Minutes of the May19, 2009 Meeting



Chairman, Don Cole, called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.





Present:  Vic Barranca, Joe Guido, Rob Hare, Kathy Kiernan, Linda Smythe, Karl Wick,         

               and Chairman, Don Cole   



Vic made a motion to approve the April 21 minutes as written.  Karl seconded the motion.  All in favor.



Vic made a motion to approve the vouchers for secretarial work and Karl seconded the motion.  All in favor.



04-21-09-01                      McVay, Cynthia           

                                          312 River Road              Area Variance


Chairman Don Cole stated that Cynthia McVay was present for the public hearing on her variance for 700 sq. feet over the allowable sq. footage for an accessory apartment.  The variance was read for clarification.


Tom Maynard, 326 River Road, asked if there was a 3,330 sq. ft. residence on the property as stated in the variance language.


Don replied that there is a 42x100 new barn.


Tom asked if a building permit been issued for a residential structure?


Joe stated that Ms. McVay had been before the ZBA previously with a variance request which has changed at the Board’s suggestion.


Cynthia McVay then explained the progression of her project:   a building permit was issued to relocate a barn onto her property which has an existing residence; a second

building permit was issued to convert the barn to a studio.  In March she notified the Building Inspector that she wished to convert the barn studio to a second residence and a referral for a variance was issued to ZBA.  She is now requesting that the smaller house become an accessory to the barn.


Mr. Maynard asked again if a building permit had been issued for a residence yet.


There was some uncertainty on this, but it was determined that no building permit has yet been issued for an accessory apartment, making the new barn structure the primary residence.


Mr. Maynard then stated that it becomes a problem having two residential dwellings on one property.


Don Cole stated that that was not a problem – there are 42 acres on the property.


Karl commented that it is the size that is the problem; there is no problem with having two residential dwellings on the same property.  The issue is the square footage.


Mr. Maynard asked, “As an accessory apartment, if its not part of a larger structure?”


Don and Karl both replied, “Yes.”


Mr. Maynard was satisfied with this answer, but stated that everything he had read gave him the impression that this was something that should be subdivided in order to have two residences, and his attorney agreed with this.


Don Cole asked, “By who’s jurisdiction?”


Rob commented that the Board discussed at the last meeting that the property would not be subdivided in this situation.  The owner would have to go to the Planning Board to apply for a subdivision.  As an accessory apartment it can be approved.


Mr. Maynard stated that nothing in any paperwork that he received from the Town about accessory apartments says anything about being a separate structure. 


Rob replied, “It goes all over the place on that one.”


Kathy stated that in Zoning Code 123-13 D(1), that paragraph says, “or in a permitted accessory structure.”  Kathy asked if Mr. Maynard had that.


Mr. Maynard answered that he only had the Town of Esopus accessory apartments list of qualifications.


Karl noted that it was also mentioned under 123-61 under definitions.


Mr. Maynard asked, “So it is permissible then?”  All they’re asking for is the square footage.


Karl answered, “Size, yes.”


Joe asked Mr. Maynard if he had any concerns.


Mr. Maynard replied, “Yeah, two residential dwellings on one piece of property without a subdivision.”


Don Cole stated that there was no problem with it.


Kathy mentioned that there was a similar situation last month and a variance was issued on a parcel with far less property.


Discussion followed regarding an RF1 parcel on River Road.  Mr. Maynard noted that it is two different  situations – the first being two existing dwellings and the current variance is for a brand new residential structure with an existing one there.  Board members agreed.


Mr. Maynard stated that he had quite a lot of adjoining property and he thought it was great that he could put up several houses on one piece of property.


Don stated that he would have to go before the Planning Board.   Kathy and Karl stated that he could build two, not several houses.


Mr. Maynard stated that that would give him a total of four and when Rob asked how, he said that he had several parcels.


Board members agreed that this was possible.


Karl remarked that if Ms. McVay would like to subdivide, she could do 4 or 6 or 8.


Joe stated that the Board sometimes requires that when a parcel is subdivided a certain amount of property has to stay with each piece; so if it was two separate parcels, it almost comes out to the same acreage.   He likes to keep the acreage the same so that if it was two separate houses, with zoning at 2.5 acres, the property on each house would have to be 5 acres.


Mr. Maynard asked if the character of the neighborhood would be changed with multiple residences and if that was a problem.


Rob stated that the Board has to consider that, but it is not a problem in this circumstance.


Karl asked Mr. Maynard if he thought it would create a change in the character of the neighborhood.


Mr. Maynard replied that he thought it was a step in the wrong direction.


Ms. McVay stated that it depends on what you are going to be doing with the other building. 


Karl noted that it was still essentially two residences.


Mr. Maynard stated that there seems to be a lot of conflict about the rules.  He was told that two residences on one property are not allowed. 


Don Cole remarked, “Whoever told you that was incorrect and you can tell him that you got that from the Zoning Board.”


Karl said that he didn’t want to know who said it, but that person may have had a vested interest.


Joe stated that it depends on how many acres you have.  Its going to be on that one piece of property with two residences.


Mr. Maynard remarked that he had no problems with the zoning.


Don Cole asked another neighbor, Carolyn Cirnitski, if she had anything to say.


Ms. Cirnitski stated that she had no problem and that she is selling her house next door and came to this meeting to get information for the new owner.


Don explained that the existing house will become the caretaker’s house and the barn will be the main residence.


Karl thanked the neighbors for coming in and taking part in the process.


Don Cole asked if the Board wanted to do a decisional tonight and Karl remarked that no new information would be coming in.  Don agreed and said that it was simply additional square footage.


Linda Smythe made a motion to close the public hearing, seconded by Karl Wick.




Joe stated that when a motion is made, it should be specific to this piece of property, giving specifics as to why we are granting the motion, and its uniqueness, so it doesn’t apply to every piece of property in the Town.  Also, that if it is ever subdivided, there be at least 5 acres that each building in on.


Don Cole stated that he didn’t think the Board should use that language because zoning may change.


Karl and Joe agreed that the Board should ask for twice what zoning calls for.


Karl made a motion that the Board grant a variance from section 123-13 D(3) to allow the existing dwelling to become an accessory apartment containing 1300 square feet, an increase of 700 square feet from the allowed amount, with the condition that if the property is ever subdivided, and if these two dwellings remain on the same parcel, the size of that parcel shall be at least twice the size specified under the then current zoning.

Motion seconded by Don Cole.



Karl Wick – Yes.  The structure in question is a pre-existing structure, existing well

                               before zoning.  In light of the size of the parcel, there won’t be any

                               disturbance to the neighborhood or any change in the character of the 

                               neighborhood; and the benefit to the owner outweighs any detriment

                               to the neighborhood.



Rob Hare – Yes.  Given the circumstances with the new building and use of the existing

                             building, it fits zoning and it fits the neighborhood. 


Vic Barranca – Yes.  For reasons that have been stated previously.


Don Cole – Yes.  The property is a beautiful piece of property, has a beautiful building

                             on it and is nothing but an asset to the Town and the location.


Kathy Kiernan – Yes.  I don’t think it’s a detriment to the neighborhood.


Joe Guido – Yes.  Because of the size of the property, there is enough acreage. It doesn’t

                             change the character of the neighborhood because it is the neighbor-

                             hood.   It was our request that the present building become the



Linda Smythe – Yes.  I agree with everybody here.



Don Cole informed Ms. McVay that she would be mailed a notice of the decision.



Kathy Kiernan made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Linda Smythe.  All in favor.


Chairman, Cole adjourned the meeting at 7:40 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Joan Boris

Zoning Board Secretary