APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MEETING

January 14, 2013

 

The Chairman David Hennessey called the meeting to order at approximately 7:00 pm.

 

The Secretary Robert Molloy called roll:

 

PRESENT:

 

 

 

ABSENT:

David Hennessey, Svetlana Paliy, Robert Molloy, Peter McNamara, Alternate Chris LaFrance, Alternate Pauline Guay, Planning Director/Zoning Administrator Jeff Gowan

 

Kevin O’Sullivan, Alternate Lance Ouellette

 

The Board welcomed Ms. Guay to the Board.

 

Mr. LaFrance was appointed to vote in Mr. O’Sullivan’s absence.

 

CONTINUED:

 

Case #ZO2012-00025  CARRISON, Chris – 15 McGrath Road  //  Map 39 Lot 1-77 – Seeking a Variance to Articles VII & VIII, Sections 307-7, 307-8, 307-1, Table 1, 307-37 & 307-39 to permit a garage on a lot with 106ft. of frontage where 200ft. is required and is partially within the Wetland Conservation District.  

 

Mr. Hennessey said the abutter list was read at the previous meeting. 

 

Mr. Chris Carrison came forward to discuss the requested Variance.  He would like to construct a garage, on a lot that lacked the required road frontage and there were setback from wetland issues.  He read aloud the variance criteria as submitted with the application.  He provided the Board with a copy of a rough design of the garage, a copy of the certified plot plan and a copy of the Town tax map showing the adjacent lots that contained similar-type garages.  

 

Mr. Molloy asked for the lot’s acreage.  Mr. Carrison believed his lot was approximately 1.47 acres.  Mr. Molloy questioned if the existing gravel driveway (running in front of the garage) would remain gravel.  Mr. Carrison said the driveway was existing.  Mr. Molloy wanted to know the proposed height of the garage.  Mr. Carrison said the height would be approximately 24ft-25ft. in height. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked for the size of the garage.  Mr. Carrison said it would be 32ftwide x 42ftlength.  Mr. McNamara wanted to know the square footage of the home.  Mr. Carrison said it was approximately 1700SF.  Mr. McNamara asked if the items that would be stored in the garage were Mr. Carrison’s own property.  Mr. Carrison answered yes and summarized the items that would be inside.  Mr. McNamara asked if any business would be conducted at the residence or garage.  Mr. Carrison answered no.  Mr. McNamara asked if the lot line setbacks were correct.  Mr. Gowan believed they were.  He questioned the applicant why the structure wasn’t moved further away from the Wetland Conservation District (‘WCD’) because there was adequate land.  He said the plot plan didn’t show the topography, which was very steep in that section. 

 

Mr. Hennessey confirmed that the driveway currently existed.  Mr. Carrison answered yes. 

 

Mr. Hennessey opened the discussion for public input.  No one came forward.

 

Mr. McNamara noted that the proposed garage would be approximately 1536SF; which was a large structure to be in the WCD. 

 

Mr. Hennessey asked how close the applicant was to Long Pond.  Mr. Carrison said the lot bordered the water.  Mr. Hennessey questioned if the proposed garage would interfere with the view of the pond by any of the neighbors.  Mr. Carrison answered no.  He said his neighbors were located to the left and right of his lot.  The next neighbor was quite a bit behind him, and because of the elevation of the land, they were located above his property on a hill; the proposed garage would be lower than their home. 

 

Ms. Guay asked if the WCD was similar to an easement.  Mr. Hennessey said the WCD was an overlay district that contained additional setbacks.  Mr. Gowan further clarified that the WCD was in itself a buffer to the wetlands.  Ms. Guay questioned if there was anything prohibiting building in the overlay.  Mr. Gowan said building in the WCD was not allowed; the Zoning Board considers relief to the zoning. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked if moving the garage back out of the WCD would then interfere with the neighbor’s view.  Mr. Carrison didn’t believe it would have an effect, but explained the difficulties with adjusting the proposed location due to the sloping topography of the lot.  He proposed locating the garage on a flat area of the lot.  Mr. McNamara asked if there was drainage or water that collected in the WCD area.  Mr. Carrison said there was only one time (in the Spring) that had a trickle of water that dried up for the remainder of the year. 

