The Town of Harrisville Zoning Board of Adjustment met on October 19, 2016 at the Town Offices, 705 Chesham Road.

Members present: Sue Brown, Jonathan Miner, Hal Grant, Charles Sorenson, Jeff Trudelle, Rex Baker (alternate)
Members absent: Curtis Taylor (alternate)
Members of the public: Jonathan St. Peter, Jay Jacobs, Laura Trudelle, Chris and Jan Jackson, Kully Mindeman

Meeting called to order at 7:04 p.m.

1. Application by Jonathan St. Peter for Property at 727 Chesham Road (Map 30, Lot 83). Applicant requests a Special Exception as provided in Article 9, Section 1.5 to operate a home-based business, a general auto repair shop in a small garage.

The Zoning Board reviewed the merits of the application, including all the conditions that have to exist for the Special Exception to be granted. The question arose as to whether or not the applicant would also require Site Plan Review before the Planning Board. After discussion and unanimous agreement by the zoning board members, it was determined that such additional review was not required as the applicant meets the required criteria to operate a home-based business and meets the requirements for a Special Exception. The determination was also based on the language in the statute which reads that an application “may require” site plan review rather than “must”.

There was a suggestion from Jay Jacobs that the Zoning Board request of the Planning Board to address inconsistencies in the existing zoning ordinances.

A motion was made by Charles Sorenson that, under 4.1.19, the applicant meets the conditions for a home-based business noting specifically that under, the application does not require site plan review by the Planning Board in this instance. Seconded by Sue Brown. All voted in favor.

Under Article 20, specifically 20.1.2, addressing appropriateness of the location for such a use, the board determined that based on comments from the public and the applicant’s proposal and the historical use of the property, the location is appropriate, particularly the fact that it’s not near other residential properties or too close. Addressing the regulation that the use would not adversely affect the adjacent area, the board determined that having reviewed the criteria for establishing a home-based business, it already determined that it would not affect the adjacent area. The board further agreed there would be no nuisance or hazard or noise as a result of the operation of the business and that the application satisfactorily addresses the question, in addition to addressing adequate disposal of waste materials and storage of materials.

Regarding compliance with setback requirements, minimum frontage, parking and signage, the board agreed that the applicant meets the requirements and that the parking requirement be waived given sufficient space on the applicant’s property to address the business’s need.

Charles Sorenson, stating that all the conditions had been met, moved that the Zoning Board grant the Special Exception for the reasons stated in Jonathan St. Peter’s application description, dated 10-19-2016 Home-Based Business, and his Hazardous Waste Plan, dated 10-19-2016

Charles Sorenson moved that the Board grant a Special Exception under Article 20, Section 20.1.2 the Special Exception is granted conditioned on the conformance to the applicant’s 10-19-2016 Home-Based Business description and the applicant’s 10-19-2016 Hazardous Waste Plan, which will be attached to the decision. Motion seconded by Jeff Trudelle. All voted in favor.

The board reiterated that the applicant does not require Site Plan Review by the Planning Board.

2. Application by Janice Jackson for the Property at 26 Dion Grove, Map 61 Lot 16. Applicant requests a Special Exception as provided in Article 9, Section 1.6 to extend the basement with a wooden deck placed above it on the lake side of the home.

The applicant stated that, because they couldn’t construct a separate storage shed on the property because of setback requirements from the water and existing trees on the property, they instead propose to extend their basement to use as additional storage. Discussion ensued as to dimensions of the proposed construction related to the Right of Way setback requirements and requirements for setback from the water.

Charles Sorenson stated that the application would have to be amended to request a Variance as opposed to a Special Exception given that a Special Exception has to be away from the non-conforming aspect (in this case, the distance from the Right of Way) which takes the Special Exception option off the table. Reading from the statute addressing Variances, Mr. Sorenson stated he believes the language involving “unnecessary hardship” would be difficult for the applicant to overcome. New Hampshire statutes (Section 674-33) address the “unnecessary hardship” rule which require the property to have special conditions compared to other properties in the area and that the property cannot be reasonably used in conformance to the ordinance. Charles Sorenson stated his belief that this means the applicant is like everybody else in terms of living on a lakeside property with the same general conditions as other property owners.

After discussion of options open to the applicant to meet acceptable conditions under the existing ordinances, including moving the line of the proposed basement and deck back 2 or 3 feet, and maintaining the 75 foot setback requirement from the lake. The board advised the applicant that he could apply for a Building Permit with revised drawings reflecting the new proposed dimensions with adequate setbacks, thereby resulting in the withdrawal of the application by the applicant and negating the need for Zoning Board action or vote.

Other business:

The Zoning Board all agreed it would appreciate the input and work of Andrew Maneval to present proposed amendments to the zoning ordinances, particularly related to 4.1.10 and as well as Article 20 and the challenges that the current inconsistencies present for the Zoning Board, as well as given the support of Mr. Maneval’s initiative by both the Zoning Board and the Select Board.

Hal Grant motioned to approve and sign the August 17, 2016 Meeting Minutes. Jonathan Miner seconded. All voted in favor.

Kully Mindeman attended to request guidance on replacing a smaller existing deck with a larger deck and asked whether or not the work would require approval by the Zoning Board. Mr. Mindeman noted that plans are being finalized and that he will be applying to the DES and to the building inspector. He also stated that the expansion would not involve construction any closer to the pond but would run parallel to the shoreline. Charles Sorenson commented that Article 9.1.6 addresses existing structures and the requirement to stay within the existing footprint. Rex Baker raised the question of distance from the abutter and the board agreed that needed to be ascertained.

The board all voted in favor to elect its officers and members as follows:

Chair – Hal Grant (motion made by Jonathan Miner and seconded by Sue Brown)
Vice Chair – Charles Sorenson (motion made by Hal Grant and approved by all)
Alternate – Rex Baker
Alternate – Curtis Taylor
Clerk – duties to be undertaken by both Hal Grant and the Recording Secretary

Meeting adjourned 8:30 pm.