Pillsbury Memorial Hall

93 Main Street

Sutton Mills, NH 03221


APPROVED Meeting Minutes for Wednesday January 20, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.


Call to Order: Derek Lick (Chair) called the meeting to order at 7:06pm. 

Roll Call: Betsy Forsham, Marc Beauchemin, Samantha Gordon, Zachary Brock, Joe Laverack (alternate)

Others in Attendance: Vinicius Gorgatti, Victor Del Vecchio, Alicia Lopez, Kelly Lineberry, John Bennett of Bennett Builders, Sarah Woolverton, Peter Stanley, Planning and Zoning Administrator, Kristy Heath, Recording Secretary

Chair Lick explained the process of how the meeting would progress. He opened the floor to the first applicant to explain their request.

Public Hearings:

  1. Case #2021-01 concerning a request by Victor Del Vecchio and Alicia Lopez of 150 Penacook Road, Map/Lot 08-202-269 for a variance to the terms of Article IV, C, 4 of the Sutton Zoning and Building Ordinance to permit the placement of a garage with less than the required 15’ setback from the abutter’s property line (approximate setback of 1’).

Mr. Del Vecchio said they would like a garage built at the end of their driveway with an approximate setback of 1’ instead of the 15’ in the zoning ordinance. They had mistakenly thought their property line was in a different location. Once a survey was done it was determined that their setback would not meet the requirement. To move the location of the garage from where they had planned, they would need to get through some granite and take down about four to five mature trees. It would also require additional grading and more retaining walls. Their objective is to try and mirror the look of their neighbor’s garage, which is parallel to the road. They could pivot the garage which might help them meet the requirement, but it would be hard to get things in and out of the garage and would not look good. Their neighbors, the Ritz’s, do not have a problem with their plan for a garage in the location they want. Sarah Woolverton (present at the meeting) is also an abutter who said she does not object.

Mr. Del Vecchio said they want the garage to look like the Penacook Lodge, being the same color, clapboards and roofing material. He thinks it will help the look of the area and not decrease the value of the property. Mr. Del Vecchio said that another reason they would like this garage is because their home doesn’t allow for much storage as it doesn’t have a basement. He noted that the driveway is existing from a prior owner.

Chair Lick asked members of the Zoning Board if they had any questions or comments.

Marc said he has looked at the site and thinks the Del Vecchio’s plan makes sense.

Sam said they have a wetlands approval and wetlands permit in place. That, with the neighbors not having any issues, moves her to not have an issue either.

Zach asked for a photo of the property, which Mr. Stanley had and shared.                  Mr. Del Vecchio explained the picture and where the garage would go. Ms. Lopez said the site is across the road from the lake-side home. Mr. Stanley said that they need to be mindful of the runoff that may come from their roof to avoid adding to what already flows in that area of the property.

Betsy said on the right-hand side, an oak tree has been cut and there are wood chips. It looks like the land in that area has been disturbed before. If they aren’t getting the 15’ from the abutter’s line, perhaps they can get 10’ from the line on that side. The clump of oak trees near the road looks like it could be avoided. Betsy said she looked at the file for the property and came across the deed which has a restriction that no building shall be within 10’ of an abutting property. Mr. Del Vecchio said he wasn’t aware of this deed restriction. Betsy said that while this does not enter into the ZBA’s considerations, abutters could use this to reject this request and/or object in the fututre. She said she thinks it is possible to get a little further from the Ritz’s property line if the placement of the garage was changed.

Ms. Lopez said in the discussions they have had with their neighbors, they are not objecting but are willing to send a letter of support. The neighbors believe that the orientation they are requesting would be aesthetically more pleasing to their own property. If they situate the garage in any other way, it will likely diminish the value of the neighbor’s property.

