MEREDITH ZONING BOARD 7/11/2013
PRESENT: Dever-Chairman, Pelczar – Vice-Chairman, Thorpe, Reichlen, Alternate, Carrasco, 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.
3025: Ambrose Brothers: An appeal for a VARIANCE (ARTICLE V-D3 A) to allow a material storage area in the Residential District, Tax Map S15, Lot. Nos. 48, 48A & 56, located at 405 Daniel Webster Highway in the Residential District.
Carl Johnson – Advanced Land Surveying Consultants – This is a confusing situation so I would like to take some time to show you what’s existing and the steps by which we hope to obtain a variance. This project will involve both the Zoning Board and Planning Board. A few years back there was a residence that existed on a lot next door to Ambrose. They bought the lot and took the house down and combined the lots into the parent parcel. At that time, the zoning line through the original parcel and the parcel they purchased was residential. At that time the Zoning Ordinance allowed the Planning Board to analyze a lot that had a zoning line running through it and determine whether or not a use would be suitable for the portion of the zone. At the time the operative word in the Zoning Ordinance was MAY. That Site Plan was approved as well as saying that the activities that exist on that portion could be consistent with the activities which were on the existing commercial property and that is part of the material storage yard as it is right now, Adjacent to that property is a larger piece of land that Ambrose purchased and currently there is a mobile home on the property and there is a building which has had several different non-residential uses over the years. Currently there is a shop in there and since purchasing that property, Ambrose has used that for a little bit of storage for the existing construction company and most recently taken an area and expanded their material storage into the area that is the subject to what we are here for tonight. Subsequent to that purchase, there is a lot that was formerly owned by the State of NH and was a material storage yard of sorts. The State had access across the road to get there but when Ambrose purchased it, the State was unable to grant them a deeded access to Boynton Road. At the time it wasn’t much of a consequence because at the time it was adjacent to other land they owned. Running through this entire piece of property is a zoning line which separates the Central Business District from the Residential District. To the north is Hawkins Brook and that provides a separation to the property. There is also a buffer associated with that. When this project started, Hawking Brook was a prime wetland buffer but by virtue of a change at Town meeting there was a reclassification of the wetland to a designated wetland and that buffer shrank from 150’ to 100’. The properties located to the northwest are multiuse but commercial in nature. Across Boynton Road is Meredith Village Cemetery and across the Street is the Meredith Police Station. (Pointed to the plan showing the three residential properties that are abutters. Also pointed to residential properties on the other of the old State property which are accessed through a right of way which comes off of Boynton Road.) Ambrose also has a very large piece of land which is at the end of Boynton Road. That piece is used as a material storage area and has been used that way for several years, is grandfathered and continues to be used as such. That material storage is accessed from Boynton Road so the trucks have to go down Boynton Road past the residences. We essentially have three pieces of the puzzle here (Pointed to Plan) and one piece up the road. What should have happened and didn’t, was at the time Ambrose expanded from one lot to another lot, they should have had separate Site Plans for each piece of property. At the time they purchased it and began the expansion, still in the Zoning Ordinance was the operative word MAY and the assumption that was incorrectly made by Ambrose was because if it was allowed here, it would be allowed on the other lot. Subsequently, there was a change to the Zoning Ordinance. The change was specifically on how the Zoning Ordinance deals with lots where by a zoning line goes through the lot. This is a single lot of record with two or more different zones on that lot. The Zoning Ordinance now reads only those uses that are permitted in the zone are allowed to be on that portion of the property of which it is zoned. So in the front is 300’ from the road, zoned Central Business. So anything permitted in the Central Business is allowed here. Anything that appears beyond that in a Residential District at the moment is only those uses permitted in the Residential District. Any other use for that particular piece of property would require a special exception or a variance. We are here for a variance because the use of material storage is not a permitted use. We hope to accomplish this by doing a boundary line adjustment and a lot merger whereby the former lot owned by the State would be merged into their other lot and become a permanent part