4 - March 16, 2012 | Pelham - Windham News
The Word Around Town... Letters to our Editor
Daffodil Days: Te First Flower of Spring … the Flower of Hope! Te Windham Garden Club will once again have
fresh bouquets of daffodils available to the public at select locations throughout Windham on Saturday, March 24, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Howie Glynn & Sons Convenience Store, Cobbett’s Pond Road; Howie Glynn & Sons and B&H Oil, Indian Rock Road, Route 111; Te Village Bean Fine Coffees, Te Village Green, Route 111; and the Windham Transfer & Recycling Station, Ledge Road from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bouquets of 10 fresh Daffodils are available for a donation of $10. Donations to Daffodil Days are helping the American Cancer Society create a world without cancer through: • Programs providing information, education and screenings to reduce cancer risk
• Services, support and information to cancer patients and care providers
• Donations are invested in cancer research • Advocacy to pass laws that fight cancer and keep families healthy If you would like further information, or are unable to visit these locations and would like to order daffodils, please contact Joanne Ago, Daffodil Days Chairman at 898-0256. Tank you for your support.
Joanne Ago, Windham Garden Club – Windham
Denying ACA Will Cost Money, Lives
Te New Hampshire legislature has refused the ACA
(Affordable Care Act) and turned down the money to set it up. Te State returned $26.5 million in ACA Medicaid funds, causing thousands of healthcare works their jobs; hospitals sued and won; the money has been returned. Today over 50 percent of the cost in Medicare is taken up by 5 percent of the people on the program. Tis will change when the ACA has been in effect for a few years. People won’t be going into the Medicare system with extreme problems; hopefully the problems
will be caught and treated earlier as part of routine care, lowering costs and giving people a better quality of life. Not so for the people of New Hampshire. New Hampshire will be one of the states that drag down Medicare. Because there is a larger group of people in the plan in states enrolled in the ACA, the states will pay less over time than they pay now. Tis is for two reasons: the more people in the pool, the less money per-person needed. Te “buy in bulk” principle. Secondly under the ACA, insurance companies will allocate 85 percent of the premiums to medical care, rather than the estimated 60 percent they do today and will continue to do for New Hampshire citizens if we are not in the ACA plan. Also as a smaller group we will pay more for insurance. Businesses who provide insurance get a good deal at a lower cost with the ACA. What we haven’t heard from the NH House is their alternative to the ACA. How will they provide for affordable care to those people denied today under the existing system due to pre-existing conditions? Tey seem to be keeping that a secret. www.healthcare.gov
Rebecca Fee – Salem
Pelham Residents Invited to “Sandlot Sundays”
It is my pleasure to be able to personally invite you all to the first annual the PHS Baseball Program Presents: “Sandlot Sundays - Triple Play Movie Series” to be held at Chunky’s Cinema. All residents of Pelham, young and old, are invited to attend the free “Triple Play” (three different Sundays) showings of the best baseball movies around! Tis event will be used as a forum to meet and greet the Pelham Pythons Baseball coaching staff, the Pelham Pythons Baseball players, the President of the Little League, and a variety of other special guests that will be invited to the events. My goal as the varsity baseball coach is get kids excited to play the greatest sport on the planet … baseball! I want to encourage all Pelham youth to sign up for Pelham Little League. Prior to each showing I will give a brief introduction to
the baseball program and introduce the “Special Guest.” Event is RSVP only - only 180 seats available. Please e-mail Coach Beauchesne at email@example.com
in order to reserve your team/family/organization table now! On Sunday, April 1, at 12 p.m., the PHS Baseball
Program will present a free showing of “Te Sandlot.” Te Special Guest will be former Triple A Pawtucket Red Sox Pitcher and owner of the Future Stars Sports Training Facility. Future Stars is the official off-season training site for the Pelham Pythons Baseball Program. Admission will be free or you can give a $1 donation per person to the PHS Baseball Program. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit your own Pelham Pythons Baseball Program. On Sunday April 29, at 12 p.m., the PHS Baseball
