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Board of Adjustment Minutes 10/12/05
OCTOBER 12, 2005

Case #189 Chichester Congregational Church, Map 5 Lot 2, Main Street/Pound Road requesting a Special Exception to Article II, Section D. for the expansion of a church/public place of assembly.

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

Chichester Congregational Church:  Rev. David Bezanson, George Carroll, Paul Taylor, Jim Brickner, Stephen Fulk.
Carolee Davison, Donna Chagnon, Jim Fougere-Certified Wetland Scientist, Marc Vanson-Senior Project Manager, Maria Dolder-Attorney

Maria Dolder-This is a public place of assembly, is an existing use but the church is expanding so a special exception is required by zoning.  This project will not be injurious to the area.  The church is not a major consumer of the municipal services.  They are expanding for adequate parking and a driveway closer to the new facility will be installed to help with traffic volume.  A surface water system will help with any impact.  There will be no impact to the adjacent wetlands and no adverse affects to groundwater resources.  This plan also has to go before the Planning Board for final approval.

Steve-With regards to the statement on your application that the proposed use will not generate traffic volumes that will overburden existing roads and highways, during your conceptual presentation to the Planning Board did you propose a driveway onto Pound Road or the use of Pound Road as a means of access?

Marc-We haven’t talked with the Planning Board about that.

Steve-My concern on the project is the impact to Pound Road if traffic is using the road to exit the church parking lot before getting onto Main Street.

Marc-You could state your concerns for the Planning Board when this project goes before them.

Lou felt the BOA was to address the public assembly issue and that the remaining issues would be taken care of at the Planning Board level.

Other members felt that if this board allows a change of this nature that the concerns of traffic flow onto Pound Road need to be addressed.

Maria stated that addressing this with the Planning Board wouldn’t be a problem.

It was moved by Ben Brown to grant the request for a Special Exception to Article II, Section D. for the expansion of a church/public place of assembly to Map 5 Lot 2 for the following reasons and condition:

1.  The special exception is specifically authorized by the Zoning Ordinance.

2.  The proposed use will not be injurious or detrimental to the neighborhood.  The area of Main Street in which the church is located has other established institutional uses, such as the Library and the Chichester Central School.  The site is already used for a church and there is no evidence to suggest that the use of the property for the church has been injurious or detrimental to the neighborhood.  Similarly, the growth in the size of the church buildings will not be injurious or detrimental to the neighborhood.  It will be keeping with the nature of the neighborhood, as it fronts Main Street and shall allow the church to utilize its property in a more reasonable manner.  The church has direct access to Main Street so that traffic shall not create an adverse situation.

3.  The proposed use will not make an excessive demand for municipal services.  The church has never been a major consumer of municipal services such as police, fire protection, sold waste or schools.  Nor will the expansion of the church change the character of the church’s use of such services.  The church will continue to utilize on-site well and septic systems.  The expansion is an expansion of facilities to help its existing congregation and the community, but will create little if any additional use of such services.  The expansion is well-planned, well thought-out, and will not increase, to any material degree, any use of municipal systems or facilities.

4.  The proposed use will not generate traffic volumes that will overburden existing roads and highways.  Although the church is expanding, it is doing so to assist with its existing congregation, and to accommodate needs which it has seen in its community.  It is proposing ample parking to house this expansion.  It will continue to utilize one of its driveways on Main Street to get cars into and out of the property and is proposing an additional driveway to provide direct access to the expanded parking areas.

5.  The proposed use will not have an adverse impact on the natural environment.  The church is proposing a surface water system that will control the rate of run-off to balance any surface water that will be present once the expansion is completed with its current conditions.  In addition, the system will address the quality of any surface water that may leave the site once the expansion is complete.  During the construction process, the church shall install typical temporary and permanent sediment and erosion controls and dust controls as required by local, state and federal regulations to assure that the construction does not have any adverse affect on the natural environment.  The expanded use of the site as a church shall not generate any adverse lighting issues, noise or odors which could potentially affect the natural environment.  The expansion proposed by the church shall not have any impact on the abutting wetlands’ ability to continue to provide the lesser functions and values that they currently serve.  The church is proposing to maintain and enhance with additional plantings a vegetative buffer between the wetland area and the work area to further protect the wetlands.  The wetland community on the adjacent property is located higher than the proposed buffer encroachment area, further minimizing any potential impact on the wetlands.  As a result, the proposed use will not have an adverse impact on the natural environment.

6.  The proposed use will not adversely affect Chichester’s groundwater resources.  The church is following the generally accepted guidelines in connection with impervious surface standards and will not adversely affect Chichester’s groundwater resources.  Even though the property is not located within an aquifer area, it will satisfy the impervious surface standards required within typical aquifer areas.

Condition-The Chichester Board of Adjustment requires, as a condition of approval, that the applicant and Planning Board address the impact of increased traffic on Pound Road (for example, No Left Hand Turn, No Thru Traffic signs) using appropriate Access Management Techniques.

Steve MacCleery seconded the motion.

Mark McIntosh- Yes
Ben Brown – Yes
Steve MacCleery – Yes
Diana Calder – Yes
Louis Barker – Yes

Motion carried 5-0.

Respectfully submitted,

Holly MacCleery, Secretary
Chichester Board of Adjustment

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