TOWN OF PELHAM
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MEETING
APRIL 10, 2000
The Vice Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
The Acting Clerk called the roll:
PRESENT: Walter Kosik, Peter LaPolice, Edmund Gleason, Peter McNamara, Alternate David Hennessey
ABSENT: George LaBonte, Alternate Carolyn Carter, Alternate James Bundock
Mr. Kosik announced that Mr. Hennessey would be voting for Mr. LaBonte.
CASE #2170 – ML 007-250 – M & P Trust/Main Street – Seeking a Variance to Article V, Section 307-18 to permit the existing residence to be used for professional offices
The Clerk read aloud the list of abutters.
Mr. Phillip Currier, Tallant Road, representing M & P Trust, appeared before the Board to present Case #2170. Mr. Currier located ML 7-250 on the tax map and noted that the direct abutters to this parcel are the Pelham Public Library, the First Congregational Church, the Pelham Common, the Police/Fire Station and one residential abutter. ML 7-250 is currently a single family residence and the applicant proposes to leave the residence as it exists. There will be no aesthetic change or impact to Pelham Center. The applicant is willing to have this to have this as a condition of the variance.
Mr. Currier explained that the applicant proposes to utilize the premises as a part time law office to serve Pelham residents. There will be no full time employees and the premises will not be used more than two or three days a week for appointments.
Mr. Currier stated that there would be no changes made to the exterior of the residence but it is possible that the existing garage, which is in terrible shape, may have to be replaced.
Mr. Currier stated that he has spoken with each abutter to this parcel and no one has made any objection to the granting of this variance.
Mr. Currier noted that the majority of the uses that surround this parcel are non-residential. The proposed use will be consistent with a professional office use. Mr. Currier further noted that the Town Hall septic system is located in the front lawn portion of ML 7-250and that the applicant intends to continue this arrangement with the town, as was permitted by the prior owner.
Item #1. There will be no decrease in the value of the surrounding properties: The only residential direct abutter has no objection to the granting of the variance. The exterior of the
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building will remain as is and the abutting properties will not suffer any reduction in value as a result of the proposed use.
Item #2. It is in the public interest: Mr. Currier feels that his use is in the public interest because it will not cause any aesthetic or adverse impact to Pelham Center.
Item #3. There is significant hardship to the land: Mr. Currier explained that when an applicant cannot utilize their property consistent with the uses surrounding it, there is unnecessary hardship. The use being proposed meets the requirements and will not diminish the values of surrounding properties. The location of this parcel does not lend itself to residential use.
Item #4. There is substantial justice to be done. Mr. Currier explained that justice will be done to those clients of the related law firm which would find it more convenient to see an attorney in Pelham rather than in Nashua. It is a use which is considered consistent with the surrounding uses and it would not force a continuation of a residential use in an area where residential use in an area where residential use is to appropriate or consistent with surrounding uses.
Item #5. This request is within the spirit of the zoning ordinance: Mr. Currier explained that Pelham Center is no longer a quiet residential neighborhood. If the exterior of the structure remains unchanged, the spirit of the ordinance with respect to Pelham Center will be observed.
Mr. Gleason asked if the residence was currently occupied. Mr. Currier stated that the residence is currently vacant. Mr. Gleason asked if there will be any signage. Mr. Currier explained that he would be going to the Planning Board for a site review and that issue would be dealt with at that time. He further noted that this is a “use variance” and agreed that the lot was undersized.
Mr. Kosik asked for clarification on the septic system. Mr. Currier explained that there is an easement which allows the town to utilize the property for their septic system and that the applicant intends to continue to renew the easement as necessary.
Mr. Hennessey asked if the applicant had considered going before the town meeting for a zoning change. Mr. Currier explained that an applicant would not generally go before the town meeting unless they were seeking to rezone the district. Zoning one parcel of land would be considered spot zoning. This is the reason for the variance request.
Mr. McNamara asked if the applicant intended to sublet this space. Mr. Currier said no, absolutely no subletting would be done.
Mr. Gleason asked if this plan would be going to the Planning Board for review. Mr. Currier explained that they would be going through a site plan review.
There was o public input.
