APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MEETING

July 14, 2003

 

The acting Chairman, Mr. Peter McNamara, called the meeting to order at approximately 7:30 pm.

 

The Clerk, Mr. David Hennessey, called the roll:

 

PRESENT:

 

 

ABSENT:

Peter McNamara, Edmund Gleason, David Hennessey, Jeff Gowan, Alternate Svetlana Beloritsky, Alternate Cindy Ronning

 

Walter Kosik, Selectmen’s Representative Victor Danevich

 

Mr. McNamara noted that Ms. Ronning would vote in Mr. Kosik’s absence.

 

HEARINGS

 

Case #2257 - REGAN, Rodney/4 Iris Avenue - Seeking an Equitable Waiver in accordance with RSA 674:33-a or the alternative Variance in accordance with RSA 674:33 for a pre-existing structure within the required setbacks within the residential zone.

 

Mr. Hennessey read the list of abutters aloud. There were no persons present who did not have their name read, or who had a problem with notification. The file did not contain any written correspondence from abutters.

 

Mr. Rodney Regan, 4 Iris Avenue explained to the Board that his existing garage did not meet the required 15ft. setback.  Mr. Regan said while he was signing the purchase papers in October, 1998 he was informed of the setback shortage.  It was explained that the previous owners were unaware of the problem. He said that the violation had existed for more than ten years with no enforcement.  Taxes had been paid on the violation for many years.  Mr. Regan read aloud the requirements for Equitable Waiver.  He said if he had been informed of the setback issue prior to signing papers he would have looked into the situation first.  He explained that the garage had been part of the property for many years and it looked good.  He said that there was only one abutter and didn’t feel that it would interfere with anyone.  He ended by saying that the cost of relocating would not be possible for him.  Mr. McNamara noted that the Planning Director indicated, after review of tax records, that the garage was constructed in 1960. 

 

Mr. Gleason asked why Mr. Regan had delayed coming before the Board.  Mr. Regan said that he was interested in making his property legal, but had not pursued before this time.  He noted that the garage was detached.  Mr. Gleason asked if there was a carport on the property.  Mr. Regan said the carport no longer existed.  Mr. Gleason questioned if there was already a variance on the property.  Mr. McNamara found no evidence that there was already a variance. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. Guy Steucek, owner 60 Jericho Road, recalled that the garage had been added to the property since 1960, but was unsure of the exact date.  He asked what the consequence would be if the Equitable Waiver were not granted.  Mr. McNamara said the building would need to conform to the Town’s code, which may require the building to be torn down.  In light of the information, Mr. Steucek spoke in favor of the Equitable Waiver. 

 

There was a brief discussion regarding the date that the garage was built, which would be the determining factor whether an Equitable Waiver, or a Variance was required.  The Board decided to use the information provided by the Planning Director that indicated the garage had been built in 1960.   

 

There was no further discussion from the Board.  A ballot vote was taken, based upon the requirements for an equitable waiver:

 

BALLOT VOTE:

 

Mr. McNamara - yes; meets all requirement for Equitable Waiver

Mr. Gleason - yes

Mr. Hennessey - yes

Mr. Gowan - yes; Equitable Waiver

Ms. Ronning - yes

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

 

EQUITABLE WAIVER GRANTED

 

Case #2258 - MILNES, Peter/7 Main Street - Seeking a Variance concerning Article IV, Section 307-16 to permit an existing building to be used as professional office space within the residential zone.

 

Mr. Hennessey read the list of abutters aloud. There were no persons present who did not have their name read, or who had a problem with notification. The file did not contain any written correspondence from abutters.

 

Attorney Paul DeCarolis, representing the applicant, met with the Board to discuss Case 2258.  He said the Zoning Board granted a variance in 1978 for the property to be used by the insurance company, conditioned upon if the business ever changed, the variance would be null and void.  He said the purpose of the current application was to allow office use of the building.  He said the only condition they were requesting to be lifted was the limitation for use as an insurance business.  Attorney DeCarolis believed the proposed use was ideal for the building in that location.  He felt the type of business fit well within Pelham Center.  He noted there was only one residential abutter (Ms. Shirley Sutton), who had no objections to the proposed variance.  He believed the application fit within the conditions within the new zoning under the Simplex case.         

