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Planning Board Minutes 12/14/2009
Chichester Planning Board
Minutes of Meeting
December 14, 2009

Members Present:  Chairman Thomas Jameson, Vice-Chairman Richard Moore, Ex-Officio Richard DeBold, Stan Brehm, Mike Valotto, Allen Mayville, Kevin Mara (late arrival) and Jamie Pike, Secretary.

Chairman Jameson opened the meeting at 6:00pm.

Pursuant to RSA 673:11, Chairman Jameson appointed Mr. Mayville and Mr. Valotto as voting members to fill a vacancy and an absence upon the Board.

The minutes of December 3, 2009 were reviewed.  A minor grammatical error was corrected and a reference to comments made by Mr. Moore was corrected to reflect the feelings of the entire Board.  Being no further corrections, a motion was made by Mr. Brehm and seconded by Mr. Moore to approve the minutes as corrected.  Motion passes.

Design Review; Stephen G Kehas and John L & Cheryl A Monroe, Lot Line Adjustment; Map 6 Lot 7 and Map 6 Lot 8a; Canterbury Road

Mr. Jeff Green, surveyor, was present to speak on the merits of the application.

Pursuant to RSA 673:14, Mr. DeBold recused himself as a voting member on this application as the Board of Selectmen has a fiduciary contract with Mr. Green relative to another matter.

Mr. Jameson explained to the applicant that the Board has conferred with Town Counsel asking two primary questions:
        Is a Lot Line Adjustment (LLA) a subdivision, and
        Is it the responsibility of the Board to ensure the conveying parcel remains in conformity with the ordinance.

Mr. Jameson read the Town Counsel opinion letter:

“A lot line adjustment fits the definition of subdivision (RSA 672:14, I, as it is the division of a lot into 2 or more lots for conveyance.  In this case, a portion of one property is conveyed to an adjacent property.  RSA 674:4, I(e)(1) provides for an expedited review procedure and many PB’s have adopted regulations specific to LLA’s.  Please note that this statute specifically refers to LLA’s.  It is not exempt from review, and if there are no special regulations addressing LLA’s, then it should be processed as a subdivision.  Regardless of the fact that it is an LLA, it must comply with zoning.

The nonconforming lot is afforded the protections provided for in RSA 674:19.  However, it does not stand in a preferred position relative to other lots.  In other words, it is a nonconforming lot without frontage.  If it is to be modified, it must be in compliance with the zoning ordinance.  It cannot be brought into partial compliance because it is “better”.  The PB has no authority to approve a lot that violates the zoning ordinance.  This is a new lot.  It is no longer the lot without frontage.  I agree with the board that it must insure that the contributing lot will remain conforming.

At this point, I am persuaded that a variance will be required to create this new nonconforming lot, without adequate frontage…”

Mr. Green asked the Board what information will be required to be shown as evidence that the contributing lot will remain in conformity.  It was explained that all those items required by the Subdivision Regulations with specific attention to topography and wetland delineation to ensure there is sufficient buildable acreage upon the lot.  Mr. Green argues that the contributing lot is currently able to support a residential structure as it already exists.  Mr. Green also provided an example of a LLA that he has previously done in another Town where neither lot met the Zoning Ordinance with respect to frontage and the receiving lot did not attain sufficient acreage to conform to zoning.  Mr. DeBold asked if there was specific language within the particular Town’s ordinance or regulations relative to LLA’s.  Mr. Jameson saw the two cases as dissimilar and Mr. Brehm concurred.

The applicant argued that the expense of completing all the necessary work to satisfy the requirements of the Subdivision Regulations and the Zoning Ordinance would cause an undue financial hardship upon the project.  It was explained that the Planning Board cannot factor financial hardship within its consideration of an application.

Mr. Green further argued that an LLA is not a subdivision as there is no creation of an additional lot.  There are two beginning lots and will result in two lots at the end of the process.

There was much discussion of what steps the applicant could take going forward.

A motion was made by Dr. Mara and seconded by Mr. Valotto to deny the acceptance of the application as it is incomplete and direct the applicant to submit a completed Application for Subdivision with a plat providing sufficient information relative to wetland delineation and topography to determine conformity with the Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations.  Motion passes.

Other Business

Mr. Pike presented the Board with a revised drainage plan for Green Earth Automotive.  As a result of the DOT Driveway Permit, the addition of a minor drainage ditch was required to be constructed.  A motion was made by Dr. Mara and seconded by Mr. Valotto to allow for the minor change without the applicant have to come before the Board for an additional Public Hearing.  Motion passes.

Mr. Pike shall transmit to the Board via E-mail the completed draft of the WF Housing Study before the end of the week.  A meeting has been scheduled tentatively for Monday December 21, 2009.

Being no further discussion, a motion was made by Mr. Brehm and seconded by Mr. Jameson to adjourn the meeting at 7:20pm.  Motion passes.

Respectfully submitted,

Jamie A Pike

                                                                                Not approved until signed.
Thomas Jameson, Chairman

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