Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

July 14, 2009

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

AgendaRobin R. Drake Trust – special exception or variance

Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m., introduced the board members, and appointed Andy Hoar to sit as a voting member of the board.

Minutes — June 9, 2009

Motion(Spear/Poisson) To accept the 6/9/09 minutes as written. All were in favor.

Case #7/14/09–1 — Robin R. Drake Trust

The Robin R. Drake Trust has applied for a variance to section 6.2.4 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, or alternatively for a special exception under section 17.3 of the Ordinance, to permit the construction of a garage on Lot D-12, 123 Sand Hill Road, which would be closer to a lot line than is allowed by the Ordinance.

Faiman said that abutters were notified and the public notice was posted in two places and appeared in the Milford Cabinet. He said the board’s usual practice, when an application request is for either a variance or special exception to section 17.3, is to first hear the case and then to address the special exception request and if that should fail, then address the variance request.

Architect Leonard Pagano represented the applicants Robin Schoen and Ken Warner. He presented a site plan that shows the existing house, the new leech bed and the proposed garage. He also presented a model of the house and garage. He explained that the 0.6 acre lot is a difficult site with extreme sloping topography. Because of the new leech bed, there is only one place that a garage could go. He designed the main garage to hold two cars end to end and to provide a hobby space. He added a woodshed/toolshed at the end of the garage and a workroom and a potting shed on the side of the garage toward the hillside.

Mr. Pagano said that in order to avoid putting an enormous retaining wall into the hill, he has placed the garage 5’ from the front property line. In this way, the main garage can be built on flat land and the smaller components can be built into the hillside. He said he felt that the proposed garage location, being 5’ from the property line, is warranted in this case because Sand Hill Road is not a high-use road and because, from an architectural point of view, the scale of the proposed building is correct at the proposed location.

Mr. Pagano said that he had staked out the footprint of the proposed garage and wondered if any of the board members had a chance to look at it. All board members said that they drove by and saw it.

In response to questions Mr. Pagano said that: the distance from the property line to Sand Hill Road is about 7’ – 8’; the foundation wall of the workroom/potting shed will be designed as a retaining wall and will help keep the hillside from coming down; there will not be a floor drain in the garage; the garage will be located at minimum 10’ from the leech field and there will be no water or septic hookups in any of the proposed buildings.

Faiman noted that the Watershed District regulations require that any disturbance of slopes 15% or more shall require an erosion and sediment control plan approved by the planning board. He said that although the area to be disturbed is very small, the slopes are quite steep so the planning board needs to see the site plan in order to decide what they will require. Mr. Pagano agreed to go before the planning board.

Mr. Pagano said that the actual grade is 50%. He said that the total area of the garage and smaller attached units is 1,000 SF. The building exterior will be cedar shakes and the garage will be 9’ high.

Ms. Schoen said that the reason they would like to have the garage and the other attached units is that the house has no outbuildings; the basement and attic are unusable, so there is no storage space, and nowhere to store their cars in the winter. She also said that her goal was to disturb the hillside that abuts Vale End Cemetery as little as possible, and the proposed design accomplishes that.

Faiman reviewed the facts of the case that the board had heard: There is a plan for a garage on the existing 0.6 acre lot which will be located 5’ from the front lot line and 10’ from the septic system. The size is 1,000 SF and the board has a site plan showing the exact location of the proposed garage. The applicant is requesting a special exception to 17.3 or a variance.

Mr. Pagano was asked about the height of the proposed retaining wall. He said it would be 5’ at the highest point and then it would slope down to 2’ or 3’. He was asked about perimeter drains and he said he would want to install them.

Motion(Roberts/Spear) To close the public hearing. All were in favor.

Faiman read the requirements of section 17.3 and board members felt that this application met all the requirements. Faiman said that normally he most likely would not approve a building 5’ from a front lot line, but because there is not and will be no houses either across the street or next door to the applicant’s house, and because Sand Hill Road is a seasonally maintained road, and the house itself is quite close to the road, and the usable part of the lot is tiny, and the house around the corner and across the street is also close to the road, he felt that the location of the garage is consistent with the neighborhood.

Motion(Spear/Poisson) To grant the special exception consistent with the plan that was submitted to the board. The special exception will permit the construction of a garage that will be closer to the front lot line than is allowed by the zoning ordinance. The approval is subject to the condition that the proposal must be offered to the planning board for review under section 14.3.4 of the zoning ordinance. All were in favor.


Faiman reported that the letter from the selectmen regarding the Kelley case arrived and affirmed that the dog waste could be taken to the recycling center.

Motion(Spear/Hoar) To adjourn the meeting. All were in favor.

The meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m.

Submitted by Diane Nilsson

Posted July 20, 2009