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Nevis Planning Commission approves variance request for larger cabin on Lake Belle Taine

At the recommendation of Nevis planning and zoning administrator Andrew Mack, the Planning Commission has approved a variance request for Keith and Renee Thielen for property located at 116 Emily Street on Lake Belle Taine.

In September, the Nevis Council denied a recommendation by the Planning Commission to approve a variance to replace the existing home and garage with new structures.

The Thielens subsequently worked with an architect to draft plans, reducing the number of structures from three (home, garage and guest cabin) to two. The guest cabin will remain without modification; the proposed house and garage are a single structure.

The existing home and garage will be demolished; the new home to be built on the same footprint, with a 20 percent increase in total building area (from 2,724 square feet to 3,263 square feet).

The impervious surface area on the 45,302 square foot site area will increase from 4,414 square feet to 5,881 square feet.

"In my opinion, this constitutes the least amount of impact, " Mack told the commissioners and a number of friends and neighbors who arrived for the hearing. "It represents a good plan and is in conformity with the Nevis Land Use Plan," he said of the variances for a 20-foot setback and expansion of the dwelling.

The Thielens will reclaim and restore 100 feet of shoreline, increasing lake protection, Mack said. "It's a small area," he said, "but a step in the right direction."

Plans call for shoreline grasses and trees and shrubs to be added. Five trees will be removed.

"I'm well satisfied there will be no further encroachment to the lake," Mack said.

"I'm impressed," said mayor Paul Schroeder, who'd made the motion to deny the setback variance in September. "This has been professionally done. A lot of work went into this."

Planning Commission chair Brent Lindow agreed. "It's a superb plan," he said, making a motion for approval.

The variance request will be submitted for final approval at the next Nevis Council meeting.