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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.

February 11, 2014

Board MembersChairman Neil Faiman; members, Carol Roberts, Bill Carnduff, Joe Poisson, Andy Hoar, and alternate John Jowders.
Agenda
  • Minutes of December 10, 2013.
  • 2/11/14-1 Pine Hill and A Child's Nature

Chairman Faiman opened the meeting at 7:35 p.m.

Minutes

A MOTION was made by Ms. Roberts and Mr. Hoar to accept the minutes of December 10, 2014 with the following amendments:

- Page 2, Line 47: remove the extra "not"

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried with Mr. Jowders abstaining.

Mr. Faiman explained, with regard to the Hilltop Café application, that Mr. Gottstein has until next Tuesday to file an amendment to his request for a rehearing of the Hilltop Cafe application and rather than making an initial decision, Mr. Faiman thought it would be best to wait till the amendment period has finished to decide whether or not to grant the rehearing. He further explained that the Board will come together in a public meeting, but not a hearing, to consider the request for a rehearing and if the Board grants the request then a new hearing on the case, with abutter notification and public input, will be held.

In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mr. Faiman explained that the Board can decide the parameters of the hearing including whether or not to hear only new testimony. After discussion, the Board decided to hold a meeting on February 20, 2014 to discuss the rehearing request.

Mr. Faiman introduced the Board.

Case #2/11/14–1 — Pine Hill and A Child's Nature

Mr. Faiman explained that Pine Hill Waldorf School (owner) and A Child's Nature - Care and Education (applicant) have applied for a variance to section 6.1 of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, to allow daycare, pre-school, kindergarten, and before- and after-school care in existing buildings on the Pine Hill campus at Lot F-99-1, Pine Hill Drive.

Mr. Faiman recused himself and Mr. Hoar took over the meeting and explained the procedure.

Patrick Gillum, Lyndeborough resident and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Pine Hill/ High Mowing schools, appeared before the Board for the applicant and explained that at Pine Hill there is the big main building, a smaller building called Blue Bell Cottage, and the two buildings which were built a few years ago referred to as Building #9 and #11. He stated that they received all the permits they required except for a Zoning Board Variance or Special Exception which was overlooked. He also introduced Peggy Waterhouse, Director of A Child's Nature. Mr. Gillum explained that they met with the Selectmen with regard to starting a daycare and Mr. Condra noted that the area is not zoned for daycare. Mr. Gillum also realized a Variance is required for Kindergarten as well, noting that building #9 and #11 have not been zoned for nursery, Kindergarten, daycare, or before and after school care. He explained that they would like to be sure they have formal Zoning Board approval to offer any of those services in any of the buildings on the campus. Ms. Waterhouse also noted that the state and town are involved in reviewing the site to insure that the buildings are appropriate for those activities.

Ms. Roberts noted that Building #9 and #11 have already received special exceptions for nursery school.

In response to a question from Mr. Jowders, Mr. Gillum stated that full day daycare has been in existence at Pine Hill since this summer.

In response to a question from Mr. Poisson, Mr. Gillum stated that they would like all the children to be able to go into all the buildings including the daycare students. He stated that the younger students could be in the same building as the grade school children but noted that the Middle School is on one end of the building and the daycare is on the other.

Ms. Waterhouse noted that the state insures that the locations are all safe and appropriate for each age, for instance children six and under need to have their own playground. She further noted that the state signs off that the location is appropriate for the children who will be using them.

In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Ms. Waterhouse stated that the state approvals have all been received.

In response to a question from Mr. Jowders, Ms. Waterhouse explained that the number of children is determined by the state agency and noted that the numbers they included in the Variance application is what the child care licensing agency has approved for each room.

In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Ms. Waterhouse explained that 116 children is the aggregate number of what the state will allow.

In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mr. Gillum explained that there are 110 grade students, 30 students in Kindergarten, and16 children in daycare currently.

Ms. Waterhouse noted that the way the Variance application was written was meant to let any combination of students occur whether through Pine Hill or A Child's Nature.

In response to a question from Ms. Roberts, Ms. Waterhouse explained that the daycare is open to the public, including currently three state supported students, and they can arrive and leave anywhere between 6:45 am and 5:30 pm.

In response to a question from Mr. Hoar, Mr. Gillum stated that he does not know if there is a cap on the total amount of children allowed.

In response to a question from Ms. Roberts, Mr. Gillum stated that daycare numbers are decided by the state but he believes that the most the school can handle is 250.

In response to a question from Ms. Roberts, Mr. Gillum stated that the Pine Hill is the landlord and A Child's Nature is the tenant; they are separate entities both run by separate Board of Trustees.

In response to a question from Mr. Jowders, Mr. Gillum explained that seven rooms are devoted to early childhood care and when they asked for 116 children they considered how many children the regulations and good sense would allow them to put in those rooms and added those numbers together.

Mr. Hoar stated that there is no definition of the 116 children.

Mr. Jowders stated that he is concerned about what kind of impact on traffic the daycare would have and he thinks the highest increment would be 62 vehicles.

Ms. Waterhouse noted that the buildings have already been approved for that purpose.

Mr. Gillum noted that originally they were planning on filling those buildings up with Kindergarten.

Neil Faiman stated that he believes that the 116 includes all pre-grade activity. Discussion ensued regarding which children are included in the 116 children. It was noted that the application states that the school will also be providing pre and aftercare for children ages 4 to 14.

In response to a question from John Roper, of Isaac Frye Highway, Ms. Roberts explained that the Zoning Ordinance does not allow daycare in an institution.

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

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

The Board discussed traffic and noted that it will vary and stated that they think the proposal fits with the area.

A MOTION was made by Ms. Roberts and SECONDED by Mr. Poisson to return to the public meeting.

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Carnduff and SECONDED by Ms. Roberts to grant the Variance to Section 6.1 based on the application as presented.

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Faiman returned to chairing the meeting.

Adjournment

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

Voting: 6 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Faiman declared the meeting to be adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,
Heather Loewy Nichols
Clerk
Page 4 of 4
Wilton ZBA
2/11/2014