Town of Esopus Zoning Board of Appeals
Minutes
May 17, 2005

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chairman Don Cole. Pledge to the Flag followed.

ROLL CALL

Present: Catherine Charuk, Don Cole, Darin DeKoskie, Joe Guido, Rob Hare, Richard Wenzel, and Karl Wick.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

KARL WICK MADE A MOTION TO ACCEPT THE MINUTES AS SUBMITTED. RICHARD WENZEL SECONDED. All present voted in favor.

APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS

JOE GUIDO MADE A MOTION TO APPROVE THE VOUCHER FOR SECRETARIAL WORK. DARIN DeKOSKIE SECONDED. All present voted in favor.

INFORMATIONAL MEETING

Fisher, Arthur and Susan Case #05-17-05-01

Before Mr. and Mrs. Fisher presented their case, Mr. Cole mentioned that the application was received with no supporting documentation and the notice of disapproval from the building department was unacceptable since it was not specific enough. He advised that a letter was sent to the building department requesting that they return to the use of the Notice of Disapproval that was used for all previous applications.

Mr. Fisher advised that they are proposing to put a deck on and they didnít know there was a 30' setback from the road. They are asking for a five foot variance since it will be 25'. Ms. Charuk asked if the applicant has any drawings and he advised that the building inspector has them. Mr. Guido advised him that even though the building inspector has them, this Board will need drawings for the next meeting. He also asked if the applicant is further out than everybody else or if he will be in line with everybody. Mr. Fisher stated that there really isnít any staying in line in the neighborhood because some of it is woods and some people are on the hill. Mr. Cole told him that what the Board needs is a drawing of where his house is and where he wants to put the deck. Mr. Fisher stated that he is kind of replacing a structure that was there before. Mr. Hare asked if it was preexisting and when it fell down. Mr. Fisher stated that it didnít fall down, there were just no railings on it so they took it off and put something better on it. He was asked by a few members of the Board if it is the same size and he responded that it is larger. Mr. Guido told the applicant that the Board needs to know how big the deck is, where the house is, how big the old deck was, and where the new deck will be. He asked if the applicant planned on closing the deck and Mr. Fisher said he is not. Mr. Guido told him that they need to know how high the deck is off the ground and if he will need steps because they are also included in the variance. He also needs to know where his property line is to be sure that the variance requested is only for five feet. Mr. Fisher said he will get copies of the drawings he submitted to the building department.

Banks, Dorothy L. Case #05-17-05-02

Everett Banks was present. He would like to put a carport in his front yard because there is no room in the side yard. Mr. Cole asked how far out in front he will be coming because there are no drawings with this application either. Mr. Guido told the applicant that he will have to provide the same information as was requested of the other applicant. He will need to show how far it will be from the property lines. Mr. Banks stated that this will be a metal structure with a metal roof. Mr. Wenzel asked how it will be anchored and the applicant stated that it can either be anchored in concrete or just put into the ground. The applicant was asked if he has a brochure or pamphlet from the place where he is buying this. Mr. Cole told the applicant to get as much information as possible before the next meeting and public hearing notices will go out to the adjoining neighbors.

PUBLIC HEARING

No cases.

DECISIONAL MEETING

No cases.

OTHER BUSINESS

At this time, Mr. Cole stated that the next thing before the Board is a little problem that he got a phone call on and tried to straighten out on his own. The owner of this property was building an extension off the back of an addition that was on the building. Mr. Cole stated that he has drawings of the building that he picked up at the building department. The property is on Route 32 near Chilcottís. He stated that if he had any questions he would ask the owner because she was present but he would rather not get into that at this particular time until he tells the Board the whole story and what is going on. The house burned and was rebuilt around 1978. When it was built it had a setback off Route 32 of approximately 21 feet. He advised that he has a survey of the property. There is a wide span between properties. There is not one house on top of the other. Side setbacks are no problem and neither is the rear setback. The only problem is with the front. The building inspector was going to approve it and then had second thoughts. Everything was ready to go including the contractor and it was just a matter of picking up the building permit. At the last minute he had a concern about the setback. Mr. Cole advised that he just got the plans today and he thought that the addition was all to the back but now he sees that there is a section across the front of six feet. It is still in the same line as the setback that is in violation now, what was agreed upon in 1978 or thereabouts. The building inspector asked him about it and Mr. Cole told him that as far as he knew, once the setback was established the owner could stay within that setback up to  200' on either side. Mr. Cole told the building inspector that as far as he knew this addition could be built because it was not extending any further in the front than what the house is and he sent him a letter stating that.

Mr. Wick asked how many square feet the addition would be. Ms. Johnson, the property owner, stated that it is about 700 square feet. Mr. Wick then asked how big the house is and Ms. Johnson said it is about 1200 square feet. There followed several minutes of discussion by the members of the Board and the property owner, all of whom were speaking at the same time.

Mr. Guido stated that this matter is not before the Board. The owner could have filed for an interpretation or the building inspector could have refused the permit and it could have been presented to the Board, but as it is, the Board cannot legally do anything. Ms. Johnson stated that when she spoke to the building inspector before he went away, she brought him everything including the survey. She asked him if he wanted to keep the survey and he said he didnít need it. Everything was okay. All he needed to see was the architect drawings which she hadnít had done yet. She had the drawings done and went back to him with them. He went away. He came back and called her and said everything was fine and she could come and pick up the permit. Twenty minutes later he called back and said that he didnít know if they could really do that because of the roadway. The applicant reiterated that they had spoken about that and he said that now he was not sure. The building inspector was the one who mentioned Mr. Cole and that she might have to go to the zoning board. After he got a letter from Mr. Cole he called again and told her she could come later and pick up the permit. Twenty minutes later he called back again and said he didnít know if he could do it. Ms. Johnson said she has tried to do everything by the rules. Since she is the one who had the house rebuilt after the fire, she knows that she was given the proper permit and everything was okay then. She is not sure why there are not clear guidelines. She originally went to him in April. Now she has lost her interest rate with the bank.

Mr. Wick asked what the ultimate problem is and both Mr. Cole and Ms. Johnson stated that it is the setback. Ms. Johnson said that all she is doing is adding to the length of the building, she is not coming any further out. Mr. Wick said that if this came before him he would see no problem. Mr. Guido said that, sadly, this is not before the Board. Legally, for the Board to do anything there would have to be a public hearing. Mr. Cole could informally tell the building inspector what the general consensus of the Board is or the building inspector would have to issue a notice of disapproval. Mr. Hare said that Mr. Cole might get the building inspector to explain where specifically he sees a problem. Mr. Cole said that he will go to the building inspector.

Mr. Guido stated that if the building inspector would not issue a permit, if the rest of the Board agrees, this could be considered the informational meeting and the public hearing notices could be sent out for the next meeting as long as the owner submits and pays for the application for the zoning board.
 
Mr. Guido asked if a letter will be sent again asking for the applications to be complete before they are accepted. Mr. Cole stated that one has already been sent to the building department and another will be sent to the Town Clerk.

Mr. Hare reported that the Zoning Review Board is ďpretty much dead in the water.Ē No decisions were made and no action was taken on their recommendations.

KARL WICK MADE A MOTION TO ADJOURN. RICHARD WENZEL SECONDED. All present voted in favor. Meeting adjourned 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Kiernan
Secretary