Village DRB recesses to public meeting

MANCHESTER VILLAGE -- The Manchester Village Development Review Board has decided to continue their deliberations regarding the former Village Country Inn properties in a public session on Aug. 29, according to chair Barry Brown.

The board last met on Monday, Aug. 19, as a continuation of the original hearing on the application on Aug. 5. The meeting ended in a deliberative session, which the board chose to recess until Aug. 23 at 9 a.m.

The continuation of the deliberative hearing was to decide under which criteria the application would be placed - either under the bylaws of business zoning, or the bylaws of the historic core district. The parcel falls under both zoning areas, including the preservation district.

The applicants and their lawyer, Joseph O'Dea, submitted an addendum to their original application stating that they believed they should be placed under the zoning for the historic core, section 4.3 of the bylaws, and not the business zoning, section 7.1.

On Monday, Brown asked for clarification from the applicants as to why they could not operate under both the business bylaws and the historic core zoning.

"The [business district] has a 75 foot front yard setback," explained engineer Ellis Speath. "If we were to request to build a building 75 feet back from the street line, we would be denied because of the historic core requirements. The historic core requires us to be close to the street with all our buildings, and not have a bunch of unused space in front."

The applicants also explained that the historic core requirements are the most restrictive, and if they were to meet those then they would meet all of the businees zoning requirements. However, if they were to strive to meet the requirements of the business zoning they would not meet all of the historic core requirements needed.

"It seems to me that the first question that we have to decide as a board is if this thing is going to go at all," said Orland Campbell at Monday night's meeting.

Prior to going into deliberative session on Monday night, Campbell stated that if the board decided that the applicants fell into the historic core, then the board would come back with recommendations for the applicants to change their plans before approval; however, if the board decided that the application was to fall under the business zoning bylaws then the plans would not meet all the requirements of the bylaws and would not be approved. Brown declined to comment as to the decision of the board regarding the zoning of the building.

The next open meeting for the hearing is to be on Thursday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. in the Courthouse.


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