Town of Holderness, NH

Conservation Commission Meeting

October 16, 2007

Town Office


CALL TO ORDER:   The meeting was called to order at 7:06 p.m. by Chairman Spencer.


PRESENT:  Larry Spencer, Barbara Currier, Anne Packard, Shelagh Connelly, and Betsy Whitmore.


OTHERS PRESENT:   Kim Currier, Mr. & Mrs. Rollin Reynolds, Attorney Fitzgerald, and Anne Abear, Municipal Secretary


MINUTES:   Minutes of the September 13, 2007 meeting were approved as written.




1.      Correspondence/Mail: 


a.      Peck Property - Mr. Spencer discussed an expedited permit that was signed for the Peck property. NHDES miss-identified the application as a “dredge and fill” and after much work to correct the error, the permit has been issued.

b.      Grafton County Conservation District - Mr. Spencer advised this organization held a conference on October 15, 2007 per their fall newsletter.

c.      Forestry Workshop - Mr. Spencer advised a forestry workshop will be held on November 1 and November 15, 2007 if any member of the Board was interested in attending.

d.      Flu Shots - Mr. Spencer advised flu shots will be held at the Holderness Town Office on October 24 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

e.      Member handbooks - Mr. Spencer was requested to acquire 3 new member handbooks for the board members to utilize.

f.        NHACC Membership – Mr. Spencer presented a bill for the 2008 dues in the amount of $200.




            Mr. Spencer announced the following:


a.      NHACC – November 3, 2007

b.      Annual Watershed Meeting – November 10, 2007

c.      Climate Change Conference – held October 12, 2007





a.      Snowy Owl Woods Project - Mr. Spencer advised an appeal had been sent to NH DES Wetlands Council and a response had not been received.  Ms. Packard presented a response letter dated October 16, 2007 from the Wetlands Council advising that the petition was insufficient for the Council to accept as an appeal due to not having sufficient information regarding the applicant, appellant or number of copies.  The correspondence further advised that the Conservation Commission had 30 days from the date of the letter to resubmit the appeal to the Council. 


Anne Packard moved to resubmit the appeal to the NH DES Wetlands Council.  After much discussion, the motion was seconded by Mr. Spencer.  Vote was:  2 yes, 0 nay, 2 abstain.


Mr. Spencer advised he was not trying to stop and is not against development, but would like to make sure that all future impacts of development are considered before the development starts.


b.      Review of the Vernal Pools - Mr. Spencer discussed the work that has been done to GPS the locations of the vernal pools and photographs that have been taken.  The Board discussed adding this as a layer to the Town’s GIS program.  Mr. Spencer would like to discuss this with the GIS vendor for the Town.  Mrs. Connelly and Ms. Packard advised they have vernal pools on their property and were willing to GPS the locations and to take pictures.


c.      Royea’s Junkyard – Ms. Currier advised the Royea property has had the pad poured for their new building and continues to work on cleaning up the property.  Ms. Currier advised that no new vehicles are to be moved into the property without old vehicles being moved out and that the State of NH has put deadlines up for Mr. Royea to meet.


d.      Interval Elm Tree - Mr. Spencer advised all of the expenses to save this tree have been covered through private donations, Plymouth State University and the Town. 


e.      Steep Slopes Ordinance – Ms. Packard advised that the Planning Board members are reviewing the proposed ordinance for recommended changes prior to a public hearing being scheduled.  Ms. Packard indicated that this ordinance clarifies several items within the zoning, site plan, subdivision, and flood plain ordinances.  Mr. Spencer attended the last Planning Board Meeting in which this ordinance was discussed and felt that members of the Board do not want the Conservation Commission to have a part or say in any projects.  Mr. Spencer advised the Conservation Commission needs to know what is going on and there needs to be a notification process.  A recommendation was made to have members of the Planning Board meet with the Selectmen to assist in getting a positive vote for this ordinance at Town meeting.


f.        Mailbox check - Members of the commission will be assigned to check the mailbox within the Town Office.  This will be discussed at the November meeting.




1.      Pilote Forest Trail Work – Members of the Board advised they would work on the trail on November 17 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 


2.      Annual Budget Preparation - Mr. Spencer moved and Ms. Currier supported to request the 2008 budget for the conservation commission remain the same as the 2007 budget.  Vote was unanimous.  Motion passed.


Mr. Spencer advised that due to the Town not receiving any land use change tax penalties for the year 2006, no funding from that source went into the Conservation fund for the year 2006.  Because of this the town did allocate money from Town funds to the Conservation Fund. Ms. Currier advised that in the year 2007 there were penalties assessed for land use change tax.


Ms. Packard moved and Mrs. Whitmore supported to request $20,000 from the Town for the 2008 year.  Vote was unanimous.  Motion passed. The chair will write a letter to the Selectboard in support of this request.


Members of the Board discussed use of the land acquisition funds to include the Alex Ray property, the Pierce Bay property, and the old town farm parcel.


3.      Perch Pond Road Horse Farms  - Mrs. Connelly discussed the number of horse farms along Perch Pond Road and her concern with the run off into the watershed areas and the mismanagement of waste from the animals.  She recommended training be done to teach proper disposal techniques.


4.      Road Run Off from Route 3 to Squam Lake – Mr. Spencer discussed the run off from Route 3 to Squam Lake and announced Mr. Johnson, Mr. Devine of Squam Lakes Association and Mr. Furmanick are working on a grant that will assist in diverting water.  This grant will be for Perkins Lane.  The diversion will be through the development of vegetation.


5.      Holderness/Plymouth Bridge Walkway - Mr. Spencer discussed the walkway under the new bridge from Holderness to Plymouth.  The path is paved on the Plymouth side, but is left stone on the Holderness side.  The Board requested this be brought to Mr. Johnson’s attention.


6.      Private road culverts - Ms. Packard inquired if the Town highway department cleaned catch basins on private roads. Ms. Currier advised this was a question for the Mr. Furmanick.



Ms. Currier advised she would not be voting on any item to do with the Snowy Owl subdivision due to the fact that she is a realtor and her vote could be construed as a conflict of interest.  Ms. Currier discussed emails that have recently gone out which have created distention between Boards, individuals and other community members.  Ms. Currier advised the personalities that are being portrayed within these emails must stop and it is in the best interest of everyone to work together and support the community.  Mr. Spencer discussed an email that was received from Earl Hansen in response to an email from Mrs. Jewell.


ADJOURNMENT:  Mr. Spencer adjourning the meeting at 8:45 p.m.  Vote was unanimous (4-0).  Motion passed.



Respectfully submitted,

Anne M. Abear

Municipal Secretary