 

Mr. LaFrance asked if the grade of the gravel driveway was consistent with the location of the garage.  He wanted to know if the area of the garage would be filled in.  Mr. Carrison answered no; the area was almost the same (slow taper) so only trim would be done. 

 

Mr. Hennessey asked the Board if they wanted to conduct a site walk.  He was familiar with the area.  No motion was made to conduct a site walk.  The public discussion was closed. 

 

BALLOT VOTE:

 

Mr. Hennessey – Yes to all criteria

Ms. Paliy – Yes to all criteria

Mr. McNamara – Yes to all criteria

Mr. Molloy –  Yes to all criteria

Mr. LaFrance – Yes to all criteria

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried.

 

 

VARIANCE GRANTED

 

 

Case #ZO2012-00026  FONTAINE, Beniot  -  14-18 Mercury Lane //  Map 3 Lot 5-37-1 & 5-37-2  -  Seeking a Variance to Article III, Sections 307-7, 307-8, 307-15 & 307-18 – to permit a minor expansion of a grandfathered, non-conforming use, construction contractor with storage yard, to include a logging/wood processing operation.  No activity within wetland buffer.

 

Mr. Richard Maynard of Maynard & Paquette, representing the applicant, came forward to discuss the Variance request.  He said a site walk was conducted in mid-December; abutters attended and offered testimony.  He believed the abutters didn’t have objection to the general operation, but indicated concern about the extent of it and hoped it wouldn’t be more than what was promoted or done over the past year and a half.  Agreement was made with the abutter, which would also be offered as stipulations/conditions (for approval) : 1) no on-site chipping; 2) hours of operation :  6:30am to 7pm weekdays /  6:30am to 2pm Saturday; 3)  no excessive idling of diesel trucks beyond the basic warm up and 4) firewood operation would be confined to the general area outlined on the plan (provided to the Board).  He said it was a construction yard so there were already allowable diesel equipment/vehicles on site.  He understood there was a person in the area that burned their trash in a barrel, which might explain why there was smoke in the air during the day.  He noted that the diesel vehicles were only being warmed up in the morning and moving on.  Mr. Maynard said the operation would remain the area that it had existed during the past year and a half.  He emphasized that the lot was a construction yard.  He said the neighbors had become a little spoiled because of the non-activity in the construction and real estate market during the past 3-4 years.  Presently the operation was low key because of the economy.  He also emphasized there were twenty-one people in and around the neighborhood (some direct abutters) who signed a petition having no objection to the operation that had existed during the past year and a half.  In summary, Mr. Maynard said it was a minor expansion of a contractor’s yard for a fire wood operation.  Logs were brought in, cut into firewood and moved on.  Chipping is not done on site; woodchips are brought in from off site, stored and moved on.  The proposed was not a retail operation; customers don’t come to the site.  The operation was intermittent, occurring periodically throughout the year.  Mr. Maynard said the operation was a pre-existing legally non-conforming use established in 1983.  He said it was a large lot that was relatively isolated with the operation being well away from any abutters.

 

Mr. Molloy read aloud the site walk meeting minutes.  The minutes were in draft form, but pertinent to the discussion and would be reviewed at the end of meeting for approval. 

 

Mr. Maynard believed the site walk minutes to be fairly accurate and complete.  He noted that flood plains were based on elevations, not lines on tax maps.  He said flood plain analysis had to be based on real elevations.  He said it was noted on site that the flood plain went up to the existing driveway and the proposal pertained to the other side of that driveway.  He said the main concern seemed to be containing the operation without expansion.  He hoped they reassured everyone that, with the Board’s assistance, the operation would remain minor as it had been for the last year and a half.  Mr. Gowan told the Board that the Town tax maps were updated every year.  He said the 100-year flood plain was a line on the map and elevations were relevant to what that line meant.  He said the line was indicated on the map by the State during the last FEMA flood mapping update. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked if the wood bin would be finished.  Mr. Maynard said most of it had been dismantled (because it was a structure) so they wouldn’t be in violation of the building code.  He said they would have two covered bins (each approximately 30ftx30ft) to get the materials out of the weather so they could dry properly.  The bins would be designed by a structural engineer and in the same current location.  

