Zoning Board of Adjustment

Meeting date: 
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

September 3rd, 2019
Public Hearing/Meeting

Members & Staff Present:              
John Giffin (Chair), William Bryk (Vice Chair), Ray Ledgerwood (Member), Bob Holmes (Member), Shelley Nelkens (Member), Diane Kendall (Alternate), Carol Ogilvie (Planning Consultant), and Dario Carrara (Building Inspector), Ashley Brudnick-Destromp (Assistant)

Absent: Bob Holmes (Member)

Public Attendees: Mark Tenney (applicant for appeal), Rick Wood (applicant for Historical Society), Eric Tenney (applicant’s brother),  Shane & Cindy Demers (Abutters for Case 4), Anne Truslow (Abutter for Case 4).

Opening of Meeting: Chair Giffin opened the meeting at 7:02 pm. He introduced the members of the Board and Alternates. Chair Giffin appointed Ms. Kendall to sit in for Mr. Holmes.

I.  Public Hearing Case# 2019-03 ZBA Map 104, Lot 014 (Depot Street):

The Assistant read the public notice for the administrative appeal subject to Article XIX, Section B.1 in order to construct a single family home and driveway on property that does not have legal road frontage.

Mr. Tenney thanked the staff and board for assisting him with the application process. Mr. Tenney said that the property is addressed as Depot St, but it is technically located off the road that goes to the Water & Sewer Department. Mr. Tenney gave an overview of the history of the property and location, and added that the current right of way was granted in 1979 for a way onto the property off of the road.

Mr. Tenney said that the road to the Water & Sewer Department is already used by Antrim Village as an egress to get to Depot Street. He said that it is already a public way, and it does not say private way at all with signage. Mr. Tenney said that, In 1978, the Town of Antrim voted to accept it as a town road so the sewer and water commission didn’t have to pay for maintenance of the road. He added that It was never named or classified, but it is a road that is accepted, paved, and used to navigate through the town. Mr. Tenney said that the RSA says that the property must be bound by a class V or better road. It is his contention that it is and should be seen as an acceptable road. He added that this will allow him to build a small home on that property.

Mr. Tenney said that he has a right of way, but a right of way to what exactly if he cannot get a building permit to construct a single family dwelling to accommodate a handicap person. Mr. Tenney explained when his son gets to the point where he needs a full time caregiver; he wants him to live in that house. He explained there is only room on that lot for one house, as some of it is in the flood plain, and the power lines go through it. It is his firm belief that the house will stay in the family, and the property will remain with the family so it will not affect future homeowners in any way.

Chair Giffin asked about the right of way, and if it is in the deed, and the specs of it. Mr. Tenney said that it is a 20’ right of way, and went over the location of it, and said it is in the property deed. Mr. Tenney also added that if they accept that as an accessible road, they have around 500ft of frontage on it, so they do not need a variance. Chair Giffin said that he spent time looking at maps and roads, and the road appears to look like a private road as opposed to a public road just on appearance on maps visually.

Hypothetically If it abuts the Town of Antrim property and not the road itself, it’s technically land locked, and you would just need a variance to build on a lot that doesn’t have the 200ft of frontage. There was a long discussion about this. Chair Giffin said today we are here for an appeal from an administrative decision, and explained what that entails. Vice Chair Bryk asked how long the road has been used for Antrim Village as a right of way? Mr. Tenney said 40 years, since it was originally constructed. There was a discussion between the Chair and Vice Chair about the deeded rights. The question is if the planning department made an error or the building inspector.

Mr. Carrara, the Town’s Building inspector, asked to speak.  He said it was his understanding the road is a Class V or better road. Mr. Carrara explained that the issue is not the fact that it does not have enough frontage, but that this is not a Town Law, it is a State of NH law. He said his understanding is the lot doesn’t have any frontage, and that the ZBA can make an exception to that requirement. The argument whether or not it’s on the road, or if there is a 20ft distance, that he doesn’t know. His understanding is that if he abutted the town road, he would not have needed a right of way. In the 70’s right of ways were granted all the time so people could access there lots. If you are going to build on it, you need frontage, and then they made it so not only do you have to have frontage, but you need to have access on that frontage. Mr. Carrara explained that Mr. Tenney needs to be exempted from the state requirements in order to obtain a building permit. Mr. Carrara added that if the ZBA comes to the agreement that the frontage is not an issue, then he would ask the ZBA to let him go through the building permit process, and allow Mr. Carrara to do it.

Chair Giffin said the Notice of Decision (NOD) would just show he has an exemption from the state frontage guidelines.  

Vice Chair  Bryk said that he does not see why they wouldn’t be able to grant a special exception tonight if that is what he needs as a result. Mr. Carrara explained that Mr. Tenney filed for an appeal because that is what the RSA requires you to do. The Chair explained to the Board that it can be put in the NOD that they are granting an exception to RSA 674:41.

Mr. Ledgerwood said he would want some documentation that he is going to keep the house in his family to avoid creating a mess for future home owners. The Chair explained that it has a deeded right of way, and Ms. Kendall added that the ZBA has no authority to make a decision about future ownership.

Mr. Tenney explained his son was deemed terminally ill in May of this past year, but he is now going through radiation, and the doctors feel he can get another 20-25 years. Mr. Tenney said that the house they chose is specifically designed for someone like Benjami (his son).

Chair Giffin asked if anyone wanted to speak in favor of the applicant. Mr. Eric Tenney spoke briefly, but about the property and right of way.

Chair Giffin asked if anyone wanted to speak in opposition. There was no answer.

Motion: Mr. Bryk made a motion to move into deliberation, Mr. Ledgerwood second it.

