November 21, 2013 Minutes

These minutes were posted by the Zoning.



ITEM 1. Call to Order at 7:03 P.M. by Carole Dodge, Chairman

ITEM 2. Roll Call

Members Present:

Carole Dodge (CD), Chairman, Paul Sherwood (PS), Vice-Chairman, Paul Metcalf, Sr. (PM), John (Pat) Heffernan (PH), and Delores Fritz, Recording Secretary.

Members Absent:

Christopher Smith (CS), Albert Douglas (AD), Alternate

ITEM 3. Approval of Minutes of September 12, 2013

(PM) Motion to approve Minutes of September 12, 2013.
(PS) Second. Carried 4-0.

Approval of Minutes of November 14, 2013

(PS) Motion to approve Minutes of November 14, 2013. (PM) Second. Vote 2-0. (CD) and (PH) Abstain.

After Discussion:

(PS) Rescind Motion to approve Minutes of November 14, 2013.
(PM) Rescind Second. Carried 4-0.

Approval of Minutes of November 14th will be tabled until the next Zoning Board Meeting.


a. Rules of Procedure

(CD) Board needs to revise Rules of Procedure as to how and by whom application is received in office. Board discussed changes and ultimately a motion was made to amend IV. Administrative Officer.

(PS) Motion to amend Rules of Procedure, IV. Administrative Officer to remove “in the absence of Building Inspector” and other changes as noted. (PH) Second. After further discussion, Motion was amended and Second approved that IV ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER would read as follows:


The Office of the Building Inspector, or in the absence of a Building Inspector, the Office of the Selectmen shall provide administrative assistance to the Board. The assistance shall ordinarily include the following:

1. To receive applications for appeal to the Board and fees therefor.
2. All applications must be DATED and TIME STAMPED in the
Building Inspector’s Office or the Selectmen’s Office.
3. To prepare, post, mail, and distribute notices for all meetings and
hearings of the Board.
4. To prepare and distribute notices of decision in any action taken by the Board.
5. To conduct such correspondence on behalf of the Board as the Board may direct.

Vote: Carried 4-0.

b. Zoning Ordinances Changes as Proposed by Planning Board

Jim Pritchard: He explained to Board what the proposed revisions as noted by the Planning Board which he indicated were mostly “housekeeping” revisions including \Administrative, Manufactured Homes and Parking Regulations.

(CD) Those should bring us up-to-date and user friendly.

(CD) There is also a request to the Planning Board for a Warrant Article to appoint the Zoning Board as the Building Codes Court of Appeals. The Building Inspector position was created but there never has been a Board of Appeals and this should be hand-in-hand.

(CD) Also, there is the issue whether Zoning Board should be an elected position or an appointed position. We will be having a joint meeting with the Planning Board on December 5th at 7:00 P.M. to discuss these issues. The Planning Board has done a lot of work.

(PS) I am not sure of the reasoning behind having an elected Zoning Board as opposed to an appointed board. We are a full board now and we can appoint alternates. Getting a full board by election may be difficult.
(CD) That is something we cannot predict. (PH) If people want to serve they will run – if not they will not. I think the elected Board is the way to go. (PM) If no one runs, then what? (CD) If not enough individuals run, then members will be appointed by Board of Selectmen.

(PS) Nothing precludes us from “working on people” to get appointed. We do not have the authority to appoint, but can go out and suggest to people to participate. (CD) I have personally asked several people and when they found out what the process was, commented, “I do not have time for this.” (PS) I do not see the necessity of changing to an elected board. (PM) I do not either. Where did this idea come from? (CD) It is an idea that has been “rattling” around for a while.

Jim Pritchard: Don Chase proposed it in 2007 as he did the Planning Board.

(CD) The only thing I can say about Zoning members being elected is that they would be an autonomous board and would answer to themselves. We answer to the citizens of the Town but citizens choose who they want there. (PM) It could turn it into a popularity contact. Would the Board of Selectmen stand behind us? (PH) It would give us a little more independence. (PM) We have never heard from the BOS. (PH) It would be a better way to do it.

