Friday, February 1, 2008 
Planning Board completes list of Articles

Goffstown News Correspondent

Goffstown voters can expect proposed zoning ordinance articles that prohibit churches and houses of worship in the industrial district and would add surface water to the wetland conservation ordinances as some of the articles to be placed on the ballot on Tuesday, March 11.

At its Jan. 24 meeting, the Planning Board completed the list of articles to be presented at the deliberative session and heard cases including continued hearings for the 42-lot Worthley Hill Road development and 92-unit Placid Woods development on Bog Road.

The articles include a measure to prohibit in the industrial district use by churches and other houses of worship and kindergarten, elementary and secondary schools.

Discussion centered around a desire to preserve the limited amount of industrial district area for industries and further developing Goffstown’s economic base.

Another major proposed ordinance change came from the Conservation Commission to add surface water, specifically any river or stream that showed up as a blue line or broken blue line on a 7.5 USGS topographic map, to the regulations that currently address and protect wetlands.

There were a number of doubts raised about the effect of this ordinance, especially regarding the 100-foot buffer requirements.

Board member Alan Yeaton objected to putting the article on the ballot, pointing out that there had been no presentation or study on the impact it would have.

Board Chairman JoAnn Duffy argued for keeping the article.

“We are so lucky to have Collis Adams on our Conservation Commission,” said Duffy, referring to Adams’ job as wetlands administrator at the state Department of Environmental Services. “He wrote this free of charge. To not put this on the ballot would be a big mistake.”

Articles that were yanked from this year’s ballot included an amendment to change the Zoning Board of Adjustment from an elected to an appointed board. The article was proposed by Zoning Board members who said the board’s quasi-judicial function would be enhanced by having more continuity, said Planning Board recording secretary Gail Labrecque, who also serves as an elected Zoning Board member. Zoning Board Chairman Tony Marts came before the Planning Board on Jan. 10 to explain the reasoning behind the article.

The Zoning Board was an appointed board until 2004, when voters approved a warrant article to change it to an elected board starting in 2005.

Ultimately, the amendment was pulled after the town attorney advised that it was written incorrectly, said Steve Griffin, planning and economic development coordinator.

Another measure affecting open space requirements for manufactured home parks drew objections from Nick Campasano, who spoke as a private citizen. Originally introduced to clarify interpretation of existing ordinances, according to Griffin, the Planning Board was unsure about its meaning and effect and decided to pull it from the ballot for this year.

An amendment that would have prohibited building or expanding seasonal dwelling units on about 260 properties below a certain size and within certain districts was pulled to give property owners notice.

“It’s rather draconian,” said Griffin, “but those lots are tiny, they’re not buildable.”

If there was sewer and water service available in Pinardville, he said, that would be a different situation.

Building developments

Discussion on the Worthley Hill development centered around the issues of sidewalks, pedestrians and the merits of cul de sacs versus “hammerhead” layouts.

Board member Tim Redmond suggested the possibility of a grassy island with a drain in the middle to address difficulties encountered by snow plows in cul de sacs. Further discussion on sidewalks was held until the next hearing date, Feb. 28, when a traffic engineer would address traffic issues.

In the Placid Woods development hearing, attorney Morgan Hollis, representing the developer Woodland Trust, expressed a desire to continue with the hearing despite awareness of a separate Zoning Board hearing that could be affected by the Conservation Commission’s opinion against the placement of a detention pond in a wetlands buffer zone.

There was further public comment from abutters and residents. Abutter Cathy Whooten, of 112 Mountain Road, questioned why the board was continuing with the process when there was a possibility the plans might change.

“This is what has been submitted for us to look at,” explained Duffy. “I understand it’s like going around in a circle, but for now, we have to take their word on it.”

The hearing was continued to Feb. 28.

Impact fee

In other business, the Planning Board unanimously passed the public safety impact fee at the Dec. 20 meeting. No residents were present for the public hearing on the impact fee.

The fee would charge $595 to support fire facilities and $137 to support police facilities for a total of $732 per dwelling unit for new construction or conversions, according to the town report detailing the fee’s calculation.

Goffstown did not previously have a public safety impact fee, but it did collect school, recreation and road impact fees.

Reproduced by the Goffstown Residents Association.


Patriot Software Solutions
Inexpensive home & small
business software & web
design solutions...
Backyard Productions
Youth sports video & more...
292 Mast Road
Goffstown, NH










Copyright© 2008, Goffstown Residents Association.  All Rights Reserved.