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Zoning Board of Adjustment Minutes 08/21/07
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ANTRIM ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

August 21, 2007 Meeting



Doug Crafts
John Giffin
Bradley Houseworth
John Kendall
Laurie Lemons
Len Pagano
Frank Scales

Member & Staff Absent:

Carol Court
Don Winchester
Paul Young
        
Public Attendees:               

Janet Akins
Ken Akins
Scott Burnside
Tom Davis
Ron Haggett
Geraldine Rabideau
Renée Rabideau
Gloria Sawyer
Winslow Sawyer, Jr.
Stephen Schacht

                                                                                                                
Mr. Scales convened the meeting at 7:15 PM and moved to appoint Mr. John Kendall as Chairman Pro-Tem for the meeting since the Chairman and Vice-Chairman were absent.  Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall introduced himself, the Board members, and appointed Mr. Giffin to sit for the absent Mr. Winchester and appointed Mr. Crafts to sit for the absent Mr. Young.  Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall stated that there are two area variance proposals in front of the Board this evening but asked the audience if anyone objects to starting the meeting with the Landsite, LLC rehearing request first; there were none.  


Landsite, LLC; File #2007-08ZBA; Vote to Grant or Deny Rehearing Request:  Mr. Houseworth reminded the members that on June 6, 2007 the Board issued a written Notice of Decision for the Board’s denial on April 10, 2007 of a request by Landsite, LLC (File #2007-02ZBA) for a special exception to permit the operation of an excavation site on property located on the northwest corner of Elm Avenue and Smith Road, Antrim, New Hampshire, 03440, (Tax Map 8A, Lots 18 - 20) located in the rural zoning district.  Mr. Houseworth explained that due to the fact that the Board was tardy in providing a written Notice of Decision, Landsite, LLC was given thirty (30) additional days to supplement the original Motion for Rehearing, which was submitted on May 9, 2007.  He stated that it was made clear to the applicant in a cover letter with the written Notice of Decision that upon receipt of any supplement or notice that no supplement will be provided, the Board will act on the pending Motion for Rehearing.  Mr. Houseworth explained that approximately thirty (30) days passed since the applicant received the written Notice of Decision in the mail (June 8, 2007) and no supplements were received.  He stated that approximately another thirty (30) days passed until the applicant, Mr. Burnside of Landsite, LLC, informed Mr. Houseworth that there would be no supplements and they would like the Board to act on the pending Motion for Rehearing at the next Zoning Board of Adjustment public meeting.  He stated that therefore this case was placed on tonight’s agenda in order for the Board to vote on whether to grant or deny the rehearing request.

Mr. Crafts moved to grant the rehearing request and schedule it for Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 7:15 PM at the Antrim Town Hall, which was seconded by Mr. Scales and was unanimously approved.  Upon the Board granting the rehearing request and scheduling it for Tuesday, September 18, 2007, the applicant, Mr. Burnside, informed the Board that he would like the date to be determined and they will not have enough time to prepare for a September 18, 2007 rehearing meeting.  Mr. Burnside stated that they would need more time and would like the rehearing to be scheduled sometime in the spring of 2008.  Mr. Houseworth stated that he was under the impression that the Board is to hold the rehearing within thirty (30) days after the Board motions to grant the rehearing request, but he wasn’t sure and stated that he would have to consult with Town Counsel on the matter.  

Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall explained that they will have to consult with Town Counsel before setting a date for the rehearing to make sure the Board is following all of the necessary state and local guidelines properly.  He asked Mr. Burnside if he would be willing to allow the Board to conduct a site walk on the property, the Chauncey pit property, and potentially the Zeke and Mack gravel pit property on Elm Avenue prior to the rehearing meeting, in order to expedite the rehearing process; Mr. Burnside replied sure.  Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall asked Mr. Burnside if he would be willing to allow the public to join the Board on the site walk; Mr. Burnside replied sure.  Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall summarized by stating that the rehearing request has been granted by the Board but due to the applicant’s request, the Board has to check with Town Counsel regarding when the date can be set for the actual rehearing request.


