CHESTERFIELD, N.H. -- A local couple got unanimous approval from the zoning board of adjustment Tuesday to do extensive work on their property on the condition that all penetrable pavement is properly engineered and maintained.
Jeff and Karen Rodden, of 158 North Shore Road, received a variance from the ZBA because they want to use a vertical expansion to create a new entryway, which will involve moving a stairwell to a different portion of their house and reducing impermeable cover, or an artificial surface covered with impenetrable materials. Donald R. Scott, a landscape architect hired by the Roddens, laid out his clients’ plan for their residence. He said the impermeable, or impervious, will be replaced by a new permeable paving system.
"The existing house right now has a front door ... in the middle and they want to remove that door as well as the little porch to it and the walkway up to it and it would be replaced with a window," he said at the Chesterfield Town Offices. "And the reason we want to remove the stairwell is to provide more open space in the living room/kitchen area at the front of the house toward the (Spofford) Lake. In order to change that format to create more space around the kitchen and the living room and eating area with a small breakfast table, we need to move the stairwell and the best place to move the stairwell is ... to the middle of the building and create a whole new entryway."
The request before the ZBA was also to allow the Roddens to reduce the impermeable cover of the house’s walkway by using a permeable paving system. This would decrease the percentage of impermeable cover from 30.5 to 20.5 percent, he said.
"What is allowed for these properties in this zone is that they must be 20 percent," he said. "So, we’re proposing that we can use this paving system to decrease the impervious cover to a point where it’s nearly conforming to the statute. And we’re offering that as a concession of increasing the building coverage. In most cases where we have non-conforming structures, we like to find a way that we can bring the property into more conformity and that’s why we want to provide this impervious paving system."
He said the covered walkway is a safety measure to catch snow and ice and the variance asks for permission to expand the building, mostly vertically. He also mentioned the Roddens’ driveway will be reduced slightly for the project.
Attorney Michael Bentley, representing the Roddens, told the ZBA granting the variance was in the town’s best interests because it allows the Roddens "to improve the utility of their property" without blocking anyone’s view to nearby Spofford Lake. He said the work will not increase traffic or noise, will not diminish the value of surrounding properties and won’t affect the lake. He mentioned laundry equipment will be moved from a non-heated space to what will become a heated space on the second floor.
ZBA Chairman Burt Riendeau said situations involving permeable and impermeable surfaces are not specifically addressed in Chesterfield’s ordinances.
Jeff Rodden said he and his wife were pleased with the Zoning Board’s decision.
"I think that the board gave us a very fair hearing. I think there was a lot of good discussion," he said as he was leaving the Chesterfield Town Offices. "I’m very satisfied with the outcome."
Domenic Poli can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.