Town of Esopus Zoning Board of Appeals
Minutes
August 16, 2005

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

ROLL CALL

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

Also present: Councilmen Gloria VanVliet and Ernie Germano.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

MR. WICK STATED THAT HE WOULD LIKE A CORRECTION TO PAGE 7 LINE 2 TO READ ďPRECEDENTĒ INSTEAD OF ďPRECEDENCEĒ AND WITH THAT CORRECTION HE WOULD MAKE A MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES. RICHARD WENZEL SECONDED. ALL PRESENT VOTED IN FAVOR.

APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS

Two vouchers from the Freeman for public hearing notices, each for $17.46,and a voucher for 14 hours of secretarial work were submitted. JOE GUIDO MADE A MOTION TO APPROVE THE VOUCHERS. CATHERINE CHARUK SECONDED. ALL PRESENT VOTED IN FAVOR.

INFORMATIONAL MEETING

NIKAJ, VILMA Case # 08-16-05-01

No one was present for this case. Mr. Cole stated that if someone came later in meeting they would be heard.

MYERS, JOANNE Case # 08-16-05-02

Ms. Myers was present and stated that she would like to convert a one family residence to a two family with a one bedroom apartment on the first floor and a two bedroom apartment on the second floor. It would entail putting a kitchen back in on the second floor and fixing up an outdoor stairway to be used as a second exit for the second floor. Ms. Charuk asked the applicant if she had any idea when it was a two family. She answered that she did not since it was a one family when she bought it in 2003. Mr. Wenzel asked if there is anybody who can verify that it was a two family. Mr. Wick asked the applicant to bring photos that would indicate that it was a two family and also check the tax records to see if they indicate that it was a two family. Mr.Wick also asked her to find out if there are any other two family houses in the neighborhood and to make a list if there are any.

PUBLIC HEARING

GOLDIN, REENI Case # 06-21-05-04

Ms. Charuk asked Ms. Goldin about the map that was requested at the last meeting that would show the restriction on it. Ms. Goldin pointed out where the restriction was written on the map, copies of which she had provided  for all of  the Board members. In addition to that map, she submitted a letter stating the main points that she would like considered as substantiation of the hardship. Ms. Goldin called on Rena Grosso, another member of Rachelís Daughters, to paraphrase what is in the letter. Ms. Grosso read the letter in itís entirety. A copy is in the file. Also submitted were photos of the main house inside and out to show the quality for which the group is striving.

Some of the main points of the letter were:

The owners are a  group of five women who would like to retire together in a small community where they can live individually but share resources such as the pool, a cooperative garden, and hiking trails.

They are proposing to plant a fast growing hedge to protect the rural visual quality of the community.

They would like to convert five cottages on their current sites to year round dwellings in order to raise the resources necessary for developing them.

The development would be low density, have a maximum green space, and use design practices that would keep the dwellings unobtrusive and discrete.

Phase two would be to grow the 5 cottages with each dwelling being approximately 1000-1200 sq. feet. They would be expanded either to the side or the back. Where a previous variance prohibits growth to the back, they would be expanded upward or to the side.

The restriction issue was only referenced on a subdivision map never seen by Rachelís Daughters.

Mr. Guido asked if the applicants were planning to live in these houses themselves or if they will be renting them out. Ms. Grosso answered that in the first phase they will be renting the cottages year round. Mr. Guido also asked about the statement that they would be for people who are fifty years and older and he questioned how they were planning to restrict that. Ms. Grosso stated that that would not be for this part of it. That would be for the retirement community.

Mark Bass of 891 Old Post Road asked about the ten lots that were mentioned, the ten units. Wouldnít that require a Town road? Mr. Guido clarified that what the applicants were getting at is that with ten acres you could put ten units on it. He also has a problem with that. He feels that on that ten acre lot, the most you could get on there would be three houses. Because there is the no further subdivision restriction on it, you wouldnít even be able to do that. All you could have would be one house. Mr. Bass asked if that restriction could be removed by the Zoning Board. Ms. Charuk answered that this Board is the one that set it initially. Mr. Bass also asked about how it could be said that this would not be a drain on the school system. Mr. Guido stated that that is what he was getting at when he asked how they were planning to restrict these units to people fifty or older.

Bunny Wiersum of 877 Old Post Road asked if an environmental impact study had been done. These dwellings are all uphill from a stream that supports beaver, supports an organic farm which is hers, and continues on down into wetlands. She and her family have been using that water from the stream for 47 years. How do you put five year round dwellings that close to the stream and prevent the sewer from having effluence going into the stream. Ms. Goldin stated that there will be environmental studies done.

