APPROVED

TOWN OF PELHAM

ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MEETING

January 14, 2002

 

The Chairman, Walter Kosik, called the meeting to order at approximately 7:30 pm.

 

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

 

PRESENT:             Walter Kosik, Edmund Gleason, George LaBonte, Jr., Peter McNamara, Peter LaPolice, Alternate David Hennessey

 

ABSENT:               None.

 

Case #2216 - ML 7-14-2 - SARGENT, Ross/Dutton Road - Seeking a Variance to Article VII, Section 307-37 to permit a three-bedroom residence be built within the 50’ wetland setback.

 

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

 

Mr. Peter Zohdi, Herbert Associates presented the case to the Board. He began by handing out maps from the original subdivision when the septic design had been approved. 

 

Mr. Zohdi reviewed the criteria as follows:

 

Item #1.  There will be no decrease in the value of the surrounding properties: the proposed structure would be equal value or greater value to the surrounding properties.

 

Item #2.  It is in the public interest: the proposed use would add to the taxes being paid on the property.

 

Item #3.  There is significant hardship to the land: if the Variance were not granted, the property would be rendered useless with little or no value.

 

Item #4.  There is substantial justice to be done: the lot is a lot of record and predates the current zoning setback requirements of the present time.

 

Item #5.  This request is within the spirit of the zoning ordinance: they are only requesting a Variance to waive one of the zoning requirements and they will meet all other setbacks and codes. 

 

Mr. Kosik asked if the lot was a lot of record.  Mr. Zohdi noted that the Planning Board had approved the subdivision October 5, 1981.  He said that on October 19, 1988 the Town approved a septic design and on October 24, 1988 DES granted their approval.  Mr. Zohdi said that the zoning had since changed to have a 50’ setback from hydric A or B soil, therefore, making their lot not buildable.  He pointed out that when the zoning was changed, there was no grandfathering provision.  He reiterated that his clients purchased a lot that could be built upon, and now they could not.  Mr. Zohdi ended by requesting a Variance to the hydric B soil. 

 

Mr. Kosik wanted to know how far into the wetland they proposed building.  Mr. Zohdi said the structure only (not the septic) would be in the buffer, not the wetland.  Mr. Gleason how far into the buffer they were proposing to build.  Mr. Zohdi said he would be completely in the buffer.  Mr. Kosik asked if the house could be moved.  Mr. Zohdi said they would then have a front setback problem and the house would be more in the conservation area.  He said the proposed location for the house would have the least impact on the land. 

 

Mr. Kosik asked if a septic design had been submitted.  Mr. Zohdi said that Mr. Paul Zarnowski, Town Health Agent would not send the design out without the Board’s approval.  He said that the previous plan was approved.  Mr. Gleason asked if the septic would meet the setback criteria.  Mr. Zohdi answered yes.  Mr. Gleason asked if the adjoining properties were infringing upon the wetlands.  Mr. Zohdi did not know. 

 

Mr. Clay Mitchell, Town Planning Director discussed the Board’s jurisdiction was per RSA 307:41b, which was the prohibition against structures.  He felt the applicant should clarify that they had enough area to place all their structures.  He said the Board could also place conditions on the permit for limiting any additional structures.  He felt the disturbance area should be clearly marked. 

 

Mr. Zohdi said his understanding of zoning was that if the lot of record predated the current zoning, it would be exempt. 

 

Mr. Hennessey said that the Variance was for a change of use, not a setback and therefore could not be grandfathered.  He said that the ordinance did not allow a residence in the WCD.  Mr. Zohdi said it didn’t allow anything.  He said existing uses were not grandfathered.  Mr. Hennessey asked if Mr. Zohdi would oppose seeking Conservation’s opinion.  Mr. Zohdi said he would comply with the Board’s wishes.  Mr. Hennessey said he was concerned with the drainage for Dutton Road and Clark Circle.  He inquired if the recent subdivision would be effected.  Mr. Zohdi said the plan could be sent to Conservation for review. 

 

Mr. Mitchell said the hearing was for a Variance, not an appeal of the Health Officer’s determination, which would be a different process.  He suggested that the Board limit the conversation to Variance issues. 

 

Mr. Kosik asked if Mr. Zarnowski was aware of the hearing.  Mr. Zohdi answered no.  Mr. Gleason asked if there were other issues with the Health Officer.  Mr. Zohdi believed the only reason the plan was being held up was because of the house in the WCD. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. David Bendzewicz, 31 Dutton Road said there were current drainage runoff problems and wanted to know if any of the conservation land or WCD would be effected.  Mr. Zohdi said that the septic would comply and not effect other areas. 

 

Mr. LaPolice felt that Conservation should be consulted for recommendations on the construction site for mitigating any WCD damage.  Mr. Hennessey felt Conservation should provide a recommendation.  Mr. McNamara felt that Conservation’s input might test the stated criteria.  Mr. LaBonte wanted to know if the buffers around the house would be disturbed.  Mr. Zohdi said that the slab would be placed primarily at the natural ground so that the wetland would not be disturbed. 

