APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MEETING

June 10, 2013

 

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

 

The acting Secretary Chris LaFrance called roll:

 

PRESENT:

 

 

ABSENT:

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

 

Alternate Lance Ouellette, Alternate Kevin O’Sullivan, Alternate Darlene Culbert

 

Planning Director Jeff Gowan introduced the Town’s Code & Zoning Enforcement Officer Gerry Reppucci.  The Board welcomed Mr. Reppucci.

 

There was a brief discussion regarding the open positions available on the Board.  

 

CONTINUED HEARING(S):

 

Case #ZO2013-00016

CANDIDO, Frank  -  4 McGrath Road -  Map 38 Lot 1-108-2 – Seeking a Special Exception concerning Article XII, Section 307-76 III to permit a roofing and snow plowing business in the residential zone. 

 

Mr. Hennessey noted that the Board had conducted a site walk and was provided with draft minutes from that site walk.  A number of neighbors/abutters were present for that site walk.  He said the variance criteria were previously read into the record. 

 

The applicants, Mr. & Mrs. Frank Candido came forward to discuss the request for Special Exception.  Mrs. Candido clarified that there was no business ‘technically’ being run from the home.  She was the only one doing paperwork.  There were no deliveries, sales meetings, etc. at the home.  Work is conducted at the job sites.  She stated they would like to have the marked vehicles at the home and will locate them in the back of the lot. 

 

Ms. Guay asked if the burn pile and the trees in the pile had been removed.  Mrs. Candido answered yes. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. Hennessey opened the hearing up to public input. 

 

Mr. Bob Donovan and Ms. Joanne LaViolet, 6 McGrath Road were concerned about experiencing a decrease in property value due to past experiences on the lot.  Ms. LaViolet said the noise and traffic had increased due to a business and noted there had been trucks loading/unloading at the property. 

 

Mr. Hennessey asked what ‘past experiences’ Ms. LaViolet was referencing.  Ms. LaViolet said there were multiple times construction waste was dumped on the property and property line.  She said nothing had been taken care of until she contacted the Town and the Department of Environmental Services (‘DES’).  She said the situation was finally taken care of when they came to the property.   She explained there had been multiple fires (burning of construction debris) that happened consistently throughout the summer.    She was contacted by DES and informed that the ashes in the burn pit tested positive for asbestos, which was concerning to their health.  Ms. LaViolet said there were workers that came back and forth on the property.  She reiterated their concern for increased traffic and littering. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked for more specifics regarding the increase in traffic.  Ms. LaViolet said the applicant had multiple vehicles, equipment and dump trucks ; there was an increase in the dump trucks travelling back and forth during the last couple weeks.  She explained that the Code Enforcement Officer had gone to the site, which reduced the activity on  the property, however, that activity started back up approximately a week and  a half ago.  Mr. McNamara asked if they had attended the site walk.  Ms. LaViolet answered yes.   Mr. McNamara said testimony was given during the site walk that no employees would be on site.  He said in order to qualify for the requested Special Exception, he believed there could not be more than two vehicles stored on site.  He believed the burning issue had already been resolved and signed off on by the DES. 

 

Mr. Hennessey noted that there could be a maximum of two registered vehicles, but was unsure about the restriction of employees.  It was noted that the business could have two non-resident employees. 

 

Mr. Donovan told the Board that the location of the proposed garage would be directly behind their house.  He understood that a homeowner could do what they wanted with their property, however he felt the garage would block their view of the woods.  Mr. Hennessey told the public if the Special Exception was granted, the applicant would need to go to the Planning Board for Site Plan review.  Mr. McNamara added that the Planning Board would discuss lighting, hours of operation, shielding the property etc.  He noted that the garage would also hide vehicles. 

 

Ms. Candido said the reports were provided to the Board for review.  She said they came back negative for asbestos.  She explained that there had been more vehicles and dumping  of loam and stone during the past week or two because they were trying to finish their own personal landscaping.  Mr. Candido said he would like to have his home comparable to the neighbors.  He said whether they were approved or not for the Special Exception, they would have to finish their landscaping. 

