Goffstown resident obtains driveway permit waiver, but still questions practice
Kathy Zorawicz's driveway had to be torn out due to water damage. She successfully appealed a driveway permit waiver fee via the Goffstown Board of Selectmen. (Cassidy Swanson/Union Leader Correspondent)
While Zorawowicz successfully appealed the fee, she said she should not need a permit for work done on her dime, on her own property.
Zorawowicz asked why the fee exists. Town Administrator Sue Desruisseaux said that the town has had this fee “for some time,” and that it exists to ensure roads won’t be damaged when a driveway is connected to a road. While it was originally for new driveways only, the fee was eventually expanded to include driveway modification.
Zorawowicz countered that the reason her driveway needs repaving is because of the condition of Merrill Road over the last 15 years.
Selectman Peter Georgantas said the board should waive the fee in Zorawowicz’s case.
“If they’re fixing their own driveway, we shouldn’t be charging them $100 or $25 or anything — we should be working with her,” he said.
“We’re not setting a precedent; we’re looking at it case by case,” he said.
A vote to waive Zorawowicz’s driveway repaving fee was 4-to-1, with Brown abstaining.
She also said that it was not the dollar amount that upset her; rather, she’s troubled about having to get a permit to improve her own property.
“The problems have been alleviated, however, our driveway had been pretty much destroyed prior to (the road repairs),” she said.
“Nobody ever took the time, like I did, to go (to the board) and question it,” Zorawowicz said, positing that may be the reason the fee was never reduced to $25. “Most people would just not want to ‘fight city hall,’ so to speak, and would just pay it or whatever.”
“Apparently they didn’t know I had got the permit waived,” she said. “They drive around and if they notice someone’s having driveway work done, they’ll take a picture and they’ll go back and investigate whether or not the people paid” the permit fee. Zorawowicz said Department of Public Works secretary Cathy Willmott gave her the information.
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