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Minutes posted at this web site have not been checked for consistency with the printed minutes that are available in the Wilton Town Offices. If you need the definitive minutes of a ZBA meeting, please obtain the printed minutes from the town offices.

May 8, 2012

Board MembersChairman Neil Faiman, Vice Chair Carol Roberts, members: Joe Poisson, Bill Carnduff, and Andy Hoar, and alternate Joanna Eckstrom, and Secretary Heather Loewy Nichols.
Agenda
  • Minutes of April 10, 2012
  • Case #5/8/12-1 Daniel and Jessica Cornwell
  • Case #5/8/12-2 Cheryl Paro (owner) and Tammy Wood (applicant)
  • Case #5/8/12-3 James J. and Christina L. Lilley
  • Procedure Change: Requests for Extensions
  • Adjournment

Chairman Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m., introduced the Board Members, and noted that the secretary was absent and the meeting was being recorded.

Minutes

A MOTION was made by Ms. Roberts and SECONDED by Mr. Carnduff to approve the minutes of April 10, 2012 with the following amendments.

- Page 1, Line 29: remove the duplicate "was approved."

- Page 2, Line 70: Change "wetlands before distributing them" to "wetlands before disturbing them."

- Change "Mr. Mahir" to "Mr. Mahar" throughout

- Change "Ms. Roberts" to "Ms. Roberts" throughout

- Refer to Ms. Nichols as "secretary" throughout

Voting: 6 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Case #5/8/12–1 — Daniel and Jessica Cornwell

Chairman Faiman explained that Daniel and Jessica Cornwell have applied for a special exception under section 5.3.6(b) of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to permit a licensed in-home child care in their home on Lot M-1, 241 Gibbons Highway.

Jessica and Dan Cornwell appeared before the Board and stated that they would like to open a family in home or group in home daycare dependent on which the state will allow.

In response to a question from Ms. Eckstrom, Mrs. Cornwell explained that a group in home daycare would increase the number of children she would be allowed to care for and would require hiring an employee.

Mr. Hoar stated that it feels strange to consider the application with no plot plan available.

In response to questions from the Board, Mrs. Cornwell stated that the driveway can hold five or six cars, they are in the process of getting the backyard fenced in, the house has direct access to the backyard, and one of their cars will be in the garage and the other will be at work.

Ms. Roberts stated that she did a drive by of the site and saw that there was a paved area about the width of a double garage but she expressed concern about drop off and pick up, and backing out onto Route 101.

In response to a question from Mr. Hoar, Mr. Cornwell stated that one can pull onto the lawn and turn around so that they do no need to back out onto Route 101.

In response to a question from Ms. Eckstrom, Mrs. Cornwell stated that the hours of operation will be 7:00 am to 6:00 p.m.

In response to a question from the Board, Mrs. Cornwell stated that family daycare allows her to have five preschoolers and three school age children and she believes that a family group care will allow her to have 19 children.

In response to a question from Ms. Roberts, Mrs. Cornwell stated that the determination as to which kind of daycare she is eligible to have will be dependent on state inspections and the available space in the house.

In response to a question from Ms. Eckstrom, Mrs. Cornwell stated that she thinks that she has enough space for the group daycare but not for the full 19 children. She further explained that she has a large living room for a play area and the dining room will have preschool tables. She also noted that the house has two bathrooms, one of which will be accessible to the children.

In response to a question from Ms. Roberts, Mrs. Cornwell stated that the state requires that one have 40SF inside and 50SF outside per child.

Mr. Faiman noted that the applicant needs a special exception from the Zoning Board, home occupation approval from the Planning Board, and state approval. He suggested that the state worries about the suitability for the children and the Zoning Board needs to worry about the suitability of the proposal for the town.

Mr. Carnduff stated that he is concerned about egress from the property with cars pulling in and out of the property onto a 40 mph road. He stated that three or four children may not be a big deal but that twelve to fifteen children would create congestion.

Mrs. Cornwell stated that she does not this she will have as many as twelve to fifteen children.

Mr. Hoar stated that he cannot vote yes for the proposal without more information such as sight distances and a plot plan.

In response to a question from Ms. Roberts regarding the requirement that the business be incidental to the residence, Mr. Faiman explained that the Board needs to determine that the main point of the building is to live in rather than housing a business.

Ms. Roberts stated that she would need a floor plan to make that determination.

In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mr. Cornwell stated that he spoke to one neighbor who had no problems with the proposal and noted that the neighbors on either side of his house also have children.

Ms. Roberts suggested that the applicant review Section 5.3.1 of the Wilton Ordinance.

The Board stated that they will need a layout of the lot, including the outside play area, parking, and layout of the house with dimensions, perhaps on graph paper.

