RCL Planning Board Noted November 12, 2013

File for Civic News Links and printing:  RyePlngBoardNotes111213revBfinal



Final Revision B – Provided by the Rye Civic League

Present:  Jeffrey Quinn (alternate), Anne Crotty (alternate, seated), Priscilla Jenness, Phil Winslow, Ray Tweedie, Bill Epperson, Mel Low, Jerry Gittlein.

Also present:  Kim Reed, planning administrator, Michael Donovan, Town attorney.

There were approximately 30-40 members of the public present during the former Rand Lumber discussion, dwindling to about 20 during the Foyes Corner restaurant discussion.

            Editor’s note:  As this meeting occurred at the Rye Junior High School, there is no video and thus no time references.


 The former Rand Lumber applicant is now working exclusively with the Rye Conservation Commission to purchase the back acreage.

  1. Some sort of agreement has been reached with a certain members of the Conservation Commission regarding the back acreage, but the applicant refused to disclose the agreed property value.
  2. Residents continue to express concerns about a connection to Liberty Common should a deal with the Conservation Commission fall through and the back parcel be developed.
  3. Chairman Bill Epperson cuts off discussion regarding what would occur if the Conservation Commission is unable to raise the money to purchase the back parcel.
  4. The Planning Board then approved three waivers on the former Rand property and made three determinations, all moving the project forward, but all on a preliminary basis.
  5. Numerous residents express concerns regarding traffic, noise and odors relating to the 287-seat restaurant proposed for Foyes Corner.
  6. The Planning Board votes to accept jurisdiction and to ask AMEC to conduct a peer review of the applicant’s memorandum on traffic issues.
  7. Foyes Corner restaurant site walk is scheduled for Saturday, November 23 at 10:00 a.m.
  8. Several zoning amendments were approved for the Town Warrant in 2014.  More amendment are to receive public hearing at December meeting.
  9. Master Plan:  Long Range Planning subcommittee will meet in December after a hiatus.  A date certain for completion will then be set.


             Anne Crotty was seated as an alternate.  The approval of minutes was postponed until after the zoning amendment items.

Former Rand Lumber Parcel (511 Wallis Rd.):  Presentation

Christian Smith of Beals Associates presented on behalf of the applicant, Changing Places, LLC.  He showed a new plan, similar to the one presented during the site walk on October 26, 2013, but having a loop rather than a hammerhead turnaround.  The number of units remained at 20.  The loop takes the pavement a bit closer to Patriots Way, however, it is still 12-14 feet lower.

Editor’s note:  See the notes of the last few Planning Board meetings.  While the proposal has changed somewhat over these meetings, the applicant is seeking to merge two lots that were purchased earlier this year from Rand Lumber, and then subdivide those lots into three lots.  One parcel would be used for a Retirement Community Development (“RCD”) as allowed by section 401.4 of the Zoning Ordinance.  A second small parcel would contain the former Rand Lumber barn, leaving a third, large “back parcel.”  A portion of the “back parcel” has frontage on Wallis Rd.  The applicant proposes to seek a purchase of the back parcel from a conservation trust.  However, if that proved to be unsuccessful, the developer plans to subdivide the property to provide 14-16 single family lots.  At prior meetings, serious concerns were expressed with the drainage, particularly by residents living on Liberty Common.  Liberty Common is to the northeast and the northwest of a portion of the former Rand Lumber property.  Alehson St. is to the southwest and Wallis Rd. is to the southeast.

Mr. Smith revealed that the Rye Conservation Commission had plans to acquire the parcel, and that the Southeast Land Trust was out of the mix.  He stated that that was fine with them.

In response to a question from Phil Winslow, Mr. Smith stated that the radius of the loop is 50 feet at the edge and 38 feet on the centerline.  That exceeds the 32 feet that Mr. Winslow has stated that Fire Chief Sullivan requested.  Editor’s note:  Section 602.2(A)(7)(b) of the Land Development Regulations requires a minimum of 40 feet inside radius and a 24 foot pavement width.  It appears that the inside radius of the proposed loop does not meet this requirement.

