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125 Main Street, Suite 200
Littleton, NH 03561
Phone: 603.444.3996
Fax: 603.444.1703

Jun 6, 2017

Approved Planning Board Minutes June 6, 2017


LITTLETON PLANNING BOARD
COMMUNITY CENTER HEALD ROOM
120 MAIN STREET
TUESDAY, JUNE 6, 2017
APPROVED

6:30 P.M.

 

 

PRESENT:  Vice Chair Tony J. Ilacqua, Mary Menzies, Val Poulsen, Milton Bratz, Colin Trahan, and Joanna Ray (recording secretary)

 

EXCUSED:  Chair Linda MacNeil, Bruce Ralston, and Jim Daly

 

OTHERS:  Bruce Hadlock, Chad Stearns, David Moberly, Mary Edick, Jan Edick, Robert Blechl, Atty. Sandra Cabrera, Ralph Hodgman, Rudy Gelsi, Bill Willis, Jessica Willis, Katie Latulip, Sean Dodge, Steve Boulanger, Greg Eastman

 

Vice Chair Ilacqua called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.

 

Review May 16, 2017 minutes

Milton Bratz made a motion to approve the minutes written.  Val Poulsen second the motion.  The motion passed by all.

 

Mary Edick questioned whether or not there were enough board members present to make up a quorum.  Vice Chair Ilacqua confirmed that the board was made up of 7 voting members and an alternate. Four members made up a quorum.

 

Public Hearing with the Board of Selectmen regarding the 41.96 acre parcel, tax map 99-46, with a 60-foot right-of-way access on land owned by the Town on Mt. Eustis Road.  According to RSA 41:14-a, a process authorized by Article 4 at the March 2016 town meeting, the proposed sale requires the review of the Planning Board and the Conservation Commission followed by two public hearings with the Board of Selectmen. 

 

Milton Bratz discussed the handout that Town Manager Dorsett prepared.  Article 23 in the 1973 Annual Report spoke of raising $15,000 to contract for feasibility evaluations of alternative land sites suitable for industrial development. The intent was for an Industrial Park and not land to sell to individuals. 

 

The parcel being discussed tonight was part of a 2-lot subdivision of Town owned property, tax map 99-17, which was approved on May 20, 2014 by the Littleton Planning Board.  This approval came after the March 2014 Town vote to allow the sale of a portion of tax map 99-17.  The vote passed 845-141.  The conveyance of tax map 99-46 will include the use of a 60-foot wide right-of-way that is located on Town owned property, tax map 99-17. Reference to the right-of-way was accidentally omitted from a draft deed that was written up in 2014 after the subdivision. The draft deed was never recorded at the Grafton County Registry of Deeds. This discussion is to make sure the 60-foot wide right-of-way is included in the discussion of transferring the property.  After review and recommendation from the Planning Board and Conservation Commission, the Selectboard will hold two public hearings as outlined in RSA 41:14a.  As of right now, the first public hearing will be held on June 28, 2017 and the second will be July 10, 2017.  The Selectboard will vote on the transfer 7-10 following the second public hearing.

 

The notice for the hearing tonight was a scribers error and this is not considered the second public hearing for the Selectboard. 

 

Vice Chair Ilacqua confirmed that this discussion is reviewing what has happened in the past and what now needs to be done.

 

Bruce Hadlock suggested the Planning Board ask the Selectboard if they could legally sell the lot.  At one time, the Selectboard was allowed and then they were not.  Bruce also suggested the Town use the lot for mitigation from another project.  This property is assessed at $89,000.  Bruce stated he does not feel the Town should be giving it away for $1.00.  Bruce is an LIDC stock holder and suggested that the Town should get paid back after LIDC sells it.  Vice Chair Ilacqua replied that he understood what Bruce was saying, but this meeting is just a review.  The Planning Board cannot change what the Selectboard wants to sell the lot for. 

