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Zoning Board of Appeals — Meeting Minutes — June 12, 2008
Selectmen's Office

A duly posted meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals was held at the Selectmen's Office, at 51 Bridge Street, Shelburne.

Present: Joseph Palmeri, Ted Merrill, John Taylor, William Sweeney, Catherine Smith, Lowell Laporte. Laurie MacLeod

Absent: None

Chairman Joe Palmeri opened the meeting at 7:10 pm.

The Chair updated members about inquires concerning the telecommunications bylaw, a shared clerk for town boards, and preparation of an official copy of the new zoning map.

At 7:30PM Palmeri recessed the meeting for the purpose of continuing the public hearing on the Special Permit of Jessica Murrow to operate a Bed & Breakfast (see hearing minutes). At 7:38PM Palmeri called the regular meeting back to order following the close of the hearing.

The Chair opened deliberation on the Special Permit application by Murrow. The board discussed that the application was made prior to the advertisement of the bylaw changes and therefore it is subject to the rules/bylaws approved 5/4/99. The board reviewed the criteria for special permitting of bed & breakfasts. There was discussion on parking, driveways, and potential conditions for permitting.

Sweeney moved to grant a Special Permit, under Section 5.2.4.15, to Jessica Murrow to operate a two-room bed and breakfast at 35 Mechanic Street, subject to the following special permit condition: (1) the applicant must provide to the ZBA an acceptable updated schematic sketch showing the new driveway dimensions and parking spaces. Merrill seconded the motion. After further discussion the board voted to approve the motion.

Voting in Favor: Merrill, Sweeney, Palmeri, Smith, MacLeod
Voting Opposed: None
Abstaining: Taylor, Laporte

The Board reviewed and voted on prior minutes:

Smith moved and Sweeney seconded approval of the 6/5/08 meeting minutes, with corrections of punctuation, and corrections adding the date set for the Murrow hearing and that the Chair has provided information in response to the records request before the date of the meeting. So voted unanimously.

Laporte moved and Merrill seconded approval of the 6/5/08 Hearing minutes. So voted unanimously.

MacLeod left the meeting at this point.

The Chair recognized Selectman Joseph Judd who discussed the recent draft of a job description for a ZBA clerical assistant. Judd explained that the Board of Selectmen provided the draft for ZBA input and has not made any decisions on whether it should be 1 person or more than 1, etc.

The board discussed the value of "engineered plans" versus "professional surveys" versus sketches. Building Inspector/ZEO Jim Hawkins advised the Chair that his office requires professional surveys where lot dimensions are required as "engineers" are not trained to do surveying.

The board met with Terry Mosher and John Payne concerning obtaining an official copy of the new zoning map. The Chair feels that the Town should maintain a "certified copy" that is stamped by the Town Clerk. Payne advised that a laminated plan will be posted in Town Hall and he felt a certified copy was not necessary but the ZBA certainly could have one prepared. There was further discussion on scheduling of rooms and hearing at Town Hall, the proposed clerical post, abandoned and un-maintained roads, and input from other Boards at or relative to ZBA hearings.

The Chair opened deliberation on the Request for Variance from Terry Kimball. The Chair reviewed prior advice from Counsel about the extent of encroachment into a set back; Counsel advised that the encroachment needed to be reasonable and the prior request to reduce the 25' set back to 1' was excessive, and the 6.5' now proposed could also be considered excessive. Counsel also indicated that since the applicant was already using the property for a dwelling the Board may, or may not, consider a garage addition a vital extension of the structure/use in determining a "hardship".

The Board discussed the requirements of Section 10 of Chapter 40A relative to variances and whether the applicant met the requirements. The Board debated whether the applicant had "substantial hardship", whether the proposed addition would be a "substantial detriment to the public good" in its impact on the right of way for Old Albany Road, and whether a reduction in the set back distance was "substantially derogating" from the intent of the bylaw approved by the voters.

It was noted that the set back requirements were not changed in the recent bylaw changes, and while the new bylaws govern the decision, the rules and dimensions are the same as when the applicant applied and withdrew in 2006.

Merrill moved to grant a Variance to the set back requirements in Section 5.2 (in the RA district), to Terry Kimball to allow for the addition of a two-car garage on his lot at 216 Old Albany Road as per the surveyed plan prepared by Edward Muszynski dated 2/9/2007, and allow the setback to be reduced to 6.5-14.5' based on the findings of this Board. Taylor seconded. After further discussion the board voted and the request was denied as four votes are needed to grant a variance request.

Voting in Favor: Merrill, Taylor, Laporte
Voting Opposed: Sweeney, Palmeri
Abstaining: Smith

Merrill moved to change the July meeting date from 7/3/08 to 7/10/08 at 7PM at Town Hall. Taylor seconded and so voted unanimously.

Taylor moved to adjourn, seconded by Laporte, and it was so voted at 10:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

John E Taylor
Clerk