The Town of Harrisville Zoning Board of Adjustment held a public meeting on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 @ the Town Offices located at 705 Chesham Road.

Members present: Hal Grant, Chairman; Jay Jacobs, Selectman; Jeffrey Trudelle; Rex Baker, Alternate; Mary Ann Noyer, Alternate
Members absent:Charles Sorenson, Vice-Chairman; Patrick Gagne, Alternate; Pegg Monahan, Alternate

Members of the public: Robert Ludlow, applicant

Hal Grant opened the meeting at 6:04 pm.

Robert Ludlow – 24 Westside Road (Map 73-Lot-5) TheZBA heard the application of Mr. Ludlow to modify his home’s existing deck by altering the 4-foot connector between the south- side deck and north side (lake-front) deck. Mr. Ludlow explained, referring to submitted drawings, that the alteration would involve the removal of 331 square feet of deck and stairway/walkway on the house’s north side and the construction of 77 square feet of new stairway/walkway on the south side to access the lakeside deck area. Mr. Ludlow demonstrated that the net decrease of 254 square feet from the removal of two walkways and a portion of existing decking would result in a decrease in impervious cover, falling below the threshold standard of 20% required under 4.1.14.

Under Article 5.2.2, the ZBA may approve a special exception for changes in, or expansions to, existing nonconforming uses. The provision reads as follows:  For a special exception to be approved, a petitioner must prove to the satisfaction of the Board of Adjustment that the proposed change in, or expansion of, the existing non-conforming use will not be more harmful or detrimental than the existing non-conforming use. It must also meet the findings of fact and conditions for granting a special exception as outlined in Article XX.

The board considered Article 15.13.1 which reads that nonconforming structures located within the protected shoreland may be repaired, renovated or replaced in kind using modern technologies, provided the result is a functionally equivalent use. Such repair or replacement…shall result in no expansion of the existing footprint… The board noted the property owner satisfied this condition as well as the conditions outlined in 15.13.2. This provision of the ordinance reads as follows: Open decks as additions to existing nonconforming structures and which are proposed within the seventy-five (75) foot setback requirement are permitted conditioned on: maintaining a minimum setback of fifty (50) feet (; a maximum deck width of twenty-four feet parallel to the reference line (; maintaining an open deck (; utilizing simple foundations such as pier or piling foundations to minimize land disturbance (; and implementing adequate soil erosion control measures ( From the information provided by Mr. Ludlow, the board determined that his proposal met all of the above requirements.

Finally, the board considered the setback requirements outlined in Article IX, specifically 9.1.6, and determined that based on the application, and in the case of existing non-conforming structures, no additions shall be made which will be closer to the high-water mark than the nearest part of the existing structures. No structure shall be located closer than fifteen (15) feet to the edge of any right-of-way, or to the side or rear boundaries of the lot.The proposed walkway will be set back 46’ from the side boundary.

As required under Article XX, the board then considered the criteria necessary for granting a special exception, as follows:  The specific site is an appropriate location for such use. All agreed.  The use as developed will not adversely affect the adjacent area. All agreed.  There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians. All agreed.  Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use. All agreed.  The 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.All agreed.

The five necessary conditions having been established by the applicant, Jay Jacobs moved to grant the special exception. Rex Baker seconded. The board voted unanimously in favor.   

Subsequently, the board voted 3-0 to approve the meeting minutes of August 1, 2018 with Hal Grant and Jeff Trudelle abstaining given their absence from the meeting.

As the board had no additional business to consider, the meeting adjourned at 6:50 pm.