Planning & Zoning Board Notices & Minutes

Jun 28, 2016

Approved Zoning Board Minutes Jun 28, 2016


LITTLETON ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2016
LITTLETON COMMUNITY HOUSE
120 MAIN STREET
6:00 PM
APPROVED MINUTES

PRESENT: Chairman Eddy Moore, Vice Chair Art Tighe, Jessica Daine, Jerry LeSage, David Rochefort, and Joanna Ray (recording secretary)

EXCUSED: Guy Harriman

OTHERS: Rod Trahan, Donna Trahan, Louis Chouinard, and Barry Lunderville

Chairman Moore called the meeting to order at 6:00.

Review of June 14, 2016 minutes
Art made a motion to approve the minutes as written. Jessica second the motion. The motion passed 4-0. Jerry was not present at the June 14th meeting, so he did not vote.

Continuation of: Louis Chouinard, Owner & Applicant – ZBA16-06 – Request for a Variance relating to Article V, Section 5.01 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow an accessory structure less than the required setback on tax map 77-75, 5 Bridge Street, in the C-4 zone.

There were no conflicts noted. Chairman Moore opened up the public input. Art reminded everyone that there was a question presented at the last meeting regarding whether or not the abutting parcel, 78-244, was considered a corner lot and if there was a possibility that Louis Chouinard could build his shed on it. After the last meeting, Zoning Officer Chris Hodge, decided that TM 78-244 was not a corner lot and would not have the same setback requirements as on TM 77-75. The Board also informed Louis that he will need to contact DES due to the proximity of the structure to the river. Louis explained his frustration with some conflicting information. He also explained that his land slopes and he isn’t sure if the shed can fit on the abutting lot. After some discussion, Louis decided to continue with the current request to have the shed on TM 77-75.

The public input was closed. The Board reviewed the required setbacks for an accessory structure on TM 77-75, which is a corner lot. The minimum setbacks are 40’ front and 25’ side and rear. The Board reviewed the following statements provided by the applicant:
  • The shed is storage for motorized clock parts
  • Many sheds in Town that don’t meet setbacks
  • General public should not be affected
  • Don’t feel that property values would be diminished
  • The lot is not big enough to meet setbacks
  • Keeps property clean and to store stuff


Art stated the application is contrary to the public interest because it doesn’t meet the required setbacks. Jessica stated that it might only be a shed, but there are setback requirements for a reason. Jessica agreed that this request is contrary to the public interest. The distance requested is significantly short of what is required. Jerry agreed with Jessica.

Art stated that this request is not consistent with the spirit of the ordinance because the request is 21’ shy of the requirement. Jessica stated that it is significant. She sympathizes with the situation, but it is not consistent with the spirit of the ordinance. Jerry and Chairman Moore agreed.

Chairman Moore stated we are a nation of laws. Art stated that the Board is enforcing the regulations that were voted in by the Town. Substantial justice would be done if there was a change in the road, but there hasn’t been any change.

Art stated that a shed would not diminish surrounding property values.

Art stated that the lot isn’t big enough for this shed. The applicant built this with inquiring about the setbacks, so he created the hardship. He can still live or operate his business on this lot without the shed. All other Board members agreed.

Art stated that all corner lots need to comply with these setbacks. The purpose of the ordinance is so that the structure is set back from the road. All other Board members agreed.

No Board member could disagree that a shed is reasonable, but that it doesn’t fit on this lot.

Jessica Daine made a motion to deny Louis Chouinard, Owner & Applicant – ZBA16-06 – Request for a Variance relating to Article V, Section 5.01 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow an accessory structure less than the required setback on tax map 77-75, 5 Bridge Street, in the C-4 zone. Jerry LeSage second the motion. Art stated that the decision was based on the applicant’s testimony and submitted information. The motion passed 5-0.

The applicant was informed of the 30-day appeal period for anyone that is aggrieved.

Louis asked about building on TM 78-244. He was informed that he needs to submit a building permit with the setback requirements for that lot.

Rodney Trahan, Owner & Applicant – ZBA16-07 – Request for a Variance relating to Article V, Section 5.01 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow a structure less than the required 25’ front setback at 850 Union St., tax map 69-38, in the C-2 zone.

The application was properly noticed and the fees were paid. The application was complete.

The Board discussed possible conflicts of interest. Jessica and Art recused themselves due to the appearance of a conflict with them being members of Growth with Common Sense. Chairman Moore is also a member, but will stay on as a voter. The Board did not have an alternate present. Rod Trahan did not disagree with only having 3 voting members for this request. Rod voiced concerns with the tight timeline to get approval. Rod stated he understood there was a 30-day appeal period after the vote for anyone aggrieved by the Board’s decision.