Mr. Hennessey stated that his issue with this proposal has to do with the zoning change. He referred to Blanger v Nashua, specifically “we believe that municipalities must also have their
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zoning ordinances reflect the current character of neighborhoods” and stated that he agreed. Mr. Hennessey then referred to the applicant’s statement that “Justice will be done in the sense of not forcing a continuation of a residential use in an area where residential use is really not appropriate or consistent with surrounding uses”. He agrees that Pelham Center is no longer residential and believes that his debate should be taking place in another venue other than before the ZBA. Mr. Hennessey stated that all residents of Pelham are abutters to this property and this change of use will effect them. Those abutters are not present this evening. Mr. Hennessey believes that the entire Pelham Center should be looked at for a zoning change and that it should not be done via the granting of a variance.
Mr. Kosik stated that the surrounding uses are consistent with the proposed use of ML 7-250 and therefore, the ZBA can grant this variance with a clear conscience.
Mr. Hennessey feels that the district is being created through “De Facto changes in the zoning”. He further noted that the ZBA does not just sit to grant variances, they must support the general tenor of the zoning.
BALLOT VOTE: Mr. Kosik – Yes; Mr. LaPolice – Yes; Mr. Gleason – Yes (granted with the condition that the property and dwelling thereon need not be improved/altered to satisfy the variance); Mr. Hennessey – No; Mr. McNamara – Yes.
Mr. Kosik requested that Mr. Currier’s memo dated April 4, 2000 be submitted to the record. (Attachment #1)
CASE #2171 – ML 001-073 – Farris, Joseph/15 Jones Road – Seeking a Variance to Article III, Section 307-12, Table 1 to permit the demolition of an existing house and construction of a new single family dwelling on a lot with less than 200 feet frontage
The Clerk read aloud the list of abutters.
The Clerk read aloud Article LLL, Section 307-12.
Mr. James Farris, Jones Road, appeared before the Board to present Case #2171. Mr. Farris explained that he is requesting a variance in order to demolish the existing house on his lot at 15 Hones Road and to construct a new single family home. The existing house to be demolished is in very bad shape and will require too mush work to make it a home for his family.
Mr. Farris read aloud the five criteria as follows:
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Item #1. There will be no decrease in the value of the surrounding properties: The proposed structure will be greater value than the surrounding properties. Also, the proposed structure will be aesthetically pleasing and add to the property value.
Item #2. It is in the public interest: The proposed structure will add to the taxes being paid on the property.
Item #3. There is significant hardship to the land: There is no additional land to be purchased in order to conform to zoning.
Item #4. There is substantial justice to be done: The use being requested is consistent with the uses of the surrounding lots and variance being granted will allow us to use the property in the same manner.
Item #5. This request is within the spirit of the zoning ordinance: We are only requesting a variance to waive one of the zoning’s requirements. We will meet all setbacks and codes.
Mr. Kosik asked if Mr. Farris were currently living in the house. Mr. Farris states that his brother is currently living in the house.
Mr. Farris explained that the lot is 300 ft. long and 100 ft. wide. The proposed house will be 42 ft. long. The new house will exceed the current footprint but only in one area for a few feet. All setback requirements will be met. The existing is approximately 45 years old. The septic design for the proposed new single family home is currently under review by the State and approval is expected shortly.
Mr. Hennessey asked if this house to be demolished is a seasonal use. Mr. Farris said no, it is a year round residence.
BALLOT VOTE: Mr. Kosik – Yes; Mr. Gleason – Yes; Mr. LaPolice – Yes; Mr. McNamara – Yes; Mr. Hennessey – Yes.
January 20, 2000
MOTION: (LaPolice/McNamara) To accept the minutes of the January 20, 2000 board meeting as read.
VOTE: 4 – 0 – 1 with Mr. Gleason abstaining. The motion carries.
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September 13, 1999
MOTION: (Hennessey/McNamara) To accept the minutes of the September 13, 1999 board meeting as amended.
VOTE: 3 – 0 – 2 WITH Mr. Gleason and Mr. LaPolice abstaining. The motion carries.
November 8, 1999
MOTION: (LaPolice/Hennessey) To accept the minutes of the November 8, 1999 board meeting as amended.
VOTE: 3 – 0 – 2 with Mr. Gleason and Mr. McNamara abstaining. The motion carries.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
It was the consensus of the board to hold Election of Officers when a full board is present.
MOTION: (Gleason/Hennessey) To adjourn the meeting.
VOTE: 5 – 0 – 0 The motion carries.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
Susan J. Tesch