 

Attorney Sandra Cabrera represented property owner Tom Clardy.  Sandra read RSA 41-14a and noted that it does not state the Planning Board has to look at this in a narrow view.  It extends to the overall Master Plan and the general welfare of the Town.  Selling land with value is not in the best interest to the Town when it is sold for one dollar.  Sandra submitted a letter that outlined Mr. Clardy’s objections to selling this piece of land. Mr. Clardy objects to the sale of land to an organization that could possibly be out of business due to a parcel not being re-zoned in March 2017.  Another item of objection is the Town selling valuable resources for less than fair market value.  Mr. Clardy pointed out that the lot zone was mistakenly shown as a rural lot and not industrial.  He purchased his lot believing the neighboring lot was not zoned industrial.  The Town recently corrected this error.  Mr. Clardy has offered to purchase this land and use it to develop professional office space.  There are ways to sell this and accomplish the desire to create businesses and jobs.

 

Ralph Hodgman stated he is a resident on a fixed income. He also stated that he understood the intent was to sell the lot for one dollar to a company that pays no property taxes.  Ralph asked why the Town needs to create jobs when there are so many unfilled jobs right now.  There are no reasonably priced homes in Town to bring in more people.  Ralph told the Planning Board that they need to tell the Selectboard that they are against this deal.  People attending this meeting are saying not to do this sale.

 

Mary Edick stated that there are two items to discuss tonight.  One is the housekeeping item of mentioning the right-of-way in the deed to tax map 99-46. The second item is the review and recommendation to sell the lot for one dollar.

 

Bruce Hadlock suggested that Planning Board recommend some covenants for the right-of-way. 

 

Mary Edick stated that there was another vote in 2016 allowing the Selectboard to sell property after the procedure set in RSA 41:14.

 

Milton Bratz stated that the DRA reviewed and approved the warrant article from 2014 regarding the parcels for sale and they did not find any error with how it was written.  Even if the 2016 warrant article was not there, the 2014 vote results would stand.  Milton explained that the statute wording from 2014 had changed by the 2016 vote. Milton asked Attorney Cabrera to confirm which property Mr. Clardy was interested in purchasing. She confirmed that Mr. Clardy was interested in purchasing tax map 91-46.  Milton stated that the 1973 vote was to make this an industrial area.  Milton addressed Bruce’s comment about selling the lot for one dollar.  Businesses in the park are paying taxes.  Companies have to pay for development costs.  The Town currently receives $610,000 in taxes from those companies.  When the companies are successful, the Town gets their money back.

Mary Edick stated the 2016 warrant article over rides the 2014 warrant article.  Vice Chair Ilacqua replied that the Planning Board is reviewing the sale of the lot with right-of-way access.  The Board will then give a recommendation to the Selectboard. Jan Edick stated that the sale of the property and the right-of-way were not the same thing.  Both warrant articles say to review the sale of the property.  The right-of-way is a separate issue. 

 

Sean Dodge stated the 2014 warrant article was vague.  The acreage was approximate.  Chad Stearns replied that the lot had not been subdivided at the time of the warrant article.  Sean asked who the Selectboard was in 2014.  Milton replied that it was himself, Marghie Seymour, and Mike Gilman.

 

Jan Edick asked Milton if the Transfer Station property was part of the 1973 study.  Milton replied that he was unsure of which properties were part of the study.  Greg Eastman thought it was part of the study.

 

Attorney Sandra Cabrera asked about the right-of-way reference in the deed.  Milton replied that it was mentioned in the previous deed, but the deed wasn’t executed. The previous potential buyer didn’t work out. The right-of-way needs to be written into the new deed. 

 

Ralph Hodgman asked about the note describing the change in location of the right-of-way.  Chad Stearns explained that it moved slightly due to a Littleton Water & Light project.  Sean Dodge asked if the right-of-way was voted on for this new lot.  Chad stated it will be shifted slightly back to its original location.  Val Poulsen stated that there has always been a right-of-way on this property.  It is also a deeded access to tax map 102-7.

 

Attorney Sandra Cabrera stated that the Board needs to give a recommendation for the sale of the property that includes the right-of-way.  Vice Chair Ilacqua confirmed this statement. 

