Planning & Zoning Board Notices & Minutes

Jan 8, 2019

Approved Zoning Board Minutes - January 8, 2019


 

LITTLETON ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

LITTLETON COMMUNITY CENTER, HEALD ROOM

120 MAIN STREET

TUESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2019

6:00 PM

APPROVED

 

PRESENT:  Vice Chair Jerry LeSage, David Rochefort, Ralph Hodgman, Jim McMahon, George Morgan, and Joanna Ray (recording secretary)

 

EXCUSED:  Chair Jessica Daine, Eddy Moore and Guy Harriman

 

OTHERS: Milton Bratz, Rev. Mark Dollard, Ryan St. Cyr, and Steven Moore

 

Vice Chair LeSage called the meeting to order at 6:00. 

 

Littleton Hospital Association, Owner / Ryan St. Cyr, Agent – ZBA19-01 – Request for a Variance relating to Article IV, Section 4.02.01 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow overnight and temporary lodging for physicians, providers and on-call staff at 66 & 68 Jackson Street, tax map 78-171, in the R-I zone.

The hearing notice was posted, abutters were notified, and the hearing fees were paid.  The application was accepted as complete.  Four voting members were present.  Newly appointed alternate George Morgan was present to observe. George’s wife is on the Hospital board so he will not be voting.  Vice Chair LeSage lives next to the property, but is not a property owner.  He also stated that he can be impartial and there is no conflict.

Vice Chair LeSage read the following information submitted by the applicant:

  • Owner/applicant will use the property to lodge full-time physicians and providers as well as on-call staff.  They will use the property to ensure timeliness for duties at the hospital.
  • Owner/applicant will allow full-time physicians and providers, as well as on-call staff, use of the property as a temporary “home” residence when on call or during inclement weather.  Physicians, having a long commute would be permitted use as a temporary “home” residence on a weekly basis.  The residence operates with one front door and one kitchen that would allow for this “family” of physicians and staff.
  • Physicians and providers as well as on-call staff would temporarily reside within a few miles from hospital where they provide patient care.  This variance would allow those who serve the patients of Littleton and the surrounding areas to also live in the community.
  • Owner/applicant will have at least one long-term renter associated with the hospital who will act as on-ground contact for any issues that may arise.  Owner/applicant will have regular housekeeping/ground maintenance for proper upkeep of property.
  • No fair and substantial relationship exists between the general public purposes of the ordinance provision and the specific application of that provision to the property because the proposed use is mainly residential for full-time physicians and providers as well as on-call staff.
  • The proposed use is a reasonable one because it would allow for the hospital’s inherent beneficial use to allow a “residential/home away from home” setting for the hospital’s full-time physicians and providers as well as on-call staff.  This creates a benefit to the community as physicians are closer to our facility, better rested, and able to immediately react to patient needs.
  • This variance is requested mainly on use.  The physicians, although unrelated, would live as a family unit.

Ryan St. Cyr, agent for the hospital, confirmed that this location would be for on-call staff when they have taken on extended hours and their homes are in another state and it is too far to drive after the shift or there is inclement weather. The carriage house will have two small apartments that will be occupied Monday through Friday by hospital staff.  Those residents will go home on the weekends.

The only exterior work that has been done to the building is a replaced roof.  The interior work will be minimal.  Fire Chief Mercieri is involved in this project and has advised what must be done.  There will be a sprinkler and alarm system in both buildings. The main house will have seven bedrooms, a common room, a kitchen, and living room.  There will be three bathrooms on the first floor and a half bath on the second floor.  The first floor will have an ADA compliant bedroom.  The property will be maintained by the hospital.

Vice Chair LeSage asked how many would be staying at one time.  Ryan replied that no more than seven in the main house and 2 in the carriage house.  The reason for the decrease of apartments in the carriage house is due to fire codes.  Jamie Myers is the contractor.  There will be another meeting with Chief Mercieri if the Board approves the variance. Joanna confirmed that Chief Mercieri is fine with this project.

