Minutes of - Town of New Canaan

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Minutes of
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
MAY 5, 2014
MEMBERS PRESENT
Mr. Ziotas, Chairman Pro Tem
Ms. Rozel, Secretary
Ms. Edmonds
Mr. Kriz
MEMBERS ABSENT
Mrs. Yanicelli, Chairman
ALTERNATES PRESENT
Mr. Berta
Mr. Mahoney
Ms. Walsh
ALTERNATES ABSENT
Also in Attendance:
Steve Kleppin, Town Planner/Sr. Enforcement Officer
MEETING OPENED
At 7:00 p.m.
Chairman Ziotas explained to those members of the public present how the proceedings
would be conducted, and that discussion and possible decision on each public hearing
item would be held after the public hearing on each item. Mr. Mahoney is seated for Ms.
Yanicelli in the first application.
PUBLIC HEARING
The Chairman then called the Public Hearing to order in the New Canaan Nature Center,
Sturgess Room, 144 Oenoke Ridge and read the call, as follows:
LEGAL ADVERTISEMENT
NEW CANAAN ADVERTISER, NEW CANAAN, CONN., THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2014 11A
STATE OF CONNECTICUT
TOWN OF NEW CANAAN
ZONING BOARD
OF APPEALS
NOTICE IS HEREBY
GIVEN that the ZONING
BOARD OF APPEALS of the
Town of New Canaan will
hold a Public Hearing on
Monday, May 5, 2014 in the
Sturgess Room, N. C. Nature
Center, 144 Oenoke Ridge at
7:00 p.m. to hear the following
application:
Upon application of Rocky
Reid and Lisa Axelson, owners,
62 Comstock Hill Road,
for a Variance of Section
7.1.B.2.b to construct a second
floor addition on top of a
legally non-conforming structure,
for property in the Two
Acre Residence Zone (Map 48
Block 111 Lot 8).
Upon application of Dina
M. and James J. Connell y,
owners, 291 Laurel Road, for
a Variance of Section 3.5.F.1
to allow the building of an
additional bay to an existing
detached, two-car garage,
which exceeds the building
height, for property in the Two
Acre Residence Zone (Map 39
Block 105 Lot 59).
Upon application of David
1.
J. Rucci, Lampert, Toohey
and Rucci, LLC, Authorized
Agent, for Hope N. Farnell
Belles, owner, 25 Marshall
Ridge Road, for a 3.5.E.2 to
allow a second story addition
to be constructed over the
existing garage, 12 feet from
the side property line in lieu
of the 15 feet required and a
Variance of Section 3.5.F.5 to
allow a portion of the second
floor addition to be at a height
of 26 feet in lieu of the 20 feet
required and total height of
32 feet in lieu of the 25 feet
required, for property in the
A Residence Zone (Map K
Block 14 Lot 38).
Upon application of Steve
Ilsley, Oldford Studios, L.L.C.,
Authorized Agent, for Michael
A. and Suzanne A. Fox, owners,
98 Southwood Drive, for
a Variance of Section 3.5.F.5
to allow a second story addition
to have a building height
of 22 feet in lieu of the 20 feet
required, for property in the A
Residence Zone (Map J Block
51 Lot H89).
Upon application of Niall
J. P. Duggan, NJP Design,
Authorized Agent, for Marc
and Carrie Caldarone, owners,
117 Richmond Hill Road, for
Variances of Sections 3.5.F.3
and 3.5.F.5 to allow a second
story addition to be constructed
to the residence resulting in
a 3.5 story structure in lieu of
the 2.5 allowed, that exceeds
the maximum side yard building
heights and total building
heights on both the east and
west sides of the lot, for property
in the B Residence Zone
(Map K Block 16 Lot G4).
Upon application of Charles
D. and Suzanne Nardi, owners,
50 Summit Ridge Road, for a
Variance of Section 3.5.E.3
to allow a shed to be located
6.7 feet from the side property
line and 10.3 feet from
the rear property line, in lieu
of 25 feet required for each
yard, for property in the One
Acre Residence Zone (Map 31
Block 10 Lot 41).
HANDICAP ACCESS
DURING MEETING:
Please notify the Planning
& Zoning office in advance
if wheelchair accessibility is
required.
