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ZBA Meeting & Hearing - Everitt

Town of Leicester

 Zoning Board of Adjustment Minutes

Tuesday, November 17, 2009




** See subsequent minutes for any changes


Members Present:  Gerry Flint, Chair, Jeff McDonough, Donna Swinington, Tim Johnson, Peter Fjeld


Others Present:   Kate Briggs,  Liz Herrmann, John & Sandi Everitt, Bill & Linda Pitkin, Sandra Trombley, Secretary


Call to Order/Roll Call:  Meeting called to order at 6:01 p.m. by Chair and roll call. 


Permit Application 34-09-ZBA  Variance Parcel # 202137 L1 Lake District, John & Sandi Everitt:


Chair asked any parties giving testimony to be sworn in.  Sworn in.  Chair requested that any questions be directed to the Chair.


Chair asked Mr. Everitt to give a brief explanation and/or description of the permit application and what they intend to do.  Mr. Everitt explained that they are just looking to upgrade in some ways and in other ways just improve the boat house which is an integral part of their property at the lake.  They use it quite a bit for their boat and the deck on top.  There are pilings that are out in the lake which they want to eliminate and move the boat house +/-  four feet back away from the lake.  In order to bring the boat house back four feet, it will change the elevation of the boat house due to the retaining wall. 


Kate explained she referred this application to the ZBA because it is clearly out of her authority to do.  Kate’s concern is this boat house is not going to be 10’ but in excess of 14’ and if you put other things on top of it, it is clearly outside of what our provision for a new boat house is.  The size of the boat house is going to be taller; above the existing footprint.


Kate stated  that she had talked with the Borchardt’s, adjoining property owners, and they had no problems with the Everitt’s plan.


There were no other comments from adjoining landowners and they were not present.


Liz Herrmann, architect, walked through the drawings.  The intent is to rebuild or repair the boat house as close to what is there as possible.  The other issue is structural.  Liz explained the plans and explained safety issues and head room.  She would like to get close to code for head room. 


There was a copy of a letter from Steven Hanna from the State of Vermont, Dept of Environmental Conservation, Water Quality Division.


Discussion with architect about railings and possible railing alternatives with ZBA.  Liz stated that they have been talking with structural engineers.  They are looking at the historic appearance and visual appearance.


Mr. Everitt explained that the neighbors sit lower to the lake level and moving the boat house back opens up the view to neighbors far more than anything they would do up high. 


The Board conditions noted they need to meet the minimum amount of railing to meet safety code and not a solid structure for visibility and conform to the historic appearance and maintain current boat house size of 12’ 6” x 24” +/-.


Chair called for a VOTE:


1.  The hardship is due to the unique physical characteristics peculiar to the particular property.

1.      Yes, unanimously.

2.  Because of such physical conditions, there is no possibility that the property can be developed in strict conformance with the zoning regulations.

2.      Yes, unanimously

3.  The hardship has not been created by the applicant.

3.      Yes, unanimously

4.  The variance, if authorized, will not adversely affect the character of the surrounding area, the use of adjoining property, or the public welfare.

4.      Yes, unanimously

5.  The variance is the minimum necessary to grant relief.

5.      Yes, unanimously


The permit has been approved.  Hearing concluded.


Discussion about paperwork flow and process.


Kate brought up the Makovec appeal of Jeff & Linda Smith’s boat house.  Decision to hear the appeal on January 12, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.  December 9, 2009 the Planning Commission will meet.


Approve Minutes:


Jeff made a motion to approve the minutes of October 27, 2009.  Second by Pete.  All in favor.   So approved.


Address Opening Mail:


There has been a Board request to leave mail pertaining to the Planning Commission or Zoning Board is left sealed and put in Board’s mail boxes.


Discussion of stricter guidelines of persons speaking during the ZBA Board Meeting hearing. 


Discussion of appeal periods and waiting periods.  Tim asked for clarification of what was decided several months ago about waiting periods and it continues to happen.  Tim asked Board to review Section 723 in Zoning Bylaws pertaining to effective date.  Chair will call Jim Carroll for clarification whether there is a 15 day waiting period or can Board issue permit at the ZBA meeting and be effective immediately.


Discussion of Zoning Fees:


Donna explained that there was consensus that the Board does not feel that the zoning permit fees should represent expenses involved in the zoning.  The Town is reaping benefits from permits issued through taxes.  The Board wants to review the fees, but doesn’t want to go up a lot of money.


The Selectboard wants permit fees to cover all zoning expenses. 


Chair will make contact with Selectboard for direction on budget items.



Motion by Donna to adjourn meeting at 7:40 p.m.  Second by Jeff.  All in favor.  So approved.



Respectfully submitted,



Sandra L. Trombley

ZBA Secretary