MEREDITH ZONING BOARD - 6/13/2013

 

PRESENT: Dever-Chairman; Pelczar – Vice-Chairman; Thorpe, Clark, Edney, Code Officer; Tivnan, Clerk

Dever – Has any Board member been contacted by anyone, in any way, in relation to any of the applications before us tonight? I mean by email, phone, letters, conversations or any other way trying to get your opinion on how you would vote?  All Board members said no.

Thorpe moved, Pelczar seconded, THAT WE APPROVE THE MINUTES of May 9, 2013.

Clark moved, Pelczar seconded THAT WE APPROVE THE MINUTES of April 11, 2013.

PUBLIC HEARING

3020: Richard Rollins: An appeal for a VARIANCE (Article V, Section D-2 B) for the removal and replacement of an existing non-conforming residence with a side setback of 20’, 30’ required, Tax Map S02, Lot 9, located at 244 NH Rte. 25 in the Forestry/Rural District.

Harry Wood – This application involves a non-conforming lot on Rte. 25. There is a trailer and shed on it now. There is an existing leachfield. The applicant desires to remove the trailer and construct a minimally sized residential dwelling with a garage in front of the building. They positioned it on the lot because of the position of the current building and the leachfield, which is in the front of the lot. That requires the building to be behind it.  The well is in the rear part of the lot. So the separation of well and septic at the present time is adequate. The dwelling requires a sideline variance. This lot is only 70’ wide. The other controlling factor is the structure will be constructed to be compatible with handicap use. Nancy Howe (240 Rte. 25) – I’m not necessarily opposed to it. There was already one variance granted on this for 2’ towards me and now it will be even closer to me. There is no buffer between the two properties. Can there be some sort of buffer put in? Dever – Harry, could you address that with the applicant? Wood – I will check with the agent.  The applicant would be willing to plant some shrubs in that area.   Hearing closed at 7:15 PM. 

3021: William Fuller: An appeal for a SPECIAL EXCEPTION (ARTICLE V-D-7A) to allow a multi-family dwelling in the Central Business District, Tax Map U06, Lot No.100, located at 16 Lake Street in the Central Business District.

Becky Fuller- The property is located at 16 Lake Street in the Central Business District. The property is developed and includes a three story, two-family (or duplex) residence and a garage. Total lot area is approximately 7,605 square feet. The property is serviced by both municipal sewer and water, with existing service connections to both the existing dwelling units and the garage. The existing driveway and parking area are paved. The existing use of the property and building as two dwellings is a grandfathered use as the property does not meet net density requirement of 10,000 square feet per dwelling unit.

The property provides for a total of five 10' x 20' parking spaces: three parking spaces in the driveway to accommodate the units of the duplex (two bedrooms in each dwelling unit) and an additional two parking spaces in the existing garage. There will be no exterior changes to the building footprint, driveway, and landscaping. As part of the process we did go before the Planning Board and received an approval for a Conditional Use Permit that is required for the proposed use to allow an increase in the dwelling unite density by one. This is the next step in our process. I do want to clarify when we went before the Planning Board it was with the intent of just putting the apartment on the second floor of the garage and keep the access to that apartment by an existing exterior staircase. We have now decided to expand the dwelling space into the first floor of the garage. I did speak to Angela Lebracque, Town Planner and she did confirm with the Planning Board Chairman that this would be fine as long as we meet the off-street parking requirement of four, which we do by keeping the one space in the garage. In addressing the criteria for a Special Exception. Having an apartment over the garage would not be detrimental to the neighborhood since the surrounding downtown area consists of other multi-family properties, as well as those having commercial uses. There will be no construction or changes in grading or landscaping to the property and therefore the appearance of the property will remain the same. The use will not be injurious, noxious or offensive and thus will not be detrimental to the neighborhood. The property will continue to be used for residential purposes, and again there will be no construction or changes in grading or landscaping.. As there is a growing need for residential space in the downtown Meredith area, this additional unit will be beneficial to the community. There is adequate parking on site. Municipal sewer and water are available to both buildings on the site and therefore would not be contrary to public health, safety or welfare. We do need to satisfy the building and fire codes and obtain a Certificate of Occupancy. Hearing closed at 7:30PM.

3022: Richard & Margaret Tracy: An appeal for a VARIANCE (ARTICLE V-D-4B) to construct a detached garage with a side setback of 10’, 20’ required, Tax Map R07, Lot. No. 28, located at 71 Collins Brook Road in the Shoreline District.  

