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125 Main Street, Suite 200
Littleton, NH 03561
Phone: 603.444.3996
Fax: 603.444.1703

May 23, 2017

Approved Zoning Board Minutes - May 23, 2017

TUESDAY, MAY 23, 2017
6:00 PM


(Clarification noted in June 27, 2017 minutes)




PRESENT: Chairman Jessica Daine, Vice Chair Eddy Moore, Ralph Hodgman, Jim McMahon, and Joanna Ray (recording secretary)


EXCUSED:   David Rochefort, Jerry LeSage and Guy Harriman


OTHERS PRESENT:  Stan Fillion, Loretta Fillion, Margaret Ward, Edwin Ward, Gardner Kellogg, and David Moberly


Chairman Daine called the meeting to order at 6:00.  Jim was designated a voting member for this meeting.


Chadwick & Kristina Roy, Owners / Arthur Arnold, Applicant – ZBA17-09 – Request for a Special Exception relating to Article IV, Section 4.02.05 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow an Auto Sales Agency at 301 Main St, tax map 78-204, in the C-4 zone.


Chairman Daine informed everyone that Arthur Arnold submitted a letter to the Planning & Zoning Office stating the withdrawal of his request for a Special Exception.


Wayne & Julie Graham, Owners / Gardner Kellogg, Agent – ZBA17-08 – Request for a Variance relating to Article V, Section 5.01 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow a non-conforming lot size at 259 Union St in the C-I zone. 


The hearing was posted in the Caledonian Record, the abutters were notified, and the case fees were paid.  Chairman Daine accepted the application as complete. No conflicts were noted.


Gardner Kellogg presented.  The property is mostly in the C-I zone.  The portion in the back is R-I.  There are currently two buildings on the property.  The applicant would like to create a separate parcel for the building known as 259 Union Street.  In order to do this, the property is lacking the required depth of 250’.  The newly created parcel does not have frontage on Union Street and there is a possibility of creating a driveway on Crawford Street. There will be no future development.  The applicants have plans to sell the parcel.  If the Board approves this variance, Gardner understood that Planning Board approval would be required to subdivide the parcel.


Ralph asked where the driveway is proposed to be located on Crawford Street.  The street is very narrow.   Gardner replied that the driveway could stay in its current location.  The Public Works department would decide if Crawford Street would be a good location for the driveway. Jim stated the access should be shown on the plan. 


Jim stated the application only involves the proposed size of the parcel.  Chairman Daine added that more land needs to be added to make this lot closer to being conforming.   Gardner was asked why the other building has such a large yard and not more of it was added to the smaller one.  Gardner replied that the property owners wanted to keep the yard with the building that they will not be selling.  They want to be able to keep the yard in nice condition and that cannot be guaranteed if it is sold with the other building.


Chairman Daine read the submitted responses from the application.  Ralph noted an error on the road frontage for Crawford Street.  The proposed plan indicates 125’.  Ralph also felt that the driveway on Crawford Street would have a negative effect on values.  Vice Chair Moore stated that a shared driveway on Union Street would be better.  Ralph agreed.  Gardner suggested a condition that the driveway not be located on Crawford Street. 


Margaret Ward informed the Board that the previous owners went through this same process and the State would not give a separate driveway permit for the smaller building.  She also stated that the Graham’s purchased this property with two buildings and a single common driveway.  Edwin Ward stated that nobody wants to buy a house with a shared driveway.  Ralph stated that a right-of-way agreement would have to be written into the deeds.


Loretta Fillion informed the Board that Crawford Street is narrow and cars need to pull over when meeting another one.  Stan Fillion asked if another house could be built on the front of the property.  There is space to develop.  Gardner replied that the Graham’s want to keep it lawn. 


Margaret Ward stated that kids from Lakeway walk along this area during fire drills. 


Jim asked if the current configuration is the largest the owners will go.  Gardner replied that they will do whatever the ZBA wants.  Vice Chair Moore stated that the requirement is 250’ and the variance is for a depth of 125’.  Crawford Street is the front of the property even if they have access from Union Street.  Jim stated that the owners would need to apply for the shared driveway permit if there isn’t one on file. 


Margaret Ward reviewed the plan again and stated her objection to the new lot not having Union Street access.  Stan Fillion stated the owners cannot have the best of both worlds with this plan. The owners want to keep the Union Street frontage and not add it to the smaller lot.


Chairman Daine closed the public input.  The Board reviewed the submitted facts.  Ralph disagreed that the variance will not be contrary to the public interest.  At some point, someone might want to put in a driveway along Crawford Street.  Jim stated that the plan doesn’t show an additional driveway, but if a driveway were to be added safety would have to be considered.  Ralph added that new owners might not agree to a shared driveway on Union Street.  Chairman Daine stated that this proposal would be contrary to the property owners on Crawford Street.


Chairman Daine agreed that the proposed is consistent with the spirit of the ordinance because it creates one building per lot.  No one disagreed.


No one disagreed that substantial justice would be done. 


Chairman Daine stated she agreed that the value of surrounding properties would not be diminished if Crawford Street did not supply the access.  Ralph agreed.  Chairman Daine also stated that it is not uncommon for properties to have shared access. 


Ralph stated that, as written, he did not agree with the applicant’s response for literal enforcement of the ordinance causing a hardship.  The applicant appears to want frontage on Crawford Street and not have none on Union Street.  Chairman Daine asked what the hardship was.  The applicant wants to sell the land and building, but wants to keep more land with the business lot.  The ZBA cannot consider the financial aspect.  Jim stated that the parcel currently has two buildings and that the property owner is creating their own hardship by this subdivision.  Chairman Daine is concerned with what the abutters have stated.  Ralph added that the hardship is financial.


Based on the submitted testimony, Ralph Hodgman made a motion to deny, without prejudice, Wayne & Julie Graham, Owners / Gardner Kellogg, Agent – ZBA17-08 – Request for a Variance relating to Article V, Section 5.01 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow a non-conforming lot size at 259 Union St in the C-I zone. Vice Chair Moore second the motion.  The motion passed 4-0. 


Gardner Kellogg was informed that his clients may come back to the Board with a substantially changed plan if they want to.  The hearing would need to be noticed again as a new hearing.


Review of May 9, 2017 minutes

Ralph noted a correction was needed in the fourth paragraph on page 4.  The 6 new parking spaces were actually “employee” parking.  A spelling correction on page 5 was also noted.  Ralph made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected.  Vice Chair Moore second the motion.  The motion passed 4-0.


At 7:30, Ralph made a motion to adjourn.  Vice Chair Moore second the motion.  The motion passed 4-0. 


Submitted by,

Joanna Ray