2021 Raymond Planning Board Meetings

Raymond Planning Board's Blaisdell Hearing Continued Again to April
By Penny Williams   2-19-21

The Raymond Planning Board met Thursday evening, February 18, and Chair Jonathan Wood read a letter into the record requesting another continuance of the Blaisdell Bald Hill Road subdivision hearing. The continuance was requested for the board's April 1, meeting.

The proposed subdivision is to subdivide the Bald Hill Road lot into 37 building lots and 1 open space lot. It is noted that the property proposed to be subdivided is shown on the town tax map as two lots and there is a pending legal action regarding this designation. The board approved Blaisdell's request for the continuance.

The bulk of the meeting was spent discussing the Water Crossing event that will be held in Nottingham at the Nottingham Sand and Gravel located at 214 Raymond Road. There are three events to be held throughout the year.  The Nottingham Planning Board had designated that the event has a regional impact and due to that notified the Raymond Planning Board of this designation as an abutter.

The Nottingham Planning Board indicated there were several regional impacts and the abutting towns needed to be notified. The regional impacts included:

* Noise

* Proximity of Aquifers

* Proximity of bordering towns

* Shared facilities of Police and Fire response

* Increased traffic during events

Board member alternate Paul Lynn had  brought the event up at the previous meeting telling the board the noise is tremendously annoying. The board at this meeting discussed what significance the designated regional impact of the event might have for Raymond.

After extensive discussion it was determined that the Raymond Planning Board didn't find the event has any regional impact on Raymond other than perhaps to bring some business to the town. However, Lynn and board member George Plante, selectman liaison, agreed to go as individuals to the scheduled Nottingham Planning Board meeting when this will be discussed.

Wood asked Stephanie Gardner, Planning Board Secretary, to send Nottingham a letter including the email the board received from Raymond Fire Chief Paul Hammond,  who indicated he saw no impact on Raymond from the event.

The board discussed a Solar Ordinance that had been provided to the board.  Board member John Beauvilliers agreed to take the generic ordinance and wordsmith it for  a better fit for Raymond.

The board was not convinced that Raymond needs such an ordinance. The generic ordinance is for large commercial solar farms. Gardner was asked to look around and see if some other towns had an ordinance the board could look at going forward.


Raymond Planning Board Continues Blaisdell Subdivision After Discussion
By Penny Williams   2-6-21

The Planning Board on Thursday evening, February 4, discussed the application for a subdivision submitted by Roscoe Blaisdell for property located at Bald Hill Road. The application proposes subdividing the lot into 37 building lots and one open space lot. The property at present has a pending legal decision regarding the fact the property is shown as two lots on town map.

The board members raised several questions regarding the proposed subdivision, the first of which concerned the legal issue. Blaisdell said it was all but concluded but upon questioning from board member Gretchen Gott admitted there was no official ruling as yet.

The board raised concerns about yield plan submitted. The plan utilizes LiDAR data and not ground survey data and the Technical Review Committee (TRC) had indicated it felt the resulting information does not have the level of accuracy suitable for construction. This was discussed in terms of topography as well as other aspects. The board asked that a survey be down to produce more accurate data.

The fire pond proposed by Blaisdell, it was noted, is not favored by Fire Chief Paul Hammond who favors  a cistern. Following discussion, in which Blaisdell defended the fire pond as being deep enough not to dry up, he said he would have to provide whichever the Planning Board decided on. Gott wanted to know the slope and depth of the proposed fire pond from a safety perspective and asked if a fence would be put up around it. Christian Smith, Beal's Association, applicants engineer said that could be done.

The Conservation Commission's (ConsCom) letter dated January 25, 2021 was read into the record. ConsCom supports the concept of a conservation subdivision on the property as opposed to a traditional subdivision. ConsCom suggested homeowners have access to conservation land for passive recreation with a restriction on OHRVs.; that Blaisdell retain ownership of the open space section but a third-party hold the conservation easement to ensure conservation management in perpetuity; the wetlands need to be reflagged and wetland delineation be confirmed by a third-party wetland scientist; lots should be developed to preserve natural trees and vegetative buffers on them for integrity; and, a Blanding's turtle habitat should be constructed in cooperation with NH Fish and Game.

It was noted that a letter and document submitted by Bruce Gilday, soil scientist, was not signed by him nor stamped and the board said in order to accept these, he needed to sign and stamp them properly.

