Minutes of the Hancock Planning Board Meeting
August 18th, 2010
Members present: Tom Bates, Carolyn Boland, Steve Froling, Rich LeFebvre, Roberta Nylander, Mark Stevens, and Linda Coughlan, Recording Secretary
Others Attending: John Champ, Kevin Delaney, Richard Voci, and Tony Germanetto, from Industrial Tower & Wireless, Jon Grosjean, Sue Smith, and Philip Mathewson
7:00 P.M. Froling called the meeting to order. The minutes of the July 21st and August 12th meetings were accepted as presented.
7:15 P.M. Froling called the hearing to order and thanked everyone for attending. He reminded everyone to sign the attendance sheet if they hadnt already done so. Froling noted that the hearing was being recorded so it would help if everyone identified themselves when speaking.
Since everyone attending had also been at the July 21st hearing, Froling said he would like to bypass the explanation of the procedures etc. and commence with the hearing.
Froling said he would like to go through, so that its in the record, the documentation that has been exchanged since the last meeting. He added that he would like to thank the applicant for responding so quickly to the Boards request for further information.
On the 30th of July, Froling said that the Board wrote to the applicant making comments on the completeness of the application and had also asked them for further information.
On the 9th of August the applicant responded with a memo from Kevin Delaney to Mark Hutchins to comments that Mark Hutchins had made which were attached to the Boards letter of July 30th. Froling said that document contained in various tabs, information about coverage issues, various heights of the antenna, information about other sites that that the applicant had considered and also contained a letter from Donald Haes who identifies himself as a radiation safety specialist. In that letter Haes concluded the radio frequency exposure at ground level is one-half percent of one percent of the current federal RF guidelines.
On the 13th of August the Board had a response from Mark Hutchins, the Boards expert in this matter. The response was a two page document which had been shared with the applicant. Hutchins said this was a preliminary response and he will finish his work when he gets back from vacation. But he concluded a couple of things preliminarily. One is that there is a coverage gap which needs to be addressed and has been identified by the applicant and that he needs to do some further work to peer review the analysis of the coverage. He has also taken on board some of the applicants considerations in selecting this site and not a site at the top of Norway Hill.
On the 12th of August the Board held a site visit and observed a balloon test which Froling said they would discuss later on. He went on to say that this morning the Board received a further submission from the applicant dated the 16th. Froling said it was a letter from Laurie Groppi which contained site photographs, balloon test photographs, a proposed hold harmless letter, a statement of co-location and a determination from the FAA that this proposal poses no hazard to air navigation.
Froling said the Board also received today, August 18th, a copy of an email from Kurt Grassett, the Director of Public Works, commenting on the driveway permit application thats pending with him. The Board received tonight, a response to that email from the applicant to Kurt Grassett moving forward on his concerns on the driveway permit.
Froling said he thought that was all of the documents that had come in since the last meeting and obviously the Board has not considered all of the material, but now that they have it, they will be able to consider it. At this time Richard Voci came forward and said that he had copies of the revised site plans with a couple of changes in response to the issues Grassett had addressed. Voci said the revised site plan now had a turn around in the easement area. Froling said he would put that with the rest of the file.
Froling said obviously a major issue that they would have to consider is radio frequency and coverage issues, but since Board doesnt have the report from the Boards expert, he said he doesnt feel that they could progress with that at this time. But Froling said he would like to address, if they could, the balloon test and get the reactions from the Board or from any members of the public, although he didnt see any, because he thinks that any concerns are something that could be passed on to Hutchins so that he could take that into account when he gives the board his report.
He asked if any of the Board members wanted to report on what they had observed at the balloon test. He said he knew they had gone off in pairs in different directions. Bates said the main area that you could see the balloon was in the driveway to Mathesons property. He added that it didnt seem to be that visible from anywhere else. Froling asked Nylander if that was consistent with what she had observed. She said they could see a little bit on Rt. 202 and maybe when the leaves were off, it might be seen more. But she said it really couldnt be seen from anywhere but on Mathewsons property. Froling said he and LaPlante drove around and could see it with some difficulty but only when they stopped the car; they couldnt see it from the interior. He added that they couldnt see it from any other location adding that they had also driven farther up on Norway Hill by Janet Schaffers and were unable to pick it up from there. Boland said she couldnt see the balloon very much as she had driven around.
Froling summarized that it appeared the sentiment of the Board was that the view of the proposed tower didnt appear to be of great concern. He asked the one member of the public in attendance if she wished to comment, and she did not.
