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Board of Adjustment Minutes 10/12/05
CHICHESTER BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MINUTES
OCTOBER 12, 2005

Case #187 David & Mary Jane Colbert, Map 7 Lot 10, Bear Hill Road requesting an Area Variance to Article III, Section E 2 to permit the replacement of a porch which will be closer than the required 30’ setback from a town maintained road.

Members Present:  Edward Meehan, Chairman; Stephen MacCleery, ex-offico; Diana Calder; Mark McIntosh; David Dobson; Louis Barker.
Voting:  Ed, Steve, Diana, Mark, David.

Applicant:  David Colbert

The house in question was the previous Mitchell property located on Bear Hill Road.  David is remodeling and would like to put a farmer’s porch on the front and side of the house.  The porch will be 6’-8’ in width from the house and will go the full length of the building.  There is a brook that runs through the property about 75’ from the corner of the house.  The brook runs at an angle.  David mentioned that he is not encroaching any more toward the wetlands than where the house sits presently.

It was determined since the current application is for the setback area variance; another application would need to be filled out, with a sketch, for an area variance to Article III, Section P c. pertaining to the wetland buffer setback.

It was mentioned that other applicants have been allowed to amend their applications during their public hearing.  It was further stated that the BOA needs to adhere to the current zoning and not proposed zoning changes that will be decided in March 2006.

It was moved and seconded to recess this public hearing so David could make the necessary changes to his application and reconvene after the next public hearing.  Motion carried 5-0.

Reconvened public hearing.

Case # 187 David & Mary Jane Colbert, Map 7 Lot 10, Bear Hill Road requesting an Area Variance to Article III, Section E 2 and Article III, Section P c. to permit the replacement of a porch which will be closer than the required 30’ setback from a town maintained road and closer than 100’ from wetlands.

All voting members remain the same.

David Colbert presented both his applications along with sketches of the property showing the house, porch and existing brook. (On file)  He feels that this is a benefit to the town since it will be more esthetically pleasing and will add tax value to the town with no impact to surrounding property.  The 26’x8’ farmer’s porch will give back some of the frontage than the previous landing.

The board felt the proposed porch is no closer to the wetlands than the existing house and would be further back from the road.  The NE corner of the house sits closer to the wetland than the porch
BOARD DISCUSSION
1)  It was felt that this improvement would make the house more attractive and pleasing and would increase the value of surrounding homes.
2)  The porch being built is not as close to the road as the pre-existing structure and the porch is no closer to the wetlands than the already existing house.
3)  The house sits 30’ from the road and no access would be possible without the variance.
4)  The proximity of the house to the town road and wetlands precludes any type of improvements.  The stone wall acts as a buffer for any type of improvements.
5)  The lot has 3.5 acres, house sits on a ½ acre at most being divided by wetlands.  Without a variance applicant would have to build an entire new home on the other side of the brook.
6)  The applicant has no other options because of lot size and location.
7)  The applicant has no flexibility to comply with zoning.
8)  There will be no significant effect on the wetlands and the front porch will be less intrusive to the wetland buffer and the road setback.

MOTION
It was moved by Diana Calder to grant the request by David & Mary Jane Colbert, Map 7 Lot 10, for an Area Variance to Article III, Section E 2. & Article III, Section Pc. To permit a farmer’s porch closer than the required 30’ setback from the town maintained road and for the porch to be placed closer than 100’ from wetlands 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 it is going to make the house more attractive and pleasing and increase the value of surrounding homes.
2.  The granting of this variance would not be contrary to the public interest because the porch being built is not as close to the road as the pre-existing structures and the porch is no closer to the wetlands than the already existing house.
3. a. Since the following special conditions of the property make an area variance necessary in order to allow the development as designed; the proximity of the house to the town road and wetlands precludes any type of improvements.  The stone wall acts as a buffer for any type of improvements.
  b.  The same benefit cannot be achieved by some other reasonably feasible method that would not impose an undue financial burden because the applicant has no other options because of lot size and location.
4.  By granting this variance substantial justice would be done because the applicant has no flexibility to comply with zoning.
5.  The use contemplated by petitioner as a result of obtaining this variance would not be contrary to the spirit of the ordinance because there will be no significant effect on the wetlands and the front porch will be less intrusive to the wetland buffer and the road setback.

Motion was seconded by Mark McIntosh.

VOTE ON THE MOTION
Ed Meehan – Yes
Mark McIntosh – Yes
Steve MacCleery – Yes
Diana Calder – Yes
David Dobson – Yes

Motion carried 5-0.

Respectfully submitted,



Holly MacCleery, Secretary
Chichester Board of Adjustment



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