OHB is pretty sure that the Zoning Board of Appeal (ZBA) has no authority to grant a variance for the purpose of correcting a property owner induced tress-pass.
On April 19, 2017, the ZBA held a public meeting regarding an application for a variance to reduce one property’s frontage to 70 feet…30 feet below the minimum for the sole purpose of correcting a tress-pass. The agent for the property owners and presenter of the application was Planning Board Member Dan Higginson:
RSA 674:33, I (b) (5) defines unnecessary hardship pretty clearly, (read here)
- (5) Literal enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance would result in an unnecessary hardship.
(A) For purposes of this subparagraph, “unnecessary hardship” means that, owing to special conditions of the property that distinguish it from other properties in the area….
The first class I ever took in “ZBA School” upon being appointed to the ZBA here in Henniker…drilled the UNNECESSARY HARDSHIP DOCTRINE into your brain until you felt like you had a nail in your skull! And, I was given a wonderful training manual which was authored by none other than…Henniker Resident (and variance king) Cordell Johnston. (read here)
I read it over and over again and became pretty proficient in understanding the legal requirements by which ZBA’s can grant variances.
Big question: WHY IS IT THAT OUR CURRENT ZBA MEMBERS STILL LACK PROFICIENCY IN UNDERSTANDING THIS?
OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..