CHICHESTER BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MINUTES
AUGUST 3, 2005
Case #183 Virginia Mayville/Allen Mayville, Jr. Map 4 Lots 55 & 56 appealing administrative decision to Article III, Section H. Obnoxious Uses pertaining to Map 4 Lot 58 located on Lane Road.
Members Present: Edward Meehan, Chairman; Stephen MacCleery, ex-offico; Mark McIntosh, Louis Barker, David Dobson.
Applicant: Allen Mayville, Jr.
Abutters & owner of Map 4 Lot 58: Gary & Jane Stock
Allen Mayville: The problem is, there is an existing manure pile that has been there several years. It is 100’ from my mother’s front door and is visible from the driveway and front yard and is right up against our stonewall. According to zoning ordinance, Article III, Section H, I believe this is an obnoxious use.
Mr. Mayville submitted an aerial photo of the property as well as pictures of the pile and the removal operation which takes place in the middle of the road. (On file) Allen further stated that the manure pile was in a previous location where a brush pile now sits.
Jane Stock clarified that the pile had been moved during the spring and no longer sits against the Mayville stonewall. The pictures presented by Mr. Mayville are not current.
Gary Stock questioned road use when logs or anything else are being loaded onto a truck. Is there a law against parking a truck in the road?
Allen: If someone is using your front yard and the road in front of it as a barnyard operation. It blocks our driveway and there is no traffic control. This problem was brought to the attention of the Agricultural Department who wrote a letter and visited the Stock property. They did not talk to any of us and were not advised about the previous pile. They were told the pile went away in the summer and were surprised the pile was still in its present location. The pile never goes away, it is there year round. The main objection, other than visual, is the property will probably be up for sale. This will affect the selling price. You have a fly and rat problem with manure. The pile is up against the stonewall. They add to this pile year round even though it is
taken away from time to time. It never goes away. My father never did anything about the problem when he was alive but now my mother wishes to.
Ed Meehan: Primarily, you are looking at a decrease in property value?
Allen: We don’t like it there. We don’t like seeing a loading operation going on in the middle of the road in front of the house. They back up right into the driveway. They don’t have a loading facility. We don’t want a barnyard operation going on in our yard. I was raised with cows and farmers keep their manure piles out behind the barn not a 100’ from the neighbor’s or their own front doors. This operation across the road, that they say is an agricultural operation because of horses, is more like a dog kennel. This can in no way be called an agricultural operation. It doesn’t grow anything for sale. It is used for recreation.
Ed: It is recreation but also falls under agricultural.
Allen: Don’t those in agriculture have to follow rules also?
Ed: Yes, they do. I don’t know what the law is about using the road for loading or unloading a product. Were the Stock’s ever approached by you about this problem?
Allen: Yes, my mother did that probably last fall. She invited them in and their response was that they could not put the pile anywhere else because of where their well is. Right now it is closer to our well than theirs. There is more than one place they can put this pile. They just don’t want it next to their corrals.
Ed: Janis Conner, Agricultural Inspector, stated in her letter “I feel that its present location is best in preventing a possible negative impact to this area.”
Allen: Maybe this is a department that has outlived its usefulness. This is not what you would call an agricultural state any more. Horse operations are bound everywhere. That whole ridge is one horse operation. If you start talking about wetland contamination, that has to effect it some how. We are not trying to prevent them from keeping horses and running their operation, just out of our face.
Ed: Basically, nothing came of this meeting?
Allen: That is correct. We were never consulted when Ms. Conner met with the Stocks.
Ed: How long ago was the pile in a different place?
Allen: Years ago. You can do soil tests to determine that there was one there. I can produce witnesses to determine that there was one there. If this turns into a civil case, I will be doing that.
Ed: The present manure pile has been at this spot for a number of years?
Ed: What is the closest to a boundary line the pile can be?
Steve: We have a setback of 15’ from the sides for structures and 25’ on the front. If a 3-sided storage container were put in there it would be considered a structure and would have to meet the setbacks. In reviewing the letter from Janis Conner to the Stocks she states, “due to the slope of your property, the proximity of the pond and the wetlands, I do not recommend that your manure storage be moved anywhere else on your property. I feel that its present location is best in preventing a possible negative impact to this area.”
