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ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS NOV 2007 MINUTES
TOWN OF FALMOUTH
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2007
These minutes are not verbatim
MEMBERS PRESENT: Rich Bayer, Fred Jay Meyer, Jim Thibodeau, Willie Audet and
Dennis Keeler.
Kevin McCarthy is Chairman.
Meeting opened at 6:30p.m.
Mr. Keeler was designated as a voting member for the meeting.
1. Minutes
Mr. Bayer moved to approve the minutes from the July 24th meeting; Mr. Meyer seconded.
Minutes approved 3-0. (Mr. Audet, Mr. Keeler and Mr. Thibodeau abstained)
Mr. Meyer moved to approve the minutes from the August 28th meeting; Mr. Bayer seconded.
Minutes approved 6-0.
The minutes from the September 25th meeting were tabled pending amendment.
Administrative Action Items
2. John Fiato– Is requesting Conditional Use approval under Section 6.2a, to construct an
addition at 15 Harriette St, Parcel #U54-008, zoned “RB”.
Mr. Thibodeau moved to approve under Section 6.2a; Mr. Meyer seconded. Application
approved 6-0.
3. Joseph R. Mazziotti- Is requesting Conditional Use approval under Section 6.2a, for an
addition, garage and deck at 11 Mill Rd. Parcel #U40-020, zoned “RB”.
Mr. Keeler asked if there were any height issues.
Mr. Mazziotti said no, it is all single story.
There was some discussion around a question from Mr. Hanson, an abutter, about the
setbacks. Mr. Mazziotti testified that the distance from the proposed addition to the property line
was 10 feet more than the setback requirement.
Mr. Meyer moved to approve the application, Mr. Keeler seconded. Application approved 6-0.
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Agenda Items
4. Fish House Reality LLC, represented by Peter Wellin- Is requesting Conditional Use
approval under Section 6.2b, for an expansion at 31 Town Landing Rd. Parcel #U17-063,
zoned “RA”.
Mr. Wellin presented the application. This is a new submission requesting conditional use under
Section 6.2b. His primary goal is to convert the house into a single family residence, more
compatible with the neighborhood. There will be no change in the footprint or the height; the
reconfiguration is away from the waterline. There is no increase in lot coverage, the house will
not be closer to water lines, nor will it create or compound height restrictions (height allowed in
this area is 35 feet, the house as it stands is 27 feet high). The expansion will not be closer than
10 feet to a lot line, or 20 feet to neighboring buildings. There will be an increase of 2.5% in the
volume, which is within the 30% increase limit allowed within shoreline zoning. The calculations
have been done including the decks but not including the small addition made in 1985.
Mr. Wellin addressed the criteria he felt may raise questions: first of all, 6.2 b: compatibility with
the neighborhood. The design shows roofline modifications, window openings, materials used;
there will be natural shingles, which are more in keeping with the neighborhood than house is
currently (the house currently has vinyl siding). This design is more cottage style, more
cohesive, and more in keeping with neighborhood. They plan to reconfigure some interior
space into exterior space, moving it away from waterline. There will be 3 small bedrooms and
2.5 baths, no excessive space. There is very little yard, the outside space on this property is the
decks and railings. No garage here.
Secondly 6.2 D: significant adverse effect on adjacent or nearby property values: Mr. Wellin said
that he thinks this house as it stands is a drag on the neighborhood. He observed that property
owners in the area are not taxed just on water views, but are also taxed on the condition of
neighbors’ properties. Currently this house is out of keeping with the Foreside area. A new
finish, condition and design will be a dramatic improvement, and will improve neighboring
valuations. He said that the side abutter will have no negative impact due to the reconfiguration
of the design.
Thirdly 6.2 E: no significant adverse impact on water views. Mr. Wellin noted that there is no
measurement on this to help define significant. There are four abutters to the property: Town
Landing Road is to the North; on the East side toward the water is a house (there will be no
impact on them as they are in front of the house). As far as the abutter to the West, directly
behind the house, the west elevation in the new design doesn’t change much; in fact it
decreases slightly. This abutter has direct access to the water and is pleased someone is going
to fix the house. The South abutter, on the profile on that side in the new design the net effect is
2.5%. Due to the steepness of Town Landing Road and the conditions of the neighborhood, Mr.
Wellin felt that this expansion will not affect any other properties in the area.
