Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board Minutes

September 13, 2011

Board MembersChairman Neil Faiman; members, Carol Roberts, Andy Hoar, and alternate Jim Tuttle.
Agenda9/13/11- 1 Celia Lorden trust

Chairman Faiman opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m.


A MOTION was made by Ms. Roberts and SECONDED by Mr. Hoar to accept the minutes of August 9, 2011 with the following amendment:

- Line 201 change "the current curb cut on at the end" to "the current curb cut at the end"

Voting: 3 ayes; motion carried with Mr. Tuttle abstaining.

Case #9/13/11–1 — Celia Lorden Trust

Dawn Tuomala, of Monadnock Survey, appeared before the Board for the applicant. Mr. Faiman explained that this evening there is only a four member Board present and questioned if Ms. Tuomala would like to be heard by this Board or continue to next month's meeting. He noted that even though it is a four member Board the applicant will still need four ayes for approval and a four member Board is not grounds for a rehearing. Ms. Tuomala decided to move forward at this meeting.

Ms. Tuomala started her presentation by reading the definition of frontage as found in section 3.1.10 and noted that this definition was applied to the ordinance in the late 80s or early 90s. She also provided a copy of the tax map for lot C-052 and C-037 noting that C-037 is 7 acres in area and C-052 is almost 80 acres in area with an existing house. She stated that C-052 gains access from Scott Road and also has frontage along Isaac Frye Highway although there is no direct route from the house to Isaac Frye Highway. She also pointed out that, on the tax map, Scott Road ends at the property line. She explained that in 1982 the first deed which brought the whole property together was signed as it was originally eight properties which Robert Bradley starting purchasing in 1891. She explained that the site was sold from Robert Bradley to Bush Nell and then to the Moorhouses who sold the property to the Scotts in 1940. She noted that at this point the property was still in many tracts and the description called out the road to the gates so she has no doubt that there was a road that went into the property. She stated that in 1982, when the property was sold to Lordens, the deed notes that the property comes across Scott Road for 29 feet.

Ms. Tuomala explained that she has been before the Planning Board for a couple of months trying to get a lot line adjustment approved that would create a 38 acre and 40 acre parcel. She explained that she wants to give Lot C-037 frontage on Isaac Frye Highway as the 7 acre back parcel has been difficult to sell. She stated that Lot C-037 is a parcel on record and could be built on, however in order to build on it the owner will have to deal with the wetlands on the site. She explained that there is a pond on the abutting property and the lot is in the 100 year flood plain, the Aquifer district, and the Watershed district, which changes the lot sizing and frontage requirement to 6 acres and 300?. She stated that the house lot is only in the Residential/Agricultural district so it needs only 200? of frontage. Ms. Tuomala explained that she presented the Planning Board with a possible six acre buildable area with 211? of frontage on Isaac Frye Highway but the Planning Board had a hard time taking frontage Lot C-052. She explained that she showed the Planning Board evidence that the road went to the house in the 1800's and the Planning Board sent the original plan to Town Counsel for advice. She read the letter from Town Counsel noted that he feels that action from the Zoning Board is required to allow the existence of the new non conforming lots.

Ms. Tuomala read the minutes of a Board of Selectmen meeting she attended which indicated that Selectmen Donavan and Condra made a motion to find that Scott Road is a town maintained road. She noted that Selectman McDonough was not in favor of the motion. Ms. Tuomala noted that she could not find any evidence that Scott Road had been discontinued as a town road. She also read the definition, per state law, of a road and noted that even if Scott Road had been discontinued as a town road, since the town maintains the road currently and has done so many years, Scott Road now qualifies as a town road.

In response to a question from Mr. Faiman, Ms. Tuomala explained that according to the records Scott Road began at the gates. She also submitted and reviewed pictures of the gate posts which appear at the top of Scott Road and not at the edge of the property.

Ms. Tuomala explained that she is looking for relief from the frontage requirements on Isaac Frye Highway noting that currently there is a woods road that could lead back to the back lot but it does run close the pond.

She stated that a variance would not be contrary to the public interest as Lot C-052 will continue to gain access as it has for 100 years and Lot C-037 will gain frontage that it does not currently have but it will use the same access point.

Mr. Faiman questioned Ms. Tuomala's assertion that the entrance off of Isaac Frye Highway will not be changed.

Ms. Tuomala stated that granting the variance will allow for the owner to build in the southern portion of the property, versus having to go to the back, for the future drive to be built entirely outside the aquifer district, and for a 200? setback, as required in the watershed district. She noted that currently the woods road is almost entirely in the Aquifer District.

Ms. Tuomala stated that the variance will not decrease home values but rather increase the value of the currently land locked lot. She stated that C-052 will not feel an impact as there two large parcels will remain. She also noted that the properties are private so there are no public rights and the only impact on the public would be the entrance. She noted that she is not proposing changing the sites and any change will need to be approved by the Planning Board.

