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Zoning Board of Adjustment Minutes 03/18/08
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ANTRIM ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

March 18, 2008 Meeting

Members & Staff Present:          Doug Crafts (Alternate),            John Giffin (Member),
Ron Haggett (Alternate),          Bradley Houseworth (Staff),         John Kendall (Member),          
Laurie Lemons (Staff),    Len Pagano (Member),     Frank Scales (Member),           Don Winchester (Member),      Paul Young (Vice Chair)

Member & Staff Absent:        None
                
Public Attendees:                  Jeanne Lapointe                     Ronald Lapointe  
Anne-Marie Sommer                  Frank Sommer

Chair Winchester convened the meeting at 7:15 PM, introduced himself, and asked the Board members to introduce themselves.

Appointment of Chair and Vice Chair for 2008:  Chair Winchester stated that the first item of business would be to vote for a Chair and Vice Chair of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, and to fill any open member positions with current alternates.  Mr. Young moved to nominate Mr. John Kendall as Chair of the Zoning Board of Adjustment for the next annual term, which was seconded by Mr. Haggett and was unanimously approved.  Mr. Crafts moved to nominate Mr. Paul Young as Vice Chair of the Zoning Board of Adjustment for the next annual term, which was seconded by Mr. Haggett and was unanimously approved.  Mr. Young moved to request that the Board of Selectmen appoint Mr. Crafts from an alternate position to a member position of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, which was seconded by Mr. Pagano, and was unanimously approved.  Mr. Young moved to request that the Board of Selectmen appoint Mr. Giffin from an alternate position to a member position of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, which was seconded by Mr. Pagano, and was unanimously approved.  In addition, Mr. Crafts moved to request that the Board of Selectmen appoint Mr. Winchester and Mr. Scales to the Zoning Board of Adjustment as alternates, which was seconded by Mr. Haggett and was unanimously passed.  The Board requested that Mr. Houseworth inform the Board of Selectmen of their requests to move Mr. Crafts and Mr. Giffin from alternate positions to member positions of the Board and to appoint Mr. Scales and Mr. Winchester to the Board as alternates.  Mr. Houseworth explained that when this is done, there will still be two (2) open alternate positions on the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

LaPointe, Ronald; File # 2008-04ZBA, Area Variance Request for a Carport:  Vice Chair Young appointed Mr. Haggett to sit for Mr. Scales and Mr. Crafts to sit for Mr. Winchester.  Vice Chair Young opened the public meeting at the request of Ronald LaPointe for an area variance from Article VIII, Section C.3. to permit the construction of a car port within the fifty (50') foot front yard setback on property located at 37 Algonquin Avenue (Tax Map 214, Lot 42) in Antrim, NH 03440, located in the Lakefront Residential District.  The applicant is requesting an after-the-fact variance as the carport was already constructed within the fifty (50) foot front yard setback.
Mrs. LaPointe wanted to stress the fact that Algonquin Road is a private road and the only reason they maintain it is for safety purposes.  She also stated that the existing carport is not fifty (50) feet from the road but is approximately thirty (30) feet from Algonquin Avenue.  

Mr. Young asked how this case came before the Zoning Board of Adjustment now when the carport has been constructed and established within the front yard setback for the last two (2) years.  Mr. Houseworth explained that it is his understanding that the Lapointes recently approached Mr. Jeff Parsons, Antrim Building Inspector, regarding how they could get an after-the-fact approval of the placement of their carport.  Mr. Parsons referred the Lapointes to the Planning Department and an after-the-fact area variance was requested.  Mr. Houseworth also stated that Mr. Parsons informed him that a building permit was never issued for the carport and he therefore never checked to make sure the structure was constructed outside of the front yard setback.  He explained that when the Lapointes approached Mr. Parsons and inquired about whether or not the carport would require a building permit, based on what was described to Mr. Parsons, he concluded that a building permit was not necessary in this case.  However, he explained that when Mr. Parsons drove by the property, the established carport was very different from what was originally described to him by the Lapointes.  

Mr. Lapointe explained that when he built the carport, he was aware of the side and rear yard setback requirements, but was not aware that there was a fifty (50) foot front yard setback along the private road, Algonquin Road.  He explained that because of the steep terrain of their property, they constructed the carport on the only level portion of the property, which happens to be within the front yard setback area.  The Lapointes then handed the Board a photo of their property, showing the steep slope that drops off behind the carport.  Mr. Houseworth also passed around several photos Mr. Parson had taken of the property, the carport, and the relation of the carport to the edge of Algonquin Road.  