Mr. Wellin addressed the issue of setting a precedent in the neighborhood, saying that he was
not asking for a variance, just a conditional use. He felt that this is the correct precedent to set:
for a citizen to present a cohesive design, something that is complete, not haphazard. He
testified that it is common in this neighborhood to come to the Town for approval for decks, and
so this proposal is not unusual in this way. Mr. Wellin presented floor plans and graphics of the
proposed railings, which would be very low profile railings.
Public comment period open:
Ann Staples of Pitt Street said that she still had some concerns despite the redesign. She said
that in reference to the water views, she knew that the proposed expansion will affect some
home owners’ views, but not hers. She did not agree with Mr. Wellin, saying that the owners in
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this area are taxed on their water views. She is still concerned about a precedent being set if
water views are allowed to be impacted. She wondered what will happen if her neighbors were
allowed to raise their roofs; her view would be affected. She also raised the issue of the house
becoming a rental property; she was concerned about the adequacy of parking and the impact
of potential noise from vacationers. She was also concerned about construction vehicles
parking during the expansion. They can’t park on Town Landing Road.
Jim McGowen of 8 Ayres Court handed out a packet of materials to the Board. He testified that
the existing structure is more than 3400 sq feet, the most voluminous structure in the
neighborhood, and that any addition will only add to the problem. He said that his property line
is only 18-30 inches from the current building. Fishhouse has requested an easement to use
his property for 12 months for construction vehicles during the work. He expressed his concern
about the effect of this on his family and their peaceful enjoyment of their property. A 27%
increase in the upper level is proposed, for a structure he feels is already too big for the
property. His opinion is that the structure can be renovated and updated without increasing it.
The existing house already has two bedrooms and a bath on the upper level; he felt it could be
converted easily without adding.
Mr. McGowen’s second issue was the water views. He quoted section 8.3 C of the ordinance,
which states that any property will not have a significant adverse effect on adjacent properties.
He referenced the photos he previously handed out to the Board members, which show the
effect on his water views from the proposed addition. He testified that the proposed expansion
would remove water views from some of the rooms altogether. He was also concerned about a
deck in the plans, which he felt does not comply with 6.11 C; he feels it would be an expansion
toward the water, which is not allowed. He was also concerned about the intended use as a
weekly rental property, and he felt that the decks would be intrusive and represent a loss of
privacy. He said that the decks are designed to capture the very views that they are stealing.
He requests that this conditional use be denied.
A letter was presented to the Board from Thelma Bayer, a long-time resident of Ayres Court,
who couldn’t make the meeting due to illness. She is concerned about the impact of the
proposed project on her water views, and hopes the Board will deny the request.
Norma McGowen of 8 Ayres court clarified to the Board that Thelma Bayer has water views in
the winter, when the leaves fall from the trees. If this project goes through, Mrs. Bayer would
lose her water views entirely.
Mr. Bayer asked Mr. Wellin for clarification about Mr. McGowen’s statement regarding extension
toward the water.
Mr. Wellin said that the deck in question is on an existing flat roof, and would still be within the
footprint. He is not expanding it toward the property line.
Mr. Farris said that the consistent view of the Code Office, and this Board in the past, has been
that a deck over an existing roof is not an expansion toward the water.
Mr. Bayer asked about the value issue. He referenced Mr. McGowen’s statement about taking
away his water views for the new structure. He asked Mr. Wellin for any studies he had on the
impact on the views from Mr. McGowen’s home.
Mr. Wellin showed how the changes on the existing structure will mitigate the impact of the
views from Mr. McGowen’s home. He testified that the redesign was actually enhancing some
water views, by pulling some of the existing structure back, and replacing it with exterior
decking. The proposed railings are better for the views. He said that the language of the
ordinance is vague on the subject of what is significant. He said he couldn’t say that there is no
impact, but that the ordinance doesn’t say no impact, just no significant impact.
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Mr. Bayer asked Mr. Wellin if Mr. McGowen will have some windows that will have a better view.
Mr. Wellin said that the primary views are what the tax assessor looks at, and that he felt that
the impact is not significant because the redesign doesn’t impact the primary views.
Mr. Bayer asked if the diagram relates to the abutter’s home or a theoretical diagram
Mr. Wellin said that they were trying to relate it to him directly. All the glazing on Mr.
McGowen’s home facing the water - that side of the design has been redone. Some of Mr.
McGowen’s windows will have more impact, and some windows will have better views.
