Zoning Board Minutes, August 21, 2012

Condensed from approved minutes

Members present: Charlie McCrave, Chair; Jeff Newcomb; Dan Coolidge; Katherine Stearns, alternate; Bill Keyser, alternate.

Also present for duration of appropriate item: Julia Rector; Steve and Sonia Nelson; Jeff and Maundy Abrahamson; and Ron Brule

Dan Coolidge and Jim Delaney have been appointed as full-time Board members.

Public Hearing: A request from Steven and Sonia Nelson for a variance to permit less than the minimum road frontage for a proposed subdivision. The property is located at 194 Boston Hill Road and is in the Agricultural / Residential District.

Coolidge recused, as he resides with one of the abutters.

McCrave explained the procedure to the applicants, indicating they could proceed with four Board members present or wait until there is a full five-member Board. The applicants agreed to proceed with four Board members.

Nelson explained that they currently have 11.1 acres with a total of 340′ of road frontage. The proposal is for a minor subdivision and each lot having approximately 170′ of road frontage. A diagram was presented which showed what the proposed lots would look like after the division. The driveway for the new lot would come off the existing driveway. Concerns of the Board and public include:

Was this area previously subdivided prior to the applicants’ purchase? Yes, the whole parcel was 30 acres, which was divided into three lots, with the applicant purchasing one of those lots.

How close is the property to the neighbors’ driveway? Approximately 400’ to one driveway and 300’ to the other driveway.

Mr. Abrahamson stated that Chief Lefebvre was concerned with the water supply for a three-lot subdivision, and there was a request for a cistern for the lots. There have been 11 new homes built in the last 14 years, and no increase in road maintenance.

Mrs. Abrahamson stated that the applicant purchased the property knowing it is a single lot and now wishes to change it knowing the lots would not meet the minimum road frontage. She is concerned with the increasing development in the area.

McCrave stated that water issues are Planning Board concerns. The current lot is conforming, and the request is to make two non-conforming lots.

Stearns asked why there is a 250’ road frontage requirement, and McCrave responded that it prevents over-crowding and that it is hard to maintain agricultural fields with small lots in terms of frontage.

Newcomb states he needs to better understand the timeframe for re-subdividing. Stearns and Keyser stated they are unfamiliar with the property and would like to view it.

There being no further discussion, the public hearing is continued to September 1 at 9 AM in order to conduct a site visit, at which time the Board will vote on the proposal.

Public Hearing: A request from Hershwin Realty LLC, with President Julia Rector acting as agent, for a special exception to allow a second apartment and a cafe / bakery with a drive-through and to revise the prior approval from September 9, 2005 to reflect the correct square footage of the building along with the square footage allowed for retail space. The property is located at 46 Main Street and is in the Forest / Agricultural District.

McCrave explained the procedure to the applicant. The prior approval was explained to new Board member Dan Coolidge for him to better understand the proposal.

Rector explained that she received site plan approval from the Planning Board. The building has a total of 4,000 square feet on each floor, and the proposal includes the downstairs being all retail and the upstairs being office space and two apartments. The septic has been addressed.

McCrave questioned if the first floor approval for retail without definition is opened-ended, and Stearns responded that she feels the current approval from 2005 is too specific. Abutter Brule stated he is in favor of the proposal.

There being no further discussion, the Board reviewed the criteria for a special exception. The Board voted unanimously to approve the entire building of 8,000 square feet (+/-) for commercial, including but not limited to retail.