Allen: This is totally ignorant. The whole property is equal distance from the wetlands and has the same slope.
At this time the board reviewed the town map to locate this property and its location to the wetlands. There were not much wetlands depicted on the map but Jane informed the board that she has a big pond on her property. This is not on the town map.
Allen: If the wetland issue doesn’t concern the town it does not concern us.
Gary Stock: There are health issues with both parties concerned but would like to clear up a few things stated by Mr. Mayville. The manure pile has been in its present location for over 5 years. No one has ever complained about it until just recently. Mr. Mayville, Sr. had no problem with the manure pile and use to come over in the spring to take some for his gardens. We did meet with Mrs. Mayville about the pile. I offered to move the pile.
Ed: Was that last fall?
Gary: It was this spring (2005) before Janis Conner was involved. She stated that it was close to the stonewall and she was concerned about it. I went up that afternoon with the tractor and moved everything away from the stonewall and put it into a pile. This pile, for the last 5 years, has been in motion. It doesn’t stay there in the spring, it goes. The only reason it is there now is because of the rainy weather we have had. The person who usually takes the pile has not had orders for it as in the past. I had it all set up 2 or 3 weekends ago to have the entire pile removed. I was not aware of the operation they were doing to load the truck. When I saw they had arrived and Mr. Mayville was in the road I went up to the pile to see what was going on.
Mr. Brehm felt harassed by Mr. Mayville and he left. This was on July 9th. Two loads were taken and the rest left. The pile is still there because Mr. Mayville thought it was his business to stop our operation. Other than that, the pile would have been gone.
Ed: Could you go through a chronological order when manure is there, how often it is taken away?
Gary: I try to keep the pile moving. Anyone is welcome to come and take what they want. People come by for their gardens, landscaping, etc.
Jane: For the first 4 years Keith Dakota took it every year. We clean stalls daily and the manure goes down to the pile. Spring, summer and fall the pile is taken out of there. The only time it accumulates is the winter time when you can’t get to it. When the load limits are off the road in the spring they start hauling the pile away. Keith was also harassed about where he parked his trailer that the tractor was on, on our side of the road. When we spoke to Mrs. Mayville about the pile she said she didn’t want the trucks in the road. I can’t help that.
Gary: This is a farm we are running here. If I can’t run a tractor on my farm in the middle of the day there is something wrong.
Jane: It is agriculture and it is how we pay our mortgage. We sweep the road after the pile has been hauled away. We stack the manure pile in the manor that is called field stacking which is how you are supposed to do it according to the manual on Best Management Practices. “If there is no standing water around the pile it does not produce flies. It should be dry and crusty on the outside.” This is how we stack the manure until it can be moved.
Gary: When we approached and talked with Mrs. Mayville we tried to figure a way we could move the pile somewhere that would be helpful to her. They didn’t want to go further with that so the State of NH was called. Janis Conner came to the property and spent about 4 hours with Jane and felt where the pile is currently is the best place on the property to have it. I tried explaining this to Mr. Mayville 2 weeks ago.
Jane: They said that is where they want it stored. There is no manure there now that was there 5 years ago. The pile is removed spring, summer and fall. In the winter it accumulates until spring at which time it is completely removed. The pile starts up again and is taken out again before the snow. It isn’t moved during the winter months.
Gary: The first year we moved to the property we had a small manure pile where there is a brush pile now. That was 6 years ago. The manure is taken from the stalls, put into a dump cart and taken to the existing pile and has been done that way for 5 years now. Whenever possible the pile is a continual removal process. It would have been removed 2 weeks ago but would accumulate again.
Ed: It doesn’t make any difference if there is any manure there now or not. If it were all taken out we would still have the problem that needs to be resolved.
Jane: Ms. Conner said the pile needed to be stored there because it was the best place on the slope of the land and where the pond is. Because of the vegetation that is the buffer zone to the wetlands she didn’t want the pile stored anywhere else. Before Ms. Conner looked at the property and we spoke with Mrs. Mayville, we were going to try and move the pile behind our fence line where there are trees. I told Ms. Conner that when she came and she told us not to move it there.
Gary: As far as the sale of the property, whoever purchases it, we are going to be farmers there. We are still going to have horses.