Mr. Bayer asked if the changes to the structure made in 1985 apply to the 30% expansion limit.
Mr. Wellin said that, in doing the calculation of ability to increase within the shoreland zone,
there is a 30% lifetime limit on the house. In regards to the small addition made on the rear of
the house in 1985 there was a variance approved for that addition. In calculating the 30%, Mr.
Wellins said, they removed the square footage of that addition.
Mr. Farris clarified that the ordinance including the 30% limit was not adopted until 1986.
Mr. McCarthy asked for clarification that, in the calculation of the 30%, Mr. Wellin didn’t count
that addition.
Mr. Wellin said that was correct.
Mr. Thibodeau asked Mr. McGowen to point out, on the photo of his house, the windows that
would be impacted by the expansion.
At Mr. Thibodeau’s request, Mr. Wellin discussed the building envelope allowed by the
setbacks. The current house is outside the setbacks at several points.
Mr. Keeler asked for clarification that the decks are not factored into the increase.
Mr. Wellin said that they were factored into the square footage increase, but not volume
increase. The decks are designed to minimize any obstructive impact on water views, both by
setting them back from the edge, and using see-through railings. They need a certain square
footage to improve the 3rd floor staircase. The existing bathroom is where the new staircase is
proposed. They are removing part of the existing dormer. The new bathroom is where there is
low ceiling now. There is no adequate height and width for existing staircase.
Mr. Keeler asked Mr McGowen about the views from the Master bedroom, and the setback from
his house. The pullback of the dormer would improve the views from the house?
Mr McGowen said that the main viewshed is from the back of the house, especially the two
bedrooms which would lose views. Regarding the decks, he said that most people put furniture,
etc. on decks.
Mr. Meyer asked if historically the house had been used as rental.
Mr Wellin said yes, the downstairs is used as a rental. He testified that several properties in the
area are used as rentals. He said that his intent for the property is as an investment with some
personal use. He felt that a summer rental would have more respect for the property than a
winter rental. Traditionally this area was a vacation area, and was used as rentals.
Mr. Meyer asked Mr. McGowen if the prior rental use affected his property.
Mr. McGowen said no, it was a small rental; the prior owner rented it to a family member.
Mr. Meyer asked Mrs. Staples the same question.
Mrs. Staples said that it hasn’t caused major problems. She said that long term rentals are ok;
long term renters want to be assimilated into neighborhood, and are expected to help out. She
said that short term rentals are the problem. This property has always been a long term rental.
Mr. Meyer asked Mr. Wellin asked about a number in the area calculation list which showed a
net gain, when Mr. Wellin had testified that there would be no increase in lot coverage.
Mr. Wellin said that number may be a mistake; there had been some talk about building a deck
in front of the front door, a minor increase in lot coverage, which had been removed after the
last Zoning Board meeting. He thought that maybe his architects had missed that calculation.
He said that, to his knowledge, there is no increase in lot coverage.
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Mr. Meyer asked about the north elevation on the plans, on the deck on the back of the master
bedroom, railings are listed as cable railings on one side, but on the drawing they appear to be
solid railings.
Mr. Wellin clarified that the effect on the plans was the sloped roof of the lower level which
covers over half the railing.
Mr. Meyer asked Mr. Farris who was responsible for enforcing the parking for construction
vehicles, location of dumpsters, etc.
Mr. Farris said that if it is off the public way, we are. He said that there appeared to be enough
parking for four or five vehicles. The ordinance requires only two spaces for a residence. If
there were more parked on the street, the police would chase them away.
Mr. Audet referenced Section 8.3 e and d, and asked the sale price of the property.
Mr. Wellin said he purchased it for $550,000.
Mr. Audet asked for the cost of the proposed improvement.
Mr. Wellin estimated it at $300,000 to $400,000.
Mr. Audet asked for the total value of the property according to the tax record.
Mr. Farris said that the total value of the property according to the tax record is $534,000.
Mr. Audet observed that Mr. Wellin was almost doubling the value of the property. He asked if
the neighbors had checked with the assessor, or anyone, regarding the value question.
Mr. McGowen said that no, he hadn’t checked with anyone, that he used common sense that
the loss of water views, and the impact of decks on privacy, would impact the values.
Mr. Auded asked if a lot of applications come through under Section 8.3 e.
Mr. Farris said that only one other application has come before the Board under that section. It
was tabled. The Board members went out individually and walked the property.