 

Attorney DeCarolis read the following criteria aloud:

 

Item #1.  The proposed use would not diminish surrounding property values because: The proposed use would utilize the existing colonial design of the property consistent with the other buildings in Pelham Center.  The use will not generate any excessive traffic or noise interfering with any of the nearby residential uses of the property.

 

Item #2.  Granting the variance would not be contrary to the public interest because: The property has been used for many years as an insurance business.  The proposed use would not alter the office use of the property, but rather only alter the nature of the business that may be located therein.

 

Item #3.  Denial of the variance would result in unnecessary hardship to the owner because:

a) the zoning restriction as applied to their property interferes with the reasonable use of the property, considering the unique setting of the property in its environment such that: The lot is undersized and is a prior non-conforming lot.  Because of its location on a busy town street, it is not ideally suited for residential uses.

 

b) that no fair and substantial relationship exists between the general purposes of the zoning ordinance and the specific restriction on the property because: The purpose of the zoning ordinance is to protect residential areas from the noise and traffic of business or industrial uses.  The proposed use is to merely allow office space in a residential district which do not interfere with the use of the neighbor’s property.

 

c) the variance would not injure the public or private rights of others since: The proposed use would not generate excessive traffic or noise or otherwise interfere with any of the residential use of the neighborhood.

 

Item #4.  Granting the variance would do substantial justice because: Granting the variance would allow the continued use of the property as office space, but lift the present restriction that the property be used only by an insurance agency.

 

Item #5.  This use is not contrary to the spirit of the ordinance because: The proposed use would continue to preserve the character of the neighborhood.

 

Mr. Gleason asked if the applicant had thought about reverting the building to residential use.  He was opposed to allowing just any business use within the Town Center.  Attorney DeCarolis said the second floor of the building was presently residential and believed his client would like the option to use the building for professional office use.  He believed under the current criteria that there needed to be a reasonable basis for imposing zoning restriction, which would raise the question if office space was reasonable use for the property, based upon the building’s unique character and setting under Simplex.  He said the request was to change the use to professional use, not commercial use. 

 

Mr. Gowan asked how many parking spaces were available to the building.  Attorney DeCarolis said in addition to the parking spots in front of the building, there was room for an additional eight, or ten vehicles behind the building in the paved area.  He said there was also an unpaved area that could accommodate additional vehicles.  He said in total there were currently approximately twenty, to twenty-two paved parking spots.   

 

Ms. Ronning asked if there could be a list of certain professional uses within the building (i.e. doctors, real estate, accounting).  Mr. Peter Milnes, owner of the property, said that the insurance office began in the late 1970’s.  He said the concern at the time was if the Town Center was going to remain split between residential and business.  He said the types of professional activities that occur within the building range from insurance to investment real estate, to real estate, to mortgage, to general consulting.  He said they were not seeking professional occupancy that was inconsistent with past usage. 

 

There was no public input.

 

Mr. Gleason asked if the facility was up to code.  He said there was a letter in the file from the Planning Director that said improvements were going to be made to the building.  Mr. Milnes believed that the issues had been addressed.    Mr. Roland Soucy, Town Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer believed there had been an issue with the egress on the first floor and the alarm on the second floor.  He asked the Board to consider the square footage of the building and the amount of people that would be allowed.  Mr. McNamara asked how many tenants would occupy the building.  Mr. Milnes said traditionally there had been one tenant downstairs and the apartment upstairs.  Mr. McNamara asked if the use of the apartment would be continued.  Mr. Milnes said the use of the apartment would continue at this time.

Mr. Gleason also inquired as to whether or not Mr. Milnes were going to allow the Library, and soon to be Historical Society, continue to use his premises parking since there isn’t any at the Library. Mr. Milnes confirmed

 that he would allow continued use. 

 

Mr. Hennessey suggested that a recommendation be made through the Planning Board for a discussion to re-zone the Town Center.  He felt the request was reasonable under Simplex.  He suggested that the following conditions be placed on the variance: 1) exterior appearance of the property remain; 2) property defined so that there is no more non-conforming use as what previously existed. 

