APPROVED

TOWN OF PELHAM

ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT MEETING

December 10, 2001

 

The Chairman, Walter Kosik, called the meeting to order at approximately 7:30 pm.

 

The Clerk, Mr. George LaBonte, called the roll:

 

PRESENT:             Walter Kosik, George LaBonte, Jr., Peter McNamara, Alternate David Hennessey

 

ABSENT:               Edmund Gleason, Peter LaPolice

 

Case #2215 - ML 13-37-29 - HARRIS, John H. & George, III/Herrick Circle - Seeking a Variance to Article III, Section 307-12, Table 1 to permit the construction of a single family dwelling within the 30-goot front setback.

 

Mr. LaBonte read aloud the list of abutters.  There were no persons present who did not have their name read.

 

Mr. Peter Zohdi, Herbert Associates presented the case to the Board.  He explained that a foundation had been constructed for the home at 28.9’ leaving the setback 1.1’ short.  He said the plan showed a mudroom (alcove), which could be removed if it created a problem.  He said if the alcove were removed the Variance would be for 1.1’.  Mr. Zohdi explained there had been confusion as to where the setback footage should be calculated from which was the reason the Variance was needed.

 

Item #1.  There will be no decrease in the value of the surrounding properties: the proposed structure would be equal value or greater to surrounding properties.

 

Item #2.  It is in the public interest: large home that would add taxes to community and is similar to the other homes in the subdivision.

 

Item #3.  There is significant hardship to the land: additional land could not be purchased.

 

Item #4.  There is substantial justice to be done: proposed use is permitted within the residential district.

 

Item #5.  This request is within the spirit of the zoning ordinance: if variance granted all other zoning requirements would be met.  BOCA and state codes will be met.

 

Mr. Kosik informed that there were only four Board members present, therefore, Mr. Zohdi could wait until the next meeting to have his case heard.  Mr. Zohdi decided to proceed with the hearing because his client couldn’t backfill the foundation until a decision was made. 

 

Mr. Hennessey asked if the Planning Board required site specific.  Mr. Zohdi answered no.  Mr. Hennessey asked if the well location was proposed or the actual site.  Mr. Zohdi said it was proposed, but would be 75’ from the system.  Mr. Hennessey wanted to know what would happen to the refuse and tie rods from the foundation if the Board voted against the Variance.  He wanted to know if the tie rods would be reused.  Mr. Zohdi said the materials would be removed and taken to an off-site land fill and the tie rods would not be reused. 

 

Mr. McNamara wanted to know the cost if the foundation needed to be demolished.  Mr. Zohdi said it would cost approximately $20,000 - $25,000.  Mr. McNamara confirmed that if the mudroom were removed the setback would be within 1.1’.  Mr. Zohdi confirmed.  Mr. McNamara asked if the calculation was an honest mistake.  Mr. Zohdi answered yes.  He called attention to the back setback, which is required to be at least 15’.  He said the proposed had a rear setback of  49.9’.  He reiterated that the calculations were done from the edge of pavement by mistake.

 

Mr. Kosik asked if the footings were inspected before the foundation was put in.  Mr. Zohdi said the first inspection was when the foundation was reviewed and in this case that was when the mistake was found.

 

Mr. LaBonte asked if the contractor held insurance for this type of mishap.  Mr. Zohdi said that a family member was doing the construction. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. Harris noted that his neighbor across the street did not have an objection.  He felt that if abutters had complaints they would have been present at the Board meeting. 

 

There was no opposing testimony. 

 

Mr. Zohdi said that his client could have requested an equitable waiver, but decided to seek a Variance. 

 

Mr. Kosik felt that the alcove should be removed if the Board decided to consider the Variance.  He said he would rather move the foundation 1’.  He was concerned with setting a precedent. 

 

Mr. McNamara felt that based on the reputation of Mr. Harris, as well as the size of the lot, that the foundation was not intentionally placed within the setback.  He was also concerned with setting a precedent, but felt that based on the facts of the case a Variance could be granted. 

