FAIRFAX DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD Wednesday, Sept, 19, 2012
Leon Beliveau Conditional Use Hearing for a Rooming and Boarding House at 1166 Main St.
Members Present: J. Heyer; B. Murphy; M. Dufresne; M. Casey; C. Rainville
Public Present: Mark Brunell; Randy Devine; Diane Henning; Guy Henning; Ingaborg White; Tim White; Brett Philips; Michelle Philips; Susan Mitchell; John Mitchell; David Parenteau; Skip Taylor, ZA
Applicant Present: Leon Beliveau
7:30 PM- J. Heyer called the hearing to order. The warning was read, introductions made, and interested persons sworn in.
Mr. Beliveau explained to the Board that, due to the Fire Inspector’s report (the house was inspected by the State Fire Marshall’s Office on September 17, 2012), he was amending his original application for a 9-bedroom rooming and boarding house to a 5-bedroom/6 person rooming and boarding house. He plans to rent four rooms (single occupancy) and move his wife and himself back into the house to satisfy the Fairfax Development Regulation’s requirement that a rooming and boarding house be owner-occupied. As of the hearing, he had yet to notify the Fire Inspector of the change.
There will be one bedroom used on the first floor with the rest to be used on the second. Two of the bedrooms will have private baths and the other three will share bathrooms. The kitchen is to be shared by everyone. The third floor will be a sitting area and also includes a bathroom. There was discussion on the number of bedrooms available and how to police the number of people for each. Mr. Beliveau stated that he can evict people. One current tenant is being evicted and another is moving by the end of November to allow Mr. Beliveau to move back in. Asked by the Board what he plans to do with the additional unused bedrooms, Mr. Beliveau stated that he may use some for additional storage but would probably close them. There was additional discussion regarding boarding duration. B. Murphy asked what the fixed period of time was for a “fixed rate.” She expressed concern for the stability of the neighborhood – i.e. frequent changes of tenants vs. long-term occupants. Mr. Beliveau stated that he would prefer long-term tenants. Boarding duration is 30 days, month to month, by verbal agreement.
M. Casey asked Mr. Beliveau to address concerns including trash pick-up (large garbage cans available), ways of addressing noise complaints, lighting (whether they are “down-casting” and not intrusive to neighbors), the number of stairwells in the house, and windows (of sufficient type in each bedroom to satisfy the Fire Marshalls’ requirements). Additional questions concerning screening around the property, designated parking places, access for emergency vehicles, and “No Parking” signs were also discussed.
Open to Public Input
Brett Philips spoke of his frustration with noise, fireworks, motorcycle noise and late-night speeders, foul language, the need to confront people, and the number of people in and out of the Beliveau property at all hours. He has called the Sheriff’s Office on several occasions and has contacted Mr. Beliveau. This has been ongoing for 6 years. Mr. Phillips stated he is an abutter (across the street) and had not received notification of the hearing.
Tim and Inga White noted the noise and fireworks, and presented as evidence a spent firecracker (rocket?) found in their yard. They have called the police, asked the neighbors to be quiet, and said they could not leave their windows open due to loud noises late into the night. The number of cars in the yard has numbered as many as 15 at a time, with numerous people in and out. They stated that it has altered the character of the neighborhood and lowered their property value.
Mark Brunell told the Board his house had been shot with a paintball gun. He complained of a lack of supervision, noise, the number of cars, and asked how control was maintained by Mr. Beliveau. He stressed that supervision needs to be addressed.
Diane Henning stated she was present in support of the Whites’. She noted the noise and swearing, and the necessity to put up a fence to keep dogs out of their own yard. She said the character of the neighborhood of single-family homes had changed.
Guy Henning spoke of missing (stolen?) items from their garage, golf balls and beer bottles in their yard, and a disregard by the Beliveau tenants for the neighbors.
Michelle Philips worried that the surrounding home values were dropping. She expressed concern for the tenants in a house they own.
David Parenteau noted trash issues, including discarded cigarette butts and beer cans.
John Mitchell told the Board that past history does not guarantee compliance. There are zoning laws for a reason.
Randy Devine (Fairfax Water/Sewer Superintendent) told the Board that the Beliveau house meets the water requirements for a proposed change of use. It needs 90 more gallons for sewer but that will likely be available. He explained that the Listers’ card currently shows 6 bedrooms @150 gallons of water allocated per bedroom. 900 gallons of water is currently allocated by the Town. A rooming/boarding house requires only 50 gallons of water per person. B. Murphy asked about a sprinkler system and if there was enough water to support one. The options are a separate reserve tank or the municipal water system. Randy explained that enough pressure for the system was the issue, not the availability of water.
Additional questions from the Board included traffic, noise, fireworks, lighting, buffers, and disregard of neighbors by the tenants. B. Murphy wants to see the revised Fire Marshall’s report and proposed the hearing be recessed until the Board can review the report. J. Heyer agreed. M. Casey would like to see a better site plan and leave the hearing open to additional testimony regarding neighbors’ concerns.
Items needed from Mr. Beliveau for continuation of this hearing-
-New Fire Inspection report based on the changes requested by Mr. Beliveau.
-Sprinkler information certified by an engineer, if necessary.
-A site plan
-How Mr. Beliveau plans to alleviate and address neighbors’ complaints regarding noise, safety, traffic, trash, and tenant behavior.
- Copy of a contract or signed lease agreement for tenants, including the length of a ‘fixed term.’
Skip Taylor said that conditions can be applied to the approval of a project and explained the Town’s authority in enforcing those conditions.
9:05 PM- M. Casey moved to recess the hearing until Nov 7, 2012 at 7:15PM; M. Dufresne 2nd. All in favor.
Martha Varney, Zoning and Planning Assistant
Signed: ___________________________________ 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.