Ralph asked if there would be any rent paid.  Ryan replied that there is no rent paid.  There are agreements with the hospital through a contract.  No one is charged to stay there.  Ralph also inquired about egress.  Ryan replied that the amount of egress areas comply with state codes.  Another question was regarding confirmation of who will be staying at this property.  Ryan confirmed that it will only be professionals from the hospital. 

On-site parking was discussed.  Ryan stated that there is a 3-car garage and plenty of room in the back where a swimming pool used to be.  The ones staying in the carriage house would be parking there every day.  The rest would be an occasional overnight.  Some nights there might not be anyone in the house.  There will be no families staying there.  Ryan is confident that the property can handle the amount of parking that will be needed. The previous owner had a business and there was plenty of parking for them.

Jim asked if this would be similar to a dormitory.  Ryan replied yes. The hospital would be managing the building, there will be no parking on neighboring properties, and there will be cameras on the property which will be viewed from the hospital.  Jim asked if there would be a sign stating this property belonged to the hospital.  Ryan replied no.  The plan is for this property to be a safe and secure place for staff.

David asked if this was a temporary solution to the housing concern or something permanent.  Ryan stated he was not aware of any other plans and sees this as permanent.  The buildings will not be enlarged in the future.  There is no room and codes will restrict it.  They are working with what the code allows. 

Rev. Dollard stated that the church owns the abutting parking lot.  In the past, the previous owner used it daily for six cars.  They didn’t park on their own lot and assumed the parking lot was owned by the Town.  He wanted to be assured that there would be no overnight parking that would interrupt snow removal.  He also stated that he was supportive of this project as long as the hospital knows the church owns the parking lot.  Ryan agreed that there would be no parking on the church lot.

Steven Moore, abutter to the rear of the property, is also supportive of the project but is concerned about there not being any barrier between the properties.  Steven would be aware of every vehicle coming and going all times of the day.  Ryan replied that the hospital can work with Steven to come up with an agreeable barrier. Snow removal was also discussed.  There would be no room on the lot for snow storage and would have to be removed. 

The public input portion was closed.  The Board discussed the above mentioned submitted information and the Board agreed to the following finding of the facts:

  • The proposal would not be contrary to the public interest because it will be a place for hospital employees and providers,
  • The spirit of the ordinance would be observed because the proposal fits the description of the R-I zone,
  • Substantial justice would be done because the proposal would be for temporary stays in the community,
  • Property values will not be diminished because this is similar to other multi-family homes in the neighborhood,
  • The proposed use is reasonable because the current makeup of the building does not make a single family home ideal and it is similar to other nearby properties.  The hospital has a need for cost efficient temporary stays for physicians and hospital staff during inclement weather or short time hospital duties.  This facility is a reasonable location for temporary lodging needed to better service hospital patient. 

Jim made a motion to approve Littleton Hospital Association, Owner / Ryan St. Cyr, Agent – ZBA19-01 – Request for a Variance relating to Article IV, Section 4.02.01 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow overnight and temporary lodging for physicians, providers and on-call staff at 66 & 68 Jackson Street, tax map 78-171, in the R-I zone with the following conditions:

  • Snow must be removed from the site to accommodate onsite parking
  • The applicant must provide year-round onsite parking for a minimum of nine vehicles
  • The applicant must provide a written agreement with abutter Steven Moore regarding a boundary barrier such as a fence or vegetation
  • The applicant must comply with all Federal, State, and Local regulations

Ralph seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously. 

 

Ryan added that he will let the church know, per an agreement, that the hospital staff will not be occupying the church owned parking lot.

 

The review of minutes from December 11, 2018 was rescheduled for the next meeting.

 

At 7:22, Ralph made a motion to adjourn.  David seconded the motion.  The motion passed by all.

Submitted by,

Joanna Ray