Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 06/24/08

Minutes of June 24, 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                            Marijane Knudsen
James Kingston  
Beatrice Haugen-De Puy, Vice Chair


Pledge to the Flag.


The Chairman hadn’t had a chance to read the minutes and the Board agreed to table them until the next meeting.


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   


Chairman Drabkin asked if the Board had any questions in regard to this application before he opened the Public Hearing.


The Board did not.


Chairman Drabkin noted that this application had been reviewed also by the Planning Board and they motioned for a favorable advisory with a 3-3 vote at its May 20, 2008 meeting. He further noted that a letter dated May 19, 2008 from the Town of Rochester Code Enforcement Officer, Albert E. Davis to Maren Lindstrom indicated that the existing dwelling, which also encroached on the set back at +/-9’2.4”, was determined to be a legal nonconforming structure and did not require a separate area variance as was previously suggested by the ZBA.  


Mrs. Haugen De Puy, Vice Chair, noted for the record that the applicants brought in pictures showing their property and the reasons for their request.


Chairman Drabkin questioned if the applicants researched what the cost would be to move the existing slab on which they wanted to place the addition being applied for.


Mrs. Lindstrom noted that they haven’t gotten any official numbers from any contractors yet, because they wanted to see if they could get the variance first. It would definitely cost a lot more—they’d have to cut down many trees in the woods and change the elevations of the property to start and that would definitely be costly.


Mrs. Haugen De Puy, Vice Chair, requested that the applicants restate their case for the record.


Mrs. Lindstrom and Mr. Lavallee 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.


The applicants stressed the fact that they would not be encroaching any further than there home already did on the property line in question, so the impact wouldn’t be greater than what was already there. They also stated that it would not be economically feasible to put the addition anywhere else on the property as there was an existing 6” thick concrete slab where they intended to place the addition and it would be a financial burden to remove concrete slab. The terrain and placement of the septic and well were also a factor in proposing the addition to be placed on the existing concrete slab. The neighbor’s house to the south-west which bordered the property line in question for the variance was a significant distance away from the applicant’s home and the site is wooded and generally secluded. They also referred to Mr. Davis’ letter dated May 20th as indicated earlier by Chairman Drabkin.


Mrs. Haugen De Puy, Vice Chair, stated that she had a great deal of respect for Mr. Davis’ correspondence.


Chairman Drabkin further noted that all bounding owners were contacted by mail and notices for the Public Hearing were advertised in the Daily Freeman and posted on the Town’s Website. They were actually all contacted twice as the originally scheduled public hearing had been cancelled due to inclement weather.


Mrs. Haugen De Puy, Vice Chair, went through the criteria the Board must follow when making a decision in regards to an Area Variance:
The ZBA must consider if the applicant’s benefit to the detriment to health, safety and welfare of the community is substantial.~ The ZBA must consider:
·       whether the applicant can achieve this request by other means;~~
·       whether the application  will cause an undesirable change in the neighborhood character or nearby properties;
·       whether the request is substantial;
·       whether the situation is self created;
·       whether the request will have an adverse impact on the environment.
Mrs. Haugen De Puy, Vice Chair, felt that all of these criteria were proven in favor of the applicants through their testimony and through the review process.


Chairman Drabkin opened up the hearing to the public.


There was no public comment for this application.
Mr. Kingston, Board Member motioned to close the Public Hearing. Seconded by Ms. McKenzie, Alternate. No discussion.
Vote:   McKenzie, Alt.  –       Yes                             Kawalchuk       –       Absent
        Drabkin, Chairman       –       Yes                             Knudsen –       Absent  
        Haugen De Puy, VC       –       Yes                             Kingston        –          Yes


Mr. Kingston motioned based upon the testimony at the public hearing, and all written documents to approve the Applicant’s request for an Area Variance for 30’ 10” to build a 1,000 S.F. addition to their existing residential structure with the conditions that all local, Town, County, and State permits are granted and regulations complied with. The applicant has testified that, due to the existing location of the house, the existing concrete slab, the slope of their land, the existing layout of the driveway and the location of the well and septic, that they cannot achieve this by other means. They purchased the property in 2002 with a legal survey showing that the house was +/-60’ to +/-70’ from their side yard property line.  No members of the public or bounding owners commented and there is a considerable distance to the closest neighbor. Mrs. Haugen De Puy, Vice Chair, seconded the motion. No discussion.  
        McKenzie, Alt.  –       Yes                             Kawalchuk       –       Absent
        Drabkin, Chairman       –       Yes                             Knudsen –       Absent  
        Haugen De Puy, VC       –       Yes                             Kingston        –          Yes
Mrs. Haugen De Puy, Vice Chair,  motioned for an Unlisted Action with a Negative Declaration under SEQRA as the project will not result in any large or important impacts and will not have a significant impact on the environment. Seconded by Chairman Drabkin. No discussion.
        McKenzie, Alt.  –       Yes                             Kawalchuk       –       Absent
        Drabkin, Chairman       –       Yes                             Knudsen –       Absent  
        Haugen De Puy, VC       –       Yes                             Kingston        –          Yes
Chairman Drabkin motioned to adjourn seconded by Mrs. Haugen De Puy, Vice Chair. No discussion. All members in favor.


As there was no further business to discuss, Chairman Drabkin adjourned the meeting at 7:30 PM. 


                                                                Respectfully submitted,


                                                                Rebecca Paddock Stange, Secretary