Mr. Audet observed that this provision is new, and gets to where the property rights are of the
owner and the abutters. He said that the Council has not given the Board a definition of
significant. He said he understood where the concern is of the abutter, but he had to balance
the rights of the applicant.
Mr. McCarthy asked Mr. Wellin if he felt the photos from Mr. McGowen were accurate. The
cross hatches on the photo from Mr. McGowen seem to indicate the roofline being higher.
Mr. Wellin said that the roof line will not be higher.
Mr. McGowen explained that the existing roof slopes away, the new roof is closer to the
property, and so it will block the sky view from the lower elevation.
Mr. Wellin explained that approximately 4 feet of existing dormer will be replaced by deck.
Mr. McCarthy asked how this view would be affected.
Mr. Wellin said that the chimney would be removed also, which would improve the view.
Mr. McCarthy said that noise and privacy concerns are often addressed with vegetative
screens. He observed that was not feasible here, due to view impact.
Mr. Wellin addressed the rental impact issue, saying that the house is not on a private lane; it is
on Town Landing Road, which is one of the busiest dead end streets in town. Any use of the
house, as long as it is residential, will not compound what happens on Town Landing Road.
Cecila Tobiason, an across the street abutter, asked about the deck that Mr. Wellin is putting on
the back of the house. She wanted to know if it would give people a view of her yard. She was
concerned about her privacy.
Mr. Wellin referenced the satellite photo in the packet: he said that the Board could see that Ms.
Tobiason’s house isn’t even in the photo; her house is up the street, and so it would be hard to
determine any impact. This house is at a lower elevation, down the street from Mrs. Tobiason.
Mr. Bayer asked Mr. McGowen if there were other windows on his house, aside from the 3 ½
windows in the photo, that look out at the ocean.
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Mr. McGowen said that he has 5 windows on that side on the second floor; 2 sides of his home
have ocean views.
Mr. Bayer asked Mr. McGowen if there was any historical use of the flat roof that his home
overlooks.
Mr. Mcgowen said that the roof wasn’t safe. Typically only used to shovel it off.
Mr. Keeler moved to approve the request for conditional use approval.
Mr. Bayer seconded.
Mr. Audet said that it was difficult to determine as a board member what is significant. This is
one of the most closely knit neighborhoods in the community. He felt that Mr. Wellin was trying
to do the right thing by improving a house that has come out of compliance with the
neighborhood. He thought that, what some people lose in views, their values will be
substantially increased with the increase in value of that property, with the purchase price and
cost of improvements factored in.
Mr. Meyer agreed with Mr. Audet. The current building is unattractive; the proposed changes
will improve the neighborhood, and potentially increase property values. He commended Mr.
Wellin on his effort to minimize the effect on others. He agreed that some views will be
impacted, but said that one can’t avoid all impacts on views, any structure will impact views, but
this proposal is a modest impact. He said he was inclined to view the proposal favorably.
Mr. Keeler said that the number of comments about rental use were not relevant to what the
Board was looking at tonight. He said that the Board was looking at the physical expansion of
the building. It may or may not lead to rental, but the rental aspect is a zoning issue to be
brought to the Council, and not subject to this conditional use issue. He referenced the
concerns about construction; he said that they were perfectly legitimate, but not subject to this
conditional use. Regarding this being a congested area or tight area, he said that any
improvements to this house would cause these. He said that it came down to the issue of 8.3 e:
the significant adverse impact on water views. He felt that it was very difficult to get his arms
around this issue. He was not sure what significant was. He thought Dr. Wellin had tried to
keep that to a minimum. It can’t be eliminated completely. Mr. Keeler said that he looked at this
issue as balancing between what benefit Mr. Welllin would gain from the detriment of others.
He asked if Mr. Wellin would consider dropping off that back deck.
Mr. Wellin was not convinced from Mr. McGowen’s photos that the railing is the issue. If the
slope of the roof covering part of the railing is the issue, maybe that could be cut back as a
condition of the approval.
Mr. Thibodeau said that it was an excellent application. He also said that the neighbors had
made some good points. He said that the question remains as to what is a significant impact on
the water viewshed. At this moment, he said he was leaning toward an opinion that this is not
significant. He thought that maybe a site visit would benefit the Board on this issue, but he was
prepared to make a decision tonight. In regards to an adverse economic impact: he thought
that there may be some negative aspects of this expansion, but on balance he thought this
would increase the property values. He said he would be in favor of this application.
