HAMPSTEAD – The Hampstead Conservation Commission met on Wednesday evening, Jan. 18, and addressed two local issues, both of which had come up at the Planning Board recently.
A proposed Hastings Drive development, being brought to the commission by Maison Belle LLC who are the developers of the 21 acre property on Hastings Drive and Kent Farm Road.
The developer proposes to subdivide the property into seven residential lots – three to be duplex, four to be single family dwellings. The property has a wetlands area along one entire side and the four driveways to the seven lots will cross the wetland and wetlands permits have been applied for. Two of the driveways off Hastings Drive that cross the wetlands will split and go individually to each of the two lots; one driveway will be a shared driveway servicing two lots; and, the seventh lot will have its own driveway crossing the wetlands. There will be culverts and drainage under the driveways and the only disturbance to the front of the lots will be the utilities and water line. The water will be from Hampstead Area Water Co. and the developer will extend the existing water line down Hastings Drive to accommodate the seven residential lots. Each building will have its own septic system.
Conservation Commission Chairman Tim Lovell spoke at the Planning Board meeting on Jan. 5 and stated the commission is concerned about the impact of the four wetland crossings for driveways. He also mentioned the threat to the endangered mussel that is in Wash Pond that will be impacted by disturbance to the wetlands. He said he and commission member Brent Ebner had walked the site at the driest point in time and they determined that a lot of water flows through those wetland areas. There could be vernal pools in springtime and in a major rainstorm the river that runs through there would be roaring.
Lovell said the Department of Environmental Services (DES) representative favors cutting the wetland crossings down to two and the commission definitely wants them reduced to three. He indicated that the DES will continue to push for reduced crossings and he will encourage them to do so.
He said that the NH Fish and Game expert looking at the impact on the mussel when informed of the number of proposed sites and wetland crossings plans to take another look at this aspect and Lovell said he would encourage her to do so and make her findings known to the Planning Board. While saying the commission is concerned and wants to reduce the number of wetland crossings, he admitted that decision is basically in the hands of the DES but said he would stay on top of it.
Lovell said the residents objecting to the Communication Tower at the Transfer Station had spoken to him asking him to speak to the Planning Board about the threat to the conservation area. He indicated he didn’t see any threat from the erection of the 180-foot communication tower at the Kent Farm Transfer Station and after reviewing the site plan the commission has no concerns with it since there is no impact on any natural resources or wetlands.
The commission plans a Moonlight Snowshoe walk on February 10th since there will be a full moon then. However, this plan comes with the caveat that there needs to be snow on the ground. If there is snow then interested people are to meet at the West Road Conservation Land parking lot at 8 p.m. to take part in the Moonlight Snowshoe walk. David Treat and Ebner reminded those who do come for the walk to remember to bring flashlights or headlamps.