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Board of Appeals Minutes 2006-06-27
urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags013faddressStreet6 Church Street, CityGardiner, StateMaine PostalCode04345
9282006_93445_0.bmp       CITY OF placeCityGARDINER

June 27, 2006

Present:                Michael Eldridge, Chairperson           Kendall Holmes  
        Andrew MacLean          Harlan Brown    John Burgess
Absent:         Judith Skehan   

Also present:   Dorothy Morang, Recording Secretary
David Cichowski, Code Enforcement Officer (CEO)
                        Dennis Gorham
1.)     Chair, Mike Eldridge called the meeting to order at 6:16 PM followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

2.)     Roll call was taken.

3.)     Andrew MacLean moved to approve the May 23, 2006 meeting minutes.  Harlan Brown seconded the motion.
        Vote: 5 in favor. 0 opposed. Motion passed.

Chair Eldridge explained that the Board of Appeals is an independent group, not representing the City or the appellants but for the good of Gardiner.


4.)     Variance Appeal
        Dennis M. & Katherine M. Gorham, Applicant, requests a variance of twenty-five feet (25’) from a fifty foot (50’) minimum road setback requirement to put an addition on an existing 1-family dwelling that would be extended along, but not closer to the road then the existing house.  The property, located at addressStreet36 Deane St., City Tax Map 31 placeLot 132, is in the High Density Residential (HDR) Zoning District.
        Chair Eldridge asked Recording Secretary, Dorothy Morang if all of the information was received in a timely manner and met the Ordinance requirements and if the abutter notifications were sent out and the KJ ad placed as required by the Ordinance.  Dorothy said yes. Chair Eldridge gave a summary of the application and asked if any Board members had a conflict of interest.  They said no.  He determined that Mr. Gorham had standing and the application was complete.

        Mr. Gorham gave an overview of the proposed addition and his reasons for seeking the variance.  He showed photographs of the current building and accessory structures and layout of the property.  He indicated that he would like to extend the house out 6’ towards the driveway and toward the front to meet the existing front of the house.  He had checked with the CEO and found that it was too close according to the Ordinance.  There is no other place to put the addition, a family room and ½ bath.

        Andrew said that the Board has to determine that there are no other feasible alternatives and asked Mr. Gorham to explain why that is in this case.

        Dennis said that the kitchen area is in the back.  Behind the house is a big hill and if he filled it in, it would push water onto the neighbor’s property.  Due to structural considerations, this is the only place to put it to open up the stairway and allow heat to go up stairs.

placeKendall asked if the bump-out in the back was the kitchen. Dennis said yes and a breezeway.  placeKendall asked the size of the addition.  Dennis said 12’x26’.

Andrew asked if the driveway would have to be moved.  Dennis said he may have to move it 2 – 4 feet.

Harlan asked if he were putting the addition on a foundation.  Dennis said posts.  The house has an old stone foundation with a dirt floor.  There are structural issues to putting in a foundation.

John asked how much room he had to the side.  Dennis said about 100’.

placeKendall asked what on the property to the right.  Dennis said a house about 85’-90’ away.

Harlan asked if he was going to build it himself.  Dennis said no, a contractor.  He also plans to put in a new service box.

6:31 PM Open meeting for public comment. No comments.  Chair Eldridge asked Dorothy if she had received any verbal or written comments.  Dorothy said no.  Dennis said that three of his neighbors have asked what he was planning to do.

6:32 PM Close public hearing.

Chair Eldridge read each of the six criteria and the Applicant’s response to A – F.  He said he visited the site. In A, the Applicant explained that due the layout of the structure, there is no other place to put the addition.  B. It is the same distance from the road as the existing structure. C. The original structure was built a long time ago. D. It’s the only place to get what he needs due to other structures and structural design. E. It won’t adversely effect the environment. F. It is not in a Shoreland area.  Mike said he went up and took a look at it and it makes sense and it not encroaching any further than the existing structure.  He is in favor of the appeal.

Andrew said he supports granting the appeal.  Mr. Gorham explained the rational for placing the addition where he is planning and that satisfies A.  B. It doesn’t change character of the neighborhood. D. There are no other feasible alternatives.

placeKendall said he is fine with this variance.  The standards for practical difficulty are lower than for other types and he can see the practical difficulty of putting it elsewhere and it is no closer to the street.

Harlan said no problem.  The layout of the house makes sense and there is room to move the driveway.

John said he was looking at the neighborhood and this seems best for the Gorham family.  The existing house is 25’ from the center line of the road and he doesn’t think this would disrupt the neighbors.

Kendall Holmes moved that we approve the Application.  It meets the practical difficulty criteria and is a well thought out plan.  Harlan Brown seconded the motion.
Vote: 5 in favor. 0 opposed. Motion passed.


5.)     Adjourn
        Chair Eldridge adjourned the meeting at 6:38 PM

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