Program will present a free showing of “Angels in the Outfield.” Te Special Guest will be the Pelham Police Department who is a proud supporter of the Pelham Pythons Baseball Program. Starting at 11:15 a.m., the Pelham Pythons Varsity Baseball Team will have an autograph session where everyone is invited to stop by early and get something signed. Admission will be free or you can give a $1 donation per person to the PHS Baseball Program. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit your own Pelham Pythons Baseball Program. On Sunday, May 20, at 12 p.m., the PHS Baseball
Program will present a free showing of “Rookie of the Year.” Te Special Guest will be the Official Lowell Spinners mascot, Canaligator! Starting at 11:15 a.m., the Canaligator will be available for photos and autographs prior to the movie. Admission will be free or you can give a $1 donation per person to the PHS Baseball Program. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit your own Pelham Pythons Baseball Program. Please invite all friends and family to this event. Please frequently check our Website for updates. https://sites.google.com/site/pelhampythonsbaseball
. Our coaching staff and players look forward to meeting you all! Please contact me with any questions: Cell : 475- 7532 (no text); e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CoachBeauchesne, Twitter: @PythonsBaseball (Coach Beauchesne), Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/
Billy Beauchesne, Varsity Baseball Coach, Pelham High School - Pelham
Looking for Class for 50th Reunion
Te Committee members of the Dracut (MA) High School Class of 1962, are currently in the process of planning their 50th class reunion. We are looking for 10 classmates and would like to include them in the festivities, but we cannot find any information on them: Bill Collins, Linda (Buja) Lawson, Sharyn (Stowell) Guinazzo (Frazier?), Virginia Ewing, Frank Harnden, Roger Houle, Regina (Kolek) Bolduc, Judy (Lietton) Suprenant, Sandra (Nadeau) Nadeau-Conway, and Paul Roberge. If anyone knows the whereabouts of these 10 individuals, it would be greatly appreciated if you would contact Diane at (603) 635-3307 or Jackie at (603) 883-9833 with any information you may have.
Diane M. Brunelle – Pelham
Tanks to All Who Supported the March Madness Business Open House
Te Community Development Department and the
Windham Economic Development Committee want to thank those that participated in the March Madness Business Open House event on Saturday March 10. It was a great opportunity to learn about our six new local businesses and to welcome them to Town. Tank you to Granite State police Supply, Emerson & Douglas, LLC, Lillea, Ideal Office, ABC RC & Hobbies, and Dr James H. Letorneau for locating in Windham.
Laura Scott, Community Development Director – Windham
Planning Board and ZBA Members Pledge to Foster Better Communications by Barbara O’Brien A site plan application that came before the
Windham Planning Board and, subsequently, was referred to the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) last summer, igniting issues that resulted in ZBA Chairman Tom Murray asking for a joint meeting, not only of the Planning Board and ZBA, but also the Board of Selectmen. That joint session, thought to be the very first
such three-board encounter in remembered history, was held on March 5. In addition to all five members of the Board of Selectmen, plus ZBA Chairman Tom Murray and Planning Board Chairman Ruth-Ellen Post, a number of other regular board members and alternates nearly filled the meeting room. Murray, who chose not to seek re-election to
the ZBA for an additional term and who did not sit on the case which prompted the recent joint venture, provided some background information. Although the name of the applicant involved in
the process was not divulged during the meeting, it was learned later that the case involved Soleil Sun, a local spa, that is presently located on Haverhill Road in Windham, but is planning to relocate to another facility on Range Road, near Delahunty’s Nursery.
According to information provided during the joint meeting, the applicant filed plans for a minor site plan review on August 4 of last year, at which time it was determined that a variance was needed to relocate the business to the proposed new location. On August 23, 2011, the ZBA conducted a hearing and by a vote of 3 to 2 denied the requested variance. Eight days later, on August 31, the planning board conducted a hearing on the case and determined that a major (not minor) site plan review was needed. During the planning board hearing on August 31, no mention was made of the applicant having already been denied a variance by the ZBA. The following month, on September 20, the applicant filed a major site plan for the proposed relocation. A week later, the applicant requested a rehearing by the ZBA in regard to being granted a variance. The rehearing was denied by the ZBA by a vote of 3 to 1. According to Murray, the ZBA, by State Statute, only hears a request for a variance once, unless there is a substantial change in the request.