of it. Then a Boundary Line Adjustment would convey the section of the property that is being used right now after the fact as a material storage to the existing commercial lot and be an extension of the material storage yard on that lot. (Presented to the Board a plan with the new zoning lines.) The first part of the variance I would like to address is the zoning line itself. This particular zoning line, as with some others in the Town of Meredith, is determined as a distance from a roadway. In this case it is 300’. What happens is there is an indiscriminate line that is drawn from the highway that doesn’t take into consideration what portion of any lot it goes through and what affect that may have to the lot. Two thirds of the lot was zoned Central Business and one third was Residential, so the Planning Board at that point in time looked at that and said the majority of the lot west is in the Central Business District so the remainder of the lot would be treated the same way. Part of that reasoning revolved around the fact that this lot use to have an access on Boynton Road. They built a berm such that the commercial operation had no longer any access on Boynton Road. When they did the expansion, there is no access to the old State property from RTE 3. When the piece was cut in half, in my clients’ estimation, it devalued that lot in that it was always intended to be a commercial lot. The old State property was a storage yard, had some grandfathering at the time and was discontinued as a storage yard. We had some discussions with the Planning Department and the Code Officer regarding the grandfathered nature of that property. It really becomes a moot issue if this gets merged in and becomes part of the whole parcel because the great majority of that yard is not going to be used for material storage. (Presented to the Board a plan, highlighted in yellow, what is being proposed to be used for material storage.) The abutting properties to the old State owned property are residential. They lived next to a material storage yard which is a non-residential purpose. I have also shown on the plan the 100’ setback and there is an existing slight area of wall and fill which is going to be removed instead of proceeding for a Special Exception. There will be a note on the plan. The smaller wetlands have been noted on the plan. When this was purchased in 2005 the Zoning Ordinance went one way and in 2009 was changed. Because it is the Residential District, the permitted uses are LIMITED to:
1. Single-Family Detached Dwelling, 2. Public and Private Schools, 3. Home Occupations’ 4. Essential Services Storage, 5. Accessory Uses, 6. Bed & Breakfast’
7. Rental Cottages 8. Two-Family Dwelling, 9. Mobile Home Subdivision.
There are a lot more intense uses allowed by Special Exception. Theaters and Playhouses, Grocery Store, Private Ambulance Service, Commercial Child Care Facility and Personal and Professional Offices, etc. So by example, we are going to show you what this land could be used for and demonstrate that the use that we are proposing is at least consistent with or less intense than some of the uses that could occur. We have to demonstrate that this will not have a negative effect on the adjacent property values. One of the situations extremely similar to this case that happened in Meredith and had a consequence that in no way am I trying to suggest would it actually accomplished here but matter of example, I am going to show you what happened and what can happen when permitted uses that are more intense than what is being proposed rule the roost. This property is located on Waukewan Street. It is about 15 acs. and has wetlands that are similar to the Ambrose property. What was proposed at the time was a small Landscaping Company. They were going to construct a small building, parking for employees /equipment and have a material storage yard. The zoning line separated the Business/Industry District from the Residential District. In the B/I District this would be a permitted use. In the Residential District it was not. The abutters in the area came out in force and did not want anything to happen on this property that was commercial, even though this was a very limited commercial use. This variance was denied. The owners went to plan B which was a 58 residential unit development. This is a very nice development but it was such a drastic change to that site, not only in terms of what was there, but what would have been proposed with the little landscaping business. Many people moved away after the 58 units went in. On the Ambrose property, they could have about a 22 unit residential development on that site. We have letters from the abutters on file in favor of this application and this may have a much more drastic effect on their property values than the use that is being proposed. This is just a matter by example. There will be no commercial use of Boynton Road. It will be off of RTE 3. This operation is Monday – Friday, daylight only with no utilities out there. The usage is variable at times when nothing is happening. Through the winter there is no use