Pillsbury Memorial Hall

93 Main Street

Sutton Mills, NH 03221


Draft Meeting Minutes for Wednesday November 18, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.


Call to Order: Chair Lick called the meeting to order at 7:00pm. He noted that a quorum was present and the meeting could begin.

Roll Call: Derek Lick (Chair), Betsy Forsham (Vice-Chair), Marc Beauchemin, Zachary Brock, Sam Gordon

Others: Jay Tucker (contractor), Dorothy and Andy Jeffrey (applicants), Peter Stanley (Sutton Planning and Zoning Administrator)

Chair Lick said the applicants would explain their plans and then the board members will have time to ask questions. Questions can also be asked by anyone from the public (no one from the public was present that evening). Once all questions have been asked, the public comment portion of the meeting is closed. The board then deliberates and votes. A majority vote of three or more is a passing vote.

Peter noted that notices for the hearing were posted in the Intertown Record, at the town office and at the two post offices in town. All fees have been paid by the applicant.

Public Hearing: Case #2020-05 concerning a request by the Robert A. Jeffrey Family 2011 Trust, Map/Lot 02-478-356, 81 Lovett Road, to approve a Special Exception to permit a gazebo that is less than 150 sf in area to be erected within the 75’ Wetland Buffer, as allowed by Article IV, D, 2 of the Sutton Zoning and Building Ordinance.

Jay Tucker noted that the square footage of the structure is 150 sf which was incorrectly stated on the plan. He said he will make the correction. Mr. Tucker said that prior to his involvement with the project, the engineer had located the gazebo (on the plan shown by Peter) and it is 150 sf on cinder blocks so it could be moved if necessary. The shoreland permitting was done because they understood they could build a moveable structure that is less than 150 sf. He did not realize until recently that a permit to build was only attainable by special exception. There is 185’ of shoreland.

Peter said that the request does not comply with the wetlands regulations of the town, which is a minimum setback of 75’ from the wetland buffer. The zoning change is ambiguous the way it is worded. Counsel said to allow this hearing to move forward to a special exception but then the town should clean up the ambiguity.

Mr. Tucker said they are proposing the gazebo being 22’-25’ from the shore. Dorothy Jeffrey said they have quite a bit of area along the shoreline. Some of their neighbors and their builders have said that there was some concern about there being the potential for substantial development on their property before they bought it. They haven’t taken down any trees or disturbed the shoreline and aren’t interested in doing so. They’d like to have a gazebo down by the shore. She didn’t think it was anything anyone would notice. They enjoy blending in with the scenery.

Betsy said the shoreland permit was approved by DES with the gazebo and the approval is good until 2022. It would appear that the gazebo met the State’s setback requirements from the shoreline, which is important to note. She also noted that she has seen several other gazebos that are close to the lake. This is why people want such a structure; to be near the water. When asked, Mrs. Jeffrey said there would be electricity in the gazebo which would be accessed through an existing conduit.

Marc asked if there was a need to be in that particular location on the shoreline. Could it be put further back? Mrs. Jeffrey said if they put it any further back it would be on a ledge and on a pathway that goes along the shoreline. Also, while they have a really wonderful long stretch of shoreline, there is just one section that is flat and open where a gazebo could go.

Zach noticed several buffers on the map. He asked what each meant. Peter said the 50’ buffer is the waterfront buffer and is the area where the State wants the least impact possible. The 75’ buffer is the town’s wetland buffer. He added that normally, this structure would not be permitted but it is provided for in both zone districts so people can have a small structure like this down near the water.

Sam asked if the gazebo would be up on blocks. This was confirmed by Peter. Chair Lick said he had wondered if this would create impervious surface (increased runoff) they should be concerned with, but if the State doesn’t have a concern, he doesn’t either.

Mr. Tucker said the State allows so much area depending on how much waterfront someone has. The State would entitle this property owner to use about 2,500 sf. They are asking for a minimal 150 sf.

Peter said there were no comments from abutters in regards to this hearing.

Chair Lick closed the public comment portion of the meeting.

Chair Lick said he has read through the answers the applicants provided to meet the criteria for a special exception. He was comforted in the fact that DES had already signed off and feels granting the special exception is consistent with the spirit of the ordinance.

IT WAS MOVED (Sam Gordon) AND SECONDED (Betsy Forsham) to approve the special exception as presented.

A hand-vote was taken.


Chair Lick said that now that the decision has been made, the applicants will get a written decision from Peter. There is then a 30-day window during which the decision can be challenged. He usually advises people to wait 30 days before moving forward with their project. If someone argues the decision, asks for a re-hearing, and the Zoning Board changes its mind, the applicant will have to take down what they put up. Chair Lick said he doesn’t anticipate any issues but had to state this fact.

Mr. Tucker thanked the board and said he will make the correction to the plan.

Meeting Minutes: Wednesday October 21, 2020 Regular Meeting & Public Hearing

Betsy said she has changes. She wondered if it would be helpful if Kristy sends the minutes to her and Peter, she can make grammatical changes and then send them to Peter. Peter can then send those minutes to the rest of the board for review. Chair Lick said he would love for Betsy to take a first look. The other board members agreed. For tonight, Chair Lick asked Betsy to run through her changes. Going forward, they will adopt the new process.

Betsy noted the name of the applicant is “Lovell” throughout. In the minutes it was written as “Lovel.”

The “30-day waiting period” should be a “30-day appeal period.” Also, it should read “to ask for a rehearing” and not an “appeal.”

Three Rod Road doesn’t need to be capitalized.

Betsy thought maybe a word was missing “on” the road side of the shed.

Page 3, third paragraph: fix “Zack” with a “Zach.”

Last page: “to the lake” should be “from” the lake.

IT WAS MOVED (Zach Broch) AND SECONDED (Marc Beauchemin) to approve the minutes of October 21, 2020, as amended by Betsy Forsham.

A hand vote was taken.


New Business: 2021 Potential Zoning Change

Peter explained that the intent in their regulation is to allow for a building within the wetlands buffer. It is in both the residential and rural-agricultural zone language. The line at the end says someone can have a 150 sf building with a special exception but it doesn’t include any information about the setback. He checked with counsel who wrote back with the exact language, and recommended they change the ordinance, as it is poorly written. It is a correction and still follows the intent. It just makes the description more complete.

Chair Lick said the language should be changed from “less than 150 sf” to “no more than “150 sf.”

Since there is no change in intent but only an increase in clarity, no vote was required.

Old Business: None Scheduled


Next Meeting: Peter indicated that there will not be a meeting in December, but there may be one in January.


IT WAS MOVED (Betsy Forsham) AND SECONDED (Derek Lick) to adjourn.

A hand vote was taken.



The meeting adjourned at 7:35pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Kristy Heath, Recording Secretary

Town of Sutton