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Zoning Board of Adjustment Minutes 07/25/06

July 25, 2006 meeting

Members & Staff Present:

        Doug Crafts                     Bradley Houseworth              Len Pagano                      Frank Scales                    Paul Vasques                    Don Winchester          Paul Young      

Member Absent

        Carol Court                     John Kendall                                                                    
Public Attendees:

        John T. Spang           Katalin Spang

Chairman Winchester convened the meeting at 7:20 PM.  Mr. Winchester introduced the Board, the Planning Staff, and explained to the public attendees the process of the public hearing.  Mr. Winchester also briefly explained and read aloud the five (5) criteria used to determine whether or not a variance is granted.  Members reviewed documentation submitted by the secretary prior to the meeting’s start.

Spang, Katalin & John File # 2006-08ZBA:  At 7:25 PM, Mr. Winchester opened the public hearing on the appeal of Katalin and John Spang for a variance to Article XVI, Section C.1 of the Zoning Ordinances to expand a non-conforming structure.  The applicant proposes to raise the roof of the garage by 2 feet in order to accommodate an artwork studio on property located on 112 Gregg Lake Road, Antrim, NH 03440, Tax Map 2A, Lot 58 in the Lakefront Residential District.  Ms. Spang began her proposal by providing to the Board an unopened letter from an abutter addressed to the Town of Antrim Planning Department.  The letter states that the abutters, Lino and Mary Fiori, “have absolutely no objection to their plan to raise their garage roof by approximately 2’ to accommodate an artwork studio.”  The original letter will be kept on record in the Spang’s ZBA file in the Town Hall of Antrim.  

Ms. Spang explained to the Board that they bought the house in question about three (3) years ago and, at the time of purchase, had ideas for the space above the garage to possibly be used as a place for Ms. Spang’s artwork and art projects.  Ms. Spang stated that they plan on retiring in two (2) years and moving from Burlington, MA to Antrim.  Ms. Spang told the Board she is an art teacher and her life long dream has been to own her own art studio.  Mr. Scales asked Ms. Spang if they plan on selling the house in Burlington, MA, Ms. Spang replied yes.  Ms. Spang also stated that she believes her art studio/ art work will add culture to the community and has been thinking about providing some teaching services as well.  Mr. Winchester added that it seems to him, from his initial research, that raising the roof of the garage by two (2) feet shouldn’t really affect any of the abutter’s views.  Mr. Winchester asked the Planning Staff if any abutters had submitted any comments or letters regarding this proposed activity besides the one Ms. Spang provided to the Board at the start of the meeting.  Mr. Houseworth responded that no other comments from the abutters were received by the Planning Department.

Ms. Spang explained that her builder told her that because of where the floor needs to go to establish a room above the garage, she would need to raise the garage roof by two (2) feet in order to have enough head room.  She explained that her builder told her that unless the roof was raised two feet, there wouldn’t be sufficient headroom.  Mr. Scales asked Ms. Spang where she teaches, Ms. Spang replied that she works as an art teacher for an art class at an elementary school in Burlington, MA.  Mr. Pagano asked Ms. Spang if she was sure that raising the garage roof by only two feet would be enough.  Ms. Spang replied that is what the builder told her she needed.  Mr. Scales asked Ms. Spang who her builder is, Ms. Spang replied Larry Coughlin from Francestown.  Mr. Winchester confirmed with Ms. Spang the square footage of the garage, she replied that yes, the garage is 22’ x 24’.  Ms. Spang stated that along with the process of raising the garage roof by two feet, they are also planning on putting up some dormers to add additional height.  She explained that it was made clear to her by the Town Building Inspector that she only need to get a variance for the raising of the garage roof by two feet and not the additional work of adding dormers since this addition doesn’t increase the overall height of the garage.

Mr. Winchester asked the Board if they had any more questions for Mr. or Mrs. Spang.  Mr. Young motioned to close the public hearing, which was seconded by Mr. Scales.  Mr. Winchester closed the public hearing and opened the public meeting.  The board members deliberated amongst themselves about the proposed activity and after a few minutes decided they were ready to conduct the roll call vote for granting the variance.  

Mr. Winchester moved that a roll call vote be taken on the five criteria to be reviewed when granting a variance.  Mr. Crafts seconded the motion which passed.

1.      The proposed use would not diminish surrounding property values. Role call vote:  Mr. Young – aye, Mr. Scales – aye, Mr. Crafts – aye, Mr. Winchester – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye.
2.      Granting the variance would be of benefit to the public interest. Role call vote:  Mr. Young – aye, Mr. Scales – aye, Mr. Crafts – aye, Mr. Winchester – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye.
3.      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. Role call vote: Mr. Young – aye, Mr. Scales – aye, Mr. Crafts – aye, Mr. Winchester – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye.
4.      Granting the variance would do a substantial justice. Role call vote: Mr. Young – aye, Mr. Scales – aye, Mr. Crafts – aye, Mr. Winchester – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye.
5.      The use is not contrary to the spirit of the ordinance. Role call vote: Mr. Young – aye, Mr. Scales – aye, Mr. Crafts – aye, Mr. Winchester – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye.

Ms. Spang was advised that the variance had been granted and that she would receive a copy of the decision in the mail from the Planning Department in the next couple of days.

Approve ZBA Meeting Minutes: Mr. Pagano made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 27, 2006 meeting as presented. Mr. Winchester seconded the motion which passed.

Route 9 Study Committee:  Mr. Houseworth advised the Board about the recent creation of a subcommittee by the Antrim Planning Board called the ‘Route 9 Study Committee,’ which is being chaired by Brian Sawich.  The subcommittee was created to conduct a study on the rezoning of the Route 9 corridor and create a warrant article to present to the citizens when the March 2007 elections arrive.  Mr. Houseworth provided the Board with a copy of Mr. Sawich’s proposal and stated that the first meeting will be held on Monday, July 31, 2006 at 7:30 PM in the Antrim Town Hall.  Mr. Houseworth advised the Board that if they want to get involved to contact Mr. Sawich or just come to the first meeting, which is open to the public.

2006 NH OEP - Fall Planning and Zoning Conference:  Mr. Vasques advised the Board about a Fall Planning and Zoning Conference that is being put on by the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning (OEP) in the Waterville Valley on Saturday, October 28, 2006.  Mr. Vasques explained that the Town has funds to pay for the ZBA members to attend if they so desire and provided the members with the registration and contact information.

Mr. Pagano moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Winchester seconded the motion which passed. Mr. Winchester adjourned the meeting at 8:00 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Bradley J. Houseworth, Alternate 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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