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Zoning Board of Adjustment Minutes 01/06/04
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ANTRIM ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

January 6, 2004 meeting

Members Present:
        Carol Court             Ron Haggett             John Kendall
        Ben Pratt               Paul Young                      
Member Absent:
Tim Quachenbush Don Winchester
Public attendees:
        Donald Maughan  Doug Tatro              Robert Bryer
        Donna Tatro             Kathy McCalasky Henry Makie

Chairman Pratt opened the meeting at 7:00 PM by stating that there would be three separate hearings.
An appeal for a variance by David L. Booth & Kathleen McCalasky
An appeal for a special exception by the Antrim Baptist Church
An appeal for a variance by Grace M. Cody & Henry V. Makie
He introduced the members of the Board and outlined the procedure to be followed for a public hearing. He then opened the hearing on the request by David L. Booth and Kathleen T. McCalasky, a.k.a. Long Trail Acres Farm for a variance to Article XVII Sign Ordinance, Section C.1. The applicant proposes to install a sign larger than six (6) square feet on property located at 22 Mattheson Road Tax Map 4, Lot 2 located in the Rural District.

Ms. McCalasky stated that they had a back driveway and they needed identification for members of their farm cooperative to locate the facility. She noted that the sign was set back from the road and that it was not lighted. Mr. Pratt referred to a photograph of the sign and asked if it had been in place for some time. Ms. McCalasky indicated that it had and that at the time she made it she was not aware of any size restriction or the need for a permit. Mr. Pratt asked for comments from abutters or anyone else present who were either in favor or against the request. There were none. Mr. Pratt then asked the Board members if they had any questions. Mr. Young asked if the purpose of the sign was for the delivery of material or for the advertisement of the farm. Ms. McCalasky said the sign served both purposes and also to identify the entrance for members of the cooperative who would come to pick up their produce. The secretary read from a letter dated December 3, 2003 and signed by David Booth of Long Trail Acres Farm which stated “…all of our customers for the 2004 season will be deliveries and they will not be coming here.” The secretary asked Ms. McCalasky if this statement wasn’t a contradiction to her last comments. She acknowledged that it was. The secretary commented that if in fact members would not be visiting the site to collect their produce then there didn’t seem to be a need for an oversized sign. Ms. Court asked if the sign was lettered on both sides and the orientation on the lot. Ms. McCalasky stated that the sign was only lettered on one side and faced the driveway entrance. Mr. Young commented that it was a “nice” sign but he didn’t see why it had to be so big. Mr. Pratt stated that the Zoning Ordinance was quite specific as to what was allowed and the Board was not at liberty to override the ordinance unless the criteria for granting a variance could be met. He then read the requirements to be met for denying the reasonable use of one’s property. Ms. McCalasky asked about the permitted size and location of a sign. The secretary advised her that the maximum size allowed was six square feet and it could be locate anywhere on her property as long as it was not within the road right of way. Mr. Haggett pointed out that a ballot item at the March 13, 2001 town meeting to permit oversized signs in the district was voted down and to grant a variance would be contrary to the wishes of the public. The chairman then called for a roll call vote on the five items to be considered when granting a variance.
No decrease in value of the surrounding properties would be suffered. Role call: Court – nay, Haggett – nay, Pratt – nay, Young – nay.
Granting the variance must not be contrary to the public interest. Role call: Court – nay, Haggett – nay, Pratt – nay, Young – nay.
Denial of the variance would result in unnecessary hardship to the owner seeking it: Role call: Court – nay, Haggett – nay, Pratt – nay, Young – nay.
By granting the variance substantial justice would be done. Role call: Court – nay, Haggett – nay, Pratt – nay, Young – nay.
The use must not be contrary to the spirit and intent of the ordinance. Role call: Court – nay, Haggett – nay, Pratt – nay, Young – nay.
The secretary announced that the request for a variance had been denied and that the applicants would receive official notice in the mail. Mr. Pratt closed the public hearing.

Mr. Pratt then opened the public hearing on the request by the Antrim Baptist Church for a special exception per Article XVII Sign Ordinance, Sections E.1 & E.2. The applicant proposes to install three (3) signs (two of which exceed the square foot limitations) on property at 85 Main Street, Antrim, NH 03440, Tax map 1A, Lot 187-1 located in the Village Business District. He indicated that Mr. Kendall who had arrived late would participate in the hearing and vote. Mr. Donald Maughan who represented the church stated that the current signs were in a serious state of disrepair and the purpose of the proposed signs was to improve the appearance as well as to facilitate identification. Their plan was to replace two of the existing signs and add a third sign. He presented colored renditions of the three signs which were proposed and a map showing the location of the signs on the property. The existing free standing sign would be removed and its replacement would be placed about six feet closer to the apex of the property. The other two signs would be affixed to the east and west sides of the building. Mr. Maughan stated that the new signs would greatly improve the appearance of the property. Mr. Pratt asked for comments from abutters or anyone else present who were either in favor or against the request. There were none. Mr. Young suggest that the sign designer might want to consider the pitch on the free standing sign as it related to the pitch of the roof on the church. Mr. Pratt then called for a role call vote on the six conditions to be met for the granting of a special exception.
1.      The proposed use may be similar to one or more of the uses already authorized in that district and is in an appropriate location for such a use. Roll call: Court – aye, Haggett – aye, Kendall – aye, Pratt – aye, Young – aye.
2.      Such approval would not adversely affect the neighborhood, nor otherwise be injurious, obnoxious or offensive. Roll call: Court – aye, Haggett – aye, Kendall – aye, Pratt – aye, Young – aye.
3.      The use will not create excessive traffic congestion, noise, or odors in the neighborhood where it is proposed. Roll call: Court – aye, Haggett – aye, Kendall – aye, Pratt – aye, Young – aye.
4.      Such approval would be consistent with the intent of the Zoning Ordinance, after having given due consideration to recommendations received from the Planning Board. Roll call: Court – aye, Haggett – aye, Kendall – aye, Pratt – aye, Young – aye.
5.      Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use. Roll call: Court – aye, Haggett – aye, Kendall – aye, Pratt – aye, Young – aye.
6.      If the proposed special exception is listed in Article XIII, D, then it must meet all conditions of that Article. Roll call: Court – aye, Haggett – aye, Kendall – aye, Pratt – aye, Young – aye.
The secretary advised Mr. Maughan that the special exception was granted and that they would receive official notification in the mail. Mr. Pratt concluded the public hearing.