 

Mr. Hennessey understood that the applicant offered to restrict the hours and asked for them once again.  Mr. Maynard said they proposed to operate 6:30am-7pm weekdays; 6:30am-2pm Saturday and closed on Sunday.  Mr. Hennessey recalled testimony and concern about diesel and questioned if the proposed hours included warming up the diesel.  Mr. Maynard left the decision to the Board; but supposed it could.  He said the problem would come if the construction portion of the lot started back up again because they would start vehicles at approximately 6am to be able to get to a job site by 6:30am-7am.  He said if it was a primary concern, they would agree to a 6:30am start time (for the wood operation).  Mr. Gowan commented if a commercial structure was to be built, the applicant would need to go to the Planning Board for minor limited site plan review; and typically they would get into the hours of operation.  He said it wouldn’t stop the Zoning Board from placing restrictions on the hours of operation.

 

Ms. Paliy asked if the applicant knew the regulation surrounding logging and bringing logs in from Massachusetts (or infected areas).  She wanted to know what the applicant was doing to be in line with the regulations.  Mr. Maynard said the regulations applied to fire wood only (and allowed for exceptions) the regulations were not for logging operations.  He said the primary emphasis of the New Hampshire law was to prevent campers /vacationers from bringing in logs they had in their back yard to campsites where they were unregulated and dealt with inexperienced people.  His recollection was according to the literature the large majority of potential problems with beetles was around camp sites where people import wood from other states.  In this case, logging wasn’t regulated.  Ms. Paliy stated logging was regulated.  Her question was based on wanting to see compliance. She said bringing in any logs was regulated and a log had to be kept for every place a log came from.  She was worried in terms that the applicant wasn’t keeping good records.  Mr. Hennessey questioned who the regulating authority was.  Ms. Paliy said she had read the regulations due to certain situations she was involved with.  She said every truckload had to have a point of origin. 

 

Mr. Hennessey said the courts have held Zoning Board members entitled to bring specialized knowledge forward.  He knew Ms. Paliy was involved in the industry and found it entirely appropriate and necessary to bring it forward.  Mr. Maynard provided the Board with a copy of the regulations, which were under the jurisdiction of the Department of Resources Economic Development and the Department of Agriculture. He reiterated that the RSA only pertained to fire wood.  Ms. Paliy asked if the applicant had a copy of the emergency regulations for the beetles, which was not state specific.  Mr. Hennessey suggested Ms. Paliy think about if she wanted to add a restriction onto the Variance, such as making sure that appropriate notifications are made to the appropriate State agencies. 

 

Ms. Paliy asked Mr. Gowan if he had a copy of the emergency regulation that was specific to bringing wood in from Massachusetts.  She said it wasn’t the RSA; it was specific to the beetle emergency.  Mr. Gowan said he typically didn’t research those sections of the statute that he had no authority to enforce.  He said keeping a log would be a State law for the State to enforce.  Mr. LaFrance understood the concern but didn’t know how it could be added as a stipulation because there was no way to enforce it.  Mr. Maynard said the copy of the State laws provided to the Board was dated from November, 2012.  Mr. McNamara reviewed the submitted information and read a portion aloud.  Mr. Hennessey said the Board couldn’t get into logging information.  He said if any Board member felt the applicant lacked knowledge of the procedures, it could be taken into consideration.  Mr. Maynard said they would agree to the stipulation that they would abide by any State laws with regard to their operation. 

 

Ms. Guay questioned how long the logs would be kept in the bins.  Mr. Maynard said the logs would be stored outside and would be cut up within about a month (or less).  The cut up logs are stored; there’s a different price between green wood and dry wood.  It was noted that it takes approximately six months to a year to properly dry a cord of wood out.  Only the firewood would stay in the bins. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. Gary Smith of 41 Tallant Road (located across Beaver Brook from the proposed project) said he was at the site walk and recalled hearing that the hours of operation would be a few days per month, but he now heard the applicant request more hours than before.  He was concerned for the peaceful enjoyment of his property.  He said there was no mention of Sunday, but had heard a chainsaw in operation on Sunday coming from the direction of the applicant.  He asked if there was a reasonable way to restrict the hours so he wasn’t awakened at 6:30am.  Mr. Hennessey noted if the Variance was granted, the applicant would need to go to the Planning Board for site plan review.  Often the Planning Board imposes hours of operation but there was nothing in the RSA prohibiting the Zoning Board from imposing their own stipulations.  He said the Board would discuss the hours.  Mr. Smith told the Board that Mrs. Moriarty (an abutter) planned on attending the meeting but had a medical emergency arise that made it impossible for her to attend.  Mrs. Moriarty asked Mr. Smith to question the Board if the Shore Line Protection Act was in control in or around Beaver Brook.  Mr. Gowan replied all of Beaver Brook was a fourth order stream, therefore the 250ft. jurisdictional reach of Shore Land applied.  Mr. Smith didn’t feel the applicant was beyond that point given the onsite markers for the flood plain.  Mr. Maynard said he wasn’t aware that Shore Land Protection applied to Beaver Brook; however, in general the first 50ft. from a water course was highly regulated and they were in the neighborhood of the 250ft. number. He noted that it was a pre-existing area and the Shore Line Protection Act basically regulated cutting trees.  He stated they didn’t need to cut any trees to operate their facility.  He said the facility was part of the construction operation. 

