Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

March 27, 2007

Voting BoardChairperson Neil Faiman; members Joanna Eckstrom, Carol Roberts, Bob Spear & Jim Tuttle; alternate member Andy Hoar.
  • Good News Bible Church – special exception & variance
  • Daniel and Judy Poitras – special exception

Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. and announced that this was a continuation of the March 20th meeting. He introduced the board members and said that the regular board members would sit on the cases this evening unless there was a conflict of interest.

Case #3/20/07–1 — Good News Bible Church

Good News Bible Church has applied for a special exception under the terms of section 5.3.3 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, and for a variance to section 8.4 of the Ordinance, to permit an expansion of the existing church on Lot F-12-1, 27 Hutchinson Road, which would result in traffic exceeding the permitted number of average daily trips for the lot.

Jeff Kevan, with T.F. Moran, represented the applicants. He presented a one-page plan and said that the church wanted to add a 30’ x 125’ addition to the church building as well as an additional parking area toward the back of the building. This would allow the church to double in size, to 246 seats, and would allow for 82 parking spaces.

Mr. Kevan stated that the use qualifies for a special exception because it has a minimum frontage of 200’ on a class V or better road, and no off-street parking shall be located within the setbacks nor within the front yard.

He then addressed the variance to section 8.4 which states that industrial uses shall be permitted to generate traffic in the magnitude of 10 average daily trips per acre (when access is on a Class IV or Class V road). The subject parcel is approximately 5.1 acres which equates to 51 average daily trips permitted.

He argued that the applicant’s situation is unique in that traffic trip generation numbers are typically based on the peak hours (weekday peak am and peak pm, and Saturday at noon). The Church does not have traffic during the weekday peak hours nor Saturday peak hours and their traffic is generated predominately on Sunday. He read through the criteria for an area variance. See file.

In answer to questions from board members, Mr. Kevan said that there are approximately 164 trips on Sunday currently. After the addition, the applicant expects 204 trips on Sunday. He said there are currently 45 – 50 parking spaces. The play equipment is used on Sunday during church services and on weekdays during committee meetings. There is no day care facility on site. The applicant meets the 3 acre open space requirement. The total of the building, road and parking areas are well under 2 acres.

Hoar asked about 82 cars leaving within a 15 minute time frame at about noon onto Route 101. Church Elder Dale Hallowell responded that at the new location they have room for coffee and a fellowship after the service and many people stay and talk for 30 to 45 minutes so that people leave at staggered rate.

Eckstrom asked about two services listed on the sign. Mr. Hallowell responded that when the church gets to be about 80% filled, people start to feel crowded, and that’s why they added another service.

Spear asked what would happen if the church reached its goal of 246 members, would it add another service? Mr. Kevan answered that it took four years for the church to grow from 60 to just over 100 members. He felt that if the church reached 246 members it would need to look for a site to relocate. He also reiterated that it is part of the church’s agreement with the town that if there is a traffic problem, the church needs to hire someone to direct traffic at the intersection of Route 101 and Hutchinson Road.

Abutter Michelle Lovette – Lot F-6-3, asked about what activity happened on Friday nights because she heard noise from teenagers at about 9 p.m. probably from the parking area. Church Elder Tom Lizotte answered that on Friday nights between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. the church hosts a youth group with about 15 teenagers and 4 leaders.

Abutter Jeff Hutchinson – Lot F-11, asked how many nights the church is actually used. Mr. Lizotte answered that there is a committee meeting on Tuesday night, a younger children’s group with about 30 cars on Wednesday night, a worship practice with 3-4 cars on Thursday night, the Friday night youth group with an unknown number of cars, and a Saturday morning mens group with at least 10 cars. Mr. Hutchinson said that members of his family had nearly been hit by cars exiting the church driveway. Mr. Kevan said that part of their plan is to install a stop sign and a painted stop bar on the pavement before reaching Hutchinson Road. Mr. Hutchinson also said that headlights from the cars in the parking lot and noise are also a problem. Mr. Kevan said that they could consider increasing the buffer between the two properties. Spear suggested composite removable speed bumps that the church could install and another traffic slowing device.

