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Zoning Board of Adjustment Minutes 08/31/04

August 31, 2004 meeting

Members Present:

        Carol Court             Ron Haggett             John Kendall    
        Frank Scales    
Member Absent:

        Len Pagano              Tim Quachenbush         Don Winchester
        Paul Young

Public Attendees:

        Michael Rondeau Shannon Rondeau

Vice Chairman Haggett opened the meeting at 7:05 PM by introducing the board members. The first order of business was a public hearing on the request by Michael & Shannon Rondeau for a variance from Article VIII, Section C.3 of the zoning ordinance to permit construction of a deck and staircase within 100 feet of the high water mark of Franklin Pierce Lake on property located at 96 Pierce Lake Road, Tax Map 7A, Lot 66-8 located in the Lakefront Residential and Rural Districts.

Mr. Rondeau presented a plat of his property that showed the location of the wetland areas along the lakefront and the location of the dock he had installed. He explained that the NH Department of Environmental Services determined where his dock could be located and he had no choice in the matter. The proposed deck and associated walkway was necessary to traverse rough, rock strewn terrain between the dock and a graveled walkway that led to the house. Mr. Rondeau explained that the deck and walkways would be set on cement blocks so they would not be disturbing the ground. He presented drawings of the design and type of construction to be used as well as designating the exact location of the deck on the plat of the property.  He went on the explain that the terrain was such that bushes would hid the deck from most boat traffic and the deck could not be seen from adjacent properties. It was also his intention to keep the structure as inconspicuous as possible by not putting a rail around the deck.

There were no abutters present to speak either in favor or against the application. The secretary did read into the minutes a letter from Roger and Beverly Weymouth commending the Rondeaus for following the procedure to obtain a variance and for their design and layout of the deck. The letter requested that the Board react favorably on the application. A copy of the letter is in file #2004-11ZBA. The members then deliberated the merits of the application.

A major concern was the effect of denying the application when in fact a number of similar structures have been constructed on adjacent lakefront lots without the benefit of obtaining variances. It was felt that if the Rondeaus were denied, they could insist that adjacent property owners be required to file for a variance for their existing structures. The board speculated that such requests by the delinquent property owners would be denied based on a denial of the Rondeaus; hence, existing structure would have to be dismantled. Such a ruling would effectively deny any transitional structure between land and docks.

The board considered the intent of Article VIII, Section D.3, which reads “…and if the property borders on a lake or pond, the yard fronting on the water shall have 100 feet from the normal high water mark.” Following a rather lengthy discussion, the consensus was that the ordinance was not intended to restrict all construction within the 100 feet zone but was intended to control the size and type of structures so as not to be intrusive on the landscape or the waterfront.

Mr. Kendell moved to approve the application of Michael & Shannon Rondeau with the conditions that the deck be no larger than 19’ x 15’ with adjoining walkways no wider than 4’, that the height be restricted to within 24” of the deck floor and that a building permit be obtained before starting construction. Mr. Scales seconded the motion. Mr. Haggett called for a role call vote on the five requirements to be considered when granting a variance.

The proposed use would not diminish surrounding property values: Roll call vote: Mr. Kendell – aye, Mr. Scales – aye, Mr. Haggett – aye, Ms. Court – aye.
Granting the variance would be of benefit to the public interest: Roll call vote: Mr. Kendell – aye, Mr. Scales – aye, Mr. Haggett – aye, Ms. Court – aye.
Denial of the variance would result in unnecessary hardship to the owner because of special circumstances of the property that distinguish it from other properties similarly zoned: Roll call vote: Mr. Kendell – aye, Mr. Scales – aye, Mr. Haggett – aye, Ms. Court – aye.
Granting the variance would do a substantial justice: Roll call vote: Mr. Kendell – aye, Mr. Scales – aye, Mr. Haggett – aye, Ms. Court – aye.
The use is not contrary to the spirit of the ordinance: Roll call vote: Mr. Kendell – aye, Mr. Scales – aye, Mr. Haggett – aye, Ms. Court – aye.

Mr. Haggett moved to approve the minutes of the August 17, 2004 meeting as corrected. Ms. Court seconded the motion that was passed. Mr. Scales moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Kendell seconded the motion that was passed. Mr. Haggett adjourned the meeting at 8:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Paul L. Vasques, Secretary
Antrim Zoning Board of Adjustment

Town of Antrim, NH P.O. Box 517, 66 Main Street Antrim, NH 03440
Phone: (603) 588-6785    Fax: (603) 588-2969    Monday - Thursday 8:00am - 4:00pm
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