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ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS APRIL 2009 MINUTES
TOWN OF FALMOUTH
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 2009
These minutes are not verbatim
MEMBERS PRESENT: Rich Bayer (Chair), Fred Jay Meyer, Willie Audet, Stan Given (Associate),
Jonathan Berry (Associate)
MEMBERS ABSENT: Jim Thibodeau
Dennis Keeler arrived late to the meeting.
Stan Given was designated as a voting member for the meeting until Dennis Keeler arrived.
Meeting opened at 6:33 pm.
Administrative Agenda Items:
a) Discussion and adoption of the minutes of the February 24, 2009 and March 24, 2009 Hearings.
The February minutes were deferred until the next meeting.
Jay Meyer moved to approve the March 24 minutes as modified. Stan Given seconded. Motion carried
5-0 (Bayer, Keeler abstained).
b) Discussion and finding that all applications presented for this hearing are complete.
Al Farris said the applications were substantially complete. Additional information has been submitted
for the Greenblatt application – one photograph and a sketch showing the front and rear elevations.
Also, a two-page email regarding Fiddlehead interiors, a letter from Don L’Heureux, and two letters
regarding the Pray application have all been distributed to the Board tonight.
The Board determined that the applications were complete.
c) Nancy Greenblatt- Is requesting Conditional Use under Section 6.2a to tear down and rebuild a
garage at 24 West Circle Dr. Parcel U41-25-C, zoned “RB”.
Al Farris said the lot is non-conforming due to size, but the building and the proposed addition will meet
all the setbacks. It has 200 ft of frontage; 150 feet are required for this zone.
Jim Thibodeau moved to approve the application; Jay Meyer seconded. Motion carried 5-0.
Regular Agenda Items:
1. John & Jenny Pray- Are requesting Conditional Use approval under Section 5.21 for a home
occupation, and 6.2a for a garage addition at 10 Hamlin Rd, Parcel#U45-012-M, zoned “RB”.
Zoning Board of Appeals
April 28, 2009 minutes
Page 2 of 12
Al Farris summarized the applications. They are asking for a 6.2a expansion of the garage – it meets all
the setbacks, but the lot is nonconforming due to size. The other application is for a home occupation.
The Board discussed how to address the two applications, deciding to discuss both the applications at
the same time, but to take separate votes.
John and Jenny Pray presented their application. Mr. Pray explained that they are here to attach the
garage to the home and gain a mudroom. They came back due to the business he runs on his property
out of a different garage than the one subject to the addition. Mrs. Pray explained that the addition is not
an extension of the business, but a removal of a bay in the current garage in order to add a mudroom to
the home.
Rich Bayer asked for clarification; there are five garage bays on the property, three in the garage next to
the home, and 2 in the other garage.
The Prays said that was correct. Mr. Pray showed how they would remove one of the existing bays and
put in a mudroom. The current roof is all rubber-membrane and is extremely dangerous; he wants to
change the roofline, to give the home more character, and to replace the roof with a shingle-style roof.
This home does not look like any other home in the neighborhood; this work will only improve it. Mr.
Pray does not do business out of this garage, and has no business equipment stored in it.
Rich Bayer asked if they would still have three bays.
Mr. Pray said yes; he would add one bay to compensate for the one he loses with the addition, so that he
doesn’t lose personal garage space. He would still have five garage bays on the property.
Public comment period opened:
Rich Bayer clarified that this public comment period was for the home addition only.
Rick McDevitt of 8 Hamlin Road testified that the roof is really dangerous, and he urged the Board to
approve the change before someone gets hurt.
Public comment period closed.
Dennis Keeler asked what was dangerous about the roof.
Mr. Pray explained that snow will build up on the roof, up to the roofline, and then slide off the roof all
of a sudden.
Dennis Keeler asked if it was the materials that caused the danger and not the slope.
Mr. Pray said that was correct; he will be going to a shingled roof to eliminate the problem.
Jim Thibodeau disclosed that his company was called in to investigate a situation in which snow slid off
the applicant’s roof and damaged his deck. He said that a rubber roof will release snow very quickly
when it goes, and an asphalt shingle roof would be better.
