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Minutes of 4/11/2019

April 23rd, 2019

Carroll Zoning Board of Adjustment
Meeting Minutes
April 11, 2019
7:00 PM

“These minutes of the Town of Carroll Zoning Board of Adjustment have been recorded by its Secretary. Though believed to be accurate and correct they are subject to additions, deletions, and corrections by the Zoning Board of Adjustment at its next meeting when the Board votes its final approval of the minutes. They are being made available to conform with the requirements of New Hampshire RSA 91-A:2.”

Members Present: Aaron Foti, Chairman; Andy Smith, Vice Chair; Dianne Hogan, Janet Nelson.
Others in Attendance: Dave Scalley
Minutes taken by: Judy Ramsdell

Pledge of Allegiance

Chairman Aaron Foti made a motion to table the minutes of March 14, 2019 meeting until the next meeting, to give everyone a chance to read the minutes. Andy Smith seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Chairman Foti said he had several things to talk about in relationship to our last meeting. He said that Rena reached out to Danica Malone, our representative to North Country Council, and they are willing to come and give us some free workshops to give us general guidance and instruction. There is also the annual planning conference in June, which would be beneficial for us to attend.

The Doggy Daycare, Boarding and Grooming at Birchwood Common variance was approved at our meeting last month. The Planning Board has also approved their plan so they are all set to go. Dave Scalley reported that the Board of Selectmen had discussed asking the the ZBA to rehear the variance as there were concerns that the requirements concerning hardship were not adequately met. He reported that the Select Board decided not to ask the ZBA to rehear this variance.

It was noted that if we are not sure about anything, we can table it and read up on anything we may have questions on and there should not be any pressure to approve in the same meeting than an application is accepted as complete. The “hardship” category is the most difficult one. It is property specific not zoning specific. Another issue is the zoning ordinance says if a specified use is not listed then it is not allowed. Does an omission mean no or does it mean it is omitted? Another point is the Planning Board has accepted the standard that they don’t approve an application the first time they see it. The ZBA could do that as well. The Planning Board made it part of their rules and procedures. The members felt that it shouldn’t be part of our standard operating procedures to wait another 30 days, but it is in our rules that we don’t have to vote that night. If we are not comfortable, we should wait on approving it. Andy Smith said for consistency at our meetings the first thing we should do is accept the application as complete. We should have a checklist to use to be sure that all the criteria have been met. We should use that same checklist for every application. Dave Scalley said that legal is putting together a checklist for the planning and zoning boards. If the application is not complete, we can vote to send it back because it is not complete.

After the application is accepted as complete, the applicant will present their case. Then it will be opened for abutters and member of the public to ask questions. Then we will close it for public input and let the Board review and ask their questions. All the criteria have to pass for the application to pass. The members felt that the Board needs to more closely follow the rules of procedure and methods to do that which is where a checklist would be very helpful. Dianne Hogan said it would be helpful to have a snapshot of the property we are discussing on a town map. We should make sure that these maps are required as part of our application. A lot of applicants don’t get their maps in until the night of the meeting. If we don’t feel we are ready to make a decision, we should just say that.

After we accept the application, we should review each of the criteria and vote on each of the criteria separately. It was discussed if we should make a motion for each of the criteria. The members should make sure they are clear on what our RSAs say in regard to this process and be clear on which method we use whether we vote once for the variance or approve each criterion at a time. Either way a final motion needs to be made to approve or deny the variance as a whole.

In reference to the gravel pit application, one of the questions is because it was originally heard by the ZBA, does it have to go back to the ZBA or will the planning board hear it? In June, 2018, he applied to the ZBA for a five-year extension, which was approved. He met the requirements to have a special exception to excavate.

Aaron asked if we can clarify some items:
--If it was the ZBA who first approved the special exception for the gravel pit in 2014, and since the zoning ordinance changed in March, which Board will hear this case? Aaron said he thought it would go back to the ZBA. Mr. Scalley noted that it is actually two different things, so it may be a joint meeting with the planning board and the ZBA.
--What is the notification requirement for abutters if they are not local, i.e. the Omni notification went to Texas.
--Does getting a new approval from the Planning Board negate an existing cease and desist order?

The board discussed briefly the value of a ZBA work session with the North Country Council. The members agreed this is a good idea and we should pursue getting this scheduled. Chairman Foti will get back to Danica Melone at North Country Council and schedule the training session.

Chairman Foti made a motion to adjourn. Andy Smith seconded and the motion passed unanimously. The meeting ended at 8:52 p.m.