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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.

November 13, 2001

TOWN OF WILTON ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT November 13, 2001
Voting Board VOTING BOARD: Chairperson Neil Faiman; members Bob Spear, Carol Roberts, & Jim Tuttle; alternate members Joanna Eckstrom & Ron Hanisch.
Clerk Diane Nilsson
Agenda
  • David E. Blackmer - variance
  • S. Jo Shatzman - special exception or variance
  • Ken & Mary Ann Sullivan - variance

Mr. Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. and explained to the audience that the process for hearing an application is 1) to ask the applicant to explain what it is that he or she wants to do 2) why he needs permission from the zoning board to do it and 3)why he thinks the zoning board should give that permission. Once the board has a description from the applicant, members of the zoning board will be able to ask questions and get additional information that they may feel is missing in order to clarify what is being proposed. Once the zoning board is satisfied that they know what is going on, then any members of the public or abutters who may be present will have the opportunity to ask questions, provide additional information or offer opinions. Once all the information is in, the zoning board will then consider the case and, under normal circumstances, reach a decision the same evening.

Case# 9/12/01–2 — DAVID BLACKMER - continuation from September 18, 2001

David E. Blackmer has applied for a variance to section 6.2.3 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit the subdivision of Lot C-7, 242 Old County Farm Road, into two lots, one or both of which would not have 200 feet of frontage on a public right of way, Class V or better.

Mr. Faiman did not sit on this case because of a possible conflict of interest. Vice Chair Jim Tuttle took his place.

In answer to questions that the board had at the September hearing, Attorney Patrick McHugh presented documents that Mrs. Blackmer had found in her research conducted at the town office. Included were: tax bills from 1994 and 2001 which showed that the Blackmer’s were sent two bills each of those years, one for lot C-007 and one for lot C-007-01, as if the lots were already subdivided; copies of the Town of Wilton Annual Report of the Building Inspector 1976 showing permits were issued for both the barn and main house (242 Old County Farm Road) and 1978 showing that a permit was issued for the second dwelling (284 Old County Farm Road); copy of page 1 of the Mortgage Deed taken in 1977 and a copy of the building permit # 246 for 284 Old County Farm Road. Mr. McHugh stated that Mrs. Blackmer provided all the information that the town had available.

The board discussed the unique situation created when building permits were issued, in 1976 and 1978, for two single family dwellings to be built on the same lot, and the fact that the town may have assumed, back in 1978, that there were actually two lots. There was also discussion about the fact that even though the subdivision requires that the new lot have 200’ of frontage on a Class V or better road, an emergency vehicle would only have to travel 20’ from where the class V road ends to the middle of the driveway of the newly created lot. The board members felt that because the town has treated the land in question as two separate lots and because the improvements that Mr. Blackmer has made to the class VI road ensure adequate access, a reasonable response would be to grant the variance.

Motion Mr. Spear moved to grant the variance to section 6.2.3 to permit the subdivision of lot C-007 as submitted. The motion was seconded by Ms. Eckstrom and all were in favor.

Mr. Tuttle stated that the requested variance has been granted and Mr. Blackmer will receive written notification in the mail. He further stated that the selectmen, any party to the action or proceedings, or any person directly 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 Thursday, December 13, 2001, and must fully specify all grounds on which the rehearing is requested. (N.H.RSA 677:2)

REASONS FOR DECISION:

  1. The proposed use will not diminish surrounding property values as Lot C-7 has contained two dwelling units and two garages since the 1970s. The values of the surrounding properties have not been diminished since this construction. Additionally, none of the structures can be seen be seen from any abutting residences.
  2. Granting the variance would be in the public interest because the dwelling units and other structures have been properly permitted to the best of the applicantÍs knowledge. The State of New Hampshire, Dept. of Environmental Resources and the Town of Wilton Building Dept. issued all necessary permits for the leachfields, houses and garages.
  3. Denial of the variance will result in unnecessary hardship because it is reasonable for a property owner to be able to subdivide 67 acres into two lots and it would, therefore, be unreasonable to deny this use.
  4. Granting the variance would result in substantial justice because the property otherwise could not be subdivided. Granting the variance will allow the existing cottage and garage on the proposed Lot C-7-1 to be properly located on a separate lot.
  5. The proposed use is consistent with the spirit of the ordinance because the improvements that have been made to the Class VI road which fronts Lot C-7 have made it equivalent to many existing Class V roads in the area, and insures adequate access to the property by emergency or other vehicles. In addition, one has to travel only 20Í on the Class VI road to arrive at the middle of the driveway. The requirement for 200Í of frontage on a Class V or better road is partially there to assure a certain density. This proposed use does not affect the density in the area since one lot will be 12.5 acres and the other will be 55 acres.

Case# 11/13/01–1 — S. JO SHATZMAN

S. Jo Shatzman has applied for a special exception under the terms of section 17.3 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, or alternatively for a variance to the terms of section 5.2.3 of the Ordinance, to permit the construction of a storage shed on Lot J-121, 7 Island Street, closer to the street than is otherwise permitted by the ordinance.

Mr. Faiman returned to the board and Ms. Eckstrom recused herself so that there would be the required five voting members.