Jay Meyer asked what the total height of the peak of the roof would be; Mr. Pray said 21 feet.
Jonathan Berry asked if the applicant would be agreeable to additional restrictions on the use of this
garage, in light of the home occupation in the other garage; Mr. Pray said he would.
Rich Bayer moved on to the 5.22.1 application for a home occupation.
Zoning Board of Appeals
April 28, 2009 minutes
Page 3 of 12
Mr. Pray explained that the property was previously owned by the Dobsons. Mr. Dobson was a
contractor and he had trucks and such there, and Mr. Pray assumed that it was okay to operate in the
same fashion. He discovered that this wasn’t the case when he applied for the addition. He is a oneman
show, has a couple of trucks and a tractor, and keeps his property clear. He does his best to keep
noise levels down. He hasn’t sold any materials off the property for the past two years; any materials in
his yard are from work on his home.
Dennis Keeler asked him what equipment he has.
Mr. Pray said he has 2 1–ton pickup trucks which are parked in the additional garage, 1 10-yard dump
truck which stays outside, a 4600 John Deere tractor and a flatbread trailer that he uses to tow the
tractor. He has another tractor on site, but that is for his personal use. Most are under cover, except the
dump truck.
Dennis Keeler asked if he gets materials delivered to the home; Mr. Pray said no; all his materials get
delivered to the work site.
Dennis Keeler asked about a stockpile in one of the photos; Mr. Pray said those were pavers, and were
left over from a project at his home.
Dennis Keeler asked if there were any signs; Mr. Pray said no.
Dennis Keeler asked if the issue is more about storage rather than doing work on the property. He asked
if the work related activities on the site relate more to maintenance of the vehicles.
Mr. Pray said he washes the vehicles on site, but nothing is assembled on site. He did pre-work for the
Portland flower show, but that was all in the garage. He leaves in the morning and comes back at night,
for the most part.
Rich Bayer asked if the John Deere tractor is stored in the garage.
Mr. Pray said that it is typically on the job site. He can fit it in the garage.
Stan Given asked about the photo of a dumpster truck and wondered if that was a regular occurrence.
Mr. Pray said the dumpster is for his personal use and is emptied once a month.
Willie Audet asked if the vehicles are all registered under the business and have commercial plates; Mr.
Pray said yes.
Jay Meyer asked if he has office space in the home; Mr. Pray said he has a 10x10 area that is used for
both home and business use.
Jay Meyer asked if he has customers in the home; Mr. Pray said never.
Mrs. Pray indicated on the plan which room in the home Mr. Pray referred to.
Rich Bayer referred to photo number 2, which showed two tractors.
Mr. Pray said one is the back of the tractor and the other is a four wheeler for his personal use.
Rich Bayer asked if that was sitting in front of the home garage.
Mr. Pray said yes. He said that the photo was taken on a rare day when the truck was in that location;
normally it is tucked in.
Mrs. Pray said that in the aerial view you can see how far apart the properties are.
Zoning Board of Appeals
April 28, 2009 minutes
Page 4 of 12
Dennis Keeler asked them to explain how photo 3 from the email corresponds to the aerial view; Mrs.
Pray showed how the two correspond.
Rich Bayer asked how long they have been there.
Mr. Pray said they moved to the home in 2002; he had the business when he moved in.
Dennis Keeler asked if the vehicles have been there since then.
Mr. Pray said he used to have a 7 yard dump truck, which he sold and then bought the bigger one. The
other trucks have been on the site since 2002.
Public comment period:
Donald L’Heureux of 114 Brook Rd, said that the whole neighborhood has had a good relationship with
the Prays. He has lived there for 18 years and there has always been good dialogue with the Prays
around the business. He always had the feeling that Mr. Pray was going to move the business off site;
Mr. Pray was aware that the business did not conform to zoning. He does not object to the bay, but the
issue is that it does affect property values, and the noise is an issue. He would like to see an exit plan;
he would like to see Mr. Pray have a 2-4 year schedule for him to grow his business and move to a
commercial site. This community has talked about this a lot.