 

Chad Stearns stated that the Industrial Park is full and this is the only lot with substantial acreage.  Work will need to be done to make it suitable to build.

 

Ralph Hodgman asked when the Town would get paid back for the sale.  Vice Chair Ilacqua replied that the Town gets paid back when development happens.

 

Jan Edick asked how many businesses were in the 390 acre Park.  Greg Eastman replied that there are about sixteen businesses.  There is the possibility of adding two or three more businesses on this property. 

 

Vice Chair Ilacqua closed the public input. 

 

Val Poulsen stated he thinks the Park is doing a great job and a lot of income comes from the Park.  The money helps the schools and to educate the kids.  Expanding it is good. 

 

Colin Trahan stated that more room is definitely needed.  This discussion clears up the right-of-way.  The Town voted to approve this sale 845-141 and that is a large vote.  He supported moving forward with the plan to sell the lot.

 

Mary Menzies asked when the Town acquired the lot.  Joanna Ray replied that the Town purchased it from Robert & Rosalie Little in 1969. 

 

Vice Chair Ilacqua stated the Board needs to look at planning for the future.  The Board is not here to discuss how much the land is sold for.  Things to consider are the Master Plan, protecting the abutters and taxpayers, and complying with state statutes.  The 2014 vote gave the authority to sell the property.  That was the time to discuss the selling price.   Vice Chair Ilacqua stated the 2014 subdivision was approved with the right-of-way and it should not be overturned.  Mary Menzies and Val Poulsen agreed.  People can attend the Selectboard meeting to discuss the money and viability.  The Conservation Commission might discuss this from a different angle.

 

Vice Chair Ilacqua designated Colin Trahan as a voting member for this meeting.  Milton Bratz stated he would not vote on any recommendation because he is the Selectboard liaison for the Planning Board.  Val Poulsen made a motion that the Planning Board recommend the sale of tax map 99-46 with right-of-way access.  Mary Menzies second the motion.  The motion passed.

 

 

David & Jessica Willis, Owners / Boulanger Consulting, Agent – PB17-02 – Request for a Lot Line Adjustment between tax map 80-21 & 80-25 located at 76 Hill Street and 45 Richmond Street in the R-I zone. 

 

The hearing notice was posted in the Caledonian-Record, the abutters were notified, the hearing fees were paid, and the application was accepted as complete.  The Board reviewed the request.  The shed meets the required setbacks.  There was no one present wishing to comment.  No Board members voiced any objections.  Vice Chair Ilacqua closed the public input. 

 

Milton Bratz made a motion to approve the request as presented with the condition that the applicant comply with all Federal, State, and Local regulations. Val Poulsen second the motion.  The motion passed by all. 

 

 

Eames Realty Co., Owner / Boulanger Consulting, Agent – PB17-03 – Request for a 2-lot subdivision of tax map 73-40, 153 Hubbard Road, in the rural zone.

 

The hearing notice was posted in the Caledonian-Record, the abutters were notified, the hearing fees were paid, and the application was accepted as complete.  Val Poulsen recused himself from the Board because his sister is an abutter to the Eames property.

 

Steve Boulanger presented the request. The reason for this subdivision is for the house to be sold on a smaller lot.  This property is in the rural zone and the minimum acreage is three acres.  Steve had to apply to the State to allow a subdivision with a lot under five acres.  Val Poulsen stated that this State requirement is to make sure the lot can accommodate a septic system. This is different than the Town requirement.  Colin Trahan stated he did not see an issue with this request.  Mary Menzies agreed that there is plenty of frontage for access.   Steve stated that 20-30% of the property is wetland.

 

There was no one present wishing to comment.  No Board members voiced any objections.  Vice Chair Ilacqua closed the public input. 

 

Milton Bratz made a motion to approve the request as presented with the condition that the applicant comply with all Federal, State, and Local regulations. Mary Menzies second the motion.  The motion passed by all.

 

At 7:45, Mary Menzies made a motion to adjourn.  Milton Bratz second the motion.  The motion passed by all. 

 

Submitted by,

Joanna Ray