sires

Earl Sires IV (right) toasts Ailie Byers with a donut after their first planning board meeting as members in June. (COURTESY PHOTO)

CONWAY — Earl Sires IV confirmed Tuesday that he had submitted his resignation via email to Conway Planning Board Chair Steve Hartmann, Town Clerk Louise Inkell and Planning Assistant Holly Meserve last Thursday.

Sires, 33, is stepping down as he is now spending half his time in Amherst to be with his girlfriend.

Sires said he gave a lot of thought before resigning from his less than one-year-old seat.

He said he acted now so candidates who would like to run for his seat can file with the town clerk to be on the April 13 town ballot. The filing period runs from today through March 5.

“I had to step down by Feb. 23 to meet that filing period so they could process candidates for that filing window,” said Sires.

Hartmann said the board would discuss how to deal with the vacancy at its next meeting, set for Thursday at 7 p.m. at the new Conway Town Hall.

“I’ll leave it up to the board to decide what they want to do,” Hartmann told the Sun Tuesday. “If the board’s consensus is to appoint somebody, then we will.”

Alternates to the planning board are Steve Steiner, a Realtor who is also a member of the Conway Zoning Board of Adjustment, and retired developer Ray Shakir.

Hartmann said he is sorry to see Sires go.

“He brought a lot of insight to the board, doing good research on a lot of very good ideas, and it’s unfortunate he is leaving,” said Hartmann.

“We all make choices in life, and hopefully this works out for him,” he added.

Sires says he plans to telecommute to his marketing job with Rapid Insight in Conway three days a week and then spend two days a week working in person there.

He said he has enjoyed his time on the board, working on such issues as affordable housing. Most recently he objected to a four-story hotel proposed for the site of the Intervale Motel, arguing it does not meet the spirit of the Master Plan to preserve the area’s rural beauty.

Site plan review on the Intervale hotel proposal will continue at the board's Thursday meeting.

Other concerns that were raised at the board’s Feb. 11 meeting included historic preservation with a 1771-built house and barn to be razed to make way for an Eastern Propane propane facility in Center Conway.

Asked about those efforts this week, Sires said: “These are issues that people are concerned about, so the board may need to make policy changes that would be supported by the community …. There are gaps between the zoning regulations and the Master Plan and what the board wants to do and what they can do, so that needs to be rectified."

Other items on the agenda for Thursday's meeting include:

• CMR PROPERTIES, LLC (Cranmore Mountain Resort): Two-unit subdivision to create two commercial units at 239 Skimobile Road, North Conway.

• Bear Hill Development, LLC: Concurrent site-plan and unit subdivision review to construct a wireless communication facility and create a one-unit subdivision on Artist Falls Road, North Conway.

• 1657 NORTH CONWAY, LLC: Notice of revocation. Friendly’s restaurant, now closed, has requested that the approval to install an interactive menu-board with speakers, construct a drive-up window and associated uses at 1657 White Mountain Highway, North Conway, be revoked.

For more information, go to conwaynh.org/planning.

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