NOTES OF SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 RYE PLANNING BOARD MEETING
Revised Final Revision B – Provided by the Rye Civic League
Present (counterclockwise around table) (Planning Board members unless otherwise indicated): Anne Crotty, Phil Winslow, Mel Low, Kim Reed (Planning Administrator), Bill Epperson, Michael Donovan (Town attorney), Ray Tweedie, Priscilla Jenness, Jerry Gittlein
Editor’s note: For ease in finding particular sections using the archived video and audio on the Town website, the elapsed time is indicated. Use the slider and the elapsed time indicated at the bottom of the video window to fast forward to the desired section. Videos on the Town website may currently be accessed at www.town.rye.nh.us by clicking on “Town Hall Streaming” at the bottom left of the screen. Follow the link for “Town Hall Live Streaming,” then find the meeting by date under “Previous.”
The video starts at 7:00:02 p.m. (elapsed time 0:00). Elapsed times are in minutes and seconds.
Preliminary (4:39 elapsed)
The meeting is called to order and the pledge of allegiance is recited. Anne Crotty is seated in the vacant seat created by Curtis Boivin’s resignation. The approval of the August 13 minutes is postponed to later in the meeting, given the large crowd present.
Lot line/highway, Old Ferry Landing Rd. and Cavaretta property (6:14 elapsed)
Corey Colwell of MSC Engineers addresses issues from the prior meeting, including storm water management issues. There is discussion of signs for the street, and for no parking per order of Fire Chief in emergency vehicle turnaround areas. Concern is expressed over the proposed “no outlet” sign as pedestrians and bicyclists may proceed further.
No members of the public ask to comment, so the public hearing is closed on this matter. After establishment of the conditions for approval, Ray Tweedie moves to approve subject to conditions. Jerry Gittlein seconds. All are in favor.
Lot line adjustment for 135 Wentworth Rd. (41:56 elapsed)
John Chagnon, surveyor, discusses the adjustment, which is pursuant to a court settlement. It involves 339 sq. ft. or 295 sq. ft.. The exact figure is still in dispute, and the Superior Court is being asked to again review the case to resolve the issue. There is discussion about whether Planning Board even needs to approve the adjustment and what the effect would be if the Superior Court changes the terms. The decision is made to approve the lot line adjustment as it exists in the Superior Court decision. If the Superior Court changes its decision, the applicant must return for a new approval. All are in favor.
Preliminary major site development for former Rand Lumber site (1:00:43 elapsed)
Christian Smith of Bealls and John O’Neal representing the owner, and Tim Phoenix, attorney for the owner are present. Mr. Smith shows a drawing showing a relocation of the existing lot line, which goes in a northeast/southwest direction, so that it goes in southeast/northwest direction (90 degree rotation). The effect is that the “backlands” would become part of a separate parcel. The applicant is seeking to put this land in conservation with the Southeast Land Trust or Rye Conservation Commission. Editor’s note: It appears that both are out of money, so it is not clear whether this can occur. Barring a sale for conservation, the applicant states that it would likely develop the “backlands,” creating 16 single family lots. There is extensive discussion of the hammerhead turnaround at the end of a 950 foot private way. The private way is proposed to go past approximately 19 stand-alone condominium units (land is common, but units are separate buildings). The turnaround is located near the end of Patriot’s Way. Town departments, including Fire and the Rye Water District, want the private road to connect with Patriot’s Way, but all present from the public, in a show of hands, are opposed. The plan shown indicates a 50 foot right of way extending eastward towards the backlands. There is discussion of proposed geothermal systems.
The public hearing is opened in former Rand Lumber site matter. Large numbers of residents speak. Many are from Wallis Rd. and Liberty Common. Peter White expresses concern about the “piecemeal” approach to development, with the backlands to be addressed later. He is cut off by Chairman Epperson, who rejects this, but provides assurances that the process will move slowly. Subsequently others make the same objection, which notes the lack of a firm commitment to place the “backlands” in conservation and opposes permitting development of the 19 condominium units absent such a commitment. Concerns are expressed by residents as to runoff from the property.
