ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
September 28th, 2011
Members Present: Dan Beers, Ken Chester, Hunt Dowse, Jon Grosjean, Alison Rossiter, and Linda Coughlan, Recording Secretary
Others Attending: Jonathan Gibson, John Jordan, Beth Grosjean, Eleanor Duval, Barbara Caverly, Ben Billings, Peg McLeod, Bobbie Coffin, Jarvis Coffin, Marcia Neuhardt, Michael Fallon, Georgiann Fallon, Mary Covington, Jane Billings, Eleanor Fillebrown, Andy Peterson, Dennis Rossiter
7:00 P.M.- Alison Rossiter called the meeting to order. She noted that this was a public meeting subject to the requirements of the Right to Know Law which requires notices being posted at the appropriate places within the required time frame which had been done. She asked the board members to state their names for the record as having been present for this meeting. Alison went on to say this is a public meeting concerning a motion for rehearing that had been submitted on September 23rd regarding a decision the ZBA made on August 24th. She said the public has the right to attend a public meeting but the board will not be taking any comments tonight from the petitioner, the applicant, the abutters or the public. Alison referenced Page IV-3 of the zoning handbook which states, "A person has a right to apply for a rehearing and the board has the authority to grant it. However, the board is not required to grant the rehearing and should use its judgment in deciding whether justice will be served by so doing. In trying to be fair to a person asking for a rehearing, the board may be unfair to others who will be forced to defend their interests for a second time."
Alison noted that the motion for rehearing had been received on September 23rd, day 30 of the appeal period.
Alison said given there was a lot of material to review in the motion; she suggested three choices that the board might wish to consider.
1) Make a decision to grant or deny the motion tonight.
2) Spend time to review the motion and decide as a board that either the material in the motion supports a rehearing or that the motion doesn't meet the standards for a rehearing.
3) Given the amount of material in the motion, the board could decide to seek counsel from the town attorney in time to reconvene after reviewing his comments.
Alison asked the board if they could think of any other choices that should be considered and they indicated they were satisfied with the three that she had identified. She noted that the appeal period for the board's decision was 30 days from the date the motion was received which had been on September 23rd. That would give the board until October 23rd to make their determination.
Hunt Dowse said the appeal lists 69 points which should be reviewed and they would need to make some kind of determination for each. He said the motion was complex enough that he thought they should obtain legal advice.
Ken Chester said he thought obtaining legal counsel was a good idea.
Dan Beers said at the end of the August 24th hearing, he thought it was mentioned that a rehearing would only be held if new information was brought forward. Hunt referenced the zoning handbook page IV-4 which stated that, "the coming to light of new evidence is not a requirement for the granting of a rehearing." Hunt said a rehearing may also be considered if the petitioner feels the board made a procedural mistake.
Hunt said the board could make a decision based on the attorney's advice. There may be points in the motion that the attorney feels need to be addressed and corrected. Hunt said they could also seek his advice on whether each of the 69 points in the motion need to be addressed or if only the items that the attorney feels are at issue should be addressed.
Hunt moved that the board seek town counsel on the motion for a rehearing as a result of their decision of August 24th. Ken Chester seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.
Alison said she would inform the Select Board of their decision to seek the advice of town attorney Bart Mayer. She said the Board would meet next on October 12th at 7:00 P.M.
Alison adjourned the public meeting at 7:30 P.M.
After the public meeting, the Board briefly discussed who would contact the attorney. Alison said would contact the attorney after getting his phone number from the office.
September 30th, 2011