BOARD OF APPEALS
Town of Frye Island

Minutes of Meeting of June 25, 1999

  1. MEMBERS PRESENT:  Barbara Aranyi, Stan Karpacz, Paul Lyons, Bruce Nisula, and Robert Roberts.

  2. OTHERS PRESENT:  (see sign in sheet)  

  3. LOCATION:  Frye Island Community Center

  4. CALL TO ORDER:  The Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

  5. PRIOR MINUTES:  The draft minutes of the 5/30/99 meeting were reviewed. A motion was made and seconded to approve the Minutes of Meeting of May 30, 1999.  Unanimously approved.

  6. OLD BUSINESS:   1)  A change to the Rules of  the Board of Appeals concerning the format for submission of an appeal by an applicant was discussed.  A motion was made and seconded to adopt the rule that all applicants are required to fill out Form 2, entitled, “Application form,” in order for the application to be considered complete.  Unanimously approved.  2)  Changes to Form 7 and Form 8 (drafts dated 6/25/99) were discussed. A motion was made and seconded to approve Form 7 and Form 8 as modified.  Unanimously approved

  7. NEW BUSINESS:

  1. Variance Appeal submitted by Rita Stansfield of Lot 1621.  Mr. Stan Karpacz did not participate in the Board’s deliberations on this appeal because he is an abutter.  Prior to beginning the testimony, the Chairman instructed that during their presentations to the Board all applicants give their specific justifications for the four standards for Undue Hardship.  He read and made available to the applicants the following:   “Justification of Variance:  In order, for a variance to be granted, the applicant must demonstrate to the Board that strict application of the terms of the Town ordinance would result in undue hardship to the applicant.  The Board may grant a variance from the dimensional standards of a zoning ordinance when strict application of the ordinance to the applicant and the applicant’s property would cause a practical difficulty and when all of the following conditions exist:  The land in question cannot yield a reasonable return unless the variance is granted.  The need for a variance is due to the unique circumstances of the property and not to the general conditions of the neighborhood.  The granting of a variance will not alter the essential character of the locality.  The hardship is not the result of action taken by the appellant or a prior owner.”

Mr. Don Hadley, agent for Mr. Stansfield gave testimony on the application giving substantially the same facts as in the written application.  Further, he testified that the current owner purchased the property in 1975, and produced a deed showing a septic easement was obtained at that time.   Mr. Paul Osborne showed an architectural plan (not yet finalized) which indicated a 26’ deep by 30’ wide structure; however, he was unsure of the actual setback required.   Patricia Karpacz asked if the owner’s original intent in purchasing the property could be determined.  Jay Niles an abutter complained about the lack of information regarding the site plan.  Patricia Karpacz repeated this sentiment and pointed out that depending on what was done there could be safety problems on the road, which has several curves.  Jim Kuiken inquired about how the State got involved with variances in the Shoreland Zone.  The Chairman said they should be notified by the Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) when a variance is being considered.  The Board discussed the dimensional issues and shared concern with the community over the closeness to the road.  The applicant amended the variance request from a 30’ reduction in the setback to a 20’ reduction in the setback. A motion was made and seconded to approve the following Findings of Fact: 

1.      The owner of the property is Rita Stansfield.

2.      The property is located at Lot 1621, in the Residential zoning district (Shoreland).

3.      The applicant is Don Hadley, who presents a letter of agency.

4.      The applicant proposes to construct a new building/dwelling on the subject property.

5.      A completed application was submitted at the time of the hearing.

6.      A public hearing was held on June 25, 1999.

7.      Relevant sections of the ordinance are: Land Use Ordinances, 101-6; Shoreland Zoning Ordinance, Section 102-15.

8.      Dimensional standards required by the ordinance are:   “ Front Setback fifty (50) feet

9.      The variance request consists of a 20 foot setback reduction to allow construction of a 34’ by 34’ dwelling.

10.  The land is being used as vacant.

11.  The conditions and character of the neighborhood are not unusual.

12.  The conditions of the property are such that the road abutting the property is 160’  from the water at  its midpoint, while the Ordinance requires 50’ from the road and 100’ from the water.

13.  The reasons presented by the appellant for the variance request is that “due to current lake and street setback requirements, lot cannot be built on without a variance.”  

14. Other relevant facts include the following:  Applicant requested change of setback request from a 30 foot reduction to a 20 foot reduction at the meeting. 

Unanimously approved.

The board members discussed their conclusions regarding the justifications for each of the four undue hardship standards.  A motion was made and seconded to approve the following  Conclusions

The land in question cannot yield a reasonable return because it is  impossible to use for residential purposes without a variance. 

There are unique circumstances of the property which are not similar to the general conditions because of the shallowness of the lot. 

The proposed use will not alter the essential character of the locality because other lots have dwellings similar in this position.

The hardship is not the result of action taken by the appellant or a prior   owner  because the lot was purchased prior to the Ordinance being enacted. 

Unanimously approved.

The Board considered the above facts and conclusions. A motion was made and seconded to approve the application.  Unanimously approved.

  1. Variance appeal submitted by Walter Knapp of Lot 88.  Mr. Don Hadley, agent for Mr. Knapp, gave testimony on the application giving substantially the same facts as in the written application.  Mr. Knapp, who was present, testified that in the 1990-2 timeframe in accord with a building permit issued by the Town of Standish, three concrete footings, vertical posts, and some beams were constructed for the 12’ deck.  Jim Frederick pointed out that Standish had promised various landowners to reissue expired building permits.  Mike Sullivan, an abutter, had no objections.  Pat Myer asked about the Building Inspector’s role in the process.  Jim Kuiken wondered what the problem was if none of the involved parties had any objections.  The Board discussed the facts and reviewed the Shoreland Zone Ordinance.  Sections 102-11.B. and 102-12.C.1.a were cited as allowing the deck, but not the stairs, to be completed without a variance.   The Code Enforcement Officer was unable to attend to give testimony concerning his interpretation of the Ordinance. A motion was made and seconded to Table the application in order to obtain testimony from the CEO.  Unanimously approved.

