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Town Seal
 
Board of Appeals Minutes 05/03/2005
Prepared by:    Krystal Dyer

Members Present:        Stephen Heroux, Peter Leavitt and Jack Hanna

Members Absent:  Charlene Libby and Dennis Sweatt

Others Present: Fred Farnham, CEO,


Chairman Stephen Heroux called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

·       Peter motioned to open the public hearing, seconded by Jack the motion passed with a 3 – 0 vote.
Robert & Marina Horr of 54 Seavey Drive are requesting a sideline variance in order to build a garage, Tax Map 9, Lot 10G.  Robert Horr informed the Board of his intentions to add a 32’ x 28’ attached breezeway/garage.  The property abuts Town property and also has a cemetery located to the right side of the house.  Mr. Horr approached the Selectmen requesting to purchase a 10-foot strip of land.  He was told it is not common practice and was instructed to seek a variance from the Board of Appeals (BOA).  
Chairman Stephen Heroux stated that the home is located in the residential district, which requires a 30-foot side setback and according to the plan the Horr’s are requesting a 20-foot reduction.  A letter from the Selectmen was submitted and Selectman Cliff Emery stated the Board of Selectmen it is not common practice to sell property unless it is tax acquired.   
        Fred Farnham, CEO Said most lots in the subdivision are rectangular shaped and the road cuts across diagonally in the front of the property.  There is also a cemetery located to the right side of the house, making the property unique.  The applicant is trying to improve their property value and stay in character with other homes in the neighborhood. 
Abutters:  no abutters or public were in attendance for comments.

The Board had lengthy discussion that they are only allowed to reduce the setback 20% of the frontage, as stated in section 6.2.B.2.  Fred explained the ordinance allows him (the Code Enforcement Officer) to reduce the sideline set back by 20% of the frontage, without coming to the BOA.  Section 6.2.B.2 allows the Board to reduce further if the applicant can meet all four hardship questions.

·       Peter motioned to close this portion of the public hearing, seconded by Jack the motion passed with a 3 – 0 vote.
·       Peter motioned to consider the four (4) hardship requirements to meet the variance, seconded by Jack, the motion passed with a 3 – 0 vote.
Stephen read Article 6.2.B.2
1.      The land in question cannot yield a reasonable return under the requirements of this   
Ordinance.  
·       Motioned by Peter, seconded by Jack that the applicant meets the first hardship.  In order to improve property value and maintain a size and style similar to the majority of homes in the neighborhood.  The motion passed with a 3 – 0 vote.
2.      The need for the variance is due to the unique circumstance of the property and not to   
the general condition in the neighborhood.  Stephen stated the plot plan is skewed; angles from the street, cemetery on property and the way the original developers positioned the house on the lot.  Jack believes it is a unique circumstance.  A vote was taken with a 3 – 0 vote.
3.      The granting of this variance will not alter the essential character of the locality.  
Stephen said that where it abuts the Town’s property, it would not change. Jack agreed.   Stephen asked all those in favor that it meets the third requirement, 3 – 0 vote.
4.  The fourth hardship is not the result of action taken by the applicant or prior owner.  Stephen felt the cemetery located to the right side of the house limits the building expansion.   Stephen asked for all those in favor that the application meets the fourth hardship?  The motion passed with a 3 – 0 vote.

Stephen stated that all four hardships have been voted on and passes.
·       Motioned by Peter, Seconded by Jack to grant the variance, Stephen added for a side setback down to 10 feet.  The motion passed with a 3 – 0 vote.

