Town of Harrisville
Zoning Board of Adjustment
April 18, 2018
The Town of Harrisville Zoning Board of Adjustment held a public meeting on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ the Town Offices located at 705 Chesham Road.
Members present: Hal Grant, Chairman; Charles Sorenson, Vice-Chairman; Jeffrey Trudelle; Patrick Gagne Alternate, Jay Jacobs, Selectman
Members absent: Rex Baker
Members of the public: Harry Wolhandler; Don Scott; Kathy Scott; Tom Hanna, attorney for Kenneth Dyer; Gary Spaulding, site designer representing Kenneth Dyer; J.R. Davis, for abutters Eric and Amy Nelson; Jason Raynor; William Raynor; Noel Greiner; Mary Comerford; Edward Comerford; Erin Hammerstedt; Jonathan Miner.
Hal Grant opened the meeting at 7: 04 pm.
- Jason and Stephanie Raynor – property at 3 Main Street, Map-61 Lot-4 – Application for a Special Exception as provided in Article V Sections 2.2 and 3.2. Proposal to modify, relocate and rehabilitate current structure, removing majority of non-conforming portion and creating an addition away from the non-conforming aspect to connect the main house with the barn. Property is located in the Historic, Lakeside and Village Residential Districts. The applicant, representing himself, provided a sketch depicting the location of the existing house and the proposed location of the relocated structure attached to the barn. The nonconforming aspect of the structure is an ell that currently sits too close to the boundary of the abutting property but would be moved further away from this boundary, or possibly removed, pending an application before the Historic District Commission. Otherwise, the existing structures and relocated structure, as proposed in the application, conform to all lakeside, frontage, side and rear boundary setback requirements.When the question arose as to why the special exception was required, the board explained that any time a property owner aims to move or expand a non-conforming structure, a special exception is required under Article V of the zoning regulations. If the ZBA agrees a special exception is possible, it reviews the applicant’s ability to meet the criteria required under Article XX. It was clarified that the applicant’s application to, and review by, the Historic District Commission was a parallel process, separate and distinct from the ZBA’s jurisdiction.
Upon no further questions, Jay Jacobs moved to accept the application for a Special Exception under Article V Sections 2.2. and 3.2 as presented. The motion was seconded by Charles Sorenson.
The board then considered the conditions required under Article 20.1.2, including:
22.214.171.124The specific site is an appropriate location for such use.The board unanimously agreed.
126.96.36.199The use as developed will not adversely affect the adjacent area. The board unanimously agreed.
188.8.131.52There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians. The board unanimously agreed.
184.108.40.206Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use.The board unanimously agreed.
220.127.116.11The proposed use shall comply with all the frontage, setbacks, minimum land area, sanitary protection, signs and parking requirements for itself or its most similar use, except where specifically waived by the board, the reasons for such waiver to be set forth in writing by the board. The board agreed and determined no waivers were required.
The ZBA voted unanimously in favor to grant the Special Exception.
Hal Grant then recused himself from the subsequent application.
- 2. Kenneth Dyer – 24 Breck Lane Map-21 Lot 28-1 – Application for a Special Exception from Article V Sections 3.2 and 4.2 to allow an existing building to be replaced with a new building with detached garage to be more conforming. The property is located in the Lakeside District.This application is a repeat application from 2013, when approval was granted but the Special Exception was not acted upon and then expired. Tom Hanna and Gary Spaulding, both representing Mr. Dyer, explained the proposal for the site using existing site plans that showed side and rear setbacks of 25 feet and a setback of 75’ from the high-water mark. Total frontage on the water, according to Mr. Spaulding, is 272 feet. An existing cottage in disrepair would be removed. The small wetland on the front of the property was tested and shown not to have changed since 2013. The total existing impervious cover is calculated at 5,065 square feet or 15.13%. With the new structure, a ranch design with loft space totaling 5,255 square feet, this percentage would rise very slightly to 15.64%, which is still below the 20% standard required in the zoning ordinance.
Mr. Spaulding noted the locations of septic and well facilities as well as adequate soil drainage for runoff. He described the tree points, section by section, all within the required regulations. The setback of the new house would be 52’ from the water and the proposed garage would be 116’ from the water. The wells and septic would be further from the water than where they exist now and would meet the required setbacks. Landscaping would include all natural cover with no lawn area, but all native plantings and vegetation. Mr. Hanna confirmed that the proposal is the exact same proposal brought before the ZBA, and approved in 2013. The board and applicant agreed that, should the future owner of the property wish to do something on a different footprint and with a different design from what is proposed, he would have to return to the ZBA. In response to a question from Jay Jacobs about whether the current application, compared to that of 2013, might require a variance versus a special exception, Mr. Sorenson noted that there was no change in circumstances and that, under 5.3.2 and 5.4.2, a non-conforming building on a non-conforming lot may be relocated or replaced by special exception, provided it meets the stated conditions.
Following explanation of the site plan, Mr. Sorenson asked Mr. Hanna to outline his applicant’s case for meeting the criteria under Article XX. Mr. Hanna did so as follows:
18.104.22.168The specific site is an appropriate location for such use.Mr. Hanna noted the lot has had a house on it historically and, perhaps more importantly, had two houses on it before it merged into one lot.
22.214.171.124The use as developed will not adversely affect the adjacent area. Mr. Hanna referred to the various improvements described by Mr. Spaulding, including relocation further from the lake and wetlands, conforming in all aspects to setbacks, with the exception of requested relief from the 75’ setback from the shoreline. He further noted how the house fits in with the existing landscape, using existing grades and previously disturbed areas.
126.96.36.199There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians. The house is the last property on Breck Lane with a very narrow drive and has been a residential property for a long time.
188.8.131.52Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use.The house will have a modern, state-approved septic system which will be substantially further away from the wetlands and the lake. In addition, there is an existing drilled well.
184.108.40.206The proposed use shall comply with all the frontage, setbacks, minimum land area, sanitary protection, signs and parking requirements for itself or its most similar use, except where specifically waived by the board, the reasons for such waiver to be set forth in writing by the board. This is a preexisting lot, expanded by way of a merger and will comply with all setbacks and sanitary requirements. he board agreed and determined no waivers were required.
Mr. Sorenson then closed the public portion of the meeting and requested a motion from the board. Jay Jacobs moved that the board grant the request for a Special Exception, in light of Mr. Hanna’s written and verbal explanations which make sufficient case for meeting the necessary conditions under Articles 5.3.2 and 5.4.2 and for meeting the criteria under Article XX, including 20.1.1 through 20.1.5. Further, regarding 20.1.5 and the waiver that exists, the board agrees the applicant satisfies the conditions for this waiver of setback from the pond. Jeff Trudelle seconded. Mr. Jacobs recommended attaching a copy of the proposed site plan with the approved application to ensure proper recording of the approved footprint. The board and applicant agreed the application packet is part of the decision. The board voted unanimously in favor to grant the Special Exception.
The Recording Secretary agreed to serve as a temporary Alternate to the ZBA as the board continues to need new members.
Separately, Harry Wolhandler introduced himself as the new Conservation Commission chair and welcomed collaboration with the ZBA on all matters of interest to both boards, including matters of steep slope, shoreland and wetlands. The ZBA will circulate agendas with the HCC and noted that meeting minutes are available on the website upon their completion. It was agreed it would be more efficient to do this with all land use boards.
Members approved the meeting minutes of February 21, 2018.
Meeting adjourned at 8:39 pm.