Mr. Cole stated that even though the applicant is before the Board solely for a variance to change the cottages to year round use, there are many other things involved. Although it will be an expense to hire an architectural engineer, because of the rocks there it looks like it might require above ground septic systems. Even though the application states that the engineer who reviewed this feels that it is possible to provide sufficient septic for these houses, no one ever put that in writing. The engineer should do that and put his seal on it. Ms. Goldin stated that the engineer had 7 holes dug and he found at least 4' of soil in each. She said that she would get a notarized letter from the engineer stating that he did that and what he found. Mr. Wenzel told her that that would not be acceptable. She would need to have the engineer provide specific information on where the septic systems and the wells would be.

Mr. DeKoskie said that he feels that at this point, in lieu of getting a complete design, a letter from the Ulster County Health Department stating that the septic that is there now is adequate for year round use would be more than enough. Ms. Goldin and Mr. Cole both said that it is not. Mr. DeKoskie said that if they sign off on the engineers design he would feel more adequate in voting on this.

Mr. Guido said that, speaking for himself, the restriction says that there is to be no further subdivision. On that piece of property she could have no more than two houses and in looking at her plan, in his mind she cannot have more houses or more buildings than she would have had before and she is trying to get more on it. Buildings of that size, 1000 to 1200 square feet,  are houses even though the applicant is calling them cottages and she is trying to get five houses on an area where he feels only two houses can go. If the applicant wants to go back to summer cottages again and the same way it was run previously, he would work with her on that.

Ms. Goldin answered that the houses of that size are phase two and nothing to do with this variance. Mr. Guido stated that as far as he is concerned, if this variance is granted it opens the door for the applicant to go ahead with whatever she wants.

It was again stated that the applicant needs to have the engineer go ahead with a formal proposal regarding the septic. Ms. Charuk asked if the Planning Board had told the applicant that she could not have a cluster development. Ms. Goldin told her that she would be able to go ahead with that and everyone was all for it except for the restriction.

Mr. Wick stated that the law very specifically states that the Board is not allowed to grant this unless the applicant shows competent financial evidence that she would be deprived of all economic use or benefit from the property.

Anne Hiller of 700 Old Post Road stated that in the Planning Board minutes when this subdivision went through, they did ask that there be no further subdivisions. Mr. Cole asked when these minutes were recorded and if it was on this case. Mrs. Hiller answered that it was during the Staccio case.

Debbie Breslar of 866 Old Post Road asked if a use variance is granted does it exist in perpetuity? Mr. Guido answered that it does.

MR. GUIDO MADE A MOTION TO KEEP THE PUBLIC HEARING OPEN UNTIL THE BOARD GETS THE INFORMATION THAT IT REQUESTED. KARL WICK SECONDED. ALL PRESENT VOTED IN FAVOR.

PIRTLE, WOODY Case # 07-19-05-01

Mr. Pirtle stated that when he was here last month, he was asked to do a little more research. He presented some old photos and also several photos that he recently took from various approaches. The photos were taken from his car and show where the porch roof and posts would be and how they relate to traffic. Because of the grade of the road, there would be no more obstruction than currently exists. Mr. Guido stated that the concerns of the neighbors regarding obstruction of the view would not matter as far as he could see. He pointed out on the photo were the poles would be and they would not be in the line of sight. The base of the building is above eye level.

Mr. Cole stated that the whole issue is the setback. He also said that there were two letters from neighbors who had complaints about the project and these need to be addressed. The Board reviewed the photos that the applicant submitted. Copies of these photos are in the file. Mr. Cole asked if there was anyone else from the public who would like to speak.

Mr. DeKoskie asked if the applicant had contacted the State D.O.T. about any concerns they may have. Mr. Pirtle responded that this is not on Route 213 and does not affect it. Mr. DeKoskie stated that they probably would be concerned because it is on an intersection with one of their roads. Mr. Pirtle stated that he would rather not deal with them because he feels that they would find something wrong with it. He feels that the road should be closed. The porch is not the problem. The road is the problem. The porch will not obscure anything. If the porch is there the bushes would come down. If the porch isnít there the bushes will grow.

Mr. Cole advised the applicant that a decision will be made at the next meeting. Mr. Guido and Mr. DeKoskie both advised the applicant to check with the D.O.T. just to cover himself.

BEISEL, PETER Case # 07-19-05-02

Mr. Beisel stated that he is requesting an area variance to construct an accessory building, a garage, nearer to the street than the front line of his home but no closer than 50' from the street. Mr. Cole asked if anyone had anything to say and at this point Mr. Guido said that if the variance is approved, he would ask that the building architecturally match the house, not be some concrete building. Mr. Beisel stated that he did bring a drawing with him tonight and the roof lines will match, the siding will match. It will be gray vinyl just like the house. A MOTION WAS MADE TO VOTE ON THIS ISSUE AT THIS MEETING. ALL PRESENT VOTED IN FAVOR.

The public hearing was closed.

