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Moultonboro hears alternate designs for Lions Club property


June 30, 2010
MOULTONBORO — Selectmen are voicing approval for a new concept for the Lion's Club property but want to see thorough design work.

The Board of Selectmen met with design principles for a proposed soccer field and any future design concepts for the property last Thursday.

Discussion on the Lions Club property last took place on March 26 where several selectmen took issue with the position of the proposed soccer field as well as a seeming rush to start the project.

In a video of Thursday's meeting posted on a citizen website, Terenzini with engineer Ray Korber and landscape architect Doug Grenier of g2 + 1 presented three alternative designs to the Board of Selectmen. The designs also included a community center building, though town officials reiterated that such a design was for planning purposes only and any decisions would have to be made by voters at a future town meeting.

The original design put the soccer field on the far east side of the property with a proposed building on the west side. Concerns arose, however, that the soccer field encroached on wetlands and was too close to Old Route 109 as well as concern for the abutting property owned by Bob Wallace.

The three designs were labeled Concepts F, G, and H.

Concept F puts the soccer field on the west side of the property running angled in a north-south direction. The parking lot would be on the far east side of the property and the proposed building around the middle

Korber said this would put the field in a position not to encroach on the wetlands setbacks. Korber and Grenier said this plan would not give much room and the north-south position of the field would be less than ideal.

Concept G is similar to the original concept, though Grenier and Korber said the design was tightened with much of the central area being taken out so the structures could be shifted 40 to 50 feet closer. With this design drainage could accumulate on a grassy surface as opposed to an impervious surface.

Korber said Concept H was delivered to them within 12 to 24 hours of Thursday's meeting and had yet to have full drainage calculations.

In Concept H, the soccer field is also on the far west side of the and close to the Lions Club building. The community services building was flipped around and parking was put in the middle. This would allow space for a green buffer between the property and Old Route 109. Drainage would be more of a free flow from the playing fields, though exact designs had yet to be calculated.

Grenier said the plans were done with the current Lions Club building remaining on the property as they were instructed to do. Grenier said removing the building would provide much more greenspace to work with.

Korber strongly recommended taking a careful look at programming and concept before making any decisions.

Terenzini said all three of these plans were presented with the caveats that they did not fully meet the physical plant as described in the Recreation Strategic Plan.

Additionally all three of them do not entirely comply with the town's zoning requirements for a ratio cap to a proposed building. Terenzini said the board told him the building was not to have more floorspace than three times that of the Lions Club building. Some members of the board were adamant about the town following the same zoning requirements as any other builder.

The Lions Club has 5,250 square feet while the first floor of a possible community services building has, including the first and second floor, a total of 13,500 in the community services wing and 23,250 in the gymnasium wing.

According to town zoning ordinances, a proposed building in the Rural Agricultural Zone with a footprint more than 6,000 square feet must apply for a special exception and apply for a second special exception if the footprint exceeds 12,000 square feet.

"Bottom line is you're not allowed to have this use in this zone unless you get special exception or take advantage of your exemption," Terenzini said.

Selectman Betsey Patten said the area covering two stories was "more palatable" than the full 23,000 square feet spread into one area.

Selectman Karel Crawford said Concept H most reflected what the designers were asked to do and focuses on current and future needs.

"To me, Concept H gives you the whole package," Crawford said.

Patten noted how the field is not encroaching on the wetlands in Concept H plus the design does not have a parking lot along Route 109, which is somewhat unsightly.

Selectman James Gray and Board Chair Joel Mudgett also voiced support for H.

Selectman Ed Charest said he wanted to get the opinion of the Planning Board, though Mudgett said he did not want to go through a series of hearings until the board was set on what was going to happen.

Terenzini said the information would not be as thorough as the Planning Board would require without much more money and study.

"I hate to have us put a bunch of money into a whole bunch of drainage for a building that may not be here," Mudgett said.

Grenier said plans could be done on a conceptual level, and Korber said a conceptual study could be brought to the Planning Board. Charest said designs can get an informal review by the Planning Board.

Grenier said the situation should not be boxed in so that no further options are available.

"I would not recommend investing a lot of money into a building that may or may not be there," Korber said.

The designers will work on further plans before the issue comes to a public hearing. Terenzini also said the town's contract with Korber was nearly exhausted and the final numbers would be needed for a new contract.

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