Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

May 11, 2004

Voting Board Chairperson Neil Faiman; members Joanna Eckstrom, Carol Roberts, Bob Spear & Jim Tuttle
Clerk Diane Nilsson
  • Chalet Susse International, Inc. – special exception (continued from February 10)
  • Chalet Susse International, Inc. – variance (continued from February 10)
  • Randi Stein – special exception
  • Daniel & Tracy Berube - variance

Mr. Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m. and said that since all the regular members were present, the board should take care of its annual officer elections.

Motion Mr. Tuttle moved to elect the same officers that served in 2003 to serve in 2004 – that is Neil Faiman as Chair and Joanna Eckstrom & Carol Roberts as Co-Vice Chairs. Mr. Spear seconded the motion and all were in favor.

Mr. Faiman introduced the board members and explained the procedure for hearing cases.

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

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.

Lee Carbonneau, from Normandeau Asso., Inc., the environmental consultants hired by the town, said that her company was asked by the town to review the wetlands delineation. She walked the site with Dawn Tuomala and then continued her investigation by herself and also looked at the subdivision plans. She wrote a letter dated April 16th, to the Planning Board, in which she explained in detail all of her findings. (See ZBA file) She had 3 concerns: 1) to investigate the wetland delineation at driveway center line station 9+00 2) to look at opportunities to reduce wetland impacts by tightening up side slopes and 3) investigate the possibility of using an arched culvert to increase the width of the culvert in the vicinity of the stream crossing.

Dawn Tuomala, with Monadnock Survey, represented the applicant and explained that she and Certified Wetlands Scientist Dick Bond, President of Merrimack Soils Consultants, Inc. did an in-depth analysis of the soils in the vicinity of road station 9+00 and adjusted the wetlands in that area (Wetland Impact I) to 1450 square feet mapped up from 1225 square feet. To help minimize the impact, the driveway side slopes have been increased to a 2:1 slope from 2 1/2:1. Side slopes on Wetland Impact II have been increased from 21/2:1 to 2:1 and the slopes are to be stabilized by stone. Ms. Tuomala is also proposing Arch CMP pipes with a bottom width of almost 5’ to replace the 36” culverts. The result of all these changes is a total reduction of wetland impact from the previous proposal of 575 square feet. (5,750 sq. ft. down from 6,325 sq. ft.) Ms. Tuomala added that for now the fire pond area (Impact III, 200 square feet) will remain as proposed. An area off site is being investigated for a better pond site. If this site is possible then the proposed fire pond will not be necessary and another 200 square feet of wetland will remain untouched.

Ms. Carbonneau stated that the applicant has addressed Normandeau’s concerns to our satisfaction.

Conservation Commission representative Lynne Draper said that she was unable to comment on the application.

Motion Mr. Tuttle made a motion to grant the request for a special exception to permit the proposed wetland impacts as shown on the final plan dated May 5, 2004. Ms. Eckstrom seconded the motion and all were in favor.

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

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.

The Board agreed that there was adequate land for five lots and it made the most sense from the point of view of safety and aesthetics to have only one curb cut rather than two. At the February hearing, abutters had expressed similar hope that there would be only one driveway. Mr. Faiman added that the wetland configurations on the property would mean that more wetlands would be disturbed if a second driveway were constructed.

Motion Mr. Spear moved to grant the requested variance to permit 5 lots to be accessed from the proposed single private way in the proposed subdivision. The motion was seconded by Ms. Eckstrom and all were in favor.
Motion The Board agreed to adopt the applicant’s reasons for granting the variance. Testimony from abutters at the February hearing support these reasons. (See file)

Case #5/11/04–1 — STEIN

Randi Stein has applied for a special exception under the terms of section 6.6.1 and 5.3.1 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit the use of her barn on Lot E-42, 193 Town Farm Road, for dance and yoga classes and similar related activities.

Ms. Stein explained that she would like to teach occasional movement, yoga or therapy classes, either for individuals or small groups, in her newly renovated barn. She has plenty of parking both in her parking area and adjacent field. Her house is at the end of a dead end road. She said that on average there would be approximately 20 client visits per week, no more then 10 people at a time would come to the property.

Abutter Paul Battaglia, 178 Town Farm Road, asked what the hours of operation would be and what the related activities are.

Ms. Stein said that she would like to have flexible hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. so that she could teach a class in the morning and then also a class at night, for example. She said that she would normally not want to teach on weekends but would like to be able to hold an occasional workshop on a weekend because that’s the only time people are free to come. Related activities would be any movement-related activity. She said that her parking area holds seven cars with room to turn around and the field holds many more.

