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Planning Board Minutes 05/05/2009

May 5, 2009
7:00 PM


Present: Chair Cheryl Dionne, Brad Christo (Vice Chairman), John Stirling, Richard Clough, Mimi Demers, Bruce Whitney, Bill Straub and Jim Fisk (Planner).

Susie Scott, Assistant to the Town Planner, was taking minutes.


Chairman Dionne called the regular Planning Board meeting to order at 7:00 PM.


April 7, 2009 - Regular Meeting: Motion by Mr. Stirling, second by Mr. Christo to approve minutes as amended, passed unanimously with Mr. Clough and Mrs. Demers in abstention.

April 21, 2009 - Public Hearings and Regular Meeting: Motion by Mr. Christo, second by Mr. Clough to approve minutes as written as amended, passed unanimously.

Pat Robinson, Conservation Commission, reserved time to speak to issues concerning Shoreland Zoning.

1. Email from Bill Bolevic, 694 Emery's Bridge Road, dated May 5, 2009 re: Shoreland Zoning for IWWH.
Chairman Dionne noted receipt of the email. Board members read email.

1. Shoreland Zoning: Further Review.

" Memo from Jim Fisk dated May 1, 2009 - Re: IWWH wetlands classifications.
" Map: Existing Shoreland Zoning and New shorezone IWWH Areas dated May 1, 2009 draft.
" Email Correspondence between Mike Morse, MDEP and Jim Fisk. - Re: LRD (Limited Residential District) last dated April 28, 2009.
" DEP Issue Profile: Non-conforming Structures in the Shoreland Zone.

Jim Fisk, Town Planner, discussed the two policy statements mailed to the Board 4/24/09 regarding the "Inland Waterfowl Wading Bird Habitat Review, 2007-08" and the "Shoreland Zoning News, Spring 1991" newsletter. He has exchanged emails with Mike Morse, DEP, discussing potential candidates for properties within a Limited Residential zone including those on Fife's Lane and Old South Road. Mr. Morse confirmed that the data for Shorezone is not regulated by the State. Therefore, South Berwick can be more restrictive with their regulations. When asked if the State maps were accurate, Mr. Fisk responded that the mapping was accurate for planning and ordinance purposes. When the Board questioned what property owners were notified for the 4/21/09 Public Hearing, Mr. Fisk responded that those properties that were already within the Shoreland Zone did not get notified, only those properties to be newly added to the Shoreland Zone. In response to the Board's concern about property owner notification, Mr. Fisk noted he would do as the Board so wished, and the Board could make a recommendation to the Town Council to that affect.

Mr. Straub questioned if only 12 areas described were to be affected. Mr. Fisk responded that 12 areas would be affected for significantly developed areas.

Mr. Clough questioned if there were other areas that would be affected. Mr. Fisk responded that yes, other areas would be affected as noted in pink on the map. Mr. Fisk will double check the mapped areas.

Chairman Dionne questioned whether there was a way for Mr. Fisk to illustrate affected parcels.

Mr. Fisk responded yes, there was, and further noted that the 2 areas to potentially fall under Shoreland Zoning were ruled out, therefore there were no new inclusions. He stated that all the people affected were notified for the last Public Hearing, and that there was no requirement to notify properties currently in the Shoreland Zone. He recently met with the assessor to review building lot analysis and was not able to find a property lot that would be affected by the re-zoning in relation to residual acreage. Mr. Fisk said it was not the case that there would be a loss of property rights.

Planning Board members began to discuss the need for holding a second Public Hearing as discussed at the previous meeting.

Mr. Christo discussed his concern that the Planning Board misrepresented the proposed ordinance at the 4/21/09 Public Hearing. He stated it was the Board's responsibility to present accurate information to the public.

Mr. Straub concurred with Mr. Christo, and noted that beyond meeting the legal obligations, there was not enough information presented for public review. He recommended a second notification to property owners with illustrative materials to assist with a better understanding of the proposed standards.

Mr. Fisk stated that he has personally notified all the Public Hearing attendees with the updated information.

Mr. Whitney and Mr. Stirling questioned the need for holding another Public Hearing. Mr. Whitney recommended a memo be sent to the Council with Planning Board considerations.

Chairman Dionne noted that Mike Morse, DEP, had previously requested no further correspondence with Mr. Fisk.

Mr. Fisk discussed his attached 4/28/09 email, adding Limited Residential areas to Table C and striking out the areas that don't apply.

Motion by Mr. Clough, second by Mrs. Demers to hold a Public Hearing on June 2, 2009 at 7:00 PM, was made and then later withdrawn after further discussion.

Chairman Dionne recommended the possibility of holding a Joint Public Hearing with the Town Council. Susie Scott noted that property owners are not notified by mail for Town Council Public Hearings and there may be procedural issues to be further reviewed.

Mr. Straub noted that a second mailing to affected owners could specify the possibility of new standards restricting activities up to 250 feet.

Mr. Fisk stated he has only received 3 phone calls from concerned residents.

Mrs. Demers questioned how an "established development pattern" as noted in Table C was defined.

Mr. Fisk responded that the DEP reviews this on a "case-by-case" basis. At time of adoption these areas can be mapped with the appropriate setbacks, further reviewed for a determination of "established development pattern, and listed as such in individual property files.

The Planning Board agreed to conduct a workshop next Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 7:00 PM to continue Shoreland Zoning review.

- None.

1. Planning Board Weekly Calendar. Planning Board members received a newly revised calendar passed out prior to the meeting.


Richard Clough: Requested Mr. Fisk provide the Board with a list of all the properties within South Berwick that will be affected in any way by the new Shoreland Zoning standards.

Mimi Demers: Noted that after having missed a Board meeting she tried to listen to the meeting minutes as recorded by Susie Scott on the cassette player. Mrs. Demers said that both the copy and the original cassette tapes were inaudible and inadequate. She questioned if the Planning Board could make a request to the Council directly for better recording services. Both Mr. Fisk and Mrs. Scott informed the Board that new recording equipment has been a budget item for the past few years but budgetary constraints have made it difficult to move the issue further.

Jim Fisk, Town Planner: Informed the Planning Board that the Town Council was disappointed with the Planning Board approval of Site Plan MSP#09-03, 170 Main Street, addition of a Neighborhood Convenience Store to the existing Gas Station. There was concern that the Board approved the Site Plan without conduction of a new traffic study. He stated that he felt comfortable with the Board's decision, that no traffic report was needed at this time, and referred to the previous report as provided by John Murphy, P.E. on 3/10/03.

Brad Christo: Stated he was available to attend the UNH Stormwater Center workshop on June 25, and questioned the DEP approval process of the Shoreland Ordinance.

Jim Fisk: Stated that Mike Morse, DEP, will make a recommendation to the Commissioner once the Town Council approves the proposed ordinance.

Bill Straub: Stated he needed more time to review the IWWF/Shoreland Zoning Map for further clarification.

Dates & Times for Upcoming Meetings:
May 12, 2009 - 7:00 PM Planning Board Workshop
May 19, 2009 - 7:00 PM Planning Board Regular Meeting
June 1, 2009 - 6:30 PM TOWN BUDGET MEETING
June 2, 2009 - 7:00 PM Planning Board Regular Meeting

Motion by Mr. Clough, second by Mr. Christo to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned without objection at 9:50 PM.

ATTESTED: Susie Scott
Susie Scott,
Assistant to the Director of Planning & Economic Development