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Camp Fernwood Cove June 6 2011

Board of Appeals hearing
Camp Fernwood Cove
June 20, 2011

The Appeals Board met at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were members John Bell, John Huffman, Merl Barker, and Larry Stretton. Also present were appellate Jim Gill, Planning Board members Tony Butterall and Bruce Sanborn, CEO Bill Haynes and Selectman Randy Lessard. On a motion by John Bell, seconded by Larry Stretton, John Huffman was elected Chairman by a vote of 4-0.

Making his appeal for a variance was Jim Gill of Camp Fernwood Cove, 350 Island Pond Road, Harrison, Maine. Mr. Gill requested a variance to build a two level meetinghouse to be constructed on the site of the present meetinghouse, with the same layout and no change in the foot size. It would have bathrooms, and showers for the use of stage players. There would be no one living in this area, as there would be no bedrooms. Although it is engineered for 400 people, it would not have any more than 300 at any one time. The building would be squared to face the waterfront. It would be of open beam construction, with no posts. Mr. Gill would like to save a considerable amount of money by purchasing a 60-foot open beam superstructure that had been previously built for a company that went out of business. With the use of the prebuilt beam structure, the height of the roof would have to be 40 feet in order to maintain an adequate roofline for winter snows. The town ordinance limits building heights to 35 feet. This prevents blocking the view of any neighboring constructions as well as providing a margin of fire safety, since the town does not have fire equi p.m.ent that lifts higher than that height. In this case, the surrounding land is owned by Camp Fernwood, and would not present a problem of obstructing any neighboring views.

On May 18, 2011 Mr. Gill met with the Planning Board. Although the Board in general was in support of the structure, the motion to approve was denied 0 to 5 because it exceeds the 35-foot height limitation. The Board has no authority to grant a variance, so Mr. Gill must take his request to the Appeals Board.

Mr. Butterall, Chairman of the Planning Board addressed the Appeals Board stating that the reasons for the 35 foot limit did not apply in this case and supported the Appeals Board granting the variance.

Mr. Stretton asked Mr. Gill about roof pitch. Mr. Barker asked about location relative to Island Pond. Mr. Bell asked about roof design and how the situation created a hardship. There was also discussion among audience members.

On a motion by Mr. Barker, seconded by Mr. Stretton, the Board voted to approve the variance on a vote of 3 ayes to 1 nay, Mr. Bell dissenting.

On a motion by Mr. Stretton, seconded by Mr. Barker, the meeting was adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

Chairman John Huffman