Approved Zoning Board Minutes February 28, 2017
LITTLETON ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2017
LITTLETON COMMUNITY HOUSE
120 MAIN STREET
PRESENT: Chairman Eddy Moore, Vice Chair Art Tighe, Guy Harriman, Jerry LeSage, Jessica Daine, and Joanna Ray (recording secretary)
EXCUSED: David Rochefort
OTHERS: Frank Porfido
Review February 14, 2017 minutes
Art made a motion to approve the minutes as written. Jerry second the motion. The motion passed.
Frank W. Porfido, Jr, owner & applicant – ZBA17-02 – Request for a Special Exception relating to Article IV, Section 4.02.05 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow multi-family housing at 40-42 Cottage Street, tax map 84-20, in the C-I zone.
Frank W. Porfido, Jr, owner & applicant – ZBA17-03 – Request for a Variance relating to Article V, Section 5.01 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow rear setback less than the required 25’.
Guy Harriman was designated as a voting member for this meeting. No conflicts were noted. Art reviewed the case folder. The application was signed, the abutters were notified, the hearing was posted in the newspaper, and the hearing fees were paid. The folder also contained a letter from Andrew Smith, abutter, stating his support.
Art read through the findings of the facts submitted with the Special Exception request of ZBA17-02. The application stated the proposed use would be to take the 3100 sq. ft. vacant commercial unit and change it into 5 new apartments on the second floor. Each of the new apartments would be about 500 sq. ft. and contain one bedroom. The property currently has 2 occupied commercial units, Ace Fitness and Embroidery by Everything Personal, as well as 2 apartments.
Additional facts stated in the application were:
- There are many similar use buildings with multi-family dwellings in the neighborhood. This new proposed use would blend well with them and have less impact on the neighborhood than the previous commercial entities.
- Property values will not be reduced. These new apartments will be high quality, ground floor units that likely will attract quality tenants. They will blend very well in the neighborhood and reduce parking problems and traffic.
- No nuisance or unreasonable hazard will result. These new apartments will have less impact on the neighborhood than the prior entities did making the abutting properties like the Brackett House and the Riverglen more desirable to live in.
- The building has more than adequate updated utilities, parking, etc. to easily handle the proper operation and maintenance of the proposed use. The building and systems are on scheduled maintenance. Heating systems are cleaned and inspected annually. Broilers are inspected by the State of NH every 24 months. The insurance companies inspect often.
Frank stated that there will be a total of 25 parking spaces. The apartments will be handicap accessible from the front of the building. The exact layout has not been figured out yet. Frank would like the entrance to the apartments to be on the Bracket House side of the building.
The building is on Town water, sewer, and electric. The sewer has recently been repaired.
There were not abutters present or anyone else wishing to comment. There were no specific department comments. The public input was closed. All Board members agreed with the submitted findings of the facts.
Jerry made a motion to approve the request of ZBA17-02 with the condition that the applicant complies with all Federal, State, and Local regulations. Jessica second the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
The Board reviewed the facts submitted for the Variance request of ZBA17-03. The request is to build a 6’ by approximately 50’ suspended deck on the rear of the building. This deck will not meet the required 25’ setback. The deck meets the setback on one end, but not the other.
Additional facts stated in the application were:
- The deck will not be near any abuttering buildings. The wide right of way actually adds to the actual setback offering plenty of protection.
- The spirit of the ordinance would be observed because it would be allowing the highest, safest and best use of the property.
- Granting this will enable safe exiting from the proposed new apartments and will also allow the tenants to enjoy the view of the river and the outside safely.
- Surrounding property values will not be diminished because the deck will add character and aesthetic appeal for all.
- The rear entrance is a safe place for the tenants of these proposed apartments to step outside. It is a need more than a want.
- The existing deck is just being updated and making it more usable.
- The property is locked up with the right of ways. Riverglen Lane is not a town street. The age and layout of this property make it all but impossible to operate within the guidelines of an ordinance that was implemented many decades after this and abutting buildings were designed and built. Variances become almost unavoidable if the highest and best use of the property is going to be maintained.
Frank stated that the shape of the rear property line is what causes the inability to meet the required setback. The deck will be suspended so that there is parking below it. It will be approximately 6’ X 50’. There will be one exit off of it facing the Brackett House. There will not be an exit on the side facing Riverglen Lane. Art noted that the slope of the land is also a hardship issue.
There were no abutters present or anyone else wishing to comment. The public input portion was closed.
The Board reviewed the submitted facts and made comments. The deck is to provide residents another egress and is well within the spirit of the ordinance. The property can be used at its fullest potential as a newly approved multi-family building. The elevated deck will be appealing to the character of the neighborhood. Jessica stated the unusual property line is a hardship. Board members agreed that this deck is a reasonable request. The Board agreed with the findings of the facts.
Art asked Joanna if a building permit was required for the deck. Joanna replied that it was required. Joanna also stated the Frank will need to contact Fire Chief Mercieri. Mercieri reviews plans for State Fire Code compliance.
Frank stated that, in the future, he may add a roof with a slight overhang.
Jerry made a motion to approve the request of ZBA17-03 with the following conditions:
- The deck, including any roof overhang, will be no less than 17’ from the rear property line
- The applicant must comply with all Federal, State, and Local regulations
Jessica second the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
Reappointments were discussed. Both Jessica and Art wish to be considered for reappointment to the ZBA.
At 6:45, Guy made a motion to adjourn. Jerry second the motion. The motion passed 5-0.