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Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes 01/19/2016



OLD LYME ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
REGULAR MEETING
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
The Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals held a Regular Meeting on Tuesday, January 19,  2016, at 7:00 p.m. in the Auditorium of Memorial Town Hall.  Those present and voting were:  Judy McQuade, Chairman, Art Sibley, Vice Chairman, Mary Stone, Secretary, Kip Kotzan, regular member, Karen Conniff, regular member, and Marisa Hartman, alternate.

Also present was Keith Rosenfeld, Land Use Coordinator.

Chairman McQuade called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. and noted that the five regular members would be seated.  She congratulated Marisa Hartman, newly elected alternate.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

1.      Case 15-28 – Dimitri Tolchinski, 286 Shore Road - WITHDRAWN

Chairman McQuade stated that this application has been withdrawn.

2.      Case 16-01 – Gloria Trombley, 65 Columbus Avenue, variance to allow renovation of existing dwelling and elevate to meet FEMA and Building Codes; existing shed to be removed.  

Chairman McQuade stated that the property is approximately 4,000 square feet and has many existing nonconformities:  Minimum lot size, 10,000 required; minimum square; street setback 14.2 feet, 25 feet required; maximum lot coverage is 37 percent, 25 percent allowed; and total lot coverage is 37 percent, 25 percent allowed; and maximum floor area is 25.7 percent, 25 percent allowed.

Jeff Flower, Architect, along with Ms. Trombley, were present to explain the application.  He noted that the lot is exactly 4,000 square feet.  He explained that the existing ranch is the second house up from the beach.  Mr. Flower stated that the property is located in the flood zone.  He stated that the height of the house is 10’7”.  Mr. Flower explained that they would like to renovate the home and in the process raise the structure to elevation 13.  He noted that elevation 13 is one foot higher then what is required by FEMA. He indicated that that extra 1 foot will give them 7’ underneath the house to park vehicles.  Mr. Flower explained that there is very little room to park on the property and allowing parking underneath the house would make sense.  He noted that there will be no useable space underneath the house and no electricity.  Mr. Flower noted that the final height of the house is just under 24 feet.  He stated that they would like to take the roof off and raise the roof two feet to increase the ceiling height to 9 feet.  Mr. Flower stated that the house is currently a three bedroom home and the plan reduces bedrooms to two.  He stated that currently the mechanicals are in the basement and because they cannot put mechanicals in the basement in the flood zone they are proposing an attic that is six feet tall over a portion of the building to house the mechanicals.  Mr. Flower stated that the house has been used year round for many years.

Chairman Cable questioned how much taller this house is then the one next store.  Mr. Flower replied that he would estimate approximately 5 feet taller.  

Ms. Stone read letters in favor from the neighbors at 54 Columbus Avenue and from Sandra Mitchell, 66 Columbus Avenue.

Mr. Sibley questioned the year that the house was constructed.  Mr. Flower stated that Town records show that the house was built in 1952.

Mr. Flower stated that many years ago a variance was granted for construction of a deck on this property.  He stated that they would like to move the deck closer to the street which would put the deck in a more conforming location.  He noted that they are decreasing the size of the deck slightly as well.  Mr. Flower stated that they will be decreasing coverage on the property by removing the shed. He indicated that they also are not increasing any nonconformities in regards to setback.  Mr. Flower stated that the foundation will remain in the same place.  

Ms. Stone stated that since the foundation is being completely redone, she questioned whether it would be possible to create more light between the houses.  Mr. Flower stated that it would be taking from one neighbor and giving to another neighbor.

Chairman McQuade questioned whether the applicant could avoid the slight increase in floor area ratio.  Mr. Flower stated that in return for that small percentage they are reducing the lot area and reducing the number of bedrooms.  He noted that the increase is 65 square feet.  

No one present spoke in favor of or against the application.  Hearing no further comments, Chairman McQuade called this Public Hearing to a close.

3.      Case 16-02 – Paula & Anthony Schiavone, 57 Brightwater Road, variance to demolish existing one-garage and remove existing shed and to construct a 24’ x 24’ two-car garage.

