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Minutes posted at this web site have not been checked for consistency with the printed minutes that are available in the Wilton Town Offices. If you need the definitive minutes of a ZBA meeting, please obtain the printed minutes from the town offices.

July 8, 1998

Voting Board Chairperson Neil Faiman; members Steve Blanchard (Frye case) Carol Roberts & Bob Spear; alternate members Joanna Eckstrom & Ron Hanisch (Weinzimmer case).
Clerk Diane Nilsson
Agenda
  • Russell D. Weinzimmer - Special Exception (continuation)
  • Gail & Gary Frye - Variance

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

Mr. Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:25 p.m. and explained that the first case was a continuation of last month’s hearing for a special exception to section 11.4a of the Wilton Zoning ordinance to permit a driveway to cross a wetland area when that is the only reasonable way of making use of property on the other side of the wetland. The ordinance requires that this particular application be heard on two consecutive months. Mr. Faiman noted that Ms. Roberts did not sit on this case last month but will sit on it this month.

Dawn Tuomala, of Monadnock Survey, represented Mr. Weinzimmer and explained that the property in question, Lots H-042-5 thru H-042-11 and H042-13 thru H-042-21, was resurveyed and it was discovered that Mr. Weinzimmer owns more of the proposed driveway area than was thought at the last board meeting. In addition, Ms. Tuomala stated that three abutters had not been notified about the first hearing. The clerk confirmed that they had been notified about this meeting. She further explained that Mr. Weinzimmer would like to consolidate the 16 lots into 3 larger lots and would like to use the originally-proposed Highfield’s Road as a common driveway which would be 16' wide with 2' shoulders. She also stated that they were able to move the proposed driveway a little further away from the wetlands area so that the total wetland area needed for the driveway crossing is 7900 sq. ft. compared to 8775 sq. ft. in the previous plan. Ms. Tuomala then discussed the possibility of accessing the property via Mason Road instead of Highfields Road. She stated that although wetlands impact would be less of an issue, the amount of earth removal would be substantial. A 12' cut would be needed, as well as 2 detention basins, plus the relocation of an existing driveway and the possible relocation of an existing garage. She stated that the project would cost in the range of $150,000 just to get to the top of the hill.

Abutter Patricia Couchon (925 Mason Road) stated that she is in favor of the proposed wetland crossing via Highfield’s Road, and would like to see avoided at all costs, a driveway built from Mason Road.

Mr. Faiman noted that Conservation Commission chair, Andy Roeper, stated at the last hearing that he had no problems with this application. Ms. Tuomala stated that she had met with Mr. Roeper yesterday, and that he had no objections to the proposal.

Motion Ms. Eckstrom moved to make a finding of fact that states that access to the proposed development area from Mason Road would be impractical and economically unfeasible based on the evidence presented. The motion was seconded by Ms. Roberts, with all in favor.
Motion Ms. Eckstrom moved to approve the application for a special exception under the terms of section 11.4(a) of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance based on the plans presented, seconded by Mr. Hanisch with all in favor.

Mr. Faiman stated that decisions by the zoning board may be appealed within 20 days. The Board suggests that applicants not invest large sums of money in the project during those 20 days. In the absence of an appeal within 20 days, the decision becomes final. He further stated that the applicant will be receiving a notice of the decision shortly.

Case#7/8/98-1 - GAIL & GARY FRYE

Gail & Gary Frye, Lot H-023 & H-021-2, 26 Oak Drive, in the Residential/Agricultural District, applied for a variance to the terms of Section 6.2.3 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance to permit a lot tine adjustment between their two lots, neither of which has any frontage on a Class V road.

Mr. Faiman noted that Board member Steve Blanchard would be sitting on this case and alternate member Ron Hanisch would not sit on this case.

Atty. Wil Sullivan represented the Fryes and explained that neither of these lots have frontage on any Class V road. The Fryes currently have their home on the southerly half of Lot H-0 23. Rather than using Lot H-021-2 for another home, they would like to reconfigure the two lots so that they are divided going in the other direction. This would allow a home to be built on the northerly half of Lot H-023 and would leave Lot H-021-2 free of buildings and driveways. The advantage of this is that the fairly large wetland area on Lot H-021-2 would not have to be impacted. In addition, driveway access to the northerly half of Lot H-023 is easier to build and perhaps safer than it would be to Lot H-021-2..

Abutters Margaret Alzmann and Paul Koning (Lot H-025, 7 Oak Drive) wanted to see the map in order to understand what exactly was being requested.

Motion Mr. Blanchard moved to make a finding of fact that states that a change in the lot line between Lots H-023 & H-021-2 is permissible without any variance, providing that the resulting lots consist of at least 5 acres each. After Board discussion, Mr. Blanchard withdrew his motion.
Motion Mr. Spear moved to grant the requested variance to the terms of Section 6.2.3 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance to permit a lot line adjustment to Lots H-023 and H-021-2 resulting in a new lot line running approximately east-west, and 2 lots of at least 5 acres. The motion was seconded by Ms. Eckstrom with all in favor.

Mr. Faiman stated that decisions by the zoning board may be appealed within 20 days. The Board suggests that applicants not invest large sums of money in the project during those 20 days. In the absence of an appeal within 20 days, the decision becomes final. He further stated that the applicant will be receiving a notice of decision shortly.

JUSTIFICATIONS FOR THE DECISION

  1. Why will your proposed use not diminish the values of surrounding properties? The relief requested will not increase the number of additional houses, but only the location of a new house.
  2. Why would granting the variance be in the public interest? It would allow a new site to be created that would not impact wetland and would provide a safer access to the potential house site.
  3. Why would denial of the variance result in unnecessary hardship? The absence of frontage prohibits a lot line adjustment for which there is no other rational reason to prohibit it.
  4. Why would granting the variance do substantial justice? It would preserve wetland and create safer ingress and egress.
  5. Why is the proposed use consistent with the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance? There will be no change in use, lots exceed density regulations by 300%, wetlands would be preserved.

OTHER BUSINESS

MINUTES - June 10, 1998

Motion Ms. Eckstrom moved to approve the 6/10/98 minutes as written, seconded by Mr. Hanisch, with four in favor and Ms. Roberts abstaining.
Motion Ms. Eckstrom moved to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded and all were in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 9 p.m.

ATTEST:

Diane Nilsson, Clerk
Posted: 7/14/98