APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MEETING

August 12, 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, Peter McNamara, Chris LaFrance, Alternate Pauline Guay, Alternate Darlene Culbert, Planning Director/Zoning Administrator Jeff Gowan

 

Svetlana Paliy, Alternate Lance Ouellette, Alternate Kevin O’Sullivan

 

Ms. Guay and Ms. Culbert were appointed to vote in the evening’s proceedings. 

 

HEARING(S):

 

Case #ZO2013-00021

SKY VIEW ESTATES  -  Spaulding Hill Road  -  Map 32 Lot 1-146-48 – Seeking a Variance concerning Article III, Sections 307-12, 307-13 (B) & 307-14 to permit the construction of a single family home on a pre-existing non-conforming lot of record with 186.28 feet of frontage on a Class V Town Road where 200 feet is required, and to allow a lot line adjustment to the rear of the property.

 

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. McNamara commented that the matter was currently before the Planning Board.  He said he’d taken several votes , both for and against various aspects of the plan.  He felt he could render an objective judgment in this case, but would stand down if there were any objections to him remaining on the Board.  There were no objections by the Board or by the public.  The applicant’s representative, Shayne Gendron  also had no objection to Mr. McNamara remaining seated for the case. 

 

Mr. Shayne Gendron of Herbert Associates, representing the applicant, came forward to discuss the requested Variance and lot line adjustment.    He provided a brief history of the project.  Currently his office is working on a (conservation) subdivision that was previously approved by the Planning Board as a conventional subdivision.  Having a conservation subdivision will provide for open space within the development; therefore the lots have been reconfigured.  The lot being discussed presently was previously approved.   Mr. Gendron said they would be adjusting the rear lot line to allow a change in a previously approved subdivision (to the rear of the property).  It was also found by the Town’s Engineer (Steve Keach of Keach Nordstrom) that the lot lacked Class V road frontage, although the lot itself met the 200ft. requirement (by having over 240ft), the paved portion of the road accessing the lot (considered Class V) was approximately 186ft.

 

Mr. Gendron told the Board that the lot would remain a conventional lot; they were simply requesting a rear lot line adjustment and relief for the frontage.  He then read aloud the Variance criteria as submitted with the application.  He added that the vicinity of the lot was separated from all the other lots.  It’s frontage (in the current and previous plans) has always been shown on Spaulding Hill Road.  He said this was a situation that had gone unnoticed by his company as well as the Town’s previous engineering review.  Mr. Gendron explained there was nothing else that could be done with the property as it was not really connected with the road system partially in existence within the subdivision.  With the lot’s size, he felt it would be a good building lot and it met the spirit and intent of the Zoning. 

 

In terms of what had occurred along the road, Mr. Gowan  noted that the abutting lot to the North (of the proposed lot) had been built on and received a Variance for its lack of complete frontage on a Town maintained  road (Spaulding Hill Road).  He noted that the proposed lot was only approximately 50ft. short for frontage. 

 

Ms. Guay said she had reviewed the area and saw there was already a driveway in place.  She asked if that driveway was the ‘proposed’ driveway, or the driveway for the house at the end of the road.  She questioned if the proposed lot would use the same driveway that had already been put in.  Mr. Gendron replied there was a driveway recently put in for Lot 1-146-1.  The proposed lot would change ownership and given to the abutter (Roger Montbleau).  He explained once the lot was transferred,  Mr. Montbleau would give himself an easement across the proposed lot to gain access to his existing property.  The existing driveway would remain in place and become the access to the proposed lot.  Ms. Guay asked for clarification of where the proposed home would be located.  Mr. Gendron stated they were in front of the Board with a request for a variance because of a lack of frontage; the proposed house location would be subjective as to where an owner would want it located.  He reviewed the plan displayed for the Board and indicated where the existing driveway was located.  He assumed that a future home would be constructed to the left of the driveway, with a septic placed in the front and a well in the back yard. 

 

Mr. Gowan said it would have been beneficial to have shown the existing driveway on the plan being presented to the Board.  He noted that the driveway being discussed had been inspected by the Highway Road Agent. 

 

Ms. Guay questioned if the configuration being shown on the plan was how it would be after the subdivision to the rear of the parcel.  Mr. Gendron answered yes; the configuration of the lot showed how it would look for approval. 

 

Mr. Hennessey opened comment to the public.  There was no public input.

 

Mr. Hennessey said based on the information provided to the Board, based on the surrounding and the limitations of the lot due to the shortness of pavement, he didn’t see how they could turn the request down.  He commented that the Board had given variances to other properties with similar situations.   The Board had no issues with the request. 

