ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
October 12th, 2011
Members Present: Dan Beers, Ken Chester, Hunt Dowse, Jeff Reder, Linda Renna, Alison Rossiter, and Linda Coughlan, Recording Secretary
Others Attending: Jonathan Gibson, Elinor Johnson, Barbara Caverly, Steve Fillebrown, Carol Eva, William Eva, Andy Peterson, Marcia Neuhardt, Carolyn Boland, John Jordan, Mike Fallon, Georgiann Fallon, Mary Covington, Mary Schneckenburger, Rich LeFebvre, Jon Grosjean, Caitlin Mullin, Mary Garland, Bonnie Drummond, Bobbie Coffin, Jarvis Coffin, Edna Drasba, Judy Copeland, Kathleen Villeneuve, Jim Hrdlicka, Jeanette Baker, Elizabeth Kerwin, Jean Govatos, Dennis Rossiter
7:00 P.M.- Alison Rossiter called the meeting to order. She noted that this was a public meeting which the public has the right to attend but the board is not required to take any comments from the applicants, the abutters or anyone else. She said the board was meeting to have a discussion on whether to grant a rehearing on the decision they had made on August 24th which approved an application by Jonathan and Camille B. Gibson for a home based business.
Alison said the first order of business was to review the minutes of the September 28th meeting. Hunt Dowse moved that the minutes of the September 28th meeting be approved as distributed. Linda Renna seconded the motion and the board voted unanimously to approve the minutes.
Alison next went on to identify the members who would be voting tonight which were: Hunt Dowse, Alison Rossiter, Ken Chester, Dan Beers and Linda Renna. She noted that Jeff Reder would be acting as an alternate and could participate in the discussion but would not be able to vote.
Alison said the board would be deliberating and discussing points made in the appeal motion for a rehearing. She added there was a significant amount of information to review in their consideration of whether or not to grant the rehearing.
Alison asked the board members who would like to start the discussion. Hunt said he wasn't sure where to start with so much information in the motion. He added that he wasn't there for the hearing but he had spent considerable time reviewing the minutes and the appeal. Hunt said he would wait until the others have made their comments.
Alison reminded the board of the statement from the September 28th minutes relative to a rehearing which read, "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 doing 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."
Dan Beers said one issue that he had picked up on in the motion was the appraisal that had been submitted by Attorney Hanna regarding the effect of the home based business on property values. He questioned how the business would affect other properties in the area or on the value of the house in question.
Hunt said there was a lack of information on the other properties and maybe the applicant should also supply an appraisal.
Linda Renna said the board did discuss the issue at the hearing but it would be a balance to have another appraisal for comparison.
Hunt questioned whether the board's opinion and knowledge of the area would counter the expert's opinion in the appraisal. Linda said the board did have an opinion but it was subjective. Hunt said it might be better to have a professional appraisal.
Alison said the consensus of the board indicated that they thought an appraisal from the applicant would be beneficial. Alison asked that Linda Coughlan communicate to Jon Gibson the board's suggestion that he consider getting an appraisal on the impact of a home based business on that property.
Alison asked the board if they had other points to bring up at this time.
Jeff Reder said he had one issue to bring up. He said the motion had listed many things from the hearing that Hanna had found to be unreasonable. Jeff said out of those, he did find the matter of Jon Grosjean recusing himself and then participating in the hearing to be a reasonable issue for review. Jeff said case law had been referenced in the motion and he believed that as a board they could have done a better job procedurally.
Dan said he found these two points were the ones that stood out to him.
Alison said these seemed to be the two points that may be cause for consideration of a rehearing. She said they have two choices to consider. They could decide to rehear the case or deny the request for a rehearing. Alison asked the board if they felt comfortable making statements regarding whether to grant the appeal or not and added they have in the past gone around the table to get a sense of the board's feeling.
Ken Chester said after reading the section in the handbook on rehearing, he thought they should rehear the case for the two reasons they had discussed.
Dan made a motion to rehear the Jon & Camille B. Gibson case on October 26th. Hunt seconded the motion. In discussion of the motion, Hunt suggested the time be moved to 4:00 P.M. The board voted unanimously in favor of the motion to rehear the application by Jon & Camille G. Gibson for a special exception for a home based business on October 26th at 4:00 P.M.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:20 P.M.