of the property. With the support of the abutters speaking in support of the variance, I think that speaks directly to whether it is going to negatively affect the value of their property. That’s the first standard for granting a variance. Granting the variance would not be contrary to the public interest because of the things I mentioned in terms of the public interest is served if the general character of the surrounding neighborhood remains intact and will not have a negative impact on abutting properties. Additionally, addressing substantial justice and not contrary to the public interest, we have had discussions with Planning and the Code office regarding that large lot that is used up the road for material storage. Expanding the material storage yard within the Central Business District would be less beneficial to the public interest due to its proximity to Route 3 as well as surrounding properties. Additionally, the State of NH storage yard was a previously existing non-conforming use which the applicant believed could be continued without permission. The discontinuance of the existing storage yard would be a benefit as it would eliminate truck traffic along Boynton Road, the latter part being within a residential neighborhood. The spirit of the ordinance would be served because the ordinance allows the Zoning Board to permit a use variance where it can be established where the general provisions of the ordinance are being maintained and that there will be no detrimental effect to the surrounding properties. In terms of what could take place on the property and what is being proposed, this is a very low intense use. There are special conditions of this property that distinguish it from other properties in the area because of the fact that it is connected to and can be accessed from an existing commercial piece of property and does not have to have any additional access granted off of RTE 3. No access off of Boynton Road as well as eliminating the commercial delivery of material on Boynton Road. It’s a reasonable use, you have very strong abutter support, a low impact use and one that is less intense than other uses that could be used on the property. We believe it meets the standard that the change in the Zoning Ordinance was meant for us to be held to by the Zoning Board. Clark – Have any salt or water soluble materials been stored. Bob Ambrose – No. The State did but we do not. Thorpe – Give me a timeline on this process. Ambrose – We bought where the church is in 2005. We used it for storage. Clark – The material that was left by the State, do you consider that yours? Ambrose – We own it. Pelczar – You talk about the other 50 acs. on Boynton Road. What is it zoned? Any plans for the future? Johnson – I believe that is zoned residential. It would be subject to only residential purposes. Pelczar - How many houses could go there? Johnson – We don’t have the environmental data to determine that. If you just took the density, you could have 200 units but there is a lot of that property that is not suitable for development. We did not look at the potential development of that piece of property. Dever – You said they purchased the property in 2005? Johnson – Correct. – Dever –So between 2005 they had time to expand out but not enough time to get a Site Plan approval. Johnson – They did not get Site Plan approval. Dever – In 2009 the zoning changed. There were new conditions of the zoning that you had to use for residential purposes only and that was to avoid creep. Johnson – Correct. Dever – You could not expand commercial uses into a residential zone. Johnson – Correct. Dever – By allowing this we are allowing a violation of that ordinance to allow creep. Johnson – What this variance would do would allow the expansion of the material storage from the previously approved lot to a lot that it is not approved for. Dever – They could also do their material storage on the portion of the property that is in commercial. Johnson – Correct, provided they received Planning Board approval. They would not need Zoning Board approval for that expansion. But one of the points we are making is that it makes much more sense to us to have material storage at the proposed site because it is much less of an impact to the surrounding neighborhood. Pelzcar – Would you consider leaving that 50 acs. undeveloped? Ambrose – We don’t have any plans right now but I am not going to tell you that I will give up my development rights to the property. Clark – You are willing to give up your grandfathered right to use that as a material storage yard? Ambrose – Right. Dever- Are you saying you have ceased the use of storing material on the back parcel when you started using the other parcel? Ambrose – We’ve used it very little. Maybe two truckloads have come out of there. Thorpe – What materials are stored on Lot 29? That’s the 51 ac. Lot. Ambrose – Presently, just loam. The neighbor at the end of the road stores cord wood. Thorpe - Will you be removing that and bringing it over to Lot 56. Ambrose – I would want to remove the loam there and seed it in. Hearing closed at 8:00 PM.
