The Town of Harrisville Zoning Board Adjustment met on August 17, 2016 @ the Town Offices, 705 Chesham Road.

Meeting called to order at 7:07 p.m.

Members Attending: Hal Grant, Charles Sorenson, Sue Brown, Jonathan Miner, Jeff Trudelle

Members Absent: Rex Baker (alternate), Curtis Taylor (alternate)

Members of the Public Attending: Sheila Williams, Theresa Hastings, Scott Robinson, Sandy Guilbert, David Guilbert, Gary Kinyon (Attorney for Katherine Rives), Audrey Wiita, Robert Wiita.

  1. Application by Scott and Marcia Caswell – 27 Venable Road, Map 30 Lot 12 – for a variance from Article 6.1.3. The variance is for a 20×30 detached garage to be placed approximately 14’ from the owner’s boundary line. Scott Robinson represented the applicants and provided photos of the property. Described it as a sloping property with 2 flat spots. The applicant proposes the garage on one of the flat spots, 14’ from the rear property line. Harrisville Zoning Ordinance requires a 40’ setback). The property is surrounded by an empty lot (owned by Barbara and Terry Watkins), and a power line Right of Way. No abutters attended. Charles Sorenson noted that the standards for a variance are the obligation of the applicant to meet. Charles Sorenson addressed the numerous terms, including: Code section regarding possible diminution of value for which the Board agreed there would be no diminution in the value of surrounding properties; regarding section,the Board agreed the proposed garage would not be contrary to public interest (not aesthetically or functionally, nor regarding the health or safety of residents.) The Board agreed it meets public interest criteria in that the public interest would not outweigh private interest nor, under Section would it be contrary to the spirit of the Ordinance. The applicant described how the proposed location is the only suitable flat spot. Charles Sorenson moved to grant a variance, consistent with the application to allow a garage to be built between the house and the rear property line, no closer than 14 feet. Seconded by Jon Miner. All voted in favor.
  1. Katherine Rives, Emily Ann Jamison & Agent Theresa Hastings – Breed Road – Map 40 Lot 102 Sub Lot 3 – Application for Variance from Article VI Section 6.1.2 Road Frontage requirement. Discussion surrounded the issue of whether or not the applicant, citing and providing maps for previously approved Cluster Subdivision in 1994, meets the frontage requirements as established and approved by the Town at that time. Discussion also centered on whether, or if, applicant requires a special exception or a variance. Charles Sorenson noted that nothing in the Town Code allows a special exception to be granted for inadequate road frontage; the special exception for development of non-conforming lots in Section 5.4 refers to lots that are too small under the zoning ordinance lot size, which is not what the application refers to. Gary Kinyon, attorney for the applicant, stated it was his belief that a special exception is not needed and that the applicant should proceed directly to the Select Board for a building permit. The potential buyers of the property (Sandy and David Guilbert, attending) stated they want to ensure the property complies before proceeding with their purchase of the lot. It is a condition of their purchase.

Charles Sorenson stated he believes the application requires a variance and that the initial application incorrectly asks for a special exception. With approval of the Board, Hal Grant offered the applicant the option to amend the request on their application to read variance instead of special exception. Gary Kinyon stated he would like to apply for a variance and, if not granted, reserve the right to seek a special exception if more appropriate. If the variance is granted, the attorney stated he would like to go forward with the Town for a Building Permit. Hal Grant gave Gary Kinyon an application to change the request to a Variance from Frontage Requirement (minimum of 250’ required for 2 acres). Hal Grant moved to accept application for a variance. All voted in favor.

Discussion continued regarding the specific amount of road footage, given that part of the property fronts Bideawee Road and part fronts Breed Road, and that, according to the applicant, the property complies with cluster subdivision requirements approved in 1994. Jon Miner stated that it appears that the applicant doesn’t have 250 feet on a publicly approved road (Class V or Class VI highway or public road) as stated in current Harrisville Zoning Ordinance. The applicant appears to be 13’ shy of meeting the requirement.

Mr. Kinyon suggested continuing the application to the Board of Selectmen in order to take the issue to the Select Board at its next meeting to request a building permit given the 1994 subdivision approvals granted as cluster housing. Mr. Kinyon proposed to be included on the agenda of the August 18th Selectmen’s Meeting and will call Angela Hendrickson tomorrow to request.

Motion by Hal Grant to continue application. All voted in favor.

Approval of Minutes of June 15, 2016. Board approved.

Meeting Adjourned at 8:18 p.m.