Richard Tracy – Approximately three years ago we went through the planning process for a reconstruction of the existing structure to include the addition of a garage. At that time we knew we could not afford both. However, we felt it was important to add the garage to the original plan to assure that we stayed within the impervious surface coverage limit allowed by the State. Because of the lot design and the driveway is a shared one by our neighbors both to the east and west of us, we are limited to where we can put a garage. The home was complete a year ago and now we want to move forward with the garage. We are now asking to change the location of the original plan. If we were to build the garage in the original location the following could happen. We would have to blast to have ledge removed and then there is a chance of damage to nearby structures, underground utilities, septic and water systems. We would be removing pervious soil to add the garage. During the installation of our current septic system, Ambrose added soil to a knoll to grow grass on one side and plant bushes on the other. If allowed to build a garage at the alternate location, the area is predominately ledge with very little pervious surface. It would have minimal impact to the environment. It would have a 20’ setback. We have spoken to our neighbors, Bob & Sharon Matthews and they are in favor of this application. (There is a letter in the file) The alternate location would not impact our neighbors view or create any undue hardship. Our neighbors, like us, would prefer we keep the grassy knoll. We plan to plant shrubs and additional vegetation to create a buffer between the garage and our neighbor’s property. The shed that is currently there will be removed.  Presented to the Board pictures of the property showing the grassy knoll that would have to be blasted, the new location where they would like to have the garage and the drop off if they went further west.  Thorpe – I was at the property and it appeared that other than perhaps the well head, you could come to the west a lot more than the present 10’ setback you have shown, without involving the ledge and grassy knoll.  I think a 24’ x 24’ is reasonable but I think you could have more of a setback than what you have proposed.  Tracy – There is a considerable drop but we would be willing to do that. I don’t know much about construction or what it would take to build a wall on the western side where it slopes down. Dever – So you would be coming far enough over so you wouldn’t need a variance? Tracy - I don’t know the answer to that, but in talking to someone who was going to build the garage he thought that would be rather difficult. Dever – There was an application before showing a different location of the garage. You are saying you can’t put it in the original location is because of the ledge?  Tracy – We would have to blast that ledge out. By moving it to the new location there is just flat ledge. Dever – Do you have any prices on removing the ledge? The main thing we try to do is to have you meet the setbacks.  If there is an alternative to it then you are required to meet the alternative. There is a provision if it is too expensive to do that, we can grant the variance. Tracy – Are you suggesting we get a price?  Dever – Yes, that is something you could do. Brian Allen – I built the house and we have been talking about the garage since the house was built.  This knoll is solid ledge. There is a little bit of loam over it. To put the garage at the original location would be a real hardship. Not only would you have to blast for the footprint of the garage, but also for drainage.  That would be quite an undertaking. At the new location it is a flat spot.  To meet the setback you would be right into the driveway down the hill. It is a narrow site. If you put the garage on the site of the original application, I believe the neighbors would be impacted a lot more.  Clark – I think Mr. Allen has talked nicely about the ledge but I haven’t heard much on why the garage couldn’t be moved over more towards the driveway. Allen – We maybe could get it over a foot or two but we would be right into the edge of the driveway going down. If we move the garage over to much, the driveway down to the house will be impacted. You would have to go around the garage to get to the house. The well is right on that corner also. Clark – Is the well exposed or underground? Allen – Exposed. You can see the cover. Hearing closed at 7:45 PM.

 

3023: VLL Trust, Virginia Lovett Trustee: An appeal for a SPECIAL EXCEPTION (ARTICLE V-D-7A) to allow a multi-family dwelling in the Central Business District, Tax Map U06, Lot No.04, located at 147 Main Street in the Central Business District.

Ginny Lovettt – I am requesting a Special Exception to allow multi-family. I want to convert a 600 sf. office to a residential unit. This is the building that houses the Community Action Program. It also has two three bedroom apartments and a garage. This would make it a multi-family. I have appeared before the Planning Board and got approval. This has Class I utilities. There is no change to the parking demand.  We have 13 parking spaces available plus additional space in the garage. I don’t believe there will be any detriment to the neighborhood. No change to the landscape. There is a need for apartments in the area, especially handicap accessible. This apartment is a handicap accessible unit. Thorpe – For the parking there is 11/2 for existing units and then another one for the new. What does that come out to be? Lovett – I don’t remember but I know there is sufficient parking. I went over that with the Planning Board.  Hearing closed at 7:50 PM.

         3024: Christine M. Lynch QPRT: An appeal for an EQUITABLE WAIVER (ARTICLE V, SECTION D-4B) to permit an existing residential dwelling and leachfield to encroach onto abutting property Tax Map U29, Lot No. 29  located at 26 Stonedam Island Road in the Shoreline District.