Jeanne Rozel
Secretary
April 18, 2014
4-24 5-1
Rocky Reid and Lisa Axelson, owners, 62 Comstock Hill Road
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Upon application of Rocky Reid and Lisa Axelson, owners, 62 Comstock Hill Road, for a
Variance of Section 7.1.B.2.b to construct a second floor addition on top of a legally nonconforming structure, for property in the Two Acre Residence Zone (Map 48 Block 111
Lot 8).
Rocky Reid presented this application. He described that they are a family with two
young children and are looking to add a second story addition over the living room which
is a pre-existing legal nonconforming structure, which is 29 feet from the side property
line, instead of the required 35’. The planned addition will not increase the outside
existing footprint. The hardship is that the lot is in a 2 acre zone but is only 1.06 acres.
The original surveys indicate that the southern part of the house (living room) was built
29’ from the neighbor’s lot at 50 Comstock Hill Road. Since it was constructed as a legal
nonconforming structure, we ask to be allowed to put an addition directly above that. The
planned addition will give them increased interior space and not increase the
nonconformity.
The Board noted that the lots on this side of the street are about one acre. The neighbors
were consulted and do not object. 54 Comstock Hill is about 1/8 of a mile away, around a
corner. 50 Comstock Hill is the closest house and has a long driveway, to the right of this
property (as facing the front door). Where the addition will go, there is currently an
uncovered porch or balcony, over the living room. It is essentially an incomplete box that
this addition will complete. The addition roof line will be slightly below the current roof
line.
The Chairman asked if there was anyone present wishing to speak in favor of the granting
of the variance. No one wished to speak. The Chairman asked if anyone was present who
wished to speak against the granting of the variance. No one wished to speak.
The Public Hearing was closed on this Item.
The property was up-zoned and the proposed addition does not increase the intrusion into
the setback.
Upon motion of Mr. Mahoney, second of Ms. Edmonds, the Board unanimously voted to
approve the application per the plan submitted, based upon the hardship of being upzoned, since the building was originally constructed, and that the
Conditions, modifications, or restrictions are as follows:
1. Approved per the plans submitted with no change to the height or footprint.
2.
Dina M. and James J. Connelly, owners, 291 Laurel Road
Upon application of Dina M. and James J. Connelly, owners, 291 Laurel Road, for a
Variance of Section 3.5.F.1 to allow the building of an additional bay to an existing
detached, two-car garage, which exceeds the building height, for property in the Two
Acre Residence Zone (Map 39 Block 105 Lot 59). Ms. Walsh was seated for Ms.
Yanicelli.
Mike Sweeney, of Carmody, Torrance, Sandak and Hennessey presented this application
on behalf of the owners. He described the application as straightforward. The existing
detached two car garage was constructed in 1999, in conformance with the regulations at
that time. The application for a variance submitted sets forth the architectural renderings
showing another 13’ wide bay is to be added to the existing garage structure. The
mailings proof has been delivered to Mr. Kleppin. The upper level of the construction
will be one-half story. Subsequent to the construction of the two car garage and the
owners’ purchase of the property, the regulations changed as to average height and total
height, in 2007-08, creating a hardship. The garage is about 2.5’ higher than the new
zoning regulations. Letters from neighboring property owners all support the application.
One letter shows that the Connelly’s will add additional screening to make sure that this
neighbor is satisfied. The owners also confirmed that there will be no plumbing in the
upper level, although there will be heat to protect items to be stored there. It is not to be
occupied. There is also a “sports wall” which is a separate issue, not part of this variance
request, but Mr. and Ms. Connelly state that it will be brought into compliance if there’s a
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violation. It’s not clear if there is a violation. There have been no complaints from the
neighbors although one brought it to Mr. Kleppin’s attention. The owners are amenable
to putting a condition of approval on the variance of bringing the sports wall into
compliance if the Board wishes. The structure will have a cupola and under the
regulations, it can exceed the building height by 20%. The existing garage is clapboard
and the new portion will also be wood clapboard. The new roof will not be any higher
than the existing nonconforming height. There are no height or setback issues.
The Chairman asked if there was anyone present wishing to speak in favor of the granting
of the variance. No one wished to speak. The Chairman asked if anyone was present who
wished to speak against the granting of the variance. No one wished to speak.
