REVIEW BOARD February 27, 2019
Members Present: Tim Maxham (Chair); Doug Patterson (Vice Chair); Jim Brightwell (alternate); Ross Brown, Sherry Corbin; Nate Hayward; Gareth Hunt; Liza Kilcoyne
Others Present: Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator)
Members Absent: None
Public Present: John Daly
Steve and Muna Conlon
Call to Order: Meeting was called to order by T. Maxham at 7:00 p.m.
Changes to Agenda: None
Public Input: None
Hearing: 19-37-KL029 Variance Request – John Daly (Verado LLC)
- Maxham opened the hearing at 7:00 p.m.
Notice & Oath
- Patterson read the hearing warning. T. Maxham administered the oath to the attending members of the public.
Appearing on behalf of the applicant:
- Ryan Hereth, GeoBarns, contractor for proposed construction,
- John Daly, property owner.
Statement of Ryan Hereth and John Daly
The applicant is seeking a variance associated with reconstruction of the house at 29 Keeler Bay Road. Mr. Daly acquired the property for initial use as a year-round residence with the goal of eventually establishing a home-based business that will provide shore-side support for his seasonal business on Fish Bladder Island.
Mr. Daly and his contractor, GeoBarns, are planning to replace the existing dwelling, but would like to re-use the foundation to limit the environmental impact of excavating and disposing of the foundation material. Since the existing house is partially within the 75’ lake setback, Mr. Daly is applying for a variance to the lake setback requirement.
Mr. Daly said that he has engaged Buermann Engineering to replace the existing septic, which has not failed but is within the lake setback. The new septic will be outside of the setback and located on a nearby parcel that Mr. Daly also owns (aka “the barn lot”).
Mr. Hereth said that the appearance of the new house will be in a Vermont vernacular and similar to the boat barn that GeoBarns has built on a nearby lot. In addition to improved esthetics, the new building will improve the sight lines to the lake from nearby properties by orienting the roof along an east-west axis (perpendicular to the shore). The original structure had a 60’ roofline, with 48’ being two stories. The new design drops an additional 12’ of the roofline down to one story.
Mr. Daly said that he was hoping to request a change in conditional use based on an overall reduction in non-conformity in volume, and in the height of the roofline overall.
- Patterson said that per Article IV Section 404 A (2) the reduction in nonconformity would have to occur in the portion of the structure within the setback (the proposed structure is bifurcated by the 75’ lake setback line). D. Patterson also said that under the regulation, changes to a non-conforming structure may be permitted by the Board where the footprint or height within the setback is reduced. Volume is not a criterion set forth in the regulations by which non-conformity is measured, and the portion of the building outside the non-conforming area is not considered.
After discussion amongst the Board members and examination of the plans presented by the applicant, the conclusion was reached that what the applicant needed to do was to reduce the height of the proposed structure in the non-conforming area so as not to increase the degree of non-conformity.
- Corbin asked if the cupola could be lowered to be below the height of the existing building. Mr. Hereth, consulting with Mr. Daly, said yes, the cupola could be lowered.
- Patterson said that to comply with the regulation, the applicant would also need to (for example) remove the roof over the deck in order to make the roof the same height as the existing building and not increase the non-conformity as defined by the height requirement of Section 404. Additional discussion ensued on the difficulty of measuring a reduction in height for the proposed new structure given the varying height of the roofline and change in orientation of the roof, without taking into account volume.
- Corbin asked what the total square feet of the current and new buildings are. Mr. Hereth said the existing building is 4413 square feet, the proposed building is 4080 square feet, a reduction of 330 square feet. The footprint stays the same.
- Maxham asked the applicant to present his responses to the 5 criteria for variance. Mr. Hereth said that the unique physical circumstance was the good condition of the existing foundation; if the existing foundation could not be re-used, there would be additional disturbance to the lot to excavate the old foundation, and volume of debris that would need to be sent to the landfill. There has been no hardship created by the applicant. The new building will not alter but will complement the character of the neighborhood, and will reduce the 2nd floor footprint by 333 square feet.
- Corbin asked what the setback is to the lots on either side. Mr. Hereth replied that the setback to the south is 27’, and to the north 35’.
- Patterson asked if the Board was evaluating the parcel as a business or as a residence. Mr. Daly said that he is planning to use the parcel as a residence only at this time.
- Corbin asked if the applicant had room on the lot to build the house in a fully conformant way, outside of the lake setback. T. Maxham also asked if the applicant had enough square footage on the lot outside of the setback to build the new structure. Mr. Daly responded that there was enough room on the lot to build the house outside of the setback.
- Maxham asked if the Board granted the variance, would the applicant be OK with a condition that the existing foundation had to be re-used. Mr. Daly responded yes.
- Corbin asked what the elevation of the house was. Martha Taylor-Varney responded 111’.
The hearing was closed by T. Maxham at 8:02 p.m.
Hearing: Continuation of Clifford Variance Request (19-15-MR067)
The hearing was resumed by T. Maxham at 8:06 p.m. Mr. Maxham noted that those in attendance had been previously sworn in.
Statement of Mark Clifford
Mr. Clifford said he was unsuccessful in developing any new information regarding where Martin Road ends.
After discussion on various alternatives for proceeding, S. Corbin said that the right-of-way for Sunset Beach road was established on the Larrow (now Corbin) property, thus in the worst case the edge of the right-of-way is at Mr. Clifford’s property line for the northern-most two of his parcels that abut the Larrow property. Mr. Clifford thus needs a variance for the setback of his garage (an accessory building) to the private road right-of-way, which in the Shoreland District is 15 feet.
The Board and Mr. Clifford discussed that he has the option to approach the Selectboard to clarify where the town (Martin) road ends, and that this course is desirable to protect Mr. Clifford’s interest and those of future owners of his and neighboring properties.
Mr. Clifford said that he has State Shoreland approval in hand, and has permission to remove the tree to the rear of the proposed garage, but that he would prefer not to do so.
- Maxham said that to grant a variance, the Board needs to know how far the corner of the garage is from the property line along the road, since the number of feet from the property line will be a condition.
After discussion between the Board and Mr. Clifford regarding siting of the building, it was agreed that Mr. Clifford needs a variance for 67’ from the lake, and 13.5’ from his property line.
- Maxham closed the hearing at 8:36 p.m.
Review of Minutes
- Corbin moved to accept the minutes of minutes of January 9th. D. Patterson seconded. The motion passed by acclamation.
The Administrator’s Report was delivered by Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator)
Hall-Blasberg was settled between the parties and will not go to appeal.
The February 26th meeting of the DRB will consider a new application from the owner of Sebs, and conduct a deliberation for the Daly and potentially the Clifford applications.
On March 13th there will be a hearing for a conditional use for a duplex to be built on Hill Road on a lot owned by Christine Mack.
- Corbin move to adjourn the business meeting; the motion was seconded by Liza and carried by acclamation at 9:16 p.m.
James G. Brightwell
Clerk for S. Hero Development Review Board
Signed: ____________________________________________ Date: __________________
For the Development Review Board
These minutes are unofficial until approved at the next regularly-scheduled meeting. All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.