February 7, 2002
FINAL MINUTES OF PUBLIC MEETING
Board members present: Don Kraemer, Will Phillips, Colleen Martin, Silas Little, Nat Chamberlin
Call to order by Don Kraemer at 7:30 p.m.
Motion made by D. Kraemer to accept minutes of 1/3/02. C. Martin seconded. Voted affirmative.
7:35 p.m. Case 2002-2. Public Hearing concerning an application for special exception presented by Richard Messina. C. Martin read the application. Richard Messina described his intent to weatherize the porches of 8 cottages. He is applying under Article 7 section 1-3 for non-conforming structures. His intent is to help create additional warmth for the cottage, changing screens to windows and adding insulation for energy conservation. W. Phillips asked how this changed the use of the building. Richard Messina referred to Article 7, Non-conforming uses, structures and lots, section 1-3 as follows:
3-1 Setbacks must meet the minimum requirements: Richard said this does not apply.
3-2 Expansion of use will not render the property less adequate: Richard felt it made the non-conforming area more adequate.
3-3 Expansion of use will not require an expansion of the non-conforming area: Richard said not applicable.
3-4 Expansion will not adversely affect the neighborhood: Richard felt the neighborhood would not notice.
3-5 Expansion must be related to existing use and cannot increase the degree of non-conformity: Richard felt there would be no change in non-conformity.
3-6 Expansion must conform with Planning Board Site Plan Review: Richard wasn’t sure about this.
3-7 ZBA may apply other restrictions necessary to protect the peace and enjoyment of the neighborhood: Richard said he would accept as needed.
Richard Messina also referred to Article 1 Section 1 and felt there was no problem. W. Phillips asked if cottage community was improper wording and actually this is a transient, seasonal, facility? Steve Anderson asked if Richard Messina had proof of seasonal use vs. year-round use? Steve believed septic approval was not received and Planning Board site plan review had not been done. W. Phillips asked for records to clarify whether the board ever approved any year-round vs. seasonal use of the cabins. Bob Frazier believed the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) only approved cabin #6 for year-round use. The board agreed that appeared to be correct. Bob Frazier thought procedure was to submit a building permit and appeal the decision if permit was denied. Richard Messina has never submitted a building permit request. The Board of Selectmen said all work on the cabins to date is illegal. A cease and desist order is pending a decision from the court. Steve Anderson said the Dept. of Environmental Services needed to approve the septic design and according to RSA 676- paragraph 3, he believes work must stop until the court decision. Steve Anderson believed cottages 2 thru 6 are rented year-round. Mrs. Stark asked if lot line adjustment discrepancies were ever settled. 9/1/00 was to be the settlement date and have cabin 8 septic removed. No agreement items have been done to date and no fence has been installed as agreed. Donald Anderson asked how the lot line is described. Mrs. Stark said part of cabin 8 is on their property as well as a drain pipe. Steve Anderson said no commercial approval was ever granted. Bob Frazier said his commercial use is grandfathered for seasonal use only. He also re-iterated that no building permit was applied for. W. Phillips said the ZBA could proceed and not waste time waiting for a denied permit. W. Phillips asked if only transient, seasonal use was allowed, what is the expanded use which Richard Messina was applying for? Is Messina actually applying for year-round use? Richard Messina said his cabins are climate controlled. W. Phillips re-iterated “what is the use you are expanding?” Richard Messina said he is expanding the use of the cottage as seasonal. Bob Frazier believed the 1974 insulation to these cabins was illegal. W. Phillips thought cabins 1 thru 4 could have been legal to insulate in 1974. He believed alteration to the structure was the intent, not changing the use of the building. Steve Anderson said the winterization had already been done with plastic.. W. Phillips said enforcement of cease and desist was not up to ZBA. He said the application was not appropriate as presented. N. Chamberlin asked if W. Phillips considered this remodeling.. W. Phillips said that was a closer description to the intent but not the application request. W. Phillips moved to dismiss the application based on no evidence for a change of use and no denied application for building permit was submitted. C. Martin seconded. Voted unanimous affirmative.