  1. Variance appeal submitted by Robert Herbeck of Lot 169.  Mr. Herbeck gave testimony on the application giving substantially the same facts as in the written application.  Further, he noted that he had already constructed the shed and had promised the CEO to remove it if the variance was not granted.   He said he bought the property in 1995.  John Myer said the shed improves the look of the lot.  Carla Herbeck said it is used as a rental property and there is not enough storage. The Board discussed the dimensional issues.  A motion was made and seconded to approve the following Findings of Fact:

1.  The owner of the property is Robert Herbeck.

2.      The property is located at Lot 169, in the Residential zoning district.

3.      The applicant is owner.

4.      The applicant proposes to construct a new accessory building on the subject property.

5.      A completed application was submitted at the time of the hearing.

6.      A public hearing was held on June 25, 1999.

7.      Relevant sections of the ordinance are:  Section 101-6, Paragraph H.

8.      Dimensional standards required by the ordinance are:   “Front building setback:  fifty (50) feet.”

9.      The variance request consists of  22 foot setback reduction to allow construction of a 8’ by 12’ shed.

10.  The land is being used as residential property.

11.  The conditions and character of the neighborhood are not unusual.

12.  The conditions of the property are such that the dwelling is 32 feet from the road; and  the lot is pie shaped with sides of the pie measuring 200’ and 197.07’ in length.  There are positions for the proposed accessory building that would not require a variance.

13.  The reasons presented by the appellant for the variance request is “because of the pie shape of my property.  If I move the shed back further, it will be to close to the house and be on top of my septic tank access.  It will also be very close to the rear stairs entering the house.”

14.  Other relevant facts include the following: The rear of the house is unsatisfactory because of huge boulders located there. Unanimously approved.

The board members discussed their conclusions regarding the justifications for each of the four undue hardship standards.  A motion was made and seconded to approve the following  Conclusions:

The land in question cannot yield a reasonable return because without a shed there is not sufficient storage.

There are unique circumstances of the property which are not similar to the general conditions in the neighborhood because of configuration and topography.

The proposed use will improve the character of the locality.

The hardship is not the result of action taken by the appellant because  the applicant did not change the property dimensions or topography. Approved (4-1, Bruce Nisula casting the dissenting vote).

 The Board considered the above facts and conclusions. A motion was made and seconded to approve the application.  Approved (4-1, Bruce Nisula casting the dissenting vote).

  1. Variance appeal submitted by Joseph and Kathy Potts.  Mr. Potts gave testimony on the application giving substantially the same facts as in the written application.   He said he bought the property in 1984 and built the house in 1986, but that the water setback came into effect later, preventing the option of placing the shed on the lake side of the house.  Barbara and Robert Hannah wrote a letter saying they have no objection.  Charles Taylor, an abutter, testified he had no objection.  The Board discussed the dimensional issues. A motion was made and seconded to approve the following Findings of Fact:  

1.      The owner of the property is Joseph  J. and Kathleen A. Potts.

2.      The property is located at Lot 1633, in the Residential zoning district.

3.      The applicant is owner.

4.      The applicant proposes to construct a new accessory building on the subject property.

5.      A completed application was submitted at the time of the hearing.

6.      A public hearing was held on June 25, 1999.

7.      Relevant sections of the ordinance are:  Section 101-6, Paragraph H.

8.      Dimensional standards required by the ordinance are:   “Front building setback:  fifty (50) feet.”

9.      The variance request consists of  12 foot setback reduction to allow construction of a 12’ by 16’ shed.

10.  The land is being used as residential property.

11.  The conditions and character of the neighborhood are not unusual.

12.  The conditions of the property are as follows:  Existing septic system in front of building.

13.  The reasons presented by the appellant for the variance request is because “the location of the proposed shed eliminates any negative impact to the environment…There is no other location for this proposed storage shed.”

Unanimously approved.

The board members discussed their conclusions regarding the justifications for each of the four undue hardship standards.  A motion was made and seconded to approve the following  Conclusions:

The land in question can not yield a reasonable return because there is unreasonable storage available from the existing structures and the original location for the shed would now be non-conforming to the Shoreland Ordinance.

There are unique circumstances of the property in that there is no other place to put the shed due to the changes in the Shoreland Ordinance and the location of the existing house and septic system.

The proposed use will not alter the essential character of the locality because

dwellings with sheds and garages are allowed, and only a portion of the proposed     building would be inappropriately close to the road, and the building is shielded by  vegetation.

The hardship is not the result of action taken by the appellant or a prior owner  because  the Shoreland Ordinance that prevents appellant from building on lake side of house came into effect after he initiated construction on the property. Unanimously approved.

 The Board considered the above facts and conclusions. A motion was made and seconded to approve the application.  Unanimously approved.

  1. CORRESPONDENCE AND ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.     Future Meeting Dates as follows:

July 23, 1999
August 20, 1999
September 24, 1999
October 8, 1999

  1. ADJOURNMENT:  A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting at 9:45 PM. Unanimously approved.

Above Minutes approved at Meeting of July 23, 1999.

Respectfully submitted,

 Bruce C. Nisula
Secretary, Board of Appeals