Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 10/14/08

Minutes of October 14, 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                         Beatrice Haugen-De Puy, Vice Chair              
        James Kingston                                                                                                          
        Elizabeth Kawalchuk                                                                                     
        Marijane Knudsen
        Jennifer McKenzie, Alternate


Pledge to the Flag.


Chairman Drabkin noted that Mrs. Haugen De Puy, Vice Chair, was not going to be in attendance at this meeting due to health issues, therefore the Alternate, Jennifer McKenzie, would be sitting in her place.


ROBERT PHILLIPS, Jr. c/o Sue Ellen LeBarron-25’ Area Variance requested to construct garage, Friedlander Drive, Tax Map # 68.13-3-5.100, R-1 District


Ms. LeBarron was present on behalf of this application. She explained that they wanted to put a garage on their property and the place where it fit best was 15’ from their property rear property line. She showed the Board where the leach field was and noted that was a reason why they wanted to put the garage to the right of the house. If they put it to the left, then they’d have to drive over the leach field and they didn’t want to do that. She then submitted letter from neighbor, Imre Beke stating that he had no objections to the Area Variance or the placement of the garage.


Mrs. Kawalchuk, Board member noted that she drove up there and saw the property.


Ms. LeBarron noted that there is a tarp where they’d like to put the garage. That would be coming down. They bought the property in January of 2008. She also noted that they’d have to put a new driveway in if they were to place the garage on the other side of the house and that would be costly.


Ms. McKenzie, Board Member, questioned if the existing driveway was on an incline?


Ms. LeBarron stated that it was.


Mrs. Kawalchuk, Board Member questioned if the garage could be put anywhere else on the property?


Chairman Drabkin suggested putting it flush with the back of the home. This would decrease the number of feet needed for the variance and another advantage would be having more space between the rear of the garage and the rear property line for storage.
Ms. LeBarron noted that if they did that they would be about 25’ away from the property line instead of 15’.


Chairman Drabkin noted that there’d be less snow to plow too.


Ms. McKenzie, Board Member, questioned if the garage was a single story?


Ms. LeBarron noted that it will be a single story with a peaked roof. She and Mr. Phillips believe that it makes sense to put it where they want it. They are taking the Board’s advice into consideration though.


Chairman Drabkin noted that the way the Board makes their determinations; they have to give the least amount of a variance possible.


Mr. Kingston questioned how old the trailer was?


Ms. LeBarron noted that it was an ’82.


Mr. Kingston, Board Member, questioned if the setbacks were different when they placed the trailer- because the trailer itself is encroaching on the rear setback.


Ms. LeBarron noted that at the time the trailer was placed there the lots were smaller (undersized) and since that time they’ve been combined to equal over an acre.


Ms. Knudsen, Board Member noted that the Board can only give the least possible variance, so if the applicant is showing that there are alternative positions that will be more of a distance from the property, the Board is going to have to consider that in their decision making .There are different criteria the Board had to follow in making a determination. She advised the applicant to bring an estimate of cost for a new driveway location, bring pictures of the land to show the slopes that would make it difficult to put the garage in another location. The Board is building a record for the applicant’s case. They can’t just get an Area Variance because it’s where they want to put their garage. The applicant needs to show all of the reasons why it can’t go anywhere else, but the location where it is being proposed.


Chairman Drabkin questioned if the garage could be put in the front yard?


Mrs. Paddock Stange, Secretary, mentioned that it was against the Zoning Codes to put a garage in the front yard.


Mr. Kingston, Board Member, questioned why it couldn’t be swung 90 degrees so the doors opened toward the house. He sketched it on the site plan for the applicant. He didn’t think that would need a variance at all. He also didn’t see it as an inconvenience compared to where they wanted it. It wouldn’t take much further to get to the house. He felt this could be a way to accomplish this without the need for a variance. Chairman Drabkin indicated that the applicant had every right to apply, by as Ms. Knudsen stated earlier, the applicant needed to prove that there was no alternate location. This looks like an alternate location.
Ms. LeBarron stated that she would talk this over with Mr. Phillips and get back to the Board.


Chairman Drabkin stated that our next meeting would be November 12th. The Board would hold a Public Hearing on this application at that time should the applicant decide to move forward.


Chairman Drabkin had been polling the Board Members about whether or not they’d want to change the time of the meeting from 7:00PM to 6:00PM.


Ms. Knudsen, Board Member, did not think this would be fair to the public. Many people have a hard enough time getting home from work and to the meetings at 7:00PM.


Chairman Drabkin noted that since there weren’t that many ZBA meetings, maybe they could be flexible if an applicant couldn’t get here at that hour.


Other Board members agreed that 7:00PM seemed to work for members, applicants and the public.


Chairman Drabkin stated that they would keep the meetings at 7:00PM and if they wanted to revisit changing the time to 6:00PM at another time, they would do that.


Mrs. Kawalchuk, Board Member, motioned to accept the August 12, 2008 minutes. Seconded by Mr. Kingston, Board Member. No discussion.
McKenzie, Alt.  –       Absent                  Kawalchuk       –       Yes
Drabkin, Chairman       –       Yes                             Knudsen –       Yes     
Haugen De Puy, VC       –       Yes                             Kingston        –           Yes
Mr. Kingston, Board Member, motioned to adjourn seconded by Ms. McKenzie. No discussion. All members in favor.


As there was no further business to discuss, Chairman Drabkin adjourned the meeting at 7:40 PM. 


                                                                Respectfully submitted,


                                                                Rebecca Paddock Stange, Secretary