BOARD OF APPEALS
Town of Frye Island
A. MEMBERS PRESENT: Bruce Nisula, Watson Clark, Ernest Wrzesinsky (Chairperson), Barbara Aranyi, and recent appointee to the Board Tim McCarthy.
B. OTHERS PRESENT: None.
C. LOCATION: Frye Island Community Center.
D. CALL TO ORDER: Chairperson Ernest Wrzesinsky called the meeting to order at 7:10 PM.
E. PRIOR MINUTES: The Board reviewed the minutes of the last meeting, dated
May 28, 2004. A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes. Approved Unanimously.
F. WELCOME OF NEW MEMBERS: The Chairperson and Board members welcomed Tim McCarthy to the Board. Tim was advised he must be sworn in at the town office prior to official participation in Board meetings. Newly appointed member John Gardner was not available for this meeting.
1. The terms of office was recently clarified by the Board of Selectmen as three year terms starting July 1 and expiring June 30 of the third year. The terms for current Board members expire as follows:
Watson Clark June 30, 2004
Paul Lyons June 30, 2004
Bruce Nisula June 30, 2005
Barbara Aranyi June 30, 2005
Ernest Wrzesinsky June 30, 2006
John Gardner Term starts July 1, 2004, Expires June 30, 2007
Tim McCarthy Term starts July 1, 2004, Expires June 30, 2007
G. BIDDING BON VOYAGE TO DEPARTING MEMBERS: The Chairman and Board members expressed appreciation for the contributions made to the Board by retiring members Watson Clark and Paul Lyons.
H. NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF BOARD SECRETARY: It was suggested to the Board by Bruce Nisula that the appointment of a new Secretary be tabled to the July 23, 2004 meeting when the new Board members would be in place and could participate in the nomination and election process. The Board approved unanimously.
I. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
1. Bruce Nisula reviewed several considerations and responsibilities of the Board for current and newly appointed Board members. The Board strives to have a 21 day grace period from the time an appeal comes to the Board to the actual meeting date when the case will be reviewed. This 21 day period allows for several events to occur as required by statute, such as notification to abutters, posting in the FINS, and posting notices for public review. The full 21 days may not be required if all the notices can be accomplished properly.
It is the Boards responsibility to review a case based on the Dimensional Criteria of the case as presented in the hearing and not future use.
Each Board member is provided a packet of information containing the application and other information as required in the application process. Each Board member should do homework prior to the scheduled meeting and be familiar with the facts as contained in the packet. But Board members must avoid any discussion or ex parte communications related to a potential case prior to a formal public Board consideration of the case. To discuss the case in any forum other than the formal public hearing could require the Board member to recuse him or herself from the proceedings.
There are three parts to the review process;
A. The Finding of Fact
B. The Conclusion Relating to Undue Hardship
C. Notice of Decision.
The strict application of the term undue hardship means:
(i) That the land in question cannot yield a reasonable return unless a variance is granted. (Reasonable return does not mean maximum return.)
(ii) That the need for a variance is due to the unique circumstances of the property and not to the general conditions of the neighborhood.
(iii) That the granting of a variance will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood
(iv) That the hardship is not the result of action taken by the applicant or prior owner
The Board Chairperson or Secretary generally prepares a preliminary draft of the Finding of Facts from the information as presented in the application. This process helps expedite the Boards entry into the review of the case and aids in providing the applicant the decision on a timely basis.
The Board must limit any variances granted as strictly as possible in order to ensure conformance with the purposes and provisions of the town zoning ordinances to the greatest extent possible and may impose such conditions to a variance as it deems necessary. Bruce Nisula reviewed a recent case where a request for a variance of 22 feet was reduced to a less intrusive variance of 12 feet which still allows for the completion of a successful project.
It is the Boards goal to issue the Notice of Decision prior to adjournment of the meeting to allow the applicant adequate time for response, which could be either an appeal which must be filed within 45 days or a chance to schedule construction if the decision was favorable. Given the six months of construction time available on Frye Island timing is critical.
3. Barbara Aranyi pointed out that the scheduled Board of Appeals meetings were not posted regularly in the FINS. The Board secretary will request that meeting dates be posted in the FINS. Barbara also pointed out that she was still working on a schedule of getting Board members an opportunity to attend the Workshop for Appeals Board Members as presented by the Maine Municipal Association.
4. Board members who were still due ferry tickets for attendance at 2003 meetings were encouraged to see Wayne Fournier at the town office.
J. FUTURE MEETING DATES:
July 23, 2004
August 20, 2004
September 24, 2004
October 8, 2004
It was stated by the Chairman and Bruce Nisula that unless there is a case for review or administrative issues to discuss a meeting may be cancelled.
K. ADJOURMENT A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 P.M. Unanimously approved.
Secretary, Board of Appeals
FIBA Minutes 06-25-04