Hubbard Hill Shed Variance Gets Zoning Board Approval

The Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) has approved a request for a variance from a local couple to put a shed on their property within the 15-foot setback requirement.

The ZBA heard the request from James and Sandra Hebert at its May 15 meeting. Their property is at 26 Hubbard Hill Road, Parcel ID 06206-036, and is zoned LMDR (Low Medium Density Residential, 2 acres).

James Hebert read the conditions for a variance:

• The spirit of the ordinance will be observed because the plans for the new shed will bring it further from the property line than the current shed, though still within the 15-foot setback.

• Substantial justice will be done because the new shed will improve the appearance of the property and neighborhood.

• The value of the surrounding properties will not diminish because “We are replacing a dilapidated shed.”

• The variance would be reasonable use of the property because the old shed “is falling apart. It can’t be reasonably used in strict conformance with the ordinance.”

The current shed, which was on the land when he bought it, is in a “state of disrepair,” Hebert said. The doors don’t work, the sides are rotted out, and it suffered extensive damage due to the past heavy winter.

The larger shed is necessary to house the equipment he needs for a New Hampshire winter, including snowblower and generator, Hebert told the board.

“How close is the old shed to the lot line?” vice-chair Allan Virr asked.

“It is on the lot line,” Hebert said. “The new one will be two to three feet in.”

Virr, who processed dozens of cases regarding sheds during his term as chairman, observed, “You drive through town and most sheds are on the property line. Only a few enlightened people get a building permit.”

Code Enforcement Officer Bob Mackey reminded the Heberts that if the project is approved, they still need to get a building permit.

While no abutters appeared to speak pro or against the project, a neighbor, Paul Nowick, sent a letter saying he was not opposed to the replacement of the shed.

In the deliberative portion of the meeting, Virr said, “This is a routine shed request. We’ve done it multiple times. Mr. and Mrs. Hebert did the right thing coming to us.”

The board agreed, and approved the variance 5-0.