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Board of Adjustment Minutes 04/17/2013
Town of Chichester
Zoning Board of Appeals
Minutes of Meeting
April 17, 2013

Members Present:  Chairman Mark McIntosh, Benjamin Brown, David Dobson, Mike Paveglio, Richard Millette, alternate Stephen MacCleery Sr. and Secretary Jamie A Pike.

Chairman McIntosh called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.

Selectman Paveglio swore in reappointed members, Mr. McIntosh and Mr. MacCleery.

The Board introduced themselves to those present.

Case # 2013-1: Application for Special Exception from Article 2 Section 4: Frank and Wendy Harrison, Map 5 Lot 8-1, located at 39 Granny Howe Road.

Applicants Frank and Wendy Harrison were present to speak on the merits of the application.

Mr. Harrison explained to the Board that the parcel is located in the Open Space Steeplands (OSS) District, and a Special Exception is specifically allowed for commercial campgrounds.  Mr. Harrison is proposing to develop a science and nature summer day camp for students ranging from middle elementary through high school ages.

The property will remain as currently developed without the addition of any buildings.  There currently is a garage upon the property that will be used as the camp headquarters and classroom space.  

It is anticipated to restrict the group sizes to 25 students and create an additional traffic impact of 60 vehicle trips per day.  The camp is proposed to be private on not open to the public.  Only those persons preregistered are allowed to attend.

Mr. McIntosh asked whether or not the proposed headquarters (existing garage) has restroom facilities.  Mr. Harrison explained that they plan to start out small during the summer of 2013 with one week of camp and plan to use a port-a-potty on site which would allow time to add an ADA compliant restroom to the garage building.

Mr. Brown inquired as to the applicant’s 20-year plan.  Mr. Harrison explained that primarily the facility will be used during the summer, 5± weeklong courses, with the future addition of field trips during the school year.  The Harrison’s also hope to offer limited night events for such activities as star gazing and possibly overnight stays.  There is no intent to establish as a residential campground where persons would stay more than one (1) night.

Mr. MacCleery raised for discussion the option of place restrictions upon any proposed approval that would limit future development beyond the scope of what is being presented.

Mr. Paveglio expressed his concern with respect to the added traffic to the road.  Mr. Harrison countered that there are other unpaved/gravel roads in town such as Smith-Sanborn Road that receive much greater volumes of traffic.

Mr. Harrison further explained that he has had an opportunity to speak with his direct abutters, Pamela Stiles and Deb Ellis about the project.  Mr. Harrison described the unique topography of the property that would provide site distance and visual buffers for the abutting properties.

Chairman McIntosh opened the hearing for public comment.

Deborah Ellis – Ms. Ellis expressed concerns with the added traffic to the road, especially with such being a dead end road.  Ms. Ellis intends to build a home upon here property in the future, and feels that being able to see the Harrison property as a camp may be egregious in the future.  

Thomas Jameson – Mr. Jameson wished to express comment on the issue of increased traffic upon the road.  He explained that Cross Road is similar and receives extremely heavy traffic volumes.  And the additional traffic is for a limited amount of time and results in a negligible increase to the ADT averaged over the year.  Mr. Jameson is in full support of this project and encourages the Board to consider restrictions upon any approval to restrict future excessive growth.

Mr. Brown expressed that he foresees problems with 20+ cars at one time entering and exiting the property.  Mr. Harrison explained that layout of his property and feels that all necessary vehicles will be able to park completely on the property and accommodate safe ingress and egress.

Mr. Millette asked what type of overnight facilities will be provided.  Mr. Harrison explained that there will be no façade changes to the existing buildings and that any overnight stays would occur either within the existing garage or tent camping upon the property.

Roger Landry – Mr. Landry expressed concerns of the lot size and its ability to accommodate the proposed use and the additional traffic being added to the road.  Mr. Landry further expressed that he likes the idea that is being presented but feels the location is inappropriate.

Mr. Jameson explained that the next step in the approval process is to go before the Planning Board for a Home Occupation Permit, where site development will be specifically addressed.

Ms. Ellis expressed that she fears a negative impact upon the value of her property and future home being abutted by a camp.

Mr. Brown reviewed the definition of a campground and a campsite with the Board.

Mr. Paveglio and Mr. MacCleery both saw the proposal more as a day care type facility vs. a campground.

Being no further discussion, a motion was made by Mr. Brown and seconded by Mr. Paveglio, to DENY the application on the grounds that the Board finds that the proposal is not a “campground” as defined by the Chichester Zoning Ordinance; a parcel of land on which two (2) or more campsites are occupied or are intended for temporary occupancy for recreational dwelling purposes only, and not for permanent year-round residency; and better classified as a Home Occupation.  Motion passes unanimously.

The applicant was referred to the Planning Board for further review.

Other Business:

Election of Officers:  Mark McIntosh was nominated for the office of Chairman and Ben Brown was nominated for the office of Vice-Chairman.  Both were elected by a unanimous vote of the Board.

Being no further business, Chairman McIntosh adjourned the meeting at 7:55pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jamie A Pike

Not approved until signed.

Mark McIntosh

Town of Chichester
Zoning Board of Adjustment
54 Main Street
Chichester, New Hampshire 03258
(603) 798-5350   Fax (603)798-3170

Notice of Decision

You are hereby notified that the request of Frank and Wendy Harrison, Map 5 Lot 8-1 for a Special Exception to Article 2 Section 4 of the zoning ordinance to operate a commercial campground has been DENIED, based upon the following finding, by the affirmative vote of the five members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

1.  The proposal is not a “campground” as defined by the Chichester Zoning Ordinance; a parcel of land on which two (2) or more campsites are occupied or are intended for temporary occupancy for recreational dwelling purposes only, and not for permanent year-round residency; and better classified as a Home Occupation.  

Mark McIntosh, Chairman


Note:  The selectmen, any party to the action or any person directly affected has a right to appeal this decision.  See New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated, Chapter 677, available at the Chichester Town Offices, 54 Main Street.  This notice has been placed on file and made available for public inspection in the records of the ZBA on the ________ day of ________, 2013.  Copies of this notice have been distributed to: the applicant, Planning Board, Board of Selectmen, and Town Clerk.

Jamie A Pike, Secretary

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