Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

October 10, 2006

Voting BoardChairperson Neil Faiman; members Joanna Eckstrom, Carol Roberts, Bob Spear & Jim Tuttle; alternate members Andy Hoar and John Jowders.
  • Barbara A. Pinet and Leslie J. Thigpen – variance (continued)
  • Matthew R. Harwood – variances (continued)
  • Dion Owens/Paul Kerouac - variances
  • Audrey Robinson – request for rehearing

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

Minutes — September 12, 2006

MotionEckstrom/Spear to approve 9/12/06 minutes as written. Six in favor. Roberts abstained.

Faiman introduced the Pinet/Thigpen case. Board member Jim Tuttle again disqualified himself and took a seat in the audience. Carol Roberts missed the last meeting and felt that she had missed too much information to make a decision tonight. Faiman appointed alternate members Andy Hoar and John Jowders to sit for Roberts and Tuttle.

Faiman read the Decision Notice from the September meeting. He also noted that letters had been received from Corinne Blagbrough and Mickey Pieterse. Ms. Blagbrough objected to the fact that the applicants are taking access to their lot, A – 64, via an easement on Lot A – 61. Faiman pointed out that there is nothing illegal about this and that perhaps half the lots in Wilton are accessed this way. Blagbrough also asked in her letter why she wasn’t noticed for these hearings. Board members agreed that the lot that has been before the board is A – 64, and Ms. Blagbrough is not an abutter to that lot.

Board members felt that the letter from Mickey Pieterse didn’t add anything to the decision.

Case #8/8/06–1 — Pinet/Thigpen (continued)

Barbara A. Pinet and Leslie J. Thigpen have applied for a variance to section 14.3.3 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit the construction of a house on Lot A – 64. Burton Highway, which would be closer to Mill Brook than is permitted by the Ordinance.

Barbara Pinet presented a proposed driveway plan, dated 9/25/06, that showed the driveway location and elevation profile, the house location, and details of permanent erosion and sedimentation control and runoff treatment systems. Erosion control measures to be taken during and right after construction were listed in the notes on the plan.

It was decided that the Decision Notice would be recorded with the final plan, after approval by the Planning Board. And so that the Planning Board might be able to amend the plan if it sees fit, it was decided that language would be added to the decision to allow for that.

MotionEckstrom/Spear to grant the variance subject to the following restrictions:

• The foundation of the house is to extend no more than 25 feet into the setback (i.e., is to be no less than 175 feet from Mill Brook).

• The deck is to extend no more than ten feet from the house, and is to be supported on sonotubes.

• All sewage systems (tank and leach field), all fuel systems, storage tanks and fill areas (except propane) shall be outside the 200 foot setback.

• The following restrictions, taken from the New Hampshire Shoreland Protection Act (RSA 483-B:9, V) will apply to the lot, except that any present or future Town-approved access points to the lot shall be not be subject to these restrictions: Where existing, a natural woodland buffer shall be maintained within 150 feet of Mill Brook. The purpose of this buffer shall be to protect the quality of public waters by minimizing erosion, preventing siltation and turbidity, stabilizing soils, preventing excess nutrient and chemical pollution, maintaining natural water temperatures, maintaining a healthy tree canopy and understory, preserving fish and wildlife habitat, and respecting the overall natural condition of the protected shoreland. Within this natural woodland buffer, not more than a maximum of 50 percent of the basal area of trees, and a maximum of 50 percent of the total number of saplings shall be removed for any purpose in a 20-year period. A healthy, well-distributed stand of trees, saplings, shrubs, ground cover, and their living, undamaged root systems shall be left in place.

• Construction of the house and driveway are to be in conformity with the plan that was submitted to the Zoning Board at its October 10 meeting, or as that plan may be amended by the applicant with the approval of the Wilton Planning Board.

The plan, and the notice of decision, are to be filed in the Registry of deeds following approval by the Planning Board, and a note of the existence of this decision and these restrictions is to be added to the tax card for the lot in the Town Office.

VoteAll were in favor.

Faiman had prepared Findings of Fact and Criteria for Granting the Variance.

MotionEckstrom/Spear to accept the Findings of Fact and Criteria as written. All were in favor.

Case #9/12/06–2 — Harwood (continued)

Matthew R. Harwood has applied for a variance to sections 5.2.1 and 5.2.2 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit the subdivision of Lot L-28, 235 Gibbons Highway, into two lots, one of which would have less area and frontage than required by the ordinance.

