Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

July 18, 2006

Voting BoardChairperson Neil Faiman; members Joanna Eckstrom, Bob Spear & Jim Tuttle; alternate members Eric Fowler and John Jowders.
  • Martha J. Greene – variance
  • K.M. Zahn and Sons (applicant), Harold E. Kennedy (owner) – decision notice

Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Minutes — July 11, 2006

Fowler noted that the date for the continued hearing should be 2006, not 2002.

MotionEckstrom/Spear to approve 7/11/06 minutes as amended. All in favor.

Faiman introduced the Board members, the clerk reported on how the case was noticed and to whom abutter notices were sent. Bob Spear indicated that he was disqualifying himself from this case and he left the board table. Faiman noted that both alternate members would be sitting on the case.

Case #7/11/06–1 — GREENE (continued from July 11, 2006)

Martha J. Greene has applied for a variance to section 6.3.3 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit two reduced frontage lots where there is not the required amount of frontage, on Lot B – 56, 194 Curtis Farm Road.

Barry Greene explained that he and his family have a 20.5 acre parcel which they would like to divide into three. He presented copies of his original subdivision from 1979. On his parcel he drew the approximate dimensions of the 3 proposed lots: Lot 1 – 7 acres; Lot 2 – 8 acres; Lot 3 – 5 acres. He explained that his son, Nicholas, would like to build a house on Lot 2. He said that the driveway to Lots 2 and 3 is already built and would be shared with Lot 1. There would be no additional curb cut. Easement language will be provided so that all the lots may share the same driveway. He said he is before the ZBA because Lots 2 and 3 have no frontage on a class V or better road, and the ordinance allows for reduced frontage lots, but they must have 50’ of frontage each. He has 275’ of frontage total, so he is short by 25’. Mr. Greene read the variance criteria. See file.

Eckstrom asked about the sight distance of the current driveway. Greene said there is 400’ of sight distance. Greene added that ambulances and fire trucks have been up there and the access is easy.

Faiman read Section 6.3.5 Requirements for Private Ways.

Bob Spear, Lot B – 47, 163 Curtis Farm Road, said that he felt that granting the variance would not be in the public interest because a large amount of runoff emanates from the applicants property and is causing an erosion problem on Curtis Farm Road. He showed photographs of the small culvert across and slightly down from his property that he says either can’t handle the amount of runoff from the hill or it is always clogged. When it gets backed up, the water travels to Spear’s driveway. He said that it’s getting to be that every time it rains he has to get the highway department out to clean out the culvert. He showed photos of erosion of Curtis Farm Road from the applicant’s property all the way down to Dale Street. He said he asked the Road Agent to install a culvert under his driveway, but R.A. said that it could not be done because the roots of the elm tree would be damaged. He further said the tree is very large and would be a risk to overhead power lines if it had to come down.

Spear said he feels additional development on the lot would contribute significantly to his risk from runoff if it’s not properly contained. He said if there is going to be a subdivision of the lot, he would prefer a traditional subdivision with a town road, then, perhaps the town would upgrade Curtis Farm Road.

Faiman read a letter opposing the granting of the variance from Richard and Jane Rasmussen, Lot B – 48, 157 Curtis Farm Road. See file.

Mr. Greene said that runoff onto Curtis Farm Road is a problem, but he said it is not coming from his property alone but from all the properties on Pead Hill. Greene said that his driveway is 1,200’ from Spears’ property. He said that he spent $7,000 on drainage and interceptor culverts up and down his driveway and said that people are welcome to come and check his property during a rain storm – he said people won’t find a flood of rainwater coming down either the old or the newer driveway. He also said that Mr. Spear does own the tree next to his driveway and if Mr. Spear wants a culvert, he should take down the tree and put one in. He said if the culvert across the street is always clogged, it may be too small.

Martha Greene noted that the house that Nicholas Greene proposes to build on Lot 2 would be located about 1,800’ from the line separating that lot from Lot 1. Barry Greene said that any runoff from that house location would run away from Curtis Farm Road.

Faiman read Section 9.5 Storm Drainage from the Subdivision Regulations.

Nicholas Greene said that the last photo in the packet that Spear presented is of a pond that is not on the Greene property. It is east of the property going toward Pead Hill Road. He said it is usually dry by this time of year, but this has not been a usual year.

Eckstrom asked what evidence there was that the water was coming from the Greene’s driveway. Spear said the photo on the next to the last page and what neighbors have said for years.

Tuttle said that, in his opinion, no matter where the water is coming from, until the town decides to maintain the road properly there is going to be a continual erosion problem. He said there is a need for culverts all the way down the hill. One culvert at the bottom of the hill can’t handle the volume of water on that road. He said there used to be a culvert in front of Lot B – 55. He also said that the culvert that does currently exist, in front of B – 49, is full of gravel and is not being maintained properly nor is the ditch leading up to it being maintained.

Barry Greene submitted a topographical map of the area, which showed Pead Hill and the contours of the entire hill, including his property.

Faiman summarized the information that had been expressed so far.

MotionEckstrom/Tuttle to close the hearing and begin deliberations. All in favor.

Hardship i The special conditions of the property: very large lot, larger than most of the lots in the area and nearly but not quite the required frontage for the request.

ii There is no alternative to this request except to build a town road and create additional frontage.

1. Property Values: The lots will be 5, 7 and 8 acres allowing for total privacy for each lot and from all abutters. No effect on property values.

2. Public Interest: There should be no harm to the public interest since there will be no change to the driveway, and during the subdivision process the Planning Board will sign off on and enforce a storm drainage plan.

4. Substantial Justice: By allowing two lots and eliminating the need to construct a town road there is less impact to the environment, more of the land is left in its present state and the aesthetics of the neighborhood wouldn’t substantially change.

5. The request is well within the spirit of the ordinance.

MotionTuttle/Eckstrom to grant the variance to 6.3.3 with the following stipulations: that the three lots are as shown, approximately, but not necessarily exactly, on the sketch plan submitted with the application. All three resulting lots are to be accessed by a shared common driveway, which will correspond to the existing driveway on the property. All in favor.

K.M. Zahn and Sons (applicant), Harold E. Kennedy (owner) – decision notice

Faiman stated that he would disqualify himself and that Jowders would be sitting at the table but not voting. Eckstrom stated that the remaining board members would be formalizing the reasons that they denied the Kennedy/Zahn application in order to write a Notice of Decision.

Minutes — June 26, 2006

Corrections: Change Polermo to Palermo throughout. Page 3 3rd para, 10th line, change me to be. 4th para, 6th line, add do after to. Page 4, 3rd para, change last sentence to: She said she was responding to issues raised by neighbors and others in opposition.

MotionTuttle/Fowler to approve the minutes as corrected. All in favor.

Board members worked on a Notice of Decision and findings of fact.

MotionSpear/Fowler to accept the Decision Notice and findings of fact. 3 yes Tuttle voted no.
MotionBob/Jim to adjourn. All in favor.

The meeting adjourned at 9:55 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Diane Nilsson
Posted July 26, 2006