3026: William and Nicole Harper for Olimec Properties LLC: An appeal for a VARIANCE (ARTICLE V-D5 A) to allow a Personal Fitness Center in the Business/Industry District, Tax Map S25 Lot. No. 10A, located at 3 Winona Road in the Business/Industry District.
William Harper – We chose this property to open up a facility. The type of facility we want to open up requires a ceiling height of 20’ and a large area for training. We don’t think this would hurt the area because everything is done inside. They have done a great job developing the property. What we are proposing is not like a traditional gym. We don’t use fitness equipment and we don’t teach Yoga classes. Usually open for a few hours in the morning for training and then we open after work hours for a few hours. Sessions usually last for an hour or less. We would like a small sign out front. Other than that, nothing on the outside. Chris Meeken – Meredith resident, part-time police officer in Center Harbor and a United States Marine Corp vet. This type of training facility hasn’t existed locally in a long time. I had to drive to Tilton or Concord to train. It’s a different way of conditioning that you don’t get at a typical gym. It would be great to have one locally and there is a lot of interest in this form of training. Kevin Oliver – Owner of the building. I think this would be a great fit. Dever – You understand this use is not allowed in that district? Have you tried to find a space where you would not need a variance? Harper – I don’t think this is allowed in any district. Clark – Bill, are there any zones where this activity is allowed? Edney – In our ordinance now there is no definition for the kind of activities they are proposing. Hearing closed at 8:05 PM
3027: Randall Shuey, CPESC, FOR Edward and Christine Morse: An appeal for a SPECIAL EXCEPTION (ARTICLE V-D9 G1a) to allow construction of a wetland crossing for purposes of access or utilities, such as a road, driveway, or sewer ,Tax Map R08, Lot. No.78, located at 10 Livingston Road, in the Residential and Forestry Rural District.
Shuey - This property is located just east of the Coriliss Hill Road intersection. On the site is an existing house with an attached barn and a field off the side of that. The remainder of the property is wooded. This proposed subdivision, wetland permit and Special Exception were approved in 2005 but has since lapsed. The market didn’t go in the direction that the Morse’s hoped for. A couple things have changed since 2005. One change in the town level is you have adopted designated wetlands. Coriliss East is designated wetland #5. It is a large wetland. The wetland is identified as having multiple wetland and wildlife habitat types along with being of value in providing water quality functions. The wetland drains through un-named streams to the Mill Brook Prime Wetland system and discharges into Lake Winnisquam. Because it is a designated wetland, we have a 100’ buffer. The proposal is to impact 980 SF of forested wetland and intermittent stream crossing and 5,193 SF of Designated Wetland Buffer. The crossing will meet NHDES Wetlands Bureau Regulations for Tier 1 crossings with 2 culverts, 30 inches in diameter and 30 and 40 feet in length. The culverts will be located just below where the stream splits and above the road where it widens out. The location was selected to minimize impacts to the wetlands and provide an adequate buffer to the neighboring property. The area in question is a finger of the main wetland system that extends to the south east and parallels Livingston Road. The wetland in this area is classified as Palustrine, Broad Leaved Deciduous, Seasonally Flooded and/or Saturated is a common wetland type in New Hampshire. The wetland provides flood flow conveyance in this vicinity of the crossing, however, the narrow stream channel, moderate slopes and limited width of the flood plain limit the ability to provide storage or water quality renovation. The functions become more important down slope as the wetland widens out and becomes flatter. The construction of 2 single family residences and a single common drive will not greatly increase the density of human activity around the wetlands. The buffer of 100 feet will remain with the exception of the crossing for the drive. Wildlife habitat will have some disturbance during construction as the activity temporarily forces the wildlife to seek alternative routes. ) In granting a Special Exception, the Zoning Board of Adjustment must determine that each of the following conditions has been met: The proposal is consistent with Section C (Purpose and Intent);