The Public Hearing was closed on this Item.
Upon motion of Mr. Kriz, that the application be granted as requested with the
stipulations below, second of Ms. Rozel, the Board unanimously voted to approve the
application based upon the hardship of a change (up-zoning) in the zoning regulations.
Conditions, modifications, or restrictions are as follows:
1. If the sports wall does not comply with the bulk and height requirements of the
regulations, the sports wall shall be brought into compliance either by removing
it, relocating it or seeking a variance, prior to obtaining the certificate of
occupancy for the garage.
2. After the garage addition is constructed the applicant shall meet with Ms. Bassett,
956 Turner Hill Road, and determine if additional screening is required.
3. There shall be no plumbing in the upper floor of the garage.
3.
Hope N. Farnell Belle s, owner, 25 Marshall Ridge Road
Upon application of David J. Rucci, Lampert, Toohey and Rucci, LLC, Authorized
Agent, for Hope N. Farnell Belles, owner, 25 Marshall Ridge Road, for a 3.5.E.2 to allow
a second story addition to be constructed over the existing garage, 12 feet from the side
property line in lieu of the 15 feet required and a Variance of Section 3.5.F.5 to allow a
portion of the second floor addition to be at a height of 26 feet in lieu of the 20 feet
required and total height of 32 feet in lieu of the 25 feet required, for property in the A
Residence Zone (Map K Block 14 Lot 38).
Mr. David Rucci presented the application. There is currently a legally non-conforming
garage on this property in the setback. It is non-comforming by about 11’ square feet. It is
there because of a change in regulations in 1987 which changed the set back from 10’ to
15’. They are adding a master bedroom over the garage. They are building within a very
small area of the second side yard setback. It’s 16.2 cubic feet in the side yard setback at
a point that is less than 25’ above the height. You can see it on the rear elevation. It
doesn’t happen on the front elevation. That’s the only part that they are asking for. This
addition is a full second floor.
The garage now is 16’ and will approximately double in height. Almost 1/3 of that
volume will be within the setback. The Board noted that it appears that the roof line of
the addition will be higher than the house.
The architect, Robert Burden, spoke and addressed questions of design, including the
three windows across the top, facing the red house neighbor. Those windows are
proposed to be quite high, without any view in that direction. They are there for
ventilation and light, not view. That’s why they are so high. The view window is towards
the backyard. The distance to the neighbor’s house appears to be small. There was also a
question as to the generator which appears to be in the setback. The owners advised that
they had a proper permit for the generator.
The architect addressed the question as to whether the new addition roof would be higher
than the house’s roof. On the front, it’s not a full two story high roof, while it is on the
back. The new addition will be the same height as the back of the house. It will not
increase the footprint of the house. Architecturally, it will be in keeping with the style of
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the house – a farmhouse with a connected outbuilding that looks like a barn, and most
barns are a full two stories.
It was discovered that the Board members were missing part of the application, that they
only have A-3 and A-4 and are missing pages, including A-5. They also noted they didn’t
see the 15’ setback on the survey. Without those pages, it is impossible to approve as
submitted. The applicant agreed that the matter needs to be put over to next month
although he indicated he’d like to hear from any neighbors so that their concerns could be
heard and addressed. Board members also asked some questions about what other work is
being done on the property and what other options were considered. Other than the
proposed addition to the garage, they intend to change some low windows into dormers
which will bring in more light. The roof pitch in the front will be changed, not height or
roof ridge. They also added another window.
The Chairman asked if there was anyone present wishing to speak in favor of the granting
of the variance. No one wished to speak.
The Chairman asked if anyone was present who wished to speak against the granting of
the variance.
Ms. Virginia Teichner spoke. Her mother, who died, about 6 weeks ago, resided in that
property at 15 Marshall Ridge, next to #25. Her name was Eleanor Teichner. Ms.
Virginia Teichner got a letter about this only four days ago. She was able to look at the
plans today. They are concerned because the existing garage is already so close to her
mother’s property and what they are talking about building would almost completely
block her living room windows, the only windows in that room. She expects the property
will be sold in due course. She would at least like a delay that would allow them the time
to consult with her realtor and consider how these proposals will affect the sale of this
property.
