Town of Esopus Zoning Board of Appeals
MARCH 17, 2009

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

The Pledge to the Flag followed.


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

Absent: Linda Smythe. 





No new applications.


        1. Castrucci, Paul and DeDominicis, Marisa, Owners

232 River Road, Ulster Park,                 Area Variance


Don Cole announced the public hearing for Mr. Castrucci. Mr. Castrucci explained that that he was seeking a conditional use permit. There are two houses on the site which is approximately 4 ½ acres. There will be a main house and a cottage. The cottage will be the accessory apartment. It is larger than the zoning allows, 600 square feet. The accessory apartment will share utilities with the main house. Both houses were renovated in 2005, and 2006.

At the last meeting I was asked a couple of questions and I did some research.  The questions were two tax parcels, and the date the second building was erected. The two tax parcels have always been one.  There was an older woman living in one of the houses. Her son or daughter lived in the other. The tax department sent them two bills in order that the older woman could get the senior citizen reduction in the tax bill. There was a letter submitted from Dan Terpening. The other issue was when the second house was built. The Assessor found records in his files that prove it was there as far back as 1946.

Karl Wick confirmed to the best of Mr. Castrucci’s knowledge it has always been one deed.

Joe Guido asked if there was a copy of the deed. Yes, Mr. Castrucci produced the copy of deed.

At this time, Don Cole, asked a neighbor to identify herself for the record. Ms. Mary Starke. Ms. Starke stated that she came to make sure she understood the application. 

Joe Guido explained that there is one property with two buildings on it. He wants to make one of the buildings an accessory apartment, however, it is oversize. He is here for a variance from the Zoning Board. The variance would allow the oversize apartment. Mr. Guido asked Ms. Starke if she had any objections. She replied no.

Joe Guido stated that last month the Board was asking if we should be addressing this or not. I feel this application should be addressed at this time. If the owner wants to sub-divide in the future, if that happens, it will be an illegal piece of property and the Planning Board will not be able to address the application. It will be sent to the Zoning Board. I would want it to be 2 ½ acres because if he ever wanted to divide the houses off you have a little wiggle room, depending on where the line is.  If you end up with exactly two and you want to break, it off you might have one illegal lot just to make one so it is useable.

Mr. Castrucci stated that basically the houses are existing since 1946. It is a “grandfather” situation. It is a pre-existing use. The property is over 4 ½ areas. Right now, it is two single-family houses.

Karl Wick stated that it is a legal non-conforming use; however, if you sub-divide the property in the future, you will be making a non-conforming use more grievances. It is better to total legitimize it at this point, so you will have less problems in the future. It is a legal use now.  

Karl stated that he did not see how you could sub-divide and keep the houses on separate parcel.  The houses would be to close.    
Joe thought a variance could be granted for the two buildings, however, if the property is ever divided if the future, the property with the two houses should be at least 2 ½ acres.

Don Cole suggested that we leave it the way it is now, and if in the future the applicant wants to sub-divide, he will have to go thru whatever is required.

Kathy Kiernan asked about the sub-division. Will it be in the front of the lot? Mr. Castrucci stated that the two houses would be on one parcel in the front. The lot would be in the back.

Rob Hare asked if there was a division line.

The property is 200,000 square feet.

Don Cole stated that what the Board will be voting on is making an accessory apartment. The apartment is over the square footage allowed. Lot lines are not our job. Lot lines will be addressed at another time by the Planning Board.

Joe thought it was not really an accessory apartment, but another house. Basically we have two houses on four acres. I don’t have a problem with that, but I do have a problem as to where it will be sub-divided.

That would be a Planning Board issue.   Sub-divisions will be addressed by the Planning Board. Presently, the variance is on the overage of the footage for the apartment.

This application will be sent to the County Planning Board.

Joe Guido stated that there are two houses on this property and he would like to see some type of safe guard.

Karl Wick stated that safe guard is already there because it is under 200,000 square feet. The applicant would need another variance and Planning Board approval, if this were to happen in the future.  The safe guard is in place.

Alex Zabik, a neighbor, was also present. The Board explained to him what Mr. Casturcci was before the Zoning Board for.  To legalize an accessory apartment that was existing on the property. The apartment was larger than the Ordinance allowed. This apartment existed prior to zoning. Mr. Zabik stated that he was concerned and wanted to know the plan for the property. What sort of impact it would have on the neighborhood.

Karl stated that this is an existing use, been there for 60 years. It is hard to predict what changes there will be, if any.

Mr. Castrucci stated that for this application tonight, there would be no change. There is no physical change on the property. It is only a matter of allowing an accessory apartment with a larger amount of square footage then is allowed. It will not change anything. It will not be used commercially.

Mr. Zabik asked if the brick house is any part of this application. No.

Both Ms. Starke and Mr. Zabik stated that they would be more concerned with a sub-division.

There will be a Decisional Meeting on April 21, 2009.

Don Cole made a motion to adjourn the meeting Vic Barranca second. All in favor.

The meeting was closed at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Henry
Zoning Board Secretary