In response to a question from Town Attorney Donovan, Mr. Smith stated that the requirements of 25-foot building separation and 75-foot separation from the street are still met.  Editor’s note:  See section 401.4(J) of the Zoning Ordinance.

John O’Neill of Changing Places LLC revealed that there had been a meeting the prior Saturday between them and Jim Raynes, Sally King and Mel Low, the first two being with the Rye Conservation Commission and the last with the Rye Planning Board.    Suzanne McFarland of the Conservation Commission was also present.  In response to that meeting some adjustments had been made increasing the clearance between one of the units and the wetlands.

There was discussion about creating a single-family lot out of the parcel on which the former Rand Lumber barn is located.  Bill Epperson noted that there would be a zoning issue with that.

In response to a question from Town Attorney Donovan as to whether the goals of having the open space visible from the road and the development not visible, Mr. Smith stated that he believed that the requirements would be met.  If any unit could be seen from the road, it would be unit one.  Editor’s note:  See section 401.4(P) of the Zoning Ordinance.

Former Rand Lumber Parcel (511 Wallis Rd.):  Public input

 Sam Borne (9 years old), Wallis Rd. asked what had happened to the idea of a connection to Patriots Way or Liberty Common.  Bill Epperson responded that there had been a “hue and cry” regarding that, so they had decided not to have a connection.  Mr. Borne followed up with a question regarding a connection to Liberty Common.  Mr. Epperson stated that this street was beyond that and did not have an impact.

Steven Borne, 431 Wallis Rd., stated that he had a concern.  If the sale of the back parcel to the Conservation Commission fell through, he would want there to be the ability to connect from Wallis Rd. to any development of the back lands.  Otherwise, there would be an impact on Liberty Common, including on bike riding on that street.  Editor’s note:  Mr. Borne was apparently referring to increased traffic resulting from a lengthening of Liberty Common to access the back parcel.  Mr. Borne further stated that they walk to school via Liberty Common and the cars coming out of there are extremely dangerous.  They do not want the possibility of increased traffic from Liberty Common

Mr. Epperson responded that Liberty Common is off of their radar screen at this point.  They are dealing with this application only.

Steven Borne then stated that it did not appear that there was room for a road from Wallis Rd. to the back parcel.  Mr. Epperson stated that he could not answer that question because he did not know.  They are dealing with this application only.  They try not to deal with hypotheticals.  Mr. Borne asked whether there were lot line changes to facilitate access.  Mr. Smith explained how two lots were being merged and then subdivided into three lots, and that the preservation of a right of way to access the back land from Wallis Rd. is not currently being contemplated.  The RCD is a small piece of only 17 acres out of about 95 acres.

Ray Tweedie stated that a developer would probably want to come through Liberty Common to access the back parcel.  However, they would have to come forward with a proposal.

Steven Borne stated that the people he knows that live on Liberty Common do not want to worry about another battle in 10-15 years to prevent a connection to Liberty Common.  Mr. Epperson responded that they could provide no guarantees that evening.  That would be a totally different application, he said.

Mr. Borne reiterated that a mode of access from Wallis Rd. should be left open.  Mr. Tweedie stated that the zoning regulations prohibited accessing one lot across another one to subdivide.  Editor’s note:  While section 202.14 of the Zoning Ordinance requires that lots be accessed across their own frontage, the back parcel would need to be subdivided, and that would require that a street be provided to access the 14-16 single family lots planned.  Since there would be a new street, the required access would exist, whether the new street connects to Wallis Rd., Liberty Common, Alehson St., or Eastwood Dr. in Portsmouth, or some combination of those streets.  The subdivision plan, as currently described, shows a section of the back parcel with frontage on Wallis Rd.  Mr. Tweedie stated that most of the people in the room, and in fact the Planning Board agrees with Mr. Borne, however, the owner still has a right to come before the Board to be heard. Mr. Tweedie continued, stating that people should encourage the Conservation Commission to buy the land so that the Planning Board does not need to consider a future proposal to develop the back parcel.