Her sister, Alice, also addressed the Board and echoed the request for some time to
consult with their realtor and possibly an attorney given their concerns.
No one else wished to speak.
Mr. Rucci requested that the matter be put over until June and represented that they
would speak to the neighbors and see if their concerns can be addressed.
The Public Hearing was continued to the June meeting on this Item.
4. Michael A. and Suzanne A. Fox, owners, 98 Southwood Drive
Upon application of Steve Ilsley, Oldford Studios, L.L.C., Authorized Agent, for Michael
A. and Suzanne A. Fox, owners, 98 Southwood Drive, for a Variance of Section 3.5.F.5
to allow a second story addition to have a building height of 22 feet in lieu of the 20 feet
required, for property in the A Residence Zone (Map J Block 51 Lot H89). Ms. Rozel
recused herself from this application. Mr. Mahoney and Mr. Berta were seated.
Steve Ilsley presented the application. They are seeking a second story addition at 98
Southwood Drive. It’s a fairly modest partial second story addition to an existing two
story. The issue they have is the mean height issue. They have a sloping lot and the
average grade puts them at a height where the mean height doesn’t work. They cannot do
a normal second floor and meet the mean height. There is no encroachment anywhere
else. They tried other options, including dropping the front roof but that would eliminate
the 2nd floor use. When the house was built in the 1960s, the regulations were different
and the property height was up-zoned. The neighbors were all consulted, saw the plan
and approved. There is no change to the footprint on the side of the house where this
mean height issue arises, while if they did this on the other side of the house the mean
height issue would be greater.
There are 2 height measurements: one is the total building height and the other is mean
height (half way between the bottom of the eve and the peak). On side yard height issues,
you scale off – the existing house is 17.4 feet from the side yard property line, which
gives you a slice of the house affected by the regulation. This is the point where the 25’
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setback on the side yard intersects the roofline. The total height is within the regulations,
but the mean height, of this little slice, is not and is about 2’ too high.
The property slopes down and away from Southwood. If the lot didn’t slope, there’d be
no problem.
The Chairman asked if there was anyone present wishing to speak in favor of the granting
of the variance. No one wished to speak.
The Chairman asked if anyone was present who wished to speak against the granting of
the variance.
The Public Hearing was closed on this Item.
Upon motion of Mr. Kriz, second of Ms. Edmonds, the Board unanimously voted to
approve the application based upon the hardships of the placement of the house, age of
house, size of the lot, change in zoning and topography.
Conditions, modifications, or restrictions are as follows:
1. Approved per the plans submitted with no change to the height or footprint.
5. Marc and Carrie Caldarone, owners, 117 Richmond Hill Road
Upon application of Niall J. P. Duggan, NJP Design, Authorized Agent, for Marc and
Carrie Caldarone, owners, 117 Richmond Hill Road, for Variances of Sections 3.5.F.3
and 3.5.F.5 to allow a second story addition to be constructed to the residence resulting in
a 3.5 story structure in lieu of the 2.5 allowed, that exceeds the maximum side yard
building heights and total building heights on both the east and west sides of the lot, for
property in the B Residence Zone (Map K Block 16 Lot G4). Ms. Rozel returned to sit
for this application. Mr. Walsh was also seated.
Niall Duggan presented the application. They are seeking to add a second story addition.
The lot is a 50’ wide lot in a 75’ width zone, so they are really hemmed in. The existing
house is also non-conforming and they are not making that worse. The second floor
addition is as of right, other than this height issue. The slope of the lot requires them to
apply for a variance as to the number of stories. The addition will be in keeping with the
neighborhood and within the setback requirements. They will also add a front porch to
enhance appearance and tie it to rest of the neighborhood. Because of the slope, the
basement is counted as a full story, and results in a building counted as 3.5 stories. But
the basement is really a 3’ existing crawl space.
One side neighbor is the driveway for the condo complex. On the other side is a house.
The owners to the right were at the meeting to support this, but had to leave. The
neighbor across the street submitted a letter in support. The attic will not be plumbed.
Directly behind is a drive going to garages in the condos.
The house is all wood cedar shingle.
As to exceeding the height requirement, they would not exceed it but for the slope of the
lot. They would still need a variance as to the side yard height issue. The chimney on the
current house will be removed. Mechanicals are all in the basement.
