Appeals Board, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009

Appeals Board January 21, 2009


The Sedgwick Zoning Board of Appeals met at the Town Office on Wednesday, January 21 to continue the hearing on the Patten/Four Winds project.  Present were Board members Tom Schroth, Steve Tobey, Pam Johnson, Danny Weed and Chairman Fred Marston.  Also present were Karen Dube, court reporter, Tom O’Connor, selectman, James Patterson, attorney for the town, Cliff Goodall, attorney for the Pattens, Philip Urban, Duane Ford, CEO, John Allen, Planning Board member, reporters from the Weekly Packet, and Barbara Grindle, assistant to the selectmen.

            Chairman Marston opened the meeting at 6:30 pm.  The CEO passed out an enlarged page of the ordinance defining a foundation.  Mr Cote had previously referred to the ‘new’ foundation.  The appeals board may send this back to the planning board if they wish on this point. 

The assessing agent for the town was unable to get to the property during December because of the weather so he was rescheduled for the same day of the meeting; still unable to visit the site because of snow and locks on the buildings.  He will try again for the meeting on Jan. 28.  The board would like to know if the buildings have depreciated more than 50%, but noone can agree on a beginning date for the depreciation.

Mr Patterson would like to have the assessor set a value on the buildings.  The board can revisit the assessment later if they need to if it is done now.  Mrs Patten has agreed that the assessing agent may cut the locks if necessary to access the buildings.  He had refused to cut the locks at the Jan. 21 attempt even when given verbal permission by Mr. Goodall.  The selectmen approved his refusal because of possible liability to the town. The board voted unanimously to wait for the assessing agent to give present value of the three cabins.  They want to know the percentage of present value to replacement as originally built.

            There was discussion on a DEP letter referring to relevant court cases.  The two lawyers don’t know of any but will check into it.  Mr Patterson will call the DEP person to get references. 

 The CEO presented the case that the buildings are 100% ‘functionally obsolescent’ due to the change of use as a camp.  They cannot be used in any way until permitted by the planning board or appeals board.  Mr Goodall claims that the structures are non-conforming structures, they may be changed to single family residences.  The CEO feels that the erosion and buffer zone is more important than the 50% rule for the buildings.  All agreed that the buffer zone is vitally important.

Mr Goodall gave the board copies of the last meeting’s minutes and two more additions to the books.  One was a DEP profile of non-conforming structures in the Shoreland Zone, the other some communications from Mr Cartter Patten regarding portions of the minutes.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 pm.  The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 28.

            Barbara Grindle, Assistant to the Selectmen