Peter Crawford, 171 Brackett Rd., stated that he had heard that an appraiser had walked the former Rand Lumber property with Sally King of the Conservation Commission on October 29, and that he understood that an appraisal was due any minute.  He asked what the status was.  Mr. Smith stated that the appraisal had been completed.

Mr. Crawford asked what the amount of the appraisal was.  John O’Neall of Changing Places LLC responded that:

“It is not public record.  The appraisal was presented to the Conservation Commission as well as Mel Low.  They saw it and we came to a negotiated stance and agreed to a number.  … [W]e were comfortable with that number and Jim Raynes was comfortable with that and he thought he could present it and move forward with it.”

Mr. Crawford asked whether the proposal would be presented to the Board of Selectmen the following night.  Mr. O’Neill responded:

“I do not believe it is because it was an informal meeting of the Conservation Commission.  Jim Raynes has been here for quite a few years and he felt confident enough that he could bring it to his Board on the 21st, I believe, and then subsequently go forward with that.”

Editor’s note:  The agenda for the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on November 13, 2013 refers to a non-public session pursuant to N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. (“RSA”) 91-A:3, II(d).  That statute permits non-public sessions under narrow circumstances when the Town is considering the purchase of real or personal property and public discussion “would likely benefit a party or parties whose interest are adverse to those of the general community.”  According to a November 13, 2013 Portsmouth Herald article, Mr. Raynes stated that “he could not comment on the negotiations, but noted the commission is meeting with the Board of Selectmen in a non-public session tonight to discuss the acquisition.”  Somewhat after 6:30 p.m. that evening, just prior to the commencement of the public portion of the Selectmen’s meeting, Mr. Raynes and Sally King were observed leaving a closed door meeting with the Board of Selectmen. 

 Mr. Crawford asked whether it was a fair statement that the taxpayers of Rye would need to pay some significant share of an undisclosed sum of money to keep the land in conservation rather that 14-16 single family lots being developed. Mr. Smith agreed that it was.  He also stated that the Southeast Land Trust could provide a part of the money.  Mr. Smith stated that the Conservation Commission and the Town of Rye had been given a first right of refusal.

Mr. Crawford asked a question whether the wetlands would have to be crossed to gain access to the back property.  Mr. Smith affirmed.  Mr. Crawford then asked whether the only other access possibilities would be via Liberty Common, Alehson or Eastwood in Portsmouth.  Bill Epperson interrupted, saying:

“I don’t want to get this meeting sidetracked on conservation land or Liberty Common.  We want to deal with this application and this application only, not the ambiguity, not the possibility that something may happen in a future year.  I’m sure whenever this conservation issue is consummated, that the number will be public.  I don’t know what it is, I have no knowledge of that number but we’re hoping that it will be something that will be met and be able to be executed.”

In response to another question from the audience, Mr. Epperson acknowledged that the Planning Board had the authority to require that a right of way be created to access the back parcel.  They do not anticipate it to be an issue, so have taken it off of the radar screen, he said.

Peter White asked the reasons why the Planning Board would consider approval of a lot line adjustment.  Mr. Epperson stated that it was within the Land Use Regulations and the Zoning and they have the purview to do it.  The RCD’s 17 acres must be carved out.  The other issue is the third parcel and the house in a commercial zone.

Lee Perrault, 232 Brackett Rd., asked whether the barn was being lost.  Mr. Smith stated that one possibility would be to rehab the barn.  He stated that there is plenty of room to put a house on the property in addition to the barn.  Mr. Epperson stated that there was no plan to raze the barn, although he does not know that to be a fact.  Mr. Smith stated that the barn had received a clean bill from the New Hampshire Department of Historic Resources.  There is nothing historic about it, he said.

