Town of Esopus Zoning Board of Appeals
      Minutes
      October 18, 2005

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

ROLL CALL

 Present: Catherine Charuk, Don Cole, Darin DeKoskie, Joe Guido, Rob Hare, and Richard Wenzel.
Absent: Karl Wick
 Also present: Russ Shultis, Town of Esopus Planning Board Chairman and Gloria VanVliet, Councilman.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

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

APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS

Two vouchers were submitted, one from the Daily Freeman for a public hearing notice for $17.94 and one for secretarial work for 10.75 hours. CATHERINE CHARUK MADE A MOTION TO APPROVE THE VOUCHERS. JOE GUIDO SECONDED. All present voted in favor.

INFORMATIONAL MEETING

BASLER, MICHAEL Case # 10-18-05-01

Mr. Basler was present to advise that he would like to put a bigger shed in front of his house for all of his equipment. The back of his house is all hills that go right up from the house. The shed will be approximately 130' away from the side of the house by the pool, not directly in front of the house. To the other side of the shed it is all woods. Mr. Basler indicated that someone from the building department came out and saw that there is no where else to put it.

Mr. Cole asked about the terrain of the property. Mr. Basler advised that the spot where he would like to put the shed would need some leveling. The property is hilly. The shed, which will be 12' by 20', will have the long side facing the road because of the slope of the property. Ms. Charuk asked the applicant to bring photos to the next meeting showing the property from all angles. She would like to see not only where the shed will be placed but behind the house, to the side, and so forth. Mr. Basler advised that he will bring a video that can be viewed from the camera as well as photos.

Mr. Guido asked if the applicant is replacing a shed. Mr. Basler advised that he is not. This will be a new shed. Mr. Wenzel again asked about the topography of the land behind the house. Mr. Basler explained that about 10' behind the house the property rises sharply. Mr. Guido asked if this is a one acre lot and Mr. Basler advised that it is just over an acre.

PUBLIC HEARING

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

There was no one present to represent the applicant. Anne Hiller asked if the public hearing for this case is still open and both Mr. Guido and Mr. Cole advised her that it is. Mrs. Hiller asked if the members of the public who were in attendance would be allowed to speak. Mr. Cole advised her that he would wait until later in the public hearing to see if anyone showed up to represent the applicant.

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

The contractor for this project was present. He provided several photos as was requested. These photos are in the file. He also presented drawings of the property. He advised that the existing back porch will not be removed.

Mr. Cole asked why the paperwork was from Mark Rieker and Mr. Rakaj answered that he was the one who stopped the work. When Mr. Rakaj went to the present building inspector, he was told to use that paperwork. Mr. Cole asked if the variance being requested is for 152 square feet of coverage. The figures from the drawings that Mr. Rakaj presented and the figure on the denial do not agree. Mr. Guido asked if the porches which were built without permits were included in the square footage. Mr. Rakaj stated that he is just the contractor and he doesnít know. Mr. Hare added up what is shown on the drawing and stated that it doesnít come anywhere near what the denial shows. Mr. Guido suggested that the applicant go to the building inspector and find out exactly what he needs. The denial that was presented with the application is a year old. It was decided that the public hearing will remain open and the applicant will have to go back to the building inspector for a new denial.

TOWN OF ESOPUS VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE SQUAD Case # 09-20-05-01

Mr. Cole asked if there was anyone present from the public who would like to ask anything. Gloria Meschi of 109 Ulster Avenue asked how many feet the variance being requested is for. Mr. Pisani showed her the drawing and where the variance is needed on the Ulster Avenue side  and advised her that it is for 13'. He explained that everything else is in compliance. Mrs. Meschi asked how many feet are required. Mr. Pisani advised her that the front yard setback requirement is 30'. Mrs. Meschi asked if this is the same request that the ambulance squad had several years agoand Mr. Pisani advised her that he has no idea. He explained that this project is for an addition to the existing building.  Mr. Suraci also explained the plans. Mrs. Meschi then asked if the Board feels that there will be any visual impact on someone who is using Cross Street. Mr. Suraci answered that the county approved the sight distance for the new curb cut and the State DOT approved it for Cross Street. Mrs. Meschi stated that she didnít have any objections, just questions.

Russ Shultis of the Town of Esopus Planning Board then spoke. He advised Mr. Cole that in response to the ZBA referral to the Planning Board, he was supposed to write a letter but he decided to show up tonight to advise the Board in person that at this time the Planning Board has no major concerns or comments regarding this project. He requested that that be put on the record. He also requested that the secretary forward a copy of the minutes for this public hearing because, if the variance is granted and they come back before the Planning Board, they have to decide whether or not to hold a public hearing. Mr. Pisani explained that the applicants made a request to the Planning Board to waive their requirement for a public hearing in view of the fact that there was this public hearing tonight.

