Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

December 11, 2007

BOARD MEMBERS: Chairperson Neil Faiman; members Carol Roberts, Jim Tuttle and Bob Spear; alternate member Andy Hoar.

  • E&T’s United Venture, Inc./L.A. Limousine – variances
  • Provost – special exception
  • Oak Lane Holdings/Premier Concrete – appeal of administrative decision
  • Kevin J. DeGroot – special exception

Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m. and introduced the board members. All five members present made up the voting board.

Minutes — November 13, 2007

Correction to Page 3, Case 11/13/07 – 1, 6th paragraph: change Con Com met to Con Com discussed.

MotionRoberts/Tuttle To approve the 11/13/07 minutes as corrected. All were in favor,

Case #12/11/07–1 — E&T’s United Venture, Inc./L.A. Limousine Service, Inc.

E&T‘s United Venture, Inc. (owner) and L.A. Limousine Service, Inc. (applicant) have applied for variances to sections 5.2.3 and of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to allow for the construction of a sign on the property larger than allowed by the Ordinance on Lot L–27, 223 Gibbons Highway.

Dawn Tuomala represented the applicant and asked for a continuation to the January meeting because the applicant could not attend tonight’s meeting.

MotionSpear/Tuttle To continue Case 12/11/07-1 to the January 8 meeting. All were in favor.

Case #11/13/07–3 — Provost

The Pierre E. Provost IV 1993 Trust & Lura S. Provost 1993 Trust have applied for a special exception under section 11.4 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance to permit roadways and drainage improvements which will affect wetland areas as part of a proposed subdivision of Lot B–14, Cram Hill Road (Lyndeborough) and Lyndeborough Tax Map 238, Lot 19 into 14 residential lots. (Continued from November 13th.)

The clerk announced that two abutters had not been noticed because of either an incorrect address or an incorrect property owner. The board agreed to go ahead and hear the case and the applicant chose to go ahead.

Steve Keach, engineer for the applicant, explained that the person at the Wetlands Bureau, Kirsten, that they met with in May, was unwilling to put in writing her preference for a drop culvert. He said she was willing to speak by phone or in person to representatives of the town, including the Con Com, but didn’t feel comfortable putting anything in writing.

Spencer Brookes, Wilton Con Com, said that the installation of a drop culvert will seriously affect the amphibian breeding ground, which he said is in the wetland area west of the proposed culvert.. He explained further that the breeding ground is without fish whereas the larger wetland area to the east does have fish. He said if there was a bottomless culvert that amphibians would come up from the eastern wetland and breed in the breeding ground and then go back. Mr. Keach, argued that because of the slope it would be difficult for them to do that. Mr. Brookes wanted a wetlands specialist to review the plans and give an opinion as to the best type of culvert in this case.

Attorney Robert McKenney, representing the applicant, said that the conservation commission is asking the board to consider adding 700 sq. ft. to the proposed crossing, which he thought was contrary to the spirit of the zoning ordinance. Faiman said that the language of the ordinance says “… if so located and constructed as to minimize any detrimental impact of such uses upon the wetlands.” So the board could argue that a larger area of disturbance is necessary in order to protect the amphibians in the wetlands. The opposite argument also could be made that the amphibian disturbance would be so minimal that it would be better to disturb the smallest amount of land and use the drop culvert design.

Mr. Keach reminded the board that he is the one who designed the 2703 sq. ft. bottomless culvert for this crossing in the original application last spring. He said the applicant doesn’t care which design is used, as long as the DES will give its approval. He said if the Con Com and the ZBA were to request the larger, bottomless culvert, the wetlands bureau would take those requests into consideration.

Brendan Philbrick, 75 Cram Hill Road, Lyndeborough, pointed out that the driveways for lots B-14-2 and B-14-7 are designed to be right next to wetland areas, with no setbacks or buffers. He also said that 14 wells would create a huge amount of runoff and 14 septic systems will not perk because of the nature of the soil. He said he is in favor of the bottomless culvert so that some species of amphibians can survive.

Faiman polled board members as to the direction they were leaning. Faiman and Hoar both said they would like expert opinion from a wetland scientist in order to know whether some type of a box or bottomless culvert would actually help the migration of some of the species. Tuttle said that although a bottomless culvert design requires more disturbance initially, the additional 700 sq. ft. will eventually revert to wetlands. He also said that a drop culvert will require maintenance by the town, and a bottomless culvert will not.

Mr. Keach agreed that the 2703 sq. ft. bottomless culvert is a better solution from an engineering and maintenance standpoint.

Mr. Brookes again asked for a wetlands specialist to review the plans and recommend the best type of culvert. Mr. Keach said that their wetland scientist, Bob Prokop, felt that the bottomless culvert was the best solution.

