Town of Fitzwilliam
Planning Board Meeting
October 18, 2011
Members present: Terry Silverman, Robin Peard Blais, Rick Brackett, Suzanne Gray, Paul Haynes-Alternate for Carlotta Pini, and Nancy Carney, Selectmen’s representative.
Others Present: Paul Grasewicz, alternate
Call to Order: 7:05 PM
Silverman seated Haynes for Pini.
7:00 PM Public hearing: Nancy Heglin application for a boundary line adjustment between properties located on West Lake Road and Putney Road, Map 6, Lot 36-1 and Lot 36-2, Rural District.
Silverman reviewed the application and moved to accept it as complete. Blais seconded the motion and the Board voted aye. Paul Grasewicz introduced the plan saying it represents a completed survey of the property and pins have been set. Plans were distributed that he said were not different from the one presented at the preliminary consultation. He described the plan as a result of Mrs. Heglin’s decision to place her home for sale and wanting to reduce her lot size to give additional acreage to her daughter on an abutting lot.
An easement was created to allow access to a sub-surface footing drain should maintenance ever be needed. The footing drain benefits Lot 36-1. The new boundary line follows a stone wall north and then veers northwest to the northern boundary line, so Lot 36-1 will have 5.011 acres with 327 feet of frontage on West Lake Road. Following the BLA, parcel A, not a building lot, will be merged with Lot 36-2 through a voluntary merger and Lot 36-2 will then have 13.936 acres and 533 feet of frontage on Putney Road.
The Board agreed the plan looks good. Blais moved, Haynes seconded and the Board approved the Boundary Line Adjustment application as presented.
7:15PM Preliminary consultation with prospective Crossroads lessee regarding operating an internet café in the Crossroads, Map 34, Lot 27, General Business District.
Attorney Mullen and Mr. Ernesto presented a letter explaining the business proposal for an internet café in the Crossroads. The purpose of the café, according to their letter, which is attached to these minutes, is “to offer its patrons Fax, computer and photocopy services and the sale of internet access, long distance and international phone and gift cards.”
Mr. Mullen assured the Board it would not be a gambling site. Promotions will be offered to patrons who purchase and use internet access cards and they can decide whether to participate in the offers. Gray asked for a description of the promotional giveaway programs mentioned in the proposal. Mr. Ernesto said there is no purchase necessary to participate in the promotional offers and the patron chooses which promotions and how to participate.
Mr. Ernesto said they plan to offer telecommunication and other related products for sale, for example, cell phones, battery chargers, etc. They will not offer food or beverages fro sale as the landlord has an exclusive contract with Ed’s Pizza for food and beverage service.
Mr. Ernesto will be the office manager and both he and Mr. Mullen join others investors to support the business. Mr. Ernesto said a patron will purchase phone time, and then receive sweepstakes credits which can be used to enter phone sweepstakes and other retailers’ sweepstakes and win prizes. Gray asked who the other retailers were. Mr. Mullen said Coca Cola and Este Lauder and the like.
Blaise wondered if the benefit was for people who do not have a computer at home. Mr. Mullen agreed, adding this is a business center for people. Mr. Ernesto said he lives in Groton MA, which, like Fitzwilliam, has limited internet access and people need access and also help with faxing and copying.
Silverman asked where in the Crossroads building they plan to locate. The space is in the back, through the French doors at the rear of the front entry hallway in the former Emporium space. There are five other tenant spaces for rent in the back area. The café will have access to a small kitchen area and two bathrooms. Mr. Mullen described the space as being already built out for this business, with electric, phone and cable outlets. They do not anticipate any further build out of the space. They will move in furniture and computers and be ready for business. Each computer station will have a computer touch screen, a mouse and keyboard.
The business will be staffed at all times and they initially plan to be open from 10 or 11 AM through the supper hour. Mr. Mullen said the hours of operation are to be determined once they see what is needed.
They do not own any other businesses like this. The BIGS Café in Nashua has a similar business model but they serve food and beverages.
Blais asked if they had considered holding computer classes. They said they would be open to this kind of thing.
Gray asked them to “walk her through” the process once a patron enters the café. The process is basically come in, purchase a telephone internet access card, log on and do your business and have the opportunity to respond to promotional offers.
Silverman noted that, absent a category fitting this description, retail use and business office uses are allowed uses in the general business district. He wondered if the business would increase the septic loading. Mr. Mullen did not think it would but assured the board that the business would be “up to snuff.” Existing lighting will be used and every computer station will have its own light. Carney will pass the plan along to the Fire Chief fro review. All means of egress exit into the building, not to the outside and the Fire Chief will look at this.
