Town of Esopus Zoning Board of Appeals
     March 21, 2006

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


Present: Don Cole, Darin DeKoskie, Joe Guido, Rob Hare, Richard Wenzel, and Karl Wick.
Excused: Catherine Charuk
Also present: Councilmen Mike Lange and Gloria VanVliet.




Two vouchers were submitted; one from the Daily Freeman for a public hearing notice for the Karl case and one for 10.5 hours of secretarial work. JOE GUIDO MADE A MOTION TO APPROVE THE VOUCHERS. RICHARD WENZEL SECONDED. ALL PRESENT VOTED IN FAVOR.


VANHEUSEN, JANET Case # 03-21-06-01

Ms. VanHeusen advised that she is before the Board requesting a variance to use a mobile home for storage on her property at 433-435 Broadway. She explained that she had a house fire ten years ago and has been working on fixing the house since then. The last phase of it is tearing down and rebuilding a side section of the house. The things she was able to salvage after the fire have been stored in there. Her friend gave her a gutted mobile home which she has placed on the north side of her property and she has spray painted it green to blend in with a bungalow which is also on that border. After she placed it there she found out that she would need a variance to place a mobile home on her property in the General Commercial zoning district. There is no electric in the mobile home and it has been gutted so it is just for storage. She said she is willing to put a fence up in front of it if necessary. She has four acres of property.

Mr. Cole asked if that is the only trailer on the property. Ms. VanHeusen answered that yes, as far as a mobile home it is. She pointed out on her site plan sketch another trailer which she said is a work trailer used for storage of lumber to be used in rebuilding the house. She also advised that there is a camper on the property. Mr. Cole asked if it was licensed and had plates on it since then it would be permitted. He advised that the others are not permitted. Ms. VanHeusen asked it
the work trailer is not permitted and Mr. Cole answered that it is but only for a short period of time.

Mr. Guido asked the size of the trailer and Ms. VanHeusen answered that it is 12'x40'. Mr. Hare asked if the applicant will be removing it in the future and Mr. Cole asked if it would be by a specific date. Ms. VanHeusen answered that she will be removing it but when she removes it depends on her funding and when she can finish the house. Mr. Guido asked what time interval she is looking for and Ms. VanHeusen stated that at tops it will be two years. Mr. Guido asked if the applicant would be willing to set up an escrow account. It was explained to her that she would have to put up an amount of money that would be determined by the Town Supervisor which would be used to move the trailer if she does not do it at the time she agrees to.

There were no further questions from the Board. Mr. Cole explained that the neighbors will be notified and there will be a public hearing at the April 18 meeting.


KARL, KEN  Case # 02-21-06-01

The architect for this project, Kurt Sutherland-Roth, was present. Mr. Guido asked him to explain what he is doing for the benefit on anyone who was not at the last meeting. Mr. Karlís property is 241 acres and has a main house off an existing driveway and a garage which is in front of the main house. They are looking to construct a guest house in front of the main house. The garage was given approval in 2004 by the Planning Board for construction in its existing location. The septic system is located to the southwest of the main house. Water will be pulled from the existing garage and they are proposing to add additional septic load from the guest house down to the existing septic field. The lot is currently wooded along Plutarch Road and they will not be doing any clearing between the road and the proposed guest house. The building will be a one and a half story building of approximately 1400 square feet. The exterior walls will be stone and wood and this will be a modest structure relative to the main house. They are seeking variances for both the location and the height since, to the mid-point of the roof, it will be 19'. The allowed height is 15'.

Mr. Wenzel asked why this has to be in front of the main house with all the acreage that the applicant has. Mr. Sutherland-Roth explained that the hill drops off dramatically in front of the main house and to locate the guest house to the rear of the main house would require guests to walk quite a distance to the main house. The house sits on a fairly steep hill. The property goes straight up behind the house and it drops straight down to a pond on the left. The guest house will still be 200' from the road and will not be visible from the road. Mr. Wenzel asked if having the height at 19' instead of 15' would make the house visible from the road. Mr. Sutherland-Roth answered that the peak will probably be visible.

Mr. Guido asked if there will be a kitchen and the architect stated that there will not be since the zoning does not specifically address guest houses as accessory structures. Mr. Wick stated that the applicant is basing his reason for seeking the variance on the topography and no topographical maps were submitted. He drove past and it does not look that steep to him. An elevation map will definitely help his decision because it is such a big piece of property and he could see the main house from the road quite clearly. Mr. Guido stated that the public hearing will have to be kept open until next month anyway because of the height variance which was not on the original application. The public hearing notice must state what variances are being requested so this will have to be re-published. Mr. Sutherland-Roth asked if the members of the Board could visit the site instead of requiring a topographical map. Information was given to the members so they can gain access.


JOHNSON, JULIE A.  Case # 02-21-06-02

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson and Mr. Robert Carey were present for this application. No one from the public was present. A letter from a neighbor was received and is on file. Mr. Cole asked if the existing garage will be torn down and replaced. Mr. Carey stated that it will be. The new garage will be extended two feet towards the road and ten feet to the left. Mr. Cole asked if they will be getting four cars in there and Mr. Carey stated that they will be. The original garage was constructed as a carriage house and has a wooden floor. Mr. Cole asked how high the new garage will be from the road. Mr. Carey said that from the foundation it will be 22'. It is presently 18'7" and the allowed is 15'. Mr. Cole asked how high the house is and if it will be higher than the garage. He canít see the height of the garage being a major problem if it is going to be close to the height of the house. Mr. Carey answered that it will be two floors and will mimic the slope of the existing roof. Mr. Cole stated that from the river it will be high.

