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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.

February 10, 2004

Voting Board Chairperson Neil Faiman; members Joanna Eckstrom, Carol Roberts, Bob Spear & Jim Tuttle.
Clerk Diane Nilsson
Agenda
  • Senator Development, LLC – special exception - continued
  • Debora Diffley – variance and special exception - continued
  • Chalet Susse International, Inc. – variance
  • Blagbrough Family Realty Trust – request for rehearing

Mr. Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m., introduced the board members and explained the procedures for hearing cases. He further stated that the board will not begin a new case after 10 p.m. and will stop the hearing at 10: 30 p.m. unless the board votes otherwise.

Case #1/13/04–1 — SENATOR DEVELOPMENT, LLC - continued

Senator Development, LLC, has applied for a special exception under the terms of Section 11.4 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance to permit the construction of a driveway that will cross a wetland area in order to access a proposed house lot, in conjunction with a proposed subdivision of Lot F – 95, Isaac Frye Highway.

Raymond Shea, of Sandford Surveying and Engineering, represented the applicant and explained that as part of a 16 lot subdivision of Lots F – 95 and F – 98, the applicant is requesting a wetland crossing to be able to access the newly created Lot 95 – 9. The crossing will encompass 485 square feet and the applicant will install an 18” culvert that is 21’ long. Conservation Commission member Lynn Draper presented an email from CC Chair Spencer Brookes in which he stated that he could not see the plantings in the area due to the snow on the ground, but that the proposed driveway location appears to have the least impact on the area. He suggested that if the height of the driveway is more than 7 feet above the streambed, a guardrail should be installed.

Mr. Shea said that the height of the driveway will be about 4.5 feet above the streambed. In answer to a question about the culvert material, Mr. Shea said that most likely it would be made of plastic.

Motion Mr. Tuttle made a motion to approve the special exception for the wetland crossing as submitted. The motion was seconded by Ms. Roberts and all were in favor.

Mr. Faiman said that the request has 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, March 11, 2004, and must fully specify all grounds on which the rehearing is requested. (N.H. RSA 677:2) This decision shall expire on Friday, February 10, 2006 if construction of the proposed driveway has not taken place by that date. (Wilton Zoning Ordinance section 17.4)

Case #1/13/04–2 — DEBORA DIFFLEY - continued

Debora Diffley has applied for a variance to sections 8.1 and 8.5 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, and for a special exception under the terms of section 8.6.1 of the Ordinance, to allow the use of the existing house on Lot F – 165, at the intersection of NH Route 101 (Gibbons Highway) and NH Route 31 (Greenville Road), for a retail shop selling antiques and collectibles, while simultaneously allowing the continuation of the grandfathered non-conforming use of the same house as a single-family residence.

Ms. Diffley explained that her plan is to use the downstairs area of the home for a retail antiques & collectibles business while living upstairs. She plans no new construction. She presented the board with a site plan showing all commercial district setbacks and rights-of-way as well as a large area that could be used for parking. She also presented a drawing showing the industrial district setbacks on her property, which take up most of the land. The existing house and garage sit within the industrial district setback. In addition, she presented a tax map showing the commercial uses surrounding her property, a sketch of the downstairs and a sketch of the upstairs.

Mr. Faiman said that section 8.6.1 allows the zoning board to grant a special exception where an existing lot of record cannot satisfy the minimum lot or buffer requirements of the district because of its configuration. The zoning board may permit a reduction in these requirements by special exception. Because it is a special exception, all the requirements in section 4.4 must be considered as well. The other request is for a variance to allow the grandfathered residential use to continue even after it has been partially converted over to a more conforming commercial use. He said that the real question is, is the proposed use in the best interest of the property and the town as far as traffic and parking etc. If the board feels that this is the case, then granting the variances and special exception would follow naturally.

The board looked at the floor plan which shows 764 square feet of retail space on the first floor. Parking requirements in the commercial district require 1 parking space for every 200 square feet of retail space.

