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Board of Adjustment Minutes 02/22/2006
CHICHESTER BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MINUTES
FEBRUARY 22, 2006

Case #195-Russell R. Abbott/James L. Fedolfi Map 3 Lot 32 requesting an area variance to Article III, Section P. c. to permit paving of a pre-existing parking lot within the 100’ wetland buffer.

Members Present:  Mark McIntosh, Vice Chairman; Stephen MacCleery, ex-offico; Jeff Jordan; David Dobson; Ben Brown.  Ed Meehan arrived later during discussions but Mark, Steve, Jeff, David and Ben will be voting members.

Applicant:  Russell & Nancy Abbott
Brad Towle, Planning Board Chairman

Mr. Abbott went before the Planning Board again at their February meeting and after a lengthy discussion it was determined that he should come, once again, to the BOA to seek an area variance for his proposed paved parking lot.  At this time no correspondence has been sent by the PB in regards to the meeting and their reasoning for sending Mr. Abbott back to the BOA.

There is already a pre-existing parking lot on the property now which is gravel.  The town is requesting that the lot be paved since the proposed use of the property is a change from the previous owner.  The parking is within the 100’ wetland buffer.  A swale was developed with the designer which will run along the edge of the embankment on the edge of the parking lot.  There is not a swale there now just a little natural growth.  (Copy of site plan on file)  The parking lot will not be expanded; it will be the same dimensions.  It was asked if this would be a ditch or a swale, did it go up or down.  Mr. Abbott said when it was finished it would almost be level.  There will be a little bit of a “catch” for anything that comes through.  There was a lengthy discussion at the PB meeting about the best way to approach this.  A member, who works for the state, said it would be better to treat this naturally in a swale instead of sending it all into one location.

It was asked if the PB was going to have this plan looked at by our town engineer or would they be happy with his presentation and plan.  Mr. Abbott stated that there was no discussion about the engineer.  It was a close call by the PB about the paving being a change in the wetland buffer.

Brad Towle added that he is changing the surface of the parking lot which would change the absorption of the runoff.  They talked with Jeff Andrews of the Conservation Commission and he stated that pavement was better and the natural swale idea would be better.  The PB was concerned with the runoff dumping into the wetlands.  Pavement is better for any potential spills and clean up than gravel.  The PB felt this was a substantial change to the area and would require a variance.  The CC member did not recommend catch basins or retention ponds.


BOARD DISCUSSION
This would not diminish surrounding property values because there is already an existing parking lot. Paving of this lot would increase the property value and would not impact surrounding properties in a negative way.

The variance would not be contrary to the public interest because of the paving and using the proposed grassy swale, as recommended by the Conservation Commission’s representative, which will help any runoff from the property.  There is no loam or grass there presently.

The following special conditions of the property make an area variance necessary in order to allow the development as designed; because of the pre-existing parking lot within the wetland buffer.

The same benefit cannot be achieved by some other reasonably feasible method that would not impose an undue financial burden because locating a new parking lot outside the buffer would put it over 100’ from the entrance of the building.

Substantial justice would be done because we are allowing the applicant to pave an existing parking lot as is required by site review and zoning.  Value of the property will be increased.  The swale, which is not there presently, will take care of runoff.  There is a lot of gravel and dirt that gets tracked out onto Mason Road from this gravel driveway.  Paving it would eliminate that problem.  

The use would not be contrary to the spirit of the ordinance because the grassy swale will take care of runoff, paving the parking lot would reduce dirt and material from tracking onto Mason Road, and the pavement will help contain potential spills and allow for easier cleanup.  

MOTION
Ben Brown moved to grant the area variance requested by Russell R. Abbott/James L. Fedolfi, Map 3 Lot 32, to Article III, Section P. c. to permit paving of a pre-existing parking lot within the 100’ wetland buffer as described on the submitted site plan of Russell Abbott dated 2/7/06 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 there is already an existing parking lot and paving of this lot would increase the property value and would not impact surrounding properties in a negative way.
2.  The granting of this variance would not be contrary to the public interest because of paving and using the proposed grassy swale, as recommended by a Conservation Commission’s representative comments from the Planning Board meeting on 2/2/06, will help any runoff from the property.
3. a. Since the following special conditions of the property make an area variance necessary in order to allow the development as designed; because of the pre-existing parking lot within the wetland buffer.
  b. The same benefit cannot be achieved by some other reasonably feasible method that would not impose an undue financial burden because locating a new parking lot outside the buffer would put it over 100’ from the entrance of the building.
4.  By granting this variance substantial justice would be done because we are allowing the applicant to pave an existing parking lot as is required by site review and 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 the grassy swale will take care of runoff, paving the parking lot would reduce dirt and material from tracking onto Mason Road.  Pavement will help contain potential spills and allow for easier cleanup.

Motion was seconded by Steve MacCleery.

VOTE ON MOTION
Ben Brown – Yes
Steve MacCleery – Yes
Mark McIntosh – Yes
Jeff Jordan – Yes
David Dobson – Yes

Motioned carried 5-0.

Respectfully submitted,



Holly MacCleery, Secretary
Chichester Board of Adjustment

CHICHESTER BOAR OF ADJUSTMENT
NOTICE OF DECISION

Case #195 Russell R. Abbott/James L. Fedolfi Map 3, Lot 32
It was moved and seconded at the BOA meeting on 2/22/06 to grant the area variance requested by Russell R. Abbott/James L. Fedolfi, Map 3 Lot 32, to Article III, Section P. c. to permit paving of a pre-existing parking lot within the 100’ wetland buffer as described on the submitted site plan of Russell Abbott dated 2/7/06 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 there is already an existing parking lot and paving of this lot would increase the property value and would not impact surrounding properties in a negative way.
2.  The granting of this variance would not be contrary to the public interest because of paving and using the proposed grassy swale, as recommended by a Conservation Commission’s representative comments from the Planning Board meeting on 2/2/06, will help any runoff from the property.
3. a. Since the following special conditions of the property make an area variance necessary in order to allow the development as designed; because of the pre-existing parking lot within the wetland buffer.
  b. The same benefit cannot be achieved by some other reasonably feasible method that would not impose an undue financial burden because locating a new parking lot outside the buffer would put it over 100’ from the entrance of the building.
4.  By granting this variance substantial justice would be done because we are allowing the applicant to pave an existing parking lot as is required by site review and 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 the grassy swale will take care of runoff, paving the parking lot would reduce dirt and material from tracking onto Mason Road.  Pavement will help contain potential spills and allow for easier cleanup.
Motion carried 5-0.

                                                ____________________________________
                                                Mark McIntosh, Vice Chairman

                                                ____________________________________                                            Date


Note:  The Selectmen, any party to the action or any person directly affected has a right to appeal this decision within 30 days from the date of the decision.  See NHRSA, Chapter 677, available at the Town Hall.  This notice has been placed on file and made available for public inspection in the records of the ZBA on 2/27/06.  Copies of this notice have been distributed to the applicant, Planning Board, Board of Selectmen, Building Inspector, and Town Clerk.








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