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Board of Adjustment Minutes10/25/2006
CHICHESTER BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MINUTES
OCTOBER 25, 2006

Case #203-Kenneth & Dorothy Bryant, Map 1 Lot 23-2, requesting an area/use variance to Article III, Section L. 2.e. to construct foundation, septic system & site work before building permit is valid in January 2007.

Members Present:  Edward Meehan, Chairman; Stephen MacCleery, ex-offico; Ben Brown, Mark McIntosh, David Dobson, and Tom Wainwright.
Voting Members:  Ed Meehan, Steve MacCleery, Ben Brown, Mark McIntosh & David Dobson.

After looking at the application, the board determined that the applicant will be seeking a use variance to the growth management ordinance.

Applicant Kenneth Bryant explained that he just missed getting a permit for 2006 and is on the list for the first one to be issued in Jan. 2007.  The owners of this lot are George & Marian Blackman but their son is the executor and has been handling the sale.  No abutters were present.  The Bryant’s would like to get the foundation and site work done while the ground is still dry.  This is a 5 acre lot with seasonal wetlands that will be crossed to get to the building site but all permits for that have been obtained from the state.  They are in the process of finalizing the purchase of this property within the week.  (Letter is on file from the Blackman’s)

The board questioned what constitutes “building” to make a lot ready before a building permit is issued.  Also, what is so unique about this lot that would warrant granting the variance?  There are many lots in town that have seasonal wetlands but in January they would be frozen.  

BOARD DISCUSSION

Board felt that putting in a foundation & septic system constitutes building.  Foundations can be done in the winter time.  If this use is approved then the other 12 permit holders will want to get a head start on the spring as well.

Board has concluded that there would not be a diminution in value of surrounding properties because there will eventually be a house built on this property after January 2007 after a building permit is obtained.

This variance would be contrary to the public interest because other landowners would want to start building before their permits were valid.  Seasonal wetlands will already be frozen in January.

The zoning restriction does not interfere with the reasonable use of the property because it is not any more unique than any other lot in town in reference to the growth management ordinance.
There is a fair and substantial relationship between the general purposes of the zoning ordinance and the specific restriction on the property because the growth management ordinance is equal to all property in town.  It is the same ordinance for all property and there is nothing unique about this lot.

By granting this variance substantial justice would not be done because the applicants will still be able to start their project in January, project is not being delayed because the permit isn’t valid until January 2007.  It would be an injustice to the town because thousands of dollars have been spent in legal fees defending the growth management ordinance.

This variance would be contrary to the spirit of the ordinance because building cannot commence until the building permit is valid according to the building regulations adopted in March 1978 and amended Sept. 6, 2001.

MOTION

Ben Brown moved to deny the use variance requested by Kenneth & Dorothy Bryant, Map 1 Lot 23-2, to Article III, Section L. 2.e. to construct foundation, septic system & site work before building permit is obtained & valid in January 2007 for the following reasons:
  There would not be a diminution in value of surrounding properties as a result of the granting of this variance because there will eventually be a house built on this property after January 2007 when a building permit is obtained.
  The granting of this variance would be contrary to the public interest because other landowners would want to start building before their permits were valid.  Seasonal wetlands will already be frozen in January.
  Since the zoning restriction as applied to the property does not interfere with the reasonable use of the property, considering the unique setting of the property in its environment zoning does not interfere because it is not any more unique than any other lot in town in reference to the growth management ordinance.
  There is a fair and substantial relationship between the general purposes of the zoning ordinance and the specific restriction on the property because the growth ordinance is equal to all property in town.  It is the same ordinance for all property and there is nothing unique about this lot.  The variance would not injure the public or private rights of others.
 
 By granting this variance substantial justice would not be done because the applicant will still be able to start the project in January.  The project is not being delayed because the permit is not valid until January 2007.
 
 Use contemplated by petitioner as a result of obtaining this variance would be contrary to the spirit of the ordinance because building cannot commence until building permit is valid according to the building regulations adopted in March 1978 and amended September 6, 2001.  It would be an injustice to the town because thousands of dollars have already been spent in legal fees defending the growth management ordinance.
Motion seconded by David Dobson.

VOTE ON MOTION
David Dobson – Yes
Ben Brown – Yes
Mark McIntosh – Yes
Ed Meehan – Yes
Steve MacCleery – Yes

Motion carries 5-0, request is denied.

Respectfully submitted,


Holly MacCleery, Secretary


Edward Meehan, Chairman



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