Kevin Delaney came forward to show photos of five different locations from which the balloon could be seen. The first photo was from the entrance to the property. The second photo was along Rt. 202 North of Norway Hill Road. The third photo was father north up Rt. 202, north of Elmwood Road. The fourth photo was south of Norway Hill Road and the fifth photo was from Kimball Road, at the horse farm. Delaney also referenced the modified site plan that was in compliance with the driveway standards. He noted the dense foliage and tree cover that would help to shield the tower from public view.
Froling went on to discuss with the Board the responses to some of the other issues that had been addressed by the applicants in their response to the Planning Boards letter of 7/30.
Landscaping Froling asked the Board if they had any comments regarding landscaping. He said it was clear from their visit that the site is surrounded by woods with a tree canopy of perhaps 70 or 80 feet and that is is well screened from roadways. He commented that this was the time for any neighbors to come forward if they had any issues and noted there were none here. Boland said it looked like it was adequately screened and that there was no intention to cut that area outside the enclosure back down. Froling said he imagined that that it could be a condition that the vegetation screening around it be maintained.
Design Issues Froling asked the Board if they had looked at monopole design and had any comments regarding it. There were no comments made by the Board or the public.
External Lighting Froling said that the Board has had clarification that there would no lighting at the top and that there is no navigation lighting. There will be some form of emergency lighting at ground level around the compound which will be tripped on if someone enters it, a motion sensor light. The applicant stated that there will be no constant lighting at the facility.
RF Exposure Froling said the Board has a letter from Donald Haes, Jr., Ph.D, and Certified Health Physicist which the Board can examine in which he concludes that the maximum exposure RF exposure at full tilt to be less than one-half of one percent of the current RF guidelines. Froling said if there were any questions concerning this, now was the time to raise them. There were no questions from the Board or the public.
Froling said the Board had questioned the applicant about whether they can grant a full permit without completing the subdivision and their submission today says that they are content with making the granting of the application conditional upon the subdivision approval.
Froling went on to say there are the various issues under the General Conditions under the Conditional Use Permit and the applicant has responded to all of these. He read over briefly the following responses the applicant had submitted in the packet.
Regarding the first condition, Froling said the applicants said that the site is appropriate for the use because the site already is an industrial use and since its screened visually from the neighbors it would be an appropriate use.
On the second condition, Froling said the applicants state the use would not have an affect on property values because of the heavy vegetation, high trees and visibility would be minimal.
The applicants stated because of the light traffic use, maybe three or four vehicles a month, there would not be any traffic impact.
Regarding water and waste, Froling said since there was no water or waste involved, the applicants didnt address that.
Froling went on to say that these are basically the general conditions and he thinks they have addressed all of those and if people have questions or evidence to provide during these proceedings, they should come forward.
Froling said the Board requires some additional information that he thinks the applicants are aware of. They are moving forward with the driveway permit and they have said they will address stromwater handling. Froling said he thinks the Board might consult with the Building Inspector to see if he thinks there may be storm water handling issues.
Regarding the NEPA evaluation, the applicants said they are completing the evaluation process and will provide a report when the process is complete.
Regarding the Historic Preservation District, Froling said he thinks the tower will not be visible from the Historic District but the applicants will be consulting with the NH Division of Historical Resources and will provide documentation to the Board when they have it.
Regarding the Co-Location statement, it was the consensus of the Board that Froling consult with Bart Mayer.
On other locations, Froling noted that the applicant has provided detailed maps showing the locations of other cell towers in a 20 mile radius, both active and inactive. He added that Mark Hutchins will be able to give the Board guidance on this.
Regarding the Hold Harmless Statement, it was the consensus of the Board that Froling consult with Bart Mayer on this matter too.
Concerning the building code and safety standards, Froling said he thinks Charlie Stevenson; the Building Inspector should be consulted on this since ultimately he will be issuing the building permit for this.
The issue of a bond for removal was discussed briefly and Froling advised the applicant that a bond would be required but this was a matter for the Selectboard. The applicant said they usually provide that once they have the building permit. Froling also said there was the matter of liability insurance which he thought may also be deferred to a later time in the process.
Froling said that was his checklist and the applicant has responded to all of the issues except for those which they have said they will respond to. He asked the Board and the public for any comments or questions and there were none.
Froling asked the applicant when they thought they would be ready with the additional documents. They thought they would be ready for the next meeting except for the NEPA and the NH Division of Historic Resources statement which could take 60 to 90 days. They asked if the receipt of these items could be considered as a condition to the approval of the application. The consensus of the Board was that this should not be any problem.
It was decided to continue the hearing to September 15th at 7:00 P.M.
Froling said the Board should have Mark Hutchins report by September 1st and it was decided the Board would meet that night to discuss his evaluation.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:40 P.M.
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