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Town Seal
Board of Appeals Minutes 10/05/10
Town of Buxton  
Board of Appeals

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

Board member in attendance: Stephen Heroux, Peter Leavitt, Jack Hanna and Penny Booker.

Board member not in attendance:  Charlene Libby

Others in attendance:  Scott True and Lynn Alexander

Chairman, Stephen Heroux called the meeting to order at 7p.m.  He explained to meeting process to the audience.

"        Stephen motioned to open the public hearing, seconded by Peter.   The motion passed with a 4 - 0 vote.

Public Hearing:  Scott True is requesting a sideline variance to allow for a garage, located in the residential zone at 16 Old Pond Road.  Tax Map 1, Lot 103E

Scott True explained, that due to the unique outline of the property he has very little space for a garage and is requesting a variance to set the proposed 24 x 28 garage 8 feet from the property line.    Does not want to see the back of the garage when looking out the living room window, thinking this would decrease his property value.   Referencing the photos submitted, Mr. True said that due to the placement angle, if he reduced the garage to 24 x 26 it would only gain another foot.  Front right quarter is 19 feet from the property line.  Requiring an 8-foot variance.  Right rear corner of the garage is 12 feet from the property line.  The front  setback meets the 40' foot requirement.  Stephen asked for a map indicating these distances.  Mr. True did not have one showing the line going through the structure.  Mr. True state a letter from his neighbor was  submitted to the Code Enforcement officer, not contesting the placement of the garage.  The letter was on the table for the Board members to read.  

Questions from the Board: - Penny asked how far would the garage be away from the corner dwelling.  Mr. True thinks around 10 to12 feet.  From the corner of the garage would be 98 feet to the neighbor's house.  Stephen asked how far the existing house if from the property side line?   Mr. True state 30 foot.   Jack clarified that the "L" of the house is 30 feet from the property line.   Having no other questions Stephen asked Code Officer Fred Farnham to the podium.

Statement from Code Officer:  Code Enforcement Officer Fred Farnham submitted a plot map found in the code file.  In Fred's research he review the deed, the tax card and site plan of the property.  He then goes out to the property to take measurements.    He explained the location and surrounding area.  The boundary line that is critical goes from Old Pond Road approx 710 feet long by a wooded area.  Extends by three or four lots that abut Old Standish Road.    Explaining the irregularity of the lot, jogging around with a brook coming down through the middle.  The house was located in that area due to the uniqueness of the lot and on the only upland area of the lot.  Finding the property line the deed described the entire parcel.  Due to trees and brush, Fred could not see the other end of the 710-foot line.  However, he found a pin and used a compass with original bearing to the variation from the 80's.  He tied a ribbon indicating the assumed property line location.  Fred was just trying to get an idea of the angle/location of the property line.  Based on these findings, the garage would not meet the 20-foot setback.  He can't state where the line is.  Stephen clarified that a ribbon around a tree flagged the approximate location of the garage.   
        Jack asked if the survey in 1980 was to sell off other lots or to create this house lot?  Fred indicated this parcel was part of the original lot.  The existing lot and house is conforming to the current ordinance.  Peter said it is not the Board of Appeals or the Code Officers obligation to find the property line.  

Public comments:  Abutter Lynn Alexander asked where the garage would be placed on the lot.  She has no further questions.

Jack asked if the house was built in 1968 and Mr. True purchased the property in 1999?  The house and lot are conforming but due to the brook and the septic system.
Having no more comments Stephen closed the public hearing so the Board could discuss the application.
"       Stephen closed the public hearing, seconded by Jack the motion passed with a 4 - 0 vote.
Penny explained that the original owner sold off lots that have access off Old Standish Road.

Stephen said the board is up against the four cases of hardship.  The state and public safety like to have 20 feet between property lines.

Jack said it would have been helped to have had a survey.  However, the burden of proof would be on the homeowner to be sure the garage is not any closer than what would be approved.
"       Stephen motioned to re-open public hearing, seconded by Peter.  The motion passed with a 4 - 0 vote.
Stephen explained that the board is limited as to what they are able to do.  He also explained the four hardships that the application has to meet.  The board is also allowed to follow 6.2.B.2 and can waive one form of hardship would reduce 20% can only give a 6-foot setback.
"       Stephen motioned to close the public hearing, seconded by Penny, the motion passed with a 4 - 0.

The Hardships:
        1.The land in question cannot yield a reasonable return under the requirements of
        this ordinance;
"       Stephen stated the applicant said the area to the left is the leachfield and it would not look right in front of house.  The Board voted 0 - 4 that the applicant Meets the first hardship requirement, the vote did not pass.

        2.  The need for a variance is due to the unique circumstances of the property and
          not the general condition in the neighborhood;
"       Stephen    The lot has a unique outline  and most  of my road frontage is a vernal pool and standing water with running stream. The 4 - 0 vote passed.

3.The granting of a variance will not alter the essential character of the locality; -  there is 98-feet of woods between buildings and all neighbors have garages.   
"       Stephen motioned that he meets hardship #3 for a 3 - 1 vote.

4.These conditions are not the result of action taken by the applicant for a variance or a prior owner.  The applicant commented NO.  
"       The Board voted 0 - 4 that he does not meet hardship #4.

Stephen concluded with the Board cannot grant the variance at this time, but you do have the option to come back to try for an attached structure, which the Board is allowed to reduce down to 24-foot from property line.  
"       Motioned by Stephen, seconded by Penny with a 4 - 0 vote that as a Board we cannot grant this variance due to the fact he did not meeting the first and last hardship.

Approval of Minutes:    
December 1, 2009 - Unable to approve, forward to next meeting
January 5, 2010 - next meeting

CEO Report:   none

Approval of bills: Pay to Portland Press Herald in the amount of $24.36 for the June Appeals Board meeting.  Motioned by Stephen 4 - 0 vote
Penny will be attending meeting in November
New Ordinance books for all members

Other Business:  

"       Motioned by Stephen, seconded by Jack to close the meeting at 7:35p.m.   

                                                        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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