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Minutes of 9/5/2019

September 12th, 2019

TOWN OF CARROLL ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
92 SCHOOL STREET
TWIN MOUNTAIN, N.H. 03595

September 5, 2019

Members Present: Chair Aaron Foti, Vice-Chair Andy Smith, Janet Nelson and Joan Karpf
Public: Cathy Conway/Horizons Engineering, Ron Wareing and James Phillips, Applicant
Minutes taken by: Rena Vecchio
Pledge of Allegiance: 7:00 PM

Approval of Minutes
Chairman Aaron Foti asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of August 8, 2019. Janet Nelson said she had two:
• Page 2, third paragraph, last sentence read; “The mistake on the application is hers only.” To read; “The mistake on the application is the secretary’s only.”
Janet asked why a conversation that was made during the meeting suggesting the applicant go to the abutters and look for approval of his application had not made it into the minutes. Chairman Aaron Foti said that town counsel had advised against it. If abutters showed up or wrote or called of their approval that was fine. Secondly he said the approval or no approved, has nothing to do with the requirements of the variance. Andy Smith said that he still believes that having abutters write or call is a good thing. The board agreed.
Andy Smith made a motion to approve the minutes of August 8, 2019. Chairman Foti asked Janet if she wanted the conversation of suggesting to the applicant to see if the neighbors were in favor of the application. Janet said yes.
• Page 3, add another bullet, Andy Smith suggested that it wouldn’t hurt if James were to go to the neighbors and see how they felt about his application.
Andy Smith amended his motion to approve the minutes of August 8, 2019 with the two changes asked for by Janet Nelson. Aaron Foti seconded and the motion passed unanimously.



VARIANCE APPLICATION FOR BOULDER MOUNTAIN VIEW/JAMES PHILLIPS & MELISSA BURKE
Chairman Foti paraphrased an email from town counsel explaining how to go about the variance for 9 cabins. Aaron said that it was advised to look at each cabin individually for its setback, which the applicant was prepared to do. The variance could be handled in various ways administratively and procedurally. The Chairman said the board would need to decide to approve each cabin individually or after the presentation and questioning, to approve the variance as a whole.
Chairman Foti said he would like to open the meeting with Cathy Conway, Horizons Engineering, reading thru the application. He wanted her to go thru the application and then the board and public could ask questions.
Cathy told the board she would read thru the application and deal with each individual unit at the end.
Facts in support of granting the variance:
1. Granting the variance would not be contrary to the public interest because:
There is no adverse affect on the public interest as a result of the project. The project improves on an existing condition by increasing the setbacks from what currently exists for cabins 1, 11, 10, 9, 4 and 6. See attached table. The project does not violate the zoning objectives of promoting health, safety and general welfare. It does not alter the character of the neighborhood as we are replacing older cabins with newer ones. We are replacing 10 existing cabins with 9 park model RV’s and one Carriage House for the same purpose of renting to visitors.
2. If the variance were granted, the spirit of the ordinance would be observed because:
The project does not violate the spirit and intent of the ordinance-it does not alter the character of the area because cabins already exist on the property closer to property lines than proposed, it does not threaten public health, safety, or welfare in it unduly or in a marked degree conflict with the ordinance nor will it violate the legal purposes the zoning ordinance serves.
3. Granting the variance would do substantial justice because:
The present use will not be changing. We will be improving the experience and the look of the cabins. It will be consistent with the current use.
4. If the variance were granted, the values of the surrounding properties would not be diminished because:
The project will not have a detrimental effect on the surrounding properties. It is the same use as currently exists and we are moving the cabins further from the property lines than are currently located. We are replacing 1960’s cabins with newer ones so we are actually improving the property.
5. Unnecessary Hardship
A. Owing to special conditions of the property that distinguish it from other properties in the area, denial of the variance would result in unnecessary hardship because:
i. No fair and substantial relationship exists between the general public purposes of the ordinance provision and the specific application of that property because:
See attached for description of each unit.
ii. The proposed use is a reasonable one because :
See attached for description of each unit.
iii. Explain how, if the criteria in subparagraph (A) are not established, an unnecessary hardship will be deemed to exist if, and only if, owing to special conditions of the property that distinguish it from other properties in the area, the property cannot be reasonably used in strict conformance with the ordinance and a variance is therefore necessary to enable a reasonable use of it.
See attached for description of each unit.
(The entire application will be attached to the minutes in the office.)
The Chair opened the Public Hearing to the board. Joan Karpf said she wanted to see how they came up with the wetlands. She had Google maps and she could see some of it but there were area that said wetlands that Google did not show. How did you know about the wetlands that don’t show up here on Google maps and Google granite? Cathy told her they had hired a wetlands scientist and that is how they know. She asked to see the report. Cathy said she didn’t bring it in. Andy Smith said that the report should be reflected in the maps that were in front of them. Cathy said that was right. Andy said that the existing use has 10 cabins. He said part of the hardship is bringing all units as close to the setbacks as possible. To not allow is hard and he is okay with most of them.
Andy Smith suggested going thru each of the units and discussing each individually. It is part of the application and the board should allow Cathy to finish by going thru each unit.
Chairman Aaron Foti said the board had 1 hour to go thru the cabins 1 by 1.
UNIT # 1
Unit # 1 is currently 3’ from the side property line. The proposal is to locate the new unit 6’ from the side property line. The required setback is 20’. The proposed use is reasonable because the same property use has existed since the 1960’s and we are improving an existing condition by doubling the current property line setback. There is a large boulder directly in front of the unit and the required parking space is between it the road so it is not possible to place the unit further from the property line. To slide the unit south closer to Harmony Hill Road would mean placing it n the area of a 24% slope which is not practical to build on to build on and there is another large boulder south of the unit . There is not room to shift it into the middle of the road because of the boulders and wetlands.
Much discussion took place here about wetlands, moving closer to the road and why they couldn’t, (water lines, shed, septic, boulders etc). Janet Nelson asked if they could refurbish the old cabin instead of replacing it. James Phillips said the cabins are the same theme. Even replacing the clapboards with logs probably would not work because of the setbacks. All of the cabins but one will have one bedroom with a pullout (sleeps 4, possibly a crib also.)
Chairman Foti asked if there were any other questions or comments on Unit 1. There were none.
UNIT # 11
Unit # 11 is currently 10’ from the rear property line. The proposal is to locate the new unit 15’ from the rear property line. The required setback is 25’. There is an existing utility pole to the south of the unit and we are abutting tightly to the wetlands north of the unit and necessary driveway access must be in front of the unit due to the grade and topography. There is also an existing shed that precludes moving the unit down slope –simply not enough room between the road and existing storage shed.
Chairman Foti asked if there were any question or comments on Unit 11. Joan Karpf wanted to know why they couldn’t put the unit horizontally instead of vertically. Cathy said the water line is there. Cathy said they can’t move much because of the shed, parking and utility pole. There were no other questions.
UNIT # 10
Unit # 10 is currently 11’ from the rear property line. The proposal is to locate the new unit 11’ from the rear property line. The required setback is 25’. The location of boulders and a utility pole south of the unit prevents us from moving the unit further south and closer to the relocated road.
Chairman Foti asked if there were any questions or comments on Unit 10. There was a question on the hash marks on the map and what it meant. Cathy said that is part of the old driveway. They are removing the asphalt and either going to leave it with gravel or grass. James said they were not sure yet. Someone else asked what the X in front of the unit was. Cathy said it was the porch on the unit.