Rich Bayer asked him to indicate on the GIS map where his home is in relation to the Prays.
Mr. L’Heureux showed Rich Bayer where his home is. He clarified that the issue is about value; he felt
the town has zoning set up to indicate what zones are for what uses.
Rick McDevitt of 8 Hamlin Road said he lives closest to the Prays and has never had a problem with the
noise. He has been there for 54 years. His lot is directly to the left of the Prays’ driveway - Lot U45-
011.
Ernie Goff, 12 Hamlin Road, lives directly across from the Prays driveway. He can see the Prays trucks
and cars out of his windows and it doesn’t bother him. When his window is open he hears more noise
from the Turnpike then from Mr. Pray. He testified that the trucks are always in the garage when not is
use, and the dump truck is washed every time Mr. Pray uses it, so it isn’t sitting out dirty.
Lisa Clement of 110 Brook Rd. referred to the email she submitted to the Board. She said that she did
use a zoom in the photos. Mr. Pray has cleared out a lot of trees, and she looks directly into his yard
from many of the windows in her home. Mr. Pray does keep his property neat, but the corner that she
looks over is the place where things typically get stacked. She works at home, and so she sees the trucks
come and go all day. In the summertime the trucks wake her children. She felt that this brings her
property value down. The two bay garage is quite large, and she wondered if it met the requirements in
5.21 c 7 c which says that “The floor area utilized in the accessory structure shall not exceed fifty (50%)
percent of the total floor area of the dwelling unit as previously calculated”. She would like to have some
buffering between her property and the Prays.
Jim Thibodeau asked about the zoning for Ms. Clement’s property; Al Farris said she is in the RB zone.
Jim Thibodeau asked about her home occupation; Ms. Clement said she was an interior designer.
Jay Meyer asked what her primary concern is.
Ms. Clement said the visual impact is the worst. The noise comes and goes. This time of year is the
worst due to there being no leaves on the trees. It is much cleaner now than it has been in the past, but
he has stockpiled items there before. Whether they were for business or personal use, she didn’t know.
Zoning Board of Appeals
April 28, 2009 minutes
Page 5 of 12
Public comment period closed.
Mrs. Pray felt that the conditional use would protect their neighbors, since the Town would enforce the
rules on this use, and the approval would not transfer to another owner. The conditional use would not
change the zoning on the land. Also this conditional use would regulate such things as buffers, noise
levels, etc, and now that they are aware of them they will conform to them, and if they don’t the
neighbors can call the Town for enforcement action. She didn’t feel that property values have gone
down since they have been there; in the last two revaluations, she thought property values have gone up.
Mr. Pray said that Mr. L’Heureux has sold many properties right in that area, so he didn’t feel that his
home occupation would affect values. There is a lot of road noise off the Turnpike, and he felt that there
is a lot of noise on Brook Road that could be attributed to the Turnpike. He was not averse to buffering,
and in fact he is planning to install a berm between his home and Ms. Clement to buffer her view of the
dump truck. He said that any trees that he has taken down are trees that were dead or were a hazard to
his buildings. He felt he met all the ordinance requirements for a conditional use. He asked if there was
any noise ordinance.
Al Farris said there is no specific Falmouth ordinance; they follow the DEP standards, which allow
construction from sunrise to sunset.
Mr. Pray said he has never left the property with the dump truck at 6:00 am, as alleged in one of the
emails. He leaves at 7:00 am at the earliest.
Rich Bayer asked about the trees that were taken down.
Mr. Pray said they were tall trees, and didn’t feel that he took anything down that would have impacted
Ms. Clement’s view of his shop. He is willing to do some replanting if necessary.
Willie Audet asked about adding buffering; he wondered if Mr. Pray has considered putting up a fence
to cordon off a designated storage area for any materials that he might store on site.
Mr. Pray said he would rather do a planting than a fence.
Jay Meyer asked Al Farris about a section in the ordinance that allows a commercial vehicle.
Al Farris said it was in the code of ordinance, not in the zoning ordinance.
Dennis Keeler said in section 5.1 parking for more than one commercial vehicle is prohibited.
