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Board of Adjustment Minutes 09/19/2007
CHICHESTER BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MINUTES
SEPTEMBER 19, 2007

Case #211-1 – Thomas & Susan Dennison, Map 1 Lot 17A, requesting a Use Variance to Article III, Section C.3.B. to permit the placement of temporary housing prior to the issuance of a building permit in 2009.

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

Mr. Dennison stated that they would only be requiring temporary housing of a modular home until they could acquire their building permit for a single family dwelling in 2009.  He does not feel this is a self-inflicted hardship.  The growth management has been enforced for at least 7 years and he and his family have been in the Philippines for the past 20 years and were not aware of the current zoning.  They are just looking for some relief.  He understands that this is contrary to the spirit of the ordinance but this is an unusual circumstance.  Paying unnecessary rent for 3 years is a hardship.  The hardship is on the people and the growth management ordinance relates to people.  He does not feel that by granting the variance an injustice would be imposed on anyone.  Everyone has a right to appeal to the BOA for a variance for their circumstances.

The board mentioned the difficulty of proving the hardship.  There has to be a unique hardship to the property not so much a hardship to the individual.

Lucinda Reed asked if a well, septic system and driveway could be put in without a permit to which she was told yes.

Nancy Fraher commented on the concern with the town ordinance pertaining to temporary housing and the enforcement of it.  The hardship in this instance seems to be a financial one.   Todd Hammond also voiced his concern with the zoning issue and enforcement of temporary housing.

The board brought to everyone’s attention that in 1980 the town voted to allow mobile homes/manufactured housing on building lots.  Once a building permit is obtained the applicant can put any type of dwelling they choose on their lot.

Paul Adams stated that if the variance is allowed there is nothing preventing others from doing the same that don’t want to wait until a permit is available.

Mr. Dennison added that the only thing that has been done on his lot is test pits.





BOARD DISCUSSION
This would not diminish surrounding properties since the same use is allowed once a permit is issued.

The variance would be contrary to the public interest because it goes against the ordinance that the town voted for.  There is no uniqueness to the lot.

The zoning restriction does not interfere with the reasonable use of the property because there is nothing unique about it.

There is a fair and substantial relationship between the general purposes of the zoning and the specific restriction on the property because the zoning ordinance was voted on by the town to limit the number of permits which all are able to fairly apply for.
When the hardship so imposed is shared equally by all property owners, no grounds for a variance exist.

The variance would not injure the public or private rights of others since this sue would not create a nuisance.

By granting the variance substantial justice would not be done because all other options have not been exhausted.

The use contemplated by petitioner would be contrary to the spirit of the ordinance because the ordinance provides for temporary housing while you are building a dwelling not while waiting for an available building permit.  When the ordinance contains a restriction against a particular use of the land, the BOA would violate the spirit and intent of the ordinance by allowing that use.

MOTION
Steve MacCleery moved to deny the request of Thomas & Susan Dennison for Use Variance to Map 1 Lot 17A, Article III, Section C.3.B. to permit the placement of temporary housing prior to the issuance of a building permit in 2009 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 the same use is allowed once a permit is issued.
2.  The granting of this variance would be contrary to the public interest because it goes against the ordinance that the town voted for and there is no uniqueness to the lot.
3. a. 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-there is nothing unique about this piece of property.
   b. There is a fair and substantial relationship between the general purposes of the zoning ordinance and the specific restriction on the property because the zoning ordinance was voted on by the town to limit the number of permits which all are able to fairly apply for.
   c. The variance would not injure the public or private rights of others since this use would not create a nuisance.
4.  By granting this variance substantial justice would not be done because all other options have not been exhausted.
5.  The use contemplated by petitioner as a result of obtaining this variance would be contrary to the spirit of the ordinance because the ordinance provides for temporary housing while you are building a dwelling not while waiting for an available building permit.
Motion was seconded by Tom Wainwright.

VOTE ON MOTION
Steve MacCleery – Yes
David Dobson – Yes
Ed Meehan – Yes
Ben Brown – Yes
Tom Wainwright – Yes

Motion carries 5-0.  Request is denied.

Respectfully submitted,



Holly MacCleery, Secretary



Edward Meehan, Chairman
Chichester Board of Adjustment


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