MEREDITH ZONING BOARD - 8/8/2013
PRESENT: Pelczar – Vice-Chairman, Thorpe, Reichlen, Alternate, Carrasco, Edney, Code Officer, Tivnan, Clerk
Pelczar – 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.
Clark moved, Pelczar seconded, THAT WE APPROVE THE MINUTES, JULY 11. 2013. Voted 5-0 in favor.
3028: Astaldi Family Trust, Robbins, Damon & Amy: An appeal for a VARIANCE (ARTICLE V-D2B) to construct a shed with a side setback of 20’, 30’ required and a rear setback of 30’, 40’ required, Tax Map W06, Lot. Nos. 37, located at 61 Weed Road in the Forestry/Rural District.
Tom Astaldi – We are looking to put a pre-built shed in the back yard. We have looked over our property to find the best location. You have a plot plan in your packet. Our house takes up most of the lot. The Zoning District I am in is Forestry/ Rural which came in well after these lots were subdivided. The Zoning District calls for 3acs. and my lot is 100’ x 200’ as is a lot of other lots around me. The 40’ rear setback and the 20’ side setback are really restrictive. There is no place I can put a shed without a variance. If I put the shed directly behind the house, as opposed to the side, it would make for more excavation and tree removal. The lot goes back fairly flat for about 10’ and then it has a pretty good slope about 5’ up. That’s why we are asking for the 40’ rear setback and 20’ on the side. Clark – As I recall, there is an area behind the house where there is a flat place where a boat trailer is parked and then it goes up pretty steeply. Are you proposing that this be on the low side of the slope or high side? Astaldi – On the low side. Clark – The slope seems even across the lot. Astaldi - It is even until you get to the right side of the house and then it starts to taper down. That’s why we are looking to put the shed there on the side. Clark – How big is the shed? Astaldi – Planning on 10’ x 18’. Clark – Is there a minimum distance that you can have a shed from a deck? Edney – No there is not. Astaldi – Moving it closer to the deck limits my access through there with my mower and kids with bikes. Hearing closed at 7:09 PM.
3029: Eric Furst: An appeal for a VARIANCE (ARTICLE V-D(J) Table 1 Leach field Setback) ) to install a leach field 50’, 125’ required from Lake Waukewan and 60’, 100’ required from a designated wetland, Tax Map U13 Lot. No. 4-A, located at 4 Pike Island Road in the Shoreline District.
David Ames – (Ames Associates) – Presented a blow up plan. This lot is tiny. We are asking for two variances. One is to install a leach field 50’, from Lake Waukewan and 60’, from a designated wetland. Mr. Furst felt his system was functioning properly but wanted to install a new system to avoid a continuing process of evaluation of the old system. Because of the boundary line and shoreline we have put the new system as far from the wetlands, lot line, and the lake as reasonably possible. Soil testing indicated pretty well drained soils but the small lot provides no area to meet the setbacks. To minimize those variances to the lake we have proposed a sewage treatment system. That will treat the sewage and makes for a smaller footprint of the leach field. The State has approved this but we can’t do anything until we get your approval. Mr. Furst is ready to install this plan upon approval from the Board and the thirty day appeal period. This is not a pocket plan. Reichlen – They have an undocumented system now? Ames – Yes. It’s in the water table. Under NH law, a leach field in the water table is a failure. Hearing closed at 7:20 PM.
3030: 185 Realty Trust: An appeal for a SPECIAL EXCEPTION (ARTICLE VIII-Definition - setbacks) to allow off street parking within the front setback, Tax Map S25, Lot 11A, located on Waukewan Street in the B/I District. CONTINUED TO SEPTEMBER 12, 2013.
3028: Astaldi Family Trust, Robbins, Damon & Amy:
Thorpe – My take on this is it is reasonable. Very heavily wooded lot and doesn’t appear as though violating the setbacks is going to cause neighbors on any side any concern. Clark – I am concerned about the side setback. I understand there is no alternative to the rear setback but the side setbacks seem to be optional. I think it could continue with the side setback off the right side of the house. Reichlen – I think it looks like a reasonable application. Carrasco – He could move it closer to the house and have it within the legal setbacks. He says he’s concerned about bring his bicycle and lawnmower around. There is nothing wrong with bringing it around the other way. Less excavation,close to the house and that would put him within the legal setbacks. Thorpe – Even if he bumps the shed right up to the deck, he is no going to get the 40’ setback. Clark – He will be pretty close to it. This is not the minimum variance required. Thorpe – True, but I still think it is reasonable. Carrasco – If there is a reasonable place to put the shed and meet setbacks then we need to look at that. Pelczar – Sheds serve a purpose and when you are storing anything with gas and oil the closer to the deck it becomes a safety hazard. Clark – Let’s remind everybody that there is no law that says everybody has a right to have a shed. We have a Zoning Ordinance and the property is small but I am sure the applicant knew that when he purchased the property.