The Board discussed the location on Union Street. It is zoned Commercial, but there are many residences in the area. The single wide mobile home was removed almost a year ago. Rod wants to replace it with a double wide mobile home in basically the same location. It will not be any closer to the road which is only 10’ from the property line. A setback of 25’ is required. The side setback of the previous home was approximately 4.8’. The new side setback will meet the minimum 10’ setback.

Jerry read through the submitted responses.

  • Replacing mobile home removed last year. There are 4 other mobile homes in the neighborhood. This is consistent with the rest of the neighborhood.
  • The mobile home removed had a setback of approximately 10’. The other 2 mobile homes beside this lot have a setback of approximately 10’ or less.
  • The lot will not permit the construction of any kind if a variance is denied. Less than 40’ of level depth from property in front.
  • Removed a deteriorated and uninhabitable older home and will install a new home in its place. This should enhance the neighborhood and increase values.
  • The terrain would not allow construction of any kind if proper setback is required.
  • This lot has limited buildable area. It is not possible to fill the back of the lot to create it.
  • Even though this lot is zoned commercial, the neighborhood is predominately residential.

Rod added that the State right-of-way for this section of Union Street is 110’ which leaves only 40’ to work with.

No abutters were present. All Board members agreed with the findings of the facts. Rod stated he felt this was a hardship case because the lot cannot be improved without a variance. Tax revenue will increase. The old mobile home was an eyesore.

The public input was closed. All Board members agreed that the variance is to allow a 10’ front setback.

Based on the findings of the facts, Jerry LeSage made a motion to approve Rodney Trahan, Owner & Applicant – ZBA16-07 – Request for a Variance relating to Article V, Section 5.01 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow a structure less than the required 25’ front setback at 850 Union St., tax map 69-38, in the C-2 zone. David Rochefort second the motion. The motion passed 3-0.

Margaret Seymour, Owner & Applicant – ZBA16-05 – Request for a Special Exception relating to Article VI, Section 6.12 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow the Grazing, Care, Raising, or Keeping of Livestock on tax maps 95-4, 100-21, and 100-11 in the R-I & R-2 zones.

The case was properly noticed, the fees were paid. The case accepted as complete. There were no conflicts noted.

Art asked Marghie if she was familiar with the livestock regulations. Marghie replied yes. Marghie informed the Board that the 3 lots in this application are contiguous. The shelter is on the lot with her house. She will have enough shelter per animal. The Board needs to give permission for the animals, not the number of animals, and Marghie needs to make sure she meets the shelter and pasture requirements as well as the other requirements in section 6.12 of the Zoning Ordinance. Marghie stated she plans on having no more than 6 cows, but she has enough land for up to 22 cows. The land is currently overgrown pasture that used to be farm land.

There were no abutters present. Herb Lahout, abutter, sent a letter to the Board through the Planning & Zoning Office. The owner of 81 apartments, Herb voiced his concerns regarding smell and noise affecting the quality of life at the apartment complex. Herb also stated that this will negatively affect the value of his property.

Art stated that the regulations describe the storing of animal waste a minimum of 100’ from the property line. Jerry asked if they were noisy. Marghie replied that it depends on the breed. Marghie also stated that there is a chance there will not be any cows on the lots. There used to be a cattle crossing area on Mount Eustis.

The public input was closed.

Art stated the abutter feels his property will be negatively affected. Marghie will need to meet what the ordinance requires. She owns 22 acres of property that used to be farm land. David noted the distance between where Herb’s property is and where the pastured cows will be. Art stated this request is fair and reasonable with no nuisance created. Art stated that property values will not be diminished. There is a massive amount of acres for this use. The barn is connected to the house. All Board members agreed with the findings of the facts.

Based on the findings of the facts, Jessica Daine made a motion to approve Margaret Seymour, Owner & Applicant – ZBA16-05 – Request for a Special Exception relating to Article VI, Section 6.12 of the Littleton Zoning Ordinance to allow the Grazing, Care, Raising, or Keeping of Livestock on tax maps 95-4, 100-21, and 100-11 in the R-I & R-2 zones. Jerry LeSage second the motion. The motion passed 5-0.

Marghie was informed of the 30-day appeal period for anyone aggrieved by the Board’s decision.
At 7:00, Art made a motion to adjourn. Jessica second the motion. The motion passed 5-0.

Submitted by,
Joanna Ray