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Minutes of Zoning Board of Appeals, 04/18/2017

AGENDA: Zoning Board of Appeals

RECEIVED 04/20/2017 1:35pm
Kathleen R. Miserendino - Redding Deputy Town Clerk

APRIL 18, 2017 – 7:30 P.M.

Beth Williams, Chairman
Henry Polio, Secretary
Noel Cooke
Bruce Given
Scott Smith
Trevor Furrer, Alternate

The meeting was called to order at 7:33 p.m.

Upon the Motion of Mr. Smith and second of Mr. Given, the February 21, 2017 Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting Minutes were approved (5-0) by the Board.

Application  #17-03-01 –475 Newtown Turnpike –Owner Sterlhen LLC Marie C. Henry  (Map #16 & Lot #86)  – Appeal of Cease and Desist order issued by the Zoning Enforcement Officer on January 12, 2017 regarding four (4) commercial storage/shipping trailers being stored on a residential property in violation of Sections 3.8(e) and (f)  of the Redding Zoning Regulations.

Ms. Marie C. Henry presented the Application for appeal of Cease and Desist order to the Board.  Ms. Henry explained that there are four prefab containers on the property for use as a second dwelling.  The second dwelling is not able to be built until the primary residence is completed and she has been dealing with permits for the primary dwelling.

Ms. Williams inquired if the second dwelling was approved and Ms. Henry indicated that it had been approved and she has been paying for permits.  Mr. Polio asked Ms. Henry to confirm that the permits have been paid and Ms. Henry noted they had not yet been paid.  Mr. Given asked if the situation would be resolved within four weeks and Ms. Henry answered affirmatively.  Ms. Williams asked if the application for the accessory dwelling had been withdrawn as it was larger than the 625 square feet that the zoning regulations allow and Ms. Henry indicated it did not need to go to the Board but she did not have the records and details readily available.  Ms. Henry noted that revised/corrected plans were to be reviewed by Shaun Donnelly, Building Inspector, on his return Wednesday, April 19, 2017.  Once the amount of the permit is determined for the plan revision it would be paid.

Mrs. Aimee Pardee, Zoning Enforcement Officer, indicated that a Cease and Desist order was given to Sterlhen LLC / Marie C. Henry in January 2017 after the shipping trailers were kept on the property illegally for over a year and a half.  Ms. Pardee noted that proper permitting to convert the containers for a variety of uses it had not yet been approved.  A permit for guest house without kitchen had been applied for in early Fall but had never been paid and is now expired.  Due to the length of time passed the decision was made to enforce a Cease and Desist order.  Ms. Pardee provided photos of the containers to the Board.  Mr. Given inquired to the dimensions of the containers and Ms. Henry noted 8 feet by 40 feet.

Ms. Colette Griffin of 477 Newtown Turnpike, adjacent neighbor, requests that the containers and cars be removed.  The containers and debris are in direct view from her residence and detracts from the beauty of Redding.  She urged the Board to take action in fairness of the residents of Redding.

Mr. Mark Allen of 315 Black Rock Turnpike, neighbor, asked Ms. Williams to confirm that the Zoning Regulations indicate that a second building should be no larger than 625 square feet.  Ms. Williams noted for the record again that a freestanding accessory apartment is to be no larger than 625 square feet and must meet other zoning guidelines.  Mr. Allen voiced concern that each container is 320 square feet and that two containers would be greater in square feet than the regulations allow.

Ms. Karen Mahar of 471 Newtown Turnpike, adjacent neighbor, indicated that the containers are an eyesore that have remained on the property for over a year and appear to be rusting.  She also noted that there are people coming and going at all times of day and night.

Mr. Will Dunn of 311 Black Rock Turnpike, neighbor, voiced concern regarding the structural plan and to the contents of the containers.  Ms. Williams asked Ms. Pardee if she had seen the containers open and Ms. Pardee indicated she had not.  As a firefighter for Redding Ridge and West Redding Fire Departments, Mr. Dunn was concerned for fire safety issues as well as if the lead paint on the containers was leaching into the grounds or wetlands.


Application #17-03-02 – 657 Redding Road – Owner: Eric & Lisa Goldstein (Map #13 & Lot #32) –Agent: Philip H. Hubbard III, P H Architects LLC 38 Taunton Hill Road, Newtown CT 06470– Request for variances to allow for an addition of living space and a garage to an existing dwelling.  Variances requested (2):
-Section 3.13 (e) allowing 25% increase in non-conforming ground coverage area within setbacks: applicant seeks an increase in non-conforming ground coverage area of 73% within the setback area (variance allowing an increase of an additional 48%).  Overall coverage complies with regulations (see 4.6).
-Section 4.6.5: applicant seeks a reduction in the front yard setback from 50’ to 33.8’ (variance of 16.2’).

