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Board of Adjustment Minutes 03/07/2007 - Case 208
MARCH 7, 2007

Case #208-Douglas Hamel, Map 2 Lot 41-3, seeking Appeal From An Administrative Decision of the Building Inspector to Article III, Section L. subsection II for the expiration of a building permit.

Members Present:  Edward Meehan, Chairman; Stephen MacCleery, ex-offico; Mark McIntosh, Vice Chairman; David Dobson; Tom Wainwright.

Mr. Hamel feels that the building permit process may be flawed as it puts the local person that wants to sell a lot at a disadvantage.  The original ordinance, when passed, made sense at the time.  Limitations were put on the building permit so buildings would be finished exteriorly within 18 months.  Mr. Hamel went through his expense history pertaining to his property and permits.
Through the process of subdivision in 2003 and the approval for construction for the septic system in 2004, a building permit was obtained on 5/26/05.  He doesn’t want to build a house on this lot himself, but wants to be able to sell it with an acquired building permit.  The permit is limited to 1 year but you can get an extension.  All of his extensions have expired and the permit is no longer valid.  He now has to wait until 2009 to get on the list for another permit.  He does not feel that the building inspector made a mistake, just that the ordinance is flawed.
One buyer was interested in the lot but it didn’t work out.  The real estate market isn’t what it used to be and he can’t sell it fast enough.  He can’t sell it for what it’s worth because it now doesn’t have a building permit.  He has already spent 1.5 years on the list to get a permit.  The permit expired on 12/31/06.
Mr. Hamel feels that the way the ordinance is written there is no provision made for the person who just wants to sell a lot without a building permit.

The BOA pointed out that because of the growth ordinance there is a waiting period.  Now he would have to wait another 2 years in order to get on the list again, but it has to be fair for all.  Everyone else has to do the same thing.
Also, a permit is not necessary for the sale of the lot.  There was a valid permit for 18 months which wasn’t used.
Mr. Hamel would be able to ask for his impact fees back if the permit isn’t reinstated.

According to the Building Regulations you have 6 months to start your project and then have 18 months to finish it.
The BOA has the power to authorize upon appeal in specific cases such variance from the terms of the zoning ordinance as will not be contrary to the public interest, if, owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance will result in unnecessary hardship, and so that the spirit of the ordinance shall be observed and substantially justice done.
When an appeal is made to the BOA under this provision, the board must apply the strict letter of the law in exactly the same way that a building inspector must.  It cannot alter the ordinance and map or waive any restrictions under the guise of interpreting the law.
An appeal cannot be granted if the BOA feels the building inspector made the correct decision, which it does.

Steve MacCleery moved to deny the Appeal From Administrative Decision of the Building Inspector to Article III, Section L. for Map 2 Lot 41-3 because the BOA feels the Building Inspector did not err in his interpretation of the Town of Chichester’s Building Regulations reference #5. d. 1&2, and #6.  Tom Wainwright seconded.

David Dobson – Yes
Mark McIntosh – Yes
Edward Meehan – Yes
Steve MacCleery – Yes
Tom Wainwright – Yes

Motion carries 5-0.  Request is denied.

Respectfully submitted,

Holly MacCleery, Secretary
Chichester Board of Adjustment

Edward Meehan, Chairman
Chichester Board of Adjustment

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