In response to a question from Eileen Recher, Liberty Common, Mr. Smith stated that the possibility, discussed at a previous meeting, of the owner of the property adjacent to the barn buying the parcel on which the barn was built, still exists.  Ms. Smith also confirmed.

In response to a question from Don Recher, Mr. Smith confirmed that a crash gate was no longer being contemplated unless their hands were forced.

After an additional question, the public hearing was closed.

Former Rand Lumber Parcel (511 Wallis Rd.):  Board discussion and decisions

             Mr. Epperson asked how the Board feels about the cul-de-sac (i.e. loop).  Phil Winslow commented that the Police and Fire Chiefs would prefer a crash gate, but that they understand the push back and would acquiesce to the current plan.  Mr. Epperson stated that he had also had discussions with the Chiefs and confirmed Mr. Winslow’s comments.  All but Ray Tweedie agreed that the loop was preferred.

The Board then unanimously agreed to deny a waiver under section 602.2(A)(7)(b) of the Land Development Regulations (“LDR”), which would have been required for a hammerhead.  It granted a waiver under section 602.2(A)(7) for a dead end street exceeding 600 feet in length.  Both were made non-binding preliminary determinations pursuant to RSA 676:4, II(b).

Attorney Donovan then said that three positive votes should now be taken.  This was then done.  The Board unanimously approved the site plan and the subdivision plan, again through a non-binding vote pursuant to RSA 676:4, II(b).  It then approved, on a preliminary, non-binding basis pursuant to RSA 676:4, II(b) a two unit bonus for excellence in design pursuant to section 401.3(I) of the Zoning Ordinance, and a four unit bonus (to 20 units) for open space pursuant to section 401.3(P) of the Zoning Ordinance.  It was noted that the bonuses are not cumulative, so the maximum is 20 units.  Editor’s note:  The reference was incorrectly stated during the meeting and should be to section 401.4. 

During the discussion regarding approval of the bonus for cluster layout (open space), Mr. Smith stated that 61 percent of the parcel was devoted to open space. Mel Low asked about the conservation easement on the extra land.  Mr. Smith clarified that it was open space within the 17 acre parcel that was being discussed.  Mr. Epperson read section 401.4(P).  The Board then unanimously granted approval.

The Board then, on a non-binding, preliminary basis pursuant to RSA 676:4, II(b), then granted a special use permit pursuant to section 401.5 of the Zoning Ordinance.

Bluestone Properties, 287 seat restaurant at Foyes Corner:   Presentation

             Eric Weinreib of Altus Engineering addressed the application.  He was accompanied by Pete and Mike LaBrie of the applicant.  Mr. Weinreib stated that three variances had been granted by the ZBA in September:  (1) for driveways onto both Sagamore and Pioneer Roads; (2) for parking within the wetlands buffer; and (3) to permit 9×18 foot parking spaces rather than the 10×18 foot spaces required.

Mr. Weinreib then discussed the sewer extension from Portsmouth that would come down Sagamore Rd. from Portsmouth.  The extension would begin around Tuckers Cove.  Approvals from the DES and PUC are still pending.

Mr. Weinreib stated that he had had discussions with Doug DePorter and Jim Driver of the State Department of Transportation, and that they did not have issues with the driveways.

Mr. Weinreib stated that the minimum lot size is 44,000 sq. ft. and their lot is 128,000 sq. ft.  The minimum contiguous uplands is 30,000 sq. ft. and their lot has 86,600 sq. ft.  The maximum lot building coverage is 40 percent and their coverage is 9 percent.  Including the impervious area of the parking area, and assuming that the patio is impervious, 45 percent of the lot would be covered by impervious material.  Editor’s note:  Compare section 210.3(E)  and 204.3(E) of the Zoning Ordinance (maximum impervious coverage applies in the General Residence District but not the Business District). 

Mr. Weinreib stated that the DES had made five comments regarding the sewer, including velocities and sewer/water crossings.  Portsmouth has not responded to DES due to issues involving Peirce Island.  That may be delaying approval of their extension application, Mr. Weinreib said.