On October 26, 2011, the planning board held a major site plan review on the proposed relocation of the spa and related services. According to Planning Board Chairman Post, no documentation was provided by the ZBA relating to its previous denial of the requested variance. That information was, reportedly, only sent to the applicant, with a copy kept on file in the office.
Information regarding the ZBA’s decision to deny a variance was not disseminated to any other town board. After the major site plan review was heard by the planning board, and because planning board members were not aware of the ZBA’s denial, approval for the project was granted. ZBA members said they were never told that the applicant was going back to the planning board for another site plan review. “Cases rarely come back to the planning board after going to the ZBA,” Post commented.
Late in 2011, the applicant appealed the case
to Rockingham County Superior Court, claiming that a variance wasn’t needed to conduct the proposed business at the new location. That legal action was not pursued, however, and, according to Murray, the appeal period has since expired. Murray said he feels that “the town dodged a bullet” when the case wasn’t followed up in Superior Court. “The town could have wound up with a big legal battle,” he said. “We’re not rehearing the case, tonight,” Murray
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said. “We’re not here to hear the merits of this case.” “The case is water under the bridge,” he added. “We are here to discuss the process; the flow of information from one board to another.” This particular case wound up with one board approving and one board denying the applicant, Murray commented, a situation that is not acceptable. Murray said he feels Community Development staff members made a mistake by ever sending the applicant to the ZBA in the first place. “I don’t feel the variance was ever needed,” Murray said. The variance request was in regard to the types of services to be provided at the new location. “This has really muddied up the waters,” Murray stated. Community Development Director Laura Scott said that the first site plan review (minor) filed with the planning board was not the same as the second one (major). She said additional information was provided during the major site plan review, the one that resulted in approval being granted by the planning board. “The proposed use didn’t change,” Murray said, “Just more information was provided.”
“Shame on me for not asking [earlier],” Scott commented. “Shame
on the applicant for not providing the additional information [sooner],” Murray said he felt that ZBA members had been put at a disadvantage. “It’s not clear to us who handles what,” he said, referring to staff in the Community Development Department. Murray said he didn’t think applicants should be permitted to go directly to the planning board without first discussing applications with the appropriate Community Development staff member. “There was obviously an information flow breakdown,” Selectmen’s Chairman Ross McLeod said after hearing the chronology of events. “Some confusion is caused by people who obtain applications on line and never talk to any staff member,” Scott said. “Other applicants go directly to the ZBA and bypass staff completely.” According to Post, planning board members are
given notice of ZBA decisions when a variance is granted, but, typically, they are not told when a variance is denied. Post said she feels the planning board should receive notice of all ZBA decisions. “This should be part of the process,” Post emphasized. “The planning board needs ZBA history.”
Scott agreed that there needs to be “some
cohesiveness” among the various boards. “It behooves us to get it done right from the start,” she added.
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Selectman Phil LoChiatto said he felt that the solution is very simple. “Make it clear that applications cannot be submitted to the ZBA without a denial letter [having already been issued].” “A note to that effect should be included right on the application,” LoChiatto advised. “Cases should not be filtered by staff, but reviewed by the ZBA,” he added. Scott wanted to know how far back in the records staff members were expected to go in looking for prior decisions on certain parcels of land. The answer to Scott’s question was vague, but it was indicated that the prior history of property is still pertinent in making any decisions today. As for the present and the future, any variances granted should be noted in the records, Murray said. “Variances go with the land.” In correspondence received from Town Attorney Bernie Campbell, he recommended that all denial letters be issued to applicants by the appropriate staff member and then forwarded to other boards to alert them of any standing order regarding the property in question. “We need to make sure all ZBA cases get to the ZBA,” Murray said. By the end of the joint session, it was determined that, from now on, the planning board will be given pertinent information on ZBA history, including any minutes and/or decisions rendered, so that members of both boards will be fully informed of the current status of any applications.
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