Mr. Guido asked why this case was before the Planning Board and if it was for the lighting. Mr. Shultis advised that it involves a site plan review. As part of that review, they have the option of whether or not to have a public hearing. He wanted to attend the meeting to gauge what the public opinion is. Mr. DeKoskie asked if a public hearing was required in terms of SEQR. Mr. Shultis answered that according to the planner, Miles Putman, it is their option. Mr. Guido stated that he feels that the Planning Board should have their own public hearing on not rely on this one. Mr. Shultis answered that it is for that reasons that he would like a copy of the minutes. That way the Board can decide whether they want their own or not.

Mr. Suraci pointed out on the drawing that they have expanded some of the parking. They received approval from the DOT to eliminate some of the curbing if they so choose. He showed the spot elevations that were requested and the drainage swales. The shed that is presently in back of the building will remain. Mr. Hare asked what the percentage of coverage will be with the asphalt. Mr. Suraci said that right now it is 8.8% and thatís for the building only. He didnít do it for the asphalt but he will if Mr. Hare wants it. Mr. Hare answered that he would because that is all impermeable. Mr. Suraci stated that where the building is going is all paved now so that is not changing. Mr. Hare stated that they will be increasing pavement to the rear. Mr. Suraci said he will do it but zoning only addresses the amount of the property covered by the building.

There were no further questions. Mr. Cole asked if the Board wanted to vote on this tonight. Mr. Guido brought up the question that Mr. Hare asked about coverage and if Mr. Hare wants that addressed before a vote. Mr. Hare said that he was only concerned about the drainage. Mr. Cole advised that this is Light Industrial so coverage is not a consideration. There was further discussion about the drainage. JOE GUIDO MADE A MOTION TO VOTE ON THIS TONIGHT. DON COLE SECONDED. ALL PRESENT VOTED IN FAVOR.

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

There was still no one present to represent the applicant. Anne Hiller stated that she wanted to make a comment regarding the County Planning Board letter of disapproval. It states in that letter that the applicant will not qualify for a use variance. Mr. Cole advised that was true unless this Board voted in favor of granting it with a majority plus one vote. Mrs. Hiller said that she just wanted to bring it to the attention of the Board. Also there are ten members of the public at this meeting and they would like to know what the Board will do. Mr. Cole asked if the Board should vote tonight even though the applicant is not present. MR. COLE MADE A MOTION TO CLOSE THE PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE ON THIS CASE TONIGHT. MR. GUIDO SECONDED. ALL PRESENT VOTED IN FAVOR.

DECISIONAL MEETING

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

The secretary advised that a letter was received on this day regarding this case. Mr. Cole said that the person who sent it should have been at the public hearing and he did not want the letter read. Mr. Guido stated that he felt it should be admitted into the record just to show it was received. It will have nothing to do with the decision. It was not even signed, just a typed letter. MR. GUIDO MADE A MOTION TO ADMIT THE LETTER INTO THE RECORD. DARIN DeKOSKIE SECONDED. ALL PRESENT VOTED IN FAVOR. The letter is in file.

Mr. Guido stated that he went to look at the property because he thought this was for a use variance but it is only for area. He said that he would like to see the entire house brought up to code as far as electric. Mr. Cole said that the building inspector would have to see to that and the only thing Mr. Guido could do is say that he wants that stipulated before he will vote in favor of the variance. Then Mr. Cole said that granting this variance will approve a two family and that will create problems in the future. It will be setting a precedent by allowing a two family house in a one family area. Mr. Guido stated that the only thing the variance will be addressing is the area covered. The building inspector never sent this through for use.

Russ Shultis asked for permission to speak at this point. He advised that the applicant is also before the Planning Board at this time for a conditional use permit for a two family in a single family area. The issue before this Board is only an area variance so as far as who is going to determine whether it is a two family, that will be left to the Planning Board for the conditional use permit. If she doesnít get the area variance, her case before the Planning Board is null and void. If she does get the variance, she still has to go back to the Planning Board for the conditional use permit.

ROB HARE MADE A MOTION TO GRANT AN AREA VARIANCE FOR 3,075 SQUARE FEET CONTINGENT UPON THE PLANNING BOARD GRANTING A CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT. JOE GUIDO SECONDED. The vote was as follows:
 
   RICHARD WENZEL - I vote yes for the variance simply because I donít think she has another means to achieve this. She has no choice because she canít get a benefit by another method. I didnít see any adverse effects and there are two family units right next door so I didnít see any undesirable changes.

   CATHERINE CHARUK - Itís a large variance and I have reservations about the language of the resolution that talks about it only be effective if approved by another body. Iím not sure that thatís quite kosher but weíll see. But Iíll vote in favor of it because itís not increasing the coverage area at the same time of the property. There are obviously a lot of other two families in the area that have been there for a while. Itís not going to change the character of the neighborhood.