 

There was a brief discussion regarding what types of businesses would occupy the building.  Attorney DeCarolis said the businesses being contemplated were insurance, real estate, mortgage brokerage, financial services, law office, general consulting practices and related businesses.  He said the type of business would not be retail in nature that generated a lot of traffic, such as a pediatrician.  The Board continued discussion regarding limiting the types of business and traffic that would be generated. 

 

Mr. Gleason made a motion to grant the variance, with a condition to restrict the businesses of the building to the following professional services: insurance, real estate, mortgage brokerage, financial services, law office, general consulting practices and related businesses; the colonial exterior of the building shall also be retained.  Mr. Gowan seconded the motion.       

 

MOTION:

(Gleason/Gowan) Variance approval conditioned upon professional services of the building being restricted to the following: insurance, real estate, mortgage brokerage, financial services, law office, general consulting practices and related businesses.  The colonial exterior of the building shall be retained.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

A ballot vote was taken, based upon the five criteria for a variance:

 

BALLOT VOTE:

 

Mr. McNamara - Yes to all criteria

Mr. Gleason - Yes to all criteria

Mr. Hennessey - Yes to all criteria

Mr. Gowan - Yes to all criteria

Ms. Ronning - Yes to all criteria

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

 

VARIANCE GRANTED

 

Case #2259 - SMITH, Martha/33 Windham Road - Seeking a Special Exception concerning Article XII, Section 307-76 III to permit a horse riding academy within the residential zone.

 

Mr. Hennessey read the list of abutters aloud. There were no persons present who did not have their name read, or who had a problem with notification. The file contained one letter from an abutter, Mr. Richard Sutton, which was read aloud during the public input segment by Mr. Hennessey. 

 

Ms. Martha Smith met with the Board to discuss her case.  She requested that she and her daughter be allowed to operate a riding academy for children.  She said that the lessons would run approximately twelve hours per week.  She noted that she also ran a 4H group to educate people interested in owning horses.  She discussed the layout of her lot, which extended 1000ft. from the road, and explained that her horses were located approximately 300ft. from the road.  She said that the paddocks were double-fenced to keep her horses from getting loose.  Ms. Smith said she had been working with the NRCS (state organization for the conservation of soil) to ensure proper practices were being maintained.  She said that she had removed some pine trees and replaced them with other trees, which, when mature would help with privacy and also create a wind-break.  Ms. Smith said that she held lessons at 3:30pm and 4:30pm, four days during the week and also on Saturday between 9am-12pm.  She said that she tried to be active in the community and volunteer when possible. 

 

Mr. Hennessey read the applicable ordinance aloud.  Mr. McNamara informed that the conditions of the ordinance would need to be met.  He asked that Ms. Smith’s letter of intent dated June, 2003 be placed into the record. 

 

Mr. Hennessey asked for an explanation of the wetland line depicted on Ms. Smith’s drawing of her property.  Ms. Smith said that the one-hundred year flood line of Beaver Brook was depicted on her drawing.  Mr. Hennessey pointed out that the lot contained a one-hundred year flood line, wetlands, as well as a wetland buffer.  Ms. Smith reviewed her plan and noted that she incorrectly drew the one-hundred year flood line and it should be outside the riding area shown on the plan.  Mr. Hennessey asked if the manure/compost area was accurately depicted.  Ms. Smith said the manure/compost area was depicted correctly.  Mr. Hennessey asked where the customers would park.  Ms. Smith said there were seven or eight parking spaces available, as well as an additional area in front of her home.  Mr. Hennessey asked if the business was currently in use.  Ms. Smith answered yes and said she started last summer.  Mr. Hennessey asked if there were any signs on the property that were illuminated.  Ms. Smith said she had a sign, but it was not illuminated. 