         Carl Johnson – (Advanced Land Surveying Consultants) - We don’t do all that many of these in Meredith so you might not have served on the Board for an Equitable Waiver. It has less to do with the Zoning Ordinance than State Statute.  RSA 674.33a is a Statute which allows the Zoning Board to grant an Equitable Waiver through discovering a structure was determined to be in violation of the Zoning Ordinance when not previously thought to be such. It’s like a post variance. There are requirements set forth by law to allow the board to grant relief.  In this case, the house in violation was constructed in 1982. It has been almost 30 years. The owner of the property contacted me to locate his property pins for estate planning purposes in the spring of 2012. When the plan was drawn up it became clear that the iron pipe by the shore was not the actual pin. This was determined through field measurements, deed research, and historic plan research that the actual pin was much closer to Mr. Lynch's house than had been thought previously. The septic design plan shows an iron pipe as the property pin and seems to assume that it is the line. It was not discovered that this wasn't the pin until 2012 when I was hired to work with Mr. Lynch to make sure his properties on Lake Winnipesaukee were in order. The error was not brought to light until I compared past plans and deeds along with collecting physical evidence. Over the course of a couple of years a series of easements were negotiated between the parties and have now been recorded at the Registry of Deeds. This now allows the Lynch’s to continue to use the leachfield over the line. The fact that the house is actually in violation of the side setback creates a non-conformity. That is where the Equitable Waiver comes in. Items a-d under 674:33-a Equitable Waiver of Dimensional Requirement basically states the violation was not noticed or discovered by any owner, former owner, owner's agent or representative, or municipal official, until after a structure in violation had been substantially completed. That is certainly the case here. The violation was not an outcome of ignorance of the law or ordinance, failure to inquire or bad faith. The owner didn’t purposely build the house close to the line. It was an accident. The physical or dimensional violation does not constitute a public or private nuisance. That is obvious by the negotiations between the two parties. The degree of past construction or investment made on the property and the cost of correction so far outweighs any public benefit to be gained, that it would be inequitable to require the violation to be corrected. Some discussion can take place as to whether or not all four of those criteria have been met but section II. says in lieu of the findings required by the board under subparagraphs I(a) and (b) if 10 years or more has gone by  and there has been no enforcement action by the municipality or any person directly affected then that satisfies the condition of the Equitable Waiver. In this case we have all of the elements in the first part and we have the 10 yrs. This is allowed by Statute for the Board to grant and that is what we are asking for.  Thorpe – Does this result in a new property line? Does the property line shift such as easements are not required or does the property line now go to where it legally belongs but then there are easements to allow them to leave everything in place? Johnson – The second part of your statement is correct. There could have been a Boundary Line Adjustment done but the Old Hubbard Beach Association didn’t want that because they would lose frontage. Because the Equitable Waiver is granted, it is not further construed as a non-conforming use that can be expanded. Pelczar – You said the leachfield was 1979. What happens if that fails? Does it go in the same spot? Johnson – I believe the easement of record is such that if that system should fail, it should be relocated. Hearing closed at 8:10PM.

         3025: Ambrose Brothers: An appeal for a VARIANCE (ARTICLE V-D3 A) to allow a materials storage area in the Residential District, Tax Map S15, Lot. Nos. 48, 48A & 56, located at 405 Daniel Webster Highway in the Residential District. CONTINUED TO JULY 11, 2013

 

DELIBERATIONS

 

3020: Richard Rollins:

Pelczar – I think this is a reasonable request. They are agreeable to planting some type of shrubs for the neighbor as a buffer. Thorpe agreed. Clark – I think this is a case where we have a challenge between the necessities of the property and the rights of an abutter. The neighbor seemed to be willing to accept the variance provided they negotiate a suitable buffer. So I am ok with this as well. 

Dever- Let’s go down the criteria:

 

1.    Granting the variance would not diminish the values of surrounding properties: All

        agreed it would not.   

2.    Granting the variance would not be contrary to the public interest. All agreed it would          not.

3.    Granting the variance would do substantial justice.  All agreed it would.

4.    Granting the variance would observe the spirit of the ordinance: All agreed it would.

5.    Literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance would result in an unnecessary

       hardship. All agreed it would.

Clark moved, Thorpe seconded, IN CASE # 3020, RICHARD ROLLINS, I MOVE THE APPEAL FOR A VARIANCE (ARTICLE V, SECTION D-2 B) FOR THE REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT OF AN EXISTING NON-CONFORMING RESIDENCE WITH A SIDE SETBACK OF 20’, 30’ REQUIRED, TAX MAP S02, LOT 9, LOCATED AT 244 NH RTE. 25 IN THE FORESTRY/RURAL DISTRICT BE GRANTED, AS HE HAS MET THE CRITERIA FOR A VARIANCE, PROVIDED HE AND HIS NEIGHBOR ARE ABLE TO NEGOTIATE A BUFFER PLAN SATISFACTORY TO THE NEIGHBOR AND PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY, A SURVEYED AS-BUILT PLAN WILL BE PROVIDED TO THE CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. Voted 4-0 in favor.