The length of the two Cul de sac roadways exceed the length of the Town's Zoning, 800 feet, by a considerable amount. Blaisdell defended the length saying in previous plans the board has approved Cul de sac roads longer than the 800 feet. The board noted they are concerned with this plan not previous plans. It was asked if the two roadways could be connected and Blaisdell explained that slope and wetlands prevent this from happening.

Gott suggested that the board continue this public hearing until after the TRC meets again and addresses questions that committee had before it continued the meeting to Tuesday, February 9. The discussion continued but in the end this was what the board did.

DuBois and King in their letter had concerns with grade, drainage and survey validity as well as the road lengths.  The yield plan did not provide sufficient information that was acceptable at this point in time.

The board was concerned with the wells on some lots where the well radius went beyond lot lines even in one case into a roadway and on another into a wetland. Blaisdell said the wells might not eventually be located where they are placed now but the yield plan shows the lots can accommodate wells and septic and that meets the state requirements.

The board voted to continue the hearing to the next meeting scheduled for February 18, which would be after the TRC meeting. Gott asked that the board meet with Town Counsel in non-public prior to the start of the next meeting in consideration of this application.

Public Works Director Steve Brewer was asked whether he thought TRC would have all their issues resolved at the February 9, meeting and he said they would plan to try to resolve everything and have recommendations for the board.

The board accepted with regret the resignation of member Bob Wentworth who said he would remain on the board until March.

Raymond Planning Board Continues Blaisdell's Bald Hill Road Project
By Penny Williams  1-22-21

The Raymond Planning Board met briefly Thursday evening, January 21, to approve the request for a continuance for the only public hearing they had scheduled. The board voted to approve the request to continue the application for a subdivision submitted by Roscoe Blaisdell for property located at Bald Hill Road that seeks to subdivide the lot into 37 building lots and one open space lot.

It should be noted that the property proposed to be subdivided is shown on the town tax maps as two lots. There is pending legal action regarding this designation.


Raymond Planning Board has Design Review on 4 Freetown Road Project
By Penny Williams  1-15-21

The Raymond Planning Board held a Design Review on Thursday, January 14, for a site plan submitted by Jones and Beach on behalf of the Mareld Company for property located at 4 Freetown Road, diagonally across from McDonalds, to be a commercial development.

Presenting the site plan for design review was Joe Coronati, Jones and Beach. There was no action on the part of the Planning Board other than to ask questions and comment on areas they had questions or concerns about.

The lots, owned by the Mareld Company, when put together are odd shaped and there are wetland crossings that will have to take place but Coronati suggested that some would be filled in and mitigation addressed for that. The amount of wetlands involved overall is 9700 square feet.

Coronati noted that the Mareld Company had owned and developed the Essex Commons across the road.

The site plan envisions creating four smaller lots to be sold or leased. There are no tenants at this point. The site plan was designed to show what they feel can be developed and supported by subdividing the property into four smaller commercial lots. Coronati said the site plan referred to was developed to demonstrate what could be put on the property and to determine the impact on wetlands. He noted that one issue is access.

The state has told him he can't get a curb cut at the traffic light or off Otter Road so the only access would be a driveway that starts at Center Street and goes across to all the four potential parcels and would be in the neighborhood of 1000 feet or more. If a curb cut was allowed off Otter Road it would be for emergency purposes.

Each of the four lots and their building would have their own septic system and use town water. Coronati indicated that the decision to subdivide the property into four smaller lots is based on this being the most attractive for commercial development.

Separating the lots to be developed from the residences off Otter Drive are a wooded area that the homeowners did not cut down but Coronati said putting up a fence or plantings or both could be part of the development. He indicated that as each of the lots is bought or leased it would have to come back to the Planning Board. What he was presenting now would not necessarily be what will actually get developed. Rather, it depicts what could happen.

The board members asked their questions and offered some suggestions and Charles Prue spoke during Public Comment saying the land had been owned by his grandfather and that at this point he was neither for the development or against it.

After the Public Comment was closed and the hearing for the design review was closed, the board discussed a request from Tuckaway Tavern for a permit to have a function tent for events on the restaurants front lawn. 

The board felt that the existing parking issues at the Tuckaway Tavern made it necessary to send the request to the Technical Review Committee and then after that for Tuckaway Tavern to come before the Planning Board to discuss what they plan to do presented as an amended site plan.


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

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