Mr. Weinreib acknowledged that the area has a history of flooding.  In connection with the new traffic circle at Foyes Corner, DOT had redone the drainage, and there had been no flooding since then.  However, a 36 inch culvert had been used rather than a 42 inch culvert recommended.  Mr. Weinreib acknowledged that flooding would occur in the future. However, he stated that the water would run across the parking lot prior to reaching the building.  The discharge from the property would be into a culvert across Pioneer Rd. He also stated that the plan provided for some runoff as they did not want to starve the adjacent wetlands.

Mr. Weinreib stated that there had been official comments regarding left turns onto Pioneer Rd., given backups on Saturday and Sunday.  He objects to any restriction as traffic on Pioneer Rd. will leave gaps for exiting traffic to enter, albeit after waiting for perhaps 2-3 cars.  Sagamore Rd. is not under DOT control, he acknowledged.  Town Attorney Donovan indicated that there had been no queueing analysis of the left turns.  Mr. Weinreib stated that the Code Enforcement Officer (i.e. Building Inspector) had suggested a peer review by AMEC.

Mr. Weinreib stated that they would also be asking for a waiver of the site review regulations.  They would like the aisle dimension reduced to 60 feet, where 63 feet is required, and parking stalls of 18 feet with a 24-foot aisle, where 18.5 feet with a 26-foot aisle is required.  Editor’s note:  See section 611.5(A)(2) of the Land Development Regulations.  Apparently the 60 and 63 foot figures were calculated by adding twice the stall length to the aisle width.  Mr. Weinreib stated that the Town of Rye requirements are excessive.  Less stringent standards are used by Portsmouth and Newington, Attorney Donovan noted that the standards had been lifted from an MIT traffic engineering handbook in 2005.

Mr. Weinreib stated that the lighting is to be LEDs, which are more efficient and permit the light to be directed downward.

Robbie Woodburn, of Woodburn & Co. Landscape Architects described the landscaping plan on behalf of the applicant.  She described the various types of shrubs and where they were to be planted. Phil Winslow asked about fertilization so close to the wetlands. Mr. Woodburn stated that the fertilization would be light as there is not that much lawn.

Mr. Winslow stated that the exhaust fans at Petey’s emit an odor of fried food and asked whether there was technology to prevent that.  Mr. LaBrie stated that the odors would dissipate quickly and the neighbors are fairly far away.  Nevertheless, he stated that they were looking into equipment that might alleviate this problem.

The architect, Mike Lassel, stated that the restaurant was designed to fit into the residential area.  It would have shingles on the roof.  However, there would also be generator on the roof to run a sump pump in the event of flooding.

Jerry Gittlein and Ray Tweedie asked about the size of the restaurant and any plans for entertainment.  Mike LaBrie responded that there were no plans for ongoing entertainment.  However, it is possible to close off sections of the dining room for private functions.  Only during those functions would live entertainment be considered.  Live music is not part of their business plan.

Mike LaBrie passed out a survey of a sample of restaurants from Hampton to Newington.  He stated that the seating capacity of his proposed restaurant would be only slightly above the middle of the list, which is in descending order by capacity.  He clarified that, if all potential seating areas are included, the total would be 306 seats rather than 287.  However, a portion of the inside seating area would be closed when the outdoor seating area is in use so as not to overwhelm the parking scheme.

Town Attorney Donovan asked where people would go if the parking lot was full.  Mr. LaBrie stated that they would probably drive away as it is not reasonable to park on Pioneer Rd. or Sagamore Rd.  Editor’s note:  There are also adjacent businesses with parking lots, including the Rye Water District, the Sagamore Animal Hospital, and the Serenity Café.

Mike LaBrie stated that they have no interest in a lot of brightly lit signage.  The restaurant will be a destination that people know is there.  He owns the billboard down Pioneer Rd. that advertises the River House.  That will be changed to advertise the new restaurant.

