Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

November 11, 2003

Voting Board Chairperson Neil Faiman; members Joanna Eckstrom, Carol Roberts, Bob Spear & Jim Tuttle.
Clerk Diane Nilsson
Agenda Edna Whitney – appeal from administrative decision or variance request.

Mr. Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m., introduced the board members and explained the procedure for hearing the case.

Case #11/11/03–1 — WHITNEY

Edna Whitney has appealed the decision of the Wilton Building Inspector that replacing an existing mobile home with a larger mobile home on Lot F – 38, 7 Riverbend Way, would be an impermissible expansion of a nonconforming use under Section 17.1(c) of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance; or, alternatively, she requests a variance to Section 17.1(c) to permit the proposed replacement.

Attorney Wil Sullivan represented the applicant. He began by presenting photos of the current mobile home and a photo of a new mobile home very similar to the one the applicant would like to purchase. It was noted that Mr. Faiman, Ms. Eckstrom and Ms. Roberts drove by the site. Attorney Sullivan also presented a map showing the lot as it relates to the other lots in the area. He explained that Lot F – 38 is in the Residential District, but abuts the Res./Ag. District. The Zoning Ordinance allows mobile homes only in the Res./Ag District, therefore this is a non-conforming use. The lot in question has had on it both a house and a mobile home since before zoning was adopted in Wilton. Attorney Sullivan said that Lot F – 38 is 1 1/2 acres in size. Audience member Jason Ling asserted that the lot is closer to 3 acres in size. Attorney Sullivan explained that the current mobile home is 10’ x 50’ in size plus there is an 8’ x 10’ shed and a 12’ x 14’ porch, all three parts equaling 748 sq. ft. The replacement mobile home is 14’ x 76’ or 1,064 sq. ft. The applicant will remove the porch and shed and will not build new ones. He explained that mobile homes today are a minimum of 14’ wide, and although the new mobile home will be larger, there will not be an increase in the number of bedrooms. He said that the Building Inspector denied to issue a permit because he deemed the request to be an expansion of a nonconforming use.

Mr. Faiman suggested that the board consider the appeal before considering the variance request. The board agreed.

Direct abutter John Baymore said that he had no problem with the request.

Mr. Faiman read sections from The Law of Nonconforming Uses and Vested Rights – A Guide for New Hampshire Officials, by H. Bernard Waugh, Jr., Legal Counsel for the NH Municipal Association. He specifically referred to “The New London Land Use Case.” He concluded that the request is for fundamentally the same use. Although there is a 30% increase in floor space, the applicant is not increasing the number of people living there, not increasing traffic in the area, nor changing the affect of the use on the surrounding neighborhood. According to the “New London” standard, this request is a legitimate permitted expansion of a nonconforming use. The other board members agreed with this assessment.

Motion Mr. Tuttle moved to grant relief from the administrative decision and to allow the applicant to replace the mobile home with a new 14’ x 76’ mobile home and that the existing porch and shed be removed. Ms. Roberts seconded the motion and all were in favor.


Minutes — October 14, 2003

Motion Mr. Spear moved to approve the 10/14/03 minutes as written. Ms. Eckstrom seconded the motion and all were in favor.

Kirk Griffin, WLC student, was observing the meeting for school credit and asked to have a document signed by Mr. Faiman.

Motion Mr. Spear moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Tuttle seconded the motion and all were in favor. The meeting adjourned at 8 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Diane Nilsson, Clerk
Posted: 11/17/03