Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

April 8, 2008

BOARD MEMBERS: Chairperson Neil Faiman; members Joe Poisson, Carol Roberts, Jim Tuttle and Bob Spear; alternate members Joanna Eckstrom, Eric Fowler &

Andy Hoar.

  • West View Farms, LLC – special exception
  • Kenneth Cadrain – variance
  • Matthew Harwood – two-year extension

Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m. and listed the three cases to be heard.

Minutes — March 11, 2008

MotionEckstrom/Spear To approve the 3/11/08 minutes as written. Six were in favor and Fowler and Poisson abstained.

Faiman explained that the selectmen have appointed Eckstrom as an alternate board member and Joe Poisson as a regular board member for this term. He said that for the next few meetings Poisson would be sitting as an alternate member and not voting until he got some experience with the board. Faiman said he would appoint alternate members to vote in his place on the cases this evening.

Election of Officers

MotionRoberts/Hoar To nominate Faiman for chair. There being no other nominations, all were in favor.
MotionHoar/Tuttle To nominate Roberts and Spear as co-vice chairpersons. There being no other nominations, all were in favor.

Faiman introduced the members of the board and appointed Eckstrom to take Poisson’s place as a voting member for the first case.

Case #3/11/08–2 — West View Farms, LLC (continued)

West View Farms, LLC has applied for a special exception under the terms of section 11.4 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit the construction of a road and utilities that will cross a wetland area, and a fire pond in the wetland setback area, in conjunction with the subdivision of Lot B-20, Dale Street.

Faiman said that there was a site walk two days before the meeting and most of the board members attended. Dawn Tuomala, with Monadnock Survey, showed the board members where the proposed crossing was and Spear took photographs. A CD of the photos will go into the case file and the applicant was given a copy; board members were emailed the photos prior to the meeting.

Phil Tuomala, with Monadnock Survey and representing the applicants, presented a map that showed the larger wetlands surrounding the property where the proposed crossing is located. It is Plan of Land Lots B-70-5 & B-20 West View Farms, LLC Wilton, NH – May 10, 2007. Board members and Spencer Brookes, representing the conservation commission, looked at the map and asked questions. Brookes also looked at the photos on the CD as no one from the con com attended the site walk.

Brookes said that the con com would like an independent wildlife biologist to look at the plan and determine what the affect on wildlife would be from the proposed crossing. Mr. Tuomala said that if the con com wanted a study done, they should have asked for it before now. He also said that he didn’t think there would be any disruption to wildlife because of the type of culvert being proposed and he said it would have been helpful if someone from the con com had observed the proposed crossing site.

Board members decided at last months meeting, with the input they had at that time, that no further studies were needed. It was noted that no con com members attended that meeting. They currently felt that they had enough information to make a decision, especially after the site walk.

Hoar said that although Dawn Tuomala described the proposed box culvert at last month’s meeting, the board has no specs or construction details for the culvert or the crossing. Mr. Tuomala suggested continuing the case to May so that Dawn can supply the appropriate details then. Board members discussed other ways of dealing with the missing information, including a conditional approval.

MotionRoberts/Eckstrom To close the public hearing in order to deliberate. All were in favor.
MotionEckstrom/Tuttle To approve a special exception to allow the placement of a precast box culvert and the fill required to cross a wetland area on Lot B-20, Dale Street with an access road (20’ wide paved, 2’ shoulders), to access ten residential units as part of the proposed subdivision of the lot, in the location shown on the plan submitted to the zoning board. The total impact to the wetland area is 1200 sq. ft. (a permanent crossing of 800 sq. ft., with 400 sq. ft. of temporary impact). The decision will become effective when the ZBA receives a plan sheet showing the construction details for the proposed culvert and crossing. For the purposes of section 17.4 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, the use will be deemed to have commenced when the crossing, as approved by this decision, is shown on an approved subdivision plan for Lot B-20, with a note on the plan referring to this decision. This decision will expire if, prior to the construction of the crossing, said plan is revoked, abandoned, or amended so as to change the location or nature of the approved wetland crossing.
VoteAll were in favor.

