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Zoning Board of Adjustment Minutes 10/16/07
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ANTRIM ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

October 16, 2007 Meeting

Draft

Members & Staff Present:

Doug Crafts
John Giffin
Ron Haggett
Bradley Houseworth
Joh Kendall
Laurie Lemons
Len Pagano
Don Winchester


Member & Staff Absent:  

Carol Court
Frank Scales
Paul Young

                        
Public Attendees:       

Peter Beblowski
Fred Blair
James Blair     
Scott Burnside
Michael Caswell
John Cronin
Tom Davis
Geraldine Rabideau
Michele Rabideau
Beverly Sutherland
Kenneth Sutherland

       
Chair Winchester convened the meeting at 7:15 PM, introduced himself, appointed Mr. Haggett to sit for the absent Mr. Young, and appointed Mr. Giffin to sit for the absent Mr. Scales.  As suggested by the Chair, Mr. Haggett moved to alter the agenda so that the cases are heard in the following order: Landsite first, Sutherland second, and Caswell third; which was seconded by Mr. Giffin and was unanimously approved.


Landsite, LLC; File #2007-02ZBA & File #2007-08ZBA; Request to Withdraw the Original Application Without Prejudice:  Mr. Houseworth reminded the members that at the August 21, 2007 Zoning Board of Adjustment Meeting, the Board granted Landsite, LLC’s request for a rehearing of the Landsite, LLC case (File #2007-02ZBA) for a special exception to permit the operation of an earth excavation site on properties located on the northwest corner of Elm Avenue and Smith Road in Antrim, NH 03440 (Tax Map 214, Lots 11-13).  He explained that since that meeting, Landsite, LLC has not responded to the Board’s request to schedule the rehearing, has hired a new attorney to represent them, and now wish to withdraw the original, pending application (File #2007-02ZBA), without prejudice, to a future application.  As advised by Town Counsel, the Zoning Board of Adjustment must now decide tonight whether it will permit the withdrawal of the original application, without prejudice to a future application.

·       Mr. Cronin (attorney for Landsite, LLC) spoke regarding the considerable time, effort, and cost required to properly prepare for a rehearing regarding their proposal to establish a new earth excavation site in Town.
·       Mr. Cronin stated that the applicant does not want to spend the money for this project now nor does he foresee it in the near future.  Therefore, they ask that the Board accept Landsite’s motion to withdraw their application without prejudice. He also stated that there were errors made on the applicant’s part, as well as the Planning Department Staff, and felt it would be in the best interest of the Town and the applicant to agree to accept the withdrawal without prejudice.
·       Chair Winchester opened the public meeting up to public comment and asked if anyone would like to speak to the request by Landsite, LLC.
·       Mr. Beblowski, the Conservation Commission Chair, stated that granting this request to withdraw the application without prejudice would be a mistake.  He stated that the applicant never responded to the Board’s request to set a date for the rehearing, which Landsite, LLC requested, and feels that granting the request to withdraw the application would be going against what the Board originally decided, which was to deny Landsite, LLC’s request for a new excavation site.  
·       Chair Winchester stated that after review, and input provided by Town Counsel, he does not see any reason not to grant Landsite, LLC’s request to withdraw the application and feels that it is the fairest outcome for all parties involved.
·       Mr. Haggett agreed with Chair Winchester and stated that due to the nature of this case, and the fact that no case law exists regarding this matter, it is really at the Boards’ discretion as to what is a fair resolution for all parties involved and the Board must consider this when deciding whether to grant Landsite, LLC’s request to withdraw the application.
·       Mr. Giffin stated that the Board should not be rehearing a case which the Board had already rendered a decision on, but due to the technicality that the written Notice of Decision was not issued within thirty (30) days, this case was never properly closed and the rehearing deadline was extended accordingly.
·       Mr. Pagano expressed concerns about setting a precedent by granting the applicant’s request and asked Mr. Cronin if he knew of any historical information or case law which addresses the question of whether or not a Zoning Board of Adjustment can entertain a request to withdraw an application, without prejudice, after a decision has already been rendered on the application.  

Mr. Cronin explained that the short answer is no, but that he has dealt with this question before, as he has been on a local land use board in the past in New Hampshire.  He stated that it would be in the best interest of the Board and the Town to accept the withdrawal otherwise it would force the applicant to file an appeal with the court.  Mr. Cronin stated that the Town of Antrim shouldn’t base their decisions off other Town’s decisions and should look at this request as a chance to wipe the slate clean, for all parties involved, and provide the Town with a chance to address the question of where excavation sites should be permitted in Town.  Mr. Cronin suggested that the Town revise its Master Plan, Zoning Ordinances, and/ or Subdivision and Site Plan Review Regulations to this end, in order to avoid this happening again in the future.  Mr. Kendall stated he would like to see this motion granted and if this comes before the Board again, the Board will have more expertise on how to properly handle the request.  He also acknowledged the inconvenience the abutters have endured throughout this process.  Mr. Kendall moved to grant the request to withdrawal the original application, without prejudice, which was seconded by Mr. Haggett and was unanimously approved.  Roll call vote follows:  Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Kendall – aye, Mr. Giffin – aye, and Mr. Haggett – aye.