Jay Meyer asked if he had an off-site lot to store materials; Mr. Pray said no.
Jay Meyer asked about Don L’Heureux’s comment that the location of the business on this lot would be
phased out in the future.
Mr. Pray said yes; but he can’t afford it now and doesn’t know what will happen in the future with the
economy. He doesn’t plan on getting any bigger, but acknowledged the gentleman’s agreement between
him and Mr. L’Heureux that he would move off that property when he could but he couldn’t put a
timeframe on it.
Jim Thibodeau asked if he was willing to do buffering and a defined storage area; Mr. Pray said yes.
Jim Thibodeau wondered if this even falls under a home occupation, as Mr. Pray wasn’t doing work
there, only storing vehicles there.
Stan Given asked if there was anywhere else to store the dump truck.
Zoning Board of Appeals
April 28, 2009 minutes
Page 6 of 12
Mr. Pray said it could be a possibility, but it still complies with the allowance to have one commercial
vehicle outside. He felt that the Town has strict guidelines and if he violated any of those the Town
could remove his approval, so he didn’t feel a time limit was necessary.
Mrs. Pray said that the accessory is under the 50% maximum usage referenced by Ms. Clement.
Rich Bayer asked to verify the number and size of the commercial vehicles on the site. He asked if there
was anything outside that was visible, other than those items.
Mr. Pray said there could be pipes or something outside, but all his tools are in the garage.
Dennis Keeler asked Al Farris about the testimony that this property has been used in this manner since
1973. He wondered if this was a non-conforming use.
Al Farris said yes, it is a non-conforming use. He first advised Mr. Pray to come before the Board for
this home based business permit when he came in for the addition to the home garage. He clarified that
if Mr. Pray drove the dump truck home every day from an offsite business he would be entitled to do
this. He said the business would have to have been there since 1965 to be exempt.
Rich Bayer asked how often he goes back and forth from the home during the day.
Mr. Pray says it is very rare, and when he does he doesn’t race through gears.
Rich Bayer directed the Board to consider the 6.2a application first.
Dennis Keeler moved to approve the 6.2a application; Jim Thibodeau seconded. Motion carried 5-0.
Dennis Keeler moved to approve the 5.21 application for a home occupation; Jim Thibodeau seconded.
Dennis Keeler observed that this is difficult application. He echoed Jim Thibodeau’s question as to
whether this even qualifies as a home occupation, since there is no business activities on site. The
problem is that under Section 5.1 they are only allowed one commercial vehicle on site unless they have
approval for a home occupation. He outlined his concerns with the application meeting the requirements
of the ordinance. The dump truck is the main concern for him, since the requirements state that the
occupation should take place wholly within the accessory structure. The other trucks are within the
garage, but the dump truck is outside.
Jonathan Berry wondered if this is really a violation of the code, since they are his vehicles and stored
on his land. He was not convinced that this is an accessory use nor that this is a home occupation.
Jim Thibodeau reiterated that he didn’t feel that this is a home occupation, as the work takes place off
site. Mr. Pray is only storing his trucks on the site. He felt that this use is reasonably compatible with
farming, and is part time in nature. Jim Thibodeau would like to see a designated storage area, suitably
screened and buffered.
Dennis Keeler asked how he meets the requirement that it be conducted wholly within the dwelling or
accessory structure.
Jim Thibodeau agreed that he couldn’t see how to meet that requirement, with the dump truck outside.
Rich Bayer thought “wholly within” would also disallow washing trucks outside, moving equipment,
etc. Also, the ordinance allows home occupations that would typically take place in a home, and this
doesn’t fit, nor does it fit the residential nature of the neighborhood.
Zoning Board of Appeals
April 28, 2009 minutes
Page 7 of 12
Jay Meyer had some of the same issues as Dennis Keeler and Rich Bayer; there is some incidental
storage of materials on site. He commented that Mr. Pray does try to be considerate to his neighbors and
keep his property clean. He observed that outside storage of materials is prohibited. He thought offsite
storage of materials and the dump truck would make a big difference, as there would be no outside
indication of the use.
Jim Thibodeau asked Al Farris how would enforce this if it continues as it is without conditional use.
