BOARD OF APPEALS
Town of Frye Island
A. MEMBERS PRESENT: Bruce Nisula, Barbara Aranyi, Ernest Wrzesinsky,
B. OTHERS PRESENT: Neill and Jad Bouaird, Lots 1655 & 1835
C. LOCATION: Frye Island Community Center
D. CALL TO ORDER: By Chairperson Bruce Nisula @ 7:04 PM
E. NEW BUSINESS:
1. Bruce Nisula opened with a discussion of term limits and whether a Board Member could be reappointed to consecutive terms. It appears clear under the Maine Municipal Associations Board of Appeals Manual, Chapter One, (Creation/Appointment) Page 7 under “Vacancy” second paragraph that reappointment to consecutive terms are acceptable. The Frye Island Ordinance has no prohibition of reappointments.
The years remaining on existing terms for each Appeals Board member was not clear. The New appointment for the current year could occur at the Frye Island Board of Selectman’s meeting on 5/25/02 at 3:00 PM. Bruce pointed out that term periods for each member should be clarified and that whomever was newly appointed to the current term must be sworn in prior to our Appeals Board meeting on July 26, 2002. It is also expected that an Alternate Member to the Appeals Board would be appointed at the selectman’s meeting on 5/25/02.
2. Reelection of officers: It was moved and seconded that the current officers be reelected.
A. Moved and seconded – Bruce Nisula for Board Chairperson for the current year. Approved Unanimously.
B. Moved and seconded – Watson Clark for the position of Board Secretary for the current year. Approved Unanimously.
3. Discussion was opened regarding the Request for Variance on lots 1653 & 1654 by Daniel O. & Linda P. Seaward. The Seawards withdrew the request for variance in a letter to Code Enforcement Officer Bill Foye dated today, May 24, 2002. The Seawards did not state in the letter any reason for the withdrawal.
A letter from Alexander Wong of the Department of Environmental Protection was read by Chairperson Nisula and discussed. Mr. Wong stated several points in his letter that are summarized as follows:
Mr. Wong does not believe the Seawards qualify for a variance hearing, and they do not pass the reasonable return, unique conditions, and self-infliction parts of the test. His reasons for this position are summarized as follows:
A. Structure setback to the greatest practical extent: In attachment C, the Seawards show that there is sufficient space within the building window for their proposed building and deck.
B. Reasonable Rate of return: Attachment D shows that there is enough room to angle the proposed building and deck so that the closest portion would not encroach upon the setback. Mr. Wong further states “The fact that any building may be placed on the site without a variance constitutes a reasonable rate of return”.
C. Unique Conditions: “Attachments C & D both show that lot 1652 has the same meandering shoreline. While the entire lot is not shown on the attachment, I suspect that lot 1652 has a similar setback situation to deal with.”
D. Self-Infliction: “While the Warranty Deed may not have shown the setbacks correctly, it is not a site survey. While I may empathize with the Seawards situation of getting less building window than they thought, they purchased the property under the existing ordinance and must abide by it. That the Seawards may have inadvertently purchased a different property than they had hoped is not the issue at hand, and a variance proceeding is not the appropriate venue to address such an issue.”
Mr. Wong also points out that the 100 foot setback applies to all clearing for development, and not just buildings. “ If the Seawards wish to create a lawn, that area must start 100 feet from the normal high water line, and any clearing standards found within the town’s ordinance”.
Mr. Wong stated that in his opinion the Seaward’s request for variance must be denied.
It was discussed by the Board that in previous meetings and actions of the Appeals Board that due to the recreational and seasonal nature of Frye Island homes, decks and porches hold greater importance in the use and enjoyment of the property and in the determination of reasonable return than would be found in other communities where homes are used year round.
4. The Board discussed possible rules related to the appropriate procedures for Appeals Board Members regarding the reporting by Board Members of possible code violations. It was suggested that any such occurrences be reported in writing, and that the Board Member abstain from discussions and any Board decisions related to such an issue. It was agreed to table this issue until the next meeting and the Chairman and Secretary work on a policy draft for consideration at that meeting.
5. Future Meetings:
July 26, 2002
August 23, 2002
6. Moved and seconded that the meeting be adjourned at 7:58. Approved Unanimously.
These minutes were approved at the July 26, 2002 meeting of the Board of Appeals.
Watson Clark, Secretary
Board of Appeals