APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MEETING

February 9, 2004

 

The 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, Walter Kosik, Edmund Gleason, David Hennessey, Jeff Gowan, Alternate Svetlana Beloritsky, Alternate Cindy Ronning

 

Selectmen’s Representative Victor Danevich

 

HEARING(S)

 

Case #2271 – TUTTLE, George/9 Gumpas Hill Road – Map 27 Lot 2-56-1 - Seeking a Variance concerning Article III, Section 307-12  to permit a lot with no frontage 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. George Tuttle, 9 Gumpas Hill Road discussed his variance application with the Board.  He explained his situation and said the intent of the Variance was so that his daughter could construct a home (identical to the existing home) with the driveway access located parallel with the western boundary.  He said there was plenty of room on the lot for the well, septic and leach field. 

 

The variance criteria were reviewed:

 

 Item #1.  The proposed use would not diminish surrounding property values because: The proposed dwelling will be of equal or greater value than the surrounding properties.

 

Item #2.  Granting the variance would not be contrary to the public interest because: The proposed use will add to the taxes being paid on the property.

 

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: There is no other way for us to utilize the property we have paid taxes on for fifty years. 

 

b) that no fair and substantial relationship exists between the general purposes of the zoning ordinance and the specific restriction on the property because: No additional land to be purchased in order to conform to zoning.

 

c) the variance would not injure the public or private rights of others since: The property is enclosed by beautiful evergreens and will not even be visible except from my home.

 

Item #4.  Granting the variance would do substantial justice because: The use being requested is consistent with uses of surrounding lots;  The variance being granted will allow us to use our property in the same manner.   The Town would have extra taxes without kids to send to school. 

 

Item #5.  This use is not contrary to the spirit of the ordinance because: The use we are seeking is a permitted use for the district.   Nothing now in evidence would change other than replacing an old driveway (160’) with a new one in building the new drive from the road to the new house.  If the variance is granted we will meet all requirements (except for frontage) that the Town places on us as following the building code and obtaining all necessary building permits etc.

  

Mr. Kosik asked if there were two separate parcels.  Mr. Tuttle said there was currently one parcel.  In 1982 a subdivision occurred.  The Board reviewed the map to better understand the intent of the application and the location of the existing, and proposed homes. 

 

Mr. Gleason asked if the existing lot contained two hundred feet (200’) of frontage.  It was believed that the existing lot contained approximately two hundred twenty-three feet (223’) based upon the tax map. 

 

Mr. Gowan noted that the applicant had added the proposed changes to a map that had been drawn in 1982. 

 

Mr. Gleason asked if the applicant was intending to subdivide the property.  Mr. Tuttle answered no, but said he would do whatever needed to be done.  Mr. Gleason said the property would have to be subdivided to have two (2) separate dwellings.  The option of having Mr. Tuttle’s daughter reside with he and his wife was not a feasible option.  There was however, adequate acreage for a subdivision. 

 

Mr. Hennessey asked if the property had been surveyed because there was a note on the plan regarding the contiguous area.  Mr. Tuttle said that the property had been surveyed twice and he was the person who noted the contiguous high and dry area based upon previous calculations.  Mr. Gleason noted that the applicant would need to file the plan to the Planning Board if the variance were granted.

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Ms. Judy Schwartz, daughter of the applicant, spoke in favor of granting the variance.  She said she would like to construct a home so her parents didn’t have to go to a nursing home.  She added that the land was perfectly flat and dry. 

 

Mr. Bill Wells, 6 Keyes Road, who was not an abutter, and did not know the applicant, attended the meeting to view the proceedings since in the future he may be an abutter to a property requesting a variance. 

 

Mr. Tuttle said the abutters to his property were aware of the application and were not opposed.  He went on to discuss the fact that the surrounding abutters used different portions of his property. 

 

Mr. Gleason believed that there was hardship to the land and the parcel was landlocked.  Mr. McNamara confirmed that there was no other access except off Gumpas Hill Road, through the existing parcel.  Mr. Gleason answered yes.  He felt the parcel was unique with regard to the hardship. 

 

Mr. Hennessey had an issue with the frontage, and wanted it created (even limited) so it could be deeded.  Mr. Kosik believed any footage over the required two hundred feet (200’) of frontage should be used for the driveway access.  Mr. Hennessey said he would also like to have a surveyor stipulate the contiguous area.  Mr. Gleason didn’t feel the contiguous area precluded the Board from granting a variance. 

 

The Board discussed the possibility of adding conditions to the variance, if granted.  It was noted that the applicant, if a variance was granted, would still need to submit a subdivision plan to the Planning Board for review. 

 

Mr. Gleason made a motion, which was seconded by Mr. Gowan, in which stipulations were listed.  After further discussion and a friendly amendment to the motion by Mr. Hennessey and Mr. Gowan the following conditions would apply if a variance were granted: 1) site survey to ascertain the boundary; 2) subdivision site specific plan to be developed and provided for the benefit of the Planning Board, where all other criteria is to be met; 3) existing lot is to maintain a minimum of two hundred feet (200’) frontage so its determined  to be a conforming lot; 4) the frontage for the lot of which the variance will apply, will consist of the difference between the two hundred feet (200’) from the existing lot, and the actual boundary measurement for the total frontage (of the existing lot).

 

MOTION:

(Gleason/Gowan) To grant the Variance with the following conditions: 1) site survey to ascertain the boundary; 2) subdivision site specific plan to be developed and provided for the benefit of the Planning Board, where all other criteria is to be met; 3) existing lot is to maintain a minimum of two hundred feet (200’) frontage so its determined  to be a conforming lot; 4) the frontage for the lot of which the variance will apply, will consist of the difference between the two hundred feet (200’) from the existing lot, and the actual boundary measurement for the total frontage (of the existing lot).

 

VOTE:

 

(5-0-0) The motion carries. 

 

The Board took a voice vote because there were no voting slips in the Board’s paperwork.  Each criteria was read aloud and voted on accordingly:

 

1)     The proposed use would not diminish surrounding property values.

2)     Granting the variance would not be contrary to the public interest.

3)     Denial of the variance would result in unnecessary hardship to the owner.

4)     Granting the variance would do substantial justice.

5)     The use is not contrary to the spirit of the ordinance.

 

VOICE VOTE:

 

Mr. McNamara - Yes to all criteria

Mr. Kosik - Yes to all criteria

Mr. Gleason - Yes to all criteria

Mr. Hennessey -  Yes to all criteria

Mr. Gowan – Yes to all criteria

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carried.

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. McNamara stated that the variance was granted with the understanding that the parcel would not be further subdivided, except to create the one (1) additional lot.  Mr. Tuttle understood.

 

VARIANCE GRANTED

 

MINUTES

 

December 8, 2003

 

MOTION:

(Gowan/Hennessey) To approve the December 8, 2003 meeting minutes as amended.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 1) The motion carried.  Mr. Gleason abstained.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Mr. McNamara informed that the New Hampshire Supreme Court came down with an opinion regarding the hardship criteria, which may confuse things until further opinion.  (Bacon v. Town of Enfield) He said it appeared that the court was split (2-2) on where to go from here. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(Gleason/Hennessey) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(5- 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:30 pm.

                                                                                          Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                          Charity A.L. Willis            

                                                                                          Recording Secretary