Sutherland, Ken & Beverly; File #2007-14ZBA; Area Variance:  Chair Winchester opened the public meeting on the request of Ken & Beverly Sutherland for an area variance to expand a non-conforming structure on property located at 58 Pierce Lake Road (Tax Map 206, Lot 060) in Antrim, NH 03440, located in the Lakefront Residential District.  He asked the applicants and designated agents to introduce themselves and present their proposal to the Board.
·       Mr. James Blair introduced himself, his brother, and spoke on behalf of the applicants, Kenneth & Beverly Sutherland, stating that this house was passed down through their family many years ago and the Sutherlands intent is to upgrade the dwelling on the property and increase its value along the shoreline.
·       Mr. Haggett stated that the proposed changes to this property will not make it any more non-conforming than it is at the present time because the expansion will not be any closer to the high water mark on Pierce Lake than the existing house, nor will the expansion encroach into the side yard setback of the property.  
·       Mr. Houseworth asked the applicants if they believe any abutter’s view of the lake will be impacted by their proposed expansion.  Mr. Blair replied that there are no other homes behind the property, only homes on either side of the property, and therefore it will not impact any abutters’ view of the lake.
·       Mr. Blair confirmed that the proposed expansion will be outside of the fifty (50) primary structure setback area, as specified by the State’s Shoreland Protection Act, and therefore no approval will be needed from NH DES.

Chair Winchester closed the public meeting, opened the public hearing, and asked if anyone present would like to speak either in favor or against the proposal; there were none.  Chair Winchester asked if the planning staff received any letters from abutters; Mr. Houseworth stated that all certified letter return receipts were received and no letters were received from abutters or the general public regarding this area variance request.  Chair Winchester closed the public hearing and opened the public meeting for the Board’s deliberation period on whether to grant the area variance request.  The Board reviewed the plans for the proposed expansion and felt that there would not be a negative impact to the area if the area variance was granted.  Mr. Haggett moved to grant the request, without conditions, of Ken & Beverly Sutherland for an area variance to expand a non-conforming structure on property located at 58 Pierce Lake Road (Tax Map 206, Lot 060) in Antrim, NH 03440, located in the Lakefront Residential District.  Mr. Giffin seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.  Roll call vote follows:  Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Kendall – aye, Mr. Giffin – aye, and Mr. Haggett – aye.


Caswell, Michael & Pamela; File# 2007-16ZBA; Area Variance: Chair Winchester opened the public meeting on the request of Michael & Pamela Caswell for an area variance from Article IV, Section C.3.b.(1) to permit the construction of a car port within the twenty (20’) foot side yard setback on property located at 4 Elm Street (Tax Map 102, Lot 66) in Antrim, NH 03440, located in the Village Business District.  Chair Winchester read the public notice aloud and asked Mr. Michael Caswell to present their proposal.
·       Mr. Caswell addressed the Board with a proposal to build a twenty (20’) foot wide by twenty (20’) foot long carport on the east side of the existing dwelling, which would leave approximately 2-3 feet between the carport and the side yard property line or boundary fence.
·       After a short discussion among the members, Chair Winchester closed the public meeting, opened the public hearing, and asked if any public citizens present would like to speak either in favor or against the proposal; there were none.
·       Mr. Houseworth stated that all certified letter return receipts were received but there were no additional letters submitted regarding the proposal.
·       Mr. Kendall stated that traditionally, in the past, the closest the Zoning Board of Adjustment has ever allowed for structures to be constructed in the side yard setback area is seven (7’) feet from the side yard property line.  He stated that three (3’) feet is just not enough space for maintenance and safety purposes.
·       After a length discussion among the members regarding past area variances and expansions into the side yard setback area, the Board asked Mr. Caswell if he would be willing to accept a sixteen (16’) foot wide carport, in the same location, instead of the proposed twenty (20’) foot wide carport.
·       Mr. Caswell stated that he believes that sixteen (16’) feet would not be wide enough for him purposes and stated that he would have to go back to his house and confirm the measurements from the house to the fence and side property line.
·       The Board would also like Mr. Parsons, Antrim Building Inspector, to take measurements as well to confirm that a sixteen (16’) foot carport will provide a minimum of at least six (6’) feet between the carport and the property line.
·       Mr. Caswell said he would go back and confirm measurements to see what is the minimal width he would be willing to accept for the carport and if it is worth it.

After a short discussion, the Board decided to continue the public meeting to the next Zoning Board of Adjustment Meeting on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 at 7:15 PM.  Mr. Kendall moved to continue the public meeting to the next ZBA meeting on 10/30/07, which was seconded by Mr. Giffin and was unanimously approved.


Approve ZBA Meeting Minutes:  Mr. Haggett moved to approve the minutes of the October 2, 2007 Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting as presented, which was seconded by Mr. Pagano and was unanimously approved.


Mr. Crafts moved to adjourn the meeting, which was seconded by Mr. Pagano, and was unanimously passed.  Chair Winchester adjourned the meeting at 8:30 PM.


Respectfully submitted,

Laurie Lemons, Planning Assistant
Antrim Zoning Board of Adjustment



 
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