Planning & Zoning Board Notices & Minutes

May 28, 2019

Approved Zoning Board Minutes - May 28, 2019


 

LITTLETON ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
LITTLETON COMMUNITY CENTER, HEALD ROOM
120 MAIN STREET
TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2019
6:00 PM
APPROVED
 

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

 

EXCUSED:  Guy Harriman (alternate) and Eddy Moore (alternate), David Rochefort

 

OTHERS:  Nick Meachen, Joshua Weaver, Randy Weaver, George Stevens, Tracy Parker, and Zoning Officer Milton Bratz

 

Chair Daine called the meeting to order at 6:00.  George was designated as a voting member for tonight.

 

Tracy Parker, Owner – ZBA19-10 – Request for a Variance relating to Article V, Section 5.01 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow a non-conforming setback at 109 Badger Street, tax map 93-58, in the R-I zone.   Chair Daine reviewed the case file and accepted the case as complete.  The application was read into the record.  Tracy is requesting a 5’ setback from Badger Street.  The following facts were submitted:

  • The requested variance does not impact public view in any negative fashion nor does it impede public access.
  • Continuity of neighborhood would not be interrupted.  No negative impact.
  • Variance would allow homeowner to enjoy property without impeding on neighbors rights resulting in a fair and equitable use.
  • The addition would be an upgrade to the present dwelling adding value to the subject property and thus the surrounding area (homes) as well.
  • The house was built at an angle and any improvement would encroach on the setback.
  • The garage would be usable for car and improve the appearance.

 

Tracy added that in order to make the garage usable, it needs to be enlarged.  The foundation also needs to be replaced.  Ralph stated that the setback would be 4’ 11” if the garage was extended by 5’.  Tracy replied that the setback would be greater at the back end of the garage because the house is built at an angle.  The back end of the garage is approximately 12’ from the property line.  George asked what the dimensions are for the current garage.  Tracy confirmed that it is about 12’ wide by 31’ and that a car fits, but she cannot open the door because there is a stove in the garage. Ralph asked the Board if they felt the application was correct because Tracy is asking for 4’11” instead of 5’.  The discussion continued.

 

Ralph identified the section of the ordinance that deals with setbacks of structures on a corner lot.  Tracy’s garage is already non-conforming.  Chair Daine stated that this road is one-way.  Tracy added that one of her property markers is in the road.

 

Jim stated that just off the road is a grass strip and then a low point and some flowers.  When built out, what will happen to the water coming off the road?  Tracy replied that the foundation will be up higher and sloped down for runoff.  The roof will be similar but up a little bit.  The back addition will tuck under it.

 

Ralph asked which way the Town plows this one-way street.    Ralph voiced concern about the Town plow truck hitting the garage when pushing back snow. Tracy said the snow is pushed past her driveway towards Bethlehem Road.  At the time of this hearing, the Highway Dept. had not submitted any comments or concerns.

 

Jim asked if this property will stay a residence.  Tracy replied yes.

 

Chair Daine asked if there was anyone present to comment.  George Stevens, abutter, did not have any issues with the project.  There were no others wishing to comment.  Chair Daine closed the public input.

 

  • The variance will not be contrary to the public interest because there is one-way traffic.
  • The variance is consistent with the spirit of the ordinance because there will be little impact on what is already there, the current building is not adequate, and the current structure is already encroaching on the setback.
  • Substantial justice is done because the building is already encroaching on setback.  This allows them to utilize the garage more.  
  • The values of surrounding properties will not be diminished because the improvements to the home will benefit the neighborhood. 
  • No fair and substantial relationship exists between the general purpose of the Zoning Ordinance and the specific restriction on the property because the home was built prior to zoning and does not meet setbacks.
  • The proposed use is a reasonable one because any improvement would encroach further into the setback.

 

Everyone agreed with the findings of the facts.

 

Ralph made a motion to approve Tracy Parker, Owner – ZBA19-10 – Request for a Variance relating to Article V, Section 5.01 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow a non-conforming setback at 109 Badger Street, tax map 93-58, in the R-I zone with the following conditions:

  • The garage cannot be closer than 5’ to the property line
  • Drainage along Badger Street must be maintained
  • Applicant must comply with all State, Federal, and Local regulations

Vice Chair LeSage seconded the motion.  The motion passed by all.

 

Motion for rehearing of:

Randy Weaver, Owner & Applicant – ZBA19-04 – Request for a Variance relating to Article IV, Section 4.02.02 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow an Auto Sales Agency at 47 Drew Street, tax map 86-127, in the R-Ia zone.

 

Ralph asked if he should recuse himself from the motion because he was not present at the original hearing.   He read the minutes and their application.  He is familiar with the case.  Because Ralph was familiar with the case, Chair Daine did not see why he would need to recuse himself and was comfortable with him voting.

 

Jim noted that the petition and rental agreement submitted with the request for rehearing was not presented at the original hearing.  Ralph said the minutes stated the repair work is done in Dalton.  The provided rental agreement is for use of a garage on Drew Street.  Ralph was confused because that was not mentioned in the minutes.  If this is new information, it does not appear to be information that would work in their favor.  Ralph also noted that the list of five people in favor was not presented at the original hearing.   Chair Daine said there were no objections stated at the hearing and the applicant supplied a letter of support.  Chair Daine said the rental agreement was new.  Ralph replied that it wasn’t really new, it was just an agreement.  

 

Chair Daine did not agree with some of the interpretations of comments made at the hearing.  Jim added that there was no limit on how many cars could come in and out.  Ralph noted the comment from the minutes about the applicant recently buying six cars and four are already sold. That would mean there is more than five cars per year being sold on the property. 

 

Vice Chair LeSage stated it was hard to see what is parked in the yard.  Chair Daine stated that a person can sell up to five cars per year, but Zoning does not say they can operate a business there to sell those five cars.  George added that they are not officially an auto sales business.  They are selling as individuals.  Chair Daine replied that they represented themselves as a business. 

 

Ralph stated he did not see any errors made by the Board or anything unlawful.  The case was fully discussed.   Vice Chair LeSage asked if anyone thought there were mistakes.  Ralph stated he saw no mistakes from reading the minutes and the request.  Ralph stated that the minutes reflect this is in a residential area and an approval would allow them to expand.  George added that the approval would allow them to test the cars with a dealer plate.  George also stated that there was a business there, a beauty parlor that received a special exception, and would see regular traffic.  Chair Daine clarified that a special exception had different criteria than a variance.  This a commercial business versus a home occupation. 

 

Vice Chair LeSage made a motion to deny the request to rehear ZBA19-04.  The Board did not do anything wrong at the original hearing and the original request was reviewed thoroughly.   Jim seconded the motion.  The motion passed 4-1.  George voted against the motion to deny the request. 

 

Request to vacate the variance approval of:

Alrig USA c/o Morgan A. Hollis, Esquire / Applicant – ZBA18-12 – Request for a Variance relating to Article V, Section 5.01 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow a building over 35’ in height at 551 Meadow Street, tax map 76-12, in the C-I zone.

 

Attorney Hollis informed  ZBA Attorney Christine Fillmore that his clients assented to the vacating of the ZBA variance. 

 

George made a motion vacate the decision of ZBA18-12.  Vice Chair LeSage seconded the motion.  The motion passed by all.

 

Ralph made a motion to accept the minutes from May 14, 2019.  George seconded the motion.  The motion passed by all.

 

At 7:00, Chair Daine made a motion to adjourn.  George seconded the motion.  The motion passed by all.

 

Submitted by,

Joanna Ray