Planning Board Meeting

Meeting date: 
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Planning Board

January 16, 2018

Approved February 20, 2018


Members Present: Bruce Healey, Chair; Deane Geddes, Vice-Chair; Bill Weiler, Deane Geddes, Members; Richard Wright, Alternate; Russell Smith, Ex-officio Member; Ken McWilliams, Advisor.


Mr. Healey called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


Mr. Healey appointed Mr. Wright as a voting member for this meeting, replacing Ron Williams.





There were no minutes available for review.


Envision Newbury 2027 Master Plan

Mr. Healey reviewed with the Board the items in the Newbury Master Plan pertaining to specific Action Items that the Planning Board is responsible for tracking moving forward. He noted that progress on these areas must be reported in the Town Report each year. With that in mind, Mr. Healey indicated that various boards/committees will be formed in the months ahead to address the Action Items listed below. Each Board member received a copy of same.


The Action Plan (Envision Newbury 2027 Master Plan)


The action items listed in the following tables are a direct result of the research and community input received for each of the chapters addressed in this Master Plan. Implementation of these actions can help Newbury to oversee the realization of the Vision that has been established for the future of the Town.  It is important to recognize that the community itself is a dynamic system, and does not operate in isolation. To that end, this Action Plan has been created as a dynamic tool, and is intended to be modified and updated as necessary to optimize its usefulness. On an annual basis, the status of each action item outlined here will be reported by the responsible party and recorded in the Town Report.


High:  1-3 years    Medium:  3-5 years    Low:  5-10 years


Regional Context

RC- 1 Newbury will continue to participate with the Lake Sunapee Protective Association (LSPA) Watershed Committee efforts to implement the watershed plan and adopt land use regulations to ensure the long term protection of Lake Sunapee. Ongoing:  Planning Board


Demographics and Housing

DH- 2 Conduct a housing needs assessment of the community to identify additional unmet housing needs. This will include an evaluation of the land use regulations for opportunities to develop multifamily residential housing in compliance with state law. This assessment could also identify ways to facilitate the development review process for applicants proposing to develop affordable housing. Medium:  Planning Board


DH- 3 Review and amend the zoning regulations to encourage development of a variety of housing types beyond single family residential units. Create user-friendly zoning regulations such as a one-page description of each district, including text and graphics that clearly communicate the regulations.

High:  Planning Board


Balancing Newbury's Resources

BR- 1 If water quality and flood control in Lake Sunapee and other surface waters is of concern to the town, an overlay zone for the vegetative buffer adjacent to surface water bodies to increase protection of water quality should be investigated. Low:  Planning Board


BR- 2 The Planning Board should consider protecting the water quality in the sand and gravel aquifers, even though they are not presently utilized for public drinking water supplies. Groundwater resources (aquifers) shared with New London and Bradford should also be protected. Low:  Planning Board


BR- 3 The town should identify strategies, including adoption of an Agricultural Commission that will direct future development away from the remaining agricultural soils to preserve the opportunity for food production in the future. An Agricultural Commission serves as an advisory and educational entity but does not have enforcement powers or regulatory authority. Low:  Planning Board


BR- 5 Require developers during Site Plan Review, to identify any historic and cultural resources found on their property, locate them on the site plan, and preserve those resources similar to the requirements included in the Subdivision Regulations under Section 10.2.6 Protection of Historic & Cultural Resources. If archeologically significant discoveries are made during construction, developers are required to stop all work and contact the NH Office of Historic Preservation. High:  Planning Board


BR- 11 Review the potential of expanding the boundaries of the Skyline/Hillside Conservation Overlay District. Include an evaluation of the effectiveness of the administration and enforcement of the provisions of Overlay District, and, if needed, recommendations to improve techniques to administer and enforce the provisions of the District. High:  Planning Board, CEO


BR- 12 Investigate the creation of a Forest Conservation District with a large minimum lot size to preserve large blocks of forested land and ensure low density development in these areas of the community. Low:  Planning Board


BR- 13 Consider developing and adopting local earth excavation regulations for new or expanded gravel pits. Low:  Planning Board


BR- 14 Investigate how Newbury can integrate Low Impact Development (LID) techniques into the Subdivision and Site Plan Regulations to manage stormwater runoff. Medium:  Planning Board



TR- 1 Advocate for the creation of shoulders along state-maintained roadways to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists. Low:  Planning Board


TR- 2 Newbury will endeavor to preserve and enhance use and access to the remaining railroad right-of-way. Low:  Planning Board