 

Mr. LaBonte shared Mr. McNamara’s concerns and added that the cost of replacing the foundation would be great in comparison to having the foundation within 1’ of the setback.

 

Mr. Hennessey didn’t feel that this case set a precedent, but that the setback was an honest mistake.  He felt that a Variance could be granted in this case.  He based his decision on the cost to the applicant to replace the foundation as well as adding unnecessary trash to an already overburdened trash system. 

 

MOTION:

 

VOTE:

(Hennessey/LaBonte) To remove the alcove from the foundation.

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

 

The Board took a ballot vote to decide if the Variance should be granted.

 

BALLOT VOTE:

Mr. Kosik – Approved

Mr. LaBonte – Approved

Mr. McNamara –Approved

Mr. Hennessey –Approved

 

 

VARIANCE GRANTED

 

Case #2212 CONTINUED - ML 11-299 - CLARK-ZIMMERMAN, Debra/3 Berthel Street - Seeking a Variance to Article III, Section 307-12, Table 1 to permit the construction of an addition within the current zoning setbacks on a lot with insufficient frontage and lot size requirements.

 

At the previous meeting an abutter questioned if the property was year round or seasonal.  Mr. Hennessey discussed the state law, which requires properties within 200’ of a great pond that an objective viewer perform a site assessment to determine if the property was year round.  He said the Board discussed the septic failure on this property at a meeting on March 8, 1997.  Mr. Hennessey asked if the proposed addition would increase the load on the septic system.  Ms. Clark-Zimmerman answered no, they were intending to keep the construction, as it was, two bedrooms.

 

Ms. Clark-Zimmerman said at the last meeting there was also a statement made that, based on the last Variance no further Variance would be allowed to be granted.  She said that she reviewed the minutes and found no reference to such.  Mr. Kosik said that he and the Planning Director had also reviewed the minutes from the previous meeting and also found no such reference. 

 

Ms. Clark-Zimmerman said she had pulled information from the surrounding homes and noted that their use would be in the same nature as the rest of the Variances that had been approved.  Mr. Hennessey said that their case was different due to their proximately to a great pond.

 

BALLOT VOTE:

Mr. Kosik – Approved

Mr. LaBonte – Approved

Mr. McNamara –Approved

Mr. Hennessey –Approved

 

 

VARIANCE GRANTED

 

Case #2213 - ML 2-128 - Appeal to an Administrative Decision - STECKIEWICZ, Irene/Bush Hill Road - The applicant alleges that an error has been made in the decision, determination or requirement, by the Board of Adjustment on November 15, 2001 to deny the request for a Variance to Article III, Section 307-14 to permit a lot with less than 200’ frontage. 

 

Mr. Kosik read a letter submitted by the applicant.  The letter stated that the applicant wanted to dispute the decision.  Mr. Kosik felt that more information should have been included in the letter. 

 

Mr. Hennessey said that the Planning Director had asked the Board to carefully consider the appeal.  Mr. Kosik said he would vote for the appeal to rehear the case if there were a mistake made by the Board.  He felt that more information should have been provided.  Mr. Hennessey did not have a problem with rehearing the case.   

 

Mr. Hennessey made a motion to grant the appeal.  Mr. McNamara seconded.  Mr. LaBonte wanted to know if the same case would continue on, or if the applicant needed to pay the fees a second time.  Mr. Kosik said he had discussed the issue in the past, and it was an administrative decision.

 

MOTION:

 

VOTE:

(Hennessey/LaBonte) To grant the appeal and rehear at the next meeting.

 

(4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

APPEAL GRANTED

 

Mr. Kosik said that the abutters would need to be renotified for the upcoming meeting.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:             (McNamara/Hennessey) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:                   (4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:15 pm.

                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                                Charity A.L. Willis              

                                                                                                Recording Secretary