Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 05/13/08

Minutes of May 13, 2008 of the Town of Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals, held at the Town Hall, Accord, NY.


Meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Chairman, Brian Drabkin.


Present:                                                Absent:
Brian Drabkin, Chairman                         Elizabeth Kawalchuk                                             
Jennifer McKenzie, Alternate    
James Kingston                                                                                                          
Marijane Knudsen
Beatrice Haugen-De Puy, Vice Chair


Alternate, Jennifer McKenzie,  sat on the Board in place of Mrs. Kawalchuk, Board Member.


Pledge to the Flag.


MAREN LINDSTROM & DENIS LAVALEE–        473 Upper Cherrytown Road, Area Variance for side yard setback for addition, Tax Map #59.000-2-28.1, ‘A’ District   


Mrs. Lindstrom and Mr. Lavalee were present on behalf of their application. They stated that when they bought their house in 2002 that it had a survey done and it showed the house being +/-60’ to +/-70’ off of the southern side yard. Since then they have recently had another survey done as they were proposing to do an addition and the new survey actually shows the house sitting +/-9.2’ off of that side yard property line.


Chairman Drabkin stated that he went out to the site and met with the applicants before the meeting. He also spoke with Ulster County Planner, Dennis Doyle,  to get clarification as to if the applicants would need to also get a variance for the existing dwelling as well as their proposed addition. Mr. Doyle stated that the applicant’s should get the additional variance so that their home would have clear title. He also stated that the laws have changed on how variances are handled and applicants no longer need to prove a hardship.


The applicants displayed pictures of the site for the Board members and noted that where they want to build the addition is an existing concrete slab. They felt it would make sense to build it there and not have to have the cost of tearing it up. Plus the layout of the land and the placement of the septic system make this the most sensible location. The addition would also be +/-9.2’ off of the side yard property line. They would be requesting a +/- 30.8’ variance. That neighbor’s house isn’t near there and they are also surrounded by state land and it is very forested property up there.


The Board agreed that they would consult with the Building Dept. and recommend that the applicants apply for a variance for the existing dwelling as well. They would apply for 2 separate variances with 2 separate applications, therefore they would be applying for (2) +/-30.8’ Variances. The applicants were instructed that their next meeting would be with the Planning Board for an Advisory Request and then back to the ZBA on June 10, 2008 for their Public Hearing.


Mrs. Haugen- De Puy, Vice Chair, motioned to approve the minutes of the March 11, 2008 meeting. Seconded by Mr. Kingston. No discussion.
Vote:   McKenzie, Alt.  –       Yes                             Kawalchuk       –       Absent
        Drabkin, Chairman       –       Yes                             Knudsen –       Yes     
        Haugen De Puy, VC       –       Yes                             Kingston        –          Yes


Mrs. Haugen-De Puy wanted to discuss trainings and the lack of opportnuties available to Board members. We are now 6 months into the year and time is running out for members to find suitable trainings that also fit into their schedules.


Chairman Drabkin stated that he had spoken with Supervisor Chipman regarding this subject and suggested that they have a training brought to the Town for Board members to attend. Supervisor Chipman requested topics that the Boards would be interested in.


Mrs. Haugen De Puy, Vice Chair,  noted that there needed to be more trainings made available. This used to be the call of the Chairperson.


Other Board members agreed that it was getting late in the year and that there should be more trainings made available.


Mrs. Haugen De Puy, Vice Chair,  noted that there was an all day training put on by the Association of the Towns on July 17th in New Paltz, but it would cost the Town $60 per member and people would have to take time off of work.


Chairman Drabkin suggested a topic of “History of Zoning in NY State” for a training to be brought to the Town possibly by Ulster County Planner, Dennis Doyle.


Board members did not like this idea. They were more interested in something that they could apply to their work on the Board. Something more along the lines of SEQRA and its application to Zoning. They also felt that Dennis Doyle was a Planner and not an expert in Zoning.


The Board agreed that a letter would be sent to the Town Board to convey their stance on the need for more trainings to be made available.


Mrs. Haugen-De Puy, Vice Chair, motioned to adjourn seconded by Mr. Kingston, Board Member. No discussion. All members in favor.


As there was no further business to discuss, Chairman Drabkin adjourned the meeting at 7:45 PM. 


                                                                Respectfully submitted,


                                                                Rebecca Paddock Stange, Secretary