Ms. Roberts stated that she would like to see the frontage on this property.

Mr. Faiman stated that the Board feels that they need more information than they are going to be able to obtain at this meeting including at least a basic site plan which could be based on the original subdivision plot plan or tax records.

The Board scheduled a site visit for Saturday May 26, 2012 at 9:00 am noting that while the site visit is public no testimony will be taken.

A MOTION was made by Ms. Roberts and SECONDED by Mr. Hoar to schedule the site visit for May 26, 2012 at 9:00 am and to continue the application to June 12, 2012.

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Case #5/8/12–2 — Cheryl Paro (owner) and Tammy Wood (applicant)

Chairman Faiman explained that Cheryl Paro (owner) and Tammy Wood (applicant) have applied for variances to sections 4.2.1(c), 12.3(c), 17.1(d), and 17.2(a) of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to allow, on Lot B-97, 317 Forest Road, the construction of a septic system in highly permeable soils 93 feet from a wetland, where the ordinance would require a 125 foot setback, and the replacement of two non-conforming buildings by an enlarged and extended two-family modular home, on a lot with only 0.5 acres of non-wetlands and no land outside the flood zone.

Robert Todd, of Todd Land Use Consultants, appeared before the Board for the applicant and explained that he has been engaged by Tammy Wood and is acting as an agent for Ms. Paro. He stated that he has done field work and research on this property and he is before the Board to request four variances. He explained that this lot is 4.3 acres in the Industrial District with a single family 10? x 57? mobile home which was placed on the lot in 1967. He noted that there is also a well on the lot but the septic system is off site on an abutting lot, although the precise location has not been determined. Mr. Todd stated that the adjacent lot owner at the time was Charlie McGettigan and he granted the owner of this lot, at the time, a right to place a septic system on the McGettigan lot via an easement with the contingency that should the existing system fail or be condemned then it will be relocated on site. He explained that he believes that this means that if the use were to be expanded the septic system would no longer be appropriate and would need to be replaced. Mr. Todd stated that the lot is bounded on the East by a stone wall along a right of way and noted that a major part of the lot is either wet land or a matrix of flood plain forest with only a few scattered areas suitable for a septic system. He stated that the lot has only .5 acres free of wetland and the entire lot is in Flood Zone AE including the road and abutting lands.

In response to a question from Ms. Eckstrom, Mr. Todd confirmed that a variance was granted in 2008 to allow for an extension to the trailer to be added but it was never completed.

Mr. Todd further explained that base flood elevation 450 goes through the trailer and across the lot and noted that they tested the area in front of the trailer and found that it would flood 1 to 2 feet in that area so a new structure would be have to be flood proof. He stated that the wetland setback in the Industrial Zone and the septic setback are 75? which would go through the existing trailer. He further explained that the Aquifer District exclusions for the septic include almost the entire lot leaving only 300-400 feet of area that would allow for a legally placed septic system. He also noted that the state requires a 75? setback from the wetland and 10? from the lot lines.

In response to a question from Mr. Poisson, Mr. Todd stated that the lot has deep sandy loam with a water table of 40".

In response to another question from Mr. Poisson, Mr. Todd explained that the existing well will have to be capped as it cannot go where it is now with the proposed septic but he has found a location on the lot that would conform.

Mr. Todd explained that the applicant is proposing replacing the current structure with a 28? x 60? two family modular home with a 24? x 30? addition to the building. He stated that currently the building is 856SF and this proposal would increase it to 2400SF.

In response to a question from Mr. Poisson, Mr. Todd stated that the structures would be placed on a slab with special wall and breakaway flood vents so that the water would go through the "foundation" during a flood event. He noted that this structure would not contribute to flood depths by displacing the flood waters and that they will have to conform to FEMA rules which includes having a flood proof structure with a vent.

In response to a question from Mr. Poisson, Mr. Todd stated that the slab would be on a footing that would be below the frost line but could be in the seasonal high water table.

Mr. Wood clarified that the proposal is to put in a double wide mobile home with an in-law apartment and noted that the addition would have the same raised flood protection as the main building.

In response to a question from Ms. Roberts, Mr. Todd stated that this site is in the Aquifer, Wetland, and Floodplain overlays as well as the Industrial Zone.

Mr. Todd stated that he is asking for the following variances:

- Section 4.2.1.c.1 - to allow a septic system on highly permeable soils at 93? in lieu of the required 125?.

- Section 12.3.c.2 - to allow residential development in a non-conforming lot with .5 acres of upland in lieu of the required 2 acres.

- Section 17.1.d - to allow the demolition of two non conforming buildings and to allow the enlarged two family building in lieu of the construction of new buildings in the same locations and same dimensions as required.