Jane: There are grants available for manure storage containment. Since a complaint has been made we will be getting a grant to put in a storage container as soon as I can get the manure out of there to build it. We have had problems getting the pile out of there.
Gary: It will now cost us money to get the pile removed. We had people already set to move the pile until they were stopped and don’t want to come back.
Jane: Next time I will have to call the police.
Ed: With a dispute like this it is probably a good idea. My question is the 100’ setback if they put in the storage container.
David: It would have to conform with the side and front setbacks also.
Jane: If it doesn’t have a roof is it considered a structure? This container will have a stone dust bottom and large concrete blocks placed around that.
Mark: Appearance wise you will still the opening from the road.
Gary: We don’t own any property that you can’t see from the road. We have 600’+ of frontage. There is no place you can stand without seeing the back side of our property.
David: There is no other place on your property where you would be outside the 100’ buffer to the wetlands?
Gary: Not that the state approves of.
Jane: There is an artisan well at the other end of the property and the pond. She walked the property and could find no other spot that would be a safe distance.
Steve: Were they aware of the wells on adjacent lots?
Jane: I told her where the well was on the Mayville property and that they used to have cows. Ms. Conner must have known where the well is because she told me on the complaint sent from the Mayvilles it mentioned that their well was contaminated. She asked them for the water test and was told they didn’t have one. “This is when their integrity starts to go out the door.”
Ed: Mr. Mayville, do you have an artisan or dug well?
Mr. Mayville showed the board where the artisan well is marked on the aerial map. There is also a dug well on the property that is 2 years old.
Steve: Is the well presently contaminated?
Allen: We are not making an issue of contamination. The wetlands are not the issue here.
Steve: There was reference to a well being contaminated, but we don’t know what with.
Allen: Possibly, everything you get with animals but that is not the point. There was an original artisan well which wasn’t any good because of iron. My father would switch from one well to the other depending what he needed the water for. Two years ago a new well was put in.
Lou: The issue is not contamination.
Allen: The manure pile is a lot closer to the Mayville well than the Stock well. Even if they moved it to where it originally was it would be closer to our well.
Jane: The pile was never where he is saying it was.
Ed: What was stated is when you first moved in 6 years ago you dug up a loam pile and put you manure there.
Jane: For the first year we put it on the loam pile.
Allen: There is nothing there now on the previous site except a pile of brush. If you test the ground you will find there was a manure pile there. I have witnesses who know there was a pile there.
Ed: How long do you think the manure pile has been where it is now?
Allen: It probably has been close to 5 years. Not much more than that. That was when my father was alive and felt differently about it. He didn’t like it but was not inclined to do anything about it. I might feel the same way myself but my mother does not since we are going to have to sell the property eventually.
Gary: Whoever buys the property will have to realize this is an agricultural area and there are about 100 horses all along Lane Road. If they don’t want to live in a farming area they will look for a place some where else.
Jane: I grew up in Epsom with a dairy farm next door and liquid manure being put on the fields. We lived that way because it was a farming community. My pile does not have an offensive odor. If the Mayvilles would like to put up a fence so they don’t see the pile from their front yard, at their expense, they are more than welcome to do so.
Allen: The town owns from the center of the road and that pile is right next to the road.
Jane: The pile needs to be close to the road so the trucks can back down next to it to remove it. You can’t put it out at the back of the property because there is no road to get to it. When Ms. Conner came to the property in the spring there was a pile in back of the barn which hadn’t been moved over to the manure pile due to a sick animal that needed attention. She told us we needed to move it immediately because it was too close to the wetlands and the pond. It was moved that day.
Gary: Just want to mention that the pile has been in its present location for 5 years. No body has complained until just recently. We are in compliance with what the state wants us to do with the pile. The property has been looked at and we are doing everything we are supposed to be doing.
Steve: You are applying for a grant to build a manure storage facility. There was a question asked about loading in the road. In the book A Hard Road To Travel, it states about parking regulations, stopping, parking or leaving a standing vehicle on a pavement or traveled way or without leaving an unobstructed way for other vehicles. Unless the town has an ordinance more stringent that what the state has, should they be loading the trucks with them in the road, backing a tractor in the road? This is agriculture, it is a business, it is equine but the town, through a site review is not going to allow trucks to be loaded from the road.
