Pelham Conservation Commission
Members Present: Members Absent:
Robert Yarmo, Chairman William McDevitt
Chairman Robert Yarmo brought the meeting to order at the
Julia Steed Mauson, Nonie Gravel, Graham Beady, Barbara Tanner, John Picard, Steve Morin, Charlene Bolia, Andrea & Ed Frucita, Chris Aldrich, Jackie & Jeff Costura, Alicia Hennessy, Deb Waters, Bob Lameraux, Charlene Bolia
Bob Yarmo welcomed all present and introduced the
conservation commission members and Frank Mitchell from the
Julia lead a discussion of the
value of Little Island Pond to the neighborhood and to the town of
· Cluster housing would be more appropriate as it would still allow a higher number of units but still persevere the most environmentally valuable portion.
· Pelham is not included as part of the Rockingham Land Trust area.
· The Pelham Conservation fund is currently at approx.$316,000 and 100,000 is committed to the purchase of another parcel in Pelham which would leave $216,000 in the fund.
· Bob Yarmo explained that the process to use the Conservation Funds requires public meetings and Selectman approval.
· An option is to purchase the Developments rights.
· Federal Income tax deductions might be available for those who make a contribution to the Conservation Fund to conserve a portion of the land. Land owners who sell their property at a lower than fair market value also might be entitled to a tax reduction as a charitable contribution would be made.
· Depriving someone of the economic benefit of the land was not legal.
Frank Mitchell of UNH introduced himself and explained his position involves helping groups like this get organized and helping them with direction etc on how to conserve land. Frank mentioned development leads to more surface water and less ground water absorption than open forest. This is due to the runoff from roofs, driveways and even lawns which do not absorb water like forest floors. He went on to state that there is a direct correlation between water quality degradation and land development. Sewage, Lawn fertilizers road salt etc. contribute to this water quality degradation.
Mr. Mitchell also discussed the options for funding conservation projects. He reported there are funds available but there is a lot of competition for them. He also reported that most projects are funded by private efforts. He also asked about the status of the Town Master Plan and Natural Resources Inventory was. Bob Yarmo reported that both were being work on and should be complete soon. Frank stated that it was important that those be completed and included suggestions for conservation areas. Bob Yarmo thought that those items were going to be included. Frank suggested the best method for this project to get funded would be with LCHIP.
The following proposal was discussed among the attendees. Instead of building 14 homes on a 2000 foot cul-de-sac with two wet land crossings build only seven homes on 1000 ft road. This would leave two thirds of the land as open space which would be purchased by the town conservation fund. Funding to purchase the parcel would come from both the Town and the abutters/neighborhood group. Donations from the abutters would be tax deductible and the abutters would not have any tax burden because they would not own the property. This would not likely generate as much income for the developer but it might be a workable solution. The Conservation Commission recommended that the group pick one or two people to represent them to meet with the developer to see if there is any interest in the proposal.
The meeting ended about .