Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

October 11, 2005

Voting BoardChairperson Neil Faiman; members Joanna Eckstrom, Carol Roberts, Jim Tuttle & Bob Spear; alternate member Eric Fowler.
ClerkDiane Nilsson
  • Christopher – variance
  • Fischer – variance
  • New Spartan Properties, LLC – variance

Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:34 p.m. and introduced the Board members.


Minutes — September 12, 2005

MotionEckstrom/Tuttle to approve 9/12/05 minutes as printed. All in favor.

Minutes — September 27, 2005

Corrections: On page 1, paragraph 4, Speer should be Spear. On page 2, paragraph 7, the sentence should read … the Fountain House, which had operated…

MotionSpear/Eckstrom to approve 9/27/05 minutes as corrected. All in favor.

Faiman then explained the Board procedure for hearing cases to the audience.

Case #10/11/05–1 — Jacob

Christopher Jacob has applied for a variance to Section 5.2.3 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to allow the enlargement of an existing deck on Lot K – 118, 97 Maple Street, so that it would be closer to a lot line than permitted by the Ordinance.

Christopher Jacob explained that he has a deck that measures 16’ wide x 12’ deep attached to the back of his house which is 22’ wide. He wants to build an enclosed porch on the back of his house and wants to extend the deck 6’ so that it will equal the width of the house. By extending the deck 6’, the deck will be within 8’ of the side lot line which meets K – 119, 99 Maple Street. Jacob said that he has an agreement with the owners of Lot K – 119 to purchase enough land so that he will have the required 15’ setback, but he couldn’t get the lot line adjustment done in time to get the porch built before winter. He said that even if he is granted the variance, he will still purchase the land, because his property is so close to that lot line that he wants more of a buffer. The house is non-conforming in that it is 4’ from the side lot line at the front of the property and only slightly more toward the back.

Eckstrom and Roberts both drove by the property. No one from the audience spoke.

MotionEckstrom/Tuttle to close the public hearing. All in favor.
MotionEckstrom/Tuttle to approve the variance to permit the construction of a deck which would come within 8’ of the side lot line, as shown on the plan. All in favor.

Reason for Approval

The house is nonconforming, thus the deck is not going to infringe upon the setback any more than the house already does.

Case #10/11/05–2 — Fischer

James & Sandra Fischer have applied for a variance to Section 6.2.4 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance to permit the construction of a barn on Lot H – 37, 524 Abbot Hill Road, which would be closer to a lot line than permitted by the Ordinance.

James Fischer explained that he and his wife would like to build a 24’ x 36’ barn with an attached 12’ x 24’ shed, 250’ back from Abbot Hill Road, but 20’ from the side lot line shared with Margaret Oleary, 540 Abbot Hill Road. They want to have a woodshop downstairs and craft room upstairs, In siting the barn, Fischer said it was important that his wife be able to see down the driveway from the craft room.

Faiman asked the applicants to provide more information as to why they couldn’t build the barn somewhere else on the property outside of the setback. Sandra Fischer said that when she is home alone she wants to be able to see cars turning into the driveway. Mr. Fischer pointed out various places on the site plan where they had considered siting the barn, but had decided against building. The front of the property was too close to Abbot Hill Road, they felt, and was too “in your face,” even though they could build it there legally. There were places on the property that were too wet, and he preferred not to build in the open fields. Tuttle suggested that if they moved the barn over 8’ – 9’ they would have less of a setback encroachment and they could still accomplish the line of sight they are trying to get.

Mr. Fisher asked the Chairman if he could modify his application to request a variance for a reduction of the side setback from 35’ to 27’, an 8’ encroachment instead of a 15’ encroachment.

MotionSpear/Eckstrom to grant the variance with the stipulations that the barn is at least 27’ from the side lot line and at least 250’ from Abbot Hill Road, approximately as shown on the plan. Four were in favor and Faiman voted no.

Reasons for Decision


Case #10/11/05–3 — New Spartan Properties

New Spartan Properties, LLC, has applied for a variance to Section 6.4.2 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance to permit the creation of a cluster subdivision from Lots F – 122, M – 59, and F – 121 – 3, on Proctor Road, Abbot Hill Acres Road, and Abbot Hill Road, whose road frontage would not be contiguous as required by the Ordinance.

Faiman explained that since he had heard the initial presentation while sitting on the Planning Board, he would not be participating in this hearing. Alternate Eric Fowler would be taking his place and Eckstrom would chair the hearing.

