APPROVED

TOWN OF PELHAM

ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MEETING

May 14, 2001

 

The acting Chairman, Edmund Gleason, called the meeting to order at approximately 7:30 pm.

 

The Clerk, Mr. George LaBonte, called the roll:

 

PRESENT:

Edmund Gleason, George LaBonte, Jr., Peter LaPolice, Peter McNamara, Alternate David Hennessey

 

ABSENT:

Walter Kosik

 

Mr. Gleason informed that Mr. Hennessey would vote for Walter Kosik in his absence.

 

Case #2199 - ML 11-112-12/Patricia Couillard - Keilty Avenue (Lot 12) - Seeking a Special Exception to Article XII, Section 307-73 & 307-74 to permit the construction of an accessory dwelling in the residential zone

 

Mr. LaBonte read the list of abutters aloud. There were no persons present whom did not have their name read.

 

Neither the applicant nor the applicantís representative was present.

 

Mr. Gleason informed that in the absence of the applicant, the application would not be reviewed and would be returned.

Case #2200 - ML 3-101-11/Gary Ross - 24 Tenney Road - Seeking an Appeal to an Administrative Decision, in accordance with Article 307 - Section 76

 

Mr. Gleason noted that the Town was not represented by either the Building Inspector or the Code Enforcement Officer.

 

Mr. LaBonte read the list of abutters aloud.There were no persons present whom did not have their name read.

 

Mr. LaBonte then read the denial letter from the Building Inspector dated March 26, 2001.

 

Attorney Steven Clark, Boutin Associates, acting on behalf of the applicant presented the case to the Board.He handed out a letter of explanation to the Board.Attorney Clark explained that the applicant conducted businesses called Dog Talk and Therapet, which had been in operation for the past ten years in Pelham and at their residence, without incident or objection.He said they would now like to construct a garage on their property.It was Attorney Clarkís belief that the denial from the Building Inspector was focused on the size of the structure versus the use itself.He asked that the Board focus on the use, which would be no different

than what it has been for in the past.He said they would be conducting business two times per week, Wednesday evening and Saturday morning for a puppy training course with approximately six to eight owners and their dogs.Attorney Clark did not see a limitation in the minor home occupation ordinance which noted size of structure.He said it spoke of the use being incidental to the primary use.He also noted that the Building Inspector had issued permits for large garages in Town.He then handed out pictures to the Board for review.He felt if the applicant wanted to simply construct a garage, they would have been allowed to do so.He said it was his clientís opinion that operating the business two days per week would still be subordinate to the primary use.

 

Attorney Clark noted that the permit was also denied due to the lack of traffic information.He believed that it had been submitted orally, but had also included it in his letter (ATTACHMENT #1).He then submitted the original copies of letters signed by the abutters.

 

Mr. LaBonte asked if the use was considered to be an agricultural business.He said if it was, they would not need a special exception and it would not be a minor home occupation.Attorney Clark didnít understand the purpose of the question.He said the applicants had worked in the past under a different section of the ordinance.He reiterated that with the exception of needing a building permit for the garage, they would not have a case and would have continued to operate their business.

 

Mr. Hennessey asked what the current square feet of the house was.Attorney Clark handed out a copy of the applicantís tax card.He felt that the Building Inspector based his decision on the living area, which was just over 2000 square feet, not the gross area, which was 3364 square feet.Mr. Hennessey felt the Building Inspector was correct with the square feet of the house.He didnít feel that the proposed structure would overwhelm the size of the primary.He asked if the applicant stipulated hours of operation in their application.Attorney Clark answered no and offered that if the Board were to reverse the Building Inspectorís decision, they could impose reasonable conditions.Mr. Hennessey felt the use was secondary based on the fact that, per the applicant,the structure was secondary, and the use was limited.

 

Mr. Gleason asked if the applicant objected to filing a special exception.Attorney Clark said it hadnít been addressed.He felt that addressing the denial should be first since it was his opinion that their business fell under the minor home occupation ordinance.Mr. LaPolice asked if they had considered applying for a general home occupation.Attorney Clark answered no.

 

Mr. McNamara asked if the applicant had ever appeared before the Board at the time they began their business.Attorney Clark answered no.Mr. McNamara asked if there would be a net increase in business or traffic volume if the proposed were allowed.Ms. Maureen Ross answered no.She explained the nature of the Therapet business, which was contracted away from the residence.Mr. McNamara asked, and Ms. Ross confirmed that Therapet did not operate from the home.

 

Mr. LaBonte asked if the applicant would be using the garage to store their vehicles as well.Ms. Ross answered yes and explained that it would also contain their tractor, dog training apparatus and an office.

 

Mr. McNamara asked what the height of the structure would be.Attorney Clark said it would be one story.

 

Mr. Gleason asked if there was anything submitted with the Town, which indicated which business would be operating from the residence.Attorney Clark said that Dog Talk was registered and that Therapet was under Dog Talk.Mr. Gleason confirmed that only the Dog Talk business would be conducted from the residence.Ms. Ross answered yes.

 

Mr. LaBonte said the minor home occupation didnít have the living space restriction as the general home occupation did.

 

Mr. Gleason asked if there would be rest facilities.Ms. Ross answered no.Mr. LaBonte asked if there would be any additional employees.Ms. Ross said it was a solely owned business and she was the only employee.Mr. Gleason asked if they had adequate parking facilities.Ms. Ross answered yes.

 

Mr. LaPolice discussed possible scenarios and said that if the Building Inspector felt that the business had grown from what was stated in the letter, the Code Enforcement Officer could bring back before the Board.

Mr. Hennessey said if the Board overturned the decision, they could add stipulations.

 

The Board briefly discussed the options.

 

Mr. Hennessey made a motion to overturn the administrative decision and listed the reasons.Mr. McNamara seconded.Mr. LaPolice asked that the Board also state that a reason for overturning the decision was based on the letter (dated May 14, 2001) submitted by applicantís council (ATTACHMENT #1).Mr. Hennessey amended his motion, Mr. McNamara amended his second.

 

MOTION:

(Hennessey/McNamara)To overturn the administrative decision based on the following:1) the property is clearly secondary based on the relative cubic size of the building and the primary usage as a residential; 2) usage of the building, as described by the applicant, limits to twice a week which contributes it to being a secondary home occupation; 3) based on the three-page letter (dated May 14, 2001) submitted by applicantís council (ATTACHMENT #1)

 

VOTE:

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

Mr. LaPolice added that if the applicant decided to grow the business they would be subject to the existing laws.

†††††††††††††††

ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION HAS BEEN OVERTURNED

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

April 9, 2001

 

 

MOTION:

 

VOTE:††

(LaBonte/McNamara) To accept the minutes from the April 9, 2001 Board meeting as read.

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

 

MOTION:

 

VOTE:††

(LaPolice/McNamara) To adjourn the meeting.

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:30 pm.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Respectfully submitted,

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Charity A.L. Willis††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Recording Secretary