The consensus of the Board is that this is a pretty straightforward proposal and they see no need for a formal site plan review. They told the client to see the Board of Selectmen for signage permits and for any interior work they may plan.
Jim LaValley, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, asked if this business was using the same business model as BIGS Internet Café in Nashua. Mr. Mullen agreed it was similar. The differences are that BIGS sells food and beverages, and offers sports tickets for sale.
Silverman said that in terms of the Planning Board, they could proceed.
7:30 PM Preliminary consultation: William Nagel to discuss using his home located at 642 Route 119 W as a satellite office of New England Woodworking, with a home office located in Rhode Island; Map 10, Lot 23-2, Rural District.
Mr. Nagel was not present.
7:45 PM Preliminary consultation: Car Guyz Auto Recyclers to discuss construction of a new 50X125 metal storage building behind fence on property located at 484 Route 12 S, Map 8, Lot 20, Rural District.
Alan Bartlett met with the Board about constructing a heated, dry storage building for parts. Currently parts from vehicles that have been recycled are stored in 8-10 tractor trailer bodies or outdoors. He’d like to have a place where all salvaged parts can be displayed for customers, and so that whole salvaged cars do not have to be kept on site. The building will not be used for disassembling vehicles. The building as proposed will add 10,416 square feet. He may be able to get rid of the trailer bodies.
The new building will be located behind the existing fence to the right of the existing building. He plans to tie into the existing septic system and well so there can be water and a small bathroom in the building for employees. The existing water system has a DES filtering system on it to clean any water from disassembling vehicles and he want to tie into that water system after the filtration system, rather that at the well. He plans to put in hydrants and fire extinguishers too. There is a grade difference, which he plans to utilized by putting in ramps for trucks to load and unload.
Silverman noted the business is in the general industrial district and is a pre-existing nonconforming use. A warehouse is an allowed use in the GID. He said the Board needed to determine if this constitutes an expansion of the use. The Board agreed it would be an improvement for the site. Silverman feels this is an improvement rather than an extension in area of the business. No additional area will be added to the business.
Mr. Bartlett said he uses fluorescent lighting now and plans to have a photovoltaic cell for lighting the doors and sides of the business. He also plans to add security cameras. Gray encouraged him to insure that all lighting at night is aimed downwards to reduce night sky illumination. Grasewicz encouraged him to research the ROW setbacks in that area, saying that the Route 12 corridor varies in that area.
Silverman encouraged Mr. Bartlett to return to the Board when his plans are more definite, with lighting, fire suppression and setbacks, etc. on a site plan. It is the consensus of the Board that this is a good plan.
Minutes. Blais moved, Haynes seconded and the Board approved the minutes of the October 4, 2011 meeting as written.
8:00 PM Open Space Committee to present the Open Space Plan to the Board and to recommend its inclusion in the Master Plan.
Rick Brackett and Paul Kotila presented the draft plan. Members of the Board were given copies of it for review.
Brackett said the Open Space Committee had worked on the plan for more than a year. They surveyed people in town through individual surveys and by meeting with many groups in town. They estimate about 10% of the town responded. Both UNH Cooperative Extension and NH Fish and Game participated in educational efforts during this time. The plan is not an overlay district, nor are there regulatory functions associated with the plan. It reflects focus areas developed by the Committee according to the surveys and the Open Space tools developed in the NRI.
He noted that the Laurel Lake watershed is completely within the town borders and only 2% of the Rockwood Pond watershed is outside of town. Kotila noted the Laurel Lake watershed is small which is good, in that it does not drain a large area, keeping the Lake fairly clean.
The goal of the Open Space Plan is too make more conservation land available for public use and enjoyment. The committee looked at the NH Wildlife Action Plan and tried to connect conservation areas and their priority focus areas as identified by the surveys, creating a “green” circle around the town.
They would like it to be adopted by the Planning Board as part of the Master Plan. IF adopted as a public document it can provide support for individuals as they create conservation easements on their property and work with the IRS to meet their regulations.
Gray asked if the Committee was asking the Planning Board to take action to protect certain areas. Brackett said no, the focus areas are intended to help the Conservation Commission with education and conservation efforts.
The Open Space Committee has feedback forms available and are actively soliciting feedback from the Board and the public.
Nancy Carney spoke with the Board about operating her business, Birds and Things, online from her home, rather than from the storefront on NH Route 12. The home already houses their photographic business. There will be no signage. They expect some infrequent deliveries of product but no retail traffic. The business will consist of a fax a computer and a telephone. The Board agreed it was all right to have this business in her home.
The Board adjourned at 8:4 5 PM.