Mr. LaBrie also noted that Petey’s has a heavy reliance on fried food.  Although they will serve hamburgers, steaks and French fries these will not be predominant.  They are looking into scrubbers, but are not sure how practical these would be.

Bluestone Properties, 287 seat restaurant at Foyes Corner:  Public input

             Ann Bennett, 15 Elwyn Rd. asked a number of questions, in particular about the increase in traffic.  Mr. Weinreib stated that a traffic study was not required by the applicant.  However, Steve Pernaw had reviewed the issue to identify any potential conflicts.  Since the roundabout was put in place, the situation is better than it was.  However, there are still some backups, Mr. Weinreib acknowledged.  Ms. Bennett expressed concern about getting out of here driveway and turning left.  The increase will definitely have an impact, she said.  Mr. Epperson stated that Mr. Pernaw was a reputable guy, however, the Board could ask for a traffic study.  Town Attorney Donovan stated that Mr. Pernaw had been used by the Board when an indoor skateboard park on Lafayette Rd. was under consideration.

Ms. Bennett indicated that she lived three houses from the roundabout.  There were issues recently with the Seacoast Half Marathon, and when paving of the road started at 6:19 a.m. despite a noise ordinance limiting noise prior to 7:00 a.m.  She telephoned the police but did not receive satisfaction.  Mr. Tweedie responded that she should raise those issues with the Board of Selectmen as the Planning Board does not govern the police.

Ms. Bennett expressed concerns about property values and the way of life.  Mr. Tweedie responded that it is a commercial area.  Mr. Epperson argued that the property values would go up, as the restaurant would be replacing a dilapidated building.

Ms. Bennett asked whether there might be a future requirement to connect to the sewer.  Attorney Donovan stated that the agreement with Portsmouth is that the sewer would only serve Foyes Corner.

Roy Teigland, 30 Sagamore Rd., stated that he supports the LaBries.  He is not crazy about the “huge thing,” however.  His biggest issue is with the smell.

Doug Sparks, 26 Sagamore Rd., asked about deliveries.  Pete LaBrie stated that there would be none after 11:00 p.m., however deliveries would start at 6:00 or 7:00 a.m.  These would be refrigerated vans, not 18 wheelers, he said.

Mr. Sparks then stated that he understood that Portsmouth charged for the sewer if it was available in the street, even if it was not connected.  Mike LaBrie stated that Portsmouth might be imposing a tax, but Portsmouth has no ability to impose taxes in Rye.  Town Attorney Donovan stated that if a septic system failed, the owner could be ordered to tie in and compensate Portsmouth.

Sharon Sparks, 26 Sagamore Rd., stated that the project looked beautiful, but it is large for the neighborhood and is the first phase of several planned projects.  She is concerned about being able to sell her property as she cannot see anyone wanting to live next to the restaurant.  She also expressed concern about being forced to connect to the sewer inasmuch as they are currently connected to Portsmouth water.  She is concerned that blasting might be required, which might damage the foundation of their house.

Kelly Moores, 70 Sagamore Rd. expressed concerns about the landscaping, which were addressed by Ms. Woodburn, the Landscape Architect.  Ms. Woodburn argued that the trees would grow rapidly.

Emil Uliano, 15 Pioneer Rd. expressed concerns about the smell.  He asked how many employees there would be on a Saturday night.  Mike LaBrie responded that there would be fourteen.  Mr. Uliano stated that the figure was low for 300 patrons.  It should be 25-30.  Mike LaBrie argued that they would be going to great lengths to reduce the number of employees as labor will be their biggest cost.  Editor’s note:  section 500.2 of the Zoning Ordinance requires restaurants (excluding fast food restaurants) to have one parking space for each employee on a maximum shift, one parking space for each two bar stools, and one parking space for each three seats.  Thus, if the available parking remained the same, each additional employee would reduce the allowed seats by three.