He thought the Board has an opportunity to get a storage area and enforce buffering for the neighbors.
Al Farris agreed that it would be difficult to enforce, as he isn’t doing work on the site.
Jonathan Berry agreed that an approval of a conditional use might of be more benefit to the neighbors,
as without the conditional use there is no way to regulate it. He wondered if there was a way for the
neighbors to work out a list of conditions that they would all be happy with for the Board to approve as
part of the conditional use approval. He wondered if a table was in order.
Rich Bayer thought the outside evidence of the use was difficult to get by.
Dennis Keeler felt that the minimal items outside were not the big issue for him; it was rather the dump
truck.
Mr. Pray asked if a buffer to hide the truck would help.
Dennis Keeler asked if there was a possibility to leave the truck somewhere else.
Mr. Pray said he would have to look into it.
Willie Audet asked if they should allow Mr. Pray to explore his options, and the neighbors to meet and
consider conditions that would be agreeable to all of them.
Ms. Clement said the neighbors were agreeable to that. They would like the opportunity to discuss this
as neighbors.
Rich Bayer asked if the conditional use would follow the land, or if it was specific to the owner.
Al Farris said it was specific to Mr. Pray; when the lot was sold it would revert to the underlying zoning.
Jonathan Berry thought an approved conditional use was to the benefit of both the neighbors and the
Prays, and that it would be best for the two groups to work together on a solution.
Dennis Keeler thought this was a workable solution only because the neighbors have indicated a
willingness to work it through. He wouldn’t want to throw it back to the neighbors on a regular basis.
Dennis Keeler withdrew his original motion, and moved to table the item. Jim Thibodeau seconded.
Rich Bayer observed that the Board is not obligated to approve any agreement that the neighbors draft;
the Board are required to enforce the ordinance as they see it. He explained what he would like to see
from Mr. Pray.
Jim Thibodeau said that, upon further reflection, he thought requirement 5.21 c 1 “the home occupation
shall be carried on wholly within the dwelling or accessory structure” is met since the dump truck is only
parked on the lot, and is not being used as part of the business.
Motion carried 5-0.
Zoning Board of Appeals
April 28, 2009 minutes
Page 8 of 12
2. William Lundborg- Is requesting Conditional Use under Section 8.3 & 6.9 to tear down a
cottage at 36 Ramsdell Rd. Parcel#U16-031, zoned “RA”.
Bruce Butler presented the application. He explained that the Lundborgs live in Minneapolis and are
unable to attend the meeting. The owners would like to tear down the cottage and retain the right to
rebuild on the lot at a later date. They have no current plans to build on the lot. The Lundborgs own the
property directly north of this property, which they currently rent out. They plan to make it their
permanent home in the future. The cottage is not in livable condition, and that is why they would like to
tear it down. He discussed the pictures included with the application, showing the views both from the
Lundborgs’ home as well as the McCartys’ home, as well as a diagram showing the change in grade
from the cottage to the Lundborg’s home and to the McCarty’s home. On that diagram the outline in red
shows the size of house that could be built on the property and still be in compliance with current
setback and height requirements. The house represented is a 1.5 story house.
Public comment period opened; no public comment.
Jim Thibodeau asked about the red outlining of the proposed two-story home; they are not planning on
building on the lot at this time.
Mr. Butler said no; they are planning on hiring TJ DeWan and Associates to develop a landscape plan
for the property. The Lundborgs are the most directly affected by anything done on this property.
Dennis Keeler asked if this was a non-conforming lot and he wondered about the 12 month limit listed
under section 6.6.
Al Farris said yes, it is non-conforming. Section 6.9 allows a structure to be torn down, and preserves
the right to rebuild on that lot in a future time. It does not have to be built within 12 months. If it was
torn down without the approval of the Board, then 6.6 would apply and the 12 month time limit would
be in effect.
Dennis Keeler thought the applicants should obtain their own legal interpretation. Jay Meyer agreed.
Jonathan Berry observed that to prove that the lot would be buildable they would have to come in with a
specific plan.
Willie Audet said they would have to come in for a conditional use to rebuild on the lot.