 

Mr. McNamara felt that the first requirement (occupation to remain secondary and subordinate to the primary residential use and won’t change the residential character of the neighborhood) should be addressed.  He confirmed that the classes would not be more than twelve hours per week.  He asked how many employees would be employed.  Ms. Smith said the only employee would be her daughter.  Mr. McNamara asked how many cars/trucks were on the property.  Ms. Smith said that she and her daughter each owned a truck and a horse trailer.  She discussed where the trucks and horse trailers were parked.  Mr. McNamara asked the number of horses currently owned.  Ms. Smith said that she owned eight miniature horses, eleven ponies and one horse.  Mr. McNamara asked if the stable and riding area was invisible from the road.  Ms. Smith described her lot, and said that one neighbor may be able to see her riding area.  She said that she had planted some trees and bushes for a buffer. 

 

Mr. Gleason asked how the odor and waste from the horses would be controlled.  Ms. Smith said that the waste was currently being taken to an organic farm in Exeter.  She said that she would like to build a fully enclosed compost area on a concrete slab.  Mr. Gleason asked how the odor would be minimized for the neighbors.  Ms. Smith said that she cleaned her barn daily and used a highly absorbent bedding to help minimize odors.  She said until the compost was built, she tried to keep the storage area covered.  Mr. Gleason asked when the compost would be built.  Ms. Smith said she was trying to hire a contractor to build the structure.  Mr. Gleason asked what the interim plans were for the compost until the structure was built.  Ms. Smith said her intentions were to build the structure before the fall.  Mr. Hennessey was concerned that the structure would require a variance due to structure.  Ms. Smith said there was adequate area to build the 10ftx10ft structure. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked how long Ms. Smith had owned the property.  Ms. Smith said she purchased the property in August, 2000.  Mr. McNamara suggested that the Board walk the site.  Ms. Ronning agreed. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

A resident of Mt. Vernon Drive said that she and her daughter had gone to Ms. Smith’s since it had opened.  She noted that safety was a priority.  She said, while on vacation,  Ms. Smith had occasion to care for her horse and the care was impeccable.  She said she would be disappointed if the facility were closed. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked Ms. Smith how many clients she had for lessons.  Ms. Smith said she had approximately forty students. 

 

Ms. Claire Morris, Windham Road said she and her daughter took riding lessons from Ms. Smith.  She said there was no comparison of quality and instruction to other riding academies. 

 

Ms. Chris Paquin, Windham Road was concerned with the parking on Windham Road when Ms. Smith had shows.  For safety, Ms. Paquin would like off-street parking provided.  She said that there had been three shows since March.  She also voiced her concern regarding the possible well contamination from the horse manure and urine.  Ms. Paquin ended by asking if the variance were granted would the lot be grandfathered for other types of businesses, even if sold.  Mr. Hennessey said the lot would not be grandfathered.

 

Mr. Coleman Costello, Windham Road, said his main concern was privacy, since there was no buffer between his lot and Ms. Smith’s lot.  He did not want the value of his home to depreciate, or to have a potential buyer back down.

 

Ms. Colleen Costello, Windham Road, said Ms. Smith was a good neighbor and reiterated her husband’s concern regarding privacy.  She added that noise pollution was a concern because a few shows were held on a Sunday beginning at 9am and ending at 3pm.  She said it was difficult to exit their driveway due to the traffic and parked cars on the street. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked if there were any lights in the riding area or stables.  Ms. Smith said the only lights were the spotlights on her house.  She discussed her hours of operation, which were during the day.  Mr. McNamara asked if the business operated throughout the winter.  Ms. Smith said she operated during the winter last year, but was unsure if she would this year. 

 

Attorney William Mason, representing Albert and Mildred Lynch, Windham Road, provided the Board with a copy of the tax map.  He said the property was approximately four acres, but believed it was critical to note that the width of the parcel was only 200ft.  He said that Ms. Smith had basically clear-cut the lot and noted that it went beyond the end of the cul-de-sac on Hemlock Drive.  He said there were various riding pens and areas that now had a very limited screen.  He also pointed out that the footprint of the barn (24ft.x60ft.) was larger than the footprint of the house (25ft.x48ft.).  Attorney Mason said on behalf of his clients didn’t feel that the area was where a riding academy should be placed.  He reviewed RSA 307-63 and discussed the requirements contained therein, which he did not feel the applicant met.  He ended by saying the academy did not fit into the residential character of the neighborhood, and felt for the people in the neighborhood the special exception should not be granted.  Mr. McNamara asked if Attorney Mason believed the application should be submitted for a variance, versus a special exception.  Attorney Mason didn’t feel that the applicant met the general or specific requirements for a special exception. 

