November 21, 2023, DRB Findings and Decision

Town of Newfane, Vermont Development Review Board
Hearing Regarding a Variance to Setback Requirements
Findings and Decision November 21, 2023


Re: Request for setback variance for construction of a balcony at 5 Baker Brook Road

Permit Application Number: 23-044

Newfane Development Review Board (DRB) held a public hearing on July 26, 2023, to consider application 23-044 for a variance to the setback requirements in the Rural District and from a stream/brook.

Applicant Tara McEnroe Kent submitted documentation showing that the proposed balcony would be sited approximately 70 feet from the high water mark of Baker Brook, in line with the existing home and existing balcony/deck on another portion of the home. The applicant stated the balcony would be attached to the structure of the house and would not be attached to or touching the ground.

Guiding Policy Provisions
Town of Newfane Zoning Bylaw adopted February 19, 2015

Materials Submitted
Sketch of proposed balcony, map with measurements to Baker Brook.

Findings of Fact
The sketch and map provided and the testimony of the applicant show that there are unique physical circumstances of the land that make it impossible to develop in conformity with the provisions of the zoning bylaw and that the home already has a balcony in another portion of the building that encroaches further into the setback.

Further, because of the physical circumstances, there is no possibility that the property can be developed in strict conformity with the provisions of the zoning bylaw.

Conclusion of Law
Based on a review of materials submitted and presented testimony, the Newfane DRB concludes this application warrants a granting of a variance as follows: “For the construction of a 7×5.5 foot balcony, to be attached to the building and not touching or attached to the ground, a variance of approximately 3 feet from the required 75-foot setback to the high water mark of Baker Brook is granted”

Application 23-044 is unanimously approved, and a variance to the setback is granted, allowing the applicant to construct a 7×5.5 foot balcony from the second floor of the house, not touching the ground.

Pursuant to Title 24 VSA Sections 4471 and 4472, an interested person who has participated in the review of this application may appeal this decision to the Environmental Division of The Vermont Superior Court by certified mail within thirty (30) days of the date this decision is issued. A copy of the notice must also be sent to the Zoning Administrator or the Municipal Clerk, who is required to provide a list of interested persons to the appellant within five days of receipt of the Notice. The appellant is required to send a copy of the Notice via certified mail, to each interested person.

Town of Newfane, Vermont
Development Review Board
David Cotton, Chair