 

Mr. Hennessey confirmed that there would be no further alterations to the terrain.  Mr. Maynard said that was correct. 

 

Mr. Smith asked if the Act just specified any trees in the area, or trees being cut in the area.  Mr. Hennessey was confident in saying it was the existing trees on the site.  He wasn’t aware of any application of the Act pertaining to bringing trees in to be cut.  He said the Act was trying to protect the shore land as it applied to the stream or water body around it.  He didn’t see that there was any real application of Shore Land to the site.  Mr. Gowan agreed.  He said they were mainly concerned with the first 50ft.  He said it wasn’t just tree, but that was the primary focus.  Mr. Hennessey said the applicant testified that there wouldn’t be any alteration to the terrain.  Mr. Gowan said it would be easy to solve the question by having the applicant request direction by the Department of Environmental Services (‘DES’) as part of going to the Planning Board for site plan review.  Mr. Hennessey said the Board could make notification to DES as part of their approval. 

 

Mr. Smith said during the site walk he noticed that the wood piles were rather high.  He asked if they may be an attractive nuisance for children in the area. 

 

Mr. Maynard noted that the Shore Land Protection Act was to prevent erosion from entering into bodies of water.  He said during the site walk the Board saw that the site had been in existence for many years; there was no evidence of any erosion into the driveway area on the other side.  He had no objection to simple notification to DES.  Mr. Maynard addressed the concern of the site being an attractive nuisance, which anyone with a contractor’s yard could be considered.  He stated that the site was generally posted and was policed.  He said Mr. Fontaine lived on the property and paid attention; there were also three other families living on the property paying attention.  From time to time there were problems with ATV’s.  He commented that there was always a liability problem, but logs weren’t stacked to create liabilities and Mr. Fontaine deterred children from crossing his property. 

 

Mr. John Salottich, 41 Tallant Road said over the last couple weeks the operators of the logging operation had been considerate and relatively quiet loading the trucks; the noise was at a minimum.  He said yesterday the chainsaws were loud and would like to have the noise component for the chainsaws limited to after 9am.  He understood that the applicant testified to the extent of the operation, but given the activity he’d seen, it seemed like they worked more like 2.5 months per year.  Mr. Salottich said they heard the hours of operation would begin at 7am, and now it was made earlier to 6:30am.  He said with the concern being noise, that might be something they could bring up at the Planning Board. 

 

Mr. Charlie Boissoneault, who ran the operation on the site, came forward.   He said he had been in business for 35 years and had never worked on a Sunday.  He stated his chain saw was not running yesterday (a Sunday).  There were people all over the Town that ran chainsaws during the weekend.  He said today his chainsaw began running at 8:30am.  He had no problem working out the hours.  With regard to the log pile, he’s never had problems with people climbing or logs falling off.  He had loaded/unloaded logs for a long time and knew how to pile them so they were safe.  He said it was private property not open to the public.  Customers don’t go to the site. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked if any signs were posted warning people not to get near the logs.  Mr. Boissoneault said there was a No Trespassing /Private Property sign at the beginning of the driveway.  Mr. McNamara said the concern was raised for how often he operated.  He asked for a description of the typical hours of operation.  Mr. Boissoneault said he had been at the site for almost two years.  He said he starts his truck and leaves at 6am.  He didn’t think anyone heard him leaving.  Mr. McNamara was more concerned with how many days the chainsaws were running.  Mr. Boissoneault said it was no more than possibly three days per month.  Mr. McNamara asked how many chainsaws were used.  Mr. Boissoneault said he had one.  Mr. McNamara asked if he was the only one using the chainsaw.  Mr. Boissoneault answered yes.  For clarity, Mr. McNamara confirmed that the chainsaw would be used maybe three days per month on the property.  Mr. Boissoneault said that was pretty close to what he did.  He discussed how the fire wood operation was a filler to his normal work.  He noted that he used the chain saw to cut the logs into lengths, which didn’t take long, possibly ten minutes. 

