Planning & Zoning Board Notices & Minutes

Nov 3, 2015

Draft Planning Board Minutes Nov 3, 2015

6:30 P.M.

PRESENT: Chairman Charlie Ryan, Vice Chair Linda MacNeil, Bruce Ralston, Val Poulsen, Mary Menzies, Colin Trahan, Tony J. Ilacqua, Jim Daly, and Joanna Ray (recording secretary)

OTHERS: Steve Kelley, Town Manager Andrew Dorsett, and Selectboard Chairman Milton Bratz

Chairman Ryan called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.

Chairman Ryan announced that Milton Bratz would like to speak to the Board. Milton explained that Marghie Seymour resigned from the Selectboard. Milton informed the other two Selectboard members, Ed Hennessey and Schuyler Sweet, an ex officio needs to be selected to sit on the Planning Board. Neither of the other two Selectboard members volunteered. Milton said there will most likely not be a Selectboard member at the Planning Board meetings, but they were willing to designate Mary Menzies as the alternate to the position.

Tony J. Ilacqua stated that being an ex officio on the Planning Board is one of the duties of being a Selectboard member. Tony also stated that there are benefits to have a Selectboard member serving on the Planning Board. Tony appreciates that the Selectboard members have other commitments, but perhaps one member could attend one Planning Board meeting a month. Vice Chair MacNeil agreed. Milton agreed to the ex officio. Milton explained that the other Selectboard members came to the Selectboard without a complete job description. It was clarified that the ex officio votes and has the duties of a regular member.

Review & approve minutes from October 20, 2015
Tony J. Ilacqua made a motion to approve the minutes as written. Jim Daly second the motion. The motion passed by all.

Town of Littleton, Owner / Steven M. Kelly, Owner – PB15-07 – Request for a Lot Line Adjustment between tax maps 79-201 & 79-202 located at 24 & 34 Washington St in the R-I zone. This Lot Line Adjustment was approved by Town vote on March 10, 2015.

Chairman Ryan accepted the case as complete. Steve Kelley presented. Steve purchased the lot and misunderstood the location of the property lines. A survey was done after the purchase. This LLA will allow a driveway on his own property and not over Town property. Vice Chair MacNeil stated the proposal looks straight forward. Steve said the school currently uses the structure on the property. There were no other comments and the public input was closed.

Bruce Ralston made a motion to approve PB15-07 with the condition that the applicant complies with all Local, Federal, and State regulations. Tony J. Ilacqua second the motion. The motion passed by all.

Chairman Ryan discussed the abandoned strip mall next to Rite Aid. Board members asked if the Town could have it condemned. Val Poulsen stated that he knows it is heated year round to avoid damages. Tony J. Ilacqua said windows have been fixed when they are broken. Val offered to purchase the lot, but the owner did not accept his offer. The owner wants to lease it. The taxes are always paid on this lot. Chairman Ryan noted a few other empty stores, but felt the town was in good shape.

Vice Chair MacNeil discussed the Zoning violation letter the Planning Board received earlier this year regarding Steve Kelley’s storage buildings across the street from his store on Union Street. Steve said he offered to purchase the lot behind his store and extend his building. This would eliminate the need for storage buildings. Steve commented on the difficulty of building on the lot by the river because of Shoreland laws. Vice Chair MacNeil stated she does not think the buildings are an issue.

Andrew Dorsett offered an update on the Old County Road reconfiguration. Andrew has spoken with McDonald’s Attorney Greg Michael and Kam Patel. Taking the road bond is not going to work because the easement deed to the Town has not been recorded. It will not be recorded until the lease agreement between Patel and McDonald’s is signed. Attorney Michael said he is trying to make every effort possible. The timeline offered by Attorney Michael shows a construction start date of May 2, 2016 with a completion date of July 31, 2016. Andrew has recommended sending an order to keep them committed to the timeline. Board members voiced their concerns with the start date. Andrew also mentioned the idea of a warrant article to throw up the road so that ownership goes back to the abutting properties. Chairman Ryan stated the driveway permit was issued to the Town and not the property owners. Vice Chair MacNeil suggested altering the timeline to so that construction starts April 1 and is completed by June 30, 2016. Attorney Bernie Waugh will draft the order and include those dates. Jersey barriers were discussed. Andrew said he was concerned with the possibility of a law suit from McDonald’s due to loss of revenue. Bruce Ralston discussed the possible issues if the road was thrown up. Many Board members agreed that this needs to be completed prior to the major summer traffic.

Andrew Dorsett presented the idea of requiring a Change of Use form to be completed when a location changes their use. This information would be sent to all departments for comments if needed. Andrew stated it would help the business owners to have the info of what they need to do. It would be helpful to the assessing department as well. The businesses that submit their interior changes to the Town are subsidizing those that do not submit changes. Installing grease traps would be an example of a requirement from the public works department. Proper installation could prevent possible future issues. A Change of Use form would not be required if the business is changing from a retail to a different retail establishment. Vice Chair MacNeil stated it would only be needed for a change such as retail to a restaurant or salon. Bruce Ralston agreed that the form should state the change of a permitted use to another permitted use. Colin Trahan felt this could cause problems. Tony J. Ilacqua stated the voters will decide.

Andrew Dorsett asked the Board how they felt about adding a section to the Zoning Ordinance for utility transmission lines. The Town cannot prohibit transmission lines by its zoning or deny a pole via failure to obtain a building permit because the town is preempted by state law. Companies need to obtain a license form the Selectboard with no building permit, ZBA, or PB review. Val Poulsen stated he does not want to create any problems.

The Board was informed that the Board of Selectmen approved the name “Porter Street” for the strip of road that runs behind the old Village Book Store. This street has some stores that are addressed off of Main Street with a Suite number/letter added. Having the street named will be better for customers trying to find the stores location as well as for emergency services.

Val Poulsen made a motion to adjourn at 7:45. Tony J. Ilacqua second the motion. The motion passed by all.

Submitted by,
Joanna Ray