Sawyer, Winslow & Gloria; File #2007-12ZBA; Area Variance:  Chairman Pro–Tem Kendall opened the public meeting on the request of Winslow & Gloria Sawyer for an area variance from Article XVI, Section C.1., to permit the enlargement of an existing non-conforming structure with two shed dormers on the second floor of property located at 17 Rachel Lane, Antrim, NH 03440 (Tax Map 101, Lot 15), located in the Lakefront Residential District.  He asked the Sawyers to introduce themselves, stand up, and explain their proposal to the Board.

Mr. Sawyer wanted to commend and stress his appreciation for how professional, personable, and helpful Mr. Houseworth was explaining the process clearly to him and answering all of his questions. Mr. Sawyer explained that he has spoken with all of his neighbors and abutters about the proposal and they have all been very supportive of their intentions to add two dormers to the second floor.  He stated that they have applied to the State (NH DES) for their regulations and restrictions pertaining to the expansion or enlargement of buildings on waterbodies protected by the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act and they are awaiting comments and feedback from them.  He explained that the proposal will not increase the footprint of the building, will not increase the area of the roof, and it will not increase the height of the roof.  He stated that the addition of the two dormers on the second floor will give them some badly needed storage space and provide for cross ventilation in the attic space.  He stated that he would be happy to answer any questions the Board has.

Mr. Houseworth provided the Board with several photos of the house and lot that were taken by the Town Building Inspector, Mr. Jeff Parsons, in order to provide the members with current images of the lot to help them make a determination when granting or denying the variance request.  He explained that they are not meant to be used in place of a site walk by the Board but should provide the members with real, up-to-date images.  

Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall asked Mr. Houseworth if any letters were received from abutters or citizens regarding this proposal; he replied that no letters were received from any abutters.  However, Mr. Houseworth explained that a concerned citizen, Ms. Paula Bishop, contacted him and told him she is sending a letter to the Board regarding this proposal.  He stated that unfortunately, by the start of the meeting, the letter had not been received from Ms. Bishop but it was expressed to him that she is in favor of the proposal.  Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall closed the public meeting, opened the public hearing, and asked if there were any abutters present that would like to either speak in favor or against the proposal; there were none.  He asked if anyone present in the audience would like to speak to this proposal; there were no comments made.  Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall closed the public hearing and opened the public meeting for the Board’s deliberation.

Mr. Houseworth explained that the bottom line is that the applicants are in front of the Board because they are enlarging or expanding an existing, non-conforming structure and therefore they need a variance as specified in Article XVI (Non-Conforming Uses, Structures, & Lots), Section C.1. of the Antrim Zoning Ordinances.  He explained that it is considered an existing, non-conforming structure because it lies within one hundred (100’) feet of the high water mark of Gregg Lake.  Mr. Crafts explained that he is very familiar with the house and lot and doesn’t believe the addition of the dormers will affect sight views of any abutters or neighbors of the lake.  Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall asked Mr. Houseworth if the state’s decision on this matter is dependent on what the Antrim Zoning Board of Adjustment decides tonight; he replied no.  Ms. Sawyer informed the Board that they are still awaiting results from NH DES and will provide them with the results of this meeting so they are aware of what the Board granted or denied.  Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall asked Mr. Sawyer if they have had a professional look at the building to make sure it can handle the proposed structural change; he replied they have.  Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall asked the members if they have any additional questions; there were none.

Mr. Pagano made a motion to grant the request of Winslow & Gloria Sawyer for an area variance from Article XVI, Section C.1., to permit the enlargement of an existing non-conforming structure with two shed dormers on the second floor of property located at 17 Rachel Lane, Antrim, NH 03440 (Tax Map 101, Lot 15), located in the Lakefront Residential District.  Mr. Crafts seconded the motion, which was unanimously passed by the Board.  Chairman Pro-Tem thanked the applicants for coming and Mr. Houseworth informed them that they would receive an official, signed, Notice of Decision in the mail.