Judith Klinghoffer, 2 Town Farm Road, said that she is concerned about the numbers of people that will be traveling up and down the road during the day. She is concerned about the safety of her young child who likes to walk up Town Farm Road to visit a friend. She pointed out that people who may be attending a class, workshop or seminar may be unfamiliar with the road and may be in a hurry to get to the class or to get home after the class. She was not concerned about evening classes. She wanted the Board to limit the number of people that could be at Ms. Stein’s for a business-related function at one time and she wanted the Board to limit the number of client visits per day as well.

Abutter Judy Cahoon, 155 Town Farm Road, said that she felt 13 1/2 hours a day, 7 days a week is excessive. She would like to see the number of people per day limited and the hours of operation limited.

Mr. Faiman said that in this case, since there really aren’t a huge number of clients, it might make more sense to limit client visits rather than hours of operation.

Abutter Lillian Battaglia asked Ms. Stein if she was going to allow other teachers to use her barn to teach in. Ms. Stein replied that she is allowed to have up to two employees who can teach for her but she is not allowed to rent out the barn for other teachers to use.

Pat Perkins, 109 Town Farm Road, asked where people go if they have any complaints after this home occupation starts. Board members said that people should contact the Select Board.

Ms. Klinghoffer said that she wants the Board to limit any lectures or workshops that might be free to the public but are related to Ms. Stein’s business, as they would limit anything else.

The Board discussed possible hours of operation and client visit limits. The Board suggested 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. M-F and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. A maximum of 10 client visits a day and a maximum of 25 a week. In addition, special events could be held every other month where up to 20 people could attend. At two of these events 40 people could attend.

Mr. Battaglia stated that Saturday is a very busy day on the road for children and people walking their dogs, people riding their horses and people hiking.

Ms. Battaglia was concerned about how many people would be coming up the road for a special event. Ms. Klinghoffer asked is Ms. Stein had enough parking for 40 cars. Ms. Stein said that she did. The Board suggested that Ms. Stein post signs directing people to park their cars in the field and to post signs that say “no parking on the road.”

Motion Ms. Eckstrom moved to grant the requested special exception subject to the following restrictions: 1) The hours of regular operation are limited to 9 am to 3 pm and 6 pm to 9:30 pm M-F, and 9 am to 4 pm on Saturdays. 2) Regular operation is limited to no more than ten client visits on any one day, and no more than twenty-five total client visits in a week. 3) In addition to regular operation, special events will be permitted no more often than every other month. Two special events in a year may have up to forty guests; all other special events will be limited to twenty guests. Special events may be held during the normal hours of operation or, alternatively. between 6 pm and 10 pm on Saturdays. 4) All parking must be on the property, not on Town Farm Road. 5) No off-premises signage is permitted. Mr. Tuttle seconded the motion and all were in favor.

Case #5/11/04–2 — BERUBE

Daniel J. and Tracy A. Berube have applied for a variance to section 5.2.1 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit the subdivision of Lot M-23, 120 Abbot Hill Acres Road, into two lots, one of which would have less area than is required in the Residential District.

Mr. Berube explained that he and his wife bought the property in order to fix up one house, subdivide it and then build a second house. He presented the deed which said… one acre +/-. He neglected to have a survey of the property done prior to purchasing it and recently had a survey done in preparation for subdividing. the lot is .976 acres in size and he is proposing a subdivision with a .5 acre lot and a .476 acre lot. The setback requirements are met but the one lot does not meet the half acre minimum requirement.

Mr. Berube presented photos of the intersection of Abbot Hill Acres Road and Abbot Hill Road and said that the sight distance is not good there. If he is allowed to subdivide his property and sell the lot, he wants to grade the lot, which is on that corner, and improve the sight distance.

Abutter William McKeown said that he is against granting the variance because the proposed house is too close to his house and because this request does not meet the criterion of a hardship situation. He also said that it is up to the town to improve the sight distance.

Charles McGettigan said that he is against granting variances so that lots can be smaller than the town allows. He feels that a 1/2 acre lot is already too small.

Abutter Dave Tierney said that Mr. Berube has done a lot to improve the house that he purchased and he likes the idea of the improvements to the intersection. He doesn’t mind the small lots.

A letter in favor of granting the variance was received from Gary Atwood. (See file)

The Board discussed the fact that a variance serves to resolve an inequity and the Board didn’t see an inequity in this case. The hardship appeared to be self-created.

Motion Ms. Eckstrom moved to deny the variance request on the grounds that any hardship involved in this case is a self-created hardship. The motion was seconded by Mr. Tuttle and all were in favor.


Minutes — April 13, 2004

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

The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Diane Nilsson

Posted: May 17, 2004