Town of Esopus Zoning Board of Appeals
FEBRUARY 12, 2008

The meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Esopus was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Chairman Don Cole.

The Pledge to the Flag followed.


Present: Don Cole, Chairman, Karl Wick, Vic Barranca, Rob Hare, Kathy Kiernan Joe Guido, and Linda Smythe.  






JOSEPH STOPCYZNSKI               CASE # 12-18-07-01

Don Cole stated that Mr. Stopczynski’s will not be in attendance tonight. He has submitted a letter that he will be in Florida. This application will be on the agenda in March 2008.

RICHARD AND KAREN KROM                CASE # 02-12-08-01

Don Cole called Richard Krom, he was not present.

NORRIS SAUNDERS                                       CASE # 02-12-08-02

Don Cole called Norris Saunders, he was not present





Don Cole asked Mr. and Mrs. Sorbello to explain what they wanted to do.

Mrs. Sorbello explained that they already have an existing paint ball field. They want to go closer to the boundaries and want to put in a net across the back which is adjacent to an easement by Central Hudson. We will need a variance for the setback.

Don Cole asked if everyone had gotten the map.

Mrs. Sorbello pointed out Hildebrandt Lane, and the proposed net. The net will be 60 feet from the Hildebrandt Lane line. She pointed out where the net is presently. Rob Hare verified what was existing and what was proposed. He asked her to indicate which way she would be expanding and what was stopping her from going the other way. The easement line was a problem. Mrs. Sorbello also pointed out the existing Wood N Wheel building.

Mrs. Sorbello stated that currently there is a tape going across the back, the tape will be removed. We had a net and they made us take it down and now we want to put the net back up.  It would certainly be better with the net than the caution tape. In order to go that close to the easement line we have to have this variance.

Rob Hare asked Mrs. Sorbello to show on the map the original and the proposed. The rectangle (on the map) was for the Planning Board back in the fall. This is where the line is now (indicating on the map) this is where the net is right now and we want to move it over to here which is 60 feet off of Hildebrandt Lane. The dotted line is where the tape is.

There was a discussion about the map.

Joe Guido asked if this net (indicating map) is what you want to put up? Yes it is. Joe Guido asked if the net was for safety? Yes, it is not necessary for the sport, but we feel better having it; no paint balls will be going on other peoples property.

Joe Guido asked if the Building Inspector is considering this net a fence.  Mrs. Sorbello stated yes.  Are you required by law or by insurance to put the net up? Mrs. Sorbello said no, the net is going up just for safety. It keeps the players in an area where we want them.

Don Cole stated that it was not a permanent wall.

Joe Guido asked if it was a safety factor, or if they were just putting the net up on your own accord. Yes, just because we want to so we know where are players are.
Joe Guido wanted to know what the Building Inspector was saying does it need a 100 foot buffer on the north east side.  Kathy Kiernan, also wanted to know the north and east side. Netting within the 100 foot buffer on the North and East side (Kathy Kiernan reads building inspector’s referral form).  Kathy Kiernan asked what the Building Inspector is referring to. Mrs. Sorbello stated that she did not know why.  Kathy Kiernan stated and a variance for 85 feet, where? If you look at the Notice of Disapproval that the Building Inspector issued it says a variance of 85 feet is will be needed to get the proper approval. I don’t understand what they mean. Mrs. Sorbello says she did not understand either.

Mr. Sorbello said originally we put up ivy, that was not the 100 foot buffer that he wanted so from that pole ………..

Kathy Kiernan stated that the building inspectgor says that you need a variance of 85 feet …….

Mrs. Sorbello, so he is saying that he wants 85 feet? Kathy said she was not sure what it means. Mrs. Sorbello stated that she got a copy of the Notice of Disapproval and she applied for the Variance.

Don Cole said that they would also have to go to the Planning Board. They were aware of that.

Don Cole asked if Hildebrandt Lane was a road? Mrs. Sorbello said it was a paper road and that there are right of ways on it.  So someone could be on that road. Mrs. Sorbello said must certainly.

Don Cole said that the Board would go and see the property prior to the next meeting which would be a public hearing.