The spaces need to be 9 feet wide. The site plan shows a parking area 156 feet long that will hold 17 cars. The driveway itself is 32 feet wide and 45 feet long, large enough to hold a few cars, which may be all that is needed at first. Ms. Diffley said that she plans to be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 12 noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. She said she plans to have one externally lit sign 4’ x 5’ sign, which will only be on when the shop is open, at the same location as the “Good News Bible Church” sign, but aligned differently. She also said that she is willing to put flower pots and “no parking” signs along Route 31 if there is a need to discourage people from parking on the road.

Mr. Faiman said that to him, this looks like a small enough business that it should not cause parking or traffic problems, and with some minimum restrictions it should satisfy the requirements. Board members agreed and discussed the wording of the restrictions.

Motion Mr. Tuttle moved, Mr. Spear seconded a motion to grant the special exception and variances to permit the proposed business with the following restrictions:
  • The proposed business will not operate earlier than 9 a.m.
  • The area designated for parking on the plan presented to the Zoning Board at the February 10, 2004 public hearing is to be reserved for potential use as a parking area, and is not to be developed in any way that would preclude such use. Initially, the existing driveway on the lot may be used as a parking area; when the business expands to the point that the driveway is insufficient, then the reserved parking area is to be developed and the driveway is to be used for access to it.
  • Under no circumstances is parking along the side of NH Route 31 or NH Route 101 to be permitted for access to the business.
  • A new sign for the business may replace the existing “Good News Bible Church” sign on the property in the same location and may be realigned for better visibility. The external illumination of the sign is restricted to normal business hours.

The board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

Mr. Faiman said that the request has 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, March 11, 2004, and must fully specify all grounds on which the rehearing is requested. (N.H. RSA 677:2) This decision shall expire on Friday, February 10, 2006 if construction of the proposed driveway has not taken place by that date. (Wilton Zoning Ordinance section 17.4)

In discussing the reasons for granting the variances, Mr. Faiman said that he had no problem with the hardship test, especially in light of the Simplex standards. The property is zoned industrial, it permits commercial use, it is not clear that such a small lot is suitable for a purely commercial or industrial use, it seems that it is more suitable for a combined residential use where the commercial use becomes auxiliary, and it’s more likely to preserve the character of the town being maintained as a residence.

Case #2/10/04–1 — CHALET SUSSE INTERNATIONAL, INC.

Chalet Susse International, Inc., has applied for a special exception under the terms of Section 11.4 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit a driveway to cross two wetland areas and a perennial stream in connection with a proposed subdivision of Lots C—128—1—1 and C—128—1—2, Keys Hill Road.

Case #2/10/04–2 — CHALET SUSSE INTERNATIONAL, INC.

Chalet Susse International, Inc., has applied for a variance to the terms of Section 6.3.5 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit five single-family lots to be accessed from one common driveway in connection with a proposed subdivision of Lots C—128—1—1 and C—128—1—2, Keyes Hill Road.

Dawn Tuomala, of Monadnock Survey, and Fred Roedel, of Chalet Susse International, Inc. presented the case. Ms. Tuomala said that the property abuts the Temple town line and the Wilton office park district. Lot C—128—1—1 is 2 acres in size, has an existing a house on it and it has frontage on Keyes Hill Road. The applicants are proposing the subdivide the remaining 17.7 acres, Lot 128—1—2 into three 5 acre lots and one 2 acre lot. There are extensive wetlands and slopes on the lots. Ms. Tuomala explained how the water currently drains on the lots. She explained that the proposed driveway is placed where it is because it causes the lease disruption of both the wetlands and the forested areas. The proposed driveway is 900 feet long, would be 20 feet wide at the start and at the first wetland crossing, on Lot C—128—1—2—4, the driveway would be reduced to 14 feet wide. The crossing would impact a wetland area and a perennial stream. The proposal calls for a 3 foot culvert and a 5100 square foot impact at this crossing. At about 750 feet up the driveway there are 3 small crossings that combined total a 1225 square foot impact. Ms. Tuomala said that the utilities will be placed underground. She presented photos of all of the wetland areas and said that the wetlands were delineated last May.

