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Town Seal
Board of Appeals Minutes 08/02/11
Town of Buxton  
Board of Appeals
Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

Members in attendance: Stephen Heroux, Charlene Libby, Peter Leavitt, Jack Hanna and Penny Booker

Others in attendance:  Code Officer Fred Farnham and Ellen Pyle.

Call to Order

Chair, Stephen Heroux explains the procedure of the variance appeal meeting.
"       Stephen motioned open the public hearing to hear a variance request for Ellen Pyle, seconded by Charlene, the vote passed with a 5 - 0.

Public Hearing for Ellen Pyle of 104 Depot Street is requesting a 26 -inch front yard variance to replace an existing bay window with a window-seat window without changing the period or character of her 1880's home.  Tax Map 15, Lot 39.
Ms. Pyle would like replace her bay window with a new one that will extend 23-inches out further than her existing bay window in order to put a window seat in.  In doing this, she would make it match the period of her house, with a copper roof, molding and Series 400 Anderson windows.  Willis Lovejoy of Kennebunk will be the carpenter.  On the existing window, the wood has rotted out and the insurance is making her replace it.

Questions from the Board - Stephen asked if this was her primary residents, Ms. Pyle said it was.  Charlene asked if the steps come out beyond the existing window.   She does not know the measurements. The steps are constructed of wood.  Penny asked if there was just one bay window.  Yes, only one.  Stephen asked if the window is on the gable end of the house. The house sits on a corner lot on the Lower Egypt and Depot Street, the window fronts Lower Egypt Road.   There are many bushes and a tree in front of the house, between the road and the house.  

Code Officer Fred Farnham - Fred reported the Board that Lower Egypt Road is 49 1/2-feet wide according to the Buxton Road Research Project Book dated May 1990.  So looking at the plan you would subtract 25-feet, this would give you the distance from the actual right-of-way.   Because the structure fronts two streets, according to ordinance it has two fronts setbacks and two side setback.  Stephen asked Fred if he knew the size of roof over the front set of stairs, he did not.  Stephen asked Ms. Pyle what is the best guess for the size of the overhang above the front steps.  It does not cover the landing.  

"       Stephen motioned to close the public hearing, seconded by Charlene motion passed with a 5 - 0 vote.

Stephen figured she is presently 18 feet for a front setback and asking to go to 16 feet.  Stairs do not count go towards the setback requirements, but the attachment on the roof does.  Charlene confirmed that this is a non-conforming lot.  Wouldn't we be able to approve as long as it did not increase any non- conformities.  We couldn't take into consideration that the window would not be going beyond the stairs.  It's how you interpret the section.  Penny read the definition of Frontage Street - Any lot, which has frontage on two or more road, shall have a required minimum frontage on at least one road.   Does that help the situation?  The Board clarified the parcel is in the Rural zone on the Zoning map.  The setbacks in the Rural Zones are 50 feet on all sides.  

4.2.C.3 - increase of non-conformity - Fred - 4.2says no further does not go further than the steps.   Fred read the last sentence of the first paragraph from Section 4.2.C.3
"Reconstruction or replacement of a non-conforming structure not in compliance with these limitations may be permitted provided that such reconstruction or replacement is in compliance with the setback requirement to the greatest practical extent as determined by the Board of Appeals".
"       Stephen motioned to open the public hearing, Charlene 5 - 0
Stephen explained that if you change your application to an administrative appeal rather than a variance; because it is a non-conforming lot, the Board can review the facts determine the impact on the property.  In addition, the Board could make a decision without making the applicant meet the four cases of hardship.   Ms. Pyle retracted her application for a dimensional variance and asks for an administrative appeal to reconstruct the bay window.
"       Motioned by Stephen, seconded by Charlene to close this portion of the public hearing.  The motion passed with a 5 - 0 vote.

Having no further discussion:
"       Stephen motion to grant the applicants request for an administrative appeal to re-construct a damaged window bay an additional 23-inches using 4.2.3.C for a non-conforming lot in structure.  The motion passed with a  4 - 0 - 1 abstention vote.

Ms. Pyle thanked the Board and said it was a wonderful experience.

Approval of Minutes:    
July 5, 2011:
"       Stephen approve the minutes upon amending the one name, seconded by Charlene, the vote passed with a 5 - 0.

CEO Report: none

Approval of bills:  
"       Stephen motioned to pay Portland Press Herald in the amount of $36.90 for the July legal ad, Charlene seconded the motion.  The motion passed with a 5- 0 vote.
Maine Townsman

Other Business:
   Stephen was wondering what kind of merit does 6.2.B.2  if instead of give a reduction of a 20% of a setback - reduction of 20% of what is there?  He explained they are limited to primary residence reduce up to 20% instead of giving 20% off a setback give them 20% of what is there, but with a 20-foot limitation - never going below 20-feet??
Penny asked for clarification - Stephen explained and wondered if it's too much leeway 6.2.B.2 allows the Board to reduce the setback 20%.If the applicant is already at 31 feet the board can't even help them at all.  With all these non-conforming properties if it's too much leeway or does it give us to 20% of the existing setback?  Fred agreed and said it would be helpful with the upcoming changes along Route 112 (from Tory Hill to the Saco line).  With the septic systems, houses, garages etc, that are too close to the road.   It would offer more options.   My understanding is this kind of procedure would have to go through the Selectman, the Planning Board and a town vote.  Either the June town meeting of the better yet the November elections.

Communicate through Stephen or Krystal if there is a next meeting or he will call special session - to re-word this section of the ordinance.

"       Stephen motioned to close the meeting at 7:33 pm, seconded by Charlene followed by an anonymous vote.

Respectfully submitted by Krystal Dyer

________________________________                Date ___________________
Stephen Heroux, Chairman

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