ANTRIM ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
July 5, 2011 Meeting
Appeal to theVariance #2011-04ZBA Antrim Wind Energy LLC
Members & Staff Present:
Diane Chauncey (Staff) Doug Crafts (Member) John Giffin (Member)
Ron Haggett (Member) John Kendall (Chair) Ray Ledgerwood (Alternate) Shelly Nelkens (Alternate) Frank Scales (Member)
Sarah Vandervende Sam Apkarian John Soinien Michael Pon
Bob Cleland Annie Law Ben Pratt Richard Block
7:00 PM –Review Session:
- Review Minutes of May 24, 2011 – Mr. Haggett moved to accept the minutes as presented. Mr. Scales seconded. By a voice vote , the minutes were approved.
Chair Kendall explained the purpose of the meeting and introduced the Board members.
The only decision to be made: to rehear or not to rehear the granted ZBA decision of May 24, 2011.
Some of the points discussed:
- No new evidence has been introduced
- A question of uncertainty existed for one member
- A rehashing of what has already been granted
- Was an error made or was there new evidence
- ZBA members have always taken their ZBA roles very seriously
- The ZBA grants relief from the Zoning Ordinance
- The ZBA does not have legislative powers to rezone
- Question of regional impact
- The Met tower is a temporary structure – no regional impact
- The rehearing would be the same thing – there is nothing else to discuss
- No error has been made in technical aspect.
- Nothing new has been presented
- The Met tower should no longer be a topic of discussion – and the topic of wind energy should be the topic of discussion
- The Spirit of the Ordinance and the RCD were a concern to one member
- Setting a precedent was a concern for one member
- The ZBA had examined the evidence and had come to a conclusion; it would not set a precedent
- Every case is different
- The ZBA members take many educational classes
- One member worried that a wrongful decision may be made that could not be reversed and would be against what the towns people wanted
- Unfortunate that the residents did not get a chance to vote
- The town had voted for the Small Wind Energy System
- The Rural Conservation District had been voted in by the people – possibly a mistake had been made and there was a need to stand behind the Zoning Ordinance
- The Zoning Ordinance has changed with time
- But, until the law has changed, the Zoning Ordinance and the Master Plan state that the Rural Conservation District is the most precious rural area in the Town of Antrim
- There could be the possibility of four more Met towers
- If other Met towers were necessary, they would be dealt with as the applications were presented
- The application needed to be dealt with as presented – no “rubber stamping” would occur – each application would be reviewed as needed
Chair Kendall stated that the application had been difficult for all the ZBA Members.
Mr. Giffin stated that motion for rehearing had nothing new within the motion and the ZBA had done nothing wrong.
Chair Kendall stated that he was concerned that property values could diminish, He asked if any of the ZBA members had second thoughts – were there legal questions that needed to be asked.
Mr. Haggett moved to grant the motion for rehearing. Mr. Scales seconded.
By a voice vote, all agreed to the motion. (Yes – there would be a rehearing; No, no rehearing)
Roll Call Vote: Mr. Crafts, no; Mr. Giffin, no; Chair Kendall, yes; Mr. Haggett, no; Mr. Scales, no.
The motion was denied.
The meeting continued with the minutes. Mr. Haggett moved the minutes to be approved as presented. Mr. Scales seconded. By a voice vote, the minutes were approved.
Chair Kendall and the Board determined that AT&T issue (Cell Tower at 22 High Street) needed closure. Matt Serge’s opinion should be requested. In the future, a time frame should be established.
Ms. Nelkens was concerned that the Cell Tower issue had gotten dropped with the “non-vote” of the people. She stated that a variance could be given for a permitted use but not a prohibited use.
Mr. Haggett explained that if a town has a Zoning Ordinance, there must be a ZBA to adjudicate the issues – variances, special exceptions that could occur.
A discussion continued. Some felt that the criteria dictating the Zoning Ordinance were very clear and should stand as is. Others felt that the Zoning Ordinance was subject to case law and constantly evolving. All agreed that interpretation of the Zoning Ordinance played a role.
The discussion continued about how over time, land use law changes.
At 9:41pm, Mr. Haggett moved to adjourn. Mr. Scales seconded. All approved. The meeting was adjourned.
Diane Chauncey, On Behalf of the Antrim Zoning Board of Adjustment