LIVERMORE – The Appeals Board has granted a variance to a Route 4 couple who created a restricted nonconforming lot. The variance allows another business set up at RB’s Custom Meats’ site to display up to 24 units of recreational equipment for sale.

Restrictions placed on Roger and Bonita Roy’s creation of a nonconforming lot at 1551 Federal Road include no structures to be built or placed on property and ownership of the property transfers back to them when the new owner ceases to make use of the lot for the limited purpose.

The Roys had sought an “undue hardship dimensional variance” from the minimum space and frontage requirements in the town’s building ordinance.

The town requires conforming lots to have 200 feet of road frontage and be 40,000 square feet, Livermore Administrative Assistant Kurt Schaub said.

The land is being used as mixed residential and commercial, which is consistent to the conditions and characteristics of the neighborhood.

The parcel will be sold to Dennis Champagne of Livermore who will use it to display up to 24 units of outdoor recreational equipment for sale.

Schaub said the Roys had previously let Champagne display snowmobiles and removable docks at their RB’s Custom Meats site. But their insurance company wouldn’t insure them if the second business was on their site, Schaub said.

The Roys’ application was initially rejected by the town’s code enforcement officer, who has no authority to grant a variance. On March 19, the Livermore Planning Board met and approved the additional retail use of the property, subject to the conditions that the nonconforming lot be used only for the display of up to two dozen units of recreational equipment and no structures built or placed on the lot.

According to the Board of Appeals’ notice of decision issued earlier this month after a public hearing, the Roys had shown that strict application of the ordinance to the applicant and the applicant’s property would cause undue hardship.

The board concluded:

• The added use has the beneficial impact of increasing traffic to an existing small business.

• Property cannot be divided into two conforming lots. The property to be retained by the Roys will exceed the town’s minimum space and frontage requirements.

• Locality is mixed residential and commercial/retail use. The retail use of the resulting nonconforming lot will give the appearance of being an extension of the existing retail use of the original lot.

• Hardship is the result of the applicant’s insurer and other, similar insurers being unwilling to write liability coverage for both a retail meat and recreational equipment sales operation on the applicant’s property.

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