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Meeting Minutes - ZBA

Zoning Board of Adjustment Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
6:00 P.M.
** See subsequent minutes for any changes
Members Present: Peter Fjeld, Chair, Donna Swinington, Connie Carroll, William Shouldice
Absent: Jeff McDonough
Others Present: Kate Briggs, Warren Kimble, Chris von Trapp, Jean Terwilliger, Sandra Trombley, Secretary
Call to Order/Roll Call: Meeting called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Chair and roll call.
Review Agenda: Reviewed agenda
Approval of Minutes of March 11, 2014:
Motion by Donna and second by Connie to approve minutes of March 11, 2014. All in favor. So approved.
There is a public hearing for:
Permit Application 05-14-ZBA Applicant Jean Terwilliger, Architect for J. Ashley Wolff & Sabin Russel,37 Rustic Court, Leicester, Vermont Parcel # 202150 Zoning District Lake 1 & Lake 2, requiring side yard setback waivers.
Chair read the warning and procedures. There were no conflicts of interest on the Board.
Interested parties signed in and persons giving testimony were sworn in. Chris von Trapp was representing S. Jane von Trapp and Thomas Goelz. No one had heard from the Huvers.
Chair asked Jean Terwilliger, the applicant, to present their proposal.
Jean explained the plans and provided the plan.   The property is located on the east side of Lake Dunmore off from Indian Trail. It has just about one acre of land in L1 and L2. It has 50’ of lake frontage. It is now completely lawn and we are planning on improving that situation. Ashley is looking to make her camp to a year round home and has owned this property for the last ten years. She has improved the septic system and put in a new well. It did not require a state permit to be a replacement system, but the state permit is in process.
The house itself is approximately the same footprint as the camp was but is pushed further away from the lake and to the north, slightly. This improves the situation from the closest neighbor’s house, the Huvers, but is moving it closer to the other which is significantly up the hill.
Jean stated that the use is permitted by right, it is in conformance with the town plan and goals, it conforms to the character of the land and reasonably limits impact upon neighbors, the house is in balance with the scale of neighboring houses in area.
Bill asked about a tree. Jean stated it is not coming down.
The house is proposed to be a highly energy efficient house, and providing renewable energy.
There will be plantings.
Kate asked if this is the only sighting.   Jean stated that this is really about septic.
Donna asked about tree removal behind the small cottage. Jean stated that there would need to be some minor tree removal in the lower bank section where the garage is proposed to be.
Chris von Trapp asked about new construction versus conversion.
Kate explained that under state law, a previously developed lot or a lot that is a non-conforming lot, can be built on. It is up to the ZBA. None of these lots are conforming so they cannot meet our current regulations. It is up to the ZBA to say how best to do this. This lot can’t meet the setbacks. It’s really up to the ZBA to figure out the best use. There is a ‘by right’.
Chris von Trapp talked about his observation that the garage is offset from the house; making it 12’ from the property line; where if you slid the garage back in the other direction, you would have 20’ on one side and 19-20’ on the other side; making it more even. If the garage could be more evened up, if would be less non-conforming.
The other concern was how many trees would have to come down. Not only are they getting closer to the property line, but the visual impact is greater. Chris stated that the possible remedy going forward is to propose screening plantings and trees today and not years from now. That would be acceptable to them.
Jean explained that Ashley’s last intent is to cut trees and how can they build around them. In Jean’s mind, it would be preferable to have fewer nicer trees than to have more scrub type bushes.
The property owners and neighbors are amenable to having it be undefined and they are going to do something.
Board went into deliberative session at 6:50 p.m.
Findings of Fact:
Votes by Board
  1. For use permitted within the district as by right use (as opposed to conditional use).
  2. 4 – Yes
  3. Is in conformance with the town plan and goals.
  4. 4 – Yes  
  5. Conforms to the character of the land and design reasonably limits impact upon neighbors.
  6. 4 – Yes
  7. Design used incorporates design techniques, screening or other remedies to limit impact upon neighbors.
  8. 4 – Yes
  9. Accommodates structures providing for disability accessibility, fire safety and other requirements of land or energy conservation or renewable energy
  10. 4 – Yes
Statement of Findings: Approved with conditions. Plantings will occur between the house and Goelz to screen the property equal to or better than existing vegetative growth.
Public Comment: None
Motion by Donna second by Bill to adjourn ZBA meeting at 7:10 p.m. All in favor. So approved.
Respectfully submitted,
Sandra L. Trombley, Secretary