 

 

BALLOT VOTE

#ZO2013-00021:

 

Mr. Hennessey – Yes to all criteria

Mr. McNamara – Yes to all criteria

Mr. LaFrance -  Yes to all criteria

Ms. Guay – Yes to all criteria

Ms. Culbert – Yes to all criteria

 

VOTE:

 

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried.

 

 

VARIANCE GRANTED

 

Case #ZO2013-00022

SHELZI, Peter, Sr.  -  31 S. Shore Drive  -  Map 30 Lot 11-220 – Seeking a Variance concerning Article III, Sections 307-8 (C), 307-12, Table One & 307-39 to permit the construction of a deck on the lakeside of the house.

 

Mr. Hennessey stated he and the applicant had done some business approximately twenty years ago and had seen each other maybe three times since.  He said they didn’t have an on-going relationship and didn’t feel there was an issue but wanted to have it noted.  There was no objection to Mr. Hennessey remaining seated. 

 

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, Mr. Peter Shelzi, Sr., came forward to discuss the Variance request to allow the construction of a deck on  the lakeside of his home.   He provided the Board with a copy of a letter from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (‘DES’) dated July 24, 2013. 

 

Mr. Hennessey asked if it was Mr. Shelzi’s testimony that there were steel beams in place prior to July, 2008.  Mr. Shelzi said that was correct.  They were installed in 1987.  Mr. Hennessey asked if there was some kind of structure on the steel beams.  Mr. Shelzi answered no.  He said the beams ran all the way through the house and had been there since the building was built.  He submitted photographs of the beams to the Board.  He explained there had been a house fire and he was granted a variance in 1987 to rebuild. 

 

Mr. Shelzi read aloud the Variance criteria as submitted with the application.               

 

Mr. Hennessey read aloud a portion of the DES letter (dated July 24, 2013 from Darlene Forst, Shoreland Section Supervisor): “If you wish to pursue a Permit by Notification or have the Department formally add the project into its database as ‘Vested-Exempt’ and have questions about the process, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (603) 271-2147”.   He questioned Mr. Shelzi if he would object to a stipulation  of variance that one of the two things be done.  He said it appeared  the State was indicating, based on the information submitted, the property may qualify to be grandfathered  and entered into the State’s database, which would suffice in lieu of a Shoreland Permit.   Mr. Shelzi had no objection to a variance stipulation.

 

MOTION:

(McNamara/LaFrance) Stipulation for granting the Variance: At the applicant’s discretion, (per the State DES letter of July 24, 2013) the project will either be given a Permit by Notification or be added into the database as ‘Vested-Exempt’. 

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried. 

 

Ms. Guay inquired whether that the submitted photographs would become part of the record.  Mr. Hennessey answered yes.   Ms. Guay asked if the deck would be built entirely on the beam, and if the only impact would be from the stairs coming down.  Mr. Shelzi answered yes.  It was noted that sono tubes would be put in to support the steps. 

 

Mr. LaFrance asked if the same plan submitted to the Board was also submitted to the State in their application.  Mr. Shelzi answered yes; the same plan and photographs were submitted to the State. 

 

Ms. Guay questioned when the plan was prepared.  Mr. Shelzi replied that the plan was prepared approximately three months ago. 

 

Mr. Hennessey opened the hearing to public input.

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. Christopher Cole, 25 South Shore Drive, wondered why the deck wasn’t built at the time the house reconstruction was done.  Mr. Shelzi said it wasn’t done due to financial reasons.  Mr. Cole simply wanted to ensure that the same subject had not been visited in the past.  Mr. Shelzi said the question had not been in front of the Board for a variance. 

 

Mr. Hennessey said as the hearing began he had severe questions regarding the application because in the past the Board had not approved applications that would encroach  on the 50ft. Shoreland protection area.  He was glad that the applicant had submitted photographs and felt it changed his perspective on what was being done. 

 

 

BALLOT VOTE

#ZO2013-00022:

 

Mr. Hennessey – Yes to all criteria – with notice to the State

Mr. McNamara – Yes to all criteria – with stipulation condition in motion

Mr. LaFrance -  Yes to all criteria

Ms. Guay – Yes to all criteria

Ms. Culbert – Yes to all criteria

 

VOTE:

 

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried.

 

 

VARIANCE GRANTED

 

 

Case #ZO2013-00023

ENB PROPERTY MAINTENANCE  -  100 Bridge Street  -  Map 35 Lot 10-326 – Seeking a Variance concerning Article III, Section 301-12, Table One to permit two single family dwellings to be located within an existing structure containing a single family dwelling and commercial space.