Don Cole also stated that he could not see it being a major problem because it was not like a chain link fence, something that is embedded in the ground. But, said Mrs. Sorbello there are posts. Yes, said Mr. Cole, but you could walk right thru it. Mrs. Sorbello said definitely.

Rob Hare asked if there was an easement with anyone else.

Mrs. Sorbello said she was not really sure why she was here because back in 1973 when we had the zoning change …………

Don Cole asked, on the over lay?

No, said Mrs. Sorbello, this was back in 1973, before, in fact we had the whole piece zoned, but when they went through it again with the overlay, they only made the part commercial to the gas line. Which was fine with us. We were already approved for recreational use at the time, they all know that eventually we would expand on the recreation.

Don Cole, said prior to the next meeting we will come down to look at it and then we will talk to the Building Inspector for clarificati

Mrs. Sorbello said if you want to let us know when you are coming we will be glad to show you. She gave her telephone number 331 8110.

Don Cole said, okay next month March 18th come back and we will have more information for the public hearing.

KROM, RICHARD AND KAREN               CASE # 02-12-08-01

Richard Krom stated he had an existing garage with an existing apartment over it at 17 VanWagner Road.

Don Cole asked why is this here now?

Mr. Krom stated that that was his fault. Back in 1981 I built the garage. I had a building permit for that and did not know, that I needed a Certificate of Occupancy .

Mr. Cole asked who was the Building Inspector?

There was a discussion on who was Building Inspector.

Mr. Krom stated that Board had to remember that this garage took a period of time so the building inspector might have changed.

Don Cole thought it was Austin Avery at the time.

Mr. Krom stated that he built the garage in 1981, over the course of years, the upstairs was vacant and in about 2000 or 2001, my wife’s parents were ill and we decided to do the apartment over the garage and move them in there.  It was completed in 2001. My wife’s dad passed away and her mom got Alzheimer’s, and was put in a home. I did not know I needed a Certificate of Occupancy when I completed the garage and I did not know that I needed a building permit to put the apartment in. I did not get a building permit for that. The Building Inspector, going through the records, discovered this and we need to make it right. Tell me what I need to do.

Kathy Kiernan asked if the original building permit was for a one car garage?

Mr. Krom said, no a two car garage, two story and it was four year before I completed it.

Joe Guido said, you should have gotten notices from the Building Department. Mr. Krom stated that he never got a notice.

The Board thought it might have been in-between Building Inspectors. When one went out and others came in. When records were not up to date.

Mr. Krom stated that he know it was his fault, and he wants to correct it.

Joe Guido stated what he needs is a conditional use permit for the accessory apartment. He is a R-40.

Don Cole stated we are going to have to go over that with Tim (building inspector)

Joe Guido asked why are you here? A Conditional Use Permits is granted by the Planning Board.

Richard Krom stated that he was told he had to go the Zoning Board first and then the Planning Board.

Joe Guido said yes, but why is he before us? What are we going to say, that it is ok to have an accessory apartment.

Don Cole said well if everything is taken care of we will say he will be able to or he won’t be able to.

Joe Guido said, but we don’t say that anyway.

Don Cole said we are going to be in conjunction with the Planning Board. I am going to go further with Tim (the building inspector) on this. Same, as I want to go further with Sorbello.  

There are questions I need answered.

Joe Guido asked Mr. Krom, when he put the garage up why did he put a second story on it? I did it for storage. Then my wife’s parents got ill and we decided to put the apartment up there to accommodate them and then when that didn’t work out I rented it out.

Rob Hare stated he has approximately 600 square feet for the accessory apartment.

Kathy Kiernan said it doesn’t say that on the denial it says 600 sq feet .

Rob Hare, so six hundred is on the money it should not even be a question.

Don Cole, so the question is, is he even allowed to have the apartment there without a variance.

Richard Krom stated that three things have come up. One is I did not get a C/O for the garage, two, I did not get a building permit to put the apartment above the garage and the third one is I did not get a C/O for completing the apartment above the garage. All three I am guilty of and that is why I am trying to come before you.

Joe Guido, all three of those have nothing to do with us.

Kathy Kiernan, as far as I know as long as you go to the Planning  Board and get a Conditional Use Permit……

Joe Guido, right

Richard Krom well, that is what I was told, that is the next step to go to the Planning Board and get that and I guess this is the first step to get there.