Chairman McQuade stated that the property is 6,000 square feet.  She noted that it is nonconforming as it is a two-story home and is located in the front setback; she stated that the existing garage and shed are nonconforming, although they are proposed to be removed.  Chairman McQuade stated that floor area is 25.6 percent and lot coverage was not indicated in the application so the Board will need that information.  The proposed garage requires a variance as it will be 10’ from the side property line where 12’ is required.

Paul Randazzo from Glastonbury, Connecticut, was present to explain the application.  He explained that the application was amended.  He stated that the building on the northwest side of the property is a shed, not a garage.  Mr. Randazzo indicated that the neighbors to the south were granted a 10’ right-of-way prior to the Schiavone’s purchasing the property.  He stated that the shed is in the right-of-way and belongs to the neighbor.  Mr. Randazzo stated that they cannot remove the neighbor’s shed.  He questioned whether the shed counts as coverage on the Schiavone’s lot even if it’s the neighbors shed.  Mr. Rosenfeld stated that any structure on the property counts toward coverage, no matter who owns the structure.

Chairman McQuade questioned the current coverage.  Mr. Randazzo stated that the existing house is 1,296 square feet.  Mr. Rosenfeld stated that the house footprint is 916 square feet.  He indicated that they might have to reduce the size of the garage of 21’ x 24’.  

Ms. Stone questioned whether the one car garage would still be removed.  Mr. Randazzo indicated that the garage houses the propane tanks and a generator and without having a crawl space, they would like to keep the garage.  He noted that it is really not a one car garage; it’s a shed with a roll-up door.  He noted that a car would not fit inside.  Mr. Randazzo stated that the house to the north is 31’ in height and the house to the south is 34’ in height.  He indicated that the proposed garage would be 21’10”-24’ by 24’.  Mr. Randazzo stated that if the Board grants a variance he will provide plans with the approved dimensions.  Ms. Stone questioned if the pavement to the one-car garage will be removed.  Mr. Randazzo stated that all pavement from the-car garage to the street will be removed.  

Mr. Sibley questioned why they don’t attach the garage to the house.  Mr. Randazzo stated that they did not consider that.  Mr. Randazzo stated that they will still need to resolve the coverage issue if they attached the garage, but they would eliminate the setback variance.

Mr. Rosenfeld stated that the shed not owned by the applicant is 80 square feet, the one-car garage is 170 square feet and the house footprint is 917 square feet which equals 1,167 square feet which is 19 percent.  He indicated that with a 22’ x 24’ garage addition would be 528 square feet plus 1,167 square feet which would be over the coverage allowance at 28.25 percent.  Mr. Randazzo reiterated that the house is 912 square feet and the garage will just fit two cars which is why they would like to keep the one-car garage for the utilities and storage.

Mr. Rosenfeld questioned whether the mechanicals could be removed and put near the house.  Mr. Randazzo stated that the cost would be prohibitive because of the transfer switch and panel in the garage for the generator.  Mr. Sibley stated that the garage is a good buffer for the generator noise.  Mr. Kotzan stated that if there is a path that does not require a variance the Board needs to push him in that direction.  

Mr. Randazzo asked for a continuation so he could get some answers.

Charles Mello, 59 Brightwater, stated that the Schiavone’s are good neighbors.  He stated that his question is whether the fence will remain.  Mr. Randazzo stated that he would remove the fence during construction, install a silt fence, and at the end of construction any disturbance in the right-of-way will be repaired and the fence put back.

Hearing no further comments, Chairman Cable asked for a motion to continue the Public Hearing for this application.

A motion was made by Mary Stone, seconded by Karen Conniff and voted unanimously to continue the public hearing on Paula & Anthony Schiavone, 57 Brightwater Road until February 16, 2016.  

4.      Case 16-03 – Sixty Two Billow, LLC (owner), John Maloney (applicant), 62 Billow Road - WITHDRAWN

Chairman McQuade stated that this application has been withdrawn.

OPEN VOTING SESSION

1.      Case 15-28 – Dimitri Tolchinski, 286 Shore Road - WITHDRAWN

No action taken; this application has been withdrawn.