Granting the variance would not diminish the values of surrounding properties: Thorpe, Reichlen and Pelczar didn’t think it would. Carrasco did. Clark was neutral.
Granting the variance will not be contrary to the public interest. Thorpe – I don’t think it would. The public interest is not going to be served any better by not building the shed or having the shed have greater setbacks. Carrasco – I disagree. Clark was neutral. Pelczar and Reichlen agreed with Thorpe.
Granting the variance would do substantial justice: Clark – I think it would help the applicant more than it would hurt the neighbor. Thorpe and Reichlen agreed with Clark. Carrasco – He could get a smaller shed and not need a variance. So I disagree.
Granting the variance would observe the spirit of the ordinance: Clark- I think not. The Zoning Ordinance is clear. I agree with Ralph. The applicant could put in a smaller shed. Jack sent out a write up that pointed out it is not up to the ZBA to change the Zoning Ordinance. The Zoning Ordinance says there are setbacks. There is nothing unique or special about this property other than the fact the house pretty much fills up the lot. Carassco agreed. Thorpe- I would go the other way. The Zoning Ordinance is there to protect abutters and the Town and I don’t believe this use impacts the Town, abutters or anyone. Reichlen – I am in agreement with Dave. Carassco – Putting a shed closer to your property line wouldn’t upset you? Reichlen – No, not if it is well done. Carassco – That’s why we have zoning setbacks. Clark – I think it would slightly decrease the value of the property if the shed is closer to the lot line than the house. I think he could put it where there is a boat trailer parked now. I don’t have a problem with the rear setback because there is a slope there. I don’t see a hardship.
Literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance results in an unnecessary hardship.
To show unnecessary hardship, you must provide facts that establish either (A) or (B) below:
A. Owing to special conditions of the property that distinguish it from other properties in the area:
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; and
2. The proposed use is a reasonable use
B. Owing to special conditions of the property that distinguish it from other properties in the area:
1. The property cannot be reasonably used in strict conformance with the ordinance, and
2. A variance is therefore necessary to enable a reasonable use of it.
Pelczar – He chose B. Clark – No. The neighbors are close. You see two houses very clearly from the deck and you will see the shed more clearly from the two houses. Thorpe – This is the toughest criteria for a variance and I am on the fence. Is there truly a hardship here or not? Reichlen – I do think Warren raises a good point. Just because you have a house doesn’t mean you have a right for a shed and I am not seeing a hardship.
Clark moved, Thorpe seconded, IN CASE # 3028, ASTALDI FAMILY TRUST, ROBBINS, DAMON & AMY, I MOVE THE APPEAL FOR A VARIANCE (ARTICLE V-D2B) TO CONSTRUCT A SHED WITH A SIDE SETBACK OF 20’, 30’ REQUIRED AND A REAR SETBACK OF 30’, 40’ REQUIRED, TAX MAP W06, LOT. NOS. 37, LOCATED AT 61 WEED ROAD IN THE FORESTRY/RURAL DISTRICT BE GRANTED. Voted 5-0 denied.
Motion denied -Thirty day appeal period.
3029: Eric Furst:
Clark – This is a tiny lot. They have done a good job. I don’t see what else they could do. Reichlen – I would add that anyone who is being proactive to solve their septic issues, I am all in favor of it. Pelczar – Let’s go down the criteria.
1. Granting the variance would not diminish the values of surrounding properties: It would not.
2. Granting the variance would not be contrary to the public interest: It would not.
3. Granting the variance would do substantial justice: It would.
4. Granting the variance would observe the spirit of the ordinance: It would.
5. Literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance would result in an unnecessary hardship. It would.
Thorpe moved, Clark seconded, IN CASE # 3030, ERIC FURST, I MOVE THE APPEAL FOR A VARIANCE (ARTICLE V-D(J) TABLE 1 LEACH FIELD SETBACK) ) TO INSTALL A LEACH FIELD 50’, 125’ REQUIRED FROM LAKE WAUKEWAN AND 60’, 100’ REQUIRED FROM A DESIGNATED WETLAND, TAX MAP U13 LOT. NO. 4-A, LOCATED AT 4 PIKE ISLAND ROAD IN THE SHORELINE DISTRICT BE GRANTED. Voted 5-1 in favor.
Thirty day appeal period.
Meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM
Approved by the Meredith Zoning Board on August 8, 2013