- Section 17.2.a - to allow demo of the existing structure and to allow construction of a two family dwelling on a substandard lot in lieu of a new single family structure.

Mr. Todd presented his criteria for approval of the requested variances as follows:

1. Granting the variances would not be contrary to public interest as the resulting construction will improve the attractiveness of the property, increase the tax base, provide a safer affluent system to maintain the water, result in less flood storage displacement as the structure will have engineered permanent flood openings.

2. Granting the variances would be consistent with the intent of the Ordinance as conformity with the intent of the ordinance is provided by placing the septic in compliance of the setbacks and in a location that would make the septic more complaint than the one built 40 years ago.

3. The proposed use will have no negative impact on the area as the impacts are minimized by the proposed use to the extent that denying the variances would be an injustice to the applicant.

4. The proposed use will result in a more attractive neighborhood by removing the old deteriorated structures and the character will be at least on par with surrounding structures so as to not to decrease values.

5. A - The property cannot be reasonably used in strict conformance with the ordinance and has been a residential property since 1962, before zoning. Strict adherence to the flood plain restrictions would make this site impossible to use for any residential or industrial use.

B - The hardship on this lot is a consequence of special conditions of the property as the 10? x 57? mobile home is too small to be an adequate healthy living space and is deteriorating beyond reasonable repair. Also only 12% of this 4.3 acre lot is not wetland or within the flood matrix.

In response to a question from Mr. Faiman, Mr. Todd stated that if the applicant was not proposing a second unit they could continue to use the current septic system, however, he noted that a septic system of that age may not support a single family home of three bedrooms as it was constructed in 1962.

Ms. Eckstrom noted that the septic system is on the adjacent lot.

In response to a question from Mr. Hoar, Mr. Todd stated that the land is pretty flat and that the current septic is perhaps 1-2 feet different in elevation from the proposed area but still below the level of the mobile home.

In response to a question from Mr. Poisson, Mr. Todd stated that he believes that the proposed location is favorable for a septic and noted that it would have to be a raised system with a pump due to the flood issues.

Mr. Faiman called for public comment and heard none.

In response to a question from Ms. Eckstrom, Ms. Wood stated that the adjoining building would be an in-law apartment and stated that it would be attached but would be a separate unit.

In response to another question from Ms. Eckstrom, Mr. Wood stated that the only other structure that they would build may be a shed.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Hoar and SECONDED by Mr. Carnduff to close the public portion of the hearing.

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Eckstrom left the meeting at 8:45 p.m.

Mr. Hoar stated that he has an issue with the extremely permeable soils within the Aquifer District and he thinks that two dwellings is a lot for this lot considering that it only has a trailer currently.

Mr. Faiman stated that the Board had no problem, in the previous variance application for this lot, allowing the trailer to be replaced with a normal or enlarged trailer but now the applicant wants two dwellings. He stated that if this site was in the Residential Agriculture District the ordinance would require 2 acres of dry land per dwelling unit and the Aquifer District requires double that. He further stated that before it was fine to make the dwelling more suitable but two dwelling units makes this application too much as they are being asked to double what would not be permissible without Section 17.2.

Mr. Carnduff agreed with Mr. Faiman and noted that while it is positive to replace the septic he thinks that asking for two units is over reaching.

Mr. Faiman stated that two dwelling units doubles the septic load and the issue is that this lot is in the Aquifer District and other restrictive zones. He stated that this proposal is not in the public interest as the site is grossly unsuitable for a dwelling and while allowing one dwelling would be suitable justice two would not.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Hoar and SECONDED by Mr. Carnduff to deny the application on the grounds that it does not meet the requirements for a two family dwelling and that the Board finds that allowing two dwelling units on this property is grossly inconsistent with the lot area and density requirements. In addition there is no evidence of hardship caused by limiting the lot use to one family dwelling.

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Case #5/8/12–3 — James J. and Christina L. Lilley

Chairman Faiman explained that James J. and Christina L. Lilley have applied for variances to sections 4.2.1 and 5.2.3 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to allow the construction of a replacement sewage disposal system on Lot C-121, Pettey Road, which would be closer to the front lot line and to a wetland area than is permitted by the Ordinance.