Mr. Guido asked Mr. Carey to state what he wants to do since the application that was received did not include all the variances that the applicant is looking for. Mr. Carey said that he resubmitted the paperwork that he got from the Building Department through the Clerkís office. The public hearing notice that was published in the Freeman did include all the variances that are being requested so it is not necessary to re-post it. Mr. Guido stated that in order for this project to meet the coverage requirement, the property on the other side of River Road has to be included. He asked whether there are one or two deeds and the applicants stated that all the property is on one deed. Both Mr. Guido and Mr. Wick asked that a copy of the deed be presented at the next meeting.

Mr. Guido stated that all the variances requested are not just for the garage building. Mr. Carey explained that there are four variances being requested and he sent a letter stating what they are and why they are being requested. The existing garage has to come down because of its condition and the applicants would like to put an apartment over the new one Mrs. Johnsonís mother who will be visiting from out of state. Parking is tight on the lot now and a larger garage will allow for more off-street parking. The house itself is old and the kitchen is long and narrow and they would like to push out the wall to expand the kitchen. Above it they will be expanding the bedroom. As it is now, the house is an old house cut up into small spaces. When the bedroom is expanded the applicants will also be reducing the number of bedrooms. Mr. Carey stated that he thought there were four bedrooms in the house but there are actually five. The applicants are reducing that to three. They will also be putting in what he calls a view porch, a screened porch next to the kitchen.

Mr. Hare asked how many bedrooms will be in the accessory apartment. Mr. Carey stated that there will be just one. Mr. Hare said that the room on the drawing just at the top of the stairs that is labeled study looks to him to be another bedroom. Mr. Carey stated that he doesnít think anyone would live in a 600 square foot apartment. Code is 600 square feet and the applicants are looking to expand that to 720 square feet. Nobody will be living there permanently. Mr. Guido asked what kind of assurances the Board could get that would guarantee that this would not be turned into a rental apartment. Although the plans do not show a kitchen, there is a wet bar with a sink. Itís just a matter of adding a refrigerator, a stove, and a microwave and it could be a rental apartment. Mr. Guido stated that he would like to have something in the variance so that any future owners would not be able to use this as a rental apartment.

Mr. Carey advised that the required setback from the river is 80' in this zone. That would bring you beyond the existing home and right up to the road. This house was built years ago.

Mr. Guido asked why the applicant canít just build the garage on the footprint that is there and add a parking space next to it. Mr. Johnson answered that the garage that is there is not deep enough for todayís cars and a four car garage would meet the familyís requirements for the three cars they have with another bay for yard equipment.

Mr. Cole mentioned the pool. He questioned if the applicants went to the DEC or the DEP to get permission to put it so close to the river. Mr. Carey answered that this case is before the Planning Board and the Waterfront Advisory Board. Mr. Cole advised that they contact the DEC or the DEP to see if there would be a problem and he will try to look into it also. Mr. Cole also asked that the applicants provide a letter from the Board of Health regarding the septic system. Mr. Carey advised that he is waiting for that letter.

Mr. Wick advised that he knows Mr. Careyís brother quite well and if anyone objects he will abstain from voting on this matter.

Mr. Cole stated that the public hearing will be kept open. Mr. Guido informed the applicant that the Board would like a copy of the deed, the letter from the Board of Health, and approval from the Waterfront Advisory Board. He will also be looking for some kind of guarantee that this will not be used as a rental and he would like that written into the variance. Mr. Cole advised that if everything requested is presented at the next meeting, the Board may vote then even though the public hearing is being kept open.

No cases.


Mr. Cole notified the Board that a letter was received from Davin Butterfield requesting that this Board send a memo to the Planning Board explaining the variance that was granted on his property. He would like to subdivide a two acre piece. Mr. Cole said that he already advised Mr. Butterfield that the property is to be kept as Light Industrial. This was all discussed previously. Mr. Guido explained that the concern of the Board when it granted the variance was to make sure that the house was not subdivided off as residential. It was to remain with the business as Light Industrial.

There was more discussion regarding this property. Mr. Cole was concerned because Mr. Butterfield has forty acres and he wants to divide off two acres and Mr. Cole wants to make sure it stays Light Industrial. Several Board members explained that it will stay Light Industrial. The variance that was granted allowed Mr. Butterfield to build a residence on a Light Industrial parcel and to make sure that it remains industrial, the variance stipulated that the house could not be divided off by itself and become residential. There was nothing said about subdividing the rest of the property. The property is Light Industrial and was never changed by anything this Board did.
Mr. Cole wants a letter sent to the Planning Board telling them that this property should remain LI. Mr. Guido said that it was the intent of this Board that the property remain LI. Even if subdivided, the house and the business are to remain LI. There is to be no change of zoning. The Board voted unanimously to send the memo.


Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Kiernan