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Author Topic: UL - Scobie Pond builder gets some bad news  (Read 1164 times)
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« on: September 14, 2009, 12:09:40 PM »

from the Union Leader

Scobie Pond builder gets some bad news
Union Leader Correspondent

LONDONDERRY – After the zoning board denied a builder's waiver request, roughly three feet of a recently completed home will have to be torn up due to a measurement error made in the earliest phase of construction.

Robert Cook, the home's builder and owner, has until Friday to file an appeal

The home, a two-bedroom lake house at 38 Brewster Road on Scobie Pond, sits three feet too close to 36 Brewster Road.

Cook said he discovered the error when he filed for an occupancy permit with the town. He requested an equitable waiver for the mistake from the zoning board of adjustment last month, saying the error had been made in good faith.

The ZBA denied the request, however, with board members less than sympathetic to Cook's plight. Pointing to a 2007 variance the board had granted to Cook that specifically outlined the challenges of building a home on the narrow lot, board member Larry O'Sullivan said he felt there had been plenty of discussion ahead of time to warrant extra care in the home's construction.

O'Sullivan also said he felt Cook had "misrepresented" the size of the house he wanted to build on the lot, and there was little documentation ahead of time to show Cook knew where the setback began. Because the newer home was built atop a hill, the split-level structure towers over the neighboring home, placing much of the modest cabin in shadow for the day.

"How can you make a good faith effort in measurement if you never knew the width of the lot to begin with?" O'Sullivan asked.

Zoning board vice chairman Yves Steger said the board was fully aware denying the waiver request would force Cook to tear down a portion of his home while acknowledging the affect the decision would have on both Cook and Eric Holland, the owner of the cabin at 36 Brewster Road.

"It's clear a mistake has been made. We were talking about a very small lot, and the lot width is very clearly stated in the property restrictions," Steger said.

Following the ZBA vote, Cook has until Friday to appeal the decision or request a rehearing, though no paperwork has been filed to date. Calls to reach Cook or Holland for comment were not returned.

Glenn Douglas
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