Council Approves Building Permit for House on Class VI Road

The Londonderry Town Council has approved a building permit for Peter and Susan Carl to build along a Class VI road.

The Council discussed the request with Town Planner Colleen Mailloux and Building Inspector Richard Canuel at the June 6 Town Council meeting. By state statute, any building permit issued for a Class VI road must be approved by the Town Council.

In addition, the owners are required to file a “notice of the limits of municipal responsibility” at the Registry of Deeds. The notice releases the town from any responsibility for maintenance or snow plowing, or any liability. It requires residents to be responsible for maintaining access to the property, for maintenance and repair, and for transporting any school children to the nearest bus stop.

The parcel is Tax Map 17, Lot 42-A and is located at 38 Jack’s Bridge Road. Jack’s Bridge Road was discontinued in 2004. The sole access to the lot is via a Class VI section of Page Road.

Mailloux wrote in a June 2 memo that the Planning Board held two workshop meetings, May 4 and June 1 (see related story page 3), in order to review the request.

At the June 6 meeting, Canuel observed that “not many properties are developed along Class VI roads.”

Canuel noted that in the past, applicants went before the Zoning Board of Adjustment to request a variance to build on a Class VI road, and construction was allowed to proceed after the release of municipal liability. But RSA 674:1 provides for a different method, he said.

The RSA’s procedure is a two-step process: Planning Board review and comment, and the Council’s authorization for the issuance of a building permit with the subsequent release of municipal liability.

Other conditions for the parcel include the Fire Department’s recommendation that access to the lot be constructed to meet NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) 1141 standards, including:

• Minimum clear width of 12 feet for each lane of travel, excluding shoulders;

• Turnarounds to be constructed at a maximum of 1,200-foot intervals;

• Road to be constructed of a hard, all-weather surface sufficient to hold the weight of a fire truck; and

• Maximum slope of the road not exceeding 6 percent.

In addition, Mailloux’s memo stated that the property should be assigned a Page Road address. She also referenced stone walls that may have to be moved to accommodate the right-of-way.

It was also noted that it would be “to the benefit of the property owners” if a private maintenance agreement were reached.

The waiver of municipal liability includes an additional provision regarding property owner liability for damage to town vehicles and equipment, which was drafted by the town’s legal counsel.

The board voted 5-0 to approve the request for a building permit.

In other business, Town Manager Kevin Smith updated the Council on the issue of improving transportation for seniors. Smith asked when the Council wanted to go to the Senior Center, and Chairman John Farrell said he would circulate an e-mail among the Councilors to settle on a date.

“We want to get this done before budget season,” Farrell said.

Farrell also reviewed the dates for Old Home Day. This year the events begin with Senior Night, Aug. 17, followed by Kids’ Night Aug. 18, fireworks Aug. 19, and the parade Aug. 20.