   JOE GUIDO - I grant the variance because the house is staying the same size, the property is staying the same, and itís not changing the character of the neighborhood.

  DON COLE - I vote in favor for all those reasons.

   ROB HARE - I vote in favor because itís not changing the character of the neighborhood. I do have reservations about the increased density but that seems to be the norm in that neighborhood, rather than a change of use.

  DARIN DeKOSKIE - I vote in favor for all the previously given reasons.

Motion carried.

TOWN OF ESOPUS VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE SQUAD Case # 09-20-05-01

JOE GUIDO MADE A MOTION TO GRANT AN AREA VARIANCE OF 13' ON THE ULSTER AVENUE SIDE. DON COLE SECONDED. The vote was as follows;

   DARIN DeKOSKIE - Iíll vote in favor because there was no public opposition and the building and the variance itself is required for the ambulance corps to operate.

   ROB HARE - Iím going to vote in favor. There was no particular concern of the neighbors and the state and county highway departments seem satisfied by the traffic flow.

   DON COLE - I vote in favor. Thereís no problem anywhere on 9W or any of the roads surrounding it. Itís a very small variance that has to be done. They
   do a fabulous job in this Town. They deserve to get it.

   JOE GUIDO - Iím in favor. Part of the variance is for the overhang and also because it borders on the road and not really a neighborís property.

   CATHERINE CHARUK - I vote in favor essentially for those same reasons. Itís partly for the overhang and itís a public road. What is proposed will be a real improvement to whatís there now.

   RICHARD WENZEL - I vote in favor. Environmentally and physically thereís no problems. It was very well presented and explained. Very easy to understand.

Motion carried.

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

Mr. Guido said that he would like to vary from the norm and make this motion as a denial. The reason why is that he does not believe it is the true interpretation of a cluster development and there are restrictions on the deed for no further subdivision. Mr. Hare mentioned that this isnít here as a cluster development. It was applied as an accessory apartment. She canít subdivide it because thatís in the deed. JOE GUIDO MADE A MOTION TO DENY THE APPLICATION. DON COLE SECONDED. Ms. Charuk asked for an explanation of the County Planning Boardís recommendation, particularly the part that says this is a permitted use. Both Mr. Guido and Mr. Cole answered that it is not a permitted use. The vote on the motion was as follows:

  DARIN DeKOSKIE - I vote in agreement with the motion.

   ROB HARE - Iím in favor of the motion on a number of bases. It does not fit the definition of accessory apartments. The County recommended against it. The deed and restrictions on the property limit it so that it cannot be subdivided which I believe was the future intent of the owner.

  DON COLE - I vote in favor of the motion. I personally believe that the units are too small to make all year round homes which is what they were here for. Second of all, the most important thing, is I donít think they can put in a septic system that would satisfy that area with those amount of houses. It would jeopardize, I believe, the wells and the water and the situations that people have to live with up there so Iím voting for it.

  JOE GUIDO - I support it for all the reasons that Rob gave.

  CATHERINE CHARUK - I vote in favor of the motion because itís just too small
   a property to support that kind of development and it would lead to an attempt to subdivide against the rules.

   RICHARD WENZEL - I vote in favor of the motion simply because of the numerous objections from all the neighbors. I visited the site and I didnít see any way they could put in an in ground septic system. Thereís so much rock there, number one, and anything that they did do, there would be some kind of runoff and they would pollute the stream down below. It just wasnít feasible for their plans.
 
Motion carried.

OTHER BUSINESS

The Board addressed a memo from the secretary regarding interpretation of Article V Paragraph 123-21 C (5) (d) which states that the Planning Board may authorize erection of garages nearer the street than the principal building in cases where topographic conditions cause practical difficulties for the owner. Mr. Guido said that he read it as they may if itís part of a site plan. Mr. Shultis stated that those cases should go before the Planning Board. In the past, the previous building inspector would notify him that there was a case in question and they would go out and look at it together. If the building department doesnít notify him, he is not going to them. Itís the building inspectorís call. Mr. Guido said that he would rather they come before this Board because we have public hearings. He suggested that Mr. Cole ask the building inspector when he sees them.

Regarding the letter from the Town Clerk, Mr. Cole stated that he would like to recommend that Joe Guido be reappointed. Mr. Guido stated that he would like to recommend reappointment of the secretary. It was decided that the Board would hold off on the recommendations until after the next meeting.

ADJOURN

JOE GUIDO MADE A MOTION TO ADJOURN. DON COLE SECONDED. All present voted in favor. Meeting adjourned 9:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Kiernan
Secretary