Peter Crawford, 171 Brackett expressed concerns about traffic.  Once the people have left the beaches in the summer it is quiet, which is one of the nice aspects of living in Rye.  He asked Mr. LaBrie whether the restaurant would be open until about 10:00 p.m.  Mr. LaBrie affirmed.  Mr. Crawford stated that that would mean a lot of traffic, fairly late, creating noise.  People, after a few drinks sometimes go speeding by, Mr. Crawford stated.

Mr. Crawford stated that he believed, as did many present, that the restaurant did not fit the character of Rye.  He stated that the proposed restaurant was to be in the Business District, not the Commercial District, which provides less flexibility.  Mr. Crawford then read the description of the Business District from the Master Plan:

“Same as Single Residence District and small retail, service enterprise, lodging establishments.  By special exception:  other expanded uses (including the sale of petroleum products).”

Mr. Crawford continued, stating that the intent of the Master Plan was that, within the Business District, the retail operations be small.  He stated that he viewed this a large retail establishment that would probably be perfectly fine within the Commercial District on Route 1, but not in this area which is closely integrated with the Residential District.  He acknowledged that there are small businesses in the surrounding area.  Mr. Crawford then read from the Land Development Regulations, section 611.9:

“Site developments shall be of a scale compatible with surrounding development and/or the rural character of the Town of Rye.  The Planning Board may impose additional structural and/or locational limitations on building construction which it determines are necessary to meet this standard.

Mr. Crawford stated that it was difficult to say that a 300-seat restaurant would be in  keeping with the rural character of Rye.  He asked how many seats Petey’s has.  Mike LaBrie responded that he had counted 208, with about 30 parking spaces.  Mr. Crawford stated that there was not an expectation of rural character close to the beach where things are packed in already.  Three of the roads emanating from Foyes Corner, Pioneer, Elwyn and Sagamore to the south are predominantly residential.  Mr. Crawford stated that he applauds Mr. LaBrie’s efforts to bring the sewer line down and improve the area.  However, a smaller restaurant of closer to 150 seats would be more in keeping with the rural character.

Larry Dukes, 18 Elwyn Rd., stated that he does not have a problem if Mike LaBrie does exactly what he says he is going to do.  At some point there will be development.  He does not like something big, but he would prefer the Town dealing with someone who would give the residents some of what they want.  He has a concern that something worse, like a gas station, could be put in.  He had been against the project when he thought that there would be dancing there.

Mr. Epperson stated that Rye is going to grow.  The issue is whether it is going to grow as people want, or in some other way.

Mr. Moores stated that he agreed with Mr. Crawford.  The proposed restaurant is too big and he has traffic concerns.

The Board then closed the public hearing.

Bluestone Properties, 287-seat restaurant at Foyes Corner:  Board discussion and decisions

             Ray Tweedie moved to accept jurisdiction of the application.  Anne Crotty stated that she had concerns about the traffic study.  Bill Epperson stated that the issues boil down to parking, traffic and smells.

Ray Tweedie stated that an escrow should also be established to look at the issues brought forth that evening.

Phil Winslow stated that the public should know that accepting jurisdiction did not mean that the plans were being accepted.

The motion to accept jurisdiction carried unanimously.

Ray Tweedie’s motion to establish a $5000 escrow carried unanimously.

Ray Tweedie’s motion to continue the application to the December meeting carried unanimously.

There was a discussion about a traffic study and whether AMEC would be qualified.  Mr. Epperson suggested that AMEC peer review Mr. Pernaw’s memorandum.  Attorney Donovan suggested that queuing be looked into.  He also stated that the memorandum had not addressed the twenty busiest times.  The study should be done closer to the summertime peak.  Mr. Weinreib stated that the only thing that could come of this would be a restriction on left hand turns.  A member of the public expressed concern that the closing of the Sagamore Bridge across Route 1A in Portsmouth might skew the data.  Mr. Weinreib responded that the only time that the data have real meaning is during the summer.

A site walk was scheduled for November 23 at 10:00 a.m.   It was confirmed that Mike LaBrie would continue looking into exhaust fans.  The matter was then continued.

