The Town of Harrisville Zoning Board Adjustment held a public meeting on April 19, 2017 @ the Town Office located on 705 Chesham Road.

Members present: Jonathan Miner, Selectman; Sue Brown; Jeffrey Trudelle; Rex Baker, Alternate.
Members absent: Hal Grant, Chairman; Charles Sorenson, Co-Chair; Curtis Taylor, Alternate.
Members of the public: Samuel DeMasi; Edith Rowse Fallon; and Husband of Edith Rowse Fallon.

Meeting opened at 7:00 pm.

Jonathan Miner, in the absence of Hal Grant and Charles Sorenson, presided as Chairman.

  1. The first application presented and reviewed was that of Samuel G. DeMasi of 181 Main Street (Map 30 Lot 38-1). Mr. DeMasi requested from the ZBA a permit for a Special Exception from Article 20, Section 1.2 of the zoning ordinances to construct an addition onto an existing house. The board reviewed Mr. DeMasi’s plan for the expansion of an existing bedroom on the second story and an open-concept room on the lower level, with the foundation to be expanded and to a depth of approximately 4 feet underneath. He stated that his lot is 1.78 acres and that he will not be expanding the septic system as it already meets code requirements. The board considered the specific dimensions and proposed design and addressed the requirements under Article 20, Section 1.2 including: that the specific site is an appropriate location for such use (; that the use as developed will not adversely affect the adjacent area (; that there will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians (; that adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use (; and that the proposed use complies with all the frontage, setbacks, minimum land area, sanitary protection, signs and parking requirements ( Mr. DeMasi noted that the building inspector has visited and inspected the site to ensure it is up to code.  One abutter attended to observe and had no specific questions or comments.

The board stated it was comfortable that the applicant had satisfied the conditions. Rex Baker made a motion to approve the Special Exception for Mr. DeMasi. Jeff Trudelle seconded. All voted in favor.


  1. The second application reviewed was that of Jonathan Rowse and Edith Rowse Fallon of 117 Eastside Road (Map 72 Lot 28) for a Variance from Article 9, Section 1.6 to construct a 5x10x8 three sided firewood shed at a location 8 feet from the property line. The property is in the Lakeside District. Ms. Fallon explained that the specific location was chosen because other options on the property were too wet, too sloped, or would obstruct the use of the existing driveway. She stated that the esthetic design would match the main cottage. When the board asked if the applicant could move the proposed shed an additional 7 feet from the side boundary to meet the required 15-foot setback and explained the difficulty of proving hardship, required under the conditions for the granting of a Variance, the applicant conceded that the proposed location isn’t the only option and that it could be moved to meet the 15-foot setback if ledgerock were removed.  Ms. Fallon asked if it would be necessary to reapply to DES if the proposed location were moved. The Board wasn’t sure of the answer.

    Based on the discussion with the board, the applicant agreed to withdraw the application for the Variance and to seek an alternate location for the woodshed. The applicant stated her intent to meet the setback requirements thereby, according to the board, negating the need for a Variance or a Special Exception from the zoning ordinances.

  2. Doug Walker, representing Maria and Bob Coviello of the Harrisville Inn, attended to seek guidance from the ZBA regarding potential approvals required for the Inn to hold small civic events in its newly renovated barn with intended maximum occupancy of under 50 people. Mr. Walker provided background on his discussions with, and approvals from, the ZBA in 2015 when the barn was being built and how it has been used since its construction. Mr. Walker stated he is aware that questions regarding parking have recently arisen and that he is working with the Inn owners to satisfy the requirements for such facilities and to acquire an occupancy rating by the state which would set forth formal code requirements related to occupancy numbers. It is Mr. Walker’s hope to obtain all the necessary approvals from the town and to make the town aware of the Inn owner’s intentions. Further discussion involved potential locations for additional parking and existing conditions in the Inn’s facilities (including egresses, lighting and an ADA bathroom) which, according to Mr. Walker, currently meet standards.

Jonathan Miner clarified that this was a consultative session, not a vote on Mr. Walker’s request. The board further stated that Mr. Walker should file a formal application with a specific site plan and stated that a public meeting would need to be noticed.  Mr. Walker agreed to pursue the necessary process.

Meeting adjourned 8:05 pm.