Discussion topics Rye Civic News

Public Forum Discussion

The Public Forum Discussion is held at the RPL and begins once the RCL Business meeting is closed.

Suggested topics for November Meeting (on December 1st)

Town Hall

– Development

– Bracket Road,South Road

– South St. School house

– RJH Staffing questions

– Long term School Funding questions

– Town’s IT Infrastructure

– Warrant Articles

– Other topics

October 27th Discussion:

Former Rand Lumber Conservation Land:

Much discussion around why the town needs to own the land.  The property can be conserved without the town assuming any potential environment risks.   Why has the developer chosen to sell land, for an apparent $1.25 million, that his appraiser claims is worth $2.265 million.  Was it an understanding of the difficulties of building multiple homes on property since the uplands are scattered around and interspersed with wetlands and ledge?  Or, could there have been concerns over environmental risks of what could have been dumped on private property over the years, as it was a commercial business.

Why should the town assume this potential liability?  While all efforts should be made to put the land in conservation, a conservation easement would allow the current owner to retain ownership (and liability) and not pass them on to the town.

There was discussion about the appraisal that the price is based on and the feasibility of that many lots ever being buildable on the property.  Also access to the land is counter to the Zoning Ordinance as the dead end street proposed in the appraisal would be over five times the maximum allowed.  So, why are we paying so much and assuming any potential risk?

Town Hall– The Public Discussion was the next night, so not much was discussed.

ZBA Regulations – Discussion about how they are written and what is allowed for exemptions, waivers, etc..  These need to be driven by the Master Plan.

Rye Farm Development at 561 South Rd. – Discussion about the last Planning Board meeting and what residents and abutters could do.  Still many open questions about what the builder plans on doing with the complete parcel.

Possible Warrant Articles for 2015  – Discussed what should be the priorities.

On September 23rd

Master Plan – Questions if we are following it or not.

Resident asked if copies were available to be read at home.  You can request that the town produce one for you and there will be a cost and a wait.  The Library has a reference copy.  This prompted a discussion of whether there should be multiple copies that residents can borrow or check out from the library.

People discussed how the Master Plan is not driving the Zoning Ordinance discussions and that the Planning Board may not always be following the Master Plan.  Discussion around what can the town do to have a “best in class” process for continuously maintaining, updating and most importantly communicating the Master Plan to residents.

Structural Study for Town Hall and 2011 Warrant Article

It appears that the town funded a structural study of Town Hall prior to the 2011 Warrant Article passing.  Then when AG Architects completed their work they did not perform the structural analysis as identified in the warrant article, but relied on the previous study.  That discussion includes no discussion about the lateral integrity (the strength of the walls to withstand Earthquakes or strong winds).  The study was limited to the foundation and the roof.

Town Hall committee distraction discussion

A group of builders is asking whether building an entirely new Town Hall would be a better choice.  The current committee charter does not include evaluating such alternatives and these discussions are a distraction.  Conversation shifted to whether, after the Safety Building, residents trust the town to manage a construction project.  If we should trust the town, why do the town records of discussions between the Selectmen and the Town Attorney about threatened litigation by the builder over unanticipated building costs remain sealed and not available to the public?  Additionally, the town still does not have Facilities or large investment plan.  The CIP is a list of requests.  The next step of developing a plan for the sequence and priority of these large investments does not exist and no one body in town is taking responsibility.

Parson’s Creek pollution problem and action

Earlier this the Summer, the BOS agreed to put up warning signs about the fluctuating levels of contamination at the beach as residents and visitors play in the creek at low tide.  When signs were finally installed, many of them promptly fell down. .  The contamination problem has been ongoing and it was questioned how long it will be before DES comes down on Rye and forces the town to eradicate the potential causes of the contamination.

Major Developments in Rye (561 South Rd, others???)

Residents vented on how the concerns by residents appear to be brushed off , enabling the approval process to continue forward.  Discussion about how difficult it is for applicants and residents to track what is going on and have a process that is efficient and effective for all.



– Plans for the a new building at 234 Central Rd