May 6, 2011- ANTIS VARIANCE
TOWN OF SULLIVAN
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
MINUTES OF THE MEETING
May 6th, 2011
ZBA Members Present: Rick Hotchkiss, Steve Hamilton, Ron Hull, Roger Sweet,
Rick Hotchkiss recused himself from the board, as he is an abutter to the
Roger Sweet made a motion to have Steve Hamilton stand in as chairperson,
Ron Hull seconded, motion passed unanimously by voice vote.
Meeting came to order at 7:00 pm.
People present: Beth Fernald, Town’s Attorney, Bruce Antis’s lawyer Silas
Little, Rick Hotchkiss, Ann Sweet, Eric White, Robert Switzer, Bruce R Antis,
Mark Smith, Michele Degree, and Scott Alexander.
Silas Little stood to present the case for Bruce Antis who is requesting a
variance to build a single family dwelling on his property. He passed out to
the members a Memorandum and Evidence in Support of Application for Variance
report and an Agreement and Release form that he wants the Selectmen to approve
The Agreement and Release gives a proposal that will release all liability
to the town and will never petition to make a class V road nor will he ever
subdivide the property.
Mr. Antis has not decided the number of bedrooms nor has he received an approval
from the State for a septic system at this time.
Mr. Little also stated that Mr. Antis has 55 acres with a deeded access to
his property. There has been a clear cut of timber on his property and according
to the US Census he has minimum density with his 55 acres.
Mr. Little also said that the Sullivan zoning has no ordinance on the length
of a driveway or access and therefore has no legal bearing. Mr. Antis takes
all responsibility of emergencies including fire and it would probably be better
if there was a fire to let the house burn into the cellar hole.
The driveway to his house is admissible in the Town of Sullivan for a single-family
residence and meets state and municipal requirements. Mr. Antis is requesting
private property rights with alternative energy such as generators, with no
liabilities to the town.
Mr. Little stated that the Town had granted 2 other properties, Regan and
Robert Bourassa, who had only right of ways, not being on a class V road and
with no road frontage.
Beth Fernald asked if he knew if this release will bind and if it is enforceable?
Mr. Little quoted an RSA that stated legal authorization.
Beth Fernald said the RSA is only if the Selectmen authorize a building lot
and if they do, is it enforceable to not allow the owner to petition for a
class V road?
The variance criteria is a lot with no road frontage.
Mr. Little states that the Court determined it an unconstitutional right of
taking a person’s property rights. Sullivan has only house lots and conservation
property. If you deny his property rights then you are taking of his property.
Roger Sweet: Does this waiver travel with the deed?
Little: Yes the obligation will run with the land deed.
Roger: The variance is nonconforming with access of right of way through the
Alexander and Swazey property. What right does he have to access through those
Little: Properties are subject to deed.
Beth: The deed shows only Antis to Antis and does not show any right of way
into the property.
Little: This is a transfer deed only.
Rick Hotchkiss: I read the deeds carefully and found no right of ways in any
of the deeds.
Little: I did not bring the correct deed.
Beth: Without the deed we cannot say.
Steve: It is difficult to make a decision without a deed.
Roger: Item 111 states denial of permit is cause, without a right of way.
Beth: Issue is not the permit but a lot with no frontage.
Little: Does have access with a long driveway with a right of way. The nature
of a right of way is a driveway
Steve: The history of the property was basically for logging.
Little: Property was originally a farm and has a foundation on it.
Scott Alexander: I will give him an access with a right of way through my
Little: In 1878 the road was thrown up. Mr. Antis has no intention of putting
in power lines.
Public is now allowed to speak.
Rick: Which of the roads does he want to use? Most recent road into the property
was Frost Road.
Little: The road by Alexander’s property, off Gilsum Road.
Rick: To gain access-using statues that allow people with discontinued road
Little: What’s your point?
Rick: Is he willing to pay the owners of the road to use and to upgrade the
road to a class VI?
Little: The Town did not require Regan.
Rick: The Regan property had an unexpired building permit that passed on with
Little: There is no such thing.
Rick: The Permit had not time limitation and predated all ordinances with
a thirty-three foot road frontage on a class V road with a deeded right of
Steve: I see an option, that he can obtain a right of way with the three abutting
Little: There is no reason for that. He does not want a class VI road for
a right of way into his property.
Steve: He needs proof of a deeded right of way.
Mark Smith: I am speaking in behalf of Robert Swazey, as he was not able to
make the meeting. He wants to know if this passes will there be any cost to
his family and will he have access to the right of way through there? Also
he is concerned about any damage to the stonewalls on his property and if any
trees are to be cut will he be paid the market value of the timber.
Little; I see no problem, we do not foresee any damage and if any trees need
to be cut then they would leave the timber for him to use.
Beth: Do you think there is a right of way?
Scott: There is a right of way on that road.
Ann: As a member of the planning board, I remember about the Bourassa property
and that is a flat piece of land and is visible from the road. I am wondering
about the right to pass, is that also a right to modify?
Little: No, I said one has a right to pass and to repass.
Ann: On deeded right of way and right of way access, I hope a copy of the
deeded right of way is submitted.
Beth: There should be a continuance to receive evidence, to a specific date.
Michele Degree: I do not understand the hardship issue. What is the hardship
when you can build a 700 square foot building without the Town’s approval?
Little: You live in a house with 700 square feet and tell me about it.
Steve: I say we continue to a set date.
Antis: There is a deed that shows access into the property.
Little: I am sorry I did not have it here tonight.
Steve: We will continue on Tuesday May 17th, at 7 pm.
At 7:50 p.m. meeting is held over for continuance.
Respectfully submitted by
Sullivan Zoning Board of Adjustment Clerk