December 18, 2013 Planning Board Meeting Minutes

Status: 
Final
TOWN OF WILTON
PLANNING BOARD MEETING
MINUTES
Approved 1/15/14
 
DATE:           December 18, 2013
TIME:            7:30 P.M.
PLACE:         Wilton Town Hall Courtroom
PRESENT:    Wilton Planning Board Members: Chairman Alec MacMartin, Vice Chairman Jeff Kandt, Sue Egan, Neil Faiman, Matt Fish, Alternate John Shepardson, Board of Selectmen Representative Bill Condra,  NRPC Representative Jennifer Dinovo, and Clerk Heather Loewy Nichols.
 
The agenda was amended as follows:
1.)                 Minutes
-          November 20, 2013
-          December 4, 2013
2.)                 PB11-007-SPRA - Hilltop Cafe
3.)                Other Business
-          A Child’s Nature: Proposed Daycare
-          Ordinance Changes from the Building Inspector
-          Master Plan update
-          Impact Fees
-          Granite State Blasting
-          Adjournment
 
Chairman MacMartin opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. and appointed John Shepardson to the Board as a voting member in place of Mr. Griffith.
 
  1. Minutes
-          November 20, 2013
After review, a MOTION was made by Mr. Kandt and SECONDED by Mr. Faiman to approve the minutes of November 20, 2013 as written.
Voting: 6 ayes; motion carried with Mr. Shepardson abstaining.
 
-          December 4, 2013
After review, a MOTION was made by Mr. Kandt and SECONDED by Ms. Egan to approve the minutes of December 4, 2013 as amended.
Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried with Mr. Shepardson and Mr. Condra abstaining.
 
Continued Applications
  1. PB11-007-SPRA - Hilltop Cafe - An application to amend the original Site Plan approval (PB10-007-SPR) by increasing kitchen seating and changing the exterior of the building. 
 
Neil Faiman stepped off the Board as a voting member.
 
Chairman MacMartin read the Zoning Board decision as follows:
 
The cafe may have up to 24 seats. Hours of operation are to be limited to 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Thursday, and 8 am to 9 pm, Friday through Sunday. Parking is to be as shown on the plan submitted with the variance application in ZBA Case #6/8/10-1.

The new door and window already constructed are approved. Any further exterior changes to the building must be approved by any easement holders and authorities having jurisdiction.

This decision shall expire if the construction or use permitted by it has not begun by Thursday, December 10, 2015. (Wilton Zoning Ordinance section 17.4)
 
Ms. Draper, of the Wilton Conservation Commission, explained that the Commission is waiting for written permission from L- Chip but they believe that the proposed use falls within the approved uses as long as the parking is not in the easement.
 
Mr. Geiger explained that the previous variance allowed for 14 seats, specific hours, and stipulated that any exterior changes must be approved by the Zoning Board prior to construction. He further explained that he is asking for 10 more seats and an expansion of hours in order to have dinner on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays while being open from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday.  He stated that the expansion of the café does not add any parking within in the easement because there is enough space within the existing parking area. He further explained that before the café had three seats per car but the present parking area has enough parking to allow for 24 seats in the café.
 
In response to a question from Mr. MacMartin, Mr. Geiger stated that the septic system was set up to handle extra housing but since they are no longer using the extra housing the septic system can handle the café.
 
In response to a question from Mr. MacMartin, Mr. Geiger stated that no floor expansion in required to accommodate the extra seating but the proposal does include an expansion of the kitchen for food prep, freezers, and storage but not for cooking.
 
In response to a question from Mr. Kandt, Mr. Geiger confirmed that parking space #9 blocks in parking space #10 but noted that those spots are for the owners or employees.  
 
In response to a question from Mr. MacMartin, Mr. Geiger state that there is a two or three bedroom apartment in the complex with parking which is labeled as “apartment parking” on the plan next to parking spaces # 9 and 10.
 
In response to a question from Mr. MacMartin, Mr. Geiger stated that there will be outside lighting on the building and noted that two lights were approved on the original plan which he thinks now he will need to use.  Mr. MacMartin noted that the new plan needs to show the lights, a note stating that they are to be downcast, as well as signage if there is any.
 