Gary: When I have trucks come to move the pile I have them back down next to it. I load it a different way. The person who came to take the pile a couple of weeks ago didn’t do it that way. I wasn’t aware of where he was parked.
Steve: What I’m getting at is if this can be settled and there is a place where this manure can be stock piled with a 3-sided structure, I feel there needs to be adequate space for a truck to back in off the road and be loading. They should not be loading in the street.
Gary: When I load, I load from the back side of the pile and have the trucks back down beside the pile. I can do that without being in the road. Others, for some reason, think they need to park beside the road.
Steve: I don’t see the loading of the truck in the road as an obnoxious use, that was a mistake. The placement of the pile could potentially be an obnoxious use in proximity to the neighbor’s house and well. I see that as an issue the board can rule on.
David: We have to deal with the zoning and the definition that is provided to us.
Ed: I hate to see this end up in court.
Allen: Oh, it will.
Ed: Mr. Mayville, what do you see as a solution?
Allen: Moving the manure pile back to where it was would be the easiest and cheapest for them. If they did that, they would be looking at it instead of us. The other way is going to cost them money. There is not 20’ across the area where the manure pile is now. You can not back a truck in there and a tractor and load a truck. I do this all the time and it can’t be done. Maybe you should go and take a look. Have any of you looked at it?
Steve: I have driven by it many times.
Allen: Did you get out and look at it?
Gary: Everyone is welcome to come and look at the pile right now. If a tractor can’t be driven behind that pile then there is something wrong.
Steve: I have seen this spot many times. We are taking everyone’s statements as true. If you have any concerns with the Stock’s statements please take issue with it but there doesn’t need to be arguing between the two parties.
Allen: The issue is obnoxious use. Is a pile of sh@@ obnoxious or not? Can you answer me that question? You have all gotten into this agricultural thing and everything else and the issue is obnoxious use. That’s the issue that will be before the court.
Lou: Let’s get back to the solution to this problem which is the question that was asked.
Ed: We are in a rural agricultural area. The points I see Mr. Mayville has is that the pile comes up next to the stonewall. The pile needs to be removed so it has to have some access to the road. I understand when you look out of your house your mother sees the manure pile and it is upsetting to her. Can we deal with the issue of moving the pile a short ways over?
Gary: I had no problem with that to begin with.
Ed: I have dealt with horse manure for a long time. Compared with cows, chickens and pigs it is pretty innocuous stuff. It is mostly hay. Rats don’t generally live in a manure pile unless they have a source of feed. They tend to live in the barn where the animals are. The rats go after food that is spilled by animals being fed in a barn. Rats would have to be desperate to be living in a manure pile, only if there were not food for them elsewhere.
At this time a letter from abutter Lisa Wade was read into evidence. She stated, “We have not found their placement of the manure pile to adversely affect the use and enjoyment of our property in any way.” (Letter is on file) This property is located on the east side of the Stock property.
Steve: Gary, you made the statement that you don’t have a problem moving the pile. You need to build a facility whether it is where the pile is presently or if it is shifted a bit. The statement has been made that the state recommends keeping the pile in its present location. My question to the state would be, that may be the best place with the least impact to the Stock property, but you have to also look at abutters. We can’t just go by what the state is saying that the pile has to be right where it is. If the Stocks have to have a facility anyway, if it could be moved so that it is not going to be offensive or as offensive to the neighbors and have adequate loading. The statement about this being the best place because of the pond, that may be the way it is right
now because there is not a facility that would hold in any leeching material. When a 3-sided facility is constructed, then you shouldn’t have any runoff. You will be putting this in a spot where water will be running away from it. You will not have as much of a chance effecting the wetlands with the 3-sided container as you do presently. Why can’t it be moved?
Gary: Where’re not concerned with that. The point is, he is unhappy where the pile is.
Mark: What is the distance from the “old” pile to the present pile?
Allen: Why is this an issue any way? The whole ridge is covered with horses.
Steve: I’m trying to get to a happy medium.
Allen: Leeching is not the problem.
Steve: It is recommended by the state that the Stocks have a manure storage facility which is going to be less of a chance of pollutants coming from the facility than what is presently there. Why can’t we move it a little bit?
Jane: I asked Janis that when I spoke to her the other day. Even if me move it closer to our house and barn it is still going to be in the present vicinity.