·       Peter motioned to open this portion of the meeting, seconded by Jack, the motion passed with a 3 – 0 vote.
Cleveland & Tammy Ryder of 59 Turkey Lane are requesting a sideline variance for an enclosed porch; Tax map 7, Lot 10A.  Tammy Ryder explained they are requesting a 17-foot  sideline reduction variance.  The lot is a non-conforming lot having .46 of an acre of land, located in the Village Zone.    The porch 23’ x 10’ is located on the right side of structure leaving only three (3) feet from the property line.
        Dana Ryder, father of the applicant stated the property was given to Cleveland Ryder from his grandfather in the seventies.  At that time a foundation with a trailer was on the property within 13 feet to the sideline.  The existing house was built over the trailer; years of interior alterations have been made, removing what existed from the original trailer.  As the family grew a deck was added creating as a second exit to the building.  A roof was later added to the deck and then closing the sides in.  
Fred Farnham, CEO submitted a letter that he wrote to the applicant on January 13, 2005.  A permit was never issued for the deck or porch.  Fred also submitted a diagram of the property with all existing buildings and the distances listed.  Fred researched and listed when any permits where issued.  There is a stockade fence on the right side of the house.  Fred issued a stop work order on the porch, having concerns with the proximity of the two structures.  Chief Grinnell inspected the property, submitting a letter dated March 24, 2005.  The letter indicated the buildings are to close per code and this increases the chance of a fire spreading.   Adding there was adequate access across the lawn on the left side of the structure, but he had concerns.    Fred said he can require the applicant to use 5/8” fire code sheetrock on the inside of the porch to create a firewall and the Groveville fire department is within 500 feet of property.  Steven said the applicant could be required to take the fence down as an option.  Jack doesn’t feel it necessary to remove the fence and the building has a neat appearance making it good for the community.  
·       Jack motioned to close the public hearing, seconded by Peter.  The motion passed with a 3 – 0 vote.
·       Peter motion to vote on the hardships, seconded by Jack the motion passed with a 3 – 0 vote.
The applicant was able to meet the four hardship requirements needed to grant a Variance.
1.   The land in question cannot yield a reasonable return under the requirements of this ordinance; the need for the variance is to have extra needed living space and an increase in property value.  Peter motioned to vote on the first hardship and that they meet the requirements.  Seconded by Jack, the motion passed with a 3 – 0 vote.
2.      The need for the variance is due to the unique circumstance of the property and not to the general condition in the neighborhood.  It is a non-conforming lot located in the village zone.  The existing structure was built on the original footprint with the porch added later.   Jack motioned the applicant has meet the requirements for #2, seconded by Peter, a unanimous passage.
3.      The granting of this variance will not alter the essential character or the locality of the property; the houses in the village area are close together.  Peter motioned the applicant has meet the third criteria for hardship.  Seconded by Jack, the motion passed wit a 3 – 0 vote.
4.   The hardship is not due to action taken by the applicant or prior owner; the applicant moved into the house in 1980 the foundation was there.  The trailer had an attached deck, additional decking was added and created a second exit.   Peter motioned to vote on the fourth hardship and that they meet the requirements.  Seconded by Jack, the motion passed with a 2 – 1 vote.  Stephen voted against.

·       Motioned by Peter, seconded by Jack to Grant the variance as requested, down to a three (3) foot side setback.  The motion passes with a 3 – 0 vote.

Approval of Minutes:  February 1, 2005 - motioned by Peter, seconded by Jack to accept the minutes of February 1, 2005 as written.  The motion passed with a 3 – 0 vote
CEO Report: none
                
Approval of Bills:  Motioned by Jack, seconded by Peter to Portland Press Herald for $21.25 legal ads for Peter Daniels at the February 1st meeting.   Motion passed with a 3 – 0 vote.

Communications:  
Maine Townsman- February, March and April
Budget update

Other Business:  Election of officers – the Board will wait until all members are present.
Being no further business, moved by Peter, seconded by Jack, to adjourn at 8:35 p.m.  The vote was unanimous in favor.
                                                        Respectfully submitted,
                                                        Krystal L. Dyer
Approval Date:          

____________________________________________            __________________
Stephen Heroux, Chairman                                        Signature Date



 
Town of Buxton
  185 Portland Road, Buxton, ME 04093 (207) 929-5191
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