DeKoning, Maureen & Wayne; File #2007-13ZBA; Area Variance:  Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall opened the public meeting on the request of Maureen & Wayne DeKoning for area variances from Article XVI, Section C.1. and Article VI, Section C.3.d. of the Antrim Zoning Ordinances to permit the enlargement of an existing, non-conforming duplex into a multi-family dwelling within the side yard set back of property located at 3 North Main Street, Antrim, NH 03440 (Tax Map 102, Lot 36), located in the Residential District.  He asked the DeKonings to introduce themselves, stand up, and explain their proposal to the Board.

Mr. DeKoning explained that they bought the house three (3) years ago and want to add a third unit to the existing duplex in order to have a dwelling unit to live in for retirement.  He explained that they plan on converting an existing barn and adjacent three-season room into a third unit which will have two bedrooms and two baths.  He stated that they are also proposing to construct a new, twenty-four (24’) foot by thirty (30’) foot garage on the right side (south side) of the existing barn, utilizing the current driveway to access North Main Street.  He explained that the new two (2) car garage will encroach into the side yard setback a total of approx. five (5’) feet and therefore will be approx. fifteen (15’) feet from the side (southern) property line.  He stated that they will add two additional spaces for vehicles to the right side of the existing driveway, in front of the barn, and will be lowering the level of the current driveway two (2’) to three (3’) feet so that the tenants will have a place to park which is separate from the owner’s parking.

Mr. Houseworth provided the Board with several photos of the house and lot that were taken by the Town Building Inspector, Mr. Jeff Parsons, in order to provide the members with current images of the lot to help them make a determination when granting or denying the variance requests.  He explained that essentially there are two variances that need to be granted for this type of proposal: 1) an area variance from Article XVI (Non-Conforming Uses, Structures, & Lots), Section C.1. of the Antrim Zoning Ordinances because they are proposing to expand or enlarge an existing, non-conforming duplex into a non-conforming multi-family dwelling; and 2) an area variance from Article VI (Residential District), Section C.3.d. of the Antrim Zoning Ordinances because they are proposing to add a new attached garage which will encroach into the side yard setback five (5) feet for an approximate distance of fifteen (15’) feet to the side (southern) property line instead of the normally required twenty (20) feet to the side property line.  In addition, Mr. Houseworth explained that if the Board grants the two area variances for the applicants tonight, they will have to appear in front of the Planning Board for a site plan review for the establishment of a multi-family dwelling as specified in Article VI.

Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall asked the DeKonings if the existing duplex is hooked up to the Town water system; they replied yes.  Mr. Houseworth clarified that all multi-family dwellings are required to be hooked up to the Town water and sewer systems.  Mr. Pagano stated that fundamentally this proposal comes down to whether or not the Zoning Board of Adjustment has a position regarding the increase of the density of structures and dwelling units (for example duplexes to multi-family dwellings) within the downtown area of Antrim.  He stated that they haven’t received this type of proposal before, but it seems that without any objecting abutters present tonight, it would be a reasonable proposal for the neighborhood and area of town in which it is proposed.  Mr. Houseworth stated that in general the Planning Board advocates for higher density development within the downtown area of Town, where this multi-family dwelling is located.  Mr. Pagano stated that it seems there is plenty of parking space and room for vehicle traffic with the existing circular driveway and the proposed driveway additions.  Mr. Schacht, the builder for the DeKonings, added that five (5) buildings around this property are already multi-family dwellings so it is safe to assume that this is a reasonable area of town for multi-family dwellings that are connected to the Town water and sewer systems.

Pro-Tem Kendall closed the public meeting, opened the public hearing, and asked Mr. Houseworth if any letters were received from abutters or citizens regarding this proposal; he replied there were none.  Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall asked if any abutters are present that would like to speak either in favor or against this proposal; there were none.  He asked if anyone present would like to speak to this proposal; there were no comments.  Mr. DeKoning stated that he spoke with his neighbor to the south about his proposal and he had no objections or concerns.  Mr. Schacht stated that the southern property line is so heavily vegetated now that you can’t see the abutter’s house anyway.  

Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall closed the public hearing and opened the public meeting for the Board’s deliberation period regarding the criteria for the two (2) area variances.  He asked if the members had any other questions for the applicants; there were none.  Mr. Scales made a motion to move to the roll call vote for the two (2) area variances (Article XVI, Section C.1. and Article VI, Section C.3.d. of the Antrim Zoning Ordinances), which was seconded by Mr. Pagano and was unanimously approved.  The Board conducted the roll call vote for the area variance to Article XVI, Section C.1. first, and then conducted the roll call vote for the area variance to Article VI, Section C.3.d.  The roll call votes were exactly the same for both area variances and are as follows:

1)      The value of surrounding properties will not be diminished. Mr. Crafts – Aye, Mr. Scales - Aye, Mr. Pagano - Aye, and Mr. Giffin – Aye.
2)      The variance will not be contrary to the public interest. Mr. Crafts – Aye, Mr. Scales - Aye, Mr. Pagano - Aye, and Mr. Giffin - Aye.
3)      Special conditions exist such that literal enforcement of the ordinance results in unnecessary hardship as follows:
a.      An area variance is needed to enable the applicant’s proposed use of the property given the special conditions of the property.  Mr. Crafts – Aye, Mr. Scales - Aye, Mr. Pagano - Aye, and Mr. Giffin – Aye.
b.      The benefit sought by the applicant cannot be achieved by some other method reasonably feasible for the applicant to pursue, other than an area variance. Mr. Crafts – Aye, Mr. Scales - Aye, Mr. Pagano - Aye, and Mr. Giffin – Aye.
4)      Substantial justice is done. Mr. Crafts – Aye, Mr. Scales - Aye, Mr. Pagano - Aye, and Mr. Giffin – Aye.
5)      The variance is consistent with the spirit of the ordinance. Mr. Crafts – Aye, Mr. Scales - Aye, Mr. Pagano - Aye, and Mr. Giffin – Aye.

Mr. Houseworth informed the applicants that the two (2) area variances from Article XVI, Section C.1. and Article VI, Section C.3.d. of the Antrim Zoning Ordinances to permit the enlargement of an existing, non-conforming duplex into a multi-family dwelling within the side yard set back have been granted and they will receive a notice of decision in the mail, signed by the chairman.

Alternate Members for the Zoning Board of Adjustment - Mr. Ron Haggett:  Mr. Houseworth informed the members that two (2) alternate member positions are open for the Zoning Board of Adjustment and Mr. Ron Haggett has shown interest in becoming an alternate member.  After a brief discussion about Mr. Haggett’s background, Mr. Pagano moved to recommend to the Selectmen that Mr. Ron Haggett be appointed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment as an alternate member, which was seconded by Mr. Giffin and was unanimously passed.  Mr. Houseworth stated that he would send a memo to the Board of Selectmen recommending Mr. Haggett be appointed to the Board as an alternate.


Approve ZBA Meeting Minutes:  Mr. Pagano moved to approve the minutes of the June 26, 2007 Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting as presented, which was seconded by Mr. Giffin and unanimously passed.


NH Office of Energy & Planning (OEP) – 2007 Fall Planning & Zoning Conference:  Mr. Houseworth provided the members with the registration packets and meetings calendar for the NH OEP 2007 Fall Planning & Zoning Conference on Saturday, October 13, 2007 at the Mountain Club on Loon in Lincoln, NH.  He informed the members that the Antrim Community Bus has been reserved for this event so that the members and staff can carpool together.  He stated that the Planning Department budget has funds available for training for members and staff so this event would be covered by the Town.


NH Local Government Center (LGC) – 32nd Annual Municipal Law Lecture Series:  Mr. Houseworth provided the members with the registration and lectures schedule for the NH LGC’s 32nd Annual Municipal Law Lecture Series, which is held in various areas of New Hampshire in September and October 2007 including: Jaffrey, Meredith, Whitefield, Hanover, Manchester, and Portsmouth, NH.  He informed the members that the cost of the lecture is $25.00 per session or $45.00 for three (3) sessions and funds are available from the Planning Dept. for members to use for training events like these.

Mr. Pagano moved to adjourn the meeting.  Mr. Scales seconded the motion which unanimously passed.  Chairman Pro-Tem Kendall adjourned the meeting at 8:15 PM.


Respectfully submitted,

Bradley J. Houseworth, Secretary
Antrim Zoning Board of Adjustment

                
                                                



 
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