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June 14, 2011
|Board Members||Chairman Neil Faiman; members, Carol Roberts, Bill Carnduff, Joe Poisson, Andy Hoar, and alternate Joanna Eckstrom.|
Chairman Faiman opened the meeting at 7:35 p.m.
A MOTION was made by Ms. Roberts and SECONDED by Mr. Hoar to approve the minutes of April 12, 2011 with the following amendments:
- Change "Mr. Hoard" to "Mr. Hoar" throughout
- Correct Ms. Roberts throughout
Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried with Ms. Eckstrom abstaining.
Case #6/14/11–1 — Jared Brown
Before letting the applicant speak, Chairman Faiman noted that the Building Inspector, Ms. Roberts' husband, is intending on speaking in opposition of the application and questioned whether Ms. Roberts felt she had a conflict of interest. Ms. Roberts stated that she does not feel that she has a conflict but asked the other Board Members to decide.
In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Ms. Roberts stated that she had not made up her mind about the case.
In response to a question from Ms. Eckstrom, Ms. Roberts stated that the only knowledge she has of the case is in the public file.
The Board was polled and all but Mr. Faiman were in favor of Ms. Roberts remaining on the Board for this case.
Jared Brown appeared before the Board and explained that he currently has a shed that is 18? x 9? x 10? and the application is for an additional shed that is 14? x 9? x 9? which is an extension of the original shed. He explained that the new shed will share a wall with the old shed and would serve as a wood working area with tools, bench, and a woodstove with a chimney.
Mr. Faiman explained that the applicant was served a cease and desist order from the Building Inspector as the shed is already built so Mr. Faiman suggested the applicant request a variance from the Board as if the shed was not built.
In response to a question from Ms. Eckstrom, Mr. Faiman stated that the original shed was granted a variance in 1995.
In response to a question from Mr. Hoar, Mr. Brown explained that the shed runs down the property line off of the original shed and there is a fence from the shed to the property line. He noted that the new shed was built 7 or 8 years ago.
Ms. Roberts stated that she is trying to understand what the property looks like with the sheds and stated that she would like to have something in the file showing the footage of the sheds on the lot. The Board noted that the lot in question is .2 acres.
Mr. Hoar stated that he would like to see the site on a map.
Mr. Brown noted that he is limited as to where he can put the shed due to a water drainage issue in the back.
In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mr. Brown stated that he did get a variance from the Zoning Board for the original shed but he thought that the new shed was small enough that he would not need to get a permit or variance for it.
In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mr. Brown explained that the new shed has a floor but it sits on gravel and there is no foundation.
In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mr. Brown explained that the letter he submitted was signed by the three neighbors across the street and one on the north side but the neighbor on the south side of him would not sign the letter.
In response to a question from Ms. Roberts, Mr. Brown explained that there is a woodstove, with the appropriate piping, in the shed. He noted that it has not been inspected or approved and there is an overhanging tree that is of concern.
In response to a question from Mr. Poisson, Mr. Brown stated that he is currently getting power through an extension cord but that he will be putting underground power in this summer.
In reponse to a question from Mr. Faiman, Mr. Brown stated that the tail of the saltbox designed building is facing the neighbor.
In response to a question from Mr. Poisson, Mr. Brown stated that he only lights the woodstove approximately once a week in the winter.
In response to a question from Ms. Roberts, Mr. Brown stated that the new shed is 14? x 9? or 126SF.
In response to a question from Ms. Eckstrom, Mr. Brown explained that the shed is not fixed in place but it does share a wall with the old shed.
In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mr. Brown explained that the new shed is built with 1? x 10?'s, 2? x 4?'s, and 2? x 6?'s on the floor.
Mr. Faiman called for questions from the public and heard none.
Mr. Shepardson explained that the applicant knew the process and chose not to complete it and that Mr. Shepardson was made aware of the situation by an abutter who is experiencing issues with smoke and snow from the shed. He further explained that he tried to deal with the situation in a non confrontational way by sending a letter to the applicant explaining that he could find no permit on file and that an the applicant should either produce such a permit or remove the shed. Mr. Shepardson noted that the chimney is in the branches of a tree that belongs to the neighbor.
In response to a question from Mr. Faiman, Mr. Shepardson stated that there are best practice guidelines available and he does inspect wood stoves if asked to.
In response to a question from Ms. Roberts, Mr. Shepardson explained that the guidelines come from pamphlets.
Mr. Shepardson continued explaining that he did not receive a response to his first letter, the applicant suggested that it was thrown away accidentally, so he followed up with a cease and desist order, stating that the shed needed to be removed or an appeal needs to be filed with 20 days. He noted that the order was served on April 5th and the application to the Zoning Board was stamped as being received on April 28th.
In response to a question from Mr. Poisson, Mr. Shepardson stated that the cease and desist order was served by the Wilton Police on April 5th.
Mr. Faiman explained that the time limit for appeals is 30 days as there is a difference between the Building Inspector code and the Zoning Board's code.
Mr. Shepardson stated that it was his understanding that he could take the applicant to court at this point.
Mr. Faiman noted that the 20 day time frame is the time the applicant had to give the Building Inspector a response to his letter.
