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Meeting Minutes

Town of Leicester

Zoning Board of Adjustment


Tuesday, September 30, 2008




** See subsequent minutes for any changes


Members Present:  Gerry Flint, Chair, Donna Swinington, Shelley Glassner, Heidi Schuerger


Others Present:   Tom Barker, Bob Oliver, Ron Fiske, left before hearing.  Andrew Peterson, Zoning Administrator, Mr. & Mrs. Harrington, applicants, Sandra Trombley, Secretary.  Some folks came for Johnson appeal, but left when announcement for continuance was made.


Call to Order:  Meeting called to order at 6:07 by Chair with roll call for meeting of the Leicester Zoning Board of Adjustment. 


Agenda Review:   Announcement that there were two hearings scheduled on the agenda for tonight, the appeal by Johnson’s of the Zoning Administrator’s decision and the Harrington variance for a 2-car garage.  Chair announced that there would be a continuance on the Johnson appeal.  There is other business still pending on the Johnson/Scarborough matter.  The attorney for the Town and the attorneys for the Johnson’s and Scarborough’s have all agreed to continue hearing any matter related to that pending business until the next meeting. The Chair read the letter from English, Carroll & Boe, PC.  There is a continuance on the Johnson appeal of the Zoning Administrator decision to October 28, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. at the Leicester Town Office.


The ZBA meeting will start at 6:00 p.m. with the hearing starting promptly at 6:30 p.m.  Between 6:00 and 6:30 we will do the interested parties service list, make sure people have appeared and give them an opportunity to understand the Rules of Procedure. 


Donna Swinington, Chair of the Planning Commission wanted to discuss information about the Town Grant.  There is a deadline and we needed to sign up by today.  Coincidentally, the ZBA and the PC are made up of the same members.  Elizabeth Golden from Regional Planning cannot meet on Wednesday, October 8th but can October 7th.  Elizabeth told Donna it would be between 10,000 – 13,000 to redo the Town Plan.  The Committee for Grant Writing can meet on Tuesday, October 7th.  Separate committee meetings can work outside of the regularly scheduled Planning Commission meetings without separate postings.  Donna Swinington, Chair of the Planning Commission canceled the regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting, October 8, 2008.  A notice will be posted.  It does not need to be warned.  The Selectboard was invited to come.  


Action Item:


Make sure that we post notice outside Town Clerk’s office, web-site, and Town Recycling Center.


Discussion:  Agenda and order of business.  Immediately after the roll call, we should review the Rules of Procedure, Order of Business and agenda.  We should follow agenda item 1, agenda item 2, agenda item 3, etc.  We should have an agenda and show that we have followed the agenda.  When we open a hearing, we should read that actual hearing warning notice.  There was clarification with Andrew on how to complete the forms prior to the hearing.


Public Hearing for Variance Ida Harrington, 39 Isthmus Drive, to Build New 2- Car Garage 29-08-ZBA: 



Public notice was read by Chair.  Andrew was asked if he had the by-law reference.  It’s a corner lot in L2 district, section 270-C.  Ida Harrington was sworn in.  Harrington’s explained why they needed the 2-car garage to house their vehicles and why they are limited for space and the need to put the garage in the requested location.  Andrew explained the details of the property.  Rte 53 is the front of the property.  Discussion and review of the map.  No adjacent landowners attended meeting. No concerns received by Board from adjoining property owners. 




ZBA used a template of a new form provided by VPIC as a checklist for processing all the paperwork.  Once completed, it serves as a document to send out to the adjacent property owners. 


Based on application, testimony, exhibits and other evidence, the ZBA makes the following findings.  The applicant seeks a variance to construct a 2-car garage; subject property is 4.6 acre parcel, located at 39 Isthmus Drive, in the town of Leicester.  A tax map to be added to the document.  The property is located in the L2 district as described in the Town of Leicester’s Zoning Map located in the Municipal Office and also section 270-C of the zoning by-laws.  The variance is sought by the applicant Ida Harrington.  Requires review under the section 270-C.  The following unique conditions of the property are slope of land.  Because of these unique circumstances, there is no possibility of meeting set-backs.  ZBA went thru items, based upon the findings, the Board unanimously voted to approve variance with no conditions.  The hearing on application 29-08-ZB A is closed.


New Business:


 Reviewed flyers of calendar of events for trainings.


Old Business: 


Heidi talked about a conversation with Sandy about whether or not the proposed by-law changes had actually been approved.  Heidi did not believe they had been.  The Selectboard probably said just on the surface this read fine to us giving us the thumbs up to proceed with an open hearing.  The next step is to actually have the open hearing.  The procedure for the open hearing is providing a copy of the zoning by-law changes to all adjacent towns.  The warning for the public meeting, either publish the by-law changes in the newspaper with the warning or publish somewhere else.  Need clarification about where it has to be published.   A draft copy of those by-law changes that you want to have a public hearing on, made available for the public to actually read those; as well as send them out to the adjacent towns.  Then we have the public hearing to adopt them or not.  As an agenda topic for the next Planning Commission meeting, we are going to talk about those by-laws.  Andrew is checking to find an electronic copy of the by-laws and send them to Heidi, Shelley and Gerry.  Heidi will re-type revisions into a word document showing changes.  Heidi will provide printed copies of that for our next meeting.


The next Planning Commission meeting for October 8th has been canceled and moved to a Committee meeting on October 7th.  The Planning Commission is the entity that needs to move forward with the ZBA.  Even though we are going to be meeting about the Grant on Tuesday, October 7th if we can do leg work before hand, we can do the action list of what needs to happen for the by-laws.  The agenda for the Planning Commission is to quickly knock that out of the way and then proceed with Grant stuff.  The next meeting for the Zoning Board is on October 28, 2008 and that will be consumed by the Johnson appeal, which needs to be re-warned specifically at the request of the attorney.  If it doesn’t need to be re-warned, Gerry will let Sandy know.  The meeting will be at 6:00 and the hearing will start promptly at 6:30.  We have an option to move next door to the Senior Citizens if the attendance requires it.


One other thing we were going to talk about at the Planning Commission meeting was to propose a change to the by-laws to provide language regarding property line adjustments.  Heidi wants to find out if the zoning by-laws should stipulate that a permit is required.  Andrew stated that most towns allow the Zoning Administrator to deal with it.  He doesn’t have the power to approve it, but he has the power to “not deny” it.  Andrew talked about the form that he had created and set the fee.  Andrew gave it to the Selectboard and they looked at this.  Andrew didn’t know if they specifically approved it.  Heidi stated that since the Selectboard sets fees, that the Selectboard would have to approve it before you could collect a fee. 


Action Items Associated with Property Line Adjustments:


1.  Did the Selectboard officially determine and set a fee?

2.  Zoning by-laws:  if you were now requesting a permit and having a fee, does the zoning by-laws have to stipulate that it is that much?

3.  Property Line Adjustments:  if you have two lots and you change the boundary lines in such a way that it causes substantial change, then there are other legal considerations and also because it does impact the lister, the amount of property and the taxation, that aspect of the documentation has to be provided with the application. 

4.  If someone is requesting a property line change and either one of the properties involved in the property line change were part of a formal sub-division then the by-laws should stipulate that it has to be seen by the Planning Commission because it is already subject to other rules and so it’s not subject to typical by-laws.  Andrew stated that that part is covered.


Meeting Adjourned:  Motion to adjourn by Shelley.  Seconded by Heidi.  All in Favor.  Meeting adjourned 7:16 p.m.





Respectfully submitted,



Sandra L. Trombley

Zoning Board & Planning Commission Secretary 



Attachment:  Agenda for Next Meeting