HAMPSTEAD – Longtime Planning Board Chairman Randy Clark announced Monday night that he does not plan to run for re-election.
Clark then urged those listening to the meeting to step forward and run for the two seats that will be open on the Planning Board in March, his and Bill Weber’s. Clark said he is retiring after more than two decades of service on the Planning Board.
“Vivian and I have slowly been backing out of all of our commitments and this is the last one,” he said.
Asked what was the biggest change he has witnessed during his years on the board, he cited the increase in population and the changes that has brought. The town has grown from around 1,800 residents to nearly 9,000 during the 35 years he has lived in Hampstead, he said, and when he first arrived, you could tell the difference between summer and winter by the amount of traffic that passed his house. He said there is no longer any difference.
Clark said, “Hampstead has been helped tremendously through this growth because the Town had zoning ordinances in place before I came on board. The wisdom of Dean Howard, Jack Wood, Lennie Chase and others successfully put in place zoning ordinances that made sure the Town could address planning issues as they arose. That is why Route 111 does not look like Route 28 in Salem.
“Hampstead is not actually a farming community but there are still some farms and animals in town, but it is more a bedroom community,” he added. “I think that is the way people envisioned it back in the late ‘60s when they put the beginning zoning ordinances in place.”
Also Monday night, the board held a public hearing for a zoning ordinance to be placed on the warrant, the Stone Wall Preservation Ordinance.
The proposed ordinance reads: “Land use activity may not alter the location of, or remove any roadside stone wall which was made for the purpose of marking the boundary of, or which borders, any public roads in the Town of Hampstead except upon review of the Historic Commission and approval of the Planning Board or the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Exemptions: driveways and points of access approved by appropriate state or local authorities.”
No one from the public attended the meeting. The board unanimously approved the ordinance and recommended it for the warrant.
In other business:
• The Steve Hatem Properties commercial site at Owens Court that has been waiting for approval of its safety measures from the Hampstead Fire Department and for an Alteration of Terrain permit from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services provided both documents to the board.
Surveyor James Lavelle of James Lavelle & Associates presented the site plan and said sprinklers will be installed in the proposed unit because that proved more cost effective than providing fireproof walls and doors. The septic permit is in and the waivers were previously granted.
This site was approved several years ago for construction but was not developed, and then more recently was taken over by Steve Hatem Properties.
The board unanimously approved the site plan as presented, subject to a final review by Town Engineer Nick Cricenti, who was not present.