The house is a 1939 Sears house. The owner’s grandfather put it together. This is why
they don’t want to knock it down.
The Chairman asked if there was anyone present wishing to speak in favor of the granting
of the variance.
Mr. Chris Wilkinson, President of the Board of the neighboring condominium complex
spoke saying he felt there’s plenty of room between the condo and this addition and the
condominium is in favor of these changes. He expressed some concern that the roof
looked very large on a flat drawing. It was thought that it will look less large when built
because it’s pitched.
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The Chairman asked if anyone was present who wished to speak against the granting of
the variance. No one wished to speak.
The hardships are that the house pre-exists current zoning and the topography.
The Public Hearing was closed on this Item.
Given the extreme grade and the challenge of the slope, they’ve done a nice job.
Upon motion of Ms. Rozel, second of Ms. Walsh, the Board unanimously voted to
approve the application as requested in the plan based upon the topography.
Conditions, modifications, or restrictions are as follows:
1. Approved per the plans submitted with no change to the height or footprint.
6. Charles D. and Suzanne Nardi, owners, 50 Summit Ridge Road
Upon application of Charles D. and Suzanne Nardi, owners, 50 Summit Ridge Road, for
a Variance of Section 3.5.E.3 to allow a shed to be located 6.7 feet from the side property
line and 10.3 feet from the rear property line, in lieu of 25 feet required for each yard, for
property in the One Acre Residence Zone (Map 31 Block 10 Lot 41).
The Public Hearing was not opened on this Item.
Regular Meeting
7. Approve Minutes of April 7, 2014 Meeting.
Mr. Kriz moved that they approve the minutes as drafted. Ms. Rozel seconded. The
Board unanimously voted to approve the minutes of the April 7, 2014 meeting.
3. Other matters as may properly come before the Board.
There were none.
4. Adjournment.
There being no further business to come before the meeting, the Board unanimously
voted to adjourn at 8:59 p.m.
___________________________
JEANNE ROZEL, Secretary
LEGAL ADVERTISEMENT
8A NEW CANAAN ADVERTISER, NEW CANAAN, CONN., THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2014
TOWN OF NEW CANAAN
ZONING BOARD
OF APPEALS
NOTICE IS HEREBY
GIVEN that the ZONING
BOARD OF APPEALS of the
Town of New Canaan after
a Public Hearing held on
Monday, May 5, 2014 duly
adopted the following resolutions.
Approved applications
become effective upon the filing
of a copy thereof in the
office of the Town Clerk.
RESOLVED, that the application
of Rocky Reid and Lisa
Axelson, owners, 62 Comstock
Hill Road, for a Variance of
Section 7.1.B.2.b to construct
a second floor addition on top
of a legally non-conforming
structure, for property in the
Two Acre Residence Zone
(Map 48 Block 111 Lot 8) is
approved with one condition.
RESOLVED, that the application
of Dina M. and James J.
Connelly, owners, 291 Laurel
Road, for a Variance of Section
3.5.F.1 to allow the building of
an additional bay to an existing
detached, two-car garage,
which exceeds the building
height, for property in the Two
Acre Residence Zone (Map 39
Block 105 Lot 59) is approved
with conditions.
RESOLVED, that the application
of Steve Ilsley, Oldford
Studios, L.L.C., Authorized
Agent, for Michael A. and
Suzanne A. Fox, owners,
98 Southwood Drive, for a
Variance of Section 3.5.F.5 to
allow a second story addition
to have a building height of
22 feet in lieu of the 20 feet
required, for property in the A
Residence Zone (Map J Block
51 Lot H89) is approved with
one condition.
RESOLVED, that the application
of Niall J. P. Duggan,
NJP Design, Authorized
Agent, for Marc and Carrie
Caldarone, owners, 117
Richmond Hill Road, for
Variances of Sections 3.5.F.3
and 3.5.F.5 to allow a second
story addition to be constructed
to the residence resulting in
a 3.5 story structure in lieu of
the 2.5 allowed, that exceeds
the maximum side yard building
heights and total building
heights on both the east and
west sides of the lot, for property
in the B Residence Zone
(Map K Block 16 Lot G4) is
approved with one condition.
Jeanne Rozel
Secretary
May 9, 2014
5-15
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