 

Thirty day appeal period.


3021: William Fuller:

 

 Thorpe – This appears to meet all the requirements for the new Special Exception allowing multi-family dwellings. The use will not be detrimental to the character or enjoyment of the neighborhood.  This use will not be injurious, noxious or offensive. The use will not be contrary to the public health and it meets RSA 674.21. Clark – I agree with Dave.

Thorpe moved, Clark seconded, IN CASE # 3021, WILLIAM FULLER, I MOVE THE APPEAL FOR A SPECIAL EXCEPTION (ARTICLE V-D-7A) TO ALLOW A MULTI-FAMILY DWELLING IN THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT, TAX MAP U06, LOT NO.100, LOCATED AT 16 LAKE STREET IN THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT BE GRANTED, AS IT MEETS THE CRITERIA FOR A SPECIAL EXCEPTION. Voted 4-0 in favor.

Thirty day appeal period.

3022: Richard & Margaret Tracy:

 

Pelczar – I did visit this site. It is tough. A 24’ x 24’ garage is reasonable. With the removal of the shed, part of that garage will be taken over by what was in the shed. The neighbor is ok with it. Thorpe – I agree with Mike. Clark – It doesn’t appear that they tried to move it over as far as they could away from the abutter. Dever – It is a pretty congested area right around there. There is so much ledge out there. Thorpe – The main issue is the well head. To do anything that requires that well head to be reset below ground level would be a significant problem with the amount of ledge there.  Clark – I think that well head issue is a valid point.

Dever- Let’s go down the criteria:

 

1.    Granting the variance would not diminish the values of surrounding properties: All

        agreed it would not.   

2.    Granting the variance would not be contrary to the public interest. All agreed it would          not.

3.    Granting the variance would do substantial justice.  All agreed it would.

4.    Granting the variance would observe the spirit of the ordinance: All agreed it would.

5.    Literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance would result in an unnecessary

       hardship. All agreed it would.

Clark moved, Pelczar seconded, IN CASE # 3022. RICHARD 7 MARGARET TRACY, I MOVE THE APPEAL FOR A VARIANCE (ARTICLE V-D-4B) TO CONSTRUCT A DETACHED GARAGE WITH A SIDE SETBACK OF 10’, 20’ REQUIRED, TAX MAP R07, LOT. NO. 28, LOCATED AT 71 COLLINS BROOK ROAD IN THE SHORELINE DISTRICT BE GRANTED, AS IT MEETS THE CRITERIA FOR A VARIANCE AND PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY, A SURVEYED AS-BUILT PLAN WILL BE PROVIDED TO THE CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER.  Voted 4-0 in favor,

Thirty day appeal period.

3023: VLL Trust, Virginia Lovett Trustee:

 

 Thorpe – This is identical to Case #3021. We just verified with Chris that 12 spaces are required and 13 exist.

 Thorpe moved, Clark seconded, IN CASE # 30213, VLL TRUST, VIRGINA LOVETT TRUSTEE, I MOVE THE  APPEAL FOR A SPECIAL EXCEPTION (ARTICLE V-D-7A) TO ALLOW A MULTI-FAMILY DWELLING IN THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT, TAX MAP U06, LOT NO.04, LOCATED AT 147 MAIN STREET IN THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT  BE GRANTED, AS IT MEETS THE CRITERIA FOR A SPECIAL EXCEPTION. Voted 4-0 in favor.

Thirty day appeal period.

         3024: Christine M. Lynch QPRT:

         Clark – This is a new thing for us but it certainly sounds like it is a reasonable approach to solving a rather difficult problem efficiently and without upsetting anybody.

 Clark moved, Thorpe seconded, IN CASE # 3024,CHRISTINE M. LYNCH, I MOVE THE  APPEAL FOR AN EQUITABLE WAIVER (ARTICLE V, SECTION D-4B) TO PERMIT AN EXISTING RESIDENTIAL DWELLING AND LEACHFIELD TO ENCROACH ONTO ABUTTING PROPERTY TAX MAP U29, LOT NO. 29 LOCATED AT 26 STONEDAM ISLAND ROAD IN THE SHORELINE DISTRICT BE GRANTED, AS IT MEETS CRITERIA FOR AN EQUITABLE WAIVER.  Vote 4-0 in favor.

Thirty day appeal period.

            Meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Christine Tivnan

Planning/Zoning Clerk

Approved by the Meredith Zoning Board on July 11, 2013

                                                                                                _________________

                                                                                                Jack Dever, Chairman