Mr. Philip Hubbard of PH Architects LLC presented the Application to the Board.  Owners, Mr. and Mrs. Goldstein, along with PH Architects LLC Associate, Peter Paulos, was also present.  Mr. Hubbard reviewed site and aerial maps with the Board and indicated that the Goldsteins propose to add a two-car garage with bedrooms above and a mudroom on to the existing home, which is currently over the setback due to an abnormal “jog” in the road where the Right-of-Way along the front property line on Route 53 shifts 40 feet into the parcel.  This jog results in the 50 foot front setback line extending 75% into the existing historic, mid-1700s house.  The owners wish to add onto the existing structure in a way that respects the scale, proportion and elegance of their historic home.  The garage has a 625 square foot footprint with an architectural connecting feature of 100 square feet.

Ms. Williams noted a swimming pool in the rear yard which Mr. Hubbard confirmed along with a rear patio with a well located in the center.  He also noted there is an 18” high retaining wall around the patio and Mr. Paulos noted the location of the pool house.  Mr. Hubbard noted that if the Right-of-Way was in line with adjacent properties there would not be setback issues; the “jog” or shift of the Right-of-Way is an anomaly that impacts the property line and setback of the home which has been standing for many years prior to the current regulations.  Mr. Polio inquired if the well in the rear yard was currently being used and Mr. Hubbard confirmed the well was in use.  Mr. Hubbard presented photos of the driveway and Right-of-Way areas to the Board, which were entered into the record.  Mr. Given noted that Route 53 was a State governed road whereby the Right-of-Way would be 50 feet away in either direction from the center line.  Mr. Hubbard pointed out various locations on Route 53 where there was no shifting or effect on property lines as is occurring by 657 Redding Road.

Three letters of support were received from neighbors Cindy & Dave Smith of 661 Redding Road, Nina Stietzel of 236 Gallows Hill Road, and Terry & Jim Tatta of 651 Redding Road.  Mr. & Mrs. Tatta noted that their support was based on the understanding that the addition was not near the property line between 657 and 651 Redding Road, which it is not.  All three letters were entered into the record.


Application #17-04-01 – 10 West Redding Road –Owner: Inge G. Villate (Trustee of Trust Agreement): Applicant James Howley 115 Pocono Road Brookfield, CT 06804– Request for a variance to reduce Driveway side setback 5’ (five feet).  Section 3.8(a) of the Redding Zoning Regulations requires a side setback of not less 10’ (ten feet).  Variance requested is 5’ (five feet).

Mr. James Howley presented the Application to the Board.  Mr. Howley indicated that he is the contract purchaser of the property.  He noted that 10 and 14 W. Redding Road have been shared parcels whereby 10 W. Redding Road was an interior lot on 14 W. Redding Road, sharing driveway and septic.    Mr. Howley proposes to separate the parcels each with their own driveway access.  Being mindful of the location of the wetlands/water course area to the septic and the proposed driveway a 5 foot variance is requested in order to place the proposed driveway further away from the wetlands.  Mr. Smith asked if Wetlands Official stated a preference for the location of the driveway and Mr. Howley noted they did not.  Ms. Williams noted the variance would improve the sight line to a degree to which Mr. Howley agreed.

Mr. and Mrs. Don Wicks of 3 W. Redding Road, neighboring property across the street, voiced concern about the placement of the driveway as prior owners were mindful of the current driveway location with natural screening so that headlights would not be shining on the residence.  Mrs. Wicks noted that cars travel 50 mph or more along the road and worry the driveway would be dangerous for egress.  Concern was also raised about the water flow from the adjacent culvert and possible overflow.  The Wicks, Mr. Howley and Board members reviewed the survey maps to determine where the proposed driveway was located in relation to the Wicks’ property at 3 W. Redding Road.  The proposed driveway location furthest from the wetlands was most ideal.  The driveway would not be able to be moved any further away from the wetlands due to the location of a telephone pole.  The water flow from the culvert back to the brook was discussed and agreed that the proposed driveway location would not cause an adverse impact.

Upon motion of Mr. Polio and second of Mr. Given, the Board voted to enter deliberative session at 8:30 p.m.

Application  #17-03-01 –475 Newtown Turnpike –Owner Sterlhen LLC Marie C. Henry
– Upon motion of Mr. Smith and the second of Mr. Given, the Board voted 5-0 to deny appeal Application 17-03-01 finding no error in Enforcement Officer Pardee’s order to Cease and Desist.

Application #17-03-02 – 657 Redding Road – Owner: Eric & Lisa Goldstein – Upon motion of Mr. Polio and the second of Mr. Smith, the Board voted 5-0 to grant the variance to Section 3.13 (e) allowing 25% increase in non-conforming ground coverage area within setbacks to 73% and variance to Section 4.6.5 reducing the front yard setback from 50’ to 33.8’ based upon the hardship of the abnormal property line created by the jog on State Route 53 in excess of the standard in front of 657 Redding Road.

Application #17-04-01 – 10 West Redding Road –Owner: Inge G. Villate (Trustee of Trust Agreement) – Upon motion of Mr. Given and the second of Mr. Smith, the Board voted 5-0 to approve the request variance to reduce the driveway side setback 5 feet due to hardship of wetlands consideration along with improved sight line visibility.

Upon motion of Mr. Given and second of Mr. Furrer, the Board voted to exit deliberative session at 8:43 p.m.

The Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 8:43 p.m.

These minutes have not been approved by the ZBA.

Submitted by klg 4/20/17