Steve: It would be further away from the abutter’s house though.
Jane: There is a gate way on the property.
The pile is presently on the right of the gateway but could be moved to the left of it.
Ed: The only way you look directly into the pile is from your driveway.
Allen: You come out of the house you look directly into it.
Lou: Is it possible to move the pile behind the tree line on the left side (east) of the gateway?
Gary: I proposed that solution to him.
Lou: What is the minimum distance easterly that would be acceptable for you and the location of the pile? 50’, 100’, would there be a distance acceptable? They have several 100 feet of frontage.
Allen: What is acceptable to me probably won’t be acceptable to them. I’m thinking about several 100’ back up where it was before.
Ed: That’s probably not going to happen.
Allen: Maybe. If I can talk to a judge maybe he won’t like it there in his front yard.
Steve: When a facility is built, how high will the blocks be? Will they be high enough so when you generate manure, it would not be seen?
Jane: It will be similar to what you see at Deerfield Fair. You are still going to see it. Our pile doesn’t get that big. Probably no more than 16’.
Steve: I’m looking at it as if it were turned. Presently, the Mayvilles look at the pile when they come out of the driveway. If the pile were moved closer easterly.
Jane: Ms. Conner told us we would need the container to face the roadway so it can contain any runoff. My slope goes down hill.
Gary: Who do we listen to the state or the town? I was under the impression that the State of NH has the jurisdiction to tell me where to put this pile.
Steve: The state does. But on the town side we are dealing with an abutter who feels the pile is an obnoxious use. Any abutter has the right to plead their case before the BOA. What we are trying to do is come to an agreement, a happy medium, of placing a containment facility on your property that both parties can live with along with the state. I feel the state has to look at this use in conjunction with someone else’s property.
Gary: Don’t they do that when they come to your property? Don’t they take all this into consideration?
Steve: I couldn’t tell you that. I sounds like some of that has gotten through to Ms. Conner since she feels the container facility could be moved a bit easterly from its present location.
Gary: These people are trained to do this job and go out and observe the situation and then make their decision. That is what I have been following, their decision.
Steve: Their decision, I’m going to say, probably is the best place on the property with the least chance of pollution. They are looking at it from the pollution part. They are not looking at it from the proximity of the neighbor’s house. We are now looking at this as a board how can we maybe adjust it, and Ms. Conner now knows things have gone further than when she was here, she is saying the facility can be moved a bit. It is not written in stone where the facility has to be. I feel, as a board, we can come up with a spot that would be acceptable to both parties.
Gary: I proposed to put the pile behind the tree line and access it through the gate on our property. They may be able to see the container from a side view but it will be behind the tree line. I don’t have a problem with moving the pile over there.
Ed: Mr. Mayville, would that be acceptable to you?
Allen: If it were behind the trees and the opening was facing east I would have no problem with that.
Gary: As long as I get the grant to build the container facility I will be glad to put it there. I can’t afford to do it otherwise.
Allen: I’m inclined to let you leave the pile right where it is, but you are adding to it.
Steve: If they can come up with a spot to put this pile that is acceptable to both parties then the state could also be brought back to assess the location. If the two parties can agree this board would probably not have to make a decision this evening.
Allen: I have a compromise. I can relate to having no money. If they get construction grade stakes, they can make themselves a temporary enclosure. It can face east or any other way as long as it doesn’t face us. They can put it behind the gate until they can afford something better. As far as the pile that is there now all I ask that they don’t add to it. You will be putting your manure in the new enclosure.
Steve: Once the new enclosure was built. It would be kind of silly to start putting the manure where the new enclosure would go before it is even built. If you could come to a comprise on where to put it, go to the state and see what they think according to best management practices, and see about constructing it. It doesn’t make sense to start putting manure there just to move it all so you can build the facility. They could potentially put silt fencing around the present area until such time as the new facility is built in a timely manner. Each party is aggressively pursuing this solution. Why move the manure to the new spot before the facility is in place?
Allen: I’m willing to let them leave the existing pile there until they have a use for it, but they have got to stop moving stuff in there.
Jane: We have to put it there until we have the container built.
Allen: No, you can put it somewhere else.