Vote: By a voice vote, all were in favor. 

II.  Public Deliberation Case# 2019-03 ZBA Map 104, Lot 014 (Depot Street):

The Chair asked the Board if they had any further comment. Mr. Ledgerwood said no, Ms. Nelkens said she did not see an issue. Ms. Kendall said she did not see an issue, and that what happens in the future is irrelevant. Mr. Bryk said he agrees the Board has the authority to make this decision. Ms. Ogilvie added that there are 4 criteria’s that are lined out in her staff report that should be responded to in the NOD if they do vote on it.

The Chair went over the application requirements in the staff report.

  1. That the enforcement of RSA 674:41’s minimum frontage requirements would “entail practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship;” The board agreed yes, that it would.
  2. That the circumstances of the case do not require the building, structure or part thereof to be related to existing or proposed streets. The board agreed they did not believe this would be the case.
  3. That the erection of the building will not tend to distort the official map or increase the difficulty of carrying out the master plan; The board agreed there would be no difficulty or changes to the map.
  4. That erection of the building will not cause hardship to future purchasers or undue financial impact on the municipality. The board determined that they do not believe it would cause hardship on any future owners.

Motion: Ms. Kendall made a motion to authorize the building inspector to issue the building permit, and  to grant relief from the State RSA 674:41, requiring road frontage. Mr. Ledgerwood second it.

Roll Call Vote: Ms. Nelkens– “Aye.” Ms. Kendall – “Aye.” Mr. Ledgerwood- “Aye.” Chair Giffin- “Aye.” Vice Chair Bryk- “Aye.”

The appeal has been GRANTED.

The applicant is requesting two additional right of ways further up the property to construct a circular driveway. The Chair believes it is not a ZBA matter, but a Selectboard or Planning Board request. The assistant will verify with town staff to determine the next step for the applicant, and will get back to him.  

III.  Public Hearing Case# 2019-04 ZBA Map 228, Lot 028 (223 Clinton Road):

The Assistant  read the public notice for the variance from Article XVII, Section D.1 to construct a sign greater than 6ft (6’), and a special exception from Article XVII Section 5.2 in order to have an additional free standing sign on property located in the Rural District. The Assistant explained that Rick Wood was representing the Antrim Historical Society as the applicant.

Rick Wood gave his presentation for the sign, and presented a mock up

Ms. Nelkens asked if there was any insurance on it, Mr. Wood said not at the moment, and that it is not required.  Ms. Nelkens asked who is responsible for damage to the sign. Mr. Wood explained that the Historical society owns it for now, so they are responsible for damages. He added that he is hoping in the future they can gift the sign project over to the Town.

Ms. Nelkens and Ms. Kendall asked about parking. Mr. Wood explained there is plenty of parking at the Stone Church so people do not need to pull over on the side. He added the one for the police station was already approved.

Mr. Demers said that people pull over now because they lose cell service there and it is already a problem. He added he loves that the church is being used more now, but it has changed the demographics of the old center.

Ms. Nelkens asked if the sign is reflective. Mr. Demers and Mr. Wood explained that it is not because it is before and parallel to the turn, so they don’t believe there would be a reflection. Ms. Kendall asked if this is a common design? Mr. Wood said no, and that it is such a rare sign that they actually want to copyright it.

Ms. Nelkens was concerned about the size of the sign. The Demers and Ms. Truslow both said it looked very tasteful.

Ms. Truslow said she was worried about obstructing the church itself from a historical point of view. Mr. Wood explained the sign placement would be closer to the wall.

Chair Giffin closed the meeting to public input.

IV.  Public Hearing Case# 2019-03 ZBA Map 228, Lot 028 (223 Clinton Road):

There was no deliberation or further discussion from the Board.

Motion: Vice Chair Bryk made a motion to accept the application, Mr. Ledgerwood second it.

Roll Call Vote: Ms. Nelkens– “Aye.” Ms. Kendall – “Aye.” Mr. Ledgerwood- “Aye.” Chair Giffin- “Aye.” Vice Chair Bryk- “Aye.”

The application was approved unanimously. The Variance and Special Exception have been Granted.

V.  Review/Amend Minutes from 7/30/2019:

Review: The Chair asked the Board to review the minutes from 7/30/2019.

Discussion: there were a couple grammatical errors corrected.

Motion: Ms. Kendall made a motion to accept the minutes as amended, and Mr. Ledgerwood second it.

Vote: By a voice vote, all were in favor.

VI.  Other Business

`           Ms. Kendall mentioned the possibility of doing a regular scheduled meeting, and cancel as needed. Chair Giffin said it has never come up before. Ms. Kendall explained there has not been an issue, but it is more for personally scheduling so she knows what Tuesdays they will have to meet when planning. Ms. Kendall will bring in examples of nearby Towns that operate in this way.

VII.  Staff Report:

The Assistant informed the Board that it was determined that Mr. Ledgerwood and Ms. Nelkens needed to have 2 year terms instead of 3 year terms in order to follow the bylaws. She said she wrote a letter on behalf of the ZBA to the Selectboard, and they approved it, and that both members took their oaths with the Town Clerk already.  

The Assistant informed the Board that the Harris Notice of Decision was recorded at the Registry of deeds.

The Assistant also mentioned that signups are still going on for the 2019 NHMA Law Lecture series for October 5th, and that it is required in the bylaws that all new ZBA members obtain 6 hours of training within their first year.

Motion: Ms. Nelkens made a motion to adjourn the meeting, Mr. Bryk second it.

Vote: By a voice vote, all were in favor.

Meeting Adjourned:  8:36 PM

Respectfully Submitted,
Ashley Brudnick-Destromp
Assistant to Land Use Boards