Faiman summarized the requests: A proposal to enlarge the existing church on Hutchinson Road. A request for a special exception to permit the church the enlarged church use and a variance to permit traffic exceeding the permitted traffic on a Class V road from an industrial establishment. The concerns that have been raised are the effects of traffic on Hutchinson Road and the effect of the church activity itself on the immediately adjacent residential properties.

MotionEckstrom/Spear To close the public hearing. All in favor. 8:12 p.m.

Faiman felt that a special exception was not needed because it is a permitted use in the commercial district, and commercial uses are permitted in the industrial district. In addition, the planning board approved the site plan review four years ago when the church located to the site in question and did not require that they seek a special exception at that time. Spear agreed.

MotionSpear/Eckstrom To deny the special exception on the grounds that the board finds that the proposed use is a permitted use. All were in favor.
MotionSpear/Eckstrom To grant the variance with the following restrictions:

• A stop sign must be placed at the exit from the church driveway onto Hutchinson Road, with appropriate indications to be painted on the pavement.

• A permanent or removable/seasonal speed bump must be installed on the church driveway.

• The density of the vegetative buffer between the church parking lot and the adjacent residential property must be increased by at least 25%.

• The applicant must provide a police officer to control traffic at the intersection of Hutchinson Road and NH Route 101 at peak times if, in the opinion of either the church or the Selectmen, the traffic entering or leaving the church at the intersection becomes a problem.

VoteAll were in favor.

Case #3/20/07–2 — Poitras

Daniel and Judy Poitras have applied for a special exception under the terms of section 11.4 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit the construction of a driveway, which would cross two wetland areas for a subdivision of Lot C-147, 39 Town Farm Road.

Earl Sanford, with Sanford Surveying and Engineering, represented the applicants and presented plans. He said that the applicants have a 7 acre lot that they want to subdivide. Part of the lot is in the Aquifer Protection District, but the lot with the house and barn where the applicants live, proposed lot C-147-1, 2.106 acres, is not in the Aquifer Protection District. All of the District is in proposed lot C-147-2, 4.94 acres, but all of the construction is proposed for an area outside of the District.

Mr. Sanford said the two parcels would share the current driveway entrance and then after about 50’ the proposed new driveway would split off, go around the applicants’ parcel, join an existing driveway and then add new road at the end to gain access to the proposed house site. He said there would be about 150’ of new drive at the beginning and 150’ of new drive at the end, in the middle is the existing driveway. To construct the driveways, two wetlands need to be crossed. The first impact is 260 square feet and will use a 36’ culvert that is 36” in diameter. The second impact is 70 square feet and will use a 24’ culvert that is 18” in diameter. He then read through the special exception criteria. See file.

Faiman asked why it was not practical to access the property without the wetland crossing. Mr. Sanford answered that to construct the driveway from anywhere else on the property would be difficult because there are steep slopes. Board members wanted to know why the first crossing couldn’t be avoided by having a shared driveway until the applicants’ driveway meets up with the existing driveway in the direction of the proposed house site. Daniel and Judy Poitras said that they wanted to keep the roads separate for privacy and safety reasons.

Mr. Sanford read a letter from Spencer Brookes and Leslie Tallarico, two members of the Wilton Conservation Commission who walked the Poitras property. Their opinion, stated in the letter, was that the crossing was well designed and has minimum effect on the wetlands. See file.

Faiman read section 11.4 and noted that a special exception cannot be granted until a second hearing is held at least 30 days after the first hearing. Since the April meeting is scheduled for April 9th, he suggested hearing this case again at the May meeting. He asked board members if they felt an outside consultant was needed to look at the plans before the next meeting. Spear suggested a site walk instead and board members agreed. It was decided that a site walk would take place at 9 a.m. on

Saturday, April 14th.

MotionSpear/Tuttle To continue this case to the May 8th meeting. All were in favor.
MotionSpear/Tuttle To adjourn the meeting. All were in favor.

The meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

Submitted by Diane Nilsson

Posted April 2, 2007