Mr. Bayer said that he agreed with Mr. Keeler, especially his views on 8.3 e. He said the Board
also had to look at 8.3 d, the adverse effect on adjacent property values. He felt that the burden
was on the petitioner to address this. He thought there was a need to give more consideration
to the three new decks. He raised the issue of chairs, towels and potentially umbrella tables on
these decks in the warm months. In looking at overall percentage of impact on view, there are
these three decks, and he was concerned about the impact on the water views. He said he was
not inclined to vote in favor of this application. None of the three decks were considered in the
calculation in regard to the bulk of the structure.
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Mr. Keeler, in reference to the deck issue, agreed with Mr. Bayer; one can’t say the decks have
no impact on water views. But in looking at significance, the Board has to balance the benefit to
Dr. Wellin’s property vs. the impact on the neighbors. He said he could see the benefit of a
deck from the bedroom, but he had a significant difficulty with the deck coming out of the
bathroom, which affects Mr. McGowen’s property. Mr. Keeler said he was comfortable with the
front two decks, but had a difficulty with the back deck.
Mr. Bayer said he had a question about the flat roof. He thought that this will be a popular area
in the warm months. He didn’t know of decks that don’t have anything on them in the warm
months. He thought that this is significant. The view from the living room and porch of the
McGowens’ looks directly over that flat roof; they will now be looking out on a used deck.
Mr. Farris asked about the sliding glass doors leading out to the roof.
Mr. Wellin said that those were casement windows.
Mr. Farris said he had a vague memory of a railing around that deck, in the late 70’s.
Mr. Wellin said that he wouldn’t call those doors.
Mr. McCarthy said that the significant adverse impact, while vague, lends itself to case-by-case
determination. He felt it was not helpful to have a specific percentage laid out; he said it robs
the boards of their discretion on determining significance on a case by case basis. He felt that
this proposal does not constitute a significant adverse impact. There is an impact, but there
would be an impact if he planted trees. He said that he wouldn’t be adverse if Mr. Wellin was
willing to consider reducing one of the decks, but he said it was not up to the Board to take apart
the design. Regarding the parking concerns, he observed that Town Landing Road is a busy
place. Mr. Wellin has the necessary number of parking spaces to comply with the ordinance.
This is not an issue that this board can comprehensively deal with; it is more a police and
maybe a town council issue.
Mr. McCarthy suggested an addition to the motion on the table that a condition be added to the
approval that the railing materials incorporated into the decks be substantially similar to the
ones shown on the plans, specifically acrylic or clear, to minimize view impacts, those conform
to code requirements.
Mr. McCarthy said that he was not in favor of a site visit in this instance; he didn’t think it would
help the discussion. He thought that the application fit the provisions of Section 8.3. Regarding
the property values issue, he suggested that property owners visit the assessor to determine
what effect the loss of a water view from a window would have on the value.
Mr. Thibodeau said that he was not going to press the site visit, but he wanted to know if Mr.
Wellin was willing to consider eliminating the back deck.
Mr. Wellin said that he was willing as a condition to open up the back deck area. He said that
he understood that anything he showed at this meeting is required in the approval. The design
is a see through type of railing system.
Mr. McCarthy asked about the enforcement of the railing as a see through railing.
Mr. Farris said that Mr. Wellin can be held to that standard; it is a matter of discussion and
public record. It does meet the building code.
Printed photos of the railing type were added as an exhibit.
The Motion was amended to say that the railing design and materials must be consistent with
the design as presented to the board tonight.
Application approved 5-0.
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5. Marna Miller & William Chase Boyd, represented by Miles Fenderson–Are requesting
Conditional Use approval under Section 6.2b, for renovations at 32 Phillips Rd. Parcel #U01-
014, zoned, “RA”.
Mr Meyer observed that he lives close to this property, but Mr. Fenderson said he was fine with
Mr. Meyer remaining on the board for this item.
Mr. Farris said that the new roof will be over the existing front porch. The current front porch
extends into the setback. This is a non-conforming lot. There are changes in the front setback
and therefore it is a Section 6.2b issue.
Mr. Fenderson said that they are not expanding the footprint, just making the current sunroom a
kitchen/living room.
Mr. Thibodeau asked what is being done with the front porch roof.