Tom Quinn introduced himself, surveyor Dawn Tuomala, and traffic consultant George Bower. He then presented a letter from Steve Elliot, Wilton Road Agent, which Eckstrom read. See file. Quinn explained that NSP has 526’ of frontage but it is not continuous, it is on 3 different roads. 203.95’ are on Proctor Road, 100’ are on Abbot Hill Acres Road & 222.50’ are on Abbot Hill Rd

The total area of land is 26.4 acres. It is currently a gravel excavation that he expects to finish sometime next year. He said that NSP has been discussing a subdivision on this land with the Planning Board for some time, and the Conservation Commission had voiced interest in preserving public access to the Souhegan River. Thus the cluster subdivision idea which would leave 56% open space: 14.75 acres green space and 12 acres for homes. Quinn showed Power Point slides of the road and house locations. He said there are 14 homes planned. Quinn said that the green space can be deeded to the Town outright or via an easement, but he said, without a variance he cannot do a cluster development.

Lynn Draper, Conservation Commission Chair, read a letter dated 10/11/05, in support of the conservation easements that Quinn is proposing. (See file)

Abutter Herbert Stearns, Lot F – 68, 58 Proctor Rd. wanted to know the size of the buffers on the north side of the development. Quinn answered that they are 50’. Stearns also wanted to know what an easement was. Draper said that the Con Com could only envision a walking trail at this point.

Arlene McCallum, 92 Proctor Rd, asked if Proctor Rd. was the only way to access the proposed houses. Quinn answered yes. McCallum said that Proctor Road is very steep where her house is located, and the sight distance is terrible. She said she has trouble backing out of her driveway without getting hit by a car coming around the corner. She is concerned about more traffic being added to the road.

Abutter Robin Jowders, Lot F – 76, 36 Proctor Road, wanted to know if anything was being constructed near her property. Quinn answered that the sewer line was going in there.

Abutter Bill Samuels, Lot M – 57, 151 Abbot Hill Road, said that the congestion to Proctor Road that these 14 houses will create is not worth the easement that the Town will get in exchange.

Abutter Scott Paine, Lot M – 60, 24 Proctor Rd., wanted to know if any traffic studies had been done or were going to be done, if the development would be phased and what sizes the lots would be. Eckstrom replied that these questions would be answered during Planning Board hearings.

Abutter John Jowders, Lot F – 76, 36 Proctor Rd., wanted to know how many houses could be built on the 26 acres if it was not a cluster subdivision. Quinn answered that the zoning allows for 1 house every 2 acres, but that because of wetlands etc. fewer than 13 may end up getting built.

Abutter Bob Mackintosh, Lot F – 77, 46 Proctor Rd., asked if the 100’ PSNH easement be counted as road frontage. Tuttle answered yes.

Ray Stone, Robbins Road, said that he has traffic concerns and he also feels that this is a cobbled together cluster, especially with the one house all by itself on Abbot Hill Road.

Quinn read his reasons for why the variance should be granted. (See file)

Dawn Tuomala said that in the past this 26 acres has been comprised of different pieces of land. Originally F – 122 was landlocked, she said.

MotionSpear/Tuttle to close the public hearing. All in favor.

Roberts said she sees three parcels trying to be forced into a cluster.

Fowler said that M – 59 and F – 121 – 3 don’t seem to be part of the cluster. He said that he is having trouble considering them as part of the frontage in this situation.

Spear felt that because Quinn owns all 3 parcels and they abut each other, the cluster development makes sense.

Tuttle felt that the development was the least disruptive use of the land, considering the slopes.

Fowler said that he can’t see a hardship because the applicant has reasonable use of his land in that he can do a traditional subdivision.

After reviewing the Boccia analysis for area variance, Tuttle said that this property is certainly unique. The applicant has frontage on three different roads, and even though the parcels are not continuous, the applicant exceeds the frontage requirement.

Roberts felt that the applicant’s proposed use of the property provokes a self-induced hardship and it’s not the responsibility of the ZBA to help the applicant to achieve a benefit using a questionable amount of frontage.

Eckstrom felt that the most appropriate access to the proposed development is through Proctor Road, which happens to have 204’ of frontage. She said there is nothing that can be done about the continuity of the frontage, because that’s just the way it is.

Fowler said that if the board grants this variance, it is in essence granting a cluster development.

Eckstrom read the Purpose section of the Cluster Development regulations and then said that in her opinion this proposal meets many of the goals listed in this section.

MotionSpear/Tuttle to grant the variance to relax the requirement to have 500’ of continuous frontage on a Class V or batter road. The frontage to be on Proctor Road which measures 204’ +/-. Three were in favor and Fowler and Roberts voted no

Reasons for Decision

Numbers 1, 2 & 4 were accepted from the applicant’s application.

Number 3 (B i – Boccia analysis) An area variance is needed to enable the applicant’s proposed use of the property given the following conditions of the property: severe slopes, a PSNH easement, and the shape of the land.

Number 3 Bii The benefit sought by the applicant cannot be achieved by some other method.

Number 5 The cluster subdivision, by virtue of the shape of the lot, would be well separated from the rest of the adjoining lots and it provides for the safety & welfare of the general public.

MotionTuttle/Spear to say that the majority of the board approves the above reasons. All in favor.
MotionSpear/Tuttle to adjourn. All in favor. The meeting adjourned at 10:50 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Diane Nilsson

Posted October 26, 2005