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