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Zoning Board of Adjustment Minutes 04/01/08
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ANTRIM ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

April 1, 2008 Meeting

Member & Staff Present:         Diane Chauncey (Staff),         John Giffin (Member),
Ron Haggett (Alternate) Bradley Houseworth (Staff),     John Kendall (Chair),
Len Pagano (Member),    Frank Scales (Member),  Paul Young (Vice-Chair)
                                                                        
Member & Staff Absent:          Don Winchester (Alternate),      Doug Crafts (Member)
                        
Public Attendees:               Joseph Koziell,                   Peter Gagne
Dennis McKenney         David Tolles                      Mike Hamilton

Chair Kendall convened the meeting at 7:15 PM, introduced himself, and asked the Board members to introduce themselves. Chair Kendall appointed Ron Haggett (Alternate) to sit for the absent Doug Crafts (Member).
        
Chair Kendall set the order of the meeting as follows: 1. Joseph Koziell, Area Variance; 2. Peter Gagne, Special Exception; and Linda Hamilton, Use Variance Request.

Koziell, Joseph & Katherine, File #2008-03ZBA; Area Variance Request: Chair Kendall continued the public meeting at the request of Joseph and Katharine Koziell for an Area Variance from Article IV, Section C.2.d of the Antrim Zoning Ordinances to permit the construction of a proposed Commercial Warehouse and Storage facility (11,000+ sq. ft.) on an existing, non-conforming lot located at 4 Contoocook Valley Avenue (Tax Map 232, Lot 48) in Antrim, NH 03440, located in the Village Business District.  The applicant is proposing to construct a non-residential structure on a lot that has less than the required minimum lot size (90,000 sq. ft.) and in a particular place, less then the required minimum depth of two hundred (200) feet.

The Board reviewed the minutes of the March 28, 2008 Site Walk. A 14-picture slideshow of the Site Walk was shown as another review with some commentary by Mr. Koziell. Mr. Young commented that the vegetation should remain in place so that no disruption would occur. Chair Kendall said that a 10’ buffer should remain undisturbed. Mr. Houseworth clarified that 50% of the present vegetation within the twenty (20) foot side yard setback is required to be maintained. Mr. Pagano questioned the reality of maintaining the vegetation once the excavation began. Mr. Pagano felt that a retaining wall that could possibly include the building itself as part of the structure is to be considered. Mr. Houseworth felt that was a reasonable measure. Mr. Giffin also felt that the vegetation would need to be removed, that the shape of the land will hide the building, and that backfilling was a possibility. Mr. Pagano mentioned that Mr. Koziell should think of the design of the building with a retaining wall as a relevant aspect and a note should be made to the Planning Board to consider this. Mr. Pagano felt that the spirit of the ordinance is being met. Chair Kendall felt that the Planning Board will consider the input of the Zoning Board when considering the merits of the proposal during their site plan review. Mr. Young wanted a notation made that the road encroached upon the parcel of land. Mr. Haggett asked to move the question and go to roll call vote. Mr. Young seconded it, which was unanimously approved.
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. Giffin – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young – aye, and Mr. Haggett – aye.
2.      The variance will not be contrary to the public interest.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Giffin – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young – 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. Giffin – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young – 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. Giffin – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young – aye, and Mr. Haggett – aye.
4.      Substantial justice is done.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Giffin – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young – aye, and Mr. Haggett – aye.
5.      The variance is consistent with the spirit of the ordinance.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Giffin – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young – aye, and Mr. Haggett – aye.

Mr. Houseworth informed the applicant that the Area Variance was unanimously approved on all criteria and they would be receiving a Notice of Decision in the mail, signed by the Chair, within thirty (30) days.

Gagne, Peter C., File #2008-06ZBA; Special Exception Request :Chair Kendall opened the public meeting at the request of Peter Gagne for a Special Exception to Article VII, Section C.J. of the Antrim Zoning Ordinances, to convert a cellar of an existing single family home into a conversion apartment on property located at 61 Whiton Road in Antrim, New Hampshire, (Tax Map 233, Lot 56) located in the Rural District. The Board members looked at the information and particularly at the Applicant’s sketch of the proposed conversion apartment. Chair Kendall asked Mr. Gagne if he would present the request for a special exception. Mr. Gagne agreed and then explained that he would like to convert the cellar (which had previously been approved for 2 bedrooms and a bath) to a conversion apartment, as shown in the sketch. He would be turning the cellar into an apartment for his brother to have a place to live, who had suffered a serious accident earlier in the year. The apartment would have its own entrance and there is already an existing driveway.

Public Hearing: Chair Kendall closed the public meeting, opened the public hearing, and asked if there were any abutters who would like to speak in favor of the proposal. There were none. Any abutters not in favor of the proposal? There were none. Mr. Gagne added that he had no neighbors. Chair Kendall asked if all the registered letters had been returned. Mr. Houseworth said that all had been returned but the one from Antrim Lumber. Chair Kendall asked if any letters, comments, or telephone calls had been received concerning the proposal. Mr. Houseworth said there had been none. Mr. Haggett moved to close the Public Hearing, which was seconded by Mr. Young, and was unanimously passed.

Deliberation: Chair Kendall closed the public hearing and reopened the public meeting for the Board’s deliberation period to consider the merits of the proposal.  The members agreed that the applicant had met the requirements of the special exception and that there is currently plenty of parking. Chair Kendall mentioned that the applicant should work closely with the Building Inspector. Mr. Gagne concurred. Mr. Haggett moved to go to the Roll Call Vote. Mr. Yong seconded, which unanimously passed.
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. Giffin – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young – 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. Giffin – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young – 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. Giffin – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young – aye, and Mr. Haggett – aye.
4.      Such approval would be consistent with the intent of the zoning ordinance.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Giffin – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young – 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. Giffin – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young – 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: Mr. Giffin – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young – aye, and Mr. Haggett – aye.

