Planning & Zoning Board Notices & Minutes

Aug 7, 2018

Approved Planning Board Minutes - August 7, 2018

6:00 PM


PRESENT:  Chair Linda MacNeil, Vice Chair Tony J. Ilacqua, Franco Rossi, Val Poulsen, Mary Menzies, Bruce Ralston, Milton Bratz, and Joanna Ray (recording secretary)

EXCUSED:  Jim Daly

ABSENT: Colin Trahan

OTHERS:  Steve Whitman, Liz Kelly, Steve Boulanger

Chair MacNeil called the meeting to order at 6:00.  Milton was designated a voter for this meeting.

The Board reviewed the minutes from July 17, 2018.  Milton made a motion to approve the minutes as written.  Vice Chair Ilacqua seconded the motion.  The motion passed by all.  

Peter & Deborah Poulsen, Owners / Steve Boulanger, Agent – PB18-04 – Request for a 2-lot subdivision of tax map 28-5 on Shana Lane in the rural zone. Val recused himself from voting on this case.


Chair MacNeil reviewed the case file and accepted it as complete.  Steve Boulanger presented.  Tax map 28-5 will have 14.04 acres and the new parcel, tax map 28-24, will have 3.20 acres.  These parcels share access of Shana Lane which is a private road. Shana Lane is part of tax map 28-5.  Chair MacNeil stated she wants to protect the abutters that use that road and requested a written maintenance agreement.


Chair MacNeil asked how the poorly drained soils would be dealt with.  Steve replied that it was not necessary because the building site is on the flat area by the road.


The public input was closed.

Vice Chair Ilacqua made a motion to approve Peter & Deborah Poulsen, Owners / Steve Boulanger, Agent – PB18-04 – Request for a 2-lot subdivision of tax map 28-5 on Shana Lane in the rural zone with the following conditions:

  • The applicant must supply a maintenance agreement
  • The applicant must comply with all Federal, State, and Local regulations

Milton seconded the motion.  The motion passed by all.

Steve Whitman and Liz Kelley, from Resilience Planning & Development, presented an overview of their proposal to update the Littleton Master Plan.

Steve explained that the first meeting with the Planning Board would be to draft the scope of work.  Dan Sundquist, not present at this meeting, would be the GIS mapping expert on the project.  Steve stated the draft can be modified to meet the needs of the Town. He was glad to see the Town is interested in outreach and engagement with the public. Work sessions will be an important element to the update.  Steve worked on the 2004 Master Plan update with Jeff Taylor. 

Steve was asked why his proposal was beyond the $30,000 limit set by the Planning Board.  Steve was under the impression that the limit was $32,000. Franco asked if $30,000 was inadequate for the size of this town.  Steve replied that it is adequate if the idea is to refine and update the 2004 version.  Steve felt comfortable with this amount.  Steve and Liz will provide ideas for the Planning Board to make final decisions. 

Steve informed the Board that if a controversial issue arises, they can pause and be flexible with the issues.  The scope is an agreement but sometimes it might need to be adjusted.  Milton asked what types of controversial topics have come up in the past.  Steve replied that site plan review comes up and that surveys will indicate which topics to stay away from. Milton stated that a recent survey from the Town indicated that people feel the Town has enough workforce housing.  Vice Chair Ilacqua and Franco agreed that housing is an issue in the North Country.  Liz stated that creating images from survey data is helpful.

Steve informed the Planning Board that the Town is the boss in this project, and he would be creating a scope as a guide through the process.  Steve will offer options to help the PB create the best Master Plan for the Town.  Milton asked if Steve had heard of situations where ethical issues come up with the consultant. Steve replied that nothing comes to mind.  There have been some consultants that did not meet timelines.  Sometimes things come up.

Steve explained that he works closely with his team and will make sure the goals are met.  Dan does all of the GIS work and will generate the data into the chapters.  Liz will be the one to format the Master Plan.  Their approach is to provide a document that is clear and easy to understand with good visuals.  Steve showed the Board the summary booklet that was provided to another town.  Steve added that Newbury was another town that wanted to use their current Master Plan, but update from it.  Chair MacNeil liked the summary booklet and that people can go to the full Master Plan for details.  Mary asked if there was more staff.  Steve replied that it would be just the three of them.

Liz stated that some communities follow through better than others.  The approach will be to equip the Town with a Master Plan that can function as a tool and provide strategies for visions and goals.  Milton mentioned that there have been many implementation items marked for the Board of Selectmen, but nothing was ever presented to them. Steve stated that it is important for Town staff to keep the various Board’s informed on tasks that have been assigned to them.  Franco asked if Resilience provides ongoing consulting services.  Steve replied yes and that some towns take them up on that service. Chair MacNeil stated she would like the Implementation Chapter reviewed at least once a year. 

Steve stated that they could use the survey results from 2004 as well as sending out cards.  Surveys online are easy to do, but Steve understands that not everyone would complete them that way.  Vice Chair Ilacqua said it would be good to compare the 2004 results to where the Town is today.  Franco asked if the budgeted price would cover the cost of the print survey.  Steve replied yes if it is not mailed, but available at various places. Steve discussed the types of outreach and engagement tools.  One of them is a focus group that would allow the participants to be in charge.  A lot of information can be gathered that way.  It includes a short presentation, present some data, and then questions at tables where participants can complete comment cards.  This is a good way for the participants to not get bored with a long presentation.  There was discussion about how important it is to get everyone’s comments because some people might not be available for these focus groups. Vice Chair Ilacqua added that updates could be announced at Selectman meetings. Franco agreed. Steve stated that a kickoff meeting would be a great was to create the outreach plan and types of surveys and feedback forms.  Too many surveys can be distracting so talking to the public is important.

Steve stated that a year and a half is a good time frame.  People tend to lose steam if it is stretched out longer than that.  Multiple public hearings might be needed to keep everyone informed. Liz will be at every meeting and Steve will be at some.  They can carpool if necessary.  Franco asked if the Board will be informed when something comes up that could potentially blow the budget.  Steve replied yes.  Estimates will be given for other requests not in the scope.  Steve added that the Town will own the results from the surveys. 

Mary asked if they would have time to take on this project if they are chosen.  Steve replied yet.  Master Plans are their primary job. Chair MacNeil stated the Board would announce their decision on August 24th.

At 7:10, Vice Chair Ilacqua made a motion to adjourn.  Milton seconded the motion.  The motion passed by all.

Submitted by,

Joanna Ray