T- 2 Review and update Newbury Zoning Ordinance Article 17 to ensure that the regulation of future personal wireless service facilities (telecommunications towers, etc.) can be balanced with other community needs. High:  Planning Board


Community Facilities

CFS- 2 Promote energy conservation and the installation of renewable energy systems on public and private structures.  Refer to NHOEP's 2015 Solar Permitting Guide for materials. Investigate funding and locations for creating renewable energy systems to power municipal operations and contribute to emergency preparedness. High:  Selectboard, Planning Board


CFS- 5 Update the Newbury Capital Improvement Program in 2017 to reflect initiatives in the updated Master Plan. High:  Selectboard, Planning Board


CFS- 8 Continue to require developers to provide a water supply for firefighting purposes or provide their proportional fair share towards the development of a new water supply system. Ongoing:  Planning Board, Fire Dept.


Land Use

LU- 1

Develop design guidelines or standards to encourage an aesthetic that preserves the New England small town character. New commercial or other non-residential buildings should be consistent in site planning with the scale, location, and character of structures within the community. Smaller buildings typical of traditional New England architecture should be encouraged or required. High:  Planning Board


Planning Board Alternate

Mr. Healey introduced Regina Cockerill, Bowles Road, to the Board. Ms. Cockerill has expressed interest in joining the Planning Board as an Alternate. 


Conceptual Application

CASE: Case 2018-001 Conceptual Site Plan Review – Health Family Trust c/o Charter Trust (Owner) Kathy Farland (Agent) – 1485 Route 103, Newbury, NH Tax Map 007-549-130 – Proposing to open and operate as Clue, featuring escape room adventures.


Mr. Healey invited Ms. Farland to address the Board.

Ms. Farland described the proposed business as a puzzle/clue-driven adventure experience. It is a 60-minute timed group activity that involves problem/puzzle solving skills.


Mr. Healey reviewed the definition of a retail selling-of-goods business versus a recreation entertainment/leisure activity business, citing Section 2.3.1 of the zoning ordinance. Mr. Healey concluded that the applicant is selling entertainment (not retail goods) and that indicates a change of use of the property.  He added that a change of use is permitted by Special Exception, Section 3.9.2 of the zoning ordinance.


Mr. Weiler requested that a contract be signed by the business owner to ensure that conditions are met. If conditions are not met, a cease and desist order will be issued.


Mr. Healey informed the applicant of the following required items pertaining to this application:

1.  You will file an application by January 22, 2018 with the ZBA for a public hearing on February 12, 2018 to request approval of a Special Exception for a commercial recreational facility (Section 4.3.11) on the property referenced above.

2.  In anticipation of the Special Exception approval you will file a Minor Site Plan Review application by January 30, 2018 with the Planning Board for a public hearing on February 20, 2018  Your Minor Site Plan Review application must include the following:

            -  Application

            -  Letter of appointment as agent for the building

            -  Paid fees

            -  Abutter list

            -  "Sketch" of the property showing the property boundaries; footprint of building(s) on the property; parking layout; access points to the property; and business signs.

            -  Written summary describing business use; days and hours of operation; number of employees; typical number of parking spaces used; typical number of customers onsite at any one time.

3.  The business use of the building is dependent on Special Exception and Site Plan Review approvals.  However, it was the consensus of the Planning Board that you may open your business immediately.  If you do not receive, Special Exception and Site Plan Review approvals, you agreed to immediately cease use of this building as outlined above.


Mr. Healey stated that if the Special Exception is approved by the Zoning Board of Adjustment, a Minor Site Plan Review will be required. He noted that the required items will include an application, abutter list, written summary of business plan and a sketch of the building and parking area. Mr. Healey noted that the applicant could request a waiver for a full site plan.


Mr. Weiler disagreed, requesting that a full site plan review by the property owner be required, per Article 16.  




Earth Excavation Regulations

The Board continued their discussion from the January 9, 2018 meeting regarding the draft regulations pertaining to earth excavation site in Newbury. Mr. McWilliams proposed changes to the draft and the Board reviewed same.


Discussion points included:

Purpose, scope and definition of earth excavation.

Definition of commercial excavation versus homeowner earth removal activities.

When a permit is required from the planning Board.

Excavations are not permitted in the Aquifer Protection Overlay District.

Appropriate amount of input from the Newbury Conservation Commission.

Application classifications and what determines each classification.


Mr. Healey noted that the Board will continue this discussion at a future meeting.


There being no further discussion, Mr. Healey called for a Motion to Adjourn.


Mr. Smith made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Geddes seconded the motion. All in favor.


Meeting adjourned at 9:09 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Tiffany Favreau

Acting Recording Secretary