Mr. Pratt then opened the public hearing on the request by Grace M. Cody & Henry V. Makie for a variance from Article VI, Sections 3.a and 3.b of the zoning ordinance to permit a dwelling unit within the front yard fifty (50) foot set back and side yard twenty (20) foot set back requirements for property located on 32 Pleasant Street, Antrim, New Hampshire 03440, Tax Map 1A, Lot 48, located in the Residential District. Mr. Pratt noted that this was a continuation of a public hearing held on October 28, 2003. Mr. Makie presented three options for a dwelling unit to replace the existing trailer. Each option differed in the number of levels and the distance from the yard setbacks. A lengthy discussion followed among the members, the applicant and the abutters which took into account the virtues of “stick built” to modular or pre site built homes, the cost of various methods of construction, the need for a foundation and the difficulty of digging a foundation close to property lines. Mr. Pratt said he had spoken to town counsel and was advised that one consideration was providing town services. Police and fire personnel who provide services are not permitted to do so by going onto abutting property. It was the opinion of town counsel that in order to facilitate public services a structure no wider then fifteen feet and centrally located could be sited on the lot. Mr. Young strongly felt that a fifty foot front set back should be maintained. Mr. Kendall pointed out that the zoning requirement for an apartment is four hundred square feet and that if Mr. Makie were to construct a fifteen by forty foot structure it would provide six hundred square feet of livable space which was reasonable for a dwelling unit. Such a configuration would provide adequate setbacks. Mr. Makie felt that the suggestion by Mr. Kendall to construct a smaller foundation (e.g. fourteen feet) with a cantilevered structure was worth considering. This would facilitate construction of the foundation without disturbing the property lines. Mr. Pratt felt that if the Board were to grant a variance they should establish all four setbacks which in turn would limit the footprint of the structure. He moved that a variance be considered with the following conditions:
The footprint not exceeds fifteen feet by forty feet.
The side yard set backs be five feet
The front setback be fifty feet
The rear setback be twenty feet
The dwelling be on one level only
The foundation have a four foot frost wall
The dwelling be architecturally in keeping with the surrounding neighborhood
The dwelling be aesthetically pleasing
Mr. Young asked Mr. Bryer if he was satisfied with the proposed conditions. Mr. Bryer said he wasn’t and felt the matter should have been handled differently but beyond that he would say no more. The motion was seconded by Mr. Young. The chairman then called for a roll call vote on the five items to be considered when granting a variance.
No decrease in value of the surrounding properties would be suffered. Role call: Court – aye, Haggett – aye, Kendall – aye, Pratt – aye, Young – nay.
Granting the variance must not be contrary to the public interest. Role call: Court – aye, Haggett – aye, Kendall – aye, Pratt – aye, Young – aye.
Denial of the variance would result in unnecessary hardship to the owner seeking it: Role call: Court – aye, Haggett – aye, Kendall – aye, Pratt – aye, Young – aye.
By granting the variance substantial justice would be done. Role call: Court – aye, Haggett – aye, Kendall – aye, Pratt – aye, Young – aye.
The use must not be contrary to the spirit and intent of the ordinance. Role call: Court – aye, Haggett – aye, Kendall – aye, Pratt – aye, Young – aye.
The secretary advised Mr. Makie that a conditional variance had been granted and he would receive official notification in the mail.

Mr. Haggett moved to accept the minutes of the November 25, 2003 meeting as present. Mr. Kendall seconded the motion which was passed. The secretary distributed updated version of the Zoning Ordinances and Subdivision & Site Plan Review Regulations. as well as an updated roster which reflected the resignation of Tom Cochran. He also distributed an article prepared by the NH Municipal Association on a recent court case of Rancourt vs. City of Manchester which helps clarify the logic to be followed in the granting of variances. Mr. Kendall made a motion to adjourn the meeting which was seconded by Ms. Court. Mr. Pratt adjourned the meeting at 8:55 PM.

Respectfully submitted,




Paul L. Vasques, Secretary
Antrim Zoning Board of adjustment


 
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