Zoning Board of Adjustment
April 25, 2018
1. Call to Order
David Gulbrandsen called the meeting to order at 7:10 PM.
Prior to the meeting, there was a site visit at 6:30 PM at 1051 Victory Drive. David Gulbrandsen, Willis Wood, Ethan McNaughton, Ed Morris, Doug Lyman, and Shane Selmer were in attendance.
At 6:45 PM, there was a site visit at Daniels Construction. David Gulbrandsen, Willis Wood, Ethan McNaughton, Ed Morris, Mark Thompson, and Hal Wilkins were in attendance.
Board members present at the meeting were Willis Wood, Ethan McNaughton, and David Gulbrandsen. Ed Morris, the Town Manager, and Hal Wilkins, former land use administrator was in attendance also.
The audience members were Shane Selmer, Mark and Allison Thompson.
3. Comments from the Public
There were no comments from the public.
4. Approval of Prior Meeting Minutes: April 26, 2017 & October 25, 2017
Willis Wood made a motion to accept the minutes of April 26, 2017 as written. David Gulbrandsen seconded it. Ethan McNaughton abstained. David Gulbrandsen and Willis Wood voted to pass the minutes.
Willis Wood made a motion to accept the minutes of October 25, 2017 as written. Ethan McNaughton seconded it. All were unanimous to pass the minutes.
5. Public Hearing
a.Shane Selmer at 1051 Victory Drive (Parcel # 050220) to construct a garage within the frontline setback in RR1 Zoning District
David Gulbrandsen opened the hearing at 7:15 PM by reading the Notice of Public Hearing. There was no exparte communication or conflict of interest among the Board members. Shane Selmer affirmed and has interested party status. Ed Morris stated that this is located in RR1 Zoning District. The setback on the front will be 40 feet and the rear and side will be 25 feet. On the corner, there needs to be a 40-foot setback and he only has 25 feet with the road. Therefore, Shane Selmer is asking for a variance of 15 feet on the corner.
Exhibit #1 was the zoning permit application. Exhibit #2 was the letter from Ed Morris dated April 18, 2018. Exhibit #3 was the site plan sketch owned by 1051 Victory Drive created by Shane Selmer.
Shane Selmer stated that he would like to build a 30 foot by 40-foot garage as shown on the map. Most areas will need a 5-foot variance, but the corner needs 15 feet. His property drops off by the pool area. On the north side, the land slopes downward. The back of the home on the north side is where the septic is in between the house and pool. The leech field is in the back too. The north side has the water well and an oil tank. If the garage was located on that side, it would block access to them. It will be a two-story garage with a 45-degree roof pitch that goes north to south.
David Gulbrandsen asked if there was any way to decrease the required variance to the south. Shane Selmer stated that the power poles are there that go to the house. The height of the garage would impede the power line. Willis Wood asked if he was going to eliminate the current driveway. Shane Selmer stated that he was and Wes Hazeltine had been out and did not oppose the location of the new driveway. Hal Wilkins stated that he has an email from Wes Hazeltine. Ethan McNaughton asked if it would be in compliance if it was changed to 30 feet. Shane Selmer stated that it would still not be in compliance. Willis Wood asked how he would turn into the garage from the new driveway. Shane Selmer stated that there would be a circular turn between the two birch trees.
Ethan McNaughton reviewed the variance criteria (Zoning Bylaw 9.4.1). He stated that it looks like it could fit in the front of the house. Shane Selmer stated that if it was in the front of the house, he would have septic concerns because that is how he gets it pumped out. David Gulbrandsen wanted to know if any of his neighbors have garages. Shane Selmer stated that some of his neighbors do have garages.
Shane Selmer stated that he has lived there for 25 years. Willis Wood stated that it could be pushed towards the pool. The fence and concrete pad would have to be removed. It might give you 5 feet. Shane Selmer stated that if he had to do that, he could fill in the pool. Ethan McNaughton stated that if it was pushed back to the pool it would go from 15 feet out of compliance to 10 feet but would still need a variance. Shane Selmer mentioned that he would be concerned about the power lines. Willis Wood wanted to know if the run off from the garage will affect the pool. Shane Selmer stated that he would put up rain gutters.
Ethan McNaughton stated that it will be 30 feet wide which will be two cars wide and two cars deep. He asked the applicant if he could still have the lift, but only one lane. David Gulbrandsen stated that the corner will always be 10 feet. Shane Selmer stated that he was hoping to have a woodworking shop in it too. He would have to eliminate that. Willis Wood asked if the wires go from the pole to the house. He stated that it could be moved 5 feet north. Shane Selmer stated that the power lines are located on the south side. Willis Wood stated that the pole could be moved and put the feed underground to the house. Shane Selmer stated that he did not check into that. He would need to run the power back from the house to the garage underground. He would need to move the meters and change out the boxes, breakers, and the panel in the house. It would be more expensive for him.