1.To promote the health, safety and general welfare of the community; and the project will provide a safe access to the proposed properties and have no impact to the health safety or general welfare of the community. 2. To prevent the degradation of surface water and ground water quality; and with proper planning and construction techniques, there will be no impact to surface or ground water quality. 3.To preserve the ability of wetlands and areas adjacent to wetlands and streams to provide treatment for water quality purposes, to filter pollutants, trap sediments, or retain and absorb chemicals and nutrients. The proposed project will have no effect on water quality within the wetland system. The wetland system will continue to provide the same flood flow storage and water quality renovations. I also will note that the new EPA general construction permit that is out, which came out in 2012. Under their rules, they are looking for a 50’ buffer for protecting water quality. 4.To prevent the destruction of, or significant changes to natural wetlands which provide flood storage. There will be no impact to flood storage. 5.To prevent the destruction of habitats for rare, unique, threatened or endangered species of flora and fauna. The NH Natural Heritage Bureau has been contacted and there are no known rare threatened or endangered species in the vicinity of this project. Those are the purpose and intent of the ordinance. The alternative proposals have been considered and this submitted proposal represents the minimum amount of reasonable unavoidable environmental impacts to the wetlands, streams and associated buffer areas. We have designed these to the latest standards for stream crossing. The driveway is a reasonable width for a multiple lot driveway. Paul Defranc (abutter) – I see they are putting in larger culverts but once these culverts go in and the culverts plug up, who is responsible for cleaning the culverts. Shuey – One of the reasons the large culverts are going in is because they don’t plug up as easily but it will be up to the homeowners. Hearing closed at 8:20 PM.
3025: Ambrose Brothers:
Pelczar – Although Carl put together a nice plan, they are getting out of the wetlands and It is in residential. They threw a bone in saying they will stop using one parcel if we get this parcel. But it is still open for future so we should take that part out of our decision. The part that really concerns me is a similar property that went to Superior Court where creep was thrown at us. There are residences that abut this property. Clark – I think this is a lot different from the one that the Selectmen challenged us on. It was thrown back for reasons that are completely unrelated to this. It had to do with lack of specificity of the use. In a way there is zoning creep and in a way there is unzoning creep because what we got is a 50 ac parcel some distance that is effectively an industrial use that is well into the residential area. If we retract that and pull it back so it is adjacent to it rather than an island sort of in there, in a way we have less zoning creep if we approve this. I don’t have a problem with this one. This business of showing us that it could have 22 residential units, are we supposed to think that is bad? I think that’s a great thing. I don’t know why he threw that out there. I think it is completely irrelevant. I can’t vote one way or the other because what else the property could be used for. It seems to me after walking around this area, there is that parcel that was used by the State for substantially the same purpose but that parcel is further out. Reichlen – I am leaning more to what Mike was saying. It is similar to that other case except almost worse. The other case in what we were giving the variance for was in the list of special exceptions. This isn’t even in the list of special exceptions. This is more in line of zoning creep than the other case. Clark – The question of zoning creep would answer to the question of Spirit and Intent of the ordinance right? Dever – Correct. – My thoughts on this is they purchased the Rte. 3 property in 2005. In 2005 he would have been allowed to do this. It would have been a simple matter of coming before the Planning Board and do a site plan like everybody else. There were four years that he had time to do this. He then got caught by the zoning change. He had plenty of time to get it done in the right way. It violates the provision that the Town voted on as far as creep and it is substantially different from the other one. Thorpe – It is a reasonable use of the land but it is certainly complicated by the issues of creep and length of time that it has taken to bring this to a decision point. Dever – Let’s go down the criteria.