UNIT # 9
Unit # 9 is currently 20’ from the rear property line. The proposal is to locate the new 2-story carriage house 5’ from the rear property line. The required setback is 35’. This is the only 2 bedroom unit on the property for families. Its location is important to the layout of the other cabins as we do not want to site it in such a way that it blocks the views of the other guests. It would not fit the character to locate the largest building in the middle of the property. Not only that, there is not room between boulders the roadway. We are limited by the existing culvert just south of the proposed location; we cannot put the unit on top of the culvert and we cannot justify disturbing wetlands to move the culvert. Furthermore, if we moved the culvert it would interfere with Unit 4. Placement of unit 9 at the location of unit 11 is limited by the wetlands behind unit 11. For these reasons the best placement of unit 9 is at the proposed location.
Chairman Foti asked if there were any questions or comments. Joan Karpf said she was looking at Google Granite and could see the ravine but she doesn’t see how it runs into the culvert where it is located. Cathy told her where the culvert is located is where the runoff is. You can’t always see thing like that on Google maps or any of the others. They are 3500 feet above the ground and those things can’t be seen on the Google maps. Joan still was not happy with a building allowed to be put in that was 5’ from the property line when it should have been 35’.
UNIT # 4
Unit # 4 is currently 2’ from the side property line. The proposal is to locate the new unit 15’ from the side property line. The required setback is 20’. The unit is only a few feet from the widened road. It cannot be moved to the other side of the road without impacting the wetlands. The distance from the property line has been maximized.
Chairman Aaron asked if there were any questions or comments. There were none.
UNIT # 6
Unit 6 is currently 2’ from the side property line. The proposal is to locate the new unit 6’ from the property line. The required setback is 20’. Off road parking is critical in this area. The parking for unit 7 is actually just to the south of unit 6 because there is no room in the middle due to wetlands. Therefore, parking for unit 6 needs to be in front of the unit and as a matter of safety the fire chief was explicit about the off road parking for each unit. There are ledge outcrops and utility poles south of the proposed location, which prevents it from being moved further down the slope.
Chairman Aaron Foti asked if there were any questions or comments. Joan said she doesn’t understand how a large cabin couldn’t be maneuvered around the boulders and utility pole. Cathy said they were very close to the utility pole.
Andy Smith made a motion to approve the application for a Variance for Boulder Mountain View for setbacks.
Joan said she does not see how she can vote for all of the units. The carriage house is going to set 5’ from the property line when it should be 35’. She said she felt her job was to approve as closely to the ordinance as possible. Andy said he understood but that but they had tried to improve some setbacks where they could and that after riding around the units the new road was much safer than the previous. The two-story building was hard.
Andy Smith made a motion to amend his motion to read: to approve the variance application if Unit 9 to be removed or reduced to one story.
Chairman Aaron Foti said he was not as offended by the two-story building. He said the models picked were longer. Joan said why couldn’t they pick shorter models? She said she was also thinking of the view if some else were to build in the back of the property. Cathy said she forgot to tell the board that there is a railroad right of way which would prevent that. And James said he talked to the property owner and he told him he would not be building back there. Joan wanted to know about future owners.
Andy Smith withdrew his motion due to the lack of a second.
Janet Nelson said this she has been looking at the Variance paper that Joan had given to the secretary for the board. Janet said that the board had decided that:
• That there would be no harm in public interest if granted
• That the spirit of the ordinance would not be violated
• That justice would be done
• That values of surrounding properties were not diminished
• That the literal enforcement of the ordinance would result in unnecessary hardship
• And that the proposed use was reasonable
Janet said that is why she feel the board should support the application.
Chairman Aaron Foti made a motion to approve the application for a Variance from Boulder Mountain View, 5 Harmony Hill Road, Map 403-001-000-000, under Article 403, Section 403.4, for setbacks as presented. Janet Nelson seconded and the motion passed with 3 ayes and Joan Karpf voted nay.
Chairman Aaron Foti made a motion to adjourn. Janet Nelson seconded and the motion passed unanimously.