2.      Case 16-01 – Gloria Trombley, 65 Columbus Avenue.

Chairman McQuade reviewed the facts of the case.  She noted that the house will be 23’8” in height.  Mr. Kotzan stated that this proposal brings the house into FEMA compliance.  Chairman McQuade stated that a small peak is being added to house the mechanicals.  Mr. Kotzan stated that some things were removed and it is a well thought-out plan.  Mr. Sibley stated that the house was built in the early 1950’s and it brings an older structure more into conformity with many different regulations.  Chairman McQuade noted that there were two letters of approval and no one spoke against the application.  Ms. Stone stated that she is inclined to grant the small increase in square footage.  She stated that the Board needs to be flexible on these smaller lots to create a more useful home.

A motion was made by Mary Stone, seconded by Arthur Sibley and voted unanimously to grant the necessary variances to allow renovation of an existing structure which will then be elevated to meet FEMA flood standards as well as building codes and the existing shed is to be removed, as per plans submitted.  

Reasons for granting:  

  • Brings the structure into FEMA compliance.
  • Brings the structure up to modern building codes.
  • Allowing parking underneath the house reduces congestion on the lot.



3.      Case 16-02 – Paula & Anthony Schiavone, 57 Brightwater Road

No action taken; the Public Hearing for this application was continued to the February 16, 2016 Regular Meeting.

4.      Case 16-03 – Sixty Two Billow, LLC (owner), John Maloney (applicant), 62 Billow Road - WITHDRAWN

No action taken; this application was withdrawn.

New Business – Election of Officers

A motion was made by Kip Kotzan, seconded by Karen Conniff and voted unanimously to nominate the existing slate of officers.  Judy McQuade, Chairman, Art Sibley, Vice Chairman and Mary Stone, Secretary.  

A motion was made by Kip Kotzan, seconded by Karen Conniff and voted unanimously to elect the existing slate of officers as nominated:  Judy McQuade, Chairman, Art Sibley, Vice Chairman and Mary Stone, Secretary.  

Old Business

Chairman McQuade stated that when hearing applications Board members should not state their opinions during the Public Hearing.  She noted that sometimes people feel strongly and forget.

Minutes

A motion was made by Arthur Sibley, seconded by Karen Conniff and voted unanimously to approve the October 20, 2015 Minutes with the following corrections:  

Nancy Hutchinson’s e-mail comments:  Page 2, bottom paragraph:~Replace "Ms. Conniff"~with "Ms. Hutchinson" the four times that "Ms. Conniff" is referred to in that paragraph. End of First sentence: ~replace "not and drawn" to "not hand drawn".  Page 3, fourth paragraph: Replace "Ms. Conniff"~with "Ms. Hutchinson" the two times that "Ms. Conniff" is referred to in that paragraph. Page 4, second to last paragraph: Third sentence: ~He explained. Page 5, second to last paragraph: Replace "Ms. Conniff" with "Ms. Hutchinson".  Page 6, first paragraph: Replace "Ms. Conniff"~with "Ms. Hutchinson". Page 6, under Open Voting Session, item 2: The public Hearing for this item has been continued to the January Regular Meeting.~ Mary Stone’s corrections:  Page 6:  references to “Mr. Tipella” should be “Mr. Topolis”, the owner of Pizza Plus.  He also submitted the pictures as exhibits. Judy McQuade corrections:  Page 2 under Case 15-28:  it refers to a “dwelling” on the first floor, it should be a “deli” on the first floor.  Page 4, last paragraph it says “Jack Montanaro”, it should be “Jeff Montanaro”.  Page 6: second paragraph add “on the property”; Page 7, second paragraph, second sentence should read: “100 percent FEMA compliant” vs “FEMA requirements”.  
Ms. Stone stated that she went to conference in Old Saybrook called legal issues in an age of climate adaptation regarding the effect that rising steam levels and more storms will have on various land uses close to the shore.  She stated that it was very informative and she would be glad to do a full report.

Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m. on a motion by Arthur Sibley and seconded by Kip Kotzan; so voted unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,



Susan J. Bartlett
Recording Secretary


 
 
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