Abutter Janice Brewster said that the impact of five more homes, say 12 cars, lawns, fertilizers on the wetlands and the streams is going to be a huge impact. She said that the wildlife will move out. She has seen fox, deer, bear, grouse, turkeys etc.

Mr. Faiman said that if you’re going to develop all those lots, then the single driveway seems to be the best approach. His concern is more about whether this lot as a whole lends itself to that much subdivision. Even though the lots are large, there are so many wetlands there. This is the largest wetland impact the ZBA has ever reviewed.

The board decided to seek an external review from the engineering firm that the town uses. The process would be that the board sends the plans to the firm and asks for a quote for the review cost. When the board receives the quote, it will be sent to the applicant and the applicant will be asked for approval to cover those costs.

Lynn Draper, of the Wilton Conservation Commission, said that CC president Spencer Brookes is out of town, but he told her that he had not yet received anything on this application and has not seen the plans. Mr. Faiman said that the ZBA would like to make a site walk, and that could include the CC.

Ms. Tuomala said that she is working on the plans to send to the state and expects to have them completed by the end of the week. The board requested that she send two copies of those plans to the ZBA and one copy to the CC. The board will send one copy to the engineering firm, ask them to give a quote for review, the board will tell the applicant what the quote is and get your approval before the board authorizes them to do the review. Ms. Tuomala may wait until the Planning Board sees the plan to find out what they would like to see reviewed on the plan before sending the plan to the town engineering firm.

Abutters Michael Brunelle and Brenda Santiago, Lot C—132, said that they would prefer to see only one curb cut and one driveway because less trees would be cut and there would be less of an impact aesthetically. Mr. Brunelle also said that the board won’t be able to see the wetlands unless they wait until the spring.

Mr. Faiman said that it might be time to invoke the law that says that you can have a combined Zoning Board and Planning Board hearing to discuss an application.

Abutter Brewster said that she would be against a driveway going up the westerly side of Lot C—128—1—1. She was especially concerned about any disruption to the stream on her lot C—128—2. She would prefer to see just one driveway for the subdivision.

Ms. Tuomala discussed the reasons for granting the variance. Mr. Faiman said that his concern was that the Planning Board had set the maximum of four houses on a shared driveway for reasons of safety and maintenance among other things. Ms. Tuomala said that they could make the first 300 feet of the driveway wider, say 24 feet, if that would help.

It was the consensus of the board to continue both the variance and special exception hearing until the plan has been reviewed by the town’s engineer and the board and Conservation Commission has done a site visit.

Case #12/16/03–1 — BLAGBROUGH - request for rehearing

Request for rehearing: Corinne Blagbrough has requested that the Zoning Board hold a new hearing to reconsider its decision of December 16, 2003.

Board members agreed that there were no new facts and no information that had not already been presented to the board, therefore, no reason to grant a rehearing.

Motion Mr. Spear moved to deny the request for rehearing and adopt the language in the Notice of Decision. Mr. Tuttle seconded the motion and all were in favor.

OLD BUSINESS

Minutes — December 16, 2003

Ms. Eckstrom was not present at the January meeting when the December minutes were approved and she noticed many spelling errors and discrepancies that should have been corrected. Board members agreed that the corrections should be made. Mr. Faiman said he would send Ms. Eckstrom the Word file of the minutes and she can make the corrections.

Minutes — January 13, 2004

Motion Mr. Tuttle moved to approve the 1/13/04 minutes as written. Mr. Spear seconded the motion and 4 were in favor. Ms. Eckstrom abstained.

The meeting adjourned at 9:50 p.m. Minutes submitted by Diane Nilsson