HAMPSTEAD – The Planning Board offered a few suggestions and placed a few conditions on the Hampstead Middle School Emergency Access Road plan design proposed by Tobin Farwell of Farwell Engineering, but conditionally approved the plan, allowing it to move forward.
The proposed road would cross St. Anne’s Catholic Church property to reach Hampstead Middle School and give the school a second access route.
The board Monday night took testy exception to the fact the Hampstead Fire Department had given its approval to Farwell to reduce the width of the proposed access road to 14 feet when the town requires road width to be 24 feet, and to reduce the turning radius from the town required 200 feet to 150 feet.
The Planning Board stipulated that one condition of approval is proving and substantiating that the reduced turning radius is adequate for fire department equipment and for a school bus.
As far as the road width is concerned, as the proposal includes 2-foot shoulders, the board decided that so long as a written waiver were presented for the reduced size, it would be all right.
There was some discussion as to whether the road would be considered a road or a driveway. Town Engineer Nick Cricenti said it was more driveway than road because it was a controlled access that would be gated at both ends, it meets a security issue and as such, is a one-way driveway.
Member Chad Bennett suggested paving the access to make winter maintenance easier and less damaging but this didn’t change the ultimate decision to stick with gravel.
Resident Dave Huston questioned the path of the design and said it would cause the entire field to be damaged. He also questioned the placement of the gates. The board added getting police approval for gate locations as part of the conditional approval.
School Board Chairman Greg Hoppa thanked the board for approving the plan, noting that security and safety concerns are the board’s top priority.
The Planning Board voted to conditionally approve the proposed plan design 3-1, with Bennett opposed.
In other business:
• The Lancaster case involving a subdivision on a one lane dirt road was continued again until the Nov. 3 meeting in order for final changes to be made to the site plans.
• Chairman Paul Carideo brought up the issue of adding alternates to the board to avoid not having a quorum and to ensure fair votes. The board members were asked to consider this and it will be taken up at the next meeting.