Andover Conservation Commission Minutes – April 13, 2022

Condensed from approved minutes

Present: Jesse Schust, Nancy Robart, Sooze Hodgson, Tina Cotton, Lee Wells, Jenny Bodwell, Jerry Hersey
Also attending: Donna Duclos

Motion made by Lee and seconded by Jesse to have Tina and Sooze be full voting members tonight.

ASLPT (Jesse): Route 4A Bog Pond land status.  Before Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust (ASLPT) could move on this property, a new buyer made an offer on the land. Nick Robinson (Robinson’s Landscape Construction, LLC)  has met twice with the Planning Board. Wants to build a storage shed for eight trucks and equipment: the building will be 60’x120’ and on the highest point of land. 

At first meeting he mentioned that he might want to set aside some land for building a home for his parents. He may also keep supplies on the property. He also does construction and plowing as well as landscaping. 

Nick has expressed an interest in putting some of the land in conservation easement, and he has met with Andy Deegan at ASLPT. However, nothing was said at the April 12 Planning Board meeting about conserving the property.  

Questions need to be asked about the possible house building, conservation plans, and the impact beyond the two-acre section that he says he wants to use. Jesse feels that Nick’s plans are not compatible with Forestry and Agricultural zoning and will require a variance.

Motion made by Jenny, seconded by Sooze: all in favor that Jesse read his letter as representing the Andover Conservation Commission (ACC) at the next Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) meeting.

Jesse, Sooze, Nancy will attend the April 19 ZBA meeting.  If passed, Robinson will meet with Planning Board on April 26, and there will be a public hearing on the second Tuesday in May with the Planning Board.

Meeting of area conservation commissions: Nancy will pass the minutes on to us when she receives them. Takeaways: some towns are getting help from colleges with projects; several communities are having talks on plastics, especially micro-plastics that we ingest.  We would like to take part if there is another presentation.  In April there is a meeting for chairs and co-chairs; – Nancy will attend.

Natural Resource Inventory: When to update? How often is that done? Ideally, every 10 years. Tina documented everything with online links, so most of it should be up-to-date. Details of conserved lands may need to be updated. GRANIT is updated regularly.

Questions from townspeople: Piles of dirt on Bay Road: Are they too close to the river? Is this something we or DES need to look into?

Can  the Town do more recycling?  There was a Recycling Committee that was disbanded by the Select Board. Who negotiates what recycling we do? The staff at the Transfer Station, but the Select Board would have to approve?  It would be good to support the Town making good choices about recycling. Vicky Mishcon and Danbury on recycling some plastics might be good sources for information.

Need to continue to look for members for ACC and Lakes Region Planning Commission.

Budget: Any balance from previous year in the ACC fund can be rolled over into the next year, but must be requested and voted at Town Meeting. Must appear as a warrant article, and submitted to Select Board and Budget Committee by January 15.
Warrant Article: To increase percentage of amount received from lands coming out of Current Use. We are currently receiving 50%; many towns get 100%. It is not a reliable source of income for the Town.  Nancy can check with Elita to see what the income has been over the last few years. With the conservation subdivision, we may see more land coming out of Current Use.  However, people in town might see this resulting in less revenue for the Town.

Beaver Deceiver Update: Elbow Pond and Emery Road seem fine. Valley Road looks fine, but the adjacent landowner would like to see it removed or upgraded. DES needs to be involved in removal. Summer would be the best time to do that for least impact.

Wetland Buffer Signage: Lee will drill holes in signs and send out possible dates to install them. We will need to buy security stainless steel fasteners to attach them. Nancy made a motion to buy supplies to install signs not to exceed $100; Jesse seconded, all in favor.

Partnering with Other Groups: Andover Historical Society:  good turn out for geological presentation.  It was recorded and will be posted on the Andover Historical Society website. 
Andover Garden Club, Andover Hub (Earth Day):  town-wide clean up: Nancy will check to see how we can help out.  Garden Club is talking about planting native plants, looking into purchasing things wholesale.

Both libraries have seed collections, free for the taking.  Lee will put in the next library newsletter, ask Garden Club if they want to be mentioned or have a seed exchange at the libraries.

John Bentley: lilac presentation/project at schools: the Katie Bentley Lilac Project.  He’d like to do a presentation in town. He is going to be doing a lilac pruning workshop in June with the Garden Club – can we co-sponsor? Nancy will check in with Mary Lou.

NH Lakes: Should we look into starting a lake host program? 

Planning Board would like to have a member of the ACC on the Planning Board. They meet the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month.  Nancy will attend the next meeting.