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Planning Board Minutes 07/21/05

Minutes of the July 21, 2005 Meeting

Members Present:

Scott Burnside          Mike Genest             Renee Rabideau          Alex Snow                Ed Rowehl               Brian Sawich
Members Absent:

Fred Anderson           Bob Bethel              Bob Edwards             Ron Haggett     


        Ruth Herne              Carol Court             Harold Court            Beverly Amadon
        April Sullivan          Dan Sullivan            Wayne Frye              Ellie Geddes
        William. McKinnon       Claude Grant            Paul Achterhof  Bonnie Achterhof
        Keryl Olson             Christine Johnson       Bruce Cuddihy   Elaine Cuddihy
        Wayno Olson             Charles Van Horn        Tim Ferwerda            Nancy Knowles
        Maria Isotti            Marsha Morrow, Monadnock Ledger         Peter Beblowski
        Mr. Jones

Chairman Burnside opened the meeting at 7:00 pm by appointing Ms. Rabideau to sit for Mr. Bethel and Mr. Snow to sit for Mr. Anderson. Mr. Genest was the substitute selectman sitting as ex-officio member. Mr. Rowehl made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 7, 2005 meeting as corrected which was seconded by Mr. Sawich and passed. The members reviewed an e-mail from Mr. Prokop wherein he stated that the Board of Selectmen were satisfied with a $600,000 bond or letter of credit on the Mighty Oaks Realty subdivision. The secretary pointed out that the condition applied to the approval stated that a “dollar amount adequate in the sole opinion of the Selectmen” would be required and he was instructed to advise Mr. Schnare of the amount. A copy of the Police Department report for Mr. Whiton’s business to store and sell ammunition was discussed. The Board instructed the secretary to work with the Building Inspector to insure that the Police Department requirements are met.

Mr. Snow reported that there had not been a lot of activity on the part of the Master Plan Committee other than information gathering in preparation for their August 15th meeting. He was still trying to get a copy of the survey conducted by the Grapevine which will be presented in the future at the Conval School District meeting. Mr. Vasques reported that no one had obtained forms for completing their capital improvement requests and he was concerned that no one would have information for the committee by the August 15th deadline. It was decided that the secretary would prepare a memo to all department heads and committees reminding them of the deadline. He will also compile a list of phone numbers and/or e-mail address for Mr. Snow to follow up on the memo.

Copies of the updated Subdivision and Site Plan Review Regulations were distributed to the members. The secretary distributed a revised Driveway Permit form. The new form included a signoff line for the inspection of the driveway upon completion. Also, the driveway regulations will now be included with the building permit application booklet. Mr. Burnside felt that the driveway regulations should be updated by changing the culvert material from galvanized steel pipe to HDPE pipe. The secretary will draft a change for approval. Mr. Vasques reported that he is still researching other towns regarding their policies for private roads.

At 7:30 pm Mr. Burnside convened the public hearing on the application of Christine Johnson for a Home Occupation on property located at 28 Main Street, Antrim, NH 03440 Tax Map 1A, Lot 6 in the Village Business District. The applicant proposes to operate a facility for training, grooming and the day care of canines. The secretary explained the procedure to be followed and Ms. Johnson was asked to present her proposal. She explained that she planned a small-personalized business providing services for canines. She would be the sole owner and proprietor and would reside on the property. She estimates that there would be about four to six dogs per training class and between eight and twelve dogs at the day care facility. There would be no overnight boarding. There would initially be training classes two or three evening a week ending at 8:30 pm and on Saturdays ending at 3 pm. She would expect this to expand to four or five evenings a week. Grooming would be self-service and by appointment only. Ms. Johnson then read from a prepared statement (a copy of which is in the file) describing the proposed business. Mr. Sawich asked if the dogs would be outside in the wintertime. Ms. Johnson said they would not as the barn is heated. Members reviewed two alternate parking plans. One would require a variance from the ZBA since the parking areas would be within the 10-foot property set back requirement. Mr. Sawich asked how many clients would there be for training classes at one time. Ms. Johnson said six. Mr. Burnside questioned the concept of “stacked” parking. Ms. Johnson said that since clients would all be departing at the same time, this would not present a problem. In response to Mr. Burnsides question regarding the height of the fence, Ms. Johnson said it would be four to six feet high and would be located one to two feet off the property line. Ms. Johnson confirmed that she would have her own dog in the daycare center. Mr. Sawich asked about keeping dogs overnight and Ms. Johnson said that she would not.