Vice Chair Young closed the public meeting, opened the public hearing, and asked if any abutters present would like to speak either in favor or against the proposal; there were none.  He then asked Mr. Houseworth if the staff received any letters from abutters, either in favor or against the proposal; he replied there were none.  Vice Chair Young closed the public hearing, opened the public meeting for the Board's deliberation period of the merits of the proposal, and asked the members if they have any additional questions or comments.  After a short discussion among the Board members, Mr. Haggett moved to go to roll call vote regarding the area variance request, which was seconded by Mr. Crafts.  Mr. Houseworth read aloud the (5) five criteria used by the Board to determine whether or not to grant the area variance request.  The roll call vote follows for the five (5) criteria to consider for granting/ denying an area variance:

1.      The value of surrounding properties will not be diminished.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Pagano - aye, Mr. Crafts - aye, Mr. Kendall - aye, and Mr. Haggett - aye.
2.      The variance will not be contrary to the public interest.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Pagano - aye, Mr. Crafts - aye, Mr. Kendall - aye, and Mr. Haggett - 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.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Pagano - aye, Mr. Crafts - aye, Mr. Kendall - aye, and Mr. Haggett - 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.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Pagano - aye, Mr. Crafts - aye, Mr. Kendall - aye, and Mr. Haggett - aye.
4.      Substantial justice is done.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Pagano - aye, Mr. Crafts - aye, Mr. Kendall - aye, and Mr. Haggett - aye.
5.      The variance is consistent with the spirit of the ordinance.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Pagano - aye, Mr. Crafts - aye, Mr. Kendall - aye, and Mr. Haggett - aye.

Mr. Houseworth informed the applicants that the after-the fact area variance for a carport within the fifty (50) foot front yard setback was granted and they will soon be receiving an official notice of decision in the mail stating such, signed and endorsed by the Chair of the Board.  He also thanked the applicants for coming.

Kendall, John & Diane - 'Place in the Woods Trading Post, LLC,' File #2008-02ZBA; Special Exception Request for an Oversized Sign in the HB District:  Mr. Kendall recused himself from the Board due to the fact that he is the applicant for this case.  Mr. Giffin recused himself from the Board as he is a direct abutter to the property in question.  Vice Chair Young opened the public meeting at the request of John and Diane Kendall, owners of the 'Place in the Woods Trading Post, LLC,' for a Special Exception for an oversized sign in the Highway Business District as required by Article XVII (Sign Ordinance), Section E.1 of the Antrim Zoning Ordinances, for property located at 128 Concord Street (Tax Map 232, Lot 35) in Antrim, NH 03440, located in the Highway Business District and the Rural District.  Vice Chair asked Mr. Kendall to present his proposal to the Board for an oversized sign for the 'Place in the Woods Trading Post, LLC,' along Rt. 202 in Antrim.

Mr. Kendall began by explaining that the State's right-of-way for Rt. 202 in Antrim varies in width and size, depending on where ones property is located on Rt. 202 and what side of the road you are on.  He stated that where the 'Place in the Woods Trading Post, LLC' is located on Rt. 202, on the west side of the State road, the right-of-way happens to be approximately eighty (80) feet from the edge of the paved surface.  He explained that this means that any signs erected for his business must be outside of this State right-of-way and the signs are not even allowed to hang over this right-of-way.  He stated that this means his sign needs to be very far from the edge of the road and therefore is harder to see by the public as they drive 55 miles an hour down Rt. 202.  He stated that this is the primary reason why he wants to establish an oversized sign because of the large State setback that he must adhere to and how small the text appears from Rt. 202.

Mr. Kendall provided the Board members with a sketch of the proposed oversized sign, describing the various dimensions of the sign and an approximate appearance of it.  He explained that he is proposing to have the top part of the sign be an almost exact replica of the existing sign currently on the business, while the bottom part of the sign will be comprised of movable text that will change periodically to advertise specials.

