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Board of Adjustment Minutes 05/14/2008
MAY 14, 2008

Case #219-Allen Gamans/John & Victoria Wakelin seeking a use variance to Article IV-Non-conforming Use to permit construction of a patio enclosure on Map 4 Lot 49 located on Towle Road.

Before the public hearing Richard Millette was sworn in as an alternate member by Selectman Stephen MacCleery.

Members Present:  Edward Meehan, Chairman; Stephen MacCleery, ex-offico; Mark McIntosh; David Dobson; Richard Millette.

John Wakelin & Allen Gamans were present to address the board.

Mr. Gamans & Mr. Wakelin stated that the Building Inspector told them a variance would need to be obtained before a building permit could be issued for an addition of a sunroom/patio to the existing residence.  The house was built in 1967 before the open space wetlands zoning came into effect.  There is a brook that runs intermittently and is approximately 2 _ ft. wide.  The lot is not marshy and he feels that the map was delineated with a wide brush when the zoning maps were established years ago.  
There is a walk-out from the back of the house and there have never been any water issues.
The sun porch will be 180 sq. ft. with sona tubes/cement piers that will have no additional impact to the area.  The existing house is 150’-160’ from the brook.  The ground level of the house is higher than the backyard.  The edge of the proposed addition will be approx. 170’ from the brook.
The house is close to the road and is the highest point on the property which has a total of 9 acres.  The septic system is behind the house and will not be disturbed in any way.  
Mr. Wakelin does not feel this use will be detrimental to the neighborhood.  No additional grading will be needed for the project.

Steve MacCleery looked in the applicants tax file to see if there were any restrictions concerning additional building on this property.  No restrictions were found in his file.

The board felt that a sunroom addition would not diminish surrounding property values as a result of this variance.
No additional traffic or town services would be generated.
There is a sufficient buffer between the proposed additional and the seasonal brook.
There is already a reasonable use of the property, a residence.  You need 90% buildable soil on the lot.  The house is in the wrong area according to today’s zoning.
The lot has supported a residence since 1967 and sometime after that a garage was added.  The BOA records do not show any requests to the board for this property.
If the map can be proven wrong by a soil scientist then a variance is not needed.  They are concurring that the zoning is correct and are not disputing the matter.
This use will have minimal effect on the wetlands.
This variance would allow reasonable use of the property.
It would not be contrary to the spirit of the ordinance because of the minimal adverse effects on the wetlands.  The addition will be approx. 170’ from the brook.

Mark McIntosh moved to grant the requested use variance to Map 4 Lot 49 for an expansion of a non-conforming use for a 10’x18’ sunroom 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 this is a sunroom additional which would normally be allowed in a R/RA zone.
2.  The granting of this variance would not be contrary to the public interest because it will not be generating additional traffic or town services.  Expansion of living space on a residence that already exists will have minimal impact on the wetlands.  The contractor stated that the structure will be supported by 4 sona tubes/cement piers and no additional grading or landscape will be done.  Addition will be approximately 170’ from the brook.
3.a.  Since the zoning restriction as applied to the property interferes with the reasonable use of the property, considering the unique setting of the property in its environment because there is a sufficient buffer between the proposed addition and the seasonal brook.  There is an approximate 12’ elevation and the addition will be 170’ from the brook.  The structure will have minimal runoff effect.
  b.  There is not a fair and substantial relationship between the general purposes of the zoning ordinance and the specific restriction of the property because the effects of the proposed structure will have minimal, if any, effect on the wetlands.  No houses can be seen from the property.
  c.  The variance would not injure the public or private rights of others since there will be minimal detrimental effects on the wetlands.
4.  By granting this variance substantial justice would be done because it would allow reasonable use of the property.
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 purpose of the ordinance is to protect the wetlands and this additional residential use will have minimal adverse effects on the wetlands and will be approximately 170’ from the brook.
Motion was seconded by David Dobson.

Richard Millette – Yes
David Dobson – Yes
Ed Meehan – Yes
Steve MacCleery – Yes
Mark McIntosh – Yes
Motion carries 5-0.

Respectfully submitted,

Holly MacCleery, Secretary

Edward Meehan, Chairman
Chichester Board of Adjustment

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