In response to a question from Mr. MacMartin, Mr. Geiger stated that there is a two foot storm drain in the parking area, towards the farm store, that he thinks may drain into the creek. He noted that the drain has been there for 45 years. Mr. MacMartin noted that the drainage may need to be addressed as he is concerned about road debris etc flowing into the creek. He noted that with the expanded use all the potential issues need to be reviewed and corrected.  
 
Ms. Dinovo stated that she is concerned about parking spaces #9 and 10.
 
Mr. MacMartin stated that on the plan the parking spaces do not look long enough as they are only 12.5ꞌ long according to the scale on the map. Mr. Geiger stated that they may not be drawn to scale and questioned if they were still acceptable.  Mr. MacMartin stated that if there is space he would rather have the parking spaces side by side.
 
In response to a question from Mr. MacMartin, Mr. Geiger stated that the dumpster is across Isaac Frye Highway about 20ꞌ from the creek. Mr. MacMartin stated that the dumpster and the creek both need to be shown on the plan. Mr. Condra questioned whether it is ok to put a dumpster that close to the creek.
 
The Board summarized noting that the following items will need to be dealt with:
-          Show lighting on the plan as well as a note stating that it will be downcast
-          Locate the outfall from culvert in the parking lot
-          Locate the creek and dumpster
-          Show the septic on the plan
-          Correct the parking
-          Confirm how many bedrooms are in the apartment.
In response to a question from Ms. Dinovo, Mr. Geiger stated that the Fire Chief has not reviewed the plan but there is nothing different from the original plan. Mr. MacMartin stated that Mr. Geiger will need to have the new plan reviewed by the Fire Chief.
 
In response to a question from Ms. Dinovo, Mr. Geiger stated that he has not yet addressed handicapped access but he has spoken to a contractor who has an idea to raise the walkway. He noted that he needs to get approval from L-Chip and the Heritage Commission first. Mr. MacMartin noted that the proposal needs to be on the plan.
 
In response to a question from Mr. Condra about a handicap accessible bathroom, Mr. Geiger stated that he thinks the current bathroom is a bit small to be accessible. Mr. Condra stated that he believes the bathroom needs to be ADA compliant. Mr. Shepardson questioned whether ADA compliance applies retroactively. Mr. Kandt noted that this application is not for a change of use. The Board stated that some investigating will need to be done to compare when the plan was approved, when the regulations went into effect, and if they apply.
 
In response to a question from Edwina Hastings, of 17 Peirce Lane, Mr. MacMartin stated that the applicant has received a variance to have a café which is a commercial use in the residential/agricultural zone and the Board was just trying to determine when the ADA requirements apply.
 
In response to a question from Jim Fisher, of 524 Abbot Hill Rd, regarding the driveway permit mentioned earlier in the evening, Mr. Geiger explained that the driveway permit he received does not apply to this application and noted that he has not applied for a driveway related to this application. Mr. MacMartin stated that Mr. Geiger will need to have the Road Agent approve the driveway that relates to this application.
 
In response to a question from Mr. Fisher with regards to a landscape buffer, Mr. MacMartin stated that the earlier plan shows a Magnolia, Lilac, wall, and berm and Mr. Geiger confirmed they were all still in existence.
 
In response to a question from Mr. Fisher regarding outdoor seating, Mr. Geiger stated that he would like to continue to have outdoor seating. Mr. MacMartin noted that the seating will need to be shown on the plan and needs to be included in the total number of seats allowed by the approved variance. He further stated that if Mr. Geiger has a plan for outdoor seating the Board will need to know how it will be implemented within the variance.
 
Mr. Fisher stated that once a facility grows above 25 employees and seats within a space he believes that it is required to have segregated bathrooms and while he does not think that there is a need for separate bathrooms he does think the bathroom should be ADA compliant.
 
Mr. Fisher noted that the plan says that no engineering is necessary but he would like to see a civil engineer’s stamp on the plan and Ms. Dinovo agreed.
 