Vice Chair Young closed the public meeting, opened the public hearing, and asked if any abutters present would like to speak either in favor or against the proposal.  Mr. Giffin stated that he is an abutter, across the street from the 'Place in the Woods Trading Post, LLC,' and is in favor of Mr. Kendall's proposal for an oversized sign.  He explained that due to the large State right-of-way on Mr. Kendall's side of Rt. 202, an larger sign is necessary in order to properly advertise the business.  In addition, he stated that the right-of-way on his side of Rt. 202 is approximately thirty five (35) feet wide so it can really vary depending on where you are located on Rt. 202.  Vice Chair Young asked Mr. Houseworth if the staff received any letters from abutters, either in favor or against the proposal; he replied there were none.  Vice Chair Young closed the public hearing, opened the public meeting for the Board's deliberation period of the merits of the proposal, and asked the members if they have any additional questions or comments.  

After a short discussion among the Board members, Mr. Haggett moved to go to roll call vote regarding the special exception request, which was seconded by Mr. Pagano, and was unanimously passed.  Mr. Houseworth read aloud the six (6) criteria used by the Board to determine whether or not to grant the special exception request.  The roll call vote follows for the six (6) criteria to consider for granting/ denying a special exception:

1.      The proposed use may be similar to one or more of the uses already authorized in the district and is an appropriate location for such a use.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Pagano - aye, Mr. Crafts - aye, and Mr. Haggett - aye.
2.      Such approval would not adversely affect the neighborhood, nor otherwise be injurious, obnoxious, or offensive.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Pagano - aye, Mr. Crafts - aye, and Mr. Haggett - aye.
3.      The use will not create excessive traffic congestion, noise, or odors in the neighborhood where it is proposed.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Pagano - aye, Mr. Crafts - aye, and Mr. Haggett - aye.
4.      Such approval would be consistent with the intent of the zoning ordinance.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Pagano - aye, Mr. Crafts - aye, and Mr. Haggett - aye.
5.      Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Pagano - aye, Mr. Crafts - aye, and Mr. Haggett - aye.
6.      If the proposed special exception is listed in Article XIII, D, then it must meet all conditions of that article.  Roll Call Vote: Not Applicable.

Mr. Houseworth informed Mr. Kendall that the special exception request for an oversized sign in the Highway Business District for the 'Place in the Woods Trading Post, LLC' was granted and he will soon be receiving an official notice of decision in the mail stating such, signed and endorsed by the Vice Chair of the Board.  He stated that his next step is to get a sign permit from Mr. Parsons to establish the proposed sign.
Approve ZBA Meeting Minutes:  Mr. Haggett moved to approve the minutes of the January 29, 2008 Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting as presented, which was seconded by Mr. Crafts, and was unanimously approved.

Updated Zoning Board of Adjustment Roster:  Mr. Houseworth provided the members with an updated roster of the current members and alternates of the Zoning Board.  He explained that there will be two (2) alternate positions open on the Board and to please advise anyone interested in joining the Board to talk with the Planning Department.

Southwest Region Planning Commission - Feb. '08 Commission Highlights:  Mr. Houseworth provided the members with the Southwest Region Planning Commission's (SWRPC) February 2008 Commission Highlights publication.

Conferences, Workshops, and Seminars - NH OEP Spring Conference:  Mr. Houseworth provided the members with the registration packets for the upcoming New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning (NH OEP) Spring Conference for Planning and Zoning Board Members.  He stated that it is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, 2008, from 9AM - 3:30PM, at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH.  He explained that the Planning Dept. will cover registration fees and a bus may be available.

Conferences, Workshops, and Seminars - NH LGC Land Use Clerks Workshop:  Mr. Houseworth provided the members with the registration packets for the upcoming New Hampshire Local Government Center (NH LGC) - Land Use Clerks Workshop for Zoning Board Members.  He stated that it is scheduled for Saturday, May 10, 2008, from 9 AM - 3:30 PM, at the NH LGC at 25 Triangle Park Drive in Concord, NH.  He explained that the Planning Dept. will cover registration fees ($40 per person) and encourages individuals to carpool together.

Mr. Haggett moved to adjourn the meeting, which was seconded by Mr. Giffin and was unanimously passed.  Vice Chair Young adjourned the meeting at 7:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted,



Bradley Houseworth, Town Planner,
Antrim Zoning Board of Adjustment



 
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