 

Ms. Ronning asked Attorney Mason the location of his client’s property, and if it was rental property.  Attorney Mason said his client’s property was next door (ML 8-187/35 Windham Road) to Ms. Smith’s lot and was a two-family home.

 

Mr. Don Paquin, Windham Road asked if the Town had a regulation that restricted the number of animals allowed per acre.  Mr. Soucy believed there was a state regulation, but was unsure of the specifics.  Mr. Paquin asked for an explanation of how the animal waste would be handled.  Ms. Smith said that compost and manure was a saleable product, but could be used on the property.  However, she said it would be removed.  Mr. Paquin wanted to know how the wells and septic systems in the area would be affected from the animals on Ms. Smith’s property.  He was concerned with the close proximately of the horse pen to Beaver Brook.  He said when shows were being held traffic and parking was hazardous.  He also wanted to know if the amount of trailers on the property would increase with the number of horses. 

 

Mr. Harold Mooney, Windham Road, was concerned with the value of the property and if his ability to sell would be disrupted.  He was uncomfortable with the fact that expansion of the facility was not specifically addressed.  He felt that the number of animals per acre should be reviewed.  Mr. Mooney ended by saying he believed Ms. Smith’s intent was genuine toward the children. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked the abutters if there was a significant odor problem.  Mr. Mooney, who lived across the street answered no.  Ms. Costello, who lived beside Ms. Smith, said there was an awareness that horses were kept next door, but the odor was not significant.  Mr. Costello said at certain times during the year it was obvious that horses were being kept. 

 

Mr. Edward Lynch, curator of the abutting parcel on Windham Road, informed that both tenants of the duplex have complained about the odor from horse manure and the problem with flies.  He said during the darker months the past year there was an annoyance with the illumination streaming across his parcel.  Ms. Smith said during the past year they were experimenting with light, but had taken it out becaup                                                                                                                                                                                           t had shown in the direction of her abutter.     

 

Ms. Jessica Smith, Martha’s daughter, informed that she and her mother would continue to own horses, whether or not they had a business. 

 

Mr. Hennessey read aloud a letter dated July 14, 2003, submitted by Mr. Richard Sutton, Windham Road.  Mr. Sutton outlined his concern regarding the impact of traffic entering Windham Road from abutting parcels during which time Ms. Smith was holding shows.  He suggested that the Town install No Parking signs on Windham Road.  Ms. Smith noted that in the future, the plan was to review the possibility of shuttling people to and from the show from Pelham Saddlery. 

 

Ms. Paquin said she had gone onto Ms. Smith’s website, which indicated Ms. Smith was partnered with another academy.  She was concerned with an increase of business.  Mr. Jerry Adcock (Ms. Jessica Smith’s partner), who also resided at 33 Windham Road, clarified the concern by explaining that he and his wife had a separate name for their business when they lived in Idaho, and combined business names with Ms. Smith when they moved to New Hampshire. 

 

Mr. Mooney asked if it were possible to limit the permit and specify the number of horses allowed.  Mr. McNamara said it would be addressed.

 

Mr. Gleason asked how many events/shows were anticipated to be held during the next year.  Ms. Smith said the plan was to hold three shows in the spring and two shows in the fall.  Mr. Gleason asked if her backland land had been cleared down to Beaver Brook.  Ms. Smith said, per the recommendation of a forester, she removed all the pine trees, but left the deciduous trees.  Mr. Gleason asked if a permit was pulled for construction of the barn.  Mr. Soucy said the barn was constructed and due to the concerns of the electrical inspector, he reviewed the building and realized what was going on at the site.  He said in the spirit of cooperation, he instructed Ms. Smith to submit paperwork to the Board for a home occupation.  He said he let the business continue as long as the paperwork was in the process of being reviewed by the Board.  Mr. Gleason asked if the barn was in compliance with what was requested.  Mr. Soucy answered yes, and noted that the Town did not have an ordinance that regulated structure sizes. 

