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

Aug 8, 2017

Draft Zoning Board Minutes August 8, 2017

6:00 PM





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


EXCUSED:  David Rochefort, Jim McMahon, and Guy Harriman


OTHERS PRESENT:  Michael Roberts, David Dodge, Jamie Dodge, Nicholas DeYoung, and David LaFlamme


Chairman Daine called the meeting to order at 6:00.  Four members is a quorum. The applicant agreed to move forward with a four member Board.    


Faith Bible Church of Littleton, Applicant – ZBA17-13 – Request for a Special Exception related to Article IV, Section 4.02.05 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow a Church at 365 Union Street, tax map 79-150, in the C-I zone.  The hearing was noticed in the newspaper, the abutters were notified, and the hearing fees were paid.  The application was accepted as complete. 


The proposal is to allow the building to be used for a church in the C-I zone.  The current use is a print shop. 


Michael Roberts, treasurer for the Faith Bible Church, presented the proposal.  Michael stated he was accompanied by David & Jamie Dodge and Nicholas DeYoung.  Michael explained that the Sherwin-Dodge building owners allow the church to use their parking lot on Sundays.  There is a possibility that new owners for the building would not let the church use the parking lot.  The intent is for the church to purchase the Sherwin-Dodge building to offer church worship, study, fellowship, and church offices.  A purchase and sales agreement has been signed with a condition that the church receive approval from the Zoning Board.


Michael presented a rendering of the proposed space and explained the proposed renovations.  The existing building for local worship will continue, but the new building will be the primary worship space.  The house on the existing church lot might be raised in the future.  The school also uses the Sherwin-Dodge parking lot.  The school pays a lease.  The church would let them continue. 


Michael explained that the church is working with an architect to make sure the building complies with State building and fire codes.  Vice Chair Moore asked if he had been in contact with the Littleton Fire Chief.  Michael replied yes.  The Fire Chief referred him to the State Fire Marshall who recommended the architect.  Michael was asked if a sprinkler system would be required.  Michael replied that the architect is knowledgeable on what is required for the buildings.  The redesign would be up to code.  David Dodge explained the options for a sprinkler system.  The church is looking into the options and costs.  The building currently does not have a sprinkler system.

Ralph asked the applicant if he understood that this request is not for a rezoning of the property, but for a special exception to allow the church.  Michael replied that he understood. 


Chairman Daine asked the applicant if the school would still be allowed to use the parking lot.  Michael replied that there hasn’t been any discussion at this point, but the church is willing to talk with the school. 


David LaFlamme was present to represent Jean Stocks.  David asked if there would be any external expansion.  Michael confirmed there would not be any expansion of the existing building. 


Ralph asked if there would be any changes to the outside of the building.  Michael replied that there would most likely be some beautification of the exterior.  The architect would help with that.  The intent is make the exterior look presentable.  The church sign will be updated.  The main entrance will be on the side of the building by the parking lot and there will be a secondary entrance at the rear of the building.


Vice Chair Moore asked what the water meter size is.  David Dodge replied that he thinks it is either a ¾” or 1”.  Vice Chair Moore stated, for the record, that the property has town water, sewer, and electric.  David confirmed the building is heated by propane.  There is a furnace on the roof with three units.


Ralph asked the Board if the ZBA ever considers whether or not a building will become non-taxable.  Vice Chair Moore replied that the Board cannot consider that.  Vice Chair Moore stated the fire code concern is relevant.  Chairman Daine noted that Fire Chief Mercieri contacted the Board with his fire code concerns.  Michael told the Board that he contacted Mercieri and was then referred to the State Fire Marshall.  David stated that Mercieri’s role is instrumental to the project and recommended the sprinkler company that the church has contacted.


Jerry confirmed with David LaFlamme that Jean Stocks concern was fully addressed.  David replied yes.  Jean was concerned if there would be a new building or the current one enlarged.


There were no others present to speak in favor or against the project.  The public input was closed.   


The Board reviewed the submitted facts.  Vice Chair Moore stated that his concerns were addressed.  One of the concerns was regarding the school being able to continue using the lot for parking and the other concern was satisfying the Fire Chief and the State Fire Marshall.


Chairman Daine asked Michael if a licensed architect had been hired.  Michael replied yes and the sprinkler company has also been contacted. They were recommended by the Fire Marshall.


There were no additional questions so the public input was closed again.


Jerry made a motion to approve, without prejudice, Faith Bible Church of Littleton, Applicant – ZBA17-13 – Request for a Special Exception related to Article IV, Section 4.02.05 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow a Church at 365 Union Street, tax map 79-150, in the C-I zone with the following conditions:

  • The applicant must satisfy the Fire Chief with respect to Fire Code compliance
  • The applicant must comply with all Federal, State, and Local regulations


The Board based this decision on the following facts:

  • The site is an appropriate location for this use because it is adjacent to the current church.
  • Property values will not be reduced in the area by this use because they are currently operating on the adjacent property and there will be no change in the building footprint.
  • There will be no nuisance or unreasonable hazard because there will be no change to the building footprint and no change to the access of the property.
  • Adequate and appropriate facilities for this use have been provided for the proper operation and maintenance of the building.  The applicants have hired an architect to ensure property compliance to building and life safety codes.


Ralph second the motion.  The motion passed 4-0.  There is a 30-day appeal period for anyone considered aggrieved by the Board’s decision.



Other Business

The Board reviewed a request for rehearing of case ZBA17-11.  Ralph made a motion stating that the request for rehearing is granted, not on the ground that the Board believes it may have made an erroneous decision, but rather because, in light of the Applicants’ withdrawal of their application, the Board has made no decision in the case, but now the Applicants have decided to re-submit their application for a decision.  Jerry second the motion.  The motion passed 4-0.


Joanna Ray will find out if August 22, 2017 is an agreeable rehearing date for the applicants.


Review of minutes

The Board agreed to postpone the review and approval of the July 25, 2017 minutes


At 6:45, Jerry made a motion to adjourn.  Ralph second the motion.  The motion passed 4-0.


Submitted by,

Joanna Ray