To the editor:
As a result of several news articles in the last several days, and the subsequent questions that have arisen as to the “status” of a “proposed” hotel on Mount Washington by the Mount Washington Railway Company, as chairman of the Coos County Planning Board I wanted to take an opportunity to address some of the questions and to inform the public of the purpose of the upcoming meeting and to provide some guidance for folks to review and consider going forward.
The purpose of the agenda item to be presented by Wayne Presby on Thursday, is for a preliminary consultation and review as provided for in the Site Plan Review Regulations of the Coos County Planning Board which states:
“B. Preliminary Consultation and Review
“1. The applicant may appear at a regular meeting of the planning board to discuss a proposal in conceptual form and in general terms. Such preliminary consultation shall be informal and directed toward:
“a. Reviewing the basic concepts of the proposal;
“b. Reviewing the proposal with regard to the county’s master plan, zoning ordinances, the subdivision regulations and;
“c. Guiding the applicant relative to necessary state and local requirements.
“2. Preliminary consultation and review shall not bind the applicant or the board. No discussions beyond the conceptual and general review shall take place without identification of and notice to abutters and the general public as described hereinafter.”
Please note: Whereas the planning board does not have a formal application before it, no formal decisions whatsoever will be taking place on Dec. 8, and the board will not, at this time, be able to take public comment specifically on this conceptual project.
If a formal application is received on this proposed project sometime in the future, the planning board will be utilizing three important documents as it reviews this, or for that matter any development project in the unincorporated places over which the Coos County Planning Board has jurisdiction.
1. The most recent version of the Coos County Master Plan which was adopted on June 13, 2006, and can be found at this address: www.cooscountynh.us/sites/coosconh/files/file/file/masterplanadopted_061 306.pdf
2. The Zoning Ordinance for Coos County Unincorporated Places as adopted on Nov. 15, 2015, and which may be found at www.cooscountynh.us/sites/coosconh/files/file/file/zoning_ordinances_as_amended_nov052015.pdf
3. Site Plan Review Regulations —Unicoprporated Places Coos County, New Hampshire, as amended Feb. 26, 2015, may be found at www.cooscountynh.us/sites/coosconh/files/file/file/siteplanreviewamended02262015.pdf
For the general address to the Coos County website please visit www.cooscountynh.us.
In answer to several questions that have already been received, it is important for the public to know that once a formal application for this or any project is received by the planning board, the site plan review regulations allow that the board may require special investigative studies, environmental assessments, traffic studies, economic impact studies, a legal review of documents, administrative expenses and other matters necessary to make an informed decision.
As in all projects coming before the Coos County Planning Board, our review will be thorough, thoughtful, and complete. Public participation and comment will be welcomed and encouraged at the appropriate time in the application process, as outlined in our site plan review regulations and as per state statute RSA 676:4.
As a result of recently published reports of this project in the local media, many public comments have already been received in regards to this proposed project. In the event a formal application for this project comes before the board, we will be providing the public with the appropriate address or location where all public comments should be sent so as to better gather everyone’s important input for the board to consider going forward.
In closing, the Coos County Planning Board is committed to hearing all public comments and considerations at the appropriate time for any proposed projects that come before the board, and is committed to keeping the public informed as this or any other project under consideration moves through the application process.
John K. Scarinza, chairman
Coos County Planning Board