Brian Sawich made a motion to accept the application of Christine Johnson File # 2005-11PB for a Home Occupation at property located at 28 Main Street, Antrim, NH, Tax Map 1A Lot 006 located in the Village Business District. The applicant proposes to operate a facility for training, grooming and the day care of canines. Mr. Rowehl seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Mr. Rowehl – aye, Mr. Sawich – aye, Mr. Genest – aye, Mr. Snow – aye, Ms. Rabideau – aye. Mr. Burnside then declared the public hearing on the application to be open.

Abutters in favor of the application were asked to speak. Mr. Van Horn lives at 26 Main St. and conducts a CPA, Insurance and Investment business on the site. He is not against the application but does have concerns. What if Ms. Johnson does not adhere to the stipulations in her proposal or those imposed by the board? The secretary explained that enforcement is usually complaint driven and then followed up by the Health Officer. He objects to the parking area being against his property line without any setback.

Abutters in opposition to the application were asked to speak. Ms. Geddes lives at 3 Prospect St., just behind the property. She is concerned about barking dogs which will get other dogs in the neighborhood barking resulting in complaints to the police. She is also worried about the smell from urine soaking in the ground. Children could harm themselves by getting their hands caught in the chain link fence. The proposed spotlight on the barn would shine into their property. She was concerned if the eighty-foot buffer zone of bushes were to be reduced by thirty feet. The land behind the barn is quite wet and it wouldn’t be long before it turned into a mud hole. Property values in the neighborhood would depreciate if such a facility were allowed. Ms. Johnson countered that the spotlight would be on the side of the barn and not in the rear and that she had consulted with a veterinarian who claimed that there would be no odors from the urine.

Mr. Sullivan shares a 155-foot property line with the proposed center and he feels that it would not be long before the fenced area behind the barn would be devoid of vegetation. He felt that monitoring of clean up would be lax and there would be soil erosion. The noise from one dog is bad enough, let alone a dozen or so. Clients would be dropping off and picking up dogs during the busiest time of days for traffic. He sited sections of the Master Plan which stated the need for maintaining the rural character of the town and for growth to be aesthetically pleasing. He pointed out that the Master Plan defines home occupations as the residence remaining the principle use of the land and the business is secondary or incidental. In this application, the business would be predominant. He argued that a day care center for canines did not fit in with the character of the neighborhood and would depreciate real estate values.

Mr. Jones who lives on the corner of Main & Prospect claims the intersection is the second busiest intersection in the town and he has seen several accidents there. He estimates there would be twenty-four entrances and egresses per day. He has two small children and doesn’t want to raise them around the smell. He is concerned about parasites, worms and the commotion if any dog is in heat. He wonders how long before harsh chemicals such as flea dips would be used for grooming. Ms. Johnson said that clients would remain with their dogs for classes, not just drop the dogs off. All dogs will be required to have health certificates from the vet and be up to date with shots and she will not permit any type of chemicals to be used in grooming. Dogs in heat would not be permitted and all dogs over seven months would have to be spade or neutered.

Ms. Court estimates that there would be as many as thirty dogs per day and she wonders who will monitor to see that this amount is not exceeded. The spotlight would shine in her yard and the back yard has poor drainage which would result in flies and other disease bearing insects. She is concerned about the storage of waste and does not believe a pack of barking dogs can be stopped from barking. Such an activity is not suited in a residential area.

Mr. Achterhof pointed out that the property is in a designated drinking water area. Mrs. Achterhof has lived by the Cuddihys for 26 years and considers them good neighbors. She cited page three of the Master Plan stating the need to preserve the rural character of the town. She feels there will be a major negative impact on property values, is concerned about the barking, and feels a four-foot high fence is not sufficient. Health and air quality would be an issue and yellow snow in the winter is not attractive. She investigated the Dog Day Care Association on the internet but found that there were no standards of operation. She suggested that Ms. Johnson look in other areas of the town where such a use would be permitted. Ms. Johnson replied by stating that it was quite clear that she was not welcome and felt that many of the comments being made were because the speakers did not have experience with dogs. She noted that a veterinary clinic would be allowed in the area so why not a dog day care facility.