Faiman said that the five regular board members would be voting on this case.

Dawn Tuomala, with Monadnock Survey, represented the applicant and presented a new subdivision plan which shows .9 acres for Lot L-28-1, the lot with the house already on it, and a 1 acre for Lot L-28-2. She has drawn in the proposed house location for this lot, a 40’ x 75’ house. The applicant needs a variance for frontage because the I acre lot only has 75’ of frontage. She also submitted 12 photos of the property.

Lynn Draper, Wilton Conservation Commission, presented a letter from WCC stating concerns that the fill is of an illegal nature; the fill was placed on top of a wetlands area; and it was filled in within the setback area from the river. WCC had three suggestions, if the board was inclined to approve the variance: an engineering study be done to determine if a house can safely be built on the filled-in land in question; determine whether anything needs to be done to prevent wetland damage; have clear markings of shoreland protection lines placed on the plot plan if the subdivision is approved.

Jowders asked the distance from the river to the back of the proposed new house. Dawn answered 250’ – 300’. Board members had a long discussion about the fill and where it might be and whether or not it was safe to build on.

MotionSpear/Eckstrom to defer further discussion of the requested variance pending an engineering report on the nature of the soil and its suitability for construction, on the proposed new house location and the area around it. This report is to be based on soil studies and test pits. All in favor.
MotionSpear/Eckstrom to continue the case to the November 14 meeting. All in favor.

Case #10/10/06–1 — Owens/Kerouac

Dion Owens (owner) and Paul E. Kerouac (applicant) have applied for variances to sections 9B.1, 9B.2, 6.1 and 6.2 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance to operate a Garden Center and Landscape Materials operation on Lot F – 21, 417 Gibbons Highway, and also for a special exception under the terms of section 8.2 of the Ordinance to permit a reduction of the setback from NH Route 101 from 100’ to 25’.

Faiman stated that the five regular board members would sit on the case. Alternate member Andy Hoar recused himself from the case and sat in the audience. Faiman also voiced concern that the public notice may not have conveyed what the applicant is actually wanting to do on the property.

The attorney for Mr. Kerouac explained that in order to put in a garden center, the applicant would need to excavate a large amount of ledge. Secondarily, he explained, once the garden center is up and running, the applicant plans to operate a graveling operation on the property behind what would be the garden center.

Board members read the public notice, which was based on the applicant’s description of what he planned to do on the site, and why he needed variances, and decided that a new public notice was needed. The applicant was happy to comply. It was decided that the applicant needed to fill out a new application; the Proposed Used section should explain all the aspects of the proposed use that are relevant to this as a ZBA application. The applicant was also asked to provide a list of abutters and to fill out the owner information section on the new application. It was agreed that abutter fees would need to be paid but the application fee would be waived.

MotionEckstrom/Spear to continue the case to the November meeting to allow the applicant to amend the application and submit new abutter fees so that the board can re-notice the case. All in favor.


Budget – Eckstrom volunteered to work on the budget for the board.

Request for Rehearing

Audrey Robinson, next door neighbor of Nancy Millward, who owns the property that received a variance to install a septic system in the side setback at the September meeting, requested a rehearing.

The reasons for the rehearing request are:

• Alternative locations for the septic system on the property were not discussed, particularly where the current dry well is located.

• The applicant did not propose any other types of systems that may take up less space on the lot, and thus impinge less into the setback.

• The applicant failed to meet the criteria for substantial justice as it has not been determined if a working septic system could be constructed in an alternate location or further from the boundary in the same general location. It does not do substantial justice to locate the system on the lot in such close proximity to Requestor’s boundary, on a slope where there is already seasonal ponding and drainage issues.

• The meeting minutes reflect the concerns of not only the Requestor, but other abutting property owners that are concerned about negative impacts to their properties. As stated in the minutes Ms. Robinson’s daughter, Robin Maloney, took measurements from the house to the stakes in the ground and from the corner of the property to the stakes, and she found inconsistencies as to what is referenced on the plan and what is actually on the ground.

MotionTuttle/Spear to deny the request for rehearing on the grounds that the board was satisfied by the evidence presented at the September hearing that there was no reasonable alternative location for the septic system. In addition, the board was more persuaded by a plan prepared by a certified engineer than by measurements taken by a lay person. Five were in favor. Roberts and Hoar abstained.
MotionA motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting. All in favor.

The meeting adjourned at 9:50 p.m.

Submitted by Diane Nilsson

Posted October 17, 2006