The Town of Harrisville Zoning Board of Adjustment held a public meeting on February 21, 2018 @ the Town Offices located at 705 Chesham Road.
Members present: Hal Grant, Chairman; Charles Sorenson, Vice-Chairman; Jeffrey Trudelle; Rex Baker; Patrick Gagne Alternate
Members absent: Jonathan Miner, Selectman
Members of the public: Harry Wolhandler; Pegg Monahan; Don Scott; Kathy Scott; Tom Hanna, attorney (Keene)
Hal Grant opened the meeting at 7: 04 pm.
Question regarding restoration of a previously granted special exception
Tom Hanna met with the ZBA to seek the board’s input on the Special Exception granted for his client, Ken Dyer (Map 21 Lot 28-1), in March 2013. Mr. Dyer would like to implement the proposed work plan, approved at that time but not carried out, to move a non-conforming structure to a more conforming location. The subject ordinance is Article 5.3.2. Since the Special Exception granted in March 2013 expired after one year, according to the zoning ordinances, Mr. Hanna, on behalf of Mr. Dyer, seeks its restoration.
Mr. Hanna explained that the existing house is 5’ from the lake and the proposed new location is set back 52’. He added that nothing has changed on Mr. Dyer’s lot or in the details of his proposal, other than the addition of one new abutter. Mr. Hanna further stated he believed it was in his client’ interest to have a public hearing, and that he planned to review his client’s exhibits to confirm nothing has changed and planned to resubmit the application. Separately, Mr. Hanna asked the town to consider extending the one-year deadline on Special Exceptions as he believes it can be a tight timeframe for property owners. The board discussed the matter with Mr. Hanna and advised that the filing of a new application and a public hearing were appropriate. Mr. Hanna stated that the application would be resubmitted for a March or April hearing and asked the board to consider that the application had previously been through a thorough vetting process.
Question regarding new Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance
Harry Wolhandler and Pegg Monahan of Tuttle Lane requested clarification from the board on the new ADU ordinance, Article XXIX and what is allowable. They are interested in modifying an existing cottage, currently used for storage and detached from their lakeside home, into year round living space. The owners would maintain the cottage’s existing footprint, while adding ecological improvements such as solar paneling and terracing and other stormwater management measures. Mr. Wolhandler presented a preliminary drawing of the property and the board noted that Article 29.3 is the relevant ordinance. Mr. Sorenson noted that the Planning Board has jurisdiction over conditional use permit applications for ADUs, which is what would be required in this instance. Mr. Sorenson recommended that Mr. Wolhandler contact the Planning Board for guidance on the specific process and requirements.
Discussion with Don Scott regarding ordinance interpretation
Mr. Scott continued his recent discussion with the board regarding a potential driveway reconstruction on a Skatutakee Road property and his efforts to reduce the percentage of impervious cover on the lot to meet current zoning regulations. Mr. Scott presented a tentative application, not yet submitted, and drawings depicting proposed work. The proposal would include a pervious paving walkway to infiltrate surface runoff, gravel beds between the house and the proposed walkway. The proposed new parking area also would include concrete brick pavers over stone beds, again for added filtration. According to Mr. Scott, the existing condition contains impervious cover of 32% and his proposal would reduce that number to 26% impervious cover. The proposal also included relocating 300 square feet of existing impervious cover behind the 50’ buffer zone. Mr. Scott aims to improve the property to a more nearly conforming condition and to bring more protective conditions to the lake than currently exist.
In further discussion of the relevant ordinances, including Article 15.13.1, and definitions related to impervious cover, including 188.8.131.52 and 15.3.8, Mr. Sorenson stated a variance would be required to waive the 20% impervious cover standard. Mr. Scott asked the board if it was willing to accept pervious paving systems as systems that would infiltrate water, whether it’s a driveway, walkway or any other patio surface. Mr. Sorenson responded that, in considering the various ordinances all together, any decision or determination on a specific application would depend on the individual application and the testimony provided by the applicant and the applicant’s technical presentation. The board also confirmed that the 20% standard for impervious cover is a line in the sand. Mr. Scott noted his proposal also includes capturing and infiltrating rainwater from the roof, further reducing the amount of concentrated runoff. He thanked the board for its clarifications.
Minutes of previous meeting
The board voted unanimously to approve its January meeting minutes.
Meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm.