Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

April 8, 2003

Voting Board Chairperson Neil Faiman; members Joanna Eckstrom, Bob Spear & Jim Tuttle; alternate member Eric Fowler. Alternate Ron Hanisch was present but did not vote.
Clerk Diane Nilsson
  • AT&T Wireless PCS, LLC and Charles Crawford - Variance
  • Randi Stein – Appeal of Administrative Decision or Variance

Case #4/8/03-1 — AT&T Wireless

Mr. Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. and explained that two members of the board will be disqualifying themselves from the AT&T hearing, and another member of the board is absent, leaving a four-member board. He recommended, and the applicant agreed, that the board hear that case on Tuesday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m.

Motion Ms. Eckstrom moved to continue the case for AT&T Wireless to Tuesday, April 15. The motion was seconded by Mr. Fowler and all were in favor.

Case #4/8/03-2 — RANDI STEIN

Randi Stein has appealed a decision of the Wilton Building Inspector and the Wilton Selectmen, that the Town of Wilton has a right of way over the driveway on Lot E-42, 193 Town Farm Road, and that a proposed addition to the barn on that property either would intrude on that right of way or would be closer to it than is permitted by Section 6.2.4 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance. Alternatively, she requests a variance to Section 6.2.4 of the Ordinance to permit the construction of the proposed addition.

Ms. Stein presented drawings of her property, two building permits dated 3/26/84 and 1/30/03 and a note from her deed dated 12/15/49. She then explained that her builder, Luc Monzies applied for a building permit, on January 30, 2003, to remodel an existing 24' x 32' barn with an 8' x 24' addition to the front. A permit was issued on February 15, 2003. According to the building permit issued in 1984 for the original barn, the barn is located 370' from the street line and 220' from the nearest boundary line.

She said that on March 18 she received notification that her building permit had been revoked because the 8' addition would extend into a right of way exercised by the town. She said that by that time, the project was 3/4 complete, including the windows, the placement of which had been designed for a 40' building. The building inspector informed her that she would need to seek approval from the ZBA in order to build in the right of way. She contacted Mr. Faiman and he suggested she speak to the Selectmen. She went before the Selectmen on 3/24/03 and they informed her that the edge of the road right of way is considered to be a lot line, and the barn addition, if not the original barn, would encroach this setback. They said that she would need a variance in order to continue the building project. Attorney David Forrest presented a copy of the minutes of that Selectmen’s meeting as well as a letter from the Selectmen stating that they had no objection to the granting of a variance to allow Ms. Stein to complete her barn renovation.

Ms. Stein asked the Selectmen why this had come up nearly five weeks after being granted a building permit. Public Works Director Brian Adams said that one of his plow drivers had a concern about whether there would be enough room to turn around the plow with the 8' addition to the barn. Mr. Adams agreed to visit Ms. Stein’s property and look at the situation. Ms. Stein said that they walked the boundaries of the driveway area and Mr. Adams was satisfied that there was still plenty of room for the plow to turn around with the 8' addition.

Attorney Forrest explained the research that he did in trying to find a record of a town right of way. He could not find any record of a right of way so there was no way to know, if it indeed does exist, what the boundaries of it are. Ms. Stein said that the Selectmen claim that the right of way goes all the way to her house. She said that for the last three years Wilton has not plowed her driveway and for the last twenty years, as long as she has lived there, Wilton has not maintained the road or driveway that is on her property and that is claimed to be a town right of way.

Mr. Faiman stated that he requested that the Selectmen provide copies of any documents pertaining to the right of way in question. All that they provided were minutes of the meeting and a letter stating that they had no objection to Ms. Stein receiving a variance. Because the Selectmen chose not to provide any documentation about the grounds for their administrative decision to suspend the building permit, Mr. Faiman said that the board is in an awkward position because the facts of this case are vague and the board is supposed to interpret the zoning ordinance as it pertains to facts presented.

Abutter Judy Cahoon said that when she bought her property, which is the next house down the road from Ms. Stein’s, 35 years ago, she had to ask the town to plow the road up to her house because they did not maintain the road that far up before she moved in. She added that they did not maintain the road beyond her house until Ms. Stein moved in 15 years later.

Mr. Faiman read a letter from abutters Paul & Lillian Battaglia which stated that they had no objections to Ms. Stein’s barn addition.

Mr. Faiman questioned whether, even if the board assumes that there is a right of way, the 35' setback specified in the ordinance applies in this case.

Motion Mr. Spear moved that based on the facts and arguments presented to the Zoning Board, the Board finds that the setback requirements of the Zoning Ordinance ought not to be interpreted to restrict the construction of the proposed addition, as shown on the applicant’s plan, and therefore that the building permit issued to the applicant on February 15, 2003, should be reinstated forthwith. The motion was seconded by Mr. Tuttle and all were in favor.

Mr. Faiman said that the request had been granted and the applicant will receive notice of such in the mail. He further stated, 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, May 8, 2003, and must fully specify all grounds on which the rehearing is requested. (N.H. RSA 677:2) This decision shall expire on Friday, April 8, 2005 if construction on the addition has not begun by that date. (Wilton Zoning Ordinance section 17.4)


Letters to Selectmen: Mr. Faiman said he hadn’t written them yet.

Minutes — March 11, 2003

Motion Mr. Spear moved to accept the 3/11/03 minutes as written, seconded by Ms. Eckstrom and 4 in favor with Mr. Tuttle abstaining.

Ms. Eckstrom said that she felt that with regard to Ms. Stein’s request for relief from an administrative decision, the town should have turned down her building permit application in the first place if there was a problem with it instead of telling her five weeks into the construction project that her permit was being revoked. She felt that the town should refund her application fee if nothing else.

Motion Ms. Eckstrom moved to have the town refund Ms. Stein’s application fee. Mr. Spear seconded the motion; four were in favor and Mr. Faiman voted no.

Mr. Faiman said that since Ms. Stein owes $6 for one abutter left off the list, he will write a letter to the town requesting that they send a check to Ms. Stein in the amount of $69. ($75-$6).

A motion was made to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Diane Nilsson, Clerk
Posted: 4/15/03