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BOA Minutes 3 16 05
MARCH 16, 2005

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Louis Barker, Acting Chairman, Mark McIntosh, Stephen MacCleery, ex-offico.

APPLICANT:  Richard & Dorothy Mackin
ABUTTERS:   Ben Brown, Robert & Kathleen Gagne, David Dobson.
SURVEY MANAGER:  Dennis Railland

It was explained to the applicants that since there were only three board members present, all three would have to be in favor of a motion in order for it to pass.  They were given the option to postpone the meeting until five voting members could be present.  Applicants wish to proceed with the public hearing.

The Mackin’s are seeking a Variance to Article II, Section D, Rural-Agricultural to permit the existing 12.05 acres of Map 7 Lot 9-2 to be subdivided into two lots, one with the existing house and septic disposal system, and one additional building lot for single family housing.  The proposed lots are to be 5.674 acres with a net usable area of 3.07 acres, and 6.380 acres with a net usable area of 4.67 acres.

Existing home has frontage on Ferrin Road and the new home will have frontage on Back Road.

Dennis walked the land before proceeding with the survey and thought there were sufficient uplands to proceed with a 2 lot subdivision on 12 acres.  After doing a topographic survey, Blue Moon Environmental mapped the wetlands and highlighted them on the plan.  There are slopes that are greater than 15%, which are not permissible in the zoning.  Minimum lot size is 5 acres with 10% deemed non usable.  Septic system has been approved and the new home would not encroach on wetlands.  Planning Board denied their request for this subdivision because they didn’t meet the minimum percentage of non-usable area.

The board asked if abutters had been approached to purchase additional land.  The applicant replied no.  It was not feasible for them to do that.  They felt they had sufficient acreage for a 2 lot subdivision with 12 acres.

According to the town tax map wetlands do not show on this lot.  Wetlands were found while doing the survey.  There are no poorly drained soils according to the Merrimack County map.  This lot has moderately drained soils to very well drained.  Zoning is based on soil type and there is a possibility that the RA soils could be disputed.  

Mr. Mackin wanted the board to know that he and his wife can no longer live in their present home with stairs.  Their new home will be a single level house sitting on a ¼ acre.  Wetlands will not be touched.  He feels that they should not have to purchase additional land since they already have 12 acres.  They don’t see this as a major problem and they shouldn’t be denied proper use of their land.  They already have an approved septic design and a driveway permit and were in the process of getting a building permit.  They were before the Planning Board in December for the discussion faze.  The board seemed to be more concerned about the road and the 300’ frontage.  At the February Public Hearing they were denied the 2 lot subdivision.  Until the new survey was done, the old survey looked like a viable project.


The board has determined that this is an “area” variance and not a “use” variance.

I.  The variance will not be contrary to the public interest because it presently supports a home.  This is a building density issue.  The lot is still in excess of the required 5 acres and meets the wetland setback requirements.

II. B. i. An area variance is needed to enable the applicant’s proposed use of the property given the special conditions of the property because the net usable area of 3.07 acres within Map 7 Lot 9-2 has supported a dwelling without adversely affecting the environment.
   B. ii.  The benefits sought by the applicant cannot be achieved by some other method reasonably feasible for the applicant to pursue, other than an area variance because the purchase of additional property isn’t financially  feasible for the applicant  and modifying the property line would adversely affect adjacent property.

III.  The variance is consistent with the spirit of the ordinance because of the existing house, well and septic locations and are adequate for known soil conditions.  The proposed subdivision exceeds the town’s 5 acre minimum and aligns with the rural character of the community.

IV.  Substantial justice is done because this is a good use of the property and it meets the intent of our current zoning.

V.  The value of surrounding properties will not be diminished because the two lots will be 5.674 acres and 6.380 acres with the addition of one single family home.  The proposed lot sizes and new home would be in character with the surrounding properties.

MOTION - It was moved by Stephen MacCleery to grant the variance as proposed by Richard & Dorothy Mackin for Map 7 Lot 9-2 as submitted on plan dated 1/6/05 for the above stated reasons.  Motion seconded by Mark McIntosh.  

VOTE - 3-0 in favor of motion.  Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Holly MacCleery, Secretary BOA

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