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Meeting Minutes - ZBA


Town of Leicester

Zoning Board of Adjustment Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, June 26, 2012



** See subsequent minutes for any changes


Members Present:   Pete Fjeld, Chair, Jeff McDonough, James Russo,


Absent:  Donna Swinington, Connie Carroll


Others Present:  Kate Briggs, ZA, Mark Gale, Builder, Art Cummings, Sue Potter, Ruby Carter, Sandra Trombley, Secretary


Call to Order & Roll Call:  Peter called the ZBA Meeting to order at 6:01 p.m. with roll call.


Reviewed Agenda:  


Chair read the two warnings and explained Rules of Procedure for tonight’s hearing. 


ZA reported that the Leicester School had provided the plan needed for their application at the previous hearing.  The Board approved the application; pending the plan.


ZA explained that Ruby Carter bought a piece of property on Lake Dunmore Road.  Boundaries were not clearly noted at the time of purchase.  They want to make some changes.  They had to replace the porch.  They had a number of conversations.  Out of those conversations, Ruby had the impression that she could go ahead and do some of this work without getting a permit, but it was clearly because she couldn’t produce a site plan because they weren’t clear about the boundaries.  Some of the work was begun and that was replacing the front porch which was essential to get into the house; which is the same footprint of the porch that was there.  They also wanted to move some other structures on the lot.  This was all confused by the question of the boundary. 


ZA explained the other application with Cummings, there was some confusion because there was not a quorum at the June 13th meeting.  They presented their plans informally to the two members that were at the June 13th meeting.  The work began without the application having been reviewed formally by the ZBA.  There are now some issues with the abutting landowner about that work.  As was described in the original application, the work was closing in an existing deck.  The existing deck was removed and a new foundation has been built for this thing that is going to be done.  There is some concern that there is already some deviation from what was described in the original application and that the work began before the ZBA could act on it.


ZA explained that the Town does not seek an injunction to stop work if someone begins work after the ZBA has approved their application and there is no opposition at the hearing, if they don’t wait the 30 days, in fact we are not going to go to court to stop them if they have already started the work.  We advise that it is a bad idea in case there is an appeal.  ZA doesn’t think there was anything said at the meeting to go ahead with the project.


ZA will let the landowner and the contractor speak to whether it’s substantially different than what is in this application.  If it is, it will need to be re-warned.


14-12-ZBA, Ruby Carter, Parcel #070058, RA District, 132 Lake Dunmore Road:


Chair read the warning. Ruby was sworn in.


Non-conforming lot needs setback waivers for shed and porch.


Ruby was asked to explain her application.  She explained there was a 5x5 deck.  The rear deck was progressively falling.  In order to get into the house safely, they had to build/repair the 5 x 5 front deck.  She went to see Mr. Shackett to see if he knew where his property line was, because she wasn’t sure.  Where she thought she owned, she didn’t.  They needed to put the front deck on to build the back deck.  She couldn’t give all the dimensions because they didn’t know where the property line was.  Mr. Shackett didn’t get back until April and they were ready to go with Jeff Smith, their attorney, to draw up use of the land and then the surveyor came on Memorial Day weekend.  They, in fact, do own 10’ past the dirt bike track.  So, the shed is on their property.


Ruby thought she would put everything on one application because there was such an extensive amount.  She would throw it all on the application and if she needed to make an amendment, she would.  There is a small shed under 10x10.


Chair informed Ruby the small shed doesn’t count, so the ZBA doesn’t need to deal with that.


They then talked about the 16x16 large shed.  The Chair asked where she was putting the shed.  Ruby explained she would like to put it up in the corner where all the trees need to come down, near the power lines, the southwestern side.  Discussion about measurements and setbacks because dimensions did not make sense on the drawings.  The dimensions were not adding up.


Ruby didn’t have her lot surveyed.  Mr. Shackett had his surveyed; so Ruby knows where her boundary is from that survey.


Ruby explained that they didn’t increase the back deck to 16 x 16 as indicated on the application because it didn’t work with the landscape, so they kept it at 14 x 16.  The application doesn’t represent what was done.


Chair indicated that they can’t really tell where the setbacks really are right now. 


Ruby stated that at this point, she can just take the future garage, shed moving right off and just focus on the front porch and she can make an amendment later because this permit is good for two years.


Board agreed with that because they don’t know what they are dealing with and they would ask that Ruby know what the measurement is.


No further questions. 


Chair explained that after the hearings, they will go into deliberative session.  The ZBA shall issue a written decision within 45 days after the hearing and notify the applicant.



16-12-ZBA, Arthur & Ellen Cummings, Parcel #212128, L1 District, 93 South Cove Trail:


Chair read the warning.  All parties were sworn in.


Non-conforming lot needing front, side and rear setback waivers.


Mark Gale and Art Cummings were present.  Sue Potter was present as an adjoining property owner.   


Cummings explained that the plan is to take a 12 x 22 deck just off the lower level and an 8 x 22 just below that.  Take the 12 x 22 deck and put a screen porch below and a sunroom above.  Take it and go straight up.  He spoke to two builders; Mark and another builder and they said with that weight they would have to reinforce the deck below.  Take that stuff off and pour a footing or foundation to support that. 


We submitted the application in good faith.  If we should have put down that we were going to put footings or foundation to support that, that’s a call they didn’t make.  The plan was and still is to erect the screened porch just on the deck and a sunroom above that.  Sue can talk about some issues she had with some of this.  Art stated that he thinks they are all reasonable and can work things out.


The existing deck is 12 x 22.  You step down 5 feet and you are on another deck that is not showing on the drawing.  There are steps going down to that deck.


Mark explained the grade of the property and the deck was set on 6 x 6’s on cat blocks.  You can’t put weight on that.


Sue Potter explained that she doesn’t have an issue of what the project has evolved to be.  Her only concern right from the beginning is that it not be enclosed with petitions to put anymore bedrooms because of the size of the lot and the 500 gallon septic tank because her water is close by.  That can only handle so many bedrooms.  Art has said he wasn’t going to enclose it.


When they started the construction, they were grinding concrete footings.  She has COPD and it was really a very serious thing for her.  She asked them to stop and told her they were nearly done and they would stop then.  She told Mark, saying that to somebody who is the middle of someone having an asthma attack, is like beating them with a baseball bat and saying, I’ll finish in a minute.  It doesn’t work that way.  She wants to make sure going forward, if they do something that they realize is going to release particles in the air that they tell her ahead of time so that she can make the decision whether or not to go away for an hour or so.  At least she will be notified as to what to expect so she can prepare and not be ill again.


Art stated that was all very reasonable.  Mark stated that wouldn’t have happened if Mark had been there.


The Secretary did not receive any written objections to the application.


Chair explained that after the hearings, they will go into deliberative session.  The ZBA shall issue a written decision within 45 days after the hearing and notify the applicant.


Board went into deliberative session at 6:45 P.M.


Public Comment: None


Motion by Jim to approve minutes of May 1, May 29, June 13, 2012 as written.  Second by Jeff.  All in favor.  So approved.


Secretary mentioned that there will be permit applications to hear at the July 31, 2012 meeting.




Motion by Jeff to adjourn meeting at 7:30 p.m.  Second by James.   All in favor.  So approved.



Respectfully submitted,


Sandra L. Trombley

Planning Commission Secretary