December 22, 2014  2:47 PM 

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

The purpose of the Zoning Board of Appeals is to hear grievances from Shapleigh property owners as it relates to a decision made by the Code Enforcement Officer or the Planning Board. There are two types of appeals: administrative and variance.

In general, an administrative appeal is sought when the applicant believes the CEO or Planning Board erred in its interpretation of the town ordinance or in the processing of the permit application.

A variance appeal is sought when the CEO issues a denial of a permit due to the inability to meet dimensional standards of a town ordinance. This appeal requires that the property meet four tests in order to grant a variance, in general:

  1. Ability to yield a reasonable return;
  2. Uniqueness of the property in relation to neighborhood;
  3. Altering the essential character of the locality; and,
  4. Hardship not the result of applicant or prior owner.

 

Application forms, and tax maps for notification to abutters, are available at the town hall. There is a $150 filing fee upon submission of the appeal application. All meetings are open to the public. Applications under appeal are available for inspection at the town hall during normal business hours.

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD

  • Harold P. Cebulla, Chairman
  • Charles A. Gruber, Secretary
  • Patricia Baldwin
  • Scott Cobbett
  • Barbara Gilbride, Land Use Secretary

 

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS YEAR END REPORT FOR 2009

The purpose of the Zoning Board of Appeals is to hear grievances from Shapleigh property owners as they relate to a decision made by the Code Enforcement Officer or the Planning Board.  The property owner can request either an administrative appeal or a variance appeal. 

In general, an administrative appeal is sought when the applicant believes the CEO or Planning Board erred in its interpretation of the town ordinance or in the processing of the permit application. 

A variance appeal is sought when the CEO issues a denial of a permit due to the inability to meet dimensional standards of a town ordinance, such as setback or lot coverage.  State law requires the Board of Appeals to find that the applicant meets four tests before the Board can grant a variance.  The applicant bears the burden to prove to the Board that he/she does meet ALL four tests.  The four tests are:

  1. That the land in question cannot yield a reasonable return unless the variance is granted.
  2. The need for a variance is due to the unique circumstances of the property and not to the general conditions in the neighborhood.
  3. The granting of a variance will not alter the essential character of the locality.
  4. The hardship is not the result of action taken by the applicant or a prior owner.

During the 2009 calendar year, the Zoning Board of Appeals heard four variance appeals as follows:

January 5, 2009  Owner of Map 27, Lot 14, 66 Point Road, sought a variance appeal from the Code Enforcement Officer’s decision to deny a building permit for a 30’ x 30’ storage building; pursuant to Section 105-18 of the Zoning Ordinance, it would require a 37 foot variance from the high water line.  Variance Appeal, Denied.

July 6, 2009  Owner of Map 27, Lot 14, 66 Point Road, sought a variance appeal from the Code Enforcement Officer’s decision to deny a building permit to construct a 20’ x  30’ storage building; pursuant to Section 105-18 of the Zoning Ordinance, it would require a variance of 27 feet 10 inches from the high water line.  Variance Appeal, Denied.

October 5, 2009  Owner of Map 10, Lot 10, 1416 Shapleigh Corner Road, sought a variance appeal from the Code Enforcement Officer’s decision to deny a building permit to construct a 45 foot high electricity producing windmill; pursuant to Section 105-18 of the Zoning Ordinance, the maximum building height of a structure is 35 feet.  Variance Appeal, Denied.

All Zoning Board of Appeals hearings are open to the public and are held on the first non-holiday Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Shapleigh Town Hall.  Please note these hearings are held on an “as needed” basis.

The Zoning Board of Appeals has a vacancy for two Alternate members.  If you are interested, please contact any board member or inquire at the Shapleigh Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted,

Harold Cebulla, Chairman      Pat Baldwin

Scott Cudworth                      Daniel Lavigne

Charles Gruber, Secretary       Barbara Felong, Recording Secretary