Planning Board Minutes, June 25, 2013

Condensed from approved minutes

Members present: Paul Currier, Chair; Jon Warzocha, Vice-Chair; Pat Moyer; Harvey Pine, alternate; Nancy Teach; Wood Sutton; Duncan Coolidge, ex-officio, joined the meeting at 7:20 PM.

Also present for duration of appropriate items: Jim Danforth, Board of Selectmen.

Presence of a Quorum: Harvey Pine was appointed as a voting member in Don Gould’s absence.

Issuance of Violation Notice

Progress on a notice of violation drafted to be presented to the owners of 92 Main Street was discussed. Mr. Danforth indicated that the Board of Selectmen discussed the matter, and the notice will be sent on June 28. Mr. Currier called for a vote from the Planning Board to reinforce the need for the Board of Selectmen to send the notice. The vote received unanimous support.

Previous Notice of Complaint

The property on Beech Hill Road discussed as possibly being in violation of zoning ordinances during the June 11 meeting was investigated by Roger Kidder. It was reported to the Planning Board that the property was not in violation.

Notice of Violations and Enforcement Processes

Mr. Currier discussed the process of identifying and enforcing building and zoning ordinance violations. They are summarized as follows:

The Building Inspector, currently Roger Kidder, will look for, or receive reports of, possible violations and investigate them.

Violations will be presented to the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen. The Planning Board will make a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen regarding the issuance of a notice of violation. The Board of Selectmen will determine whether or not to issue a notice of violation.

A cease and desist order – with its statutory framework – will be issued if the notice of violation does not end the violation.

The cease and desist order is enforceable in district court. No attorney is required to be present at the district court hearing; however, in order to prosecute, an authorized prosecuting official must represent the Town.

The cease and desist order could go to superior court. A town attorney must be present at the hearing.

The process for civil penalties was also discussed. It was noted that the first offense could result in a $275 civil penalty with the second offense resulting in a $500 civil penalty or greater. In the case of a civil offense, the civil penalty could reach $25,000. Furthermore, a conviction could be a criminal offense and would be classified as a misdemeanor for a natural person and a felony for a corporation.

The Town has the option of prosecuting the offense as a violation at its discretion. This would make the process similar to how traffic violations are currently handled. The Town would need to set up a violation fee schedule.

Building Permit Fee Schedule

A fee schedule for building permits was presented by Mr. Currier and discussed. There was discussion on driveway permits and the need to collect the information when receiving building permit applications. It was noted that the regulations regarding driveway permits originate from the Planning Board and are enforced by the Road Agent. Mr. Currier recommended a review of the regulations for update and to advise the Board of Selectmen.

Mr. Warzocha noted that identification of Current Use was not included in the permit. It was indicated that the Building Inspector should notice changes to Current Use and act accordingly.

Building Inspector’s Fees

The Building Inspector’s fees will need to be negotiated with the Board of Selectmen. A determination will also need to be made concerning legal fees.

Proposed Zoning Board Revisions

The proposed Zoning Board revisions were reviewed by Mr. Currier and commented upon. Mr. Warzocha had concerns with Article VII Section B and suggested new language for clarity.

Mr. Currier noted the Board needs to complete the work on the revisions by August to allow for the necessary amount of time for public announcement prior to a special Town Meeting.

The ballot for the special Town Meeting was also discussed.

Recreational Vehicle Article

Discussion on this article was tabled until the next meeting.