Mr. Fenderson said that the new gable end dives back further. Gable doesn’t come out to the
front porch, sits back. Not increasing out.
Mr. Farris asked for clarification that the roof over front porch exists already.
Mr. Fenderson said yes.
Mr. Farris thought that maybe this should have been a 6.2a.
Mr. McCarthy asked for clarification that they are not expanding the footprint, and are not adding
a roof over the front porch.
Mr. Fenderson said that they are ripping off the roof and adding gables to increase space on the
second floor.
Mr. Keeler asked for clarification that nothing was happening in the setback area.
Mr. Farris said they are changing the roof.
Mr. Fenderson said that it is currently a hip roof; after this the roof will be a gable roof.
Mr. Thibodeau observed that this is an enlargement within that setback, so it would be a 6.2b.
Mr. Keeler asked what else is being done, other than gabling the roof.
Mr. Fenderson said that they are planning to demolish the roof, add the gables on two sides for
more headroom and usable space on second floor. They are also proposing to demolish the
existing glass room on the foundation and extending the kitchen/living room into that space.
A public comment period was opened; there was no public comment.
Mr. McCarthy asked if Mr. Fenderson had heard any comments from neighbors.
Mr. Fenderson said that he had talked to three of them, and all those said go for it. He said he
has not talked to all of them.
Mr. Thibodeau moved to approve the application under 6.2 b
Mr. Meyer seconded.
Application approved 5-0.
6. Alan DeBisschop –represented by Village Builders- Is requesting Conditional Use
approval under Section 6.11, for an addition at 454 Pride Farm Rd. Parcel #HL6-037, zoned
“RBM”.
Daniel Grant of Village Builders represented the DeBisschops. He said that they are putting on
a 10x24 addition on the rear of the property. The proposed addition is entirely between existing
structures. It is a single story addition, and doesn’t raise the elevation at all.
Mr. Farris said that there are no issues.
Mr. Meyer asked Mr. Farris if the proposed addition was within the setbacks.
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Mr. Farris said that yes, it is within 100 feet of the water. This application is totally within the
setbacks. It is only a section 6.11 due to the water.
Mr. Thibodeau asked Mr. Farris what the applicant has to do for erosion controls and planning.
What are the requirements for a building permit in the shoreland zone?
Mr. Farris said that the permit, once approved, will have expectations about erosion control and
best management practices. Erosions controls will have to be in place on the downslope before
they begin construction.
Mr. Thibodeau asked if there are any additional bathrooms planned, or any added load on the
septic as a result of the addition that would cause a problem.
Mr. Farris said that a bedroom would have an impact, but this application is for a sunroom.
Mr. McCarthy asked Mr. DeBisschop if this is a seasonal cottage.
Mr. DeBisschop said yes.
Mr. McCarthy asked if the addition will be on a foundation.
Mr. Grant said it would be on tubes.
Mr. Thibodeau moved to approve the application under 6.11.
Mr. Keeler seconded.
Application approved 5-0.
7. Dennis R & Nancy C. Brown- Are requesting Conditional Use approval under Sections
6.11 & 6.9, to tear down and rebuild a single family dwelling at 39 Pond Villa, Parcel #HL4-
014 zoned, “RBm.”
Mr. Brown presented the application. The existing house is a cape; the applicants plan to tear it
down and create a single story building. The existing garage is within 8 feet of the road and
within 3 feet of the abutter. The proposal moves the structure back from the water to attach the
garage to the house, and therefore move it into compliance. The phosphorus control plan lists
water gardens with appropriate drainage to the lake.
Mr. Keeler observed that there were no lot coverage issues, and all setbacks were in
compliance. He asked for clarification that they were not looking for any variations from 6.9.
Mr. Brown said that they are well under the 50% lot coverage and within the setbacks. The
current house is 1367 sq feet; after the addition it will be 1437 sq feet, so it is not a significant
change. The intention is to move into it year round as their full time residence.
Mr. Farris said that there are some incorrect calculations. He and Mr. Brown are working on
balancing volume, some of the garage is outside the 100 foot shoreland zone setback. There
are no problems with the application.
Mr. Thibodeau asked if there was any increase in number of bedrooms, bathrooms; is there any
increase on the septic system.
Mr. Brown said that there are currently two bedrooms and one bath. The septic was designed
and modified 8 years ago, and is rated for two bedrooms. Their intention is to remain at 2
bedrooms.