Ms. Johnson said that the training classes would take place in the barn except for agility training which would be outdoors. There would be a maximum of thirteen dogs on site at one time. Ms. Herne, a realtor, said that there would be no depreciation or adverse affect on property values. Mr. Burnside asked about installing privacy fences as a partial sound barrier and using lime to eliminate the odor. Ms. Johnson said that she would consider a privacy fence along abutting property lines except for cost considerations but didn’t know about using lime. Mr. Olsen felt that traffic conditions in the area should not be taken into consideration and if vehicles were speeding by the intersection, it was a police matter. Ms. Olson raised the point that a vet clinic was allowed and stated that dogs that are well cared for don’t bark. In her opinion, the traffic on route 202 made more noise then barking dogs would. Ms. Johnson said that there are ways to control barking dogs such as squirting them with a water bottle. Ms. Court asked what happens if a client cannot pick up a dog at the end of the day. Ms. Johnson said that each client will have to designate an alternate place the animal could go to such as a vet or other family member. The hearing was closed to public participation and the Board went into deliberation.

The secretary then read opposing letters from the Zwiners and the Contoocook Housing Trust as well as an opinion rendered by Town Counsel which in essence stated that the proposed day care center for canines did rise to the definition of a kennel and granting the application would be contrary to the spirit of the ordinance. Ms. Johnson was asked if she would proceed with her application if the day care activity was eliminated and the business would consist only of dog training and self-service grooming. She said that such a restriction would not be a financially feasible enterprise and she would not seek such an approval.

Mr. Sawich made a motion to disapprove the application of Christine Johnson File # 2005-11PB for a Home Occupation at property located at 28 Main Street, Antrim, NH, Tax Map 1A Lot 006 located in the Village Business District. The applicant proposes to operate a facility for training, grooming and the day care of canines. The principle reason for the disapproval being the advice of Town Counsel which determined that the day care center would be considered a kennel which is not a permitted use in the Village Business District. Mr. Genest seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Mr. Rowehl – aye, Mr. Sawich – aye, Mr. Genest – aye, Mr. Snow – aye, Ms. Rabideau – aye. Ms. Johnson was advised that her application had been denied. Mr. Burnside commented that if the application had been in a district that permitted kennels and she met the requirements of a site plan review, the likelihood would be that the application would be approved.

Mr. Burnside announced the public hearing on the application of Matthew & Diane Chauncey for property located at 119 Bridle Path Road, Antrim, NH 03440 Tax Map 4, Lot 49 in the Rural District. The applicant is applying for the renewal of an excavation site permit. He appointed Mr. Rowehl as Chairman Pro Tem and then recused himself because his company Landsite Corp. is the operator of the site. Mr. Ferwerda presented drawings showing the excavation site divided into three phases. The dashed contour lines were the existing grades and the solid contour lines were the proposed finished reclamation grades. Phase I was almost completed and about half of it was loamed. Phase II and III had some excavation done in the area which went back to the 1950’s when the Town was removing material. Mr. Sawich asked when is the area considered reclaimed. Mr. Burnside said that as an area is depleted, brought to grade; loamed and seeded it is considered reclaimed. Seeding in Phase I will probably be a hay mix. Mr. Sawich asked about water runoff. Mr. Burnside said most all of it would go into to a sediment pond. The pond will be permanent when the project is completed. It will be necessary to dig closer to the high water table then allowed in the regulations and a waiver will be requested. Test pits had been dug but the Board requested that the details of the tests be clarified on the drawings. Stumps would be placed in the northern section of the site and used to create a berm in the southern section. Details for erosion control, access roads, stabilized construction entrance and the sediment basin emergency spillway are shown on page three of the drawings. The question was asked as to what triggers the transition from Phase I to Phase II and Phase II to Phase III. Mr. Burnside said that portions of Phase I and Phase II would probably be operated simultaneously depending on the type of materials called for.