Dever – It’s not going to diminish them because the State did use that and the State is not required to adhere to any Zoning Ordinances. If you lease from State property you do have to adhere to Zoning Ordinances. It has already happened. Any other comments? Thorpe – I agree. Reichlen – I agree given what the property is now, granting this will not diminish surrounding property values but if I was living next door to it, I would not want to see this come in. I would feel like it would diminish my property values. Are we looking at this as already being used and shouldn’t be, therefore it’s ok or are we looking at it that we have to ignore how it’s being used today if a material storage went in today, would it diminish the property values next door? See my question? Clark – You could also say, if they have to stop it, would the values increase? Reichlen – The point is it is being used improperly and they had time to get it right. Dever – We have to look at it as if nothing has happened on the property. This is a fresh application. Reichlen – If we are to look at it that way then I would argue putting in material storage next to my house would diminish my property. I would not want it. This is where I am conflicted. Overall, what the property is being used as and given what they are trying to do is a great plan. But we are here to rule on the rules, not on what is best where we are at. Thorpe – Bruce raises a complicated factor. If it were returned to its natural state, would the property values go up? No, I do not think so. If it was in its natural state before it was deforested, would the property values diminish if it was converted to a material storage yard, yes, I would say they would. But given what is there now and how it is being used now, I don’t think it will affect the property values. Clark – You pointed out that we have to look at it as if anything that was done in past is done. What we are considering is let’s pretend there is nothing there. Would adding it decrease property values? If adding it would decrease values then if they cease doing it, presumably the values go up. We should ask ourselves, would we be less willing to make an offer on a home that was next to a material storage yard as opposed to something else that would be permitted? Not pristine land. Thorpe – I think Warren has a compelling argument. If I subscribe to your argument then the answer is property values will diminish. Reichlen – I agree. Clark – I argue that it is not relative to empty land but the average other use to which the property would be put. Dever – No other use has been proposed. We don’t know.
2. Granting the variance would not be contrary to the public interest. Dever – In the application it states because the existing area is heavily populated by commercial business, it’s a commercial zone. I don’t see other construction orientated businesses within the residential zone. Pelczar – The public voted on not to allow creep. Thorpe – I don’t think the Town voted that creep couldn’t occur. They voted that if creep is going to occur, it needs approval from the ZBA first. I know some people will argue with me on that. Clark – I try to look at it from the perspective of if I were living there now, would some approval from this Board change what I think I would have had a right to expect as an abutter. I think the people here who abut moved in with the expectation of being next to a material storage yard and we are not changing that. Dever – The material storage on one parcel was not there. Clark – But the one next to what the State had was. Dever – Correct. Reichlen – Bill, if this is denied, does he have to return the property back to a natural state? Edney – Yes. Clark- If this is denied we have deprived him of the reasonable use of his property because there is no other access means to it. Is that not true? Dever – That is not true. The property is accessed from Rte. 3. Pelzcar – They have storage on another piece of property. The hardship is out the window.
3. Granting the variance would do substantial justice. Dever – You can’t have substantial justice because you dragged your feet. Reichlen – Or because you went ahead and did it before getting permission. He had plenty of time from the time he purchased the property till the zoning changed to make it right. Clark - I am confused. Didn’t we say that we can’t look at the past history? We have to look at it as if it is coming before us undeveloped with no history. Dever – Right, but it says we would grant substantial justice by approving this because he acquired the property when the Zoning Ordinance allowed it but he didn’t go forward to change it then. Clark – That’s a good point.
4. Granting the variance would observe the spirit of the ordinance: Dever - The applicant says it would because the ordinance allows the Zoning Board to permit use variances where it can be established the general provisions of the ordinance are being maintained and have no detrimental effect to the surrounding properties. Looking at this as if nothing is there we don’t know if there will be detriment to surrounding properties. Clark – What is he going do if we deny this? I guess the first thing is to get the material storage off this land and put it someplace else. If he has a place where he can legally put it such as the one down Boynton Road, it would seem to me that would be more obnoxious to the neighbors than to have the material storage yard next to them. Maybe it would be better to grant the variance looking at the alternative. Dever - That’s the bone they threw us.
5. Literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance would result in an unnecessary hardship. Dever – To show unnecessary hardship you must provide facts that establish either. Owing to special conditions of the property that distinguish it from other properties in the area:
(A-1): No fair and substantial relationship exists between the general public purposes of the ordinance provision and the specific application of that provision to the property.
(A-2): The proposed use is a reasonable use:
Clark – I could argue that the special conditions are he has another piece of property at a somewhat inconvenient distance away that he can use for this. Dever – What do you mean he can use for this? Clark – He can use it for material storage and by consolidating this, it reduces the hardship. Thorpe – I didn’t follow that one Warren. Thorpe – I am having a hard time finding out the uniqueness of this property and we need to have this to grant the variance. Dever – The other properties have the same burden. Clark – The zoning boundary goes right through the middle. That makes it unique and creates a hardship. Dever- It goes through all the other properties in that District. So let’s go to (B) which says owing special conditions of the property that distinguish it from other properties in the area that cannot be reasonably used within the strict conformance of the ordinance. The variance is therefore necessary to enable reasonable use of it. Well that doesn’t fly because there are lots of reasonable uses that can be used. Thorpe – I feel tangled on this one. It’s a reasonable use but there are a lot of complicating factors when you take them one by one. It makes it hard to say yes to all 5 criteria. Reducing truck traffic on Boynton Road is a noble thing to do but I don’t think it is going to deter the neighborhood to use it as a material storage area. When you start going thru each of the 5 criteria it’s hard to say yes to each one of them. Reichlen – I feel the same way. Given where it is at, this plan is good. But given that we shouldn’t be here, this plan isn’t so good. I wish they had done the proper thing a few years back. Clark – I am conflicted and rather than going with my analytical side, I am leaning with my gut. In spite of all the problems and issues, I feel it is better for everybody concerned to allow this to go through then to deny it.
Clark moved, Reichlen seconded, IN CASE # 3025, AMBROSE BROTHERS, I MOVE THE APPEAL FOR A VARIANCE (ARTICLE V-D3 A) TO ALLOW A MATERIAL STORAGE AREA IN THE RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT, TAX MAP S15, LOT. NOS. 48, 48A & 56, LOCATED AT 405 DANIEL WEBSTER HIGHWAY IN THE RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT BE GRANTED BECAUSE THEY HAVE MET THE CRITERIA FOR A VARIANCE WITH THE CONSTRAINT THAT THE MATERIAL STORED ON THE PROPERTY IS NOT WATER SOLUBLE, SUCH AS SALT OR OTHER MELTING PRODUCTS AND THEY RELINQUISH THEIR RIGHT TO THE OTHER NEARBY PROPERTY TO USE THAT AS A MATERIAL STORAGE AREA. Voted 1-4 in favor.
Clark – Yes
Thorpe – No
Reichlen – No
Pelczar – No
Dever – No
Application is denied,
3026: William and Nicole Harper for Olimec Properties LLC:
Pelczar – The new owners have done a nice job fixing up this piece of property. I think the business they are asking for is low impact. I am for this. Thorpe - I agree. I think it is a good use of the building. It is a quirk that the use is not prescribed in our Zoning Ordinance. Clark – I think if the use were prescribed in the Zoning Ordinance it would probably be permitted in that district even if it required a Special Exception. I am in favor of this. Dever – They say there is no other place in town where they can do this and Bill mentioned it is not covered under our Zoning Ordinance. Special Exception in the Central Business District has Commercial Recreation Facilities. Wouldn’t that meet this? Edney – No, it’s more in line with the Fitness Edge and they are not described at all as a Recreation Facility. Dever – But that is a permitted use. They are there. Edney – I understand. I wouldn’t view it as a Recreational Facility. Dever – What we have to be careful of is if we keep looking at the Zoning Ordinance and say well the Zoning Ordinance doesn’t cover this and the Zoning Ordinance doesn’t cover that then we are essentially changing the ordinance which we are not allowed to do. If the Zoning Ordinance needs updating that is up to the Planning Board to do that. There was one variance granted for this property already. Clark – Yes, it was for a cleaning company. Thorpe – I am not sure it wasn’t a Special Exception. Dever – It was a variance and the argument was the same. The B/I District allows businesses but not this one. Clark- I don’t think we are changing the Zoning Ordinance. Dever – I am not saying we are changing it right now but if we continue to grant variances in the B/I District to allow more businesses then we are in effect changing the zoning. Clark – I look at the kinds of things that are permitted either by right or by Special Exception and what I am trying to say is this is the same sort of thing. Dever – Nothing in that zone meets what they want to do. Clark - This isn’t permitted in any zone. What’s the closest thing that’s like that? Dever – I just want to caution the Board where people will accuse us of changing the Zoning Ordinance. Thorpe – I still think it is a reasonable use for the building and the district.
