P.O. Box 700

Port Ewen, NY 12466

Zoning Board of Appeals


                   845-331-8630                                                                    Fax 845-331-8634





                                   TOWN OF ESOPUS ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

                                              Minutes of the August 16, 2011 Meeting





CALL TO ORDER:  Chairman, Don Cole, called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm.





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

Absent:  Rob Hare

Excused:  Linda Smythe




Karl made a motion to accept the July 19 minutes as written.  Vic seconded the motion.    All in favor.



Vic made a motion to approve the voucher for secretarial work.  Seconded by Karl.   All in favor.



        1. Robert & Kristy Nelson                   56.83-1-22

                                                               172 Lindorf Street                           Area Variance



Kristy Nelson was present along with Dennis Suraci, who will represent the applicants.

Mr. Suraci stated that Kristy and her husband would like to build a garage in their front yard.  He added that it will be detached and will encroach on the front yard and he thinks the applicant falls under this section:  Accessory Building – Standards of yard accessory buildings, 123-21C(5)(d).  Mr. Suraci stated that this deals with “the distance that we can be from the front and the condition being that “if the topographic conditions be such that practical difficulties would be caused, this condition with respect to location of garages may be authorized to be closer than the front yard or closer than the principal building.”

There was discussion concerning the section from which the variance is needed.  Joe stated that a variance is needed to put the garage in front of the house and to have it less than 15 feet from the front property line. 


Mr. Suraci stated that he and the Nelsons had spent a lot of time looking at different locations for the garage to find the best location on the lot.  If they slid the garage back along the right property line, it would cut off access to the rear yard.  The rear yard is not accessible from the left side because of a sharp decrease in grade.  The grade on the right side is also higher in the rear yard, so they cannot put the garage behind the house on the right.   Mr. Suraci explained that if the garage were moved back further on the right side of the house, it would block the area where applicants park a work vehicle and it would limit access for fire vehicles.  Mr. Suraci

distributed photos of the property showing grade and retaining walls.


Karl asked why the garage could not be built in the back of the house.  Mr. Suraci stated, “Because we can’t get there.”  He further explained the grade drop offs.   Karl asked if there were other houses in the neighborhood with garages in front of the houses.  Mr. Suraci answered

that there were, and applicant distributed photos.  Karl told them to bring these to the public hearing.


Chairman Cole asked what the height of the garage will be to the peak.  Mr. Suraci answered, “15 feet.”


Karl noted that the photos of the other garages in front yards were both attached garages.  Applicant agreed and stated that both of these neighbors are on Rogers Street and had come before the board for variances.  Karl asked if that was the same neighborhood and applicant said it was one street over.


Joe asked how far from the road  the houses on this street were and asked that this information be brought to the public hearing.  Mr. Suraci asked if Joe wanted the measurement from the paved road or the property line.  Joe replied, “whatever they are measuring from on this (survey included with application).”  Karl stated that the measurement should be from the property line.


Joe asked if the shop shown as part of the garage could be moved to the other side and the whole project moved back about three feet.  Mr. Suraci explained that if they moved it back, applicants

would no longer be able to park the work truck and boat trailer that they park in this area currently.  Mr. Suraci explained the erosion problem on the side of the house and his plans for

drainage if the garage is situated as planned. 


Karl asked if the goal was to have parking for four vehicles on a lot that is about a quarter acre.

Mr. Suraci stated that one is a work vehicle, one is a boat trailer, applicants’ son lives with the applicants and he has a truck and applicants’ two personal vehicles.  Karl said that someone (at the public hearing) may ask why they don’t try to buy some property from their neighbor and that they should come prepared with an answer.  Applicant stated that she would love to buy her neighbor’s property, but she didn’t want to pay his asking price.  She stated that she would like to knock his house down.  Karl noted that it is a little excessive to put so many vehicles on a lot that small, but that wouldn’t necessarily preclude the board from granting the variance.


Joe asked applicant to be able to justify at the public hearing why the garage has to be that size.


Don excused applicant and asked her to return for the public hearing on Sept. 20.

Joe asked if the measurements were accurate and Mr. Suraci stated that they had a survey done.



08-16-11-02                                 Christopher Cuff & Danielle Doyle            56.59-2-16                   

                                                      183 Horton Lane                                        Area Variance



Charles Holtz, from Holtz Surveying, was present representing the applicants.  He is the land surveyor who did the survey for the applicants.  During the survey, Mr. Holtz noticed that the property line went through the neighbor’s driveway.   Applicants decided to move the westerly property line giving their neighbor more land so that the driveway is all on his property.  To do this lot line revision, applicants will need a rear yard setback variance.  Mr. Holtz explained that 30 feet is required for the rear yard, it is 19.4 feet currently, and it will be 14 feet after the lot line is moved. 


Joe asked if the driveway was already in.  Mr. Holtz answered that it was.  Joe asked how the driveway was put in over the property line and Mr. Holtz speculated that it was probably just a neighbor being indulgent. The neighbor was friendly with the previous owners


Joe asked if the lot line revision was for a future subdivision and Mr. Holtz answered that the only purpose if so that the neighbor, Mr. Hamilton will own his driveway outright.


Karl asked if the property had central water and sewer, and Mr. Holtz answered that it did.


Joe asked if Mr. Holtz was representing Cuff & Doyle, and he answered, “Yes, that is the lot that needs the variance.  The other lot we’re making better.”


Karl asked the board if this was a corner lot, and the consensus was that it was not.


Joe asked if this was a common driveway and Mr. Holtz answered, “No.”

Joe asked if Mr. Holtz could ask the neighbor, Hamilton, if he could write a letter stating that he does not object to the lot line revision.  Mr. Holtz stated that he would get the letter and added that Mr. Hamilton is signing off on the revision when it gets filed.


Chairman Cole dismissed Mr. Holtz and asked him to return for the public hearing next month.




Vic made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Seconded by Kathy.  All in favor.


Chairman Cole adjourned the meeting at 7:50 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Joan Boris, Secretary

Zoning Board of Appeals