Case #4/8/08–1 — Kenneth Cadrain

Kenneth Cadrain has applied for a variance to section 5.2.2 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit the conversion of the existing barn on Lot L–5, Seagroves Street, for use as a single-family dwelling, where the lot does not have any frontage on a public right-of-way, Class V or better.

Faiman announced that the voting board for this case would be Spear, Hoar, Roberts, Tuttle and Faiman.

Phil Tuomala explained that after Mr. Cadrain received the special exception and release of the deed restriction in October 2007, he went to the planning board for the lot line adjustment that was required by the zoning board decision. Someone on the board pointed out that Seagroves St. is not a Class V road. Dawn did some digging and found that Tom Moran surveyed the original subdivision of the lot in 1979. She went through his archives and found a note where Tom had written that Seagroves was laid out as a town road in 1889. Dawn then looked through the Town Reports from 1890 forward and didn’t find anything pertaining to the road until 1952 when it was put on the Town Warrant to be accepted as a town road and it failed. He said there are three houses and two lots that have their frontage on Seagroves St.

Spencer Brookes said that when the mills closed in Wilton, the barn got into terrible disrepair. Then about 20 years ago Bill Abbot repaired it. But before Mr. Cadrain purchased it, it was falling apart again. He felt it was very important to restore the barn if the board can find a way to allow Mr. Cadrain to live in part of it.

Abutter Barry Martel agreed with Brookes and said that the applicant has done a lot of work refurbishing and saving the barn.

MotionSpear/Hoar To close the public hearing in order to deliberate. All were in favor.

Faiman said that he didn’t see a hardship in this case. He said that Mr. Cadrain purchased the property knowing that it was not meant for residential use and that it was a non-conforming lot that was created after zoning went into effect.

Board members tried to find a way to legitimize granting the variance.

MotionSpear/Tuttle To reopen the hearing for comments. Four in favor, Faiman abstained.

Mr. Tuomala argued that the zoning board, in 1979, allowed for the creation of this lot with the only restriction being a deed stating that the lot could not be used for residential purposes. When the zoning board, in 2007, lifted the deed restriction, he said the property should be able to be used as a residence without a variance for frontage on a class V road.

Mr. Cadrain said that in order to purchase the land from his neighbor to bring his lot up to 0.5 acres, he has committed to build an addition to his neighbor’s house and he has paid for the lot line adjustment – money and labor that he can’t get back. And he said he has three years of labor into the barn at this point.

Board members read through the variance criteria for an area variance but still could not agree on a hardship.

Faiman called board members attention to section 5.2 – Lot Requirements in the Residential District. He pointed out that 5.2.2 – Frontage – does not specifically tie in to the residential use of the property the way 5.2.1 does, therefore if the lot did not have the area, it would simply not satisfy the residential requirement of 0.5 acres per dwelling unit. However, he continued, the frontage requirement should have prohibited the creation of the lot in the first place. That requirement was waived by the 1979 variance. That’s not tied in to the dwelling use of the property, that’s supposed to be a restriction on the lot period. He said you can say that the 1979 variance waived the frontage requirement because the ZBA allowed the creation of that lot without it having frontage on a Class V road.

MotionHoar/Spear To move that the board has decided that no variance is necessary because the board’s interpretation of section 5.2.2 is that the frontage requirement is independent of the residential use of the lot. Therefore the waiver of that requirement by the 1979 variance is still good today and that requirement is not reinstated by the proposed conversion of the lot for residential use. All were in favor.

Faiman changed the voting board by making Fowler a voting member for the next case.

MotionRoberts/Spear to continue the hearing until no later than 11 p.m. All were in favor.

Matthew R. Harwood has requested a two-year extension under section 17.4 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance of the variances that he was granted in ZBA Case 9/12/06–2 on November 14, 2006, to permit the subdivision of Lot L–28, 235 Gibbons Highway, into two lots, the use of the existing house on one of the resulting lots as a two-family house, and the construction of a new two-family house on the other lot.

MotionRoberts/Fowler To grant a two-year extension of the variances that were granted to Mr. Harwood. All were in favor.
MotionRoberts/Eckstrom to adjourn the meeting. All were in favor.

The meeting adjourned at 10:45 p.m.

Submitted by Diane Nilsson

Posted April 15, 2008