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Zoning Board of Adjustment Minutes 10/26/04

October 26, 2004 meeting

Members Present:
        Carol Court             Ron Haggett             John Kendell            Len Pagano              Frank Scales            Don Winchester  Paul Young
Member Absent:
        Tim Quachenbush         
Public Attendees:
        Renee Rabideau  Geraldine Rabideau              Jane Corliss                    David Corliss           Wes Enman                       Ann Chisholm-Enman
        Timothy Ferwerda, C.W.S

Chairman Winchester opened the meeting at 7:00 PM. The members reviewed the application of Matt & Patricia Zsofka for a Special Exception per Article XI Section G.1 of the zoning ordinance. The applicant proposes crossing wetlands to access building lots which necessitates disturbing the ground within 25 feet of the wetlands. The property is located at 20 Pierce Lake Road, Antrim, New Hampshire, Tax Map 7A, Lot 60, located in the Rural District.

At 7:30 PM, Mr. Winchester had the members introduce themselves and explained the procedure for the conduct of a public hearing. He then asked Mr. Ferwerda, who represents the Zsofkas, to present their proposal. Mr. Ferwerda distributed copies of the plan that showed Map 7A Lot 60 subdivided into three separate parcels. He explained that in order to provide driveways (access) into lots 7A-60-1 and 7A-60-2 it would be necessary to have one wetland crossing on each of these lots. He said that his client had filed the Minimum Impact Expedited Application with NHDES but as yet they had not receive approval. He reviewed the drawings with the members showing where the crossings were to take place. Mr. Winchester asked if any of the members had questions of Mr. Ferwerda. Mr. Haggett asked if it were possible to use a shared driveway in order to eliminate one of the crossings. Mr. Ferwerda said he supposed that could be done. Mr. Kendell asked if the owner of lot 7A-60, Mr. Zsofka, would grant an easement for a shared driveway. Mr. Ferwerda replied that he had not discussed that approach with Mr. Zsofka. Mr. Young asked if mitigating wetlands could be constructed and Mr. Ferwerda said that they could do so. Mr. Enman asked for a clarification of what mitigating wetlands were and Mr. Young explained that mitigating wetlands meant that new wetlands would be constructed of equal size to replace any wetlands that were eliminated. Mr. Ferwerda explained that there were other approaches to providing mitigated wetlands such as placing land in conservation easements. Mr. Kendell asked if the subdivision could be redesigned to be only two lots if the special exception were to be denied. Mr. Ferwerda supposed that it could, but felt that his client would not be so inclined. Mr. Young asked for a clarification of the soil boundaries, which was explained by Mr. Ferwerda. Mr. Young asked if test pits had been dug. Mr. Ferwerda said that they had been on all three lots.

Mr. Winchester asked if there were any abutters or other attendees that wished to speak in favor of the application. There were none. He then asked if there were any abutters or attendees who wished to speak in opposition to the application. Mr. Corliss, an abutter on the north side of the property, said that the wetlands actually extended onto his property. He wanted to know what impact the crossings would have on the wetlands on his property. He was particularly concerned as to what impact there may be on his sewer system. He specifically asked if any engineering studies had been done to determine if there would be any potential problems to his sewer system. Mr. Ferwerda indicated that no such studies had been done. Ms. Court asked what types of plants existed in the wetlands. Mr. Corliss said that there were mostly shrubs, blueberry bushes, moss and spawning areas for frogs.

Mr. Enman, an abutter on the west side of the property said that just because a piece of property could be legally built on doesn’t mean that it should be built on. He asked if the purpose of the meeting was to grant permission to cross the wetlands. Mr. Winchester explained that permission to cross the wetlands was the jurisdiction of NHDES. The only jurisdiction that the zoning board had was to consider the granting of a special exception to disturb the 25-foot buffer zone adjacent to the wetland per Article XI of the zoning ordinance. Mr. Enman stated that he was opposed to the crossing of any wetlands even if mitigating wetlands were created.

Ms. Geraldine Rabideau said that she agreed with Mr. Kendell’s suggestion that there be a two lot subdivision to avoid any crossing of the wetlands. Ms Renee Rabideau asked if there were any setback requirements for driveways. She was told that there were none. Mr. Young asked what provisions were being made for drainage of the driveway that goes into the back lot (7A-60-2). Mr. Ferwerda said that a properly sized culvert would be placed at the end of the drive in the Pierce Lake Road right-of-way. He went on to explain that the culverts in the proposed crossings were designed for 25 year storms and as such he felt that there would be no back up onto the existing wetlands on Mr. Corliss property. Mr. Enman explained that after the Corliss house burned down they reconstructed it so that the basement was above ground because of the high water table. Mr. Corliss said they still have problems with seasonal water in the basement.

Mr. Winchester moved to closed the public portion of the meeting and have the board go into deliberation. Mr. Haggett seconded the motion, which passed. Mr. Winchester suggested that the board had the option to visit the site if they thought it would be helpful. He asked Ms. Rabideau if her previous comments regarding a two-lot subdivision meant that she was in opposition to the application and she said she was. Mr. Kendell asked why the applicant did not attend the meeting. Mr. Ferwerda said he didn’t know why. Mr. Winchester asked where the Zsofkas lived. Mr. Ferwerda said that they resided in Hillsborough. Mr. Kendell said he was in agreement with the State policy of avoidance first and that if that was not possible then there should be no net loss. He reiterated his suggestion that the subdivision be redesigned to be for two lots. This would allow one lot to be in excess of ten acres, thus permitting it to be placed in current use. He felt that permitting the crossings as requested would place an unnecessary toll on our natural resources. Mr. Winchester asked if the owners currently reside on the property and was told that they did not and the dwelling was currently being rented. At this point Mr. Winchester asked the secretary to read the reports received from the planning board, health officer, water and sewer department and the conservation commission, which was done. Mr. Young moved that a roll call be held on the six requirements to be considered when granting a special exception. Mr. Haggett seconded the motion, which passed. The roll call vote follows:

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. Role call vote: Mr. Kendell – aye, Ms. Court – aye, Mr. Young – aye, Mr. Winchester – aye, Mr. Haggett - aye
2.      Such approval would not adversely affect the neighborhood, nor otherwise be injurious, obnoxious or offensive. Role call vote: Mr. Kendell – nay, Ms. Court – nay, Mr. Young – aye, Mr. Winchester – nay, Mr. Haggett - nay
3.      The use will not create excessive traffic congestion, noise, or odors in the neighborhood where it is proposed. Role call vote: Mr. Kendell – aye, Ms. Court – aye, Mr. Young – aye, Mr. Winchester – aye, Mr. Haggett - 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. Role call vote: Mr. Kendell – aye, Ms. Court – aye, Mr. Young – aye, Mr. Winchester – aye, Mr. Haggett - aye
5.      Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use. Role call vote: Mr. Kendell – aye, Ms. Court – aye, Mr. Young – aye, Mr. Winchester – aye, Mr. Haggett - aye
If the proposed special exception is listed in Article XIII, D, then it must meet all conditions of that Article. (not listed in Article XIII, Section D, therefore not voted on)

Since all six conditions for granting a special exception were not met, the application was denied.

Mr. Haggett moved that the minutes of the October 19, 2004 meeting be approved. Mr. Winchester seconded the motion, which passed. Mr. Young moved that the meeting be adjourned. Mr. Haggett seconded the motion, which passed. Mr. Winchester adjourned the meeting at 9:28 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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