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Alton function facility approved

by Tim Croes
Staff Writer - The Baysider
July 25, 2012
ALTON — The Alton Planning Board amended a pair of conditions for applications, approved a final major site plan, amended a major site plan and reviewed site plans during its meeting on Tuesday, July 17.

James Cowles came before the board to speak on behalf of Kathleen and Micheal Currier about their proposed commercial function facility on Prospect Mountain Road that would be used to have weddings and other social events.

The property is located in the Rural Zone, and Ken McWilliams, the town planner, gave an overview of the request. He did research on the noise issue and supplied the board with his results. McWilliams recommended that the board accept the application as complete, which the board approved unanimously.

McWilliams explained how the noise levels are measured and member Bill Curtin asked if the stockade fence would help with the noise level.

McWilliams said it would block some of the noise, but it wouldn't reduce the noise significantly. He said that most other towns establish a 65-decibel noise level maximum from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., dropping it to 55 decibels between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. He recommended that the board establish those levels at the property line.

Chairman Scott Williams asked what the hours were in the current town ordinance.

McWilliams said that in the zoning ordinance for commercial function facility review of the criteria is establishment and enforcement of quiet, which are set from 10 p.m. until 10 a.m.

In the town ordinance, under the category of radios and phonographs, it states that the operation of such devices between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. is a violation of the noise ordinance if audible within 50 feet of the home.

Member Roger Sample asked what the time span on a usual event would be and Kathleen Currier said that most events would start around 1 p.m. and go until 10 or 11 p.m. She said she would abide by whatever the decision is.

Sample asked if 10 p.m. would be an adequate time to start quiet hours and Currier said it would.

Cowles mentioned that a DJ stopped by and ran decibel levels of 90 at the sound source, which would provide a level of 65 decibels without the sound fence in place.

Carol Locke asked the board to consider the 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. window for quiet hours and put more buffers in.

Bill Mannin spoke in favor of the facility and feels the noise should be addressed later after the functions have happened.

Locke asked if there was a report written by the DJ and was told there was no report.

Cowles stated that the Curriers have received a certificate of completion for a crown manager workshop.

Ed Constantino of the Alton Fire Department mentioned that the department may not need to inspect the property for every event, as some are smaller and that they would need to give the department 48 hours notice.

A motion was made and approved with several conditions precedent and subsequent conditions.

Some of the conditions precedent included no music between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., a 65-decibel noise level between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. and a 55-decibel noise level from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m.

Robert Carleton came before the board to ask for an amendment for one of the conditions of approval for the proposed 147-unit RV park.

One of the conditions required wetland buffer boundaries to be flagged every 25 feet with permanent markers identifying them as wetland buffers.

Carleton proposed to use boulders along the road adjacent to the wetlands as the method marking the wetland buffer boundaries.

McWilliams gave an overview of the request and recommended that the board require a wetland marker every 200 feet so people know what the boulders are marking.

Member Tom Hoopes requested that the markers be every 100 feet.

Carleton stated that the boulders would be like a wall completely surrounding the wetlands and would be 25 feet or more from the wetlands. He felt the markers could be 200 feet because the park will discuss the wetlands.

The board approved the motion to grant the waiver for the wetland buffers markers every 25 feet and the boundary markers to be placed every 200 feet along the wetland buffer as long as the boulders are all contiguous.

John Jeddrey, trustee of the Jeddrey Realty Trust, requested a condition of the decision for the Ridgewood Subdivision requiring the paving of the roads in Phase I, except for the final wear course of asphalt, be extended. He is also requesting his security be reduced to $169,133.18.

The board approved reducing the security to the recommended amount.

McWilliams reported that Jeddrey did pave the 1,300 feet of McDuffy Road from Old Wolfeboro Road past the new house that been built in that subdivision.

Jeddrey is proposing that he would continue with gravel work on the Ridgewood Road this year and then once he has sold a lot he would complete the paving of the roads in Phase I, except for the final wear course of asphalt.

A motion was made to approve the alternate proposal for paving in Phase I, upon the sale of another lot.

Hoopes amended the motion to say to pave it after the sale of the lot or according to the weather to have it done before a certificate of occupancy is issued for a new residence. The board approved the motion.

Dean Puzzo, of Jobean LLC is requesting an amended major site plan on property located on Homestead Place.

He is proposing to have effective and improved parking, traffic-flow and building layout and orientation by positioning the remaining 4,100 square feet of retail and office space to the rear of the expanded parking area. This property is in the Residential Commercial Zone.

McWilliams gave an overview of the amended proposed site and recommended that the board accept the application as complete. The board accepted the application as complete.

John Dever, the building inspector, stated his concern, as the building will need to conform to the requirements of the International Building Code for commercial development and not the international residential code.

McWilliams recommended that the board approve the amended site plan, and the board approved the plan with conditions precedent and subsequent conditions.

A design review of the site plans for the Spring Haven Campground was held. The plan was approved on Jan. 16, 2007. The owners of the campground did not build the campground according to the approved site plan.

After removing the unit not approved in the campground and moving some other units to complete with setbacks, the Spring Haven Campground LLC is returning to the planning board to propose an alternative site plan for the campground.

The campground has been issued a cease and desist order since they continued to relocate and build porches and decks without proper permits after submitting the plan application.

McWilliams gave an overview of the case. He said that on the advice of the town counsel, the staff recommends the planning board reject the design review site plan application until the cease and desist order is resolved in court and further recommended that the planning board require that the applicant reapply for the design review site application after the cease and desist order is resolved in court.

Benie Lynch and Simon C. Leeming appeared to represent the application.

The board was polled and they agreed to follow the advice of town counsel. There was no further discussion on the application.

The board approved the minutes from the June 19 meeting.

McWilliams reported that the Community Planning Grant Application was not approved. They can apply again next year, but it would only be a one-year grant.

The next scheduled meeting of the Alton Planning Board is on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 6 p.m. at the Alton Town Hall.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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