Mr. Stanley said that since the builder and owners were there, he thought it should be noted that the setback is to the nearest part of the building, which is the dripline of the roof and not the slab. Mr. Bennett said he understood this. He noted a pin in the trees near the driveway that Betsy had noted. Mr. Del Vecchio said he put that pin there with orange tape to keep from running into the trees. There is no other use for it. He added that Michele Ritz, neighbor, said she would forward a letter to the town in favor of the design, should they like one.

Mr. Lick wondered about Betsy’s idea to shift the garage to the right a bit. Is that possible and if it is, what burden would this pose on the applicant? A variance is designed to help avoid an undue burden due to the unique contours of the land.

Mr. Del Vecchio said they will hit some boulders already in the plan they have. If they move the garage over, they are going to encounter even more granite ledge. Mr. Bennett agreed that if they go another 10’ they will disturb more road frontage, and there will likely be another 10’ of granite to possibly have to blast.

Mr. Lick asked about drainage from the roof. He is slightly concerned about the runoff down into the depression to the left-hand side. Is any remediation planned, such as a dry well?  Mr. Bennett said they plan to do a stone drip edge to capture and disperse any runoff.

Betsy asked if it was a one-bay or two-bay garage. Mr. Bennett said it is one door but has two bays. It would be 30’x30’ in size.

Ms. Lopez said one bay will be used to park a boat with a truck. If the garage is off center to the road, it will be an awkward maneuver that will make it difficult to park the boat and truck.

Zach asked what the downside was if they build against the deed and eventually get a new neighbor. Can the neighbor ask them to tear down the garage?  Mr. Lick said he would suggest getting a release from the restriction from the neighbors. It would be wise to preclude any issues with their neighbors. Permission and acknowledgement should be in written form to show that this was done with approval.

Zach suggested that the garage could be smaller. Mr. Del Vecchio said it is 30’ x 30’ which was the smallest they could go and still have it meet their needs.

Mr. Stanley said they should write into any motion, should one be made, as “no less than ____ feet from the boundary line.”

Sarah Woolverton, abutter, noted that she is in support of the building of the garage.

Vinicius Gorgati, abutter, said he wasn’t aware of the project and just got a notification of this so he wondered about a site plan. Mr. Stanley shared an image of the site plan that the applicant had submitted.

Chair Lick closed the public discussion portion of the meeting for board discussion.

Marc said he doesn’t have any issues with this plan. Seeing where it would be, it makes sense to have it parallel to the road.

Sam said is she doesn’t feel that the spirit of the ordinance is diminished by this project.

Zach said based on what he is hearing from his colleagues who have been to the site, he feels the plan may be OK, but he would like to withhold judgment until they go through the criteria checklist.

Betsy said she has reservations. Something can be built there but she realizes it isn’t ideal to disturb the banks. She said she would like to add a condition if they give approval. They need an accurate survey with the garage shown, as well as something in writing from the Ritz’s.

Chair Lick said he is fine with the variance and is fine with Betsy’s conditions. The size of the garage is what he is concerned with. He wonders if a 2-car garage is too large, but realizes that this is a common size for a garage. He understands the placement efforts to keep it aesthetically pleasing and to keep disturbance of the land at a minimum.  He doesn’t feel that this is an issue.

Criteria for a Variance

The variance will not be contrary to the public interest.

Marc said the only person who would have an interest in maintaining the setback is the abutter, who seems to be fine with the plan. To maintain the aesthetics of this would be of public interest.

Sam said most people seeing this won’t know about the property line and she doesn’t believe this plan is unreasonable.

Zach said he feels some concern that in the future there may be a building that is 1’ off the property line and they don’t feel a variance is appropriate. How do they differentiate between that variance and this one? He doesn’t want to see more impact to the site just to follow a rule, however.

Betsy said she feels that the size of the building makes her uncomfortable. She would be OK with a smaller building along with her conditions.

Chair Lick said the intention of the setback is to keep from overcrowding and it is a buffer between lots. If they follow the proposed condition of requiring the actual survey or sketch to be on record as well as where the building is located, this will help. This takes some risk from the equation.

