Zoning Board of Adjustment
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Meeting Minutes

The Harrisville Board of Adjustment held a regularly scheduled meeting and public hearing on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at the Harrisville Town Offices, 705 Chesham Road.

Attendees: Charles Sorenson Chair; Rex Baker Vice Chair; Patrick Gagne; Andrew Maneval Alternate; Hal Grant Alternate.  Absent: Jeff Trudelle; Pegg Monahan Select Board Representative
Members of the public: Don Scott

Chairman Sorenson opened the meeting at 7:05 pm. He named the five voting members for the evening: Rex Baker, Pat Gagne, Andrew Maneval, Hal Grant, and Charlie Sorenson. The chair then stated that the business before the board was a continuation of business addressed at a hearing in November.

Andrew Macdonald, 33 Eastside Road (Map 72 – Lot 11)Applying for a Special Exception to construct a 21’ x 7’ boat shed within the 75’ shoreland buffer. The property owner submitted a modified plan, showing a slight change in the shed’s location on the parcel to avoid encroachment on the side setback.  The relevant zoning ordinances, Article 9.1.6. and Article 20.1, and the criteria outlined within, were addressed by the applicant’s agent, Don Scott.

9.1.6. No dwelling or structure other than docks or fences shall be erected closer than seventy-five (75) feet from the high-water mark…Accessory buildings such as storage sheds and gazebos but excluding automobile garages may be located within the seventy-five (75) feet setback as a special exception provided: The location and construction of the structure is consistent with the intent of the ordinance to maintain a vegetated buffer, which would meet the requirements of 15.8.1. Mr. Scott noted no trees were being cut down and no vegetation was being altered. The structure is required as a shelter either for humans, equipment, or firewood. Mr. Scott noted the shed was for boat storage and, as such, a shelter for equipment. The structure is customary or incidental to residential and recreational use. Mr. Scott stated the purpose of the shed is winter storage for water gear used for recreation. Building placement: Buildings shall be placed in such a manner as to minimize impact on habitat and at such a location as to have the least impact on the watershed. Explaining the pitch of the roof and the building’s location in the area of a recently created infiltration bed, Mr. Scott noted both the roof, pitched toward the house, and improved drainage through the infiltration basin, will help capture and direct runoff.

Mr. Scott then described, as shown in the photos and site plan, how the proposed location differed from that of the initial proposal. He pointed to the compliance with the side setback with the shed location shifting closer to the house, and the distance from the high water mark, the latter triggering the need for the special exception relief.

Based on the findings of fact and agreeing with the statements put forth by Mr. Scott, Charlie Sorenson moved that the ZBA finds that the proposed shed location meets the requirements of 9.1.6. and thus the special exception for this section of the ordinances should be granted. Andrew Maneval seconded. All voted in favor, agreeing the case was sufficiently and thoroughly presented.

The board then proceeded to address the Special Exception criteria under Article XX:

20.1.1. – The specific site is an appropriate location for such use. The board unanimously agreed noting the subject property is a lakeside property and boat storage there is an appropriate use.

20.1.2.  The use as developed will not adversely affect the adjacent area. Mr. Maneval noted no concerns related to this condition have been raised. All agreed and voted unanimously in favor. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians.  The board agreed that the shed would cause no nuisance or hazard. Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use. Board members felt this was the case, noting the infiltration basin, if relevant as a facility, would continue to capture storm water. 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. The Chair noted the only waiver for this particular approval is the special exception under 9.1.6 to allow the accessory structure within the 75’ shoreland setback. Mr. Scott added that only half of the structure would encroach and the other half was beyond this boundary.

Charles Sorenson then moved, with the 5 criteria met, to grant the Special Exception under Article XX for the boat shed. Andrew Maneval seconded. All voted in favor.

Regarding the question of need of a Shoreland Permit from DES, Don Scott confirmed that, given this is the second accessory structure on the parcel, DES approval is required. Had it been the first or only accessory structure, the size and circumstances of the boat storage shed would meet DES’s conditions for an exemption. Mr. Scott is preparing the paperwork. DES approval will be required prior to the issuance of the building permit.

As a final matter, the board approved the minutes of the November meeting.

Members moved to adjourn at 7:45 pm.