8:30 p.m. Case 2002-3. Appeal from administrative decision presented by Richard Messina. Article IV, Section 17, and part III, Section 8. S. Little believed the Selectmen’s decision not to enforce, was not appealable to the ZBA. W. Phillips wanted to check the rules. He thought the appeal was based on interpretation of the ordinance therefore the ZBA could hear it. Richard Messina read the ordinance and stated that Wheeland’s was only approved for car repair not car sales and had 9 signs not 2. He believed 2 signs only was the intent of the ordinance. He thought proposed zoning changes were an admission of interpretation deficiencies. He wanted a ZBA interpretation of the ordinance and an interpretation regarding a car sales facility within the 100 foot setback. Richard Messina presented photographs of the signs in question. He discussed Planning Board and ZBA decisions for auto repair only, not sales. He said the Selectmen defined the sales as by individual people not by Wheeland’s. Richard presented a photo of a truck he believed was being sold by Wheeland’s. He also believed some signs had never been approved by the ZBA. Discussion followed on interpretation of the sign ordinance and the number of signs allowed as well as stake signs. Richard Messina was also counting a sign across the street. W. Phillips pointed out this could not be included. The State inspection sign was allowed. The actual dispute is the signs on the buildings only. Neil Head asked for the definition of a sign and asked what is a banner on the building vs. free standing signs? Bob Frazier thanked Richard Messina for suggestions to fine tune the zoning ordinances over the years. Bob Frazier described the Selectmen’s decision, no ordinance exists to prevent selling a car beside the road. They believed the State inspection and AAA signs was permitted. He also believed the Planning Board had jurisdiction over signs on buildings. N. Chamberlin said there were no signs mentioned on the drawing presented by Steve Anderson. Bob Frazier said they asked Steve Anderson to remove one sign, he removed the letter board letters. Steve Anderson said only 20 location have AAA signs and he believed it was a public benefit for travelers. Steve Anderson’s site plan review only waived 2 copies of mylars, bond posting and building height. He said his site plan review showed the signs in the pictures presented by Richard Messina. S. Little believed that if they were approved by the Planning Board previously the decision could not be challenged now. A 30-day period for appeal had passed many years ago. Discussion followed on what signs were on the building when the business opened. Steve offered to remove whatever signs were offensive. He was offering voluntary action to reduce the area of conflict, this was not required by the ZBA. Discussion followed on whether vehicles being sold were on Steve Anderson’s property. He said it is State property, within State setbacks. No agreements exist that Steve gets any money if a car within the setback is sold. Neil Head described cars being sold across the highway. W. Phillips closed the hearing.
9:30 p.m. Case 2002-4. Appeal from administrative decision. Richard Messina presented his argument. He said the Rt. 101 sign at Lock Away Storage complies to zoning but was questioning the signs on buildings. 9/87 the ZBA approved storage bays only, not outside storage, so he believes it is an expansion of use - not permitted. Steve Anderson said Donald Anderson was never notified of an “expansion of use” problem. S. Little said the Selectmen are not required to notify him. The notice of the meeting did not contain the notice of outside storage. Richard Messina and Donald Anderson waived the adequacy of the notice. Richard reserves the right to appeal decisions on merit. Donald Anderson said he was allowed 25,000 sq. ft. but only built 6,000. All vehicles are registered and within setbacks. The board reviewed a decision from 10/1/87. All outside storage is within the fence. The fence is approx. 12,000 sq. ft. Richard Messina said setback was not the issue, outside storage was the issue. Steve Anderson felt this entire procedure is retaliatory due to neighborhood disputes. Hypothetical issues were discussed. S. Little asked if outside storage has always been there. Donald said yes. W. Phillips closed hearing.
10:05 p.m. Discussion and deliberation followed on each of the cases presented. See attached notice of decision.
10:35 p.m. Motion made by D. Kraemer, seconded by C. Martin to adjourn meeting.
Minutes submitted by Sherry Fiske