Draft Zoning Board Minutes - February 14, 2017
LITTLETON ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2017
LITTLETON COMMUNITY HOUSE
120 MAIN STREET
PRESENT: Chairman Eddy Moore, Vice Chair Art Tighe, Guy Harriman, Jerry LeSage, Jessica Daine, and Joanna Ray (recording secretary)
OTHERS: Jason Plourde, FX Bruton, Chris Tymula, Rich Rochefort, and Zoning Officer Chris Hodge
Chairman Moore called the meeting to order at 6:00 and designated Guy Harriman as a voting member for this meeting.
Review October 11, 2016 minutes. Art made a motion to approve the minutes as presented. Jerry second the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
Varney-Smith Lumber Company Inc. Owner & Cumberland Farms Inc., Applicant – ZBA17-01 – Request for a Special Exception relating to Article IV, Section 4.02.05 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow a retail gasoline station next to 831 Meadow Street, tax map 82-14, in the C-I zone.
The hearing was noticed in the newspaper, abutters were notified, and the hearing fees were paid. The case was accepted as complete. No conflicts were noted.
FX Bruton started the presentation with an overview of the project. This site received a similar approval for a gasoline station a few years ago, but since it was never executed, the approval is no longer valid. The proposed Cumberland Farms will be similar to the new one built in Woodsville with a New England motif. The project will need to go through the DOT and DES approval process and meet all of the Special Exception criteria. Cumberland Farms invests in their properties. A hearing with the Planning Board is scheduled for next week to subdivide the lot. This will allow the store to be on its own parcel.
Chris Tymula presented plans showing how the parcel currently looks as well as the proposed layout once the land is subdivided. The wetlands have been flagged and the flood plain areas identified. The concrete pads will be removed. There was a scoping meeting with DOT in April 2016 regarding the access. An updated application needs to be submitted. Access points will be determined by DOT. There is an easement access to the back lot over the brook. Elevation of the lot was discussed. Chris confirmed that none of the construction will be in the floodplain area.
There was discussion regarding the town regulation on access roads being 50’ wide. FX stated that the regulation is pertaining to traveled roads and not easements to another lot. The easement on the lot is basically a driveway. This will be discussed at the Planning Board meeting next week.
Chairman Moore asked if there would be a signal light at the entrance. Chris Tymula replied that there is no talk of one at this time. The entrance of the lot has a lot to do with any potential signal light in the future. There is a dual turning lane at this location.
Chris Hodge asked about traffic flow for deliveries. Chris Tymula discussed where the fuel areas will be. Fuel deliveries would be made off to the side of the store. Diesel will be available, but they do not anticipate tractor trailers using this location to fill up because the pumps are too slow for their needs.
The proposal includes green space, landscaping, signage, and lighting. There will be 21 parking spaces in front and to the side. Snow storage is onsite and there will be future restriping on the Sears lot. There is a drainage plan before anything gets to the brook. DES requires a catch basin and separator before it gets to the wetlands.
Chris Hodge asked about the project being within a quarter mile of the river. Chris Tymula said they are staying out of the wetland, but if they need additional approvals they will be in touch with DES.
Chris Tymula stated that a hydrant will need to be relocated.
Joe DePalma, Director of Public Works, sent the Board information requiring a vacuum excavation to verify the location of the sewer line. The DPW must be on-site during the verification. If the applicant choses, the DPW can do the verification at the owner/applicant expense. Chris Tymula did not have any issues with the request. The project will have a grease trap, underground electric, and propane for heat. The propane will be 60’-80’ from the property line.
Art stated that this will be the first 24-hour business in that area and does not see that there would be a nuisance. A subdivision request will be presented to the Planning Board next week. FX stated he does not have any issue with coming back to the ZBA if the PB makes changes that would affect the ZBA’s approval. Chris Tymula stated there will not be much flexibility since the PB will only be approving new property lines.
Jessica asked if the Sears entrance is defined. Chris Tymula replied yes and identified the details of the driveways on the plan. This was followed by discussion of the internal connector “roads”. Jason Plourde informed the Board that they had met with NHDOT in April 2016, traffic study and counts were done, and Jim McMahon will be involved with the internal traffic. DOT would not allow three access points, which is what Cumberland Farms prefers.
Chairman Moore asked if there were any abutters present wishing to comment. There were no abutters present to comment. Rich Rochefort, not an abutter, asked about the time frame of opening the new store. Chris Tymula stated that after DES and DOT permits are received, the construction schedule is about 16 weeks. This store could be open by the end of 2017 or spring of 2018. Rich stated he is a tenant in the building where Cumberland Farms is currently located. Rich asked what the plans are for the current location. Art informed Rich that it was something that the ZBA does not get involved in and he should ask the applicants after the meeting.
FX informed the Board that if they approved the request tonight, he is willing to pay for any additional hearing should it be necessary after DES and DOT approvals.
Chairman Moore closed the public input portion of the meeting. The Board reviewed the findings of the facts. This is a commercially zoned use in an area with other commercial uses. There were no abutters voicing objections to the applicant’s statement that property values will not be reduced. This is a low noise and low light use that will not be a nuisance. Customers will be in and out. Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation and maintenance of the use. The Board agreed with the submitted facts.
Jerry LeSage made a motion to approve, without prejudice, Varney-Smith Lumber Company Inc. Owner & Cumberland Farms Inc., Applicant – ZBA17-01 – Request for a Special Exception relating to Article IV, Section 4.02.05 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow a retail gasoline station next to 831 Meadow Street, tax map 82-14, in the C-I zone with the following conditions:
- The Director of Public Works requires a vacuum excavation to verify the location of the sewer line. The DPW must be on-site during the verification. If the applicant chooses, the DPW can do the verification at the owner/applicant expense.
- Applicant must receive subdivision approval from the Planning Board so that Cumberland Farms will be located on its own parcel.
- Any changes applicable to the gas station approval will require further Zoning Board review.
- Applicant must comply with all Federal, State, and Local regulations.
Jessica Daine second the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
For future applications, Art requested a quick reference map that shows who the abutters are, their location, and when they purchased their property.
At 7:45, Art made a motion to adjourn. Jerry second the motion. The motion passed 5-0.