CHICHESTER BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MINUTES
JULY 13, 2005
Case #181-Anthony Musto Map 4 Lot 136 requesting an area variance to Article III, Section P. Wetlands, c. Other Setbacks to erect a 24’x24’ garage.
Members Present: Edward Meehan, Chairman; Stephen MacCleery, Ex-offico; Ben Brown, David Dobson, Mark McIntosh.
Applicant: Anthony Musto
Abutter: Brian Cleasby
Mr. Musto would like to build a 24’x24’, 2-car garage 12’ from his home. He has received a letter from a certified wetland scientist which states that wetlands were found approximately 80’ from the proposed garage which is 20’ short of the zoning ordinance. (Letter on file). A site plan was also presented to the board. (On file). Garage will cut into about 8’-10’ of his lawn but will go where they are currently parking their vehicles on gravel in the yard. The house has no basement and they would benefit from having a garage. Mr. Musto feels this will not have an adverse effect on the wet area. He stated that the area is not always wet, just in the winter time with snow melting and run-off. The proposed garage would be well
away from any permanent wetlands, about 150’-200’. Presently, there is a 10’x10’ shed where the proposed garage will be built. There is also a roadway that runs through the seasonal wet area with no culvert.
The board feels the applicant is being very forth coming and find no need to visit the site. Mr. Musto has not decided what to do with the existing shed at this time but he was informed he couldn’t put it closer to the wetland buffer.
Abutter Brian Cleasby has no objections to Mr. Musto’s plans.
The board feels this variance would not cause a diminution to surrounding properties because applicant is replacing an existing structure which will only increase the property value. The variance would not be contrary to the public interest, the lot has special conditions that make an area variance necessary and the same benefit cannot be achieved by some other reasonably feasible method that would not impose an undue financial burden. Also, substantial justice on this lot would be done because of the minimal impact to the wetland buffer and this use would not be contrary to the spirit of the ordinance.
Ben Brown motioned to grant the area variance requested by Anthony Musto, Map 4 Lot 136, to Article III, Section P. Wetlands, c. Other Setbacks, for the following reasons:
1. There would not be a diminution in value of surrounding properties as a result of the granting of this variance because applicant is replacing an existing structure and this will increase the property value.
2. The granting of this variance would not be contrary to the public interest because it is replacing an existing structure and it is being built on the other side of existing driveway from the wet area. It will have minimal impact on the wet area.
3. a. Since the following special conditions of the property make an area variance necessary in order to allow the development as designed; because there are wetlands within 80’ of the proposed project.
b. The same benefit cannot be achieved by some other reasonably feasible method that would not impose an undue financial burden because the garage cannot be located any where else on the property that would be reasonably accessible to the existing driveway and house without infringing on boundary and frontage restrictions.
4. By granting this variance substantial justice would be done because it will allow better use of the property by the landowner with minimal impact upon the wetland buffer. By having vehicles inside a garage there is less opportunity for ground pollution.
5. The use contemplated by petitioner as a result of obtaining this variance would not be contrary to the spirit of the ordinance because of the special conditions of the property namely; an existing structure that is being replaced, an existing parking area already there, existing driveway between the proposed garage site and the wetlands which would not have to be disturbed.
Motioned was seconded by Mark McIntosh. Vote was 5-0 in favor of motion. Motion carried.
Holly MacCleery, Secretary
Chichester Board of Adjustment