Mr. Sawich moved to accept the application of Matthew & Diane Chauncey File # 2005-10PB for an Excavation Permit for property located of 119 Bridle Road, Antrim, NH, Tax Map 4 Lot 49 located in the Rural District. The applicant is applying for the renewal of an excavation site permit. Mr. Genest seconded the motion. Roll call vote: Mr. Rowehl – aye, Mr. Sawich – aye, Mr. Genest – aye, Mr. Snow – aye, Ms. Rabideau – aye. Abutters in favor of the application were asked to speak. There was none. Abutters in opposition were called on. Ms. Knowles said that she was not in opposition but did have some concerns. One was the noise from the backup alarms. She and her husband are musicians and the constant beeping does affect their lives. Mr. Burnside said he would try to find some alarm that were not as loud but still met the legal requirements for OSHA and the Bureau of Mines. He said he would be willing to discuss the hours of operation. Ms. Knowles wanted to know how long it would take to complete all three phases. Mr. Burnside estimated that Phase I would be completed in about one month. His best estimate of the balance of the site would be three to five years based on Mr. Ferwerda’s calculations of the materials left to excavate. Ms. Knowles was concerned about the hours of operation. Mr. Burnside said that the nature of the business was such that there are really only seven months out of the year that the site is active which is why he has twelve hour long days. After some discussion, Mr. Burnside agreed to change note #9 on page one for the hours of operation to be from 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM Monday through Friday and from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturdays. A provision will be made for emergencies. Ms. Knowles was concerned about truck traffic on Bridle Path Road and Mr. Burnside said most all traffic will enter & egress from Smith Road with only occasional traffic off Bridle Path Road.

Mr. Beblowski, Chairman of the Conservation Commission said that he had reviewed the application. He was concerned with the ground water table protection of the aquifer; however, was satisfied with the notation that the site would be operated with best management practices. He felt the grading plan for reclamation was decent and requested that the rock crusher be brought in when vegetation was at its height to minimize noise.

Mr. Beblowski wondered if the project could be redesigned into four or five phases to minimize the open ground before reclamation. Mr. Burnside indicated that this would not be practical. After discussing other concerns of the Conservation Commission, Mr. Beblowski thanked the Board for their review and Mr. Burnside for his willingness to compromise to meet some of the Commissions requirements. A rock crusher would be brought in for about one week each year. The hydraulic hammer portion of the unit would only operate between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Mr. Burnside agreed to notify the abutters before its arrival. Mr. Genest comment on the good relationship that Mr. Burnside had with Ms. Knowles. Ms. Rabideau suggested that Wetland Scientist stamp appear on the final drawings and Mr. Ferwerda indicated that he would see to it. The members agreed that the requirement for a water truck on the premises was not required. Mr. Rowehl continued the public hearing until 7:30 PM on August 4, 2005.

Mr. Burnside assumed the Chairmanship and reopened the public hearing on the application of the Laubers for a major subdivision. Engineering drawings for the road were not received by the Town Planner for review by July 14th as required. Since there was no new information to be discussed, Mr. Burnside continued the public hearing until 7:30 PM on August 4, 2005.

The next order of business was the continuation of the public hearing for Mr. Harriman on his application for a minor subdivision which was originally heard on November 4, 2004. Ms. Rabideau recused herself because she was an abutter. Repeated requests had been made of Mr. Harriman for additional information and changes to the drawings which were never forthcoming. The secretary commented that Mr. Harriman had verbally advised him that he did not intend to go forward with the application. Mr. Sawich made a motion to disapprove the application of Smith B. & Lois M. Harriman File # 2004-23PBfor a minor subdivision of property located on the south side of Elm Ave, Antrim, NH, Tax Map 8A Lot 23 located in the Rural & Lakefront Residential Districts. The applicant proposes to subdivide the property into two (2) lots. The motion was seconded by Mr. Rowehl. Roll call vote: Mr. Rowehl – aye, Mr. Sawich – aye, Mr. Genest – aye, Mr. Snow – aye.

Correspondence was distributed for the 2005 Fall Planning Conference as well as articles regarding the affect of housing on schools and town services. Members felt that if the Gross excavation site and the one owned by Weston-Zimmerman were not operational, they should be reclaimed. The secretary will prepare a program for Board approval. The consensus was to table a decision on the Jones excavation site pending completion of drawings by Moser Engineering. There were no reports from the Transportation, Open Space of Growth committees.

Mr. Genest made a motion to adjourn the meeting which was seconded by Mr. Snow and passed. Mr. Burnside adjourned the meeting at 10:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Paul L. Vasques, Secretary
Antrim Planning Board

Town of Antrim, NH P.O. Box 517, 66 Main Street Antrim, NH 03440
Phone: (603) 588-6785    Fax: (603) 588-2969    Monday - Thursday 8:00am - 4:00pm
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