Joe Guido and Kathy Kiernan, so six hundred feet comes into play here,

Joe Guido, it has nothing to do with us. Is parking involved?

Don Cole, OK we will go further on this and find out more.

Richard Krom asked if he should go the next step or wait until you…

Don Cole told him he could go to Planning Board while you are here. You might just as well go and get that taken care of and get that out of the way.

Joe Guido, you are going to have a public hearing and all of you neighbors are going to be notified and have the right to come.

Richard Krom said he had one neighbor, his brother. We own the property jointly.

Joe Guido stated that if there are going to be any problems you have to have answers for. Also, bring in the floor plans with the accurate square footage of the apartment. This is very vague this right now is it 600 or 650.      

Don Cole stated we will have to go to the Building Department and they will give us information. We will see you March 18th.

Don Cole reviewed the letter from William Brinnier. Joe Guido had asked that it be certified. Any other questions on that?  None.

DONALD VANDERFIN                 CASE 12-18-07-02

Don Cole called Mr. Vanderfin and announced the public hearing. Mr. Cole asked if everyone had the Building Inspector’s report in order that the Board could move forward on this situation. Does anyone have any questions? Has anyone been able to get up to the property?

Linda Smythe said that she could not find the property.

Mr. Vanderfin told her that it is on the right hand side, when you come up and see TLC you make the curve, first left. There was a discussion on just where this property was on Cottage Court.  

Don Cole stated that he was up there today with the Building Inspector. The right of way must be cleaned up. You are going to have to do that because you cannot get in and out of it. The Building Inspector and I are very adamant about the right of way being cleaned up so that it is passable for a fire truck. A four-wheel drive can get up there but a regular car would have a problem. You will have to widen that road a little bit. The right of way, not the road.

Mr. Vanderfin said that last year he had Al Larkin from the Highway Department up there and discussed what needed to be done. I wanted to get specific information. I understand that road is going to have to be widened. That is all in the plans.

Don Cole stated that he cannot see a problem giving a variance for the amount of footage that you need. One of the problems that I see is there is a lot of rock up there and cutting out is going to be a little bit of a problem. I see the right of way and the line going across on your property. On the paper it looks beautiful but when you try to get up there that is a problem.

Joe Guido, but it is not a road it is a right of way, we are considering it as a road, legally it is not a road.

Don Cole, legally he has to make it a passable road.

Joe Guido said but what I am talking about is the setbacks all refer to roads, no where does it say on a easement on the setback that you need to consider it as a road. If you do this one and consider it as a road any other easements are going to have to be considered a road also. 

Don Cole said the width of the right of way is 12 feet.

Mr. Vanderfin said it is twelve feet now, but the plans are to go about another four feet, I think it is sixteen feet.

Don Cole, well it is going to have to be. I just want to Board to know the Building Inspector is very aware of what it has to be.

Mr. Vanderfin, I have been trying to get the right information so that I do what needs to be done.

Linda Smythe asked when the applicants come in for a zoning variance and give us these maps they don’t have to show us an topography maps. Elevation maps.

Don Cole said no that is why you have to go out and look at the property to really know what it is. The main objective on this Board is that Board members have to go and look at the properties in order to really know what the story is.

There was a discussion again on where this property is and a good vehicle is needed to get there. Don Cole asked if there were any other questions because I would like to finalize this on March 18th, 2008.

Mr. Vanderfin stated that he did not realize that this was going to take another meeting and he was hoping that we would vote tonight. I tried to get everything done to answer your questions.  

Karl Wick, who was suffering with laryngitis, gave a note to the Board that stated Cottage Court is a right of way, not a street parcel and setbacks are only from parcel boundary.

Don Cole stated that this is a public hearing and no one is here contesting it so that was out of the way.

Mr. Vanderfin stated that he is just hoping that if he has to come back again in March that the Board will be able to do what they need to do. Don Cole stated that he wants to make a decision in March because this has gone on far enough.

Mr. Vanderfin stated just for the record he did get a map and his property along with all the others all were sold in 1936, and the reference in there about the twenty-five foot setback, and all the deed were filed at the same time, it says the twenty-five foot setback from the road that the property fronts on. I did mark the road there and measured everything and it is all staked out.

