Selectmen Decline to Seek Zoning Board Rehearing

HAMPSTEAD – The Board of Selectmen can request a rehearing of a Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) decision if it deems such action is warranted. Monday evening, Ed Lanpher, a former ZBA member, came before the board to express concern with the ZBA’s granting of a variance to allow a duplex to be built on an undersized lot at 30 Depot Road, and asked the selectmen to request a rehearing.
The selectmen declined to do so.

At the June ZBA meeting, the board approved Chris Beaudoin’s request to build a five-bedroom duplex dwelling on a lot that does not meet minimum lot size requirements at 30 Depot Road. The presentation was by his attorney, James Troisi. Beaudoin’s parents plan to occupy one unit of the duplex, and Beaudoin would occupy the other side.

Lanpher said Troisi did not meet either the hardship or spirit of the ordinance requirements for a variance and because of that, the decision should have a rehearing. However, Selectwoman Priscilla Lindquist said she was at the ZBA meeting and indicated both spirit and hardship were addressed. She also said no one on the board or any abutters had any problems with the decision.

Selectman Chairman Sean Murphy asked if either Selectman Rick Hartung or Lindquist wished to ask for a rehearing and both said they were not interested in doing so. Murphy did not wish to do so either, and the board declined to act on Lanpher’s request.

In other business at the July 8 meeting:
• Road Agent Jon Worthen said he is about three-quarters of the way through the projected summer road projects and anticipates having enough money to complete them all.
He agreed to take a question from Lindquist to the Highway Safety Committee. Lindquist said a resident had called to ask that through trucking on Emerson Avenue be halted.
“I was told that the volume of truck traffic is very heavy, especially in the morning, and very loud, and this resident is upset by the increase in truck traffic. I said I would pass it on to the Highway Safety Committee,” she said.
Hartung suggested the Highway Safety Committee should also take a look at restricting West Road traffic, with many cars now using it to try and beat the lights. Selectmen’s Clerk Tina Harrington said there was a complaint about increased traffic on Courtney Lane that the Highway Safety Committee should look at as well.
• Four bids submitted for line striping were opened. The selectmen moved to give the bids to Worthen for his recommendation. Worthen came back at the end of the meeting and said he had selected the low bidder, Industrial Traffic Lines of Londonderry. He said not only was it the low bidder but the company did the work last year as well, and he was satisfied with its work.
The board approved his recommendation.
• Police Chief Joe Beaudoin received approval to use Detail Fund money to pay his officers to work the St. Anne’s Summerfest road race as usual.
• Hartung reiterated the state Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) explanation of how the police station “One and Done” would impact tax bills. He said the DRA has stated that the December 2013 bill and the July 2014 bill would each reflect half of the police building’s “One and Done” $1.638 million cost (see related story page 3).
• The board agreed to review the bid proposals submitted by Joe McSwain of MMR for the repair of the Town Hall cupola, which continues to leak. Murphy questioned whether it was necessary to spend money for this but Lindquist said the leak is creating problems for Cable and is causing harm to the building.
Murphy wondered if the work could be handled in-house but Lindquist said this has been a monumental problem for years and no one has solved it yet, while McSwain is an expert. The price tag is roughly $15,000 for cleaning, repair and re-painting.
A decision will be made at the next selectmen’s meeting.
• Budget Committee members Ann Howe and Matt Murphy recommended appointing Chris Howe, Ann Howe’s husband, to the vacant position resulting from Jorge Mesa-Tejada’s resignation on the Budget Committee. Chip Hastings, a former Budget Committee member, had sent a letter asking to be appointed, saying he would bring experience to the board.

Member Steve Londrigan, new this year, told the board he recommended Hastings because of the need for experience. He said three new people on the board at one time would not be a good thing. Matt Murphy, Ann Howe and resident Rick Gaudette pushed for appointing Chris Howe, saying he should get the appointment because he had run unsuccessfully for the position in March. They said that turning him down again sent a bad message to others who might think of volunteering.

Earlier, Hartung had expressed concern about having two members on a board from the same family, and Lindquist echoed that concern. Sean Murphy made a motion to appoint Chris Howe. He and Hartung voted for Chris Howe with Lindquist voting no, and Chris Howe was appointed to fill the vacancy.

• Hartung asked the board to approve an updated job description for the Fire Department’s Deputy Fire Chief position. Longtime Deputy Fire Chief Jim Gilmartin has just retired, and Fire Chief Michael Carrier has updated the qualifications for that position. The new job description requires approval before the next step can be taken to fill the job. The board approved the new language unanimously.

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