 

Code Enforcement Officer Gerry Reppucci was seated in the public.  Mr. Hennessey invited him forward to speak.  He wanted to address the conflicting testimony regarding asbestos.  Mr. Reppucci  said they worked with the State and the Pelham Fire Department to conduct an inspection.  Working off memory, he believed the DES required the applicant to have the burn pit evaluated.  An inspector went to the site and found evidence of asbestos products (in the pit) and ordered it to be mitigated.  The entire burn pit was mitigated by a company who submitted a report to the State.   In turn, the State signed off that the work was done satisfactorily.  Mr. Reppucci received a copy of the report signed by the State.  He believed there were no further requirements on the applicant to mitigate asbestos on the site. 

 

Mr. Hennessey understood that Mr. Reppucci had originally gone to the site based on a complaint submitted by abutters/neighbors, which instigated the process by which the applicant was before the Board.  Mr. Reppucci told the Board that he explained to the applicant what they were doing wrong per the Zoning law.  He also explained to them the process of how to request permissions for what they wanted to do.   He observed they had taken the necessary steps as explained to them. 

 

Mr. Gowan noted if the applicant was granted a General Home Occupation, it would have to be subordinate to the residential use.  He felt it was relevant to point out that there could be a maximum of two employees that were not residents of the home.  There could be a maximum of two vehicles related to the business kept in view.  It was his interpretation that those vehicles would be things not customarily in a residential neighborhood or items that are marked as part of the business.  If there are more than two they would need to be screened from view. 

 

Mr. Candido told the Board that he had done some burning on his property, for which he had already apologized.  He discussed the condition of the property at the time he purchased it.  The previous owner was in the construction business.  A professional company removed/cleaned out the contents of the burn pit and a couple pieces of material were found in the pit, but it was unknown whether it was by fault of the current resident, or the previous owner. 

 

Ms. Candido stated they were willing to work with the Board for whatever they requested. 

 

Mr. Hennessey left the public hearing open, but brought the discussion back to the Board.

 

It was noted that during the site walk it came up that the applicants were not the owners of the property, but had received permission by the owner to come before the Board.  Mr. Hennessey said he had gone through the Special Exception and commented they didn’t make distinctions in Zoning for usage between owners and non-owners; it was mute.   He believed it was the first time since he was on the Board that they had a Special Exception before them by someone who was not the owner.  Mr. Gowan agreed with the interpretation.  He believed there had been many cases in front of the Board that were residents, versus an owner.  He knew of a couple more coming forward that were similar. 

 

Mr. Hennessey asked if the Board was bothered by the ownership.  Mr. LaFrance wasn’t bothered, but wanted to be sure of the legality.  Mr. Hennessey pondered the question of what would happen if the applicant moved out.  Mr. McNamara said the home occupation was specific to the applicant.  He said if the Board didn’t place any limits on the Special Exception, it would stay in place with the property and someone else could come in with an entirely different home occupation.  He suggested if the Board granted a Special Exception, that they put reasonable restrictions on it. 

 

Mr. McNamara proposed the Board consider the following motion: If the Special Exception is granted, the Special Exception will be specific to the applicants and the property; at such time, if or when the applicants no longer reside at the property, the Special Exception shall be rendered null and void.  Mr. Gowan had received legal opinion that the Board could ‘condition’ both Variances and Special Exceptions.  He felt the proposed motion was appropriate and legal. 

 

Ms. Candido noted that they were renting to own in the near future and questioned if the proposed motion would affect them.  Mr. McNamara told the applicant that the motion wouldn’t affect them as long as they were residents. 

 

MOTION:

(McNamara/LaFrance) If the Special Exception is granted, the Special Exception will be specific to the applicants and the property; at such time, if or when the applicants no longer reside at the property, the Special Exception shall be rendered null and void. 