 

Mr. McNamara made a motion to send the proposed matter to Conservation for an advisory opinion.  Mr. Gleason seconded and wanted to also seek a written or physical presentation by Mr. Zarnowski. 

 

Mr. LaPolice wanted to clarify what the Board was seeking from Conservation.  Mr. Kosik said that the Board wanted input before a final vote would be taken.  Mr. LaPolice felt that the applicant seeking the state’s approval for the septic was a separate issue. 

 

MOTION:

 

 

 

VOTE:

(McNamara/Gleason) To send the proposed matter to Conservation for an advisory opinion and to also seek a written or physical presentation by Mr. Paul Zarnowski, Health Officer.

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

It was decided to continue the hearing to the next meeting so that Mr. Zohdi would have a chance to contact Conservation and Mr. Zarnowski and have each forward their response to the Board for review.   

 

Case #2217 - ML 2-128 - TIBBITS, Kevin & Linda/Bush Hill Road - Seeking a Variance to Article III Section 307-14 to permit a lot with less than 200’ frontage.

 

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

 

Mr. Robert Balquist, Meisner Brem Corporation presented the case to the Board. 

 

The criteria was as follows: 

 

Item #1.  There will be no decrease in the value of the surrounding properties: the proposed homes for comparable value of other homes in area.

 

Item #2.  It is in the public interest: more tax money for Town; donation of land to create 50’ right-of-way for one of the lots to access water.  (see plan for details)

 

Item #3.  There is significant hardship to the land: this is family land; unique pie shaped lot (see plan); lots of ledge and good soil in only certain areas.

 

Item #4.  There is substantial justice to be done: makes family lot useful for development of land; back lot has large amount of land to make up for front.

 

Item #5.  This request is within the spirit of the zoning ordinance: donation of property (50’) to Town; large lot in rear; would like it to be in the spirit of the Town to grant the Variance.

 

Mr. Balquist said that plan was previously before the Board, but the Board requested additional information.  At the previous meeting there was not a full Board, but there was a quorum, and the applicant had decided to have their case heard.  Mr. Balquist said that the applicant requested a subdivision, which would create one lot with 200’ of frontage and one lot with 42’ of frontage.  He said they were proposing to construct two single family (3 bedroom) homes, one of which would not be visible due to the topography.  Mr. Balquist discussed the land donation of 50’ for improving and widening the right-of-way for Bush Hill Road.  He said that lot 2 would have a pedestrian access easement to Gumpas Pond that would remain in its natural state.  It would benefit lot 1, not the general public.  Mr. Balquist submitted a letter from Ms. Lois Ives and Mr. & Mrs. Richard Chadwick who did not oppose the Variance being granted.  He then discussed the hardship and said that the rear lot, with the proposed 43’ frontage would be the greater size lot with 4 3/4 acres.  Mr. Balquist discussed the topography and the slopes of the parcel.  He ended by saying that all other zoning requirements would be met.   

 

There was no public input.  

 

Mr. McNamara wanted to know what new information was being provided from the last meeting.  Mr. Balquist said that the applicant was trying to show that the hardship of the land was that there was not enough frontage to create two lots.  He reiterated that all other aspects of the zoning would be met.  Mr. McNamara was concerned with taking a conforming lot and creating a non-conforming lot.  He asked if there was any additional information to provide. 

 

Ms. Linda Tibbetts, provided information from similar cases with frontage issues that had been previously approved by the Board.  She said that they had more frontage than some of the cases. 

 

Mr. LaPolice asked what the receiving areas were.  Mr. Balquist said they were reserved for septic systems.  He said that Mr. Paul Zarnowski, Health Officer had reviewed and the test pits passed the minimum requirements for septic systems. 

 

The Board discussed previous approvals for similar cases.  Mr. McNamara didn’t feel a Variance should be granted based on the fact that Variances had been granted in the past for similar issues.  Mr. Hennessey agreed with Mr. McNamara.  He discussed what would benefit the Town.  Mr. LaBonte felt that the additional information in the topography and buildable land answered his questions.

 

BALLOT VOTE:

Mr. Kosik - Approved

Mr. Gleason - Not Approved

Mr. LaBonte - Approved

Mr. McNamara - Not Approved

Mr. LaPolice -Approved

 

 

VARIANCE GRANTED

 

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

December 10, 2001

MOTION:

 

 

VOTE:  

(McNamara/Hennessey) To accept the minutes of the December 10, 2001 Board meeting as read.

 

(4 - 0 - 2) The motion carries.  Mr. Gleason and Mr. LaPolice abstained.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

The motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting.

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:50 pm.

 

                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                                Charity A.L. Willis              

                                                                                                Recording Secretary