TOWN OF FALMOUTH
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2009
These minutes are not verbatim
MEMBERS PRESENT: Fred Jay Meyer, Willie Audet, Jim Thibodeau, Stan Given (Associate),
Jonathan Berry (Associate)
MEMBERS ABSENT: Rich Bayer (Chair), Dennis Keeler
Stan Given and Jonathan Berry were designated as voting members for the meeting.
Meeting opened at 6:37 pm.
Administrative Agenda Items:
a) Discussion and adoption of the minutes of the November 25, 2008 and February 24, 2009
Stan Given moved to approve the November minutes, Jim Thibodeau seconded. Motion carried 4-0
The minutes of the February meeting were tabled to the next hearing.
b) Discussion and finding that all applications presented for this hearing are complete.
The Board determined that the applications were complete.
Regular Agenda Items:
1. Nancy Murtie- Is requesting Conditional Use approval under Section 6.2 for a dormer at 50
Applegate Ln, Parcel U59-010-003, zoned â€śRAâ€ť.
Nancy Murtie presented her application.
Public comment period opened â€“ no public comment.
Jim Thibodeau observed that dimensions for the windows were not included in the elevations submitted.
When the windows are put in, one should be a fire egress window, due to code.
Ms. Murtie said she was aware of that and so is her contractor.
Jim Thibodeau asked if the property is sewered; Al Farris said yes.
Ms. Murtie said she is basically copying what others in the neighborhood have done.
Jay Meyer asked if the unit is within 20 feet of the boundary or 30 feet of other buildings; Ms. Murtie
said it isnâ€™t.
Jim Thibodeau moved to approve the application. Willie Audet seconded. Motion carried 5-0.
Zoning Board of Appeals
March 24, 2009 minutes
Page 2 of 3
2. John Poyner- request for a hearing for a mislocated single family dwelling under Section 8.2.1
at 10 Depot Rd. Parcel U11-027, zoned â€śRAâ€ť.
Jim Gray, representing the Poyners who have moved overseas, presented the application. He referenced
the letters from Mr. Poyner allowing him to represent them and explaining the issue with the property.
He explained that Mr. Poyner did not have a survey of the property when he designed the addition in
2006, and the resulting error was unintentional. When the Poyners listed the property for sale a
mortgage survey discovered the error. He explained why they thought the error occurred, and said that
it will not affect any neighbors. There is a letter in the packet from an abutter stating that as well.
Public comment period opened; no public comment.
Jon Berry asked about any effect on the property value of the abutter. In the letter she stated that she did
not object as long as it did not affect her value.
Mr. Gray said that, as a realtor, he could say that an 18â€ť encroachment will not affect the property value.
Jon Berry wondered how this happened, when according to the evidence, Mr. Poyner exercised due care.
Mr. Gray said that there is a line of pine trees, and a fence line, and everyone assumed that the fence line
was the property boundary, when in fact that line is about two feet over the boundary.
Willie Audet thought that the mortgage survey showed the building skewed to the west. He thought this
was not an abuse of the ordinance. He asked if there was any malice here.
Al Farris said he was very familiar with this project, and was on the property for the foundation
inspection. This problem is more a case of the highly accurate modern technology used in the
measurements done for the mortgage survey.
Jim Thibodeau said Mr. Poynerâ€™s letter says the encroachment is about 18â€ť but the mortgage surveyorâ€™s
letter indicates an encroachment of about 2.1 feet. He would like some clarification on the actual
amount of the encroachment, and whether that affects Mr. Grayâ€™s estimation of the affect of the property
value of the abutter.
Mr. Gray acknowledged that there was probably an error in Mr. Poynerâ€™s letter, but still didnâ€™t feel there
was an affect with an encroachment of 2.1 feet.
Jay Meyer asked about the abutter who submitted the letter; he asked for clarification that she is the
abutter who is closest to the corner that encroaches.
Mr. Gray said that was correct.
Jim Thibodeau moved to approve the application; Willie Audet seconded.
Jay Meyer asked if the applicants have to go before the Council after this approval; Al Farris said yes.
Motion carried 5-0.
3. Darcy Donald- Is requesting Conditional Use approval under Section 5.21 for a home
occupation at 412 Blackstrap Rd. Parcel R08-002, zoned â€śFFâ€ť.
This item was withdrawn prior to the meeting at the request of the applicant.
Zoning Board of Appeals
March 24, 2009 minutes
Page 3 of 3
c) Discussion at the conclusion of the Regular Session relative to a letter from George Thebarge to the Chairman.
Al Farris explained the email received from Bill Plouffe, Town Attorney, which detailed Mr. Plouffeâ€™s
opinion that it was not appropriate for Jim Thibodeau to recuse himself from all applications presented
by Mr. Thebarge. He outlined the basic reasons for a recusal.
Jon Berry didnâ€™t think it was proper for the Board to act on a general letter of complaint from a
representative, other than to recognize its receipt.
Willie Audet seconded Jon Berryâ€™s comments. Because someone has an opposing view of something,
doesnâ€™t mean that a Board member needs to recuse himself.
Jim Thibodeau said he wasnâ€™t sure that a vote was needed; he has responded with his letter to the chair
and stands by its contents.
Stan Given felt this was a non-issue; he was confident in Mr. Thibodeauâ€™s ability to recuse himself if
there was a conflict that required it.
Jay Meyer felt that they could deal with this if and when Mr. Thebarge was next before the Board and if
he raised it at that time.
Willie Audet observed that the letter was in reference to something that occurred at a Planning Board
meeting, and had nothing to do with any application before the Zoning Board.
Jon Berry wondered if the Board should take a vote to accept the letter and thereby make it a part of the
record. He observed that this letter is inappropriate to submit to this Board, as it is a Board of Appeals
only and cannot take formal action on this issue. The Board could address this on a case-by-case basis.
Jon Berry moved to accept the letter of George Thebarge of February 20, 2009, to formally enter it into
the record along with the response of Jim Thibodeau. On the advice of Counsel this Board will not take
further action. The Board has discussed the contents as well as the response letter from Mr. Thibodeau.
The Board agrees that Mr. Thebarge may bring back his allegations on a case-by-case basis when and if
there is a specific case before the Board. Stan seconded. No vote was taken on this motion.
The Board discussed the specific wording of the motion and the advice of Mr. Plouffe stated in the
Jon Berry moved to accept the 2/20/2009 letter of Mr. Thebarge and Mr. Thibodeauâ€™s response into the
written record, on the advice of Counsel taking no further action at the time. The Board directs Mr.
Farris to issue a memo detailing no further action at this time. Willie Audet seconded. Motion carried 4-
0 (Thibodeau abstained).
Meeting adjourned 7:23 pm.