Al Farris confirmed that, since it was a non-conforming lot. Traditionally this has been used to protect
the right to return before the Board to rebuild.
Jonathan Berry asked about the required merger of the lots.
Al Farris said that the lots are not in common ownership. The Lundborgs own the northerly lot together,
but Mr. Lundborg owns the cottage lot.
Jay Meyer moved to approve the application, with the proviso that any subsequent construction on the
lot be subject to the ordinances and to the approval of the Board. Willie Audet seconded. Motion
carried 5-0.
3. James Rodway-Is requesting Conditional Use approval under Section 5.22.1 For an Accessory
Dwelling at 21 Mill Rd. Parcel #U40-015, zoned “RB”.
James Rodway presented his application.
Zoning Board of Appeals
April 28, 2009 minutes
Page 9 of 12
Public comment period opened; no public comment.
Jay Meyer asked if there is an apartment in the building already; Mr. Rodway said there is, it bridges the
first and second floor.
Al Farris clarified that that is the primary dwelling unit. Currently this is a single family home.
Jay Meyer asked about the entrances. Dennis Keeler thought the entrance for the primary dwelling unit
was off the parking area. Mr. Rodway said that was correct.
Dennis Keeler asked if he is changing the footprint. Mr. Rodway said no.
Dennis Keeler asked what that part of the building is used for now. Mr. Rodway said it is empty space.
Stan Given observed that there are all public utilities to the building.
Jim Thibodeau asked how many bedrooms there are in the building.
Mr. Rodway said two in the main dwelling, and the apartment would be an efficiency type unit – one
room and a bathroom.
Jim Thibodeau asked if the doors are garage space and whether he was adding 4 outside parking spaces.
Mr. Rodway said those are already there.
Dennis Keeler moved to approve the application; Willie Audet seconded. Motion carried 5-0.
4. Nouria Energy Corp- Requesting Conditional Use to replace a sign at 251 US RT 1, Parcel
#U12-002, zoned “SB”.
Darryl Clark presented the application. They are re-facing an existing sign, and are here due to the fact
that the sign is non-conforming due to height.
Al Farris confirmed that they are here solely due to the nonconformity.
Public comment period opened; no public comment.
Jim Thibodeau asked if the original surface was solid and there are no changes to the sign, structurally
or weight, etc.
Mr. Clark said yes, this is just a re-facing.
Jim Thibodeau moved to approve the application to replace a sign facing. Dennis Keeler seconded.
Motion carried 5-0.
5. Bohler Engineering – representing TD Bank North request a variance for signs at TD Bank
North at 200 US RT 1, Parcel U52-001-A, zoned, SB.
Jay Meyer recused himself, due to the fact that TD Banknorth is his employer. Stan Given was
designated as a voting member in his place.
Alberto Jarquin explained the current conditions on the site. The signs on sheets e13 and e14, both
directional signs, are in the right of way and not even on the TD Bank property, and one of the wall
Zoning Board of Appeals
April 28, 2009 minutes
Page 10 of 12
signs is 116 sq feet; the maximum allowed is 100 sq feet. TD Bank is proposing to reface the wall sign
as it currently exists. They would like to reface the directional signs, removing the logo, reduce them to
two square feet, and move them from their current placement within the right of way to five feet within
the property line. This still does not meet setbacks, since if they move them enough to be compliant
they would not be visible from the road. The monument sign is currently is non-conforming; the new
monument sign will be conforming to the setback. He outlined the existing signs, the proposed changes
to the signs, and where each sign is located on the site.
Public comment period opened; no public comment.
Rich Bayer asked about the history of the site.
Al Farris explained that the record indicates that the original signs permitted for CitiBank in December
1987 were somewhat different in dimension than those portrayed in this application. Specifically the
pylon (monument) sign was shown to be 32 sq ft and the wall signs were 80 sq ft each. The record is
incomplete as to the history of changes that may have occurred through at least three owners or tenants.