Mr. Shepardson also noted that the applicant never applied for a building permit for the shed.
Mr. Brown noted that he never received the first letter.
The Board noted that there is an enforceable section of the Zoning Ordinance that refers to smoke.
Diane Right, an abutter, appeared before the Board and introduced Steve Jowie to speak for her.
Mr. Jowie explained that Diane is the direct abutter to the shed under discussion who was never informed that an additional shed was being built and granting a variance to the applicant is a substantial injustice because the abutter has to look at the eyesore and deal with the snow and water coming off the roof. He explained that Ms. Right has had to put in drainage and a sump pump due to the shed and she is also concerned that it negatively affects the value and beauty of her house. He stated that the wood stove is 11? from Ms. Right's house and the chimney goes into the trees, which could create a fire, and it causes wood smoke to flow into her tenant's area. He stated that the tenant was unable to come tonight but asked that a letter be included in the minute.
Mr. Jowie read the letter which stated that when in use the woodstove has caused a strong and unpleasant smell inside her dwelling and the wind causes a considerable amount of smoke into her back yard and apartment. The letter stated that she thinks the chimney is too low and she is concerned that she saw snow being cleared off both sheds in the back yard. The letter stated that the tenant had seen snow being shoveled over the fence from the roof of the sheds that then created water in the basement. The letter also noted that Mr. Brown was given notice not to use the stove after March 12th and it has been used at least twice since then.
In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mr. Brown stated that the chimney is 12? high.
Michael Bergeron, who lives in Wilton but is not an abutter, stated that he feels that the additional shed is not really for wood working because it is only 14? x 9? and has a wood stove so there is really not enough room to work in.
Mr. Brown stated that the larger shed has been there for 15 years and most people think it is a great looking shed. He noted that he does most of his woodworking in the summer and fall and in the winter approximately once a week he will start up the stove and sit and have a glass of wine with his wife. He also explained that he shoveled snow off the back side of the shed but was asked not to and will not do so again however he believes that the cellar has had a sump pump for a long time and that the snow would melt in that direction anyways. He also noted that the stove has not been lit since he was asked not to do so.
In response to a question from Mr. Poisson, Mr. Brown stated that the shed could be moved, but feels that the issues, such as drainage, are not because of the shed and he feels that moving it would create a greater eyesore. He also noted that it would be difficult to relocate the shed because of the flooding in his back yard.
Mr. Carnduff stated that he does not feel that relocating the shed would solve the smoke issue.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Hoar and SECONDED by Mr. Carnduff to close the public hearing for deliberations.
Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Hoar and Mr. Faiman stated that they feel that the shed creates a claustrophobic feel to the abutter.
Mr. Faiman explained that when the Board approved the original shed he thinks they would have had a different reaction if they had been presented with a proposal for a 32' shed instead of the 18' shed they approved.
The Board discussed whether they needed a lot plan to make a decision and they decided to move forward without it.
The Board discussed the size and shape of the lot noting the 62? of frontage and recalling that during the hearing for the last variance the applicant proved that the current location is the best place for a shed to go.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Hoar and SECONDED by Mr. Carnduff to deny the application due to the following reasons:
- The proposed is not in the best public interest because, without the setback, the building has too much impact on the abutting lot.
- The proposed is not within the spirit of the ordinance.
- The proposed does not balance the hardship of the applicant with the rights of the abutter.
- There is a possibility that the proposed use would diminish surrounding property values.
Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Eckstrom left the meeting.
Case #6/14/11–2 — Provost
Attorney McKenney appeared before the Board and explained that he was able to extend some deadlines with the state but he cannot extend the Army Corp deadline so he is asking the Zoning Board to extend the deadline for the special exception they granted for an additional two years in accordance with RSA 17.4. He noted that he has gone to the Planning Board to discuss the situation and they may be seeking advice from Town Counsel and he has decided to make the curb cuts in Lyndeborough so they are no longer a part of the equation. He explained that if the Board does not agree to the extension the alternative is to put in the culvert and wetland crossing or come in for a new variance. Mr. McKenney stated that the ordinance refers to extensions, so the Board can grant more than one, and also states that there has to be good cause beyond the control of the applicant and the extension cannot be prejudicial to the intent of the ordinance. He noted that the wetland impact and the number of lots have been reduced since this Board approved the special exception. Mr. McKenney explained that this project is for 13 lots in Wilton that gain access through Lyndeborough and noted that he attend 26 meetings for this case including Zoning Board, Conservation Commission, and joint meetings between the Lyndeborough and Wilton Planning Boards. He also noted that originally this special exception was denied but was approved after the plan was re-worked and a second application was submitted.
Christina and Robert Hadley, abutters across Cram Hill Road, stated that they are concerned about the drainage coming off of this site onto their property.
Mr. Faiman explained that the wetland crossing in question will not affect the Cram Hill drainage.
A MOTION was made by Ms. Roberts and SECONED by Mr. Hoar to grant the extension to December 17, 2013.
Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.
A MOTION was made by Mr. Carnduff and SECONDED by Ms. Roberts to adjourn the meeting.
Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Faiman declared the meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
Heather Loewy Nichols
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