Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

January 14, 1998

Voting Board Chairperson Neil Faiman; members Steve Blanchard, Carol Roberts, Bob Spear and Jim Tuttle.
Clerk Diane Nilsson
  • L.A. Limousine Service - 2 variances
  • Charles O. McGettigan, Jr. Revocable Trust - special exception

Mr. Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:34 p.m.

Case #1/14/98-1 L.A. LIMOUSINE SERVICE

L.A. Limousine Service (applicant) and E&T’s Joint Venture (owner), Lot L-027, 233 Gibbons Highway, in the Residential District, applied for variances to sections and 5.2.3 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance to permit the construction of a sign for L.A. Limousine Service, closer than would otherwise be permitted to the highway.

Mr. Faiman clarified that the application is actually a request to permit construction of a sign closer than would otherwise be permitted to the lot line, not the highway. Owner Christine Benson presented a sketch of the property to the Board . She stated that she spoke to the Landrys and the Davidsons (abutters on either side of the property) and neither had any objections to the location of the sign. Road agent Charles McGettigan stated that he saw no problem with this location for the sign. On the sketch, the sign is to be located in line with the stockade fence, the treeline and the mailbox.

Motion Mr. Blanchard moved to approve the request subject to the restriction that the sign not be located within the State right-of-way, seconded by Mr. Tuttle, with all in favor.

Mr. Faiman stated that the applicants would be receiving a letter of approval in the mail. He also suggested that any construction should wait until after the 20-day waiting period for a rehearing request has passed. He further stated that the selectmen, any party to the action or proceedings, or any person affected thereby may apply for a rehearing of this decision. A request for a rehearing must be filed in writing with the Zoning Board of Adjustment on or before Tuesday, February 3, 1998, and must fully specify all grounds on which the rehearing is requested. (N.H. RSA 677:2)


  1. Why will your proposed use not diminish the values of surrounding properties? The sign will not be an eyesore and is tastefully designed.
  2. Why would granting the variance be in the public interest? In an effort to induce traffic safety when entering and exiting, a sign will provide identification and will assist in slowing traffic prior to entering.
  3. Why would denial of the variance result in unnecessary hardship? Placement of the sign in the required setback would be unreasonable and impractical.
  4. Why would granting the variance do substantial justice? It would allow this business to advertise its service to a large volume of traffic and help increase sales.
  5. Why is the proposed use consistent with the spirit of the zoning ordinance? The location of the proposed sign is the most sensible as it is in line with the mailbox and boundary fence already in place.

A motion was made and seconded to approve this language for the findings of fact.


Robert B. Todd (applicant) and Charles O. McGettigan, Jr. Revocable Trust (owner), Lot M-012, Abbot Hill Road, in the Residential, Wetland and Aquifer Protection Districts, applied for a special exception under the terms of section 11.4(c) of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to certify that an area on Lot M-012 is incorrectly designated as being a poorly drained or very poorly drained soil on the Town of Wilton Wetland Conservation District Map, and that the restrictions of section 11 should therefore not apply.

Mr. Faiman explained that section 11.4(c) of the zoning ordinance requires that the Board have any evidence presented reviewed by the Hillsborough County Conservation District. He then read a letter from the HCCD, dated 1/12/98 which stated that they no longer review site-specific soil boundary lines, and that if the Town desires that High Intensity Soil Maps be reviewed, a private certified soil scientist should be consulted. (See file)

Robert Todd of New Boston represented the applicants and presented a plan showing the Hillsborough County Soils Series mapping along with the lines put on the ground by the soil scientist that the applicants hired as well as the jurisdictional wetland boundary line under the administrative rules of the wetland bureau. He then explained the different lines on the plan to the Board. In short, the soil scientist that the applicant hired found much less poorly drained or very poorly drained soil areas than the Hillsborough County Soils Series shows. John Shepardson of the Wilton Conservation Commission stated that Andy Roeper, the Chairman of the CC did walk the land with some soil maps and asked Mr. Shepardson to report that he saw no problem with the requested special exception.

Mr. Faiman stated that the Board had various options in deciding how to deal with the review requirement that cannot be fulfilled as specified in the zoning ordinance. He mentioned that in the letter from HCCD it is stated that if you have the stamp of a certified soil scientist on the plan, you can't do much better than that. He then read the letter from Schauer Environmental Consultants, LLC, which is signed and stamped by Peter S. Schauer, Certified Soil Scientist #039. (See file) Mr. Faiman also stated that his interpretation of the zoning ordinance is such that the Town's intention in asking for a review by HCCD is to provide a review by a professional not affiliated with the applicant. The ZBA could hire another soil scientist to review the applicant's plan and that would be his preference. Mr. Faiman also pointed out that the ordinance requires two hearings before the Board comes to a decision on this matter. He then stated that the Board had three choices in how to handle this case: 1.) Ask for nothing more from the applicant 2.) Ask for a review by an independent consultant of the Board's choice, or 3.) Ask for testimony from the Conservation Commission and take that as meeting the spirit of the ordinance requirement.

Motion Mr. Blanchard moved to ask the applicant for no further information and to ask Mr. Roeper to either put his findings in writing or come to the meeting next month and testify as to his findings. The motion was seconded by Ms. Roberts with all in favor.

Mr. Faiman stated that the hearing is continued until next month.


Mr. Faiman introduced new Board alternate, Ron Hanisch.

MINUTES - November 12, 1997

Motion Mr. Spear moved to accept the 11/12/97 minutes as written, seconded by Mr. Tuttle with four in favor and Mr. Blanchard abstaining.
Motion Mr. Tuttle moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Blanchard with all in favor.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.


Diane Nilsson, Clerk