 

Ms. Guay wanted to know where the logs were from.  Mr. Boissoneault replied most of his wood came from Middlesex County, which New Hampshire allowed them to be brought in from.  He said the State also allowed logs to be brought in from Essex County and Franklin County, but he didn’t work that area.  He noted they allowed the logs to come in untreated from those counties.  He discussed the process of treating the logs.  Mr. Boissoneault told the Board that there was an infestation within an entire neighborhood on top of Beacon Hill Road area.  He said all Elm trees were dead.  If he were to do the job of removing the trees, he wouldn’t bring infested wood to the site, he would chip up what was dead and rotted.  He said he had been doing this type of work for a long time and knew what to look for.  He wouldn’t haul rotted wood to his yard, which would be totally useless. 

 

Ms. Paily asked if records were kept of where wood was from.  Mr. Boissoneault answered yes; he had invoices from the jobs he does which show the location.

 

Ms. Amanda Boissoneault, 355 Mammoth Road, told the Board that she worked with her father.  She explained to the Board that their primary work was excavation.  During the other work they weren’t on Mr. Fontaine’s site.  She said there were a lot of times they didn’t go to the site. 

 

Mr. Maynard commented that Mr. Boissoneault had been in the business for a long time.  It wouldn’t be good for his reputation to haul diseased wood. 

 

Mr. Hennessey closed the public hearing portion and brought the discussion back to the Board. 

 

Mr. Molloy questioned if the Planning Board could overrule a stipulation for the hours of operation.  Mr. Hennessey answered no; they could only make it more restrictive.  Mr. Molloy was concerned about the hours of operation and felt 6:30am was too early.  Mr. McNamara agreed that there should be some kind of restriction. 

 

Mr. McNamara reiterated that the request was for a variance, not an expansion of a pre-existing use.  He said it was a different business that posed different situations for the neighbors.  He said the Board could make reasonable restrictions on that request and the applicant had volunteered some of them.

 

Mr. LaFrance was unsure of how to restrict the applicant in a fair manner.  Mr. Hennessey suggested the Board make a distinction between the truck issue (warming the diesel truck up) and the chainsaw operation, because they were two different things.  He felt it was reasonable for a person working off site to get their trucks up and running to leave the site at workman’s hours.  At the same time he agreed with the abutters that it wasn’t nice to be woken up on a Saturday morning with the noise from a chainsaw. 

 

Mr. Hennessey said the site was a contractor’s yard that had some industrial use.  He felt even a reasonable expansion of that use would cause more of an issue in the neighborhood than the proposed use being discussed. 

 

Ms. Paliy told the Board that a lot of people who tried to cut wood with chainsaws bought at hardware stores made more noise than a professional chainsaw.  She said it was amateurs that made the noise. 

 

Mr. LaFrance discussed how the hours of operation were determined by the Planning Board.  Mr. McNamara said it depended upon a lot of things, such as type of business, location etc.  It was the collective judgment of the board for the particular business.  Mr. Hennessey said the Zoning Board would use the criteria.  Mr. LaFrance struggled with the balance of not taking the livelihood from the business, but at the same time respecting the neighbors.  Mr. Molloy reiterated that the business was a part-time operation that operated a yearly cumulative total of approximately thirty days.  He didn’t feel it was unreasonable to restrict the hours. There was further discussion regarding how to limit hours and days of operation. 

 

Although the public hearing was closed, Mr. Hennessey allowed Mr. Maynard to comment.  Mr. Maynard offered a compromise for operation hours to help mitigate concerns.  He suggested the general hours remain as discussed, but limit the chainsaw operation to Monday-Friday 8am  to dusk, Saturday 8am to 2pm and no work on Sunday.  He noted that the contractor’s yard would have trucks coming and going at 6:30am. 

