Antrim Open Space Committee
July 12, 2005
The meeting was dedicated to conducting the second public meeting being held to encourage attendance by both townspeople and non-resident property owners to inform them of the Committee’s progress to date and to solicit their input.
The following people were in attendance:
Melissa Chapman, Acting Chair Bob Edwards, OSC & Planning Board
Linda Bundy, OSC Bill Prokop, Town Administrator
Loranne Corey Block,OSC Paul Vasques, Town Planner
Gil and Janet Geisz, OSP & resident Ron Haggett,Selectman & Planning Board
Ben Pratt, OSC & Selectman Alexander Snow, Planning Board
John Vance, Sr. Peterborough Amy Stone, Resident
Dr. Gregg Perry, Resident Cynthia Crockett, Resident
Lloyd Henderson-Contender-Press Christian Eichelkraut-Transcript-Press
The public Meeting was called to order by Acting Chair Melissa Chapman at 7PM. Melissa explained the history and the charge to the committee by the Board of Selectmen. Primarily the purpose is to identify and discuss the protection considerations where prudent, of the special places and natural resources within the town of Antrim. Melissa explained the aerial display that was presented of Antrim along with the Committee’s encouragement for townspeople’s input made on both Election Day and at town meeting 2005. She reviewed the Committee’s previously invited speakers and the topics that they discussed.
Melissa displayed and discussed several maps of interest and their intended purpose and source of information. Displayed maps included, but were not limited to, Town of Antrim Base Map, Resource Extraction Potential Map, Resources Extraction Potential Map-Timber, Sensitive Resource Map, Unfragmented Land Map and others. The various maps identified areas within the town that may have the best soils for farmland, aquifer areas and areas for other potential uses. They identified areas of timber parcels noting multiple species of timber but cautioned the mapping is about 88% accurate due to the nature of satellite image data acquisition.
The Sensitive Resource Map identified fragile and high potential areas for protection-steep slopes of 10-20% including south facing slopes which provide high mast production for wildlife food sources - she identified riparian areas that surround the center of rivers and streams. These provide travel corridors and cover for wildlife. Other areas identified were areas where hydric soils exist.
Unfragmented Land identification included parts of Hancock, Stoddard and Nelson as the parcels extended beyond Antrim’s borders. The parcels were identified by 7different class ranges from approximately 20 acres to the largest parcel over 15,000 acres. The Committee will work parcels that it has identified as sensitive and that have demonstrated an importance to preserve. Some large tracts are presently protected as conservation easements such as Campbell Pond and the McCabe Forest. Also included was an agricultural overlay that identified areas that are presently or could potentially be used for agricultural purposes.
Melissa pointed out the long and narrow parcels, although quite large, contain less interior forest area which is so important for certain species of wildlife.
It was pointed out that Antrim appears to be 50% unfragmented and 50% fragmented, and perhaps the focus could be on protecting key unfragmented parcels that contain areas identified by the Committee as important to permanently protect. Also it was suggested that the Committee could study and make better use of the already fragmented parcels which seem to be near the downtown and highway (Rte 202 and 9) areas.
Attendees were encouraged to conduct some individual conversation while viewing the maps and enjoying the refreshments before beginning the second part of the hearing.
After the break, Melissa solicited input from the participants on the following questions:
1: What kinds of land (open space) are most important to permanently protect?
· Significant wildlife habitat areas of town. Free from residential development.
· Connecting Corridors between bodies of water
· Areas of historical significance
· Watershed recharge areas that empty into lakes and ponds
· Playgrounds/recreation areas-hiking trails
· Flood plain areas
· Preserve or create attractive entrances to Antrim-green belt areas-positive first impressions for visitors to our community.
· Agricultural land preservation
2: What specific places in Antrim should be protected?
· Route 9 and the entire North Branch Area-Educate people as to its great attributes.
· Gibson Mountain/Campbell Pond/Pierce Lake Road area-whatever remains that is not for sale.
· Gregg Lake and its surrounding large land parcels presently privately owned.
· Girl Scout Camp-if it became available for sale.
· Tuttle Mountain area
· Revisit Rte 9 and its General Highway Business Zoning Classification
· Consider the future impact of housing development(s) and commercial business that may spread toward Antrim on Rte 202.
· Identify “springs” in wetland areas noted on Sensitive Resource Map
· Protect the views from Cedar Swamp
· Protect our night sky from light pollution
· Develop and/or protect green space within the downtown-Town Pond, so-called (Great Brook behind Antrim Marketplace area). Preserve the aesthetic charm of our New England community.
· Protect the scenic views that presently exist from Elm Avenue.
Melissa thanked all in attendance for both coming to the public hearing and for their input. She noted that the Committee’s next meeting is August 9th and the Committee will be formulating a draft report that will include identified natural resources and the values we have assigned to ensuring their preservation. The September meeting will probably involve a review of the draft. Melissa stated that additional public hearings will be conducted prior to the Committee’s final report and recommendations to the Selectmen.
Bob Edwards spoke briefly about the upcoming Growth Management Committee’s first meeting being held on July 28 at 7PM at the Little Town Hall. Jeffrey Taylor and Associates will make a presentation regarding different concerns and approaches that should be considered as towns’ approaches the formation of a growth management ordinance for Antrim. All town officials and interested townspeople are invited to attend.
Public Meeting was concluded and adjourned at 8:25PM.