Mr. Bayer asked if the edge of the proposed house will be 100 feet exactly from the lake.
Mr. Brown said that the new house will vary, but it will be between 30-35 feet from lake. With the
current house the point of the house closest to the lake is 23 feet away. They are moving about
10 feet back from the lake.
Mr. McCarthy asked if they will have to take down some trees.
Mr. Brown said yes; some will have to be removed due to the demolition of the existing
structure, others are due to moving the house. They are required to dig up the existing
foundation. Due to the proximity of the roots, they will have to take out some trees. Part of the
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existing foundation is cement block, the remaining is dirt space. He doesn’t think it goes down
very far. The plan is to have some living space below grade.
Mr. Audet asked about the means of egress from the basement bedroom.
Mr. Farris said that it is a walkout.
Mr. Bayer moved to approve under 6.9 and 6.11.
Mr. Thibodeau seconded.
Application approved 5-0.
Other items:
The Board will not meet in December, but will have a workshop meeting with Bill Plouffe the
third Tuesday in January starting at 6:00 pm in Council Chambers.
Mr McCarthy addressed the issue of meeting length, and the need for more complete
applications. There is a need here to set some rules and enforce them, maybe publication in
the Forecaster is called for.
Mr. Farris said that they can do that as a policy statement, and can attach it to all the
applications. He thought a memo to the Town Council, allowing Mr. Farris to move the submittal
deadline back to give him more time to review applications, would help.
Mr. McCarthy wanted to decrease the workload on the CEO of applications who provide the
bare minimum of materials.
Mr. Keeler felt it would be helpful on the conditional use applications to have materials that show
how it compares with what is already there. He observed that you don’t know what you are
approving if you don’t know what is already there.
Mr. Bayer said that a couple months ago he suggested a letter from the Board explaining that
it’s the applicants’ burden to submit completed materials, and meet the criteria of the ordinance.
Mr. Audet said that they want photos of front, back and sides of building, and a brief description
of the building, scaled plans.
Mr. McCarthy raised the issue of the difference between a commercial developer and a single
family homeowner who is here due to the ordinance. He was concerned about the additional
expense and hassle on a homeowner.
There was discussion about how ordinance changes are made, and how the ordinance is
reviewed by the Council. The Council has asked that the Board review Section 6 in its entirety.
The Board’s report is due to the Council in March. Mr. McCarthy asked the Board members to
look at the ordinance and draft some suggestions for changes to present to the Council.
Mr. McCarthy asked if the Board was in favor of a system whereby they would massage the
agenda to send any variances to the end, and send the 6.2 a items to the consent agenda.
Mr. Bayer suggested that the chair can determine when items are heard on the agenda
Mr. Farris said that currently the agenda is first come, first serve.
Mr. McCarthy suggested that they add to the letter that the agenda order can be changed at the
boards discretion.
Mr. Audet observed that they have to set the agenda prior to the meeting, but maybe the Chair
and Mr. Farris could have a conversation before it is set to determine agenda order.
Mr. Farris said that the agenda needs to be set a week prior.
Mr. McCarthy said it was a good idea, but observed that there have been several times when a
supposed non-controversial item turns out to be a lengthy discussion at the meeting.
11
Mr. Keeler said that, with a 10:30 pm ruling, if there was a lengthy agenda, the Board could ask
if anyone was willing to table.
Mr. Thibodeau observed that the problem with that is that people will take advantage and table
themselves on purpose to rise up the agenda.
Mr. McCarthy said that he was willing to work with Mr. Farris as applications come in as to
where on agenda applications land.
Mr. Farris said that he would email Mr. McCarthy the agenda notes and allow him to determine
the order.
Mr. McCarthy wondered if maybe there should be a cheat sheet for applications looking for a
variance which would define the legal statue of “hardship”.
Mr. Farris asked for the Board to review a list of zoning board procedures written in June 2003.
He said it contained a meeting length provision.
Mr. McCarthy said that he was not in favor of polling the board in front of a packed house. He
would rather have a hard and fast rule.
Mr. Farris suggested a rule of no new business after 10pm, unless the board decides otherwise.
Mr. McCarthy agreed on no new items after 10 pm, absent extraordinary circumstances, at the
discretion of the Board.
Meeting adjourned 10:15 pm.
Respectfully submitted,
Melissa Tryon
Recording Secretary

 

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