Just remember - you may have to sign in to "voice your opinion" before the
meeting, and let them know which agenda item(s) you'd like to comment on.
Asking that the remaining side yard carry a "covenant" that it must forever be
left "passive" is usually an easy one - when the nature of the variance and the
people asking for it are honest.
We've done this here to prevent builders from building McMansions on what few
small building lots are left in town, and speculators who are always seeking
variances, not to build homes, but to maximize their profit.
Some have even tried to ammend therir setback request to allow a 2nd cesspool,
electric meter, height restriction and lot coverage in the 11th hour. What was
once a request to make a home slightly larger than the lot allowed, becomes a
request for a 2-family or multiple family dwelling unit... 2 hours before the
Ana all it takes to thwart such underhandedness is a few neighbors ready to
"discuss" the request(s) in a public forum.
In Charleston SC, one is allowed to look at submissions before the
During the meeting, there is not time or place to carefully review the
The one thing you and others have not mentioned is the possible
disturbance of the soil next to your dreiveway. That would not be
covered by the zoning hearing. I think it is worth looking at the
submittal or having a person trained in reading such submittals look
at it. You will know if something that was not in the approval is
done. ( There was a "repair, no changes" approval within a block of me
that resulted in a two story house being added where there was none.
On 28 Dec 2003 07:45:13 -0800, in alt.home.repair you wrote (with
I'm currently a Selectman in our town and have been either a
member or the Chairman of our Planning Board for 20 years. That gives
me the authority to say that Planning Board policies vary wildly from
State to State and even from Town to Town! Without seeing a copy of
your regulations, it's impossible to advise you technically, but keep
these considerations in mind:
1. ALWAYS attend a hearing. In most places, you cannot
object later if you do not attend.
2. It sounds like there will be no significant impact on your
property. One fellow mentioned the possible chain of events which
might ensue, but you can determine whether any of them can occur
without a noticed hearing. In a lot of places, ANY action before a
Board of Adjustment MUST be preceded by both public notices and
certified letters to abutters.
If you indeed have no objections, you should still attend.
You should express your opinions both pro and con. If your neighbor
were really a good neighbor, he should have discussed it with you
prior to filing an application, but regardless, you need to go on the
record with your opinion.
3. In the event that you did object, (again, I don't know the
regulations existing in your area) and the permit is granted, that is
usually not the last appeal. You can usually challenge the ruling in
court. In NH, the court is probably evenly divided in supporting
ZBA's (Zoning Board of Appeals) and it depends rather significantly on
the procedure they follow.
Personally, I agree with the fellow who said that good
neighbors are hard to find - if his garage doesn't affect you (and it
certainly sounds like it doesn't), support him and you'll make an even
Update on the hearing - it was tonight and I attended. Our matter was first on
the agenda (yay!) and I and the neighbor were the only ones there for this
particular item. He showed me more of the plans from his contractor. Nice
plan. $$$$$ But anyway, after the neighbor's presentation to the board, a
board member called for any voice of support and opposition. I spoke up (my
neighbor had already mentioned that I was the directly adjoining neighbor) about
the two concerns: 1. That the remaning distance between our property line and
his new addition be kept to passive use only. Result: no problem (I don't
think it would have been a problem anyway, but nice to make it explicit). 2.
That this not impact my future plans to build in that direction for a garage.
Result: A town board member assured me that it would not impact that. The town
secretary asked my name and address, and imput it into her record (I'll get a
copy later - actually I think it's posted on the web.) All board members voted
"yea", and the neighbor and I walked out. Total time - about 10 minutes.
Thanks, all, for your inputs. I came in feeling quite prepared and I think it
was very wise to show up to support the neighbor to get a couple brownie points
with him, but also to make my interest in my property visible to him.
Good for you. You did your homework, supported the neighbor and you feel
good about it. What you don't know is the future. You may need the help of
your neighbor some day and he will be inclined to return the favor.
Good point. So many property questions that come up here and in other
groups result in suggestions, sarcastic or not, for malicious and
destructive action. If you're going to be living side by side for the
next 20-30 years, the value of friendly relations can't be
exaggerated, even if sometimes difficult to achieve.
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