MINOT — Selectmen on Monday learned that their offer to send a “No Action” letter to a Hersey Hill Road property owner whose shed is in violation of the town’s land use ordinance setback requirements had been refused by the property owner.

Property owner Larry Jackson objected to the qualification in the letter of “No Action” that said the town would not take action against him or require him to go before the Appeals Board “at this time.”

“What he wants,” Town Administrator Arlan Saunders said, “is for you to tell him that the town will never take action against him for the violation.”

The problem began ten years ago when Jackson built his 8-by-12-foot shed six feet too close to the Hersey Hill Road right-of-way.

This error came to light earlier this spring when Jackson met with Code Enforcement Officer Ken Pratt to inquire about how to proceed with some drainage work in the area.

Two weeks ago, selectmen recognized that the error had been an honest one — the shed was down an embankment, with trees growing between it and the road — and agreed that since the shed wasn’t causing anyone any problems, they would be willing to let it be.

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The letter informed Jackson that the board was aware of the violation, but wouldn’t make him move it or require him to ask the Appeals Board to grant him a variance.

“We can’t speak ‘forever,’” Selectman Dan Gilpatric said. “Who knows what the future will bring?”

“The board is obligated to enforce the town’s land use ordinance,” Selectman Dean Campbell said, “the best we can do is give him the option. He can accept a letter saying we won’t do anything at this time, or he can move the shed.”

“That’s as fair as we can be,” Gilpatric said.

In other business, selectmen appointed Julie Rioux to serve the remainder of Ellie Biron’s term on the RSU 16 school committee. Biron, elected just over a year ago, submitted her resignation, noting that she was moving out of state.

Selectmen were pleased that three residents had shown interest in serving as one of the town’s five representatives on the school committee, thanking Aubrey Russell and Donna Wallace for their interest.

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Rioux’s term will run through June 30, 2015.

Selectmen also agreed to advertise that they were accepting bids for a tax-acquired wood lot located off Hadfield Road.

Selectman Gilpatric reported that he had walked the 25-acre lot and determined that the growth is relatively young but that, if properly thinned, it would provide a valuable harvest in about twenty years.

Bids will be due August 5, at 5 p.m., with an opening at the board’s meeting that evening.

Selectmen also reviewed documents prepared by the town’s attorney, Norman Rattey, to present to owners of lots on York Road Extension as a way to clarify who owns what property.


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