DECISIONAL MEETING

BANKS, DOROTHY Case # 05-17-05-02

Mr. Banks presented drawings with some measurements as was requested at the last meeting. The Board reviewed the drawings and discussed the case at length. There was no one from the public present to voice any complaints. Mr. Wenzel mentioned that he was at the applicantís home today and the neighbor told him the project was fine with him. RICHARD WENZEL MADE A MOTION TO GRANT A VARIANCE TO ALLOW CONSTRUCTION OF A CARPORT CLOSER TO THE ROAD THAN THE PRINCIPAL BUILDING, ALLOWING IT TO BE NO CLOSER THAN 2' FROM THE HOUSE AND WITH A FRONT YARD VARIANCE OF 26' WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT IT IS NOT A PERMANENT STRUCTURE. KARL WICK SECONDED. The vote was as follows:

RICHARD WENZEL - I vote in favor. I was on the property and I laid it out to the best of my ability with what was there, with what Mr. Banks put down. Itís a very close call but it can be done if itís done right with the variance that was set in motion.

CATHERINE CHARUK - Iíll vote in favor because it is not a permanent structure and we donít have any objections from the neighbors. Although I did not go and look at it, it is my understanding that it fits in with the character of the neighborhood.
 
JOE GUIDO - Iím sorry. Iím not in favor of the variance. I donít see how you can grant a permanent variance on a structure thatís temporary.

DON COLE - I vote yes due to the fact that these properties are so small and the roads are so small down there that in order to grant a variance the way it should be itís going to be a hardship to do a structure of any kind so I vote yes to allow him to put it up.

DARIN DeKOSKIE - Iím going to vote no and I agree with the granting of a variance for a temporary structure.

KARL WICK - I vote in favor because we did say this is a temporary structure and it can be replaced with another temporary structure but not with a permanent structure. I donít think it changes the character of the neighborhood. Itís a mixed character and it has no effect on that. The neighbor who is most closely affected said it has no detriment to her property so I donít think thatís an issue. Certainly it will have no environmental impact.

Motion carried 4-2.

SEIGMAN, DONALD W.  Case # 06-21-05-03

KARL WICK MADE A MOTION TO GRANT A VARIANCE TO ALLOW CONSTRUCTION OF A GARAGE CLOSER TO THE ROAD THAN THE PRINCIPAL BUILDING. DARIN DeKOSKIE SECONDED. The vote was as follows:

DON COLE - I vote in favor.

KARL WICK - I vote in favor of the motion. I feel itís the best site on the property for the garage. Certainly it does not affect the character of the neighborhood. It fits right in. Itís going to be a nice design. Itís not a self imposed hardship. Thereís no detriment.

DARIN DeKOSKIE - Iím going to vote in favor.

JOE GUIDO - Iím in favor also. The applicant has plenty of property. Because of the structure, the way the property is, itís one of the few places he could put a garage.

CATHERINE CHARUK - Iíll vote in favor. Itís certainly not going to affect the character of the area.  Itís one of the only places on the property where he can put this building.

RICHARD WENZEL - I vote in favor. Thereís no problem with the neighbors and it was the ideal location to put the garage. It fits in with the character of the neighborhood. Thereís no other impacts that are detrimental.

Motion carried 6-0.

BEISEL, PETER Case # 07-19-05-02

KARL WICK MADE A MOTION TO GRANT A VARIANCE TO ALLOW CONSTRUCTION OF A GARAGE CLOSER TO THE ROAD THAN THE PRINCIPAL BUILDING. RICHARD WENZEL SECONDED. The vote was as follows:

KARL WICK - I vote in favor of the motion because of the topography of the site. It is no detriment to the neighborhood. No physical or environmental impact. It may be self imposed because the applicant has a garage and it may be what some people think but thatís not an issue. It meets all the other criteria.

DARIN DeKOSKIE - I vote in favor.

DON COLE - Iím voting in favor of it . No impact on the area. No problem whatsoever.

JOE GUIDO - I vote in favor of it because Mr. Beisel promised to finish the garage to match the house. Because of the road and the topography of the property, itís one of the few places he could put the garage also.

CATHERINE CHARUK - Iíll vote in favor. Although I donít agree that it will have no impact on the area - it will have an impact on the area - thatís the only place that it can be placed.

RICHARD WENZEL - Iíll vote in favor because it is the most feasible location to put it. And thereís no impacts of any nature to the neighborhood or environmentally.

Motion carried 6-0

Mr Guido asked if anyone came in regarding the first case on the agenda (Nikaj) and there was no one present. Mr. Cole said that we will send a letter telling the applicant that they missed the meeting and asking them to be present for the September meeting.

OTHER BUSINESS

Mr. Guido asked if the letters to adjoining neighbors should be sent certified mail. Mr. Cole said
absolutely not. It has always been done like this and there has been no problem. The people who said they were missed last month were not adjoining neighbors.

DON COLE MADE A MOTION TO ADJOURN. JOE GUIDO SECONDED. ALL PRESENT VOTED IN FAVOR. Meeting adjourned 9:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Kiernan
Secretary