Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

February 10, 1999

Voting Board Chairperson Neil Faiman; members Carol Roberts, Bob Spear & Jim Tuttle; alternate member Ron Hanisch.
Clerk Diane Nilsson
Agenda Daniel E. Luter - Variance
Mr. Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. and informed the Board that the NH Supreme Court had just in the last couple of days changed a justification on variance criteria slightly. The justification which the board has always called #2, "Why would granting the variance be in the public interest?" should now be worded: "Why would granting the variance not be contrary to the public interest?"

Case #2/10/99-1 — LUTER

Daniel E. Luter has applied for a variance to the terms of section 6.2.1 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance to permit the division of a single-family home into two dwelling units on Lot K-002, 6 Livermore Street, in the Res/Ag District, where the lot size is less than the area required for two dwelling units.

Mr. Luter explained that he would like to turn his single-family home on Livermore Street into a two-family residence, since many of the homes in that area of town have been turned into two-family residences. When he began the process, he discovered that Livermore Street is zoned Res/Ag, and he would need a 2 acre minimum lot size in order to be allowed to do this. His lot is approximately 1/3 of an acre. He further stated that he saw no reason why Livermore Street was zoned Res/Ag when the rest of the nearby neighborhood was zoned Residential. And therefore, he saw no reason why he should not be allowed to turn his home into a two-family when so many homes in the nearby neighborhood had done this.

Mr. Luter did not submit a drawing of any kind to the Board. Mr. Hanisch and Ms. Roberts both drove by the property but Ms. Roberts stated that she didn't have enough information to make an informed decision without a site map. The Board was able to determine that if Mr. Luter's property was in the Residential District, he would have enough open space to meet that requirement and provide two more parking spaces. He would also be able to meet the 15' side setback requirement for the Residential District. He also has town sewer and water. Mr. Luter stated that there are no two-family residences on Livermore St. and no one from Livermore Street has made similar application. It was noted that no on-street parking is allowed on Livermore Street.

Mr. Faiman noted that Mr. Luter's house is in the Res/Ag district and is not dissimilar to any other house on Livermore Street. In other words, he did not see that Mr. Luter's house or lot had any characteristic or lack of characteristic that would make it different from the other residences on Livermore Street, so he could not see how denial of the variance would result in unnecessary hardship for Mr. Luter. He further stated that although the zoning in this case seems to be arbitrary, it is Res/Ag zoning, and he would not be enthusiastic about allowing by variance the first change on that street. Even though the request seems like a appropriate use, he would not like to be the one to make the decision that would, in essence, change the zoning on that street. And again, he stated that he saw no difference in Mr. Luter's property when compared with the other residences on Livermore Street. He further stated that when you consider granting a variance that will affect an entire street, it's more properly in the realm of a zoning change, not a variance. Ms. Roberts felt that even though zoning that particular street Res/Ag may have simply been an oversight on the part of the Planning Board, the Zoning Board doesn't have the right to change that decision.

Wilton Bldg. Inspector, Frank Millward stated that he thought that the applicant should provide a plot plan before the zoning board consider granting this variance.

Motion Mr. Hanisch moved to deny the variance request, seconded by Ms. Roberts. There being no further discussion on the motion, all members voted yes.

Mr. Faiman stated that the variance request had been denied and that the applicant would receive a notice of decision in the mail within a few days. 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, March 2, 1999, and must fully specify all grounds on which the rehearing is requested. (N.H. RSA 677:2)

The Board worked on the correct wording for the justification for the decision.

Motion Mr. Spear moved to accept the language for the justification for the decision. Mr. Hanisch seconded the motion and all members were in favor.


The variance was denied for the following reasons:


Minutes - January 13, 1999

Motion Ms. Roberts moved to approve the 1/13/99 minutes as written, seconded by Mr. Tuttle with four members in favor and Mr. Hanisch abstaining.

A motion was made, seconded and passed to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Diane Nilsson, Clerk