Webster path, firehouse roof, residential land fill quandary all points of discussion by Selectboard

June 26, 2012 Selectboard meeting

by Margo Callaghan

The Selectboard meeting on Tuesday, June 26 allowed time on the agenda under “Old Business” for discussion and a vote to authorize construction on the continuation of the Webster Road multi-use path. Public Works Director Bernie Gagnon was on hand to report that he met with the Paths Committee and Blaine Newton, who is the new owner of the former Caldwell property.  The goal of the meetings was to hammer out a compromise for the extension of the Webster Road multi use path—a portion of which would be on the Newton property. Gagnon reported that a compromise had been reached which calls for the 10-foot wide path to transition to a 6-foot width with 3-foot green stripe on the Newton property, and then expand to an 8-foot width, which would require no easement for the Newton portion of the plan. What must still be determined is the cost to move existing fences on the Newton property right of way, and whether the Town will offset a portion of the expense to the property owner. With one dissenting vote cast by board member Gary von Stange, the board authorized Town Manager Paul Bohne to “negotiate in good faith” with Newton in order to move ahead with the path’s continuation to Spear Street. Von Stange’s vote was against the town’s funding any of the fence removal and replacement cost, since he felt it should be a cost bared by Newton as property owner.

“I came to the town on Jan. 4 [2012], and asked [Town planning and Zoning Administrator] John Adams for a permit,” stated Marcos Llona, property owner of 141 Pinehurst Drive. “He said ‘you don’t need one.’” Llona’s statement was in response to the synopsis offered by Chair Bill Smith as background for the zoning violations Llona faces. In January, neighbors notified the Town that large quantities of fill were being added to Llona’s back yard. The Town sent a letter to Llona in January requiring him to develop and submit an erosion and sediment control plan, since the quantity of fill was in excess of the 1,000 sq. ft. threshold that requires a permit. The actual amount of fill Llona dumped on his property is estimated at 3,500 sq. ft. according to the Town Manager.  Adams issued Llona a notice of violation when there was no communication from Llona regarding the letter.

Bohne stated, “We really want the project brought under compliance. We believe it can be.” He continued, saying there is a need for cooperation from the homeowner, and without that, “the next step is to file a complaint with the court.”

“The Town made a mistake. That’s the bottom line here,” Llona stated. “I’m not at fault.” He questioned why the Town permitted the first load of dirt that was deposited, given that it was unloaded so close to a brook which should have been a violation, yet none of the Town administrators noted that as an issue. Board member von Stange questioned how many loads of fill was dumped, to which Llona said it was less than 20 loads. Von Stange also questioned why Llona did not appeal to the Development Review Board as was his right within 30 days of the receipt of the notice. The Selectboard opted to continue deliberation on the issue in executive session, whereby it was agreed that the issue be placed on the July 10 Selectboard meeting agenda for further discussion.

Other business

By unanimous vote, and with Fire Chief Jerry Ouimet in the audience, the Selectboard designated $28,000 from the 2011-2012 General Fund balance for the replacement of the roof on the firehouse.

The Board voted to accept a portion of Pine Haven Shore Road as a Town highway following improvements to the road by the Pine Haven Shores Homeowner’s Assoc.

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