 

Mr. McNamara made a motion with the following offer of stipulations: 1) no excessive idling of diesel trucks; 2) no wood chippers or log splitters to be operated on the premises; 3) the only mechanized tool for use in the splitting of logs or trimming the lumber would be a chainsaw; 4) the area of logging, stacking and cutting is not to expand beyond the area as described and shown on the submitted site plot plan by the applicant and 5) the area of log or lumber storage is not to expand beyond that described and shown and submitted on the site plot plan the applicant submitted.  Hours of operation will be separate. 

 

Mr. Maynard clarified that the applicant had to do log splitting, but agreed there would be no wood chipping.  He said splitting the logs into fire wood was a fairly quiet operation using a splitter.  Mr. McNamara said he would take the log splitting out of his stipulations.  Mr. Molloy seconded the motion. 

 

There was discussion regarding the motion and the stipulations offered in relation to the variance criteria.  Mr. Gowan respected the discussion but felt some of the items were crossing into the Planning Board jurisdiction.  He didn’t recall getting into the level of stipulations being discussed.  He agreed that stipulating the hours of operation made sense.  He cautioned tying the Planning Board’s hands. 

 

The Board reviewed the proposed amended stipulations:

1) no excessive idling of diesel trucks;

2) no wood chippers to be operated on the premises;

3) the only mechanized tool for use in the splitting of logs or trimming the lumber would be a chainsaw and a wood splitter;

4) the area of logging, stacking and cutting is not to expand beyond the area as described and shown on the submitted site plot plan by the applicant;

5) the area of log or lumber storage is not to expand beyond that described and shown on the submitted on the submitted site plot plan by the applicant;

6) notification to the Department of Environmental Services.

 

MOTION:

(McNamara/Molloy) Variance stipulations as follows:

1) no excessive idling of diesel trucks;

2) no wood chippers to be operated on the premises;

3) the only mechanized tool for use in the splitting of logs or trimming the lumber would be a chainsaw and a wood splitter;

4) the area of logging, stacking and cutting is not to expand beyond the area as described and shown on the submitted site plot plan by the applicant;

5) the area of log or lumber storage is not to expand beyond that described and shown on the submitted on the submitted site plot plan by the applicant;

6) notification to the Department of Environmental Services.

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

The Board then discussed the operation days/hours.  Mr. Hennessey said the operation was limited simply by the number of employees and suggested stipulating a limitation of four employees.  Ms. Paliy said the only limitation was the price of lumber and how much they could get.  She didn’t feel limiting the employees would restrict the operation.  The Board continued their discussion regarding how to limit the operation because a variance ran with the land and recognizing that enforcement would be difficult. 

 

Mr. Maynard commented that the Board could stipulate:  1) the operation could be generally run according to Mr. Boissoneault’s testimony on the record; 2) would not be a full-time operation; 3) would average 2-3 days maximum per week.  He said the neighbors would help enforce it.  Mr. Gowan said from a code enforcement perspective the hours of operation could be managed, however, the days of operation was not practical to track.  He said if he received a phone call about chainsaws being operated his first question would be if the person could see who was operating the chainsaw, because he wouldn’t be sending people running all over Town to find the chainsaw. 

 

Mr. Molloy made a motion regarding the hours of operation to be consistent with the applicant’s recommendation: Strictly for chainsaw operation - 8am to dusk Monday through Friday, 8am to 2pm Saturday.  Operation (warming up) of trucks from 6:30am in the morning to dusk Monday through Friday and 6:30am to 2pm on Saturday with no work on Sunday.  Mr. LaFrance seconded the motion.

 

MOTION:

(Molloy/LaFrance) To stipulate the hours of operation as follows:  Strictly for chainsaw operation – 8am to dusk (Monday through Friday), 8am to 2pm Saturday.  Operation (warming up) of trucks from 6:30am in the morning to dusk Monday through Friday, 6:30am to 2pm Saturday with no work on Sunday.

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

 Mr. McNamara was concerned with having no limit on number of days because a variance ran with the land.  The Board discussed further limitation.  Mr. Maynard offered that it not become a full-time operation and it be limited to an average of 2-3 days per week maximum.  There was further discussion regarding the proposed restriction for chainsaw operation. 