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

Mr. Guay said her concern was to the number of vehicles that were going to be on the property, and which business they would be related to, either construction or snowplowing or both.  In order to maintain the residential quality of the property, she wanted to hear a little more about the vehicles that  would be on the property for each of the proposed businesses.  Ms. Candido said they had two marked trucks, a bobcat and a construction trailer that were used for both businesses.  She said they also each had one personal vehicle.  Mr. Candido hoped when he could afford to construct a garage the vehicles could be inside. 

 

Ms. Paliy asked the applicant if they had thought of constructing fencing.  Ms. Candido said they were in the process of erecting a fence. 

 

Mr. Hennessey explained in Special Exception cases an applicant either met the criteria or they didn’t.  He urged the abutters to attend the Planning Board meeting (for Site Plan review) if they had concerns.   Mr. Gowan added it would be Code Enforcement’s responsibility to ensure approval conditions are met.  He stated he only wanted to see two vehicles from the road; anything else would need to find a spot off property until the applicant was able to provide buffering from view.

 

BALLOT VOTE

#ZO2013-00016:

 

Mr. Hennessey – Yes – with condition

Ms. Paliy – Yes

Mr. McNamara – Yes – with conditions contained in motion

Mr. LaFrance -  Yes – with conditions

Ms. Guay – Yes – subject to motion that Special Exception terminates at the time that the applicant vacates the property

 

VOTE:

 

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried.

 

 

SPECIAL EXCEPTION APPROVED

 

 

HEARING(S):

 

Case #ZO2013-00018

HARGREAVES, Jason  -  6 Woodbury Avenue  -  Map 22 Lot 7-252 – Seeking a Variance concerning Article III, Sections 307-7, 307-8 & 307-12 to permit the construction of a garage.

 

Mr. LaFrance 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. Hennessey said since the last time an applicant came before the Board (on Woodbury Avenue), he was now a Trustee of the VFW Post who was called as an abutter.  He felt there was a conflict and said he would step down from the case.  In stepping down, there were only four sitting members on the Board.  The applicant was told they would need to make a decision as to whether they wanted to continue the hearing with four seated members or wait for a full Board.  An approval would require three votes in the affirmative.   The applicant made the decision to proceed with the hearing.

 

Mr. Hennessey stepped down.  Vice Chair Paliy conducted the hearing. 

 

The applicant, Mr. Jason Hargreaves  read aloud the Variance criteria as submitted with the Variance application.  He added that the proposed structure would have all wood siding.  He would try to make it look like it belonged in the area so the house and the garage create a comfortable situation.  He noted all setbacks were met, other than the full acre requirement.  He didn’t feel property values would be affected by the proposed garage.  Mr. Hargreaves told the Board that he had a great relationship with the VFW Post.  He opened his yard to share with the Boy Scouts so they could conduct their flag retirement ceremonies. 

 

Ms. Paliy opened the hearing to the public.  There was no public input. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked if there was any present structure in the location of the proposed garage.  Mr. Hargreaves answered no.  Mr. McNamara saw that the site plan was dated 2009 and questioned if anything had changed.  Mr. Hargreaves said nothing had changed  other than the removal of a dilapidated shed.  Mr. McNamara questioned if the garage would be used for storage of personal vehicles.  Mr. Hargreaves said it would be for personal vehicles and small maintenance; it would be used as anyone else would use a garage. 

 

Ms. Guay asked for the size of the proposed garage.  Mr. Hargreaves said the garage would be 24ft.x28ft.  There was a note on  the plan submitted that indicated the lot as being approximately 20,000SF.  Ms. Guay viewed the property earlier in the evening and saw a standing of trees behind the existing home.  She questioned if that tree area was a buffer.  Mr. Hargreaves answered yes; there was an old fence running through the trees marking the actual property line.  He had no intent on taking any of the trees or shrubs (that acted to divide properties) down.  He said it would all stay.  He said it was likely that the abutters wouldn’t see the proposed garage. 

 

 

BALLOT VOTE:

Case #ZO2013-00018

 

Ms. Paliy – Yes to all criteria

Mr. McNamara – Yes to all criteria

Mr. LaFrance -  Yes to all criteria

Ms. Guay – Yes to all criteria

 

VOTE:

 

(4-0-0) The motion carried.

