"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Friday, April 6, 2018

Zoning Board Grants Variance for Offsite Directional Sign Size for New Woodshed

As mentioned at last evenings BoS meeting, the Zoning Board of Adjustment approved a variance to allow the owner of the lot that the former Country Fare Inn was located to have a directional sign located on the property in roughly the same size and location as the current sign located on the corned of Old 109 and Rt. 25. ( ZBA minutes March 21st 2018).

The sign requested is larger then that allowed in our zoning ordinances and the sign was not grandfathered as the business it advertised (Gillgans) is no longer there.The ZBA variance approval stipulates that the proposed directional sign be located as per the location shown on the site plan previously approve by the Moultonborough Planning Board and  that the sign  be no greater than 37.62 sq. ft.
The matter still needs to go back to the BoS for approval as the ZBA by granting the variance was giving relief only on the size of the sign. It becomes the jurisdiction of the BoS who must approve offsite directional signs for traffic and safety reasons.( Zoning Ordinances Article 5 Section 502(C). "Directional signs on Town roads, not greater in size than four (4) square feet for business identification and direction only, may be allowed by permit for each business off site at the discretion of the Board of Selectmen if it is deemed necessary by the Selectmen for traffic and safety reasons"

The variance approval means that the BoS in making their decision, will not be constrained by the sign ordinance size limitation in making a final decision, but can grant approval on a much larger sign, roughly the same size as currently exists.

1 comment:

Joe Cormier said...

Glad to see the ZBA granted the variance.

Not being intimate with the zoning ordinances, my curiosity was piqued, on the verbiage of Section 502(C) that stated "Town" roads.

Zoning Ordinances Article 5 Section 502(C). "Directional signs on ... Town roads ..., not greater in size than four (4) square feet for business identification and direction only, ..."

I thought Rt.25 and Old Rt. 109 to be state roads. I didn't find either one on the town road list, so figured they must be state roads under state jurisdiction ... wrong!

After a quick search, found a 2014 NHMA piece that stated:

" Cities and towns have only the powers the legislature has expressly given them. All municipal authority must find its basis in some state law.

For example, cities and towns may adopt zoning ordinances and land use regulations only because there is a statute (RSA 674) that gives them that authority.

Selectmen and city councils can adopt ordinances governing the use of public roads because state law says they can (RSA 41:11 and 47:17)."

236:1 Regulation. –
I. The commissioner may regulate the use of class I, class II, and class III highways in towns or cities without compact sections and in other towns and cities outside the compact portion thereof as determined by him, including the use of rights-of-way.
II. The commissioner may establish stop intersections, erect stop signs, yield right-of-way signs, or other traffic devices or signals thereon or upon any way entering thereon.

RSA 41:11
"Regulation of Use of Highways, Etc. – Unless regulated by the commissioner of the department of transportation as provided in RSA 236:1, the selectmen may regulate the use of all public highways, sidewalks, and commons in their respective towns and for this purpose may exercise all the powers conferred on city councils by RSA 47:17, VII, VIII, and XVIII, and by any other provisions of the laws upon the subject."

Oh well, I thought I'd post this while waiting for "Gold Rush" to come TV.