(CD) We need to advise the Planning Board which of their revisions we are going to support. (PS) noted that he had only one suggestion in the “housekeeping items” as suggested by Planning Board which included a re-numbering of items. I would suggest rather than combining Article 22 and 23 to just renumber the articles. Other than that I am not opposed to any of the articles as listed. I will address that at the joint meeting. (CD) So, we are pretty much in agreement on putting these changes on the ballot.

(CD) Now, the Zoning Board as the Building Codes Court of Appeals.

(PS) I have been thinking about it. I think that these appeals should go to the State Board of Appeals because their knowledge base of expertise would include all facets of the building codes. They are the experts. I think the Town would be better served if these matters would go the State. The other thing is that this does not happen often enough that we would have the expertise to be fair to all parties. The appeal would be going to the State not to Court. (PM) It would give a fairer answer. (PS) There would be no politics involved. (CD) They would be the experts. However it gets written up, it needs to be address. (PS) We could put it in the Zoning Ordinances that it would have to follow this process.

Jim Pritchard: You want the Planning Board to impose the Warrant Article? The only way you can change something is to put it in a Warrant Article. (CD) It should be in the Rules of Procedure. Jim Pritchard: You are probably right on that. Referral would be to the State Building Codes Review Board. (PS) We can look into the language for it and figure out where it should go. We can take the time to put it where it is supposed to be.

(PH) By not taking control of this in Town, it is like passing the buck. We are losing control in this Town. (PS) I understand what you are saying, but we do not have the authority to change the Building Codes. The Town has to follow the State Building Codes and we do not have the option of modifying them or the expertise to know if appeal is correct. (PH) I am not sure that those “guys” in Concord are either. I hate to give up local control on anything. I am not an expert, but it rubs me the wrong way for people out of town to make our decisions. (CD) We can continue to discuss with Planning Board – it will give us more time to look into things. I remember reading somewhere that the Building Codes Court of Appeals can hire an expert. (PM) That may be the way to go. (CD) This is something we need to figure out. (PS) I would like to discuss it further.

(PS) One other thing, on October 25, 2012, we discussed changing the definition of Agriculture by removing the last sentence – “Home farming is allowed.” If you will remember we could find no definition of exactly what home farming is. We noted that not everything is appropriate for every place. This was not taken care of last year.

(CD) What is the consensus on elected as opposed to an appointed Board? (PH) Right now, I think we are two for two. (PM) I would rather see it as an appointed Board. (CD) I guess we are at a stalemate on that.

c. Other

(CD) On 30 Leavitt Road. Jim Pritchard: I believe this has been referenced to the Police Department.

ITEM 5. Members Concerns


ITEM 6. Public Input

Jim Pritchard: Paul talked about Articles 22, 23, and 24 and that renumbering would solve the problem. You realize that they are in different sections. (PS) I still think the proposed language is ok. Jim Pritchard: He explained to (PS) what the changes entailed. (PS) My concerns on that are rescinded now that I have a better understanding.

Jim Pritchard: You are right, the Agriculture definition and the meaning of Home Farming is vague. Rather than tampering with the definition, you might be better off adopting the State’s definition of Agriculture.

Jim Pritchard: Regarding the issue of Building Codes Court of Appeals, I am not too thrilled what the State is doing with Building Codes. There are a lot of things I do not like about State Building Codes. You are right; every member of the State Building Codes Court of Appeals has to be an expert. As I noted at the meeting of October 10, they are supposed to have people with expertise.

Jim Pritchard: The Board did a great job tonight.

Close Public Input

ITEM 7. Adjournment

(PS) Motion to adjourn. (PM) Second. Carried 4-0.

Meeting adjourned at 8:15 P.M.

Approved: January 9, 2014

____________________________ ____________________
Carole Dodge, Chairman Date

I hereby certify that these Minutes were recorded by me on November 21, 2013, transcribed and publicly posted on November 27, 2013.

Delores A. Fritz, Recording Secretary

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Olympus: 1.10.35