Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

December 8, 1999

Voting Board Vice Chairman Jim Tuttle; members Steve Blanchard & Bob Spear; alternate members Joanna Eckstrom & Ron Hanisch.
Clerk Diane Nilsson
Agenda Russell Kincaid - Special Exception

Acting Chairman Jim Tuttle called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Case # 12/8/99-1 Kincaid

Russell Kincaid has applied for a special exception under the terms of section 14.3.3 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit the placement of a septic system 75 feet from a Wetland area on Lot A - 18, Burton Highway, in the Res/Ag and Watershed Districts, rather than the 150 feet required by the Ordinance.

Mr. Tuttle explained that Mr. Kincaid hired Certified Soils Scientist, Richard W. Bond, of Merrimack Soils Consultants, Inc. to delineate the wetland soils on Lot A - 18. The report and a sketch of the wetlands area by Mr. Bond were included with the application. This wetlands delineation puts Mr. Kincaid's current septic system design 70 feet from the wetlands, not 150 feet, as required by the Ordinance. Moving the mobile home and septic design 150 feet from the wetlands is not feasible while remaining 35 feet from the boundaries.

Mr. Kincaid handed out a sketch that he made of the wetland area and his design for the mobile home and septic. It shows his mobile home to be 90 feet from the wetland and the septic 72 feet. He suggested that it might be possible to switch these two so that the septic would be the farthest away from the wetland.

Grenville Clark, 29 Stiles Farm Road, stated that since Mr. Kincaid is applying for a variance, he must meet the five criteria necessary in order to be granted a variance. Included among these is hardship, no diminution of surrounding property values and consistency with the spirit of the ordinance. Mr. Clark referred that it would be inconsistent with the spirit and intent of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance to allow a home or septic system to be located closer than the 150 foot requirement. He also stated that since the homes surrounding Mr. Kincaid's property are worth two to three times as much as what his property will be worth after he is finished developing it, there is strong evidence that this proposal will diminish property values in the area.

Mr. Spear asked Mr. Kincaid to describe what the mobile home will look like. Mr. Kincaid stated that it will not look like a manufactured home, but will look like a trailer. The building inspector has required him to remove the wheels and place it on piers, however.

Ms. Eckstrom asked the neighbors how they would feel about the applicant seeing a special exception from the 35 foot front and side setback rather than the 150 foot wetland setback, in which case the applicant would place the mobile home and septic system much closer to the road and farther from the wetland.

Mr. Clark stated that his chief concern would be to protect the wetlands in the watershed district from any potential pollution. But he also felt that the issue of the diminution of property values was also very important in this case.

Abutter Mike Pascarella stated that no matter how Mr. Kincaid tries to reconfigure the mobile home and septic system, if the zoning board grants this request it would be allowing something to be built that is not in accordance with the ordinance and thus, the desire of the Town. He also stated that at a previous hearing, Mr. Kincaid gave testimony that the pond, which is located across Burton Highway, does not flow onto his property. In fact, Mr. Pascarella saw it flowing onto Mr. Kincaid's property. In addition, he has done some research about the brook, and even though is was dry this summer, it was the first time in decades that it has run dry, so it should be considered a perennial stream. He also addressed the issue of property diminution and noted that the Board didn't seem to be very responsive to the testimony that Mr. Grenville gave that the type of structure proposed could severely impact property values in the neighborhood. He stated that he had been in the real estate business for 20 years and had 20 years of experience with appraisers. He suggested that before the board makes a decision, perhaps some of the surrounding properties should be appraised so that the board can take this information into account.

Dierdre Clark, 29 Stiles Farm Road, presented the Wilton tax map with the current assessed valuations of each property in the vicinity of A -18 written atop each location.

Marlene McCormack, 87 Stiles Farm Road, asked Mr. Kincaid if building a two story square home with a smaller footprint might get him further away from the wetlands. Mr. Kincaid said that he hadn't looked into that but that would reduce the problem.

Ms. McCormack also stated that she was truly concerned about the wetlands being compromised and it appeared to her that the type of septic system that Mr. Kincaid was proposing was a type that was susceptible to failure and required annual inspection and recertification. She did not want to be in the position of having to police these inspections in order to protect the wetlands.

Mr. Sinclair stated that the Wilton Conservation Commission had come out and looked at the pond and confirmed that it, indeed, does cross the road onto the Kincaid property. He asked the Board to consider that finding in any decision that they make.

Doreece Miller of the Wilton Conservation Commission confirmed that even with the culvert, when the water gets high, it does cross the road onto Mr. Kincaid's property. She added that she had concerns about the house or the septic being so close to the wetlands and pointed out that if the house were closer and a lawn were planted, fertilizers or pesticides might be used and they would undoubtedly run down the hill into the wetlands and would enter the watershed which feeds our reservoir. Although it isn't being used at the moment, it is our backup public drinking water system.

Mr. Kincaid said that he thought he might be able to come up with a plan that would not infringe on the 150 foot setback from the wetland if he could infringe on the 35 foot front and side setback.

The Board came to a consensus that this application was for a special exception and not a variance, based on the language in section 17.3.

Motion Mr. Hanisch made a motion to deny the special exception on the grounds that the plan, in its present form, could potentially pollute the wetlands in the watershed district. Mr. Blanchard seconded the motion. Ms. Eckstrom asked if passing this motion would prevent Mr. Kincaid from reapplying to the ZBA with a reconfigured plan. The consensus was that it would not. Ms. Eckstrom stated that she would like to ask Mr. Kincaid to come back with a formal reconfigured plan and continue the hearing when that happened. The Board discussed the options, Mr. Hanisch said that he was unwilling to withdraw his motion, so the vote was taken. The vote was four in favor and Ms. Eckstrom against.

Mr. Tuttle stated that Mr. Kincaid's application for a special exception was denied. He also said that if Mr. Kincaid does come back with a reconfigured plan, the preference would be for the leechfield to be located as far as possible from the wetlands and the perennial stream. He added that it would be helpful if Mr. Kincaid would provide a complete plan that shows the proposed driveway, the location of the culvert from the pond, the distance from the septic system to the culvert and to the stream. The wetland delineation should also be on the plan and it would be helpful to have all the designer's notes on the septic system, all the test pit data etc.

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, December 28, 1999, and must fully specify all grounds on which the rehearing is requested. (N.H. RSA 677:2)


Minutes -10/13/99

Motion Ms. Eckstrom moved to approve the 10/13/99 minutes with spelling errors corrected and Mr. Tuttle seconded the motion. Four were in favor and Mr. Blanchard abstained.

Mr. Spear moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Hanisch, with all in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

Diane Nilsson, Clerk