 

Mr. Gowan noted that if the plan were to be submitted to the Planning Board for review, a better detailed plan should be submitted to the Town.  Mr. McNamara suggested that the Board walk the site and if more specificity were needed, the Board could then request that an additional plan be submitted. 

 

Ms. Ronning asked what the difference would be between a variance and a special exception in connection with this case.  Mr. McNamara believed the difference was what needed to be proven, and what conditions needed to be fulfilled.  Mr. Hennessey discussed what would need to be proven if a variance were being applied for.  He said in the case of a special exception, there was not much room for interpretation.  He felt that the applicant may need to come before the Board with an application for a variance, rather than a special exception, based upon the application not meeting the rules for a special exception.  Mr. Gleason was unsure if the special exception applied in this case because there was clearly agricultural use of the property.  He had significant reservations since there was no indication of a remedy for the problems with the flies, or the compost.  He also felt that a variance, rather than a special exception should be applied for.  He was not in favor of the application as presented based upon the problems discussed.  He said that a more definitive plan would need to be provided before he would grant a special exception, or a variance. 

 

The Board discussed the application as it was presented.  Ms. Smith was told that the Board could either vote on the application as a special exception, which did not appear to be applicable, or she could withdraw, and resubmit an application for a variance.  Ms. Smith said she was under the impression that she was applying for a variance.  There was further discussion regarding the direction Ms. Smith should take.  Ms. Smith said she tried not to bother other people and wished that her neighbors had come to her with problems.  Mr. McNamara didn’t feel that the abutter testimony was the deciding factor in this case.  He believed the nature of the business and location was the problem.  He was unsure if it could be corrected with a variance.  He told her she could either have the Board vote on the application as submitted, or she could withdraw and reapply for a variance.  It was suggested that Ms. Smith should submit a ‘tighter’ drawing that defined distances and locations so they could be determined precisely.

 

Ms. Smith withdrew her application.   

 

Case #2260 - NOGALES, Hector/1 Spring Street Ext. - Seeking a Variance concerning Article III, Section 307-7, 307-8C, 307-12 & 307-14 to permit an existing two (2) bedroom year-round dwelling to be removed and replaced with a new larger structure on a lot which is currently undersized and has no direct frontage on a Town approved road within the residential zone. 

 

Mr. Hennessey read the list of abutters aloud. There were no persons present who did not have their name read, or who had a problem with notification. The file did not contain any written correspondence from abutters.

 

Mr. Wes Aspinwall, Herbert Associates posted a copy of the septic design and provided the Board with an overview of the application.  He said the applicant would like to replace the existing building with a two-bedroom year-round home.  He showed a sketch of the proposed building.  He said the septic had failed, but it would be replaced by a system already approved by the state whether the variance was approved, or not.  Mr. Aspinwall reviewed the letter of intent, which stated that the applicant wanted more living space, not more bedrooms.  The building was constructed over eighty years ago and the plan called for construction of a building that would meet current building codes.  Mr. Aspinwall discussed the current condition of the building and the problems contained therein.  He went on to describe what the proposed building dimensions would be and explained that a portion of the existing deck would be converted to living space.  Mr. Aspinwall went on to review the ordinances cited in the application and the purpose for such. He then read aloud the following criteria and the answers provided by the applicant:

 

Item #1.  The proposed use would not diminish surrounding property values because: An old building in somewhat poor condition will be replaced with a new building of much better quality construction, which will meet all current building codes.

 

Item #2.  Granting the variance would not be contrary to the public interest because: It will increase the value and tax revenue of the property and provide a more aesthetically pleasant appearance within the neighborhood.

 

Item #3.  Denial of the variance would result in unnecessary hardship to the owner because:

a) the zoning restriction as applied to their property interferes with the reasonable use of the property, considering the unique setting of the property in its environment such that: The existing structure and the proposed structure fit within the zoning setbacks and meet current septic regulations.  The owner has a right-of-way to Spring Street Extension for a driveway and parking.  The lot functions well for its current use of a two (2) bedroom year-round lot.  Denial of the variance present an unnecessary and unreasonable hardship to the owner because he would be forced to do extensive repairs to maintain his use of a building which is substandard by current building codes or to totally replace the same building which is smaller than the other houses in the area and is too small for their comfortable use. 

