Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

December 11, 2001

Voting Board Chairperson Neil Faiman; members Carol Roberts, Bob Spear & Jim Tuttle; alternate member Joanna Eckstrom.
Clerk Diane Nilsson
Agenda Town of Wilton/George I. Pelletier - 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.


The Town of Wilton (applicant) and George I. Pelletier (owner) have applied for a variance to section 12.3(c)2 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit the subdivision of Lot E-14, 26 Russell Hill Road, into three lots, one of the resulting lots being a residential lot with less than the required area in the Aquifer Protection District.

Selectman David Glines presented subdivision plans to the board and explained that Mr. Pelletier has an 8.36 acre Parcel of land in the Aquifer Protection District which he would like to subdivide into two lots.

The Town would also like to purchase a 1.3 acre strip of his land in order to realign and place in a new location Russell Hill Road and a new bridge. The reason for this is that the old Russell Hill bridge is no longer safe for vehicular traffic, but because it is an historic wooden bridge, the Town wants to preserve it for foot traffic and recreational use. After subtracting the 1.3 acre strip from Mr. Pelletier’s 8.36 acres, there remain only 7.06 acres. The minimum lot size allowed in the Res/Ag/Aquifer Protection District is 4 acres. Mr. Pelletier would like to have two residential lots; one of 4 acres and one of 3.06 acres.

Abutter Christine St. Pierre asked if the Town needed a variance in order to own a 1.3 acre lot and what would happen if the Town did not receive the state funding to construct the new bridge and road. Mr. Faiman said that language could be included in a variance decision, which would stipulate that the lot could be used only for road and bridge construction by the Town. Mr. Glines stated that if, for some reason, the Town did not receive funding for the road, the land would revert back to Mr. Pelletier. Mr. Glines also stated that a building permit could not be issued for the 3.06 acre lot until the new road is completed because the lot would need to be on a class V road in order for a home to be built.

Abutter Lee St. Pierre asked what the timeline is for the road/bridge construction. Mr. Glines said that state funding will be available in July 2002. If the design is approved quickly, the job could be put out to bid as early as summer 2002. He did not specify how long the job would take to complete, but said that as soon as the bridge and road are completed, the road will be accepted by the Town as a class V road.

Mr. St. Pierre also asked what the purpose of the Aquifer Protection District is. Mr. Faiman answered that the purpose is to limit the total residential density in the district so that the various pollutants associated with residential use and their impact on the aquifer are minimized. Mr. St. Pierre also asked if this proposed 3 acre building lot would be maximizing the impact on the aquifer. Mr. Faiman responded by saying that in effect, the proposed lot is 4.3 acres. Part of it will be used for a road, but there will be no additional residential use.

Motion Mr. Tuttle made a motion to grant the requested variance to permit the subdivision of Lot E-14 into three lots of approximately 1.3, 3.06, and 4 acres in conjunction with the relocation of Russell Hill Road and the Russell Hill Road bridge, as shown on the plan submitted with the application. The 1.3 acre lot is to be deeded to the Town and set aside for use in conjunction with the road, and may never be used for any residential or other development, and this restriction is to be noted on the subdivision plan. The 3.06 acre lot may be used as a residential building lot once the relocation of the road and the bridge is complete. Ms. Roberts seconded the motion and all were in favor.

Mr. Faiman said that the request had been granted and the applicants will receive notice of such in the mail. He further stated, 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 Saturday, January 10, 2004, and must fully specify all grounds on which the rehearing is requested. (N.H. RSA 677:2) This decision shall expire on Thursday, December 11, 2003 if the subdivision application has not been submitted to the Planning Board by that date. (Wilton Zoning Ordinance section 17.4)

Motion Ms. Roberts moved to approve the reasons as written by the applicant. Motion was seconded by Ms. Eckstrom with all in favor.


1. Granting the variance will not diminish the values of surrounding properties because the minimum lot size within the district is 4 acres and this subdivision varies little from this requirement.

2. Granting the variance is in the public interest because the owner’s total is being reduced to approx. 7 acres by the sale of 1.3 acres to the Town of Wilton for a road relocation.

3. Denial of the variance would result in unnecessary hardship because the owner currently has sufficient land area and frontage to allow a subdivision into 2 lots. The land requested for the town road relocation makes the variance necessary in order to create the second building lot.

4. Granting the variance will do substantial justice because the Town will get the land needed for the road realignment and the owner will still have two buildable lots.

5. The proposed use is consistent with the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance because the 1.3 acres being conveyed to the Town for road realignment purposes will not have any structures or sewage disposal systems on it, yielding in effect, a 4.3 acre site for one dwelling unit.


Minutes – November 13, 2001

Motion Mr. Spear moved to accept the 11/13/01 minutes as written. Motion was seconded by Mr. Tuttle and all were in favor.

Discussion of filing fee increase:

Ms. Roberts provided comparison fees from other towns, although some of them had separate fees for filing, public notice and recording. The comparison fees were: Brookline - $50; Greenville - $75;

Lyndeborough - $85; Mont Vernon - $155. Wilton’s current fee is $30.

Motion Mr. Spear moved to increase the ZBA filing fee to $75 and to have the board review the costs every other year. Mr. Tuttle seconded the motion. Four voted in favor and Ms. Eckstrom voted no.

A motion was made and seconded and all were in favor of adjourning the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 9 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Diane Nilsson, Clerk
Posted: 12/17/01