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Old 08-31-2013, 01:01 PM   #1
Flylady
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Default Shoreline Protection Act- variances

Well it has been several years since the act took effect. Now I am looking to expand my cottage and because of the layout of the existing footings I have about 10-15 feet on the east end that are 5 feet over the 50' set back requirement. So to obtain the work I want done, it would require a variance exception of about 5 ' for the length of 12 feet. So my question is has anyone on this forum had any experience with applying for a variance and what was the outcome?
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Old 08-31-2013, 06:10 PM   #2
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Flylady, you don't say what town you live in but I am in Tuftonboro and am a member of the ZBA. We see these kind of requests regularly and it all depends on the actual plans; current footprint of existing structures and the proposed extensions. In general, if you are trying to expand "up" (such as a new dormer or second story) it shouldn't be a problem. However, if you are trying to expand further into the buffer zone, that can be a problem. Not out of the question, but approval isn't certain.

Talk to your code officer, with plans in hand (or a very good sketch) and find out what he thinks. He will know the process you should follow and who you should talk to.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:39 PM   #3
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This is not something you would need a variance for under the current language of the Shoreland Protection Act. If your project involves expansion of the structure within the 50 ft setback then there needs to be something about the project that makes it more nearly conforming to the overall intent and purpose of the Act (see RSA 483-B:11). In essence you should include something in your proposal to mitigate for the expansion. Things that can be done include upgrading the septic system, improving the the vegetated buffers, or improving stormwater management. If no portion of your expansion will be within the 50 ft setback, then it is reviewed as a regular application with no special requirements.

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NH DES Land Resource Management
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:29 PM   #4
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Very helpful feedback. Since one corner is 45' from the shoreline any addition to the right side to match the current footings would also be about 5' short of the 50 foot line, so my designer is setting back the 12 foot expansion by the 5 feet. Thanks for the tips on mitigating issues. Lucky I have great neighbors s

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Old 09-04-2013, 07:20 AM   #5
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Question SPA..always a source for an interesting debate

The question came up recently as to whether or not a permit is required if a person wants to trim or "prune" the blueberry bushes, etc. along the shoreline of their property. Anybody here know the answer?
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:31 AM   #6
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One is not required to get a Shoreland Permit for the trimming or pruning of bushes.

That said trimming or pruning should not be interpretted to mean cutting them down to ground level...
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:38 AM   #7
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..........

That said trimming or pruning should not be interpretted to mean cutting them down to ground level...

Why not? That is a perfectly acceptable thing to do to some blueberry bushes and other shrubs also.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:41 AM   #8
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Why would anyone want to cut down wild blueberry bushes? Mmmm, blueberry pancakes.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:03 AM   #9
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Why would anyone want to cut down wild blueberry bushes? Mmmm, blueberry pancakes.

They grow back and produce more blueberries, although the year after doing this they usually produce none, but if done correctly it can increase your yield. I remember the old timers would burn them in the fall.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:42 AM   #10
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Ok, I am not a blueberry farming expert by any means but my understanding of the principle is that if you burn the fields regularly the there is only a limited amount of fuel on the ground and thus the fire does not burn hot enough to dry out and burn any live, green bushes. I do not believe this process destroys all parts of the plant above ground level. The key is, don't kill them. I do not think it is possible to cut them off where the stem meets the ground (what I meant by ground level) and not kill them.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:46 AM   #11
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Default MacMansion Owners

There is one owner that built his house after SPA was in affect. His view of the lake is blocked by trees that he cannot cut down, yet he is trimming them a little every year until they look like they a dying. This will give him the excuse to cut them down. Sneaky trick!
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:30 PM   #12
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There is one owner that built his house after SPA was in affect. His view of the lake is blocked by trees that he cannot cut down, yet he is trimming them a little every year until they look like they a dying. This will give him the excuse to cut them down. Sneaky trick!
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:43 PM   #13
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It is my understanding that when pruning blueberry bushes, the oldest or heavy woody stocks should be cut down to ground level so that the energy goes to the younger, less woody parts of the bush.

I have, in the past always cut back the growth along the shore. It always seems to come back better than ever, so I don't think trimming or thinning out the shoreline growth has any negative impact on the health of the shoreline root system.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whalebackpoint'r View Post
It is my understanding that when pruning blueberry bushes, the oldest or heavy woody stocks should be cut down to ground level so that the energy goes to the younger, less woody parts of the bush.

I have, in the past always cut back the growth along the shore. It always seems to come back better than ever, so I don't think trimming or thinning out the shoreline growth has any negative impact on the health of the shoreline root system.
whalebackpoint'r, I just noticed that you are fairly new to posting on the forum and glad you have joined us. Have fun and enjoy the Winni Forum while making many new friends.

Thanks for the input about cutting the bushes along the lake and the regrowth coming back stronger. I have the exact thing happening to mine over the past 40 years.

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Old 09-04-2013, 08:01 PM   #15
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When I was youngster many, many years ago, we would burn off sections of our blueberries every year. Meaning one section this year and anther section next year and so on down the sections. We would repeat this process every 4 to 5 years. The second year growth was fantastic and lot's better money. This was done for harvesting and selling to big blueberry companies.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:52 PM   #16
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Thanks. I was hoping for some experience on SPA variances and also got a great lesson on how to better manage the blueberry growth all along the waterfront!
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:32 AM   #17
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When I was youngster many, many years ago, we would burn off sections of our blueberries every year. Meaning one section this year and anther section next year and so on down the sections. We would repeat this process every 4 to 5 years. The second year growth was fantastic and lot's better money. This was done for harvesting and selling to big blueberry companies.
That is what was done on my brother's property in Maine with great production results the next year. They also burned sections of blueberries every other year on the hundreds of acres that surrounded his property. It was all commercial organic blueberries - Allen Blueberries.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:48 AM   #18
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UMaine on pruning blueberry bushes.



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