 

b) that no fair and substantial relationship exists between the general purposes of the zoning ordinance and the specific restriction on the property because:  The usage will remain the same and the proposed changes to the building are not in conflict with the purpose of the zoning as stated in Article I Section 307.2.

 

c) the variance would not injure the public or private rights of others since: The proposed building will meet setback distances, and not cause interference with any abutting properties.

 

Item #4.  Granting the variance would do substantial justice because: It will allow the owner to continue the same usage in a new building which will meet all current building standards and provide some additional living space.

 

Item #5.  This use is not contrary to the spirit of the ordinance because: We believe that relative to pre-existing non-conforming lots and buildings that the intent and spirit of the ordinance are to prevent over-expansion and excessive over-use on lots that are undersize rather than to perpetuate exact building dimensions or styles on buildings that are now over 40-years old.  This building will have the same usage and a 51% increase in floor area and 15% increase in footprint. 

 

Mr. Gleason asked if the new septic system had been completed.  Mr. Aspinwall said the septic had been approved, and believed it was scheduled to be done in the near future.  Mr. Gleason confirmed that the current system had failed and that the approved plan would be adequate for the house (two bedrooms).  Mr. Aspinwall answered yes. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked if the new home would be constructed over the existing home.  Mr. Aspinwall said the new building would virtually be over the existing home; portions would be squared off.  He pointed out that the required building setbacks would be maintained.  He then submitted a letter signed by a number of the neighbors who were in favor of the plan.  He also submitted a letter signed by neighbors affirming the driveway easement.  Both letters were read aloud by Mr. McNamara. 

 

Ms. Ronning asked if the well radius was met for ML11-392.  Mr. Aspinwall said the well radius was met (the standard is 75ft., the plan shows 92ft.).  He then reviewed the setbacks for Mr. McNamara. 

 

Mr. Hennessey was concerned with increased runoff from the driveway and asked if Mr. Nogales would agree to a stipulation that the current water runoff would remain the same.  Mr. Aspinwall informed that the driveway was actually an easement, not owned by Mr. Nogales and used by a number of people.  He said that Mr. Nogales did not intend to make changes as part of this project.  Mr. Hennessey asked if there was any intent to change the slope of the lot during construction.  Mr. Aspinwall said there may be some finish grading associated with the house, but the increase in runoff would be minor since there was only a 15% increase in the footprint of the building. 

 

Mr. McNamara confirmed that the applicant had no objection that the number of bedrooms be limited and that the square footage remain as presented. 

 

There was no public input.

 

Mr. Roland Soucy, Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer informed that there was no way the building code could be met with the current building condition.  He said the structure should be taken down. 

 

There was no further discussion from the Board. 

 

MOTION:

(Hennessey/Gleason) Stipulation that the square footage of structure is not to exceed 1680SF as a two-bedroom property, with the approve design.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

A ballot vote was taken, based upon the five criteria for a variance.

 

BALLOT VOTE:

 

Mr. McNamara - yes to all criteria, including stipulation of above motion.

Mr. Gleason - yes to all criteria, including stipulation of above motion.

Mr. Hennessey - yes to all criteria, including stipulation of above motion.

Mr. Gowan - yes to all criteria

Ms. Ronning - yes to all criteria, including stipulation of above motion.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

 

MINUTES

 

June 9, 2003

 

MOTION:

(Hennessey/Gleason) To approve the June 9, 2003 minutes as amended.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS DISCUSSION

 

Mr. McNamara informed that the Town of Londonderry would hold a hearing regarding increasing the height of a cell tower.  He then gave a status update of two cases that were currently in litigation, per a memo provided by Attorney Diane Gorrow, Town Council.  The Board discussed the possibility of Town Counsel holding a meeting to discuss the status of pending court cases.  There was a brief discussion regarding inviting the Planning Director to a meeting to discuss procedural issues in connection with the Board’s proceedings.  

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(Gleason/Gowan) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:35 pm.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Charity A.L. Willis

Recording Secretary