P.O. Box 700

Port Ewen, NY 12466

Zoning Board of Appeals


      1. Fax 845-331-8634


                                TOWN OF ESOPUS ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

                                           Minutes of the September 21, 2010 Meeting




Chairman, Don Cole, called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.




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


Also present:   Dennis Suraci, Linda Bresnahan-McCarthy, Harry McCarthy



Vic made a motion to approve the corrected minutes of the July 20, 2010 meeting.  Seconded by Joe.   All in favor.



Karl made a motion to accept the vouchers for secretarial work and the Daily Freeman legal notice.   Seconded by Vic.  All in favor.



 07-20-10-01                                           Reformed Church of Port Ewen

                                                                158 Salem Street                                 Area Variances



There were no speakers from the public.


Dennis Suraci from Mauri Associates, architects, was present representing the applicant.  He explained that the intent of the church is to take down the existing front porch and to construct a larger porch.  Right now it is approximately 4’ 8” back from the property line.  The new porch will extend right to the property line.  The second variance being requested is for lot coverage of 37%.  They are presently covering 36% of the lot, and the allowable coverage is 30%.


Chairman Cole stated that Karl had contacted Ulster County Highway and they have no problem with the proposed project.


Chairman Cole asked for public statements or questions.  There was no comment.

He asked if the Board had any questions. 


Joe asked if there was any way to comply to the setback.  Mr. Suraci explained that  it is not possible to comply to a 30 ft. setback.  They are pre-existing, non-conforming.  He stated that the reason for the project is that during funerals there is not enough room for the casket on the present porch.  He described the dangerous procedure that the pallbearers use to move caskets into the church.  He also explained that the reason they need to put in so many steps is because of the State building code on stairs and risers.


Joe said, “So you’re saying this is not self-imposed?”  Mr. Suraci stated that because of the building code on stairs,  applicants are asked to go for a variance first and then if a variance is not granted, the applicant could go back to the Building Code and try to get an on-site variance from the State.


Karl asked if it was correct that applicant was requesting two variances.  Chairman Cole replied, “Yes.”


Chairman Cole closed the public hearing at 7:36 pm.


Karl made a motion to grant a variance to Town of Esopus Ordinance Section 123-20 to allow lot coverage of 37%.  Seconded by Linda.


Vote:  Karl – In favor, although there has been a substantial variance on this property before.

                        If they come back a third time, I’ll be more likely to look very closely.  I

                        don’t think this 1%  of lot coverage is going to have an effect the neighborhood. 

                        The benefit is substantial to the church.  I don’t see any detriment to the


            Rob -  In favor.  I agree with Karl.  It is a minimal increase, although it is an increase in 

                        a  pre-existing problem.  In general, the front entry is an improvement to the


            Vic – In favor for reasons stated.  I don’t think there’s going to be any problem

                      jeopardizing  the character of the neighborhood.  The safety factor outweighs

                      everything else.

            Don –In favor for all those various reasons.

            Kathy – In favor for the reasons already sited.

            Joe – In favor for reasons already sited.

            Linda – In favor.  It has no impact on the neighborhood.


Karl made a motion to grant a variance to Town of Esopus Ordinance Section 123-20 to allow a front yard setback of zero feet.  Seconded by Vic.


Vote:  Linda – In favor.

           Joe – I don’t like zero setbacks, but I’ll vote in favor because, to comply with the new

                     rules, you almost have to.

           Kathy – In favor.

            Don – In favor, specifically for the safety reasons

            Vic – In favor.  I think it’s a beautiful plan and safety is paramount.

            Rob – In favor.   However, if the applicant comes back and asks to increase the volume

                       of the main building, I’ll definitely vote against.

            Karl – In favor, although I’m not comfortable with the zero setback.  It’s a 150 year-

                        old  public building.  They didn’t anticipate these problems when they sited the

                        building on the lot; and this does contribute to the safety of people going in and

                        out of the building.


Mr. Suraci stated that is open space.  Joe asked to have the records show that this is open space and will remain open space.  If it changes, it will have to come back before this Board.


Chairman Cole stated that applicant has been granted the Board’s approval.   



Chairman Cole asked the Board the read the handout from the Planning Board, Guidelines for Public Hearing Speakers, that they were given.  The Board will discuss it at the next meeting.  Linda stated to Don that he doesn’t need guidelines, he does well.  Chairman Cole replied that it was all common sense and it can be used to inform people in the audience.


Chairman Cole asked Board members to review information on seminars that they were given.

Vic asked if there was the possibility of having something at Town Hall.  Chairman Cole replied

that we could try.   The secretary offered to call the County if the Board chose a topic.


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

Meeting adjourned 7:45 pm.



Respectfully Submitted,



Joan Boris

Secretary, Zoning Board of Appeals