The spirit of the ordinance is observed.

Marc said that no one even knew where the line was before this issue came up. There are no obvious lines being drawn.

Sam felt that the spirit is to keep people from being on top of each other and to prevent un-neighborly mishaps. They seem to be doing everything they can to avoid that.

Zach had nothing to add.

Betsy had nothing to add.

Substantial Justice will be done.

Chair Lick said the substantial justice is that given the difficulty with placement of the garage, there could be potential blasting and additional cutting of trees. They would also be moving the garage off of an impervious surface and building a new one.

Marc, Sam, Zach and Betsy agreed with Chair Lick.

The values of surrounding properties are not diminished.

Chair Lick said there is no indication that this will be in play. The neighbors have not expressed any concerns. The design seems to be aesthetically pleasing and they are trying to mirror the neighbors garage positioning.

The board agreed with Chair Lick’s comments.

Literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance would result in an unnecessary hardship. (i) No fair and substantial relationship exists between the general public purposes of the ordinance provision and the specific application of that provision to the property;

Chair Lick said that they have heard about the difficulty in placing the garage elsewhere.

The board had no additional comments.


the proposed use is a reasonable one.

Marc said he thinks it is reasonable to build the garage as they have planned. Changing the angle would make the driveway twice as long.

Sam said part of this is that building it where they are asking is reasonable whereas doing all the other demo they talked about to the ledge and trees is less reasonable. A 30’ x 30’ garage is understandable to her.

Zach said it depends on how they define “hardship.” The proposed use is a reasonable one, he agrees.

Betsy had no further comment.

Chair Lick said he thinks it is reasonable to have a garage, but is the size reasonable? He thinks it is these days. He leans towards “yes” it is reasonable. It is not an outrageous or atypical size for a garage in today’s times.

IT WAS MOVED (Derek Lick) AND SECONDED (Sam Gordon) to approve the application as requested for the variance, with three conditions:

  1. That the applicant provide to the town an updated survey or plot plan by the surveyor showing the boundary line in vicinity of the garage along with a sketch of the garage showing it no closer than 1’ from the newly demarcated boundary line;
  2. That the applicant request a written assent from the neighbor along that boundary line showing that they agree or assent to the request, for the property file;
  3. That the applicant put down crushed stone under the drip edges around the garage to slow the runoff from the impervious surfaces.

A hand vote was taken.


Chair Lick noted that anyone can challenge this decision within 30 days. The applicant can begin building but keep in mind that this decision can be challenged. He suggested getting the conditional items sooner than later for inclusion in the property file.

  1. Case #2021-02 concerning a request by Chilin Associates of 20 B&B Lane, Weare, NH 03281, regarding Map/Lot 07-030-525 on Kearsarge Valley Road, for a Special Exception, as permitted by the terms of Article III, D, 2 of the Sutton Zoning and Building Ordinance, to permit the placement of a sign that exceeds the 3sf permitted – actual size 4’ X 6’, 24sf.

Kelly Lineberry said the realtor she is working with was going to attend but had a family emergency. The realtor was told that there was not a sign ordinance and regrets that she didn’t do her own due diligence. They spent a lot of money on the sign and took care of where to place it. She accepts that they should have gone through the town to get the facts. The sign is installed and the ground is frozen. They had planned that the temporary sign would be there until the 7th and last lot is sold.

Chair Lick asked Mr. Stanley what the size of the sign was allowed in the ordinance. Mr. Stanley said three square feet. The sign installed is 24 square feet in size. The alternative would have been for one 3’ square sign on each parcel.

Kelly apologized for the mishap.

Marc said he didn’t have any questions.

Sam asked if this was an advertising sign for the lots. This was confirmed by Kelly. Sam didn’t have any further questions.

Zach had no comments.