 

MOTION:

(McNamara/Molloy) The chainsaw operation shall not be a full-time operation and will not exceed three days in any one week. 

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

 

BALLOT VOTE:

 

Mr. Hennessey – 1) Yes, 2) Yes, 3) Yes, 4) Yes, 5) No

Ms. Paliy – Yes to all criteria

Mr. McNamara – Yes to all criteria – with conditions as stated in motions

Mr. Molloy –  Yes to all criteria – with stipulations to all three motions

Mr. LaFrance – Yes to all criteria

 

VOTE:

 

(4-1-0) The motion carried.  Mr. Hennessey voted no.

 

 

VARIANCE GRANTED

 

HEARINGS:

 

Case ZO2013-00001  SPAULDING, David  -  429 Mammoth Road  //  Map 27 Lot 2-45-1 – Seeking a Variance to Article III, Section 307-12 to permit converting a single family house into a duplex on a 1.66 acre lot where two acres is required.

 

Mr. Molloy read the list of abutters aloud. There were no persons present who did not have their name read, or who had difficulty with notification.

 

Mr. David Spaulding came forward to discuss the requested Variance.  He was looking to change a single-family house lot into a duplex lot that lacked the required acreage.  He read aloud the criteria as submitted in the application.  He noted that his application included a copy of the Assessor’s map and letters from his neighbors in support of his proposal. 

 

Mr. Hennessey commented that the abutter letters were written in September and indicated their support for an in-law apartment.  He asked if they were aware that the application had been changed to a duplex.  Mr. Spaulding couldn’t say for certain, but noted that certified abutter notification of the present hearing had been sent out.  Mr. Hennessey didn’t want the Board to accept letters of support if the abutters didn’t support the present application.  Mr. Molloy pointed out that several abutters received notification about the duplex application. 

 

Mr. Spaulding included with his application a plot plan showing the setbacks, location of the structures and septic system. 

 

Mr. Molloy asked if the existing footprint would be used.  Mr. Spaulding answered yes; there would be no additional structures.   Mr. Molloy asked if the garage would be kept.  Mr. Spaulding said he may keep two stalls. 

 

Mr. McNamara commented that the lack of a common wall was the problem with the prior application.  He asked for an explanation of  Mr. Gowan’s notes that indicated the house and garage be better attached.  Mr. Gowan said the currently the primary dwelling and garage were attached only by means of a little covered portico.  He said from a zoning perspective, it wasn’t enough of an attachment.  He said he explained to the applicant that should a variance be granted he would suggest it be subject to that cover be converted to a breezeway.  This would create the appearance of a duplex versus two separate residences.  

 

The public hearing was open to comment.  No one came forward to speak. 

 

Mr. Spaulding said he had spoken to Mr. Gowan and he would do any additional work that needed to be done. 

 

Mr. McNamara believed what the applicant was trying to do was appropriate and the current application was a better way than the previous.  He didn’t see a problem with the variance. 

 

The only concern Mr. Hennessey has was that the abutters wrote letters of support for an in-law.  He said clearly the proposed was the highest and best use for the property given the commercial nature of the existing garage.  Mr. Gowan said if the Board members were concerned that the letters may not be appropriately attached to the application, he saw no harm removing them given the lack of public input. 

 

MOTION:

(McNamara/Molloy) Variance stipulation: the residence and the proposed rental property shall appear to be a single unified property (such as being attached by a breezeway or something similar) to the satisfaction of the Planning Director. 

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

 

BALLOT VOTE:

 

Mr. Hennessey – Yes to all criteria

Ms. Paliy – Yes to all criteria

Mr. McNamara – Yes to all criteria

Mr. Molloy –  Yes to all criteria

Mr. LaFrance – Yes to all criteria

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried.

 

 

 

VARIANCE GRANTED

 

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

December 1, 2012

MOTION:

(McNamara/LaFrance) To approve the December 1, 2012 site walk minutes as written.

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

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December 10, 2012

MOTION:

(Molloy/LaFrance) To approve the December 10, 2012 meeting minutes as written.

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

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December 15, 2012

MOTION:

(McNamara/Molloy) To approve the December 15, 2012 site walk minutes as amended.

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

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ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(McNamara/Molloy) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:10  pm.

Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                Charity A. Landry              

                                                                                                Recording Secretary