Shane Selmer stated that the house was built in the 1970’s. He has no idea when the pool was built. It was there when he bought the property. If he leveled off the driveway, it would be too steep to get into the garage. Willis Wood stated that if it is moved towards the pool, there would still be one corner that will be out of compliance. Ethan McNaughton asked Shane Selmer why the Board should give him a variance compared to other people. Shane Selmer stated that the topography of the land, the north section is sloped, and he would not want to build it in front of the house. David Gulbrandsen asked Shane Selmer if a garage was reasonable use of the property. Shane Selmer stated that it was. Ethan McNaughton wanted to know if there were any hardships with the steepness of the driveway now. Shane Selmer stated that it does wash out with heavy rain and there is a lot of runoff. There were no additional comments from the audience members.
Willis Wood made a motion to close the hearing at 7:45 PM. Ethan McNaughton seconded it. All were unanimous.
b. Daniels Construction at 4434 US Route 5 (Parcel #100002) to construct an addition within frontline setback in the Industrial Zoning District
David Gulbrandsen opened the hearing at 7:50 PM by reading the Notice of Public Hearing. Mark Thompson, president of Daniels Construction, affirmed and has interested party status. There was no exparte communication or conflict of interest among the Board members. David Gulbrandsen stated that Daniels Construction has performed work on his property and the company that he works for has business with Weld-Tech which is a subsidiary of Daniels Construction. He feels that he could still be fair. There was no objection from Mark Thompson.
Ed Morris stated that Daniels Construction has provided the waste water system and Hal Wilkins has provided the variances with the rules and answers as previous zoning administrator.
Mark Thompson stated that it will be a 30 foot by 30-foot addition to the current office. The building could be reduced some, but no bigger than 30 feet. He is looking for an 8-foot variance. There is a wetland buffer in the back which requires a 50-foot variance. There are other limits too. In the front of the building is Route 5 and some maple trees, so the north side is the only available side. If it was moved closer to the wetland, he might gain 5 or 7 feet. The architectural design will replicate the current building. The existing building was built in 1810. The existing office has six people and is full. Daniels Construction continues to grow. He is need of a bridge design person but is limited due to the size of the current office. Therefore, he needs to hire another employee and have another bathroom. The new addition would have a bathroom, breakroom, and a conference room. There would be small offices on the 2nd floor. It will appear as a single story. The septic design was designed for a 3-bedroom home.
The State of Vermont required a water system due to 25 employees within Daniels Construction. The current system is designed for up to 30 employees. There will be a drilled well and treatment system for the water system in the back. The McNab family’s water will come from Daniels water system. He stated that all employees have access to the water source. Wel Tech has a building across the street with one employee. There is a maintenance employee in the maintenance building. Weld- Tech is growing too but should stay in that same building.
Exhibit #1 is the application. Exhibit #2 is the revised site plan presented by the applicant at the hearing. Exhibit #3 is the design criteria of the existing septic which is two pages. Exhibit #4 is the photograph of current office spaces.
Mark Thompson stated that he would like to retire in a year or so but wants to make sure that there are enough employees and office space. In 2000, Daniels Construction paid off the stockholders and became an employee stock ownership. The employees have a stock based on their pay. Neil Daniels is the chairman and Peter Daniels is the vice chairman. David Gulbrandsen asked if the current office is in compliance. Mark Thompson stated that it is not. It is 2 feet out of compliance. Willis Wood stated that the addition would be 2 feet narrower than the current building. Mark Thompson stated that with plumbing and the corridor they could get away with it. He wants to try and come in compliance with it.
Ethan McNaughton stated that this addition will not impact the character of the current building. If you could figure out another way, would this affect the character of the building. Mark Thompson stated that if the addition was pushed back it would make a dead spot and would not be flushed with the current building. He will have a door that goes between the two buildings so the financial director and accounts payable person would be near each other. It would have a different appearance if it was pushed back. They will need an outside door for the foreman and other personnel to enter through. The plumbing core will stay the way it is.
Ethan McNaughton stated that with the wetlands in the back, there is only one side to build the addition on. Mark Thompson stated that there are restrictions with the wetlands. He could do a separate building, but it would make it difficult. The garage was put in 1970’s before he stated working there. The office building is a reasonable use of the property. He will also address handicap access with this addition. Exhibit #5 was the Public Water Construction Permit which is two pages. It is not relevant to the addition, but Mark Thompson provided it. The Board took out the original site plan from their packets because it was invalid.
Willis Wood stated that there is usually a 50-foot setback on Class II wetlands. Mark Thompson stated that the State of Vermont said that there needs to be a 50-foot setback. The State delineated the wetlands on the site plan when VELCO was done.
Willis Wood made a motion to close the hearing at 8:22 PM. Ethan McNaughton seconded it. All were unanimous to close the hearing.
Ethan McNaughton made a motion to adjourn at 8:32 PM. Willis Wood seconded it. All were unanimous to adjourn the meeting.