Mr. Houseworth informed the applicant that the Special Exception was unanimously approved on all criteria and he would be receiving a Notice of Decision in the mail, signed by the Chair, within thirty (30) days.

Hamilton, Linda, File #2008-05ZBA; Use Variance Request :Chair Kendall opened the public meeting at the request of Linda Hamilton for a Use Variance to Article XIV, Section S.2.b of the Antrim Zoning Ordinances to use an existing driveway, for access to a proposed back lot, which does not intersect the Town road within the frontage or right-of-way of the proposed back lot, for property located at 41 Old North Branch Road (Tax Map 213 Lot 70) in Antrim, NH 03440, located in the Highway Business, Rural, and Lakefront Residential Districts.
The applicant’s plans were examined by the Board. Chair Kendall asked if Mr. McKenney would be presenting for the Hamiltons. Mr. McKenney acknowledged that he would and then introduced himself as a Land Surveyor who had been working with the Hamiltons and had applied to the Planning Board for a minor subdivision, which would include a back lot. The ZBA application is for a Use Variance to use an existing driveway for access to a proposed back lot. Mr. McKenney showed a series of photos via projector (hard copies in folder). He began with a picture of the existing house, and then a series of photos that showed the driveway, the power lines, the intersection, the lines of sight, the width of the road, and finally an aerial that showed the driveway in relation to the new lot. Mr. McKenney explained that the new lot would take ownership of the driveway and that the Hamiltons would have a deeded easement to use the driveway as a shared driveway to get to their existing home on the back lot.  Mr. McKenney was asking the Board to consider the shared driveway proposal because of the following two (2) hardships: 1) power lines limit the placement of the driveway and no neighbors would be adversely affected, and 2) the existing driveway already has the best line of sight and is at the best location along Old North Branch Road because it is located at a high point of the road, allowing good visibility in both directions.

The Board discussed the following issues:
• Some Board members felt there was no hardship.  Mr. Pagano and Mr. Giffin both explained that it doesn’t seem that there is any reason why the applicant can’t construct a new driveway to the back lot, except for the fact that they don’t want to have to bear that cost.  They explained that it is a normal part of doing a minor subdivision.  They explained that there are other possibilities to improve the line of sight, including doing a mirror image of the proposed minor subdivision and moving the new driveway to the most northern boundary of the lot.
• Frontage of the back lot property being used as an access is an important requirement that the Planning Board has established.
• Philosophically, the actual benefit of using the existing driveway is ecologically      and environmentally more beneficial than the construction of a new driveway.
• Would the new lot, or existing back lot, have a greater value they each had their own driveways?
• If approved, the shared driveway would have to be wide enough for emergency vehicles to pass each other at the same time (aka 20 feet).

Public Hearing:  Chair Kendall closed the Public Meeting and opened the Public Hearing. There were no abutters in favor or against the proposal. All return receipts were returned and there were no letters, comments, or telephone calls. Mr. Haggett motioned to close the Public Hearing and Mr. Young seconded it, which was unanimously approved.

Deliberation:  
The roll call vote follows for the five (5) criteria to consider for granting/ denying a use variance:
1.  The value of surrounding properties will not be diminished.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Giffin – nay, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young – aye, and Mr. Haggett – aye.
2. The variance will not be contrary to the public interest.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Giffin – aye, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young – 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. Giffin – nay, Mr. Pagano – nay, Mr. Kendall – aye, Mr. Young - 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. Giffin – nay, Mr. Pagano – nay, Mr. Kendall – aye, Mr. Young - aye, and Mr. Haggett – aye.
c.      The variance would not injure the public or private rights of others. Roll Call Vote: Mr. Giffin –nay, Mr. Pagano - aye, Mr. Young -aye, and Mr. Haggett, aye.
4. Substantial justice is done.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Giffin – nay, Mr. Pagano – aye, Mr. Young - aye, and Mr. Haggett – aye.
5.  The variance is consistent with the spirit of the ordinance.  Roll Call Vote: Mr. Giffin – nay, Mr. Pagano – nay, Mr. Kendall – aye, Mr. Young - aye, and Mr. Haggett – aye.

Mr. Houseworth concurred that all criteria passed in the affirmative and informed the applicant that the Use Variance had been granted. He stated that a Notice of Decision will be sent in the mail, signed by the Chair, within 30 days.

Approve ZBA Meeting Minutes:  Mr. Haggett moved to approve the minutes of the March 28, 2008 Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting as presented, which was seconded by Mr. Pagano, and was unanimously approved. Mr. Haggett moved to approve the minutes of the March 18, 2008 Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting as presented, which was seconded by Mr. Pagano, and unanimously approved. Mr. Haggett moved to approve the minutes of the March 25, 2008 Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting as presented, which was seconded by Mr. Pagano, and unanimously approved.

Conferences, Workshops, and Seminars – NH OEP Spring Conference:  Mr. Houseworth reminded the members of 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 will be available.

Conferences, Workshops, and Seminars – NH LGC Land Use Clerks Workshop:  Mr. Houseworth reminded the members 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.

Respectfully submitted,

Diane Chauncey, Staff, Antrim Zoning Board of Adjustment


 
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