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Zoning Board of Adjustment Minutes 06/10/08

June 10, 2008 Board Meeting

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

Public Attendees:               Linda Drake Gobbo (Applicant),  
Fred Blair (Blair & Bristol Construction, LLC, Builder for the Gobbos)

Chair Kendall convened the meeting at 7:15 PM, introduced himself, the board members, and the staff.

Gobbo, Linda Drake & Paul, File #2008-08ZBA: Chair Kendall opened the public meeting at the request of Linda Drake Gobbo for an Area Variance Request from Article IX, Section C.4 to permit the expansion of a non-conforming structure within the one hundred foot (100’) front yard setback from the high water mark of Gregg Lake on property located at 179 Gregg Lake Rd. (Tax Map 101, Lot 48) in the Lakefront Residential District.

Public Meeting:  Chair Kendall asked Ms. Gobbo if she would like to present her proposal. She deferred to her builder, Mr. Blair, who referred to the photo of the Gobbos’s vacation home, stating that the roof needs attention. Since the roof needs repair, and the Gobbos would like to retire at their vacation home, they have decided to raise the roof and add a second floor. At the same time, they would like to construct an 8’ x 20’ deck wrapped around the building in an L-shape. Mr. Blair said that the existing building is approximately sixty-three feet (63’) feet from the edge of Gregg Lake. Chair Kendall asked if Board members had any questions for Mr. Blair. Board members asked the following questions and Mr. Blair answered:
        Is the deck the only new footprint area? Yes it is.
        How high will the roof be?  Eight or nine feet from its current height.
        From the tax map, it looks like a T-shaped lot? Yes it is.
        The roof line above what looks like a former porch is almost horizontal. What would the new
                roof configuration be? It would be a cape-style possibly with a dormer. The peak would
                be in the middle with a definite slope so that snow would not pile up on the roof.
        Would the roof come off? Would it be steeper? Yes.
        Is the foundation sufficient? The foundation is new.

        A Board member questioned the hatch marks on the tax map. Mr. Houseworth explained that this property (Tax Map 101, Lot 48), consisting of 0.54 acres, is actually three (3) separate legal lots of record and therefore the hatch marks on the tax map represent the property boundaries of the three separate lots.  He stated that he is assuming that these lots were subdivided before the Town of Antrim adopted zoning ordinances, which is why there are considered existing, non-conforming lots. He stated that because the lots have been built out and treated as one lot, instead of three, the property owners have essentially unofficially merged the three lots into one (the structure is on a property line and the septic system is in the far right lot).  Mr. Houseworth stated that therefore it is up to the property owners to decide whether to leave the property as three legal tracts or to merge them into one tract for all future purposes.
        Mr. Houseworth reiterated that the applicant needs to obtain two (2) separate variances: 1) an area variance to construct a deck on the existing dwelling, 8’ closer to the high water mark of Gregg Lake, within the fifty (50’) foot front yard setback; and 2) an area variance to expand the existing, non-conforming structure by adding a second floor.  Mr. Haggett pointed out that the Board could just grant one area variance for both expansions; Mr. Houseworth agreed that the Board could grant just one area variance for both proposed area expansions or review the two expansion proposals as independent variances from one another.

        Ms. Gobbo explained that she would like to add a second floor consisting of a 1/2 bath and two bedrooms upstairs (2 bedroom septic is in place).  Mr. Houseworth explained that he is not sure if the existing two-bedroom septic system will be large enough for the proposed second floor addition, and recommended that Ms. Gobbo speak with the Building Inspector, Mr. Jeff Parsons, to determine what will be required when a building permit is issued for the proposed second floor addition.

        Mr. Pagano said that the ZBA is in a unique position to waive the requirements of the Antrim Zoning Ordinances.  He explained that the Gobbo’s structure has limitations, is already in the setback, and the shoreline visual quality should be protected. Mr. Blair explained that the roof needs to be replaced. He stated that the roof pitch will be increased and a dormer shed, 1/3 the length of the building, will face the water. He agreed with the ZBA that due to time constraints, the plans were not as detailed as they could be. Chair Kendall suggested that the plans appear to be in the design stage and maybe the request should be tabled until the plans are complete.