For example there are no sign permits for the transition from CitiBank to Atlantic or from Atlantic to
Peoples Heritage Bank. A sign permit was issued to transition from Peoples to Banknorth by Al Farris
in 2005, to change the existing sign faces. The artwork for the 2005 permit indicates that the signs were
the same as the proposed and permitted original signs: i.e the pylon at 32 sq ft and the wall signs at 80 sq
ft each. The original site plan does not show the location of the ground signs at all.
Rich Bayer asked if the Planning Board should take this up, in consideration of those issues.
Al Farris explained that the Planning Board will, but the applicants are first looking for a variance for
the location of the directional signs. He agreed with Mr. Jarquin that if those directional signs were
compliant with setbacks, they couldn’t be seen.
Dennis Keeler asked how they ended up with signs in the right of way.
Al Farris said that the right of way for Route 1 is ambiguous in some places as to its width; in this
instance it is 95 feet wide, when further south it is 66 feet.
Mr. Jarquin said the roadway is 40 feet wide and the right of way is 95 feet; to push the signs back to 15
feet within the property line would make them not visible from the road.
Jim asked for clarification on which signs were being changed. Mr. Jarquin indicated the signs on the
plans – they are e13, e14 and e05 on the plans.
Jim asked Al Farris if the application would have to meet all the criteria of 8.4; Al Farris said yes. He
didn’t know how one would answer the criterion of reasonable return with this application.
Dennis Keeler asked if there was any variance that got the wall sign to 116 sq feet; Al Farris said no.
Rich Bayer asked what the options were without the directional signs.
Mr. Jarquin said there were no options; they could pull them in to meet the setbacks but then they would
be useless.
Rich Bayer asked about painting the surfaces; Mr. Jarquin said that would be within the right of way.
Dennis Keeler asked if they could go higher; Mr. Jarquin said they could go up to 7 feet; they are
showing 2 feet right now.
Jim Thibodeau wondered if they could consider this under 8.3, conditional use.
Zoning Board of Appeals
April 28, 2009 minutes
Page 11 of 12
Dennis Keeler asked how that got them beyond the setback requirement.
Al Farris said the setback requirement is in section 5.13 n, and height is under section 5.13 h.
Jonathan Berry referenced section 5.13 i.
Dennis Keeler wondered how that got past the 15 foot setback.
The Board debated the ordinance sections in question. They debated their ability to approve a
conditional use for a sign that violates the setbacks.
Jonathan Berry referred to 5.11 f, which refers to signs that serve a public safety purpose. These
directional signs do not have advertising on them.
Dennis Keeler was concerned that this would allow them to make these signs as big as they want.
Rich Bayer agreed and thought they would have to put some limitations on the signs. He thought the
Board should look at the variance standards of 8.4.
Dennis Keeler thought it could not meet those requirements; it fails at criterion a.
Rich Bayer wondered what the Board can do.
Dennis Keeler felt the wall sign could be redesigned to conform to the size requirements. He liked the
thought of allowing the directional signs under 5.11 f, but was concerned with the Board saying that
those are not signs.
Al Farris felt that directional signs are safety issues, and have no advertising. A sign is for advertising
purposes. He observed that, under section 5.13 h, it lists what is allowed for directional signs; it is
unclear whether they have to meet setbacks.
Dennis Keeler moved to deny the application for a variance; Jim seconded.
Motion carried 5-0. Variance denied.
Findings of fact:
Criterion a: that the land in question cannot yield a reasonable return unless a variance is granted.
The Board voted 0-5 that this criterion was met.
Criterion b: that the need for a variance is due to the unique circumstances of the property and not to the
general conditions of the neighborhood.
The Board voted 0-5 that this criterion was met for the wall sign.
The Board voted 3-2 (Bayer, Thibodeau) that this criterion was met for the directional signs.
Criterion c: that the granting of a variance will not alter the essential character of the locality.
The Board voted 5-0 that this criterion was met.
Criterion d: that the hardship is not the result of action taken by the applicant or a prior owner.
The Board voted 0-5 that this criterion was met.
Meeting adjourned 9:59 pm.
Zoning Board of Appeals
April 28, 2009 minutes
Page 12 of 12
Respectfully submitted,
Melissa Tryon
Recording Secretary

 

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