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Meeting Minutes - ZBA

 Zoning Board of Adjustment Minutes
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
6:00 P.M.
** See subsequent minutes for any changes
Members Present:  Peter Fjeld, Chair, Donna Swinington, Jeff McDonough, William Shouldice, Connie Carroll
Others Present: David Weller, Elizabeth Herrmann, Patrick Griffin, Joan Donahue, Lloyd Komesar, Margie McCullough, Tim McCullough, James Sherman, Sandra Trombley, Secretary
Call to Order/Roll CallMeeting called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Chair and roll call. 
Review Agenda:
Meeting Minutes Approval:
Motion by Jeff and second by Donna to approve minutes of July 30, 2013.  All in favor.  So approved.
Zoning Administrator suggested hearing the Sherman application first because it is very straight forward and simple.
Permit Application # 30-13-ZBA Applicant & Landowners Jan & Jim Sherman, 959 Fern Lake Road, Leicester, Vermont, Parcel #222001, Zoning District Residential/Agricultural, requires front setback waiver. 
Introductions were made.  Chair read the public warning and the meeting process that would be followed and explained interested persons status.
Chair asked if there were any conflicts of interest and/or Ex Parte communications by Board members. 
Chair swore in parties that would be giving testimony.  No letters, emails or calls from interested parties. 
Kate Briggs explained that it is for a garage next to their house.  There is nowhere else it could be.  The nature of the property is such that the only place you could put the garage is next door to the house.  It does not quite meet the front yard setback.  There is a very steep drop off behind the house.
The Board reviewed the plan.  Jim Sherman explained that in back of the house is a slope and that in order to do anything else they would have to dig into the bank to make room for the garage.
No public or written questions were taken.
Chair explained that they were done and would go into deliberative session and they would be notified in writing within 45 days.
Permit Application 28-13-ZBA Applicant Elizabeth Herrmann & Landowners Wellarkes VT LLC, 91 Catamount Drive, Leicester, Vermont Parcel # 212127, Zoning District L1, requires setback waivers.
Elizabeth Herrmann, the architect for David & Rochelle was presenting for the second time for this project.  The first time they noticed that between the time the first permit application was submitted and the time of the hearing, the house had been moved and it was no longer in compliance with the waste water permit.  They came to meeting as an informational thing and let the ZBA know that they would be coming back and that they planned on changing the plans.  They listened to the comments and suggestions at the first meeting and so they are here to present their second submittal.
Elizabeth explained that there had been some slight changes.  They had taken suggestions from the last meeting.  They met with neighbors Tim & Marge McCullough back in May to discuss concerns they might have.  Subsequently, met with Eric Houwen in July.    They have made a couple of changes to the location.  Quite a few things have been dictated by the septic system.  It’s a very small lot and the septic system is unconventional and it has really limited their ability to move the house down.  They have made every effort to keep the overall height of the house considerably lower.  They have been able to meet three out of the four setbacks.  They have slid the house back away from the water’s edge.  It improves the views from the neighbors behind.
Elizabeth provided and explained a graphic to get a better idea of the changes.  She stated that Eric’s primary views will not be affected.  The other home doesn’t have much of a view and they look down on the camp; so hopefully they will have a much better view. 
Tim McCullough stated that they are full time residents and once the project starts, they will be going through living hell because it is so close to them. 
Elizabeth stated that McCullough’s have a nice buffer zone with the trees.  David & Rochelle do not plan to start construction in the summer. 
Two trees by the leach field will have to come down because of the septic system.  There is a large tree that they are having checked out because it is very big and leaning.  It is important to assess the health of the tree.  They will have a professional arborist come in to view the tree.
Bill stated that if the large tree does need to come down there needs to be something put back in to replace it.
Kate explained that in our regulations that there are requirements in there, and the Board should read them carefully about requirements of vegetation and screening and should be part of this permit.  What is going back in place of what is being removed?  Native vegetation should secure the shoreline whenever possible.
Jeff asked Tim McCullough if he still had a problem with the height elevation of the project.  Tim stated he did. 
Bill asked Tim where his property was in relation to the Weller property.  Tim explained.
Tim remarked that the way the lots are laid out, they are very tight.  They have only gained 1 ½ feet.  On the eastern elevation, they are going to be looking at 28’ tall; 25’ – 28’ from their property.  The old property is 48’; so the new plans are closer to our property.
Elizabeth explained that they do meet the setbacks.  They are significantly below the 35’ maximum.  She tried to lower the house more, but Patrick explained the septic design would not work that way.  The septic system dictated where are finished floor could be.  There was no wiggle room there.
Pat Griffin explained how they had to fit a conforming size approved septic system on such a small lot; as far away from the lake and setbacks as possible.  Jeff & Bill asked about a pump system and why it wouldn’t work.  Pat explained why it couldn’t work.  The only way would be to put the septic system closer to the lake; and no one wants that.
Tim explained that the existing height is about 19’ and the new plans are 28’.  When the new house goes up, Tim stated that’s all they are going to see.  They will lose their view from their dining room.
Tim explained the footprint was 979 which went to 1,680 in the first proposal and now has gone to 1,800 in the second proposal.  Tim recommended a site visit by the Board.  When all is said and done the building will be 10’ taller and only 25’ from them.  They are worried about their view.  The plan is asking to double the size of the house and bring it 25’ closer to Tim’s property.
Elizabeth stated that 19’ is not an achievable height and they are trying to convert a seasonal home to a year round home.
Joan Donahue provided a map to the Board which shows the properties.
Elizabeth explained that they worked on this very hard.  They are 7’ below the maximum height permitted.  They made every effort to meet all the other setbacks.
The Chair thanked everyone for coming and stated that the Board would now go into deliberative session at 6:57 p.m.
Findings of Fact:  Jan & James Sherman
Votes by Board
  1. For use permitted within the district as by right use (as opposed to conditional use).
    1. 5 – Yes
  2. Is in conformance with the town plan and goals.
    1. 5 – Yes    
  3. Conforms to the character of the land and design reasonably limits impact upon neighbors.
    1. 5– Yes
  4. Design used incorporates design techniques, screening or other remedies to limit impact upon neighbors.
    1. 5– Yes
  5. Accommodates structures providing for disability accessibility, fire safety and other requirements of land or energy conservation or renewable energy
    1. 5 – Yes
Statement of Findings:  Permit Approved
Conditions for Approval:  
Keep the gardens
Public Comment:  None
Motion by Jeff to recess ZBA at 7:00 p.m. and reconvene September 10, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at Town office for a site visit at 91 Catamount Drive for permit application 28-13-ZBA. Second by Bill.  All in favor.  So approved.
Respectfully submitted,
Sandra L. Trombley
ZBA Secretary