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Minutes of Zoning Board of Appeals, 02/20/2018

AGENDA: Zoning Board of Appeals

RECEIVED 02/21/2018 11:15am
Kathleen R. Miserendino - Redding Deputy Town Clerk

FEBRUARY 20, 2018 – 7:30 P.M.

Beth Williams, Chairman; Noel Cooke; Jill Cilo; Scott Smith; Jenifer Wyss; Daniel Barrett, Alternate

The meeting was called to order at 7:28 p.m.

Upon the Motion of Mr. Barrett and second of Ms. Cilo, the January 16, 2018 Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting Minutes were approved (5-0) by the Board.  Mr. Smith abstained.

Application #18-02-01- 81 Sunset Hill Road (Map #15 & Lot #65)  – Owner: Michele A. Holmes – Request for variance to reduce front yard setback from 50’ to 17’ for a Generator.  Section 4.6.5 of the Redding Zoning Regulations requires 50’ front yard setback.  Variance requested is 33 feet.

Ms. Michele Holmes presented the Application to the Board.  Ms. Holmes noted the proposed location for the generator along with the location of the septic on the photos and survey.  She indicated that the basement frequently floods due to being in a high water table area and a portable generator is not always effective as the basement can fill up quickly within an hour and a half.  Ms. Holmes noted that all of the utilities are located in the basement and was advised by her insurance company to take any measure as necessary to resolve the flooding issues.  The proposed generator would be used to operate the sump pumps in the crawl space.  The proposed location in the front yard garden bed at the edge of the septic fields would not be visible and also allow for installation of conduit for the gas and electrical lines without interfering with the septic system.

Ms. Williams asked if there was an underground water system and Ms. Holmes noted there was not and the cause seemed to be that the property was on a high water table.  Ms. Holmes noted there was an alarm system installed to alert when water was coming in.  Mr. Cooke asked if the underground propane tank was existing and Ms. Holmes noted it was.  Ms. Williams noted that the septic looked new and Ms. Holmes indicated it was done in 2013.  Ms. Cilo asked what a splash box was and Ms. Holmes explained it was a chamber in the tank below with the pump system.  Ms. Cilo asked what size the proposed generator would be and while Ms. Holmes did not have a specific generator chosen as of yet she indicated that it would be approximately 48 inches long, 28 inches high and, at most, 32 inches wide.  Mr. Barrett asked if there was a plan to ‘mask’ it and Ms. Holmes noted she planned to put a lattice around it to hide it and blend with the landscaping on the property.  Ms. Cilo asked if there was a concern about how far away the proposed location for the generator was in relation to the basement but Ms. Holmes indicated the power would be run out to it using conduits. Mr. Cooke asked if it had been considered to tap the existing propane tank to power the generator.  Ms. Holmes noted it would not be adequate to run the generator if it should be needed for an extended period of time which is why it was proposed to run it to the electrical panel in the garage.  Ms. Holmes noted that she is unable to go on vacation or leave the property for any extended period of time for concern of a flood.  Mr. Cooke inquired if there was another potential area for the generator within the setback in the grass area on the west side of the property. Ms. Holmes indicated that if the generator was placed on the west side of the property it would require digging across the driveway where the well was located and with the addition of a new tank it would be a costly project.  The Board members reviewed the survey looking at the location of the electrical panel in the garage and discussed other possible locations for the generator placement with an additional gas tank.  Ms. Wyss asked if the generator had been contemplated at the time of the septic installation and Ms. Holmes noted it was not needed at that time.  Ms. Cilo inquired as to how close the generator can be placed near the home and Ms. Williams noted there were specific guidelines regarding the distance required from the dwelling, especially from windows.  Ms. Holmes noted there are no neighbors on the right side of the property so the generator would be out of view; if it were to be placed on the west side it would be visible to the Pomazis, the adjacent neighbor.

Mr. Stephen Pomazi of 85 Sunset Hill spoke in opposition of the requested variance.  He voiced concern over the proper installation and permitting of the existing 1,000 gallon propane tank and Ms. Williams noted that there was no reason for the Board members to believe that the tank was installed improperly.  The tank was installed within the setback area.  Mr. Pomazi noted that there is plenty of area behind the tank and as a variance requires demonstrated hardship the self-created hardship of the location of the propane tank should not give just cause to grant such variance.  Mr. Pomazi stated that there is adequate room on the property and it should be located closer to her house and with proper landscaping it would be unseen.  Ms. Janis Pomazi also spoke in opposition of the requested variance.  Ms. Pomazi questioned what the existing propane tank was used for and Ms. Holmes said heat, and then indicated that she did not wish to listen to her neighbors any further and left the hearing room.  Ms. Pomazi voiced concern about the installation of the generator and the platform required for it, which is usually a concrete pad.  Ms. Williams noted that it would be installed according to code.  Ms. Pomazi pleaded to the Board to deny the variance as the Holmes property is a 2-acre property with a nice amount of land in the back and side area.  When Ms. Pomazi had previously requested a similar variance for her 1-acre lot it had been denied and they had to conform to the regulations and expect that Ms. Holmes should also be held to the same standard.  Ms. Lori Pomazi also spoke opposing the requested variance in that the need for the proposed generator because of vacations and extended absences from the property should not be considered a hardship and indicated there are groundskeepers and other people caring for the horses on the property all the time.

Upon motion of Mr. Cooke and second of Ms. Cilo, the Board voted to enter deliberative session at 7:54 p.m.

Application #18-02-01- 81 Sunset Hill Road (Map #15 & Lot #65)  – Owner: Michele A. Holmes – Upon motion of Mr. Smith and the second of Mr. Cooke, the Board voted 5-0 to deny the request for variance due to lack of hardship.
Upon motion of Ms. Cilo and second of Mr. Cooke, the Board voted to exit deliberative session at 7:57 p.m.

The Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 7:57 p.m.

These minutes have not been approved by the ZBA.

Submitted by klg 2/21/18