Kurt Guild, of Abbot Hill Road, stated that he bought his house in 1985 and he has seen a lot of great changes, but there are times when he is coming home that there can be one car trying to leave the property, two women in the parking lot chatting, a tractor trying to get in, and him trying to get in. He stated that he trusts Mr. Geiger, Andrew Kennedy, and the current owners but he is concerned about what future owners might do once the Board approves the property for this. He stated that there may be a point where the café becomes more successful and bigger than he wants or the Board wants.
 
Mr. Shepardson noted that the farm is heavily encumbered with easements and restrictions that severely limit what can occur on the property, for instance it cannot expand to 80 seats with the current encumbrances.
Mr. MacMartin stated that he understands Mr. Guild’s concerns and noted that an application would need to be made to the Zoning Board for any increase.
 
Mr. Fisher noted that he is incredibly happy with the farm improvements that have been made by Mr. Geiger and Mr. Kennedy but he is concerned about safety, the strain on town services, and the look and feel of the area. He stated that it is important to be able to live together with compatible uses.
 
Andrew Kennedy stated that one has to have the economics to back up the view and the more traffic they have, within reason, the better able they will be to connect with the community. He stated that they have the opportunity to create and maintain a very special experience but they have to find the balance while feeding and educating people. He stated that there is an existing farm and café which share a parking area which can cause a lot of traffic and fluctuation but he can guarantee that there will be no more parking on the road because he realizes it is not safe. He noted that all the people involved are Wilton residents and he plans on being here a long time.
 
Mr. MacMartin questioned if the plan needs an engineer’s stamp.
 
In response to a question from Mr. Kandt, Mr. Geiger explained that the waiver requests were on the original application and Mr. MacMartin noted that the need to be resubmitted with this application.
 
Mr. MacMartin suggested that the Board wait to see what Mr. Geiger submits for the next meeting and then decide about the engineer.
 
A MOTION was made by Mr. Kandt, and Mr. Condra to continue the application to January 15, 2014.
Voting: 7 ayes; motion carried unanimously.
 
  1. Other Business
-          A Child’s Nature
Mr. MacMartin explained that he spoke with Town Council and he suggested looking at the original approval but there is not a lot of information about the actual approval which was done in the early 80’s.
 
Mr. Faiman noted that he was a Board Member of A Child’s Nature and is a Board Member of Pine Hill so if this issue ever becomes a formal application he will have to step off.
 
Patrick Gillum, Lyndeborough resident and Chair of the Board of Trustees of Pine Hill, stated that his kids graduated in 2005 and 2008 and that Pine Hill has never had a daycare. He explained that they have had a nursery school where the kids come for half a day at age 3, and kindergarten but A Child’s Nature is the first time they have ever had a state approved daycare. He noted that daycare is completely different model with stringent state regulations. He further explained that Pine Hill built two new structures, one is finished and the other is a shell, and they thought if they got a grant to finish the second building the daycare could go there.
 
Mr. Faiman noted that co-vice chair of the Zoning Board signed a certification stating that the summer use of the children’s village building by A Child’s Nature met the zoning requirements.
 
The Board stated that the applicant will need to look at what is permitted in the zone, and possibly pursue a variance.
 
-          Ordinance Changes from the Building Inspector
Mr. Shepardson, Building Inspector, submitted proposed updates to the Building Code necessary to align it with the state code. The Board reviewed the proposed and decided to hold a public hearing on January 8, 2014.
 
-          Master Plan
The Board reviewed a proposal from Ms. Dinovo regarding which Master Plan chapters they should work on next year.
 
-          Impact Fees
The Board began reviewing the latest update to the proposed Impact Fee schedule and asked for clarification as to what had changed since the last revision.
 
-          Adjournment
A MOTION was made by Mr. Condra and SECONDED by Mr. Kandt to adjourn the meeting.
Voting: 7 ayes; motion carried unanimously.
 
Chairman MacMartin declared the meeting adjourned.
 
Respectfully Submitted,
Heather Loewy Nichols
Clerk
 
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