Dawn Tuomala, of Monadnock Survey, appeared before the Board for the applicant and explained that this application is for a 1.7 acre lot on Petty Road on which a condo plan was approved in the early 1990's to allow two dwellings. She explained that Unit 1 belongs to the Lilleys and Unit 2 is a house belonging to the Gravlins that was built in 1790, obviously predating zoning. She explained that between the two dwellings there are a total of six bedrooms and the septic system services both buildings. She explained that when the condo was created, the state soil scientists delineated the wetlands and determined that there is .08 acres of upland. She explained that when one creates a septic plan the state determines the load of the septic. She further explained that once one takes into account the Wilton Ordinance requirement of a 75? setback from all wetlands and a 35? setback in the front, there is no land area left. She stated that there is an area in which the state will allow a leach field and reviewed the state criteria she used to make this determination. She stated that the current leach field is in the middle of the poorly drained wetlands and has functioned for 30 years but the bank required a completed home inspection and septic evaluation in order for the Lilley's to sell Unit 1. She stated that the septic evaluation revealed that the Lilley tank is in good condition but the leach field is starting to fail; the report did not note how long the leach field would last in its current condition but in order to sell the house a new leach field must be created. She stated that she is proposing leaving the 1,000 gallon septic tank alone and sending the affluent into a new 2,500 gallon joint tank that will be placed common land, 15? from the wetland, which will require a waiver by both state and town. She noted that the pump chamber which will pump 270? uphill from the houses to the proposed leach field.

In response to a question from Mr. Hoar, Ms. Tuomala stated that the pipe will go from the leach field , next to the Lilleys house, and then to the common land.

The Board reviewed pictures that Ms. Tuomala presented noting that the pipe will be kept as close to the Lilley house as possible, all piping will be SDR 26, which is less prone to leaks, and there is an extra tank that will be removed.

Ms. Tuomala explained that the plans include a note stating that all three tanks will be pumped and inspected every two years. She further noted that the system will have an alarm box, which will be mounted on the Gravlin house to alert of a failure. She stated that there are two pumps so that one will take over if the other fails.

Ms. Tuomala stated that the property is in the Residential District and Wetland and Conservation overlays with two condo units and common land serviced by onsite water and sewer.

Ms. Tuomala presented her criteria for the variances as follows:

1. The existing leach field and the sewer line feeding it are all within poorly drained soils, the proposed system will be outside these soils therefore enhancing the public safety.

2. The proposal is not contrary to public interest because the proposed affluent area is allowed by the state and the existing tanks will remain.

In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Ms. Tuomala stated that both tanks have been evaluated and are in very good condition and its best that they stay as close to the house as possible.

In response to another question from Mr. Carnduff, Ms. Tuomala stated that the shared tank will have 1667 gallons of septic storage and 833 of pump storage. She also noted that the state will not allow any increase in the number of bedrooms at this site.

3. A variance is necessary given the special conditions of this lot which include shape, size, topography, the pond and associated wetlands. The respective setbacks make the placement of a septic impossible within the Wilton Ordinance.

4. A variance will allow for the continued use of the residence which existed before zoning. The proposal is for a septic and leach system that is allowed by the state. Allowing the two existing tanks will keep solids near the house which creates less opportunity for an issue to occur. The one line to the leach field will have less environmental impact and risk than two lines would create.

5. This proposal will reduce the current negative impact by placing it out of the wetland and into soils as allowed by the state.

In response to a question from Mr. Poisson, Ms. Tuomala stated that the two tanks to the houses will remain and the existing tank closest to the new tank will be removed.

In response to a question from Mr. Hoar, Ms. Tuomala stated that there are no abutter wells within 75? of the proposed tanks and leach field.

Nancy Clark, an abutter, stated that she is fine with the proposal now that she has learned that the tanks will be sealed.

Roland, an abutter, stated that he is in favor of the proposal because he is an abutter to the failing leach field.

Natasha Gravlin, owner of Unit 2, stated that they will be changing the condo agreement to state that every 1.5 to 2 years Davidsons will inspect and pump the tanks and $25 per month will be put into escrow to cover the cost of any necessary maintenance.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Carnduff and SECONDED by Mr. Hoar to close public portion of the hearing.

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried.

Mr. Carnduff stated that this proposal seems like a positive step and the applicants have their neighbors' approval so he sees no reason not to grant the variances.

Mr. Faiman stated that the proposal looks like an improvement as any non conformity is being decreased.

A MOTION was made by Ms. Roberts and SECONDED by Mr. Carnduff to approved the variances as described in the proposal and the attached plans with a revision date of 5/8/12.

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Policy Change: Requests for Extensions

The Board reviewed Mr. Faiman's proposal, as previously discussed, regarding the Board's procedure for dealing with requests for extensions.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Carnduff and SECONDED by Mr. Poisson to approve the revised procedure as presented.

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Adjournment

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

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Faiman declared the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,
Heather Loewy Nichols
Zoning Board Secretary
Page 3 of 3
Wilton ZBA
Final Revision
Approved on June 12, 2012