MotionSpear/Hoar To grant the requested special exception for a wetland impact up to 2,703 square feet for a wetland crossing preferably with a bottomless culvert as proposed in the plan submitted to the Zoning Board in February 2007 rather than the drop culvert proposed in the plan submitted in November 2007. The Zoning Board encourages the Conservation Commission to communicate with the state Wetland Bureau to argue the case for a bottomless culvert or other alternative to the proposed drop culvert.

Spencer Brookes asked if the board would authorize gas money if he needs to go to Concord to argue the case. Mr. Keach said he thought a letter to the Wetlands Bureau would be all that was needed.

Dawn Tuomala said that she has worked with Bob Prokop and doesn’t find him to be biased. He has his own company and he also teaches at UNH. He is also a former Wetland Bureau member.

VoteFour voted in favor, Tuttle voted no.

Case #11/13/07–4 — Oak Lane Holdings/Premier Concrete

Oak Lane Holdings, LLC (owner) and Premier Concrete Construction, LLC (applicant) have appealed an administrative decision of the Wilton Code Enforcement Officer that the erection of a concrete / fenced structure on Lot F–170, 614 Gibbons Highway required site plan approval and a building permit under Article 1.0 of the Wilton Site Plan Regulations. Alternatively, they have submitted an application for an equitable waiver to sections 8.2.4 and 11.6 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance for the fence / structure. (Continued from November 13th.)

Dawn Tuomala represented the applicant and owner and presented a map and photographs showing the fenced area and the concrete wall. She then read the Notice of Violation and Order to Bring Property Into Compliance. There were three violations listed: 1) change or expansion of use requiring site plan approval and building permit 2) the location of the structure may violate an existing easement 3) there may be DES violations because of disturbance of shoreline shade and because stone dust material from the parking area is eroded and silting into the brook.

She said in September the applicant went to the Planning Board, posted as a preliminary site plan review. The Planning Board determined that no site plan review was necessary because there was no change of use. PB recommended that the applicant go before the ZBA to determine whether a fenced enclosure is a building requiring a permit under the ordinance. She asked that the board determine whether or not the fenced enclosure is a building under the terms of the ordinance. If it is not, then the appropriate action would be to grant the appeal. She also noted that the fenced area does not encroach onto the easement with Rodney Sanders.

MotionSpear/Tuttle The ZBA finds that the fence and supporting concrete structure is not a building, as defined by section 3.1.5 of the ordinance, and therefore is not governed by the requirements of section 4.6.7. All were in favor.

Case #12/11/07–2 — DeGroot

Kevin J. DeGroot has applied for a special exception under the terms of Section 11.4 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit the construction of catch basins, piping, subdrains, and a wooden walkway which would affect wetland areas on Lot J–16, 9 Dale Street.

Dawn Tuomala represented the applicant and presented a site plan showing wetlands to the rear and on either side of the former Odd Fellows Hall. She explained that because of the wells and springs that are overflowing on the hillside behind the property, the land surrounding the building is perpetually wet. She said there are two catch basins, one on either side of the building, but the one on the west side is not working. She is proposing two more catch basins to the rear of the building and a couple of series of footing drains to redirect the water away from the building. The area to the rear of the building will require a 2,500 SF temporary impact while the drains are being laid. Drains will also be constructed or replaced on the sides of the building. The applicant is also requesting a wider wooden sidewalk within the wetland area on the east side of the building and three 8 x 10 patios on the west side. The permanent impact would be 350 SF.

Ms Tuomala produced a plan from the 1960s showing the drainage system around the building and the church next door, how they are tied together and where they go in the street.

David Schmidt said that one of the catch basins worked fine until Dale St. was repaved a few years ago.

Abutter Paul Askew, 11 Dale St., was concerned about what would be done to protect the root system of the maple tree on the corner of the property in light of the catch basin that has to be replaced on the west side of the building as well as the construction of the patios. He said the tree has been there as long as the building has and he would hate to see it damaged. He said he thinks the tree does a good thing for both properties, but since it is on his property, he would be liable if the root system is damaged and the tree eventually dies and falls onto Mr. DeGroot’s building.

Ms. Tuomala said that she would shift the drains to be as close to the building as possible, moving them under the patios if necessary and she would move the catch basin to a place away from the tree roots.

MotionSpear/Tuttle To allow Dawn Tuomala to appoint a soil scientist to prepare the report required by section 11.4b. All were in favor.
MotionSpear/Tuttle To continue the case to the January 8 meeting. All were in favor.
MotionRoberts/Spear To adjourn the meeting. All were in favor.

The meeting adjourned at 10:17 p.m.

Submitted by Diane Nilsson

Posted December 18, 2007