Rob Hare said really what we are trying to find out here is if the effected right of way,….. there are no setbacks off a driveway.

Mr. Vanderfin said that Tim (the Building Inspector) said to consider that a right of way.

Mr. Vanderfin again questioned so at next months meeting a decision will be made at that point.

Don Cole said, yes we are keeping this open as a public hearing and next meeting we will make a decision. Are there any objections to that? We can close the public hearing and do a decision the same night.

Karl Wick stated that you could close the Public Hearing tonight if you want to.

Don Cole asked the Board if they wanted to vote on it?

Joe Guido stated he wanted to talk to the Building Inspector and see why he thinks you need it on a right of way. If you have a driveway you can put your house right next to the driveway.

Don said, but that driveway is not a driveway it is a right of way, it belongs to all the properties. It becomes all the properties right of way it then becomes an issue with the Town that it be done the way the Town wants it. Not the way you decide it because it is your driveway.

Karl Wick said, but it is not a separate parcel, the code says street, not a separate parcel.

Don said, but on the paper work you have, remember with the right of way being designated ….

Mr. Vanderfin said the language in the deed said that all the abutting neighbors will have a right of access; a right of way to all of the properties within right of use of the playground in the Spring and so forth. No one could be denied access to using it.

Joe Guido said his problem is, it is not designated any where in there where that road has to be.

Don Cole said it is on this survey in 2006 …..

Mr. Vanderfin said but it is not in my deed…..  

Don Cole said in 2006 an engineer surveyed this property and sealed this. That right of way is what it is on his property. The language is that the right of way is on the survey.

Mr. Vanderfin said it specifies that it will be a permanent right of access …..

Don Cole and it is on the survey, in footage, from the lines, is that the certified one?

Mr. Vanderfin stated that is the one that was filed by Mr. McDermott, I think, the one done back in….…..

Don Cole, there is a survey around by a surveyor that was done in 2006, Vetere. This is the survey that shows that road. This is sealed and all the information sits right here (indicating the surveyor’s notes) If you don’t think that it is a problem other than the setbacks that have been indicated and you wanted to vote tonight we can do that too. But the whole this is this, he is going to have to do what he is suppose to do before he can get the c/o.

Mr. Vanderfin showed Kathy Kiernan and Joe Guido his property on the survey map. He said the right of way is all on his property.

Rob Hare said…….neighborhoods have the right of way, ten years down the line they will look back and say it should have been built further back.

Many people talking at the same time.

Rob Hare said I don’t think it is…….that is why I have to go with Karl the right of way becomes the driveway. But say 10 years down the line …..the driveway they all look at it and say look its a driveway and as long as the driveway does not post any problems you can go ahead and move it so by our trying to define where it is makes it kind of  irrelevant.

Don Cole, it is relevant now, because that is where it is and certified to be there and if they want to change it they are going to have to change it as ruled upon. This town is not going to have to do anything on it. It is there now and that is the way it is now and if they want to change it, as a group change, they all have to agree on it.

Mr. Vanderfin if I wanted to move that twenty feet now I could do that, all that I would have to do is make sure that they have access to their properties wherever I move that road.

Joe Guido so you have a say as to where that right of way is? Mr. Vanderfin said it is there just because it has been there.

Don said it has been surveyed for the Town, Joe stated that the deed says they have a right of way, but it does not say where. Don said a surveyor went in there and surveyed the property and indicated that there was a right of way, you have not been there so you don’t understand, but if you were there you would understand why that right of way is where it is. There are mountain right in the way if you want to move it. If you want to go further down the way it would cost you a fortune just in blasting. Whatever we do or whatever we say it has to do with what was put before us and whatever they want to change in the future has nothing to do with us. It has nothing to do with us other than what was put here with the surveyor, you saw the survey map, signed with an indication that the right of way is there. And that is the way it was presented to the Town for the subdivision back in 1936.

Rob Hare as far as I am concerned the house is set back from the road, the actual road. The driveway can be where ever it is, the survey is irrelevant to the driveway .

Don stated that it could not be a driveway, it has to be a right of way on the deed to the property.