Mr. Faiman stated that does not feel that the proposed entrance is a good location for a driveway and Ms. Tuomala noted that she is not proposing any imminent development. She also noted that the other option to use the same access but driving over Lot C-052.

Mr. Faiman stated that he is concerned about the access point on Isaac Frye Highway and he noted that a land locked lot is not a buildable lot.

Ms. Tuomala explained that she did not ask the road agent to evaluate the driveway entrance as it is an existing access.

In response to a question from Mr. Faiman, Ms. Tuomala stated that the new northern lot would be accessed from Isaac Frye Highway.

The Board noted that it seems that the applicant could meet the back lot zoning requirements as long as there is more than 250? of frontage on Scott Road. Ms. Tuomala stated that there is 500? of frontage on Scott Road but the proposed use is a reasonable one and the proposed lot will be better equipped to meet all the requirements of the law.

Ms. Tuomala reviewed the definitions of frontage from local towns.

Mr. Faiman stated that there are two frontage issues, the first being lack of adequate frontage on Scott Road and the second issue is whether removing the Isaac Frye frontage makes Lot C-052 more non-conforming. He also explained that the other variance request is to allow a buildable lot to be created, which would take frontage from Isaac Frye Highway, where there is not currently one.

Ms. Tuomala noted that originally she thought that the house lot exists with whatever access it has now and it would not be less conforming by taking away the Isaac Frye Highway frontage.

Lynne Draper, of the Wilton Conservation Commission, questioned how the Scott Road entrance is being made less conforming by this proposal as the access will stay the same as it has been consistently since before zoning. She questioned why the lot would not continue to have a grandfathered status.

Nancy Zamoiski, an abutter, questioned whether C-037 is buildable or not. Mr. Faiman explained that there is some disagreement and that his understanding is that just because a lot is a lot of record does not mean that one has the right to build on it. He further explained that the town ordinance would allow it but state law says that a lot must have public access. Ms. Zamoiski questioned whether access means frontage.

Ms. Tuomala noted that she has been working on a lot in another town that has no road frontage, only lake frontage, and the state approved a mile long access drive through a public forest, so she knows it is possible but she does not know if there is enough upland on Lot C-037 as it currently exists.

Cheri Falk, an abutter, stated that she would prefer just keep the lots the way they are and that she would consider buying the 7 acre lot in order to prevent development. She noted that she does not imagine that lot C-037 is buildable.

In response to a question from Mr. Hoar, Ms. Tuomala stated that she did not do a wetland survey on the 7 acre parcel because this application is for a lot line adjustment of existing lots of record. Ms. Tuomala noted that it will not be easy to build on Lot C-037 as it exists currently.

In response to a question from Mr. Roberts, Ms. Tuomala explained that if someone were to buy Lot C-037 then no lot line adjustment would be necessary as the owners goal is to sell the lots not to subdivide them.

In response to a question from Ms. Roberts, Ms. Tuomala stated that she was unsure exactly but she believes Lot C-037 had been on the market for two or three years.

Mr. Faiman summarized the testimony and issues as the presented to the Board.

Ms. Draper noted that she went on the previous site walk and she did not see anything that caused anyone any alarm in terms of the current proposal.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Hoar and SECONDED by Ms. Roberts to close the public potion of the hearing for Board deliberation.

Voting: 4 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Faiman stated that he feels that Lot C-052's frontage is on Scott Road and while it happens to have a lot line contiguous with Isaac Frye Highway this access point is not frontage and taking that away does not make the lot less conforming.

Discussion ensued as to whether C-037 is a buildable lot as it stands.

A MOTION was made by Ms. Roberts and SECONDED by Mr. Tuttle to re-open the public portion of the hearing.

Voting: 4 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Faiman stated that he would like something noting where the drive may be placed and a letter from the road agent saying that the proposed location is acceptable.

The Board considered asking for the topography of a 110? wide corridor that the driveway will pass through.

Ms. Tuomala noted that Note 10 states that any further disturbance will need to be approved by the Planning Board.

The Board decided to hold a site walk, on September 15, 2011 at 6:00 p.m., rather than require the topographical information.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Hoar and SECONDED by Mr. Tuttle to continue the application so that they can provide the applicant the opportunity to get input from the Road Agent as to the safety, line of site, and any other issues he finds of concern on a proposed drive and to hold at Site Walk on September 15, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. meeting at the Langdell Auction Barn parking lot.

Voting: 4 ayes; motion carried unanimously.


A MOTION was made by Mr. Hoar and SECONDED by Ms. Roberts to adjourn the meeting.

Voting: 4 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Faiman declared the meeting to be adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,
Heather Loewy Nichols
Page 2 of 4
Wilton ZBA
Final Revision Approved 10/11/11