CHESTERFIELD, N.H. -- The town's Zoning Board of Adjustment earlier this month denied a man's appeal of a petition filed by a local business, citing that he will not be negatively affected by a final decision.
Bob Del Sesto said he filed an appeal against Big Deal's petition to its commercial use from non-conforming to conforming because he believes the Chesterfield Planning Board exceeded its authority in the way it modified a section of the zoning law and how it interpreted another.
"The planning board cannot modify or change zoning laws. Only the zoning board can do that," he said. His appeal was denied at a zoning board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 13.
One of Del Sesto's problems involved Section 400.2, entitled "Off-street loading/unloading." He said the law requires all commercial and industrial uses of a business to provide adequate off-street space for deliveries and the loading and unloading of goods. He said he feels this would not be the case under Big Deal owner Paul Saba's petition to add additional parking and a loading area. Saba's attorney, Michael Bentley of Lane & Bentley PC, said all of Saba's petitions have been approved.
Del Sesto said his second problem was regarding Page 48, Section 502.3 of the Chesterfield Zoning Ordinance. Entitled "Replacement with permitted use," the law states permitted use of a property must conform to district laws if its usage goes from non-conforming to conforming, according to Del Sesto.
He told the Reformer this would never cause a business to shut down because an owner can get out of it by proving he or she has no ability to conform to district laws. Del Sesto said he appealed to the zoning board of adjustment because that was one of the only avenues he had available after the Chesterfield Planning Board told him Saba was exempt from this requirement even though his business previously switched from non-conforming residential use to conforming commercial use. He said he feels the planning board misinterpreted the law.
Bentley said the property had commercial use before the town's zoning ordinance was adopted. He said it existed as non-conforming in a residential zone because a previous owner had also lived on the property at one time. Saba petitioned for a change of use and it was granted by voters in 2012 after accumulating 25 signatures on a petition, according to Del Sesto.
Del Sesto said, as of Tuesday, Aug. 13, he had 30 days to appeal the zoning board's decision, but has decided not to. He told Reformer he has nothing against Saba or Big Deal and has purchased items from the business.
Saba said he is glad the appeal was denied, though he respects Del Sesto's right to have filed it.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.