Mr. Vanderfin said the deed does not reference where that right of way has to be, Don said he could change it at any time provided that all the landowners decide that they want to do it, which is basically only the four up at the top.

Rob Hare so that is based entirely on the legal contract between those landowners. It has zip to do with Town Zoning. It is strictly for those landowners.

Don said let me tell you why you are wrong because of health, safety and welfare of any one that owns any property it this Town. We are in control of making sure that there is health, safety and welfare to each one of the property owners that are building. So, it is not a driveway the legality belongs to the Town

Rob Hare, so at that point it is still a driveway but the Building Inspector says that there needs to be proper access for a fire vehicle that is a building code problem.

Don that is a safety problem, Rob Hare, right but it is contingent on the building codes.

Don Cole said one of the problems, the reason you think it is a right of way is because it is not a defined level piece of property, that is why that right of way is where it is.

Rob Hare agreed. It probably has to be there forever. I am not arguing about that.

Joe Guido said none of us are arguing that, it is a right of way, not a road.

Karl Wick, the road is Cottage Court. It says so right in the deed.

Vic Barranca, the plan is to keep that right of way right where it is? Mr. Vanderfin said at this point it is. I have to widen it, codes have to be met, that is all.

Don Cole, do you want to let this go until you see it, or do you want to vote on it. I am in favor of voting on approving it with the setback according to what the setback have to be. It is up to the Board in whether you want to go along with it or wait until next month.

Karl Wick, I have seen it, the setbacks apply to the property boundaries the man does not need a variance. In my opinion. The front yard setback should be from Cottage Court, his property boundary, and not from the easement that runs across the property.

Don Cole, according to law, in the paper work that I got from Tim, when there is more than one house going to be put on a right of way there needs to be a Variance.

Karl Wick, I did not see that law on the papers that I got.

Joe Guido, any house that are going to use that as a right of way will have to come before us for a variance to use it.

Don found the paper from the Building Inspector and it was reviewed.

Karl Wick again disagreed. It does not say that it this one.  

Joe Guido does any one on the Board object to the house being built? No one did. So, why don’t we just word it in such a way that a variance be granted for what it is and say because the Building Inspector would like a Variance. Don Cole, we can do that. Joe, I don’t know how you want it worded, but we can tie it in according to………..

Karl Wick did not want to word it that way, he did not think it needed a variance.

Joe Guido, have you been before the Planning Board, Mr. Vanderfin said he was not told he had to go before them. I was told I needed a Variance.

Don Cole did not think that he had to go to the Planning  Board.

Joe Guido, some where along the lines, when he builds the next house goes on that right of way they are going to be before us because both houses will be off the same driveway. Don said you keep saying driveway, and that is not what it is, it is a right of way.  Don’t say driveway because driveway has a different connotation than a right of way. I think you will end up opening up a can of worms. Right of way, like it is on the survey. You make a motion and we will vote on it.



The vote was as follows:

Karl Wick:     I vote in favor of the motion to grant a variance because I believe that the Building Inspector erred in his interpretation of front yard setback. Front yard setback should be from Cottage Court, a separate street parcel. The right of way is not a separate parcel, so a variance is not required. I support the motion as the best way to achieve fair use of the applicant’s property. There will be no detriment to the neighborhood.

Rob Hare:     I vote in favor of the motion.  I see this right of way as being a secondary issue. I believe the true setback is from Cottage Court and given the location of the property I see no problem with the variance.

Vic Barranca: I approve this motion as long as all the stipulations are met with the safety standards that the Town sets forth for the right of way being approved.

Don Cole:     I agree with this motion for this variance. The elevations on the property make this property a nightmare and Mr. Vanderfin is doing all that has been required of him for the setbacks.

Kathy Kiernan:  I vote in favor for all the reasons stated.

Joe Guido:    I am in favor, the topography and size of the property and the fact that it is a right of way.

Linda Smythe:  I would like to abstain because I came into this later and I did not get a chance to look at it.



Joe Guido wanted to say for the record that he was sorry that Katherine Charuk was not back on the Board and it could have been more professional handled.

Rob Hare also wanted to say when I was approved for the Board there was a nominating process that was very valuable. I think Catherine was a good person and an asset to the Board.

Karl Wick agreed.


Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Henry