        Mr. Houseworth stated that a NH DES Shoreland Permit may be required by the State, regardless of when the building permit is issued, but stated that he is not sure and advised the applicant to check with the Department of Environmental Services regarding the state requirements for this proposal, especially because the new shoreland rules and permit becoming effective July 1st.  Mr. Young felt that the State red tape is overwhelming and feels that the ZBA is in place to see that there is justice done for the property owner.  
A lengthy discussion ensued. Some of the issues discussed:
·       It is difficult to grant a variance with unseen and/ or incomplete plans.
·       Parking area has potential problems due to its size, location, and proximity to the house.
·       Because the structure is in the setback, the ZBA has to be very careful about its decision.
·       The way that the State operates can be problematic for local, municipal land use boards.
·       Several setback issues and questions were discussed including the State’s fifty (50’) foot setback and the Town’s one hundred (100’) foot setback from the high water mark.
·       If a decision was made by the Board tonight, based on limited information and approximate heights and distances, the applicant would be locked into those dimensional conditions and requirements.  Any deviation from these dimensional conditions would need Board approval.
·       There should be a more concrete concept plan with the associated/ proposed dimensions.
·       Disagreements regarding the new Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act (CSPA) requirements which become effective July 1, 2008 ensued.
·       The Board should try to accommodate, within reason, the applicants’ proposals in a timely manner with a decision, so that if approved, a building permit could potentially be issued before July 1, 2008 if possible.
·       Necessities of a site walk as a public meeting, with meeting minutes taken, because a quorum of the Board would be convening.
·       The possibility of the Board tabling this decision until more concrete, detailed plans are submitted for the proposals, and making a decision at the next Board meeting on June 24th.
Public Hearing: Chair Kendall opened the public hearing and asked if there had been any letters of concern or support submitted to the Planning Staff regarding this proposal. Mr. Houseworth stated that they had received one letter of support from the Oslers, an abutter to the Gobbo’s property.  He then read aloud the letter into the record.  He also stated that all certified return receipts had been received by the staff from the abutters. Chair Kendall asked if any abutters present would like to speak either in favor or against the proposal; there were none.  He asked if any Antrim citizens present would like to speak either in favor or against the proposal; there were none.  Chair Kendall closed the public hearing and opened the public meeting for the Boards’ deliberation period.

Deliberation: Mr. Young made a motion to discuss whether the Board wants to conduct a site walk for this proposal. Mr. Crafts seconded it.  The Board unanimously voted to discuss whether to require a site walk. Mr. Young stated that he feels the ZBA should grant a variance for the deck and reiterated that he has no objection to the increased height of the building. Mr. Giffin said that there is also the fifty (50’) foot front yard setback and the 2½ stories (35’) maximum building height restriction to consider. Mr. Young indicated that a site walk is not necessary. Chair Kendall stated that he was uncomfortable with the description of the planned work. Mr. Young made a motion that the site walk not be required in this case. Mr. Crafts seconded it. The Roll call vote follows: Mr. Crafts - aye; Mr. Young - aye; Mr. Pagano - nay; Mr. Giffin - nay; and Chair Kendall, aye.  The Board voted that a site walk will not be required by a 3 to 2 vote.

Mr. Young made a motion to grant the variance from the Town of Antrim's 100' setback from Gregg Lake to build an 8' wide deck from the house forward and to allow a 9' increase in height of the roof to accommodate a second floor. Mr. Crafts seconded it.  Several Board members expressed concern regarding granting a variance with such little dimensional requirements for the deck and height of the building.  Mr. Young moved to amend his original motion to provide more specific parameters for the deck.  There was a very lengthy discussion that ensued and resulted in Mr. Young's withdrawal of the motion. The discussion continued regarding whether to make a decision tonight with limited information or to table the proposal and request more specific details regarding the proposal. Eventually, Mr. Giffin made a motion to table the application until the next Board meeting on June 24, 2008 at 7:15 PM and that more definitive building plans for the area variance proposal be submitted to the Board with ample time for review prior to the next Board meeting. Mr. Young seconded it. The Board unanimously voted in favor of the motion to table the application to June 24th.  Mr. Blair stated that he will speak with the property owners and submit more definitive information and plans to the Planning Staff one week in advance of the next Board meeting.  The Board thanked the applicants for coming and for their patience with the variance process.

Approve ZBA Meeting Minutes: Mr. Crafts moved to accept the June 3, 2008 meeting minutes as presented, which was seconded by Mr. Scales, and was unanimously approved by the Board.

Conferences, Workshops, and Seminars:  
Gove Environmental Services, Inc. (GES) – ‘The Wetland Edge’ newsletter, spring 2008, (Vol. 3,          Issue 1) – Special Vernal Pool Permitting Issue

Mr. Pagano made a motion to adjourn the meeting, which was seconded by Mr. Crafts.
Chair Kendall adjourned the Board meeting at 9:00 PM.  

Respectfully submitted,

Diane M. Chauncey
On behalf of the 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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