The applicant in this matter, in response to a resident’s question, explains the lot line adjustment and the subdivision. He notes that the effect is to create three lots where there were two, and to segregate the “backlands.” The applicant asserts that the condominium development does not depend on the granting of the lot line adjustment to segregate the “backlands.” Town Attorney Donovan questions whether there would be sufficient frontage in that case. The applicant asserts that there would be.
Mel Low asserts that 16 lots at $400,000 each (his assumption of land values in Rye) would be more than the Town could afford. He suggests that the applicant come back with a commitment on the backlands from the Southeast Land Trust. If that was done, and the road not connected to Patriot’s Way, this would be a “slam dunk.” The audience erupts in enthusiastic and extended applause.
Chairman Epperson asks for a show of hands from those opposed to connecting the private road to Patriots Way. Most in the audience raise their hands. None vote the other way. Chairman Epperson appears to accept their conclusion and to move forward on the basis of there being no connection to Patriots Way. There is more discussion about drainage. Attorney Donovan notes that certain required documentation is missing, principally estimated water flows. While that could be waived and have the Planning Board accept jurisdiction, the Board votes instead to continue the matter to the October 8 meeting.
Bluestone Properties, conceptual consultation, 296 seat restaurant at Foyes Corner (150:01 elapsed)
Mike LaBrie speaks to the application, along with Eric Weinrieb, Altus Engineering and Peter LaBrie, his brother, who is manager of the River House, a restaurant in Portsmouth. The proposed restaurant would be modeled after the River House in terms of the menu and ambience. Mr. LaBrie states that ZBA approval for 3 variances was obtained the prior week, which included permitting two entrances, reducing parking space width from the 10 feet required to 9 feet, and placing a portion of the parking lot in the wetlands buffer.
The restaurant takes advantage of a sewer connection from Portsmouth, down Sagamore Rd. to Foyes Corner that Mr. LaBrie has arranged, which will be privately funded. Mr. Weinrieb explains how the adjoining wetlands came to be reduced in size relative to a prior survey. Residents speak against the project based on its size and traffic. Concern is expressed as to whether nearby residents will be required to connect to the sewer. Attorney Donovan states that nobody will be required to tie in, but there would be such an option if a septic system fails. Chairman Epperson states that a use intensity statement will be needed from the applicant. Attorney Donovan indicates that a brief traffic study will also be needed. Mr. LaBrie states that a 150 seat restaurant would not be of sufficient size to cover the $300,000 cost of extending the sewer line. He asserts that Pirate’s Cove had 650 seats.
Minutes, subcommittee reports and discussion about parking regulations (191:22 elapsed)
Minutes with a number of changes, particularly by Ray Tweedie, are approved.
Reports of TRC subcommittee and Long Range Planning Subcommittee (“LRP”) are discussed. On LRP, Chairman Epperson reports that the Rockingham Planning Commission (“RPC”) has statistical issues with Chapters 2 and 4 of the Draft Master Plan. Kim Reed states that Glenn Greenwood of the RPC is coming up with a price to have the RPC work on making the corrections (this task is not covered by the dues, she says). Chairman Epperson asks Phil Winslow to remind Glenn Greenwood of an apparent commitment made by the RPC when the two of them met with the RPC. The consensus is to postpone the LRP meeting scheduled for Sept. 24. The Rules and Regs Committee has a “very pregnant” Chairman (an apparent reference to Keriann Roman), Chairman Epperson reports prior to discussion about that subcommittee.
There was also discussion of amending the parking regulations based on information provided by Mr. LaBrie earlier in the meeting indicating that most parking spaces in Town are 9 feet or less, while the ordinance requires 10 feet. There is also discussion of removing the parking regulations entirely from the Zoning Ordinance and putting them in the Land Development Regulations. Kim Reed indicates that Frank Drake and Shawn Crapo of the ZBA met with her and indicate that they are looking to reduce the ZBA’s work load. She believes that the ZBA would be in favor of such a change.
Adjournment (216:11 elapsed)
Whereupon the meeting adjourned.