Proposed zoning amendments

             There was a significant amount of discussion regarding amendment 2014-01 requiring those granted a conditional use permit to file an affidavit every two years, or on transfer of the property, to certify compliance with all conditions of the permit.  Jeff Quinn stated that he thought that this was an undue burden, but that requiring it on title transfer made sense.  Phil Winslow expressed concerns regarding enforcement and tracking.  He asked how many homeowners this involved.  Attorney Donovan stated that it was those in the Hoefle Subdivision, plus perhaps two more.  Editor’s note:  Other documents found indicate that this refers to Marjorie Way, located near the Town Recycling Center off Grove Rd.

            Ray Tweedie stated that he did not believe that the Building Inspector would browbeat people.  Regular maintenance is part of protecting the aquifer, he said.

Kim Reed stated that there is a similar provision relating to accessory apartments.  That has revealed some violations.  This proposed amendment did not make the cut last year.  Keriann Roman has e-mailed some additional proposed changes.  The matter has been legally noticed, but it can be continued.

Once the public session was opened, Peter Crawford expressed concern about the lack of specificity in the proposed ordinance.  Who would be qualified to certify that the septic system was meeting the requirements?  As worded, the homeowner, or anyone else, could provide an affidavit, he noted.

Ray Tweedie suggested that they move the issue to the Town Warrant.  The decision can always be reversed, he said.  Attorney Donovan confirmed that this could be done.  Mel Low stated that they should ask the Building Inspector for his input as he would be the one to enforce it.  The motion to place amendment 2014-01 on the Town Warrant carried, all voting yes except Mel Low.

The motion to place amendment 2014-02 on the Town Warrant for March 2014 carried unanimously.  The amendment changes the name “NH Water Supply and Pollution Control Commission” to “Department of Environmental Services.”

There was discussion regarding amendment 2014-03, clarifying setbacks so that they are from the drip edge. Mr. Tweedie requested that the words “eave” and “drip edge” be defined and read proposed amendments to do so.  Phil Winslow noted that doing such a measurement is difficult, according to his conversations with one architect and two surveyors.  Mr. Tweedie, noting that his changes were major, moved that the matter be continued to a public hearing at the December meeting.  All were in favor except Phil Winslow and Mel Low who abstained.  Mr. Low stated that he did not understand what was being done.

The motion to place amendment 2014-04, relating to vernal pools and wetlands setbacks, on the Town Warrant for March 2014 carried unanimously.

The motion to place amendment 2014-05 on the Town Warrant for March 2014, reducing the required width of parking spaces from 10 feet to 9 feet carried unanimously.

The motion to place amendment 2014-06 on the March 2014 Town Warrant carried unanimously.  This amendment changes the map depicting the wetlands in the Berry’s Brook watershed to a more recent one.

The motion to place amendment 2014-07 on the Town Warrant for March 2014 carried unanimously.  The amendment extends the expiration period for special exceptions and variances from one year to two.

Kim Reed noted that there would be two additional amendments to be placed for public hearing at the next hearing.  The first, 2014-08 relates to special and conditional use permits.  The second, 2014-09 relates to wireless telecommunications.  She indicated that there are two or three more that are being worked on.  These could be moved next month for a hearing in January.  The motion to place amendments 2014-08 and 2014-09 on the Town Warrant for March 2014 carried unanimously.

Minutes and escrows

The motion to continue the review of the minutes to the December meeting carried unanimously.

The motion to release $137.90 from the escrow for the Wallis Rd. property to Attorney Donovan carried unanimously.

The motion to release $702 to AMEC from the Cavaretta escrow carried unanimously.

Subcommittee Reports and Master Plan

             The subcommittee reports were continued to the December meeting.  However, Mr. Epperson provided a thumbnail on the Master Plan.  He stated that there was now enough information on the demographics and housing to reschedule the December meeting of Long Range Planning subcommittee.  At that point a date certain to complete the Master Plan should be decided on.


            The motion to adjourn carried unanimously and the meeting ended at approximately 11:12 p.m.

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