Zoning Board of Adjustment
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Meeting Minutes

The Harrisville ZBA held a public hearing on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at town offices, 705 Chesham Road, and via zoom.

     Members present: Charles Sorenson, Chair; Hal Grant, Vice-Chair; Jay Jacobs Select Board Representative; Jeffrey Trudelle; Rex Baker; Andrew Maneval, Alternate

     Members absent: Pegg Monahan, Alternate; Patrick Gagne

     Members of the public: Eduardo Moura and Sharman Howe; Daniel Scully; Tim Poler; Kimberly Poler; Christine Poler Fleming, Joe Cable

The Chair stated that the voting members for the evening were Rex Baker, Hal Grant, Jay Jacobs, Jeff Trudelle and Charles Sorenson. The board then took up the following:

Eduardo Moura and Sharman Howe, 60 Westside Road (Map 73 – Lot 16)
Mr. Sorenson noted that the Moura/Howe request for a special exception should address Article 5.4.1 of the Zoning Ordinances, given that the subject parcel is a non-conforming lot, in addition to the already included request for relief under Article 5.3.3, which pertains to non-conforming structures. The applicants subsequently confirmed that they request a special exception under both articles, and the application was amended and initialed accordingly.

Dan Scully for the applicants then reviewed the proposed building plans for the board and public. He stated that the applicants propose to reduce the existing 24’ x 32’ footprint slightly, by eliminating the triangular section of exterior wall, angled toward the lake, along the three floors. All elements of the building plans, Mr. Scully confirmed, remain within the footprint, and the height of the new structure will remain less than 35 feet.

Improvements to the property will include the addition of the permeable surface called turfblock, a cinderblock through which grass can grow, but which is hard and can support vehicles transporting watercraft. The existing deck will remain but be converted to a patio within the existing footprint. Mr. Scully confirmed that the total impervious coverage is 7.6%, including driveways, patio, and structures, well below the 30% impervious cover limit allowed under the ordinances.

The property owners plan to address problematic drainage across the site through the installation of new culverts and a new infiltration bed to manage stormwater runoff. They also need to address a problematic septic tank and septic system and are applying to the state to replace these with a state-approved system. The existing trailer and structure will be replaced with a new, solid house, surrounded by new landscaping and a new well, in addition to the new septic.

Referring to the required zoning ordinance criteria for a special exception, Mr. Scully stated that, first, the site is an appropriate location for the proposed use, as it is a reconfiguration of the existing use, in an improved condition. Secondly, he noted, the use will not adversely affect the adjacent properties, which are two to three stories tall. He added that the applicants feel the proposed improvements will enhance property values for all. The plan also entails a parking area on the Sharman/Howe parcel across Westside ride, removing the need for on-road parking.

As for providing for adequate and appropriate facilities for the proposed use, Mr. Scully reiterated the plan for new septic, new well, and new drainage system, providing for improved stormwater management. Runoff will be directed into infiltration beds, and the applicants will work as needed with the Road Agent during this phase.

Addressing frontage and setbacks, the plans entail no increase in nonconformities. Sharing the preliminary drawing for the septic system, Mr. Scully pointed out the tank and field locations, noting that the full design will be submitted to DES as part of Shoreland Permit Application. In addition, the garage setback will be 20’, compliant with zoning ordinances. Mr. Moura added that the property will be more conforming in terms of setbacks from abutters, as the existing shed along the property’s west side boundary will be replaced with one that complies with side setbacks.

Mr. Jacobs noted the 12” culverts in the applicants’ plans, advising them that the minimum size now used on town roads is 15”. The applicants stated they will amend this. The board then commended the applicants for reconfiguring the septic location so it does not encroach on the 40’ right of way and thus does not require an easement from the town.

As the board had no further questions and members of the public had no additional questions and commended the applicants on their plans, Mr. Sorenson entertained a motion to approve the application for a special exception under articles 5.4.1 and 5.3.3. Mr. Jacobs subsequently moved that, under 5.4.1 and 5.3.3. the board finds the applicants’ plans in conformance with those zoning articles and thus moves to approve the application. Hal Grant seconded.

 The board then proceeded to review each criteria under Article XX: The specific site is an appropriate location for such use. Members unanimously agreed. The use as developed will not adversely affect the adjacent area. Members unanimously agreed it would not. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians. Members unanimously agreed. Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use. The board unanimously agreed they would be. 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. Members all agreed, with Mr. Sorenson noting that the waiver being granted pertained to the increase in volume and height.

Thus, the ZBA voted unanimously in favor to grant the Special Exception. The Chair informed the applicants that a written decision from the board would be forthcoming.

Administrative matters
Following the closing of the public hearing, the Chair addressed two administrative matters, the minutes of its two previous meetings and an upcoming training conference.

Members unanimously approved the meeting minutes of both their May 20 and their September 16 meetings. Subsequently, members were informed of the October 31 Land Use Law Conference, being held online. Among other panels, it will include discussions related to legal updates and roles and responsibilities of zoning members, and members of all land use boards. Those who wish to be registered should contact the Select Board office.

The meeting adjourned at 7:40 pm.