 

 

VARIANCE APPROVED

 

Mr. Hennessey returned to the Board and resumed as Chairman. 

 

Case #ZO2013-00019

RAWNSLEY, William & Pamela  -  28 McGrath Road -  Map 39 Lot 1-94  - Seeking a Variance concerning Articles III & VII, Sections 307-8(C), 307-12, Table 1 & 307-41(B) to permit the replacement of a shed.

 

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

 

The applicants William and Pamela Rawnsley came forward to discuss the requested Variance.  Mr. Rawnsley explained he had an existing shed that was falling apart that he would like to replace and move to another location.  In the area of the existing shed, water collected underneath and rotted it away. 

 

Mr. Hennessey understood that the proposed location was too close to the sideline of the lot.  Mr. Rawnsley said the proposed shed would be approximately 3ft. from the edge of the brook.  He noted that the brook was approximately four feet below that location.  Mr. Hennessey asked if there was any other location on the site to move the shed.  Mr. Rawnsley answered no. 

 

Mr. Rawnsley read aloud the Variance criteria submitted with the application.   Mr. Hennessey asked for the size of the shed.  Mr. Rawnsley said the shed would be 12ft.x16ft.  Mr. Hennessey asked if anything other than equipment would be put into the shed; such as garden chemicals.  Mr. Rawnsley answered no. 

 

Mr. McNamara reviewed the diagram of the lot to better understand where the shed would be located.  The ‘storage shed new’ is the proposed shed; the shed shown behind the home is the shed that’s falling down.  The structure labeled ‘existing cottage’ is no longer on the lot. 

 

Mr. Gowan commented that the case was unusual because the brook was the property line, so the relief sought was to the setback of the property line and to the Wetland Conservation District (‘WCD’). 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Ms. Marilyn Harrison, 30 McGrath Road, a direct abutter to the east of the applicant.  She was concerned, due to the age of the shed, about hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead based paint possibly leaching into Long Pond or her property through the demolition process.  She hoped that the demolition would be done professionally and disposed of properly.  Ms. Harrison told the Board that her property was approximately 12ft. from the existing shed.  She requested that the work be done during the week so she could have one weekend day of peace and quiet with no construction noise.  Mr. Hennessey didn’t believe specifying construction days was under the Board’s purview.  He asked Ms. Harrison if she would be satisfied with a condition for the building permit (of the new shed) to remove the old shed.  Mr. Rawnsley noted that the new shed would come prefabricated and put together in approximately three hours.  He said they didn’t work on weekends.  The contents from the old shed would be put into the one, after which the old shed would be taken down.  Mr. Rawnsley said he would be tearing the old shed down himself.  Ms. Harrison reiterated her concern about hazardous materials being properly contained and disposed of.

 

Mr. Ron Albert, 24 McGrath Road, resided behind the applicants.  He questioned how close the proposed shed would be placed to the stream.  He said the stream rose in the spring.  He told the Board he had a very limited view of the lake and wanted to know if the proposed shed would obstruct his view.  Mr. Albert reviewed the proposed plan and based on what he saw believed his view would be obstructed. 

 

Mr. Hennessey asked for the height of the shed.  Mr. Rawnsley provided the Board with paperwork from the company he purchased the shed from.  Mr. Hennessey asked if the lot was within the Shore Land Protection area.  Mr. Gowan believed the lot was outside the initial 50ft. area.  He usually suggests that people contact the Department of Environmental Services (‘DES’) directly. 

 

Ms. Guay asked if the location of the existing shed affected Mr. Albert’s view.  Mr. Albert replied it did not.   Ms. Guay questioned if the applicant spoke to him about the proposed location.  Mr. Albert said he asked the applicant where the proposed shed would be located, but didn’t receive a clear answer. 

 

Ms. Paliy asked Mr. Albert if he his deed contained a right-of-way to the view.  Mr. Albert took it for granted through paying taxes that he should be able to see a piece of the lake.  He didn’t want to cause hardship to the applicant, but informed the Board when the property was originally constructed it was done without a permit.  It was his understanding anything that was non-existent couldn’t be done.  Mr. Hennessey asked Mr. Albert how old his home was.  Mr. Albert said he had been there thirty plus years. 

 

Mr. Hennessey left the public hearing open and brought the discussion back to the Board.  Mr. Rawnsley provided the Board with photographs of the lot.  He also provided the Board with the brochure of the proposed shed. 

 

Mr. McNamara confirmed that the reason for moving the shed was because the existing location had water.  Mr. Rawnsley answered yes and explained the drainage path that ran through his yard.  He commented when it rained there was approximately one inch of water that flowed over the parcel. 

 

Mr. Hennessey believed the Board needed to conduct a site walk. 

 

MOTION:

(McNamara/LaFrance) To conduct a site walk. 

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

A site walk was scheduled for June 22, 2013 at 8am. 

 

The Case was date specified to July 8, 2013. 

 

Case #ZO2013-00017

PERRON, Roland Jr.  -  80 Webster Avenue  -  Map 30 Lot 11-354  -  Seeking a Variance concerning Article III, Sections 307-7, 307-8 & 307-12, Table I – to permit a deck to be added to the existing structure 4ft. from the property line with 30ft. required.

 

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

 

The applicant Roland Perron came forward to discuss the requested Variance.  He said he would like to build a deck onto his camp.  The applicant’s representative was not present.  Mr. Gowan spoke to the applicant’s engineer, who was en route.  Mr. Hennessey said the Board would wait for the engineer’s arrival.  He asked that the Variance criteria be read into the record. 

 

Mr. Perron read aloud the Variance criteria that were submitted with the application.   Although his representative wasn’t yet present, he suggested if the Board had questions he would answer them as best he could.  He provided the Board with a letter from his neighbor, Holly Bridgeford, who was in favor of the Variance. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked if the proposed location for the deck was the only place it could be added.  Mr. Perron answered yes; and noted it was the side of the house facing the lake. 

 

Mr. Hennessey read aloud the letter submitted by Ms. Bridgeford who had no objection to the Variance. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked how far Mr. Perron’s property was from the lake.  Mr. Perron didn’t have the exact distance.   He estimated it to be 250ft.   Mr. McNamara asked if the proposed deck would block anyone’s view of the lake.  Mr. Perron answered no. 

 

The Board was very familiar with the area of Webster Avenue; they had conducted several site walks and knew the street.  It was noted that there were no abutters present, or that had submitted a written concern or objection. 

 

The Board had no further questions and proceeded to vote. 

 

 

BALLOT VOTE:

Case #ZO2013-00017

 

 

Mr. Hennessey – Yes to all criteria

Ms. Paliy – Yes to all criteria

Mr. McNamara – Yes to all criteria

Mr. LaFrance -  Yes to all criteria

Ms. Guay – Yes to all criteria

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried.

 

 

VARIANCE APPROVED

 

 

SITE WALK – June 22, 2013  -   8am

Case #ZO2013-00019 - RAWNSLEY, William & Pamela  -  28 McGrath Road -  Map 39 Lot 1-94 

 

 

DATE SPECIFIED PLAN(S) – July 8, 2013:

Case #ZO2013-00019 - RAWNSLEY, William & Pamela  -  28 McGrath Road -  Map 39 Lot 1-94 

 

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

MOTION:

(McNamara/LaFrance) To approve the April 8, 2013 meeting minutes as written (subject to review).

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

 

MOTION:

(McNamara/Guay) To approve the April 20, 2013 site walk minutes as written.

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

 

MOTION:

(McNamara/LaFrance) To approve the May 13, 2013 meeting minutes as written.

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

 

MOTION:

(McNamara/LaFrance) To approve the May 18, 2013 site walk minutes as written.

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(LaFrance/McNamara) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                Charity A. Landry              

                                                                                                Recording Secretary