Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

October 4, 1999

Voting Board Chairperson Neil Faiman; members Steve Blanchard & Jim Tuttle; alternate members Joanna Eckstrom and Ron Hanish.
Acting CLERK Neil Faiman
Agenda Douglas St. Clair - request for rehearing of Kincaid special exception

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Faiman at 7:35 p.m.

Case # 9/8/99-1 Kincaid

The ZBA members read a letter from abutter Douglas St. Clair requesting a rehearing of the the special exception granted by the ZBA on lot A-18 (Case #9/8/99-1) (see below).

Mr. Faiman felt that paragraphs 1, 2a, and 2b of the letter had nothing to do with ZBA issues, and, with regard to paragraph 2c, that the ZBA had legitimately resolved the question of possible building sites on the lot to its satisfaction in the original meeting; but he thought that the question of grandfathered status of the lot was a good question.

Mr. Blanchard, who had been a selectman at the time, and Mr. Tuttle recalled that the watershed lot size requirements had been imposed in the early 1980's, and all agreed that the lot in question dated at least to the 1970's.

Mr. Hanish wondered whether the special exception in question should apply to watershed district setbacks as well as to lot lines. The other board members were agreed that it should.

Motion Mr. Blanchard moved to deny the request for rehearing; seconded by Mr. Tuttle; four in favor, with Mr. Hanish abstaining.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting. All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted
Neil Faiman, Acting Clerk

Text of the request for rehearing

Regarding the Wilton Zoning Board's Decision to grant waivers to Richard Kincard on piece of property he recently purchased on Burton Highway. The board is obligated to ensure the requirements of State Law and Town Ordinances are met by all and to carefully consider the granting of variances. This is especially true when a commercial developer has begun the process by trying to side step regulations. The approval of these variances by the board demonstrates an action that falls far short of due diligence. The board is seriously remiss and has clearly not examined many salient facts. What justification is there for the board to grant variances without permits for water and sewage, a plot plan that delineates the location of surface water, the extent of hydric plants, or deeds that prove the property is in fact a properly grandfathered, though substandard, lot.

  1. The owner began clearing the property before obtaining any permits.
    1. Were permits for water and sewage in order before the board reached its most recent decision?
    2. Has the board seen and concurred with NH State variances, which would permit building inside the set back limits from streams and ponds?
    3. Has the owner shown that his sewage treatment plans will not adversely effect the pond and streams on neighboring property?
    4. Has the lot preparation already undertaken crossed and or modified existing surface watercourses without permits?
    5. Has the lot preparation damaged the ability to survey the property for hydric plants?
    6. The owner has once again begun clearing the property. Has the owner gained the necessary permits this time?
  2. The rules define the setback limits from standing water and year around streams and ponds is 200 feet, 150 from intermittent streams, from the greatest extend of hydric plants as determined by a survey of the area.
    1. Is there a survey that shows the location of surface water and the extent of hydric plants on the property within the setback limits mandated by town ordinance?
    2. There is every reason to believe the owner had not completed a survey of the property and certainly one was not discussed before the Board granted its variance.
    3. Has the board reviewed a site plan that shows where (if anywhere) a home may be placed on the lot without gaining variances from the water set back rules?
  3. The lot is only 1.5 acres. I believe minimum zoning (at the time the lot was created) was 15 acres. Minimum zoning at the present time is 10 acres. Which raises a strong question as to why with these rules in force would the prior board have allowed a substandard (1.5 acre) lot to be created when subdividing a large parcel of more than 50 acres. Neil told me he read the minutes from the previous board and could not conclude anything from them. It appears this is the only attempt made to resolve the previous board's action. The Zoning Board did not review the prior deeds to ensure that a substandard lot was not created when the parcel was created. This does not strike me as even a marginal effort at due diligence. For example can the board say conclusively that his lot was not defined by defining all other lots save this one at the time of a previous subdivision resulting in a substandard lot that was over looked by the previous board? If this was the process this lot would have received the lot number of the original parcel and would appear to this day as a previously existing and therefore grandfathered lot. If chicanery was applied in the process previously is the lot a valid substandard lot and therefore buildable now?