Granting the variance would not diminish the values of surrounding properties: It would not.
Granting the variance will not be contrary to the public interest. It would not.
Granting the variance would do substantial justice: It would. Clark – It wouldn’t hurt anybody. Thorpe -Denying it doesn’t help anyone else.
Granting the variance would observe the spirit of the ordinance: Clark – I think it does because it is similar to other things that are allowed in that zone by Special Exception. Dever – Such as? Clark – Things that bring in the public such as Kindergarten, Day Nursery, Restaurant, Commercial Child Care Facility and Building Trade or Repair Shop. Dever – I don’t see how you equate this use with any of those. Pelczar – I agree with Warren on this one.
Literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance results in an unnecessary hardship.
Owing to special conditions of the property that distinguish it from other properties in the area and there is (A) no fair and substantial relationship exists between the general public purposes of the ordinance provision and the specific application of that provision to the property and (B) the proposed use is a reasonable use. Thorpe – It’s a high bay property which the applicant needs. Clark – There are also special conditions in what they need in a property. We are a judicial branch. We are supposed to judge and my judgment is the criterion would not be an obstacle for me. Dever – Does everyone feel it meets criteria (A). They all felt it did.
Thorpe moved, Clark seconded, IN CASE # 3026 WILLIAM AND NICOLE HARPER FOR OLIMEC PROPERTIES LLC:, I MOVE THE APPEAL FOR A VARIANCE (ARTICLE V-D5 A) TO ALLOW A PERSONAL FITNESS CENTER IN THE BUSINESS/INDUSTRY DISTRICT, TAX MAP S25 LOT. NO. 10A, LOCATED AT 3 WINONA ROAD IN THE BUSINESS/INDUSTRY DISTRICT BE GRANTED, AS IT MEETS THE CRITERIA FOR A VARIANCE. Voted 4-1 in favor.
Thirty day appeal period.
3027: Randall Shuey, CPESC, FOR Edward and Christine Morse
Thorpe – I think Randall did an excellent job. He looked at alternatives. I am in favor with this one. Pelczar – I agree.
Reichlen moved, Clark seconded, IN CASE # 3027, RANDALL SHUEY, CPESC, FOR EDWARD AND CHRISTINE MORSE, I MOVE THE APPEAL FOR A SPECIAL EXCEPTION (ARTICLE V-D9 G1A) TO ALLOW CONSTRUCTION OF A WETLAND CROSSING FOR PURPOSES OF ACCESS OR UTILITIES, SUCH AS A ROAD, DRIVEWAY, OR SEWER ,TAX MAP R08, LOT. NO.78, LOCATED AT 10 LIVINGSTON ROAD, IN THE RESIDENTIAL AND FORESTRY RURAL DISTRICT BE GRANTED, AS IT MEETS THE CRITERIA FOR A SPECIAL EXCEPTION. Vote 5-0 in favor.
Thirty day appeal period.
Meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM
Approved by the Meredith Zoning Board on August 8, 2013