FAIRFAX DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD            Wednesday, May 18, 2011





Members Present: J. Heyer, B. Murphy, J. Beers, M. Casey, C. Rainville

Public Present: S. Taylor, ZA

Applicant Present: Elaine Barkyoumb


7:00 PM: Introductions were made, the warning was read, and interested parties were sworn in.  E. Barkyoumb explained that she would like to tear down her existing garage, which is closer to the road than the setback allows, and replace it with a larger garage with  ½-story above.  Her corner lot has 2 frontages, on Huntville Rd. and Boissoneault Rd.. 10 feet of the garage are too close to the road, making it non-compliant.  She proposes to add 8 feet to the back of the garage making it flush with the rest of the house, which would increase the degree of non-conformity.  The existing garage’s back wall was damaged by heaving ground in the winter.  An engineer recommended the entire garage be replaced.  Because of a wet basement, Ms. Barkyoumb explained she needs extra storage room, wants to move her laundry out of the wet basement, and would like to expand her current small kitchen.  The current 2-car garage would become a 1-car garage necessitating no additional length to the current footprint.  She proposes a future bedroom/sitting room above the garage with a small dormer in front to add headroom.  Additional storage would be under the eaves.


There was general discussion on conformity and reasonable use of property.


(copy in italics are Ms. Barkyoumb’s answers to direct questions, unless otherwise noted)

B. Murphy had questions about whether the garage could be moved instead of increasing the degree of non-conformity. Could it be set onto the house making an ‘L’? (No, it wouldn’t gain livable space.) Would staying within the setbacks by moving the garage and then building up solve the problem? (The slope would not allow access.   There is a telephone pole and guy wire blocking.) B. Murphy suggested checking with an engineer to determine if an L-shape would work in order to get the entire foot-print within the setback.  Matching the roof pitch while keeping one level would not increase the square footage but would add storage space and expansion of the kitchen.


M. Casey asked if the garage could be moved. (No, because of current ditching, a swale, and the location of the septic.)  Would a second story be allowed on the house [which is already in compliance]? (S. Taylor – Yes, if not within the setback.)  There was additional discussion on the possibility of putting a dormer on the current house to increase space upstairs and reconfiguring the floor-plan to add a dormer on the front or back of the house to increase living space.


J. Heyer: How big is the current garage? (550 square feet.)  How big would the proposed garage be?  ( Adding 8 feet to the back to make it flush with the current house – 750 square feet.)


J. Beers asked why the basement was wet. (The house is built on ledge.)  Can it be corrected? (No.)  There was discussion on the corner lot leading to 2 frontages and the square footage of the garage with a 2nd floor.  Structurally, can a 2nd floor be added to the house? (S. Taylor – that’s a question for an engineer.)  It would substantially increase the non-conformity by adding a 2nd floor to the garage.  The reason to increase in size is not compelling enough.  It does not meet the criteria for reasonable use.  There are other options to create what she needs and still be in conformity.  There was discussion on the cost effectiveness of going up instead of adding to footprint and other options to meet conformity without adding to the footprint.


S. Taylor – Do you want to have a separate entrance to the expanded garage?  (I hope to.)  Can we include economic capability?  (J. Beers – Has no bearing.).  Are there any structural issues other than the wet basement?  Can it handle a 2nd floor? Other questions to consider in allowing a variance:  Is it reasonable to want to expand the kitchen?  Is it a reasonable use of the property?  Moving the garage would not allow expansion of the kitchen.







7:55 PM - E. Barkyoumb left the meeting.


B. Murphy asked about recessing the hearing until a later date.  S. Taylor suggested recessing for one month to allow time to consider options and do some measurements.


8:00 PM - M. Casey moved to recess to June 15, 2011 at 7PM;   J. Beers 2nd.  All in favor.


Respectfully submitted,

Martha Varney, Zoning and Planning Administrator



Approved: ___________________________________________ Date: _________________________

                          For the Development Review Board



These minutes are unofficial until approved at the next regularly scheduled meeting.  All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.