Ms. Shatzman explained that she owns a large two-family home on a relatively small lot (.19 acres). She would like to construct an 8’ X 10’ shed on the right side of her house. The required setbacks are 35’ on all sides. The shed would be situated approximately 20’ from the side lot line and 10’ from the front sidewalk.There is no room for a shed behind the house as the Souhegan River is there. And there is only 6’ - 7’ between the left side of the house and the property line.

The board felt that this was a reasonable request but since a site plan was not included, had to find the correct wording to describe where the shed could be located.

Motion Mr. Hanisch moved to grant the special exception to section 17.3 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit the construction of an 8’ X 10’ shed immediately adjacent to the north side of the driveway and immediately adjacent to the retaining wall at the rear of the lot. The motion was seconded by Mr. Tuttle and all were in favor.

The applicant asked if it would be O.K. to construct a smaller shed if they decided that was what they preferred. The board decided to amend the motion.

Motion Mr. Hanisch moved and Mr. Spear seconded an amendment to the original motion which would insert the words a shed of no more than 8’ X 10’ in size. All were in favor.

Mr. Faiman stated that the requested special exception has been granted and Ms. Shatzman will receive written notification in the mail. He further stated that the selectmen, any party to the action or proceedings, or any person directly 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 Thursday, December 13, 2001, and must fully specify all grounds on which the rehearing is requested. (N.H.RSA 677:2) This special exception shall expire on November 13, 2003, if construction of the proposed shed has not begun by that date. (Wilton Zoning Ordinance section 17.4)

Case# 11/13/01–2 — KEN & MARY ANN SULLIVAN

Ken and Mary Ann Sullivan have applied for a variance to sections 8.1(d), 8.5, and/or 7.0.1(g) of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit a home-based business in a grandfathered single-family residence on Lot F-165, at the intersection of NH Route 101 and NH Route 31 South (Greenville Road).

Mr. Spear left the meeting and Ms. Eckstrom rejoined the board. Mr. Sullivan explained that he would like to have a home-based business in his grandfathered residence in the industrial district. His lot is .5 acres and because of its small size, is impractical for an industrial use. His son would live in the house and would have a retail shop selling locally produced arts and crafts items in a space that will use less than 10% of the square footage of the house and will operate only during normal business hours. He stated that the site contains parking for three vehicles and there is a 3-car garage. There is room for 3 more cars on the lawn area if needed. There will be no deliveries and his son does not plan to hire any employees.

There was discussion about how Mr. Sullivan could approach the Planning Board with the idea of changing the zoning of his property from industrial to commercial in the future. The zoning ordinance currently allows commercial uses in the industrial district, but Mr. Sullivan wants to continue the residential use as well. The proposal meets the requirements of a home occupation except home occupations are allowed only in the residential & res/ag districts.

Mr. Faiman summed up the situation: this is a tiny lot, unsuitable for industrial use. It is grandfathered for residential use but is not a prime residential location. This type of commercial use would be allowed if the house was in the residential district and is permitted in the industrial district if it was the only use on the property. Mr. Faiman felt that the requested use seems reasonable except for the parking issue. He said that the applicant may have to erect signs on his property which say that no parking is allowed on Route 31. He also said that part of a motion should include language which says that no external storage related to the business is allowed.

Motion Ms. Eckstrom moved to grant a variance to sections 8.1d and 8.5 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance to permit a home occupation in an existing residence on Lot F-165 subject to the following conditions: there is to be no external storage of materials related to the business, and all parking must be off-street. Mr. Tuttle seconded the motion and all were in favor.

Mr. Faiman stated that the requested special exception has been granted and Mr. Sullivan will receive written notification in the mail. He further stated that the selectmen, any party to the action or proceedings, or any person directly 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 Thursday, December 13, 2001, and must fully specify all grounds on which the rehearing is requested. (N.H.RSA 677:2) This variance shall expire on November 13, 2003, if operation of the proposed business has not begun by that date. (Wilton Zoning Ordinance section 17.4)

REASONS FOR DECISION:

  1. The proposed use will not diminish surrounding property values because it will be unchanged from the way it has looked for decades.
  2. Granting the variance is in the public interest because the planned use enhances the townÍs economic vitality through the addition of a small business.
  3. Denial of the variance will result in unnecessary hardship because the inability of the applicant to have a home occupation simply because his home is located in the industrial district interferes with the reasonable use of his property. Prohibition of a home occupation in this case will not serve any purpose that the zoning ordinance is trying to achieve.
  4. Granting the variance will do substantial justice because residential use of this property is as reasonable a use as one can find for this particular lot and a home occupation is a reasonable compliment to the residential use.
  5. The proposed use is consistent with the spirit of the ordinance because residential use is nonconforming in the industrial district and commercial use is allowed. Therefore, combined residential/commercial use indicated a less nonconforming use of the site.

OTHER BUSINESS

Filing Fee Increase:

There was a discussion about the need for an increase from the current $30 fee. Ms. Roberts offered to research what other towns charge and discussion will continue at the next meeting.

Minutes - October 9, 2001

Motion Mr. Tuttle moved to approve the 10/9/01 minutes as written. The motion was seconded by Ms. Roberts and all were in favor.

Minutes - October 24, 2001

Motion Mr. Tuttle moved to approve the 10/24/01 minutes as written. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hanisch and all were in favor.

A motion was made, seconded and approved to adjourn the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Diane Nilsson, Clerk