Gary: I don’t have a problem with moving the existing pile out of there, it’s going to happen anyways. Temporarily, I could start a small pile elsewhere and when we get the grant we will built the containment facility.
Steve: Do you have a timetable?
Jane didn’t know when the facility would be built since Gary is working full time and she is undergoing chemo treatments until November. The facility probably wouldn’t get built until the fall.
Gary: The pile we are going to start behind the tree line should not be that visible. That is what we had proposed in the spring to Mrs. Mayville.
Ed: I’m sure as a board we have all been thinking about this. I would like to see us all come to a compromise. Both parties are going to have to give. If they don’t we are going to have to vote on this being an obnoxious use or not.
Allen: Isn’t that why we are here?
Allen: I’m not going to give up the fact that this is an obnoxious use. I’m willing to compromise on the location.
Ed: If we vote it is not a noxious use, the manure pile is going to stay there. People are going to spend a lot of money on lawyers. It behooves us to come to a compromise so things don’t get a lot more complicated.
Mark: Tentatively, you have a compromise on the table.
Ed: I think we are pretty close.
Jane: We can compromise as long as the state doesn’t tie our hands on where the facility is placed.
Ed: I don’t think the state really wants to get involved. They would probably like to see all of us come to a working compromise.
Gary: I guess I misunderstood the whole issue with the state. I thought we were supposed to uphold what they told us as far as where the pile is to be.
Mark: They are giving you basic guidelines.
Steve: We have kind of come to a compromise on where this pile could be that would not be as unsightly to the Mayvilles in a containment area, addressing loading and drainage issues. Common sense tells you you should not be loading out in the middle of the road. I would like to see this compromise go to Janis Conner or someone in the office. Have them come out to the property and look at the site again and this board not make a decision this evening until we find out if the compromise is agreeable with state regulations.
Ed: Unless this is encroaching on wetlands I don’t think the state will have a problem with it.
Steve: You have to build a facility anyway. It’s not like it is there presently and you have to move the facility.
Gary: I try to continually keep the pile moving. I didn’t put it in its present location to aggravate anyone.
Steve: I would like to put an “x” on the aerial photo so the state can see where the parties would like the manure pile relocated.
Allen: This is going to take too much time.
Steve: I don’t believe it’s going to.
Allen: Two months might be too much.
Steve: I don’t believe it is going to take 2 months.
Allen: You are just passing over on the decision now. Nobody has voted on whether this is an obnoxious use or not. Yes or no. Is it going to go one way or the other? I would be willing right now, because both our situations aren’t good, if they move the pile 50’, put up sold silt fence so we can’t see it, and don’t add to the existing pile, I would be happy with that. We still don’t know if this is noxious use or not. This isn’t negotiable. What I want you to vote on is this an obnoxious use or not. One way or the other.
Ed: As far as I am concerned, if we vote on this it is going to be between the two parties. If we can get a compromise, we won’t vote.
Allen: I have given a compromise, a three point compromise.
Ed: If you want a vote and your willing to compromise, that is what we are here for. If we vote that this isn’t a noxious use then it will be between the two of you.
Allen: This is just a hurdle for me. Something I have to do before it goes on.
At this point the discussion became very heated. Jane and Gary decided to go home. The public hearing was closed to further testimony.
Mark: I would like the minutes to reflect that a compromise was issued by both parties. They had come to part of an agreement.
Steve: If the pile were moved to where it was previously discussed by the two parties I don’t believe that is an obnoxious use or an obnoxious place to have it. I don’t believe it is offensive to the Mayvilles. Where it is sitting presently is the problem. I am in agriculture myself but would probably have a problem with a pile being right across from my driveway. I wanted to see a compromise. Could there be some place better to put this pile? I agree with Mark that if the motion states if the pile stays where it is we feel it is an obnoxious use. It should be moved to a less intrusive location. I was trying to get an “x” marked on the plan so we could have gotten the state to look at it and see if this were a compromise everyone could live with
and be done with it.
David: I don’t think you can do anything now with only the one party here. You can’t get an agreement with the other party.
Ed: We are going to vote.
Lou: I think we just stick with the evidence before us.
David: Then we have to vote on where it is now.
Steve: Do you understand what Mark and I are saying? I think we both feel if we had something like that in the motion. You’re not saying the manure pile anywhere on the property is obnoxious; it is where it is sitting. It could be put in a less intrusive spot.
