Diane Vautier of 87 Pillsbury Road paid a visit to the Conservation Commission to discuss her plan to keep several cows on her property.
“I purchased two properties at 87 Pillsbury Road, which is the big white farmhouse with the big red barn,” Vautier told the Commission at its Tuesday, Aug. 26 meeting. “There’s another parcel right behind that that abuts the cemetery.”
The parcels have two easements; one allows agriculture and the other does not, according to Conservation Commissioner Gene Harrington.
Vautier said that altogether she has about 18 acres, with seven acres where the farmhouse is situated allowing agricultural use, and the remainder of 11 acres on the rear parcel, which does not. She currently has four cows on the seven-acre site.
She said she has contacted all of the abutters and did not receive any objections, but she noted she had not contacted residents of the Sugar Plum Hill LLC because it was across a wetland that the cows could not cross.
Conservation Commissioner Mike Speltz lives in the Sugar Plum community and recused himself.
Harrington said the cows could stray across the wetland.
Vautier said a fence separates the seven acres from the wetland.
Harrington said his concern was for the quality of the wetland, with cows “doing what cows do.”
“In the past people didn’t care about water quality but today we do,” Commissioner Deb Lievens said.
Vautier said she had been consulting with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and was told she needed two acres per cow.
Harrington said the two acres means pasture, not wooded land.
Vautier said the gate between the lots would be kept closed to keep the cows away from the wetland.
She also raised the issue of posting the land against trespassers, which was brought to her attention when she first contacted the Commission. Because the easements specify public access, she has removed all but one of her “No Trespassing” signs. Both easement deeds expressly prohibit hunting, which was Vautier’s original goal in posting the property, she said.
“I have a ‘No Trespassing’ sign up but I will take it down and replace it with ‘No Hunting’ signs.’ I already took down a deer stand,” Vautier said.
Harrington told Vautier that with the reduced amount of land available for pasturing, the number of cows that are allowed on the land would be reduced as well.
Lievens asked Vautier to put a summary in writing for the easement files noting the placement of signs etc., “so there’s no reliance on memory.”
In other business:
• Matt Cardin of TRC Environmental Solutions and Laura Games of Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) gave a presentation on a 6.2 mile proposed transmission line from Scobie Pond in Londonderry to Huse Road substation in Manchester. Cardin said there would be 83 new poles with 84,184 square feet of temporary impact to wetlands, and 216 square feet of impact would be permanent. He said the line would be within the existing utility right of way.
The Commission approved by unanimous vote to recommend approval by the Planning Board for a Conditional Use Permit.
• Engineer Jack Szemplinski of Benchmark Engineering requested a lot line adjustment for 62 Adams Road. He said no wetland impacts were anticipated and that the Conservation Overlay District (COD) buffer would not apply because the properties are existing lots of record. It was pointed out, however, that as the lot line adjustment is considered a subdivision, any grandfathering status regarding the COD buffer would cease to exist and the applicable 50- and 100-foot buffers would have to be considered and a Conditional Use Permit required.
Szemplinski disagreed, but said he would consult with the Town Planner.