Betsy suggested letting the realtor know that all towns in this area have a sign ordinance. She drives the road occasionally and was shocked with the size of it. It is preferable, however, to having seven smaller signs along the road. She asked if Chilin was also building the houses.  Kelly answered in the affirmative.

Peter suggested making the approval contingent on no subsequent signs on each lot.

Chair Lick asked if there was a sense of a time limitation on the sign. He doesn’t’ mind it being there for a few months but not a few years. Kelly said they would abide by the timeline suggested by the board. She hoped all seven parcels would sell within 2-3 years.  If they sell them all and they were under contract but not built on yet, they would take the sign down. The sign will be updated as lots are sold, showing which are remaining.

Mr. Stanley said that there had been no complaints on the sign.

Chair Lick closed the public portion of the hearing so the board could discuss.

Chair Lick said this was for consideration for a special exception.

Criteria for a Special Exception

  1. The site is an appropriate location for the use or structure.
  2. The use will not be detrimental, injurious, noxious or offensive to the neighborhood.
  3. There will be no undue nuisance or serious hazard to vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
  4. Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided to ensure the proper operation of the proposed use or structure.
  5. The proposed use or structure is consistent with the spirit of the ordinance. (Refer to Sutton’s Zoning Ordinance: Article I – Preamble.)

Marc thinks his largest concern is setting precedence. He doesn’t have a huge issue with this circumstance but he wouldn’t want a lot of this in town. Mr. Lick said that special exceptions are handled on a case by case basis so they aren’t in danger of setting precedence.

Sam said she doesn’t love the idea of a 24’ square sign but she loathes the idea of seven 3’ signs. In terms of the detrimental or offensiveness of more than one sign it makes what is there look much better.

Zach said it is a temporary sign and if they had asked first he probably would have voted for it.

Betsy said if the sign is on one of the lots and that lot sells, will they move it elsewhere? Chair Lick said part of their condition could be that the sign could be moved to another of the seven lots.

Chair Lick agrees with what everyone said. He thinks it is tastefully done and they did a good job with it. He would impose a time limit on the sign. It could say “no longer than through the end of the year or until five of the lots are sold” for example. He was open to suggestions.

Sam agreed with Chair Lick’s thoughts. She wondered if it has to be a full year or down to two lots. Not both. Chair Lick said this was a good thought.

It was thought that the approval should note that the sign can be positioned on any of the seven lots but it must be removed by either July 31, 2022 or upon the closing of the sale of five of the seven lots.

Zach said after the time limit allotment, they could maybe have the option to return to the board to reconsider their decision.

Chair Lick said he likes the idea of making it easier for the applicant in the possibility of an extension once the expiration date is met.

Mr. Stanley said he was more in favor of a certain number of months or until a certain number of lots were sold.

IT WAS MOVED (Derek Lick) AND SECONDED (Zachary Brock) to approve the Special Exception with conditions that:

  1. The sign is allowed to stay in place only until the earliest of one of these two events occur: by July 31, 2022 or upon the closing of the sale of five of the seven lots.
  2. The sign can be placed in front of any of the seven lots.

An added note: should the deadlines become problematic, the applicant may come before the board again to consider an extension of the special exception.

A hand vote was taken.


Chair Lick informed Kelly that the board had approved the special exception. Kelly thanked the board for their understanding.

Meeting Minutes: Wednesday November 18, 2020 Regular Meeting & Public Hearing

Betsy pointed out the misspelling of Zachary Brock’s last name.

IT WAS MOVED (Betsy Forsham) AND SECONDED (Derek Lick) to approve the minutes of November 18, 2020 as amended.

A hand vote was taken.



New Business: None

Old Business: None Scheduled


Next MeetingAs of right now, there will be no meeting in February.


IT WAS MOVED (Derek Lick) AND SECONDED (Sam Gordon) to adjourn.

A hand vote was taken.


The meeting adjourned at 8:38pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Kristy Heath, Recording Secretary

Town of Sutton