To The Daily Sun,
The recent matter of a denied building permit in Gilmanton needs clarification.
An applicant who was denied a building permit chose to attempt to short-circuit the statutory appeal process by taking his issue to the Board of Selectmen rather than to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, as the statute requires. Although advised by the building official that his route of appeal was to the ZBA, he chose to go before the selectmen, apparently with the advice of a former member of that board. In so doing, he missed the ZBA appeal deadline, thus further delaying any decision.
The facts of the case were not presented to the Board of Selectmen. The issue before the board was whether the selectmen had authority to consider the appeal. They do not. The applicant can, and should, present his case to the ZBA, which will hear testimony and consider his argument as well as the official's reasons for denying the permit. The ZBA will then make its decision in accordance with the provisions of the zoning ordinance.
The ZBA is a quasi-judicial body. The Board of Selectmen, an administrative board, is charged with enforcing the zoning ordinance. It is not the venue to decide disputes involving interpretation of the zoning ordinance.
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