 

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. Joseph Maynard of Benchmark Engineering, representing the applicant, came forward to discuss the Variance request.  He explained that the property was unique in that it was a commercial zoned property with a commercial building containing approximately 10,000SF.  He said there was a single family residence attached to the commercial building.  It was his understanding that a doctor originally lived in the home and ran his practice out of the commercial space.  Since that time it houses a number of commercial businesses, but has retained the residential component.  Mr. Maynard said his client would like to take the residential space and divide it into two units (a one-bedroom unit and a two-bedroom unit)  There will be no alteration to the exterior of the building.  He said with the building being close to Route 38 with limited yard space,  it has been hard to utilize as a single-family rental unit.  They believed they could rent the spaces more efficiently if they were smaller units.  Currently, the owner planned to live in the one-bedroom unit and rent out the two-bedroom unit.  He gave a brief explanation of how the units would be laid out.

 

Mr. Maynard read aloud the Variance criteria as submitted with the application.   He added that the property owner consulted with a licensed septic inspector who checked all of the systems on the property and found them all to be in good working order.  The leach fields are properly draining. 

 

Mr. McNamara asked how limited the yard area was.  Mr. Maynard replied that most of the area to the rear and side of the building was paved parking.  He guessed there was approximately 600SF-700SF behind the unit. 

 

Ms. Guay questioned if the septic system would accommodate four bedrooms.  Mr. Maynard said there would be a reduction in bedrooms.  Currently the residential portion was considered a four-bedroom dwelling.  The State’s calculation for a two-bedroom with an accessory is 3.5 bedrooms.  The loading on the system would be less than what it is currently being used for.  He stated that the system would meet both the State’s Regulations and the Town’s Article K Regulation.  Ms. Guay questioned how the uses within the unit would be enforced.  Mr. Maynard said they would need a building permit to do the work within the structure splitting the two units and making them have two separate sets of utilities.  He said a stipulation could be added that one of the bedrooms be removed prior to a Certificate of Occupancy being granted. 

 

Mr. Hennessey questioned if the permitting process would take care of the enforcement, or if Mr. Gowan wanted a stipulation from the Board.  Mr. Gowan didn’t feel a stipulation was needed.  He would review Zoning and any variance granted and note as a stipulation the limited number of bedrooms.  He said it was no different and no more of a risk than any other house in Town.  Mr. Gowan said he consulted with the Town’s engineer and while it was important for the footprint not to change he saw no reason why the exterior couldn’t be altered/improved.  He didn’t feel that should be restricted. 

 

Mr. McNamara questioned where parking would be located for the larger unit.  Mr. Maynard said there was a large parking area with a turn-around as well as a large garage associated with the structure.  For the time being the intention was to maintain the driveway as it existed.  Mr. McNamara asked where the entrance was for the larger unit.  Mr. Maynard  said the larger unit had a separate door to the right of the structure. 

 

Ms. Guay inquired if there was only one means of ingress/egress.  Mr. Maynard said the larger unit had a door and a basement with a door underneath the home.  The other unit would continue to have two means of egress because they would  have access through the garage.  Mr. Gowan told the Board given the proposed alterations, the units would need to meet code completely; including two means of ingress/egress.  The Building Inspector will verify the information. 

 

Mr. Hennessey opened the hearing for public input.  There was no public input. 

 

Mr. McNamara confirmed that the units would continue to be rental units. 

 

Mr. Hennessey didn’t see any negative impact.  He also felt it was good to increase smaller units in Town.  Also, an older building would be brought up to code.  Mr. Gowan  commented that the Town’s Ordinance didn’t contemplate mixed use very well.  He believed the proposed would be an example of a successful mixed use project.  Mr. Hennessey said he supported mixed use, but would support the proposal on its own because he felt it met the criteria for a variance. 

 

 

BALLOT VOTE

#ZO2013-00023:

 

Mr. Hennessey – Yes to all criteria

Mr. McNamara – Yes to all criteria

Mr. LaFrance -  Yes to all criteria

Ms. Guay – Yes to all criteria

Ms. Culbert – Yes to all criteria

 

VOTE:

 

 

(5-0-0) The motion carried.

 

 

VARIANCE GRANTED

 

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

MOTION:

(LaFrance/Guay) To approve the July 8, 2013 meeting minutes as amended.

 

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 8:05pm.

Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                Charity A. Landry              

                                                                                                Recording Secretary