one-way access for trucks to the diesel fueling area up to truck parking and around and down to the road on the other side of the development.

Kim Hazarvartian of TEPP LLC discussed the traffic study, and said all the intersections had been examined and traffic counted for peak morning and evening hours, both in the present and looking 10 years out. Hazarvartian said a turn lane off Route 101 is not warranted, given the projected traffic use, which showed only low to moderate delays.  Peak new traffic trips generated would be 247 in the morning and 241 in the evening.

The board discussed whether the proposed development has a regional impact. Initially the board decided it did because there would be more than 500 trips generated - a figure of 1,464 covering traffic flowing in both directions along the Route 101 corridor on any given day. However, after a lengthy discussion, it was decided that there would not be more than 500 additional new trips generated because of the development so there would not be any regional impact.

Board Chair Jim Kent opened the hearing to the public, and several residents spoke; their concerns were all much the same. All were concerned with trucks idling and giving off fumes that would impact nearby residents with respiratory ailments. They also had concerns about diesel fuel spills getting into run-off and into the wetlands and neighboring properties. And residents expressed concern with the noise to be generated by the trucks fueling and idling, and over the impact of blasting on their homes, foundations, walls and wells. Several also spoke of environmental concerns from noise and light, and impact on water and wildlife.

Board member Gretchen Gott said an environmental study and a community impact study should be done. Her concerns matched those of the public, and she additionally suggested a hydrologic study. A pre-blast study was requested as well.

The board put together a list of the concerns raised and asked the applicants to address these at the next hearing, which was set for April 5. Gott asked for a public site walk, which was then scheduled for Sunday, March 18, at 10 a.m.

Sevincgil said the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) has approved the application for the well across the street and has done an extensive environmental review. He said one solution to the noise issue is for the developer to construct a berm along the edge of the lot by the residential lots and put a fence on top of that. Kent responded that such a plan would reduce the snow storage area and a wall would do the same thing and take up less area.

In other business:

• The board heard from Bruce Mayberry of BCM Planning, LLC, about the Raymond School Impact Fee. He reviewed how the impact fee is calculated and said the first time it was done was in 2004; it was updated in 2008 and is now being looked at again in 2018. He said the calculations exclude Kindergarten-4th grades at Lamprey River Elementary School because it has unimproved and unresolved deficiencies, including the use of portable classrooms. The Raymond calculation is thus based on actual enrollment in grades 5-12 and actual dwelling units.

A lengthy discussion ensued about an alternate manner of calculation using square footage of dwelling units. At this time Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) are not counted but they could be.

Resident Bob McDonald asked why the elementary school is not included and resident Carol Watjus asked whether the elementary school enrollment could be included in the calculation if it was sufficiently reduced so that the portable buildings could be removed.

Kent suggested that the review of the School Impact Fees should be done in fewer than 10 years. A public hearing on the School Impact Fees is slated for March 22, when the questions and concerns raised will be discussed along with the alternative methods of calculation.

• The board reviewed a Lot Line Adjustment request submitted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4474 for properties at 39 Main St., and 6 and 8 Floral Ave. The request would eliminate the lot 70 lot line at 6 Floral Ave., adding that acreage to Lots 69 and 71 and making both of those lots less non-conforming. There are no changes of use. No one from the public spoke and the board after a brief discussion approved the request.


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.