David: That’s the only reason we are here tonight is because of where it is sitting and we have to act on that.
Steve: I think the Stocks were amenable to moving the pile. They were of the understanding the state said “this is where it has to be.” I feel the state has more leeway.
Lou: The state doesn’t do the design. They may do a review of the location.
Steve: Soil Conservation might do a design, but not the state.
Mark: They are giving you parameters to work in.
Lou: I’m having trouble with the interpretation of the Stocks saying the state said “it has to be here.” I would like to hear her (Janis Conner) side of what she told the Stocks about the pile.
Steve: Soil Conservation got involved with another horse farm in town working with them on a horse manure facility. The Conservation came up with designs and the best location to put it. I think there are other places on the property where the pile can be located. Where the pile is located now, I wouldn’t want it there.
David: I tend to agree with you. It comes back to the fact we need to make a decision tonight on what’s before us.
Ed: I don’t think you can consider obnoxious use because you think that the compromise could be made. I feel the only thing noxious about the manure pile is that you can see it. I don’t think, knowing horse manure, that it is a big odor or fly problem. It is more of a visual noxiousness than an actual noxiousness. I don’t like the idea it is right up next to the stonewall. It would be nice if it were further away. I don’t see this as a noxious use. This is a rural agricultural area and I don’t see this as a health issue. I see it as a visual and economic problem and sympathize with the Mayville’s in the fact they may want to sell the property.
Steve: Mr. Mayville, have you talked with a realtor about this?
Allen: Yes, my daughter is a realtor. She felt this would devalue the property. When someone is in the driveway they are going to be 25’ from a pile of sh@@. You don’t think that’s going to harm the value? It’s going to have a big enough one so that if this goes on, we will have to file for a tax abatement. That isn’t fair either.
Lou: I concur with what has been said. It is unpleasant to look out your front door and see a manure pile.
Ed: Realistically, they don’t. They have to be in the driveway. It is not as visual from the house as it is from the driveway.
Mark: Is there anything in the zoning in regards to having waste put right on the abutter’s line? We have other specifications on buildings. You are not allowed to put a leech field or septic system right next to an abutter’s property line so what is the difference? I’m just basing this on that theory.
Steve: No new building can be located closer than 15’ to an abutter’s property.
Lou: Is there any certain criteria we need to state in a motion such as with a variance?
It was explain that this application came to the BOA under an appeal of administrative decision since this first went to the attention of the Selectmen. They got the Agriculture Dept. involved so they could look at the property and give their opinion. In the zoning it states that in order for someone to be able to deem something an obnoxious use, the ruling needs to come from the BOA. There are no other guidelines in the zoning.
Steve: The Office of State Planning was very surprised to find this in our zoning.
Ed: I think you also have to look at whether it is residential or agricultural use.
David: The ordinance doesn’t address that.
Ed: This is going to have a far reaching effect.
Lou: We have to consider the zoning. If it is zoned agricultural it may have precedence setting effects.
The board looked at the wording again under Obnoxious Use in the zoning.
Steve: They really left it broad in zoning to the interpretation of what is offensive to one and not the other. It makes it tough to consider.
Mark: When that was put into zoning there were probably more farm operations in town than there are now presently.
Ed: I think you would have to have an independent realtor give an opinion on the possible decrease in value of the property. Right now we don’t have that.
Steve: Is that something you would like looked into before we make a decision?
David: Is that even before us? Property values?
Mark: As David mention earlier, one party has already left and the other party has requested that this be voted on.
Steve: Unless we feel we need more information. The other option would be to talk to the town assessor.
A majority of the board members felt they had enough information this evening to render a decision.
Mark McIntosh moved according to Article III, Section H. Obnoxious Use pertaining to Map 4 Lots 55 & 56, located on Lane Road that the current placement of the manure pile on Map 4 Lot 58 is an obnoxious use, in its present location, being adjacent to the abutter’s property line even though this is an agricultural zone. Seconded by David Dobson. Vote was 4-1 in favor of the motion. Motion carries.
Holly MacCleery, Secretary
Chichester Board of Adjustment
These minutes were typed from the taped BOA hearing of 8/3/05.