Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

June 10, 1998

Voting Board Chairperson Neil Faiman; member Bob Spear; alternate members Joanna Eckstrom and Ron Hanisch.
Clerk Diane Nilsson
  • Donna & Paul Poisson - variance
  • Russell D. Weinzimmer - Special Exception

Mr. Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. and explained to Paul Poisson that there were only four board members present and that three affirmative votes would be needed in order for the requested variance to be granted. He further explained that if the Board should decide to turn down his request, the fact that there was only a four member board would not be grounds to hold a rehearing of the case. Mr. Poisson was given the choice of going ahead with the hearing or postponing it to the July meeting. He chose to go ahead with the hearing.

Case #5/13/98-1 DONNA & PAUL POISSON

Donna & Paul Poisson, Lot F-026, 340 Gibbons Highway, in the Commercial District, applied for a variance to section 7.2.4 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance to permit a curb cut to NH Route 101.

Jeff Mills from Johnson & Dix Fuel Corp. presented the case for Mr. Poisson. Mr. Mills passed out site plans showing a 30' X 60' convenience store, a gasoline island with two pumps, a diesel pump and 9 parking spaces plus four spots at the gasoline pumps. At present, Lot F-026 has an easement to the curb cut on Lot F-026-1. Mr. Poisson requested a curb cut and entry onto Lot F-026 so that his customers will have two ways of entering and exiting this property. He further stated that in conversations that he had with the State Highway Department, the State seemed to be in favor of granting a curb cut in this case.

Mr. Faiman read from section 7.2.4a of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance: ..."entrance and exit for the lot(s) is limited to one (1) curb cut on NH Route 101 for each lot-of-record existing as of March 11, 1986." Since Lot F-026 and Lot F-026-1 were one lot on March 11, 1986, only one curb cut is allowed by the ordinance.

Mr. Faiman looked up the records for the subdivision of these two lots which was approved in 1989 and also the site plan for Lot 026-1 which was approved in January, 1994. He noted that in the subdivision plans it is noted that only one curb cut will be allowed for the two lots after the subdivision.

Conservation Commissioner Andy Roeper asked whether there would be any signage. Mr. Poisson stated that he hadn't decided what to do about that. Mr. Roeper also asked if this lot would use the same catch basin that exists on Lot F-026-1. Mr. Poisson answered that that would be decided at the Site Plan Review at the Planning Board.

In summarizing the request before the Board, Mr. Faiman stated that here we have an apparently reasonable request that runs flat in the face of the specific requirements of the zoning ordinance. Our zoning ordinance, very clearly, was designed to limit curb cuts on Route 101.

Ms. Eckstrom stated that she believes that every lot of record deserves to have a curb cut. She further stated that section 7.2.4b of the ordinance states: "To encourage shared lot access, where at all possible and practical, the location of all accessory street or roadway curb cuts shall be situated to allow adjacent lots to also take advantage of or share the same point of access along the street or roadway." Her question was whether it is practical for these two lots, with a combined frontage of over 500' to share an entrance.

Mr. Spear pointed out that Bursey's, Convenience 101 and House By The Side Of The Road all have at least two curb cuts.

Motion Ms. Ecksrom moved to approve the request for a variance to section 7.2.4 of the ordinance to allow a curb cut on Lot F-026 subject to the restriction that both lots must be allowed to continue using the existing curb cut on Lot F-026-1. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hanisch. 3 members voted in favor with Mr. Faiman voting no.

Mr. Faiman stated that the applicants will be receiving a letter of approval from the Zoning Board. 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, June 20, 1998.

Motion Mr. Spear moved to approve the following Findings of Fact, seconded by Ms. Eckstrom with three in favor and Mr. Faiman abstaining.


  1. Why will your proposed use not diminish the values of surrounding properties? The second curb cut will not change the use of the property.
  2. Why would granting the variance be in the public interest? The second curb cut would improve highway safety.
  3. Why would denial of the variance result in unnecessary hardship? It is unreasonable to impose this restriction on a lot that is so suitable for having two accesses when other similar lots in the same area, with much less road frontage, have two or more accesses.
  4. Why would granting the variance do substantial justice? The second curb cut would improve highway safety.
  5. Why is the proposed use consistent with the spirit of the zoning ordinance? Although the ordinance allows only one curb cut per lot of record as of 3/11/86, this Board has determined, in this case, that the way to promote the purpose of the ordinance, which is to protect the public safety by controlling access to lots on NH Route 101, is to allow access to Lot F-026 with a new curb cut.

Case #6/10/98-1 RUSSEL D. WEINZIMMER

Russel D. Weinzimmer, Lots H-042-5 thru H-042-11 and H-042-13 thru H-042-21, Highfields Road, applied for a special exception under the terms of section 11.4a of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance to allow the construction of a driveway across a wetland area.

Dawn Tuomala of Monadnock survey represented Mr. Weinzimmer and explained that Mr. Weinzimmer has purchased three lots in what was originally called the Highfields Subdivision. The only access to the properties is via an as-yet-uncompleted shared driveway that is part of the original subdivision plan. In order to complete the drive, two areas of wetland soils must be crossed totaling 8,775 sq. ft. The driveway will be 16' wide with 2' shoulders.

Mr. Faiman asked Ms. Tuomala if there was any way that the owners could get an easement from the property owners on the other side of the proposed drive in order to move the drive away from the wetland area. She replied that she didn't think so.

Conservation Commissioner Andy Roeper stated that he walked the property and felt that the plan as outlined is reasonable, given what they are attempting to do. He concurred that there does not appear to be a way to practically avoid a wetland crossing. He also stated that for the purposes of the proposed access road he sees no need for any further studies by a professional soils scientist.

Mr. Faiman explained that any wetlands special exception requests require two hearings per Wilton Zoning Ordinance.

The clerk noted that Mr. Weinzimmer overpaid by $20 the application fee to the ZBA. Mr. Faiman said that he would notify the Town Office and ask them to send Mr. Weinzimmer a check.


MINUTES - April 8, 1998

Motion Mr. Spear moved to approve the 4/8/98 minutes as written, seconded by Ms. Eckstrom with 3 in favor and Mr. Hanisch abstaining.
Motion Mr. Spear moved to adjourn the meeting. There was a second to the motion and the meeting was adjourned at 10 p.m.


Diane Nilsson, Clerk
Posted: 6/16/98