Zoning Board of Appeals
August 21, 2018
Town Hall Hearing Room
Beth Williams, Chair
1. Call Meeting to Order
Chair Williams called the meeting to order at 7:28PM.
2. Approval of June 19, 2018 Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting Minutes & Motions.
Mr. Barrett made a motion to approve the meeting minutes and motions from June 19, 2018. Ms. Cilo seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion was approved.
3. Application #18-08-01 – 41 Chestnut Woods Road (Map #19 and Lot #10) – Owner Matthew Rogell
This is a request for a variance to reduce rear setback from 50’ to 10’ for an 8’ x 10’ shed. Section 4.6.5 of the Redding Zoning Regulations requires 50’ setback for rear. The variance requested is 40’.
Mr. Rogell apologized because he bought the shed under the impression that no permits would be required and that he was within existing regulations. He placed the shed in the back-right area of his yard due to it being the only flat area outside the back yard where his children play. He painted it grey and put a rock wall near it to make it more attractive to his neighbors. He reached out to some of his neighbors and stated his flexibility in remedying the situation. He suggested planting evergreens to hide the shed.
Chair Williams asked if Mr. Rogell had letters from his neighbors in favor of his shed. Mr. Rogell did not have any letters but has spoken with two neighbors of his.
Ms. Cilo asked if the wall in front of the shed is permanently placed. Mr. Rogell explained that the shed is placed on cinder blocks and the rock wall is also impermanent.
Chair Williams asked how the shed was brought in. Mr. Rogell stated that the shed was built at the location it currently lies. He stated that he could not move it without destroying it.
Mr. Barrett asked when the shed was built and how Mr. Rogell discovered he was in violation of the setback regulation. Mr. Rogell stated that he received a letter from the town, and that the shed was built one year ago.
Ms. Cilo asked what the terrain is like just off Mr. Rogell’s deck. Mr. Rogell stated that the area near there was wooded and sloped, making it a poor site for a shed.
Chair Williams asked about a particular location and its site potential. Mr. Rogell said that location was sloped.
Ms. Wyss asked how the Town found out about the shed. Mr. Rogell said a neighbor complained about it. He once again stated he reached out to two neighbors.
Chair Williams said that any modification to how the shed could be seen does not change the fact that the shed is a blatant violation of the setback regulation.
Mr. Rogell asked about temporary variances. Chair Williams stated that any decision made by the ZBA becomes a permanent part of the property.
Mr. Barrett suggested moving the shed towards the middle of the flat yard. Mr. Rogell stated the placement of the shed in the open area would be aesthetically displeasing.
Chair Williams opened up the discussion to public comment. Steven Hunter spoke.
Steve Hunter is a neighbor of Mr. Rogell. He read a letter he wrote discussing his opposition to the variance request. He mentioned that Mr. Rogell did not approach him about the shed construction.
Chair Williams said if there were no further comments or questions they would discuss the variance during deliberative session.
4. Application #18-08-02 – 4 Great Meadow Road (Map #16 and Lot #101) – Owner Brian Swedrock
This is a request for a variance to reduce front setback from 50’ to 40’ for a porch. Section 4.6.5 of the Redding Zoning Regulations requires 50’ setback for the front. Variance requested is 10’.
Mr. Swedrock stated that his house is on a nonconforming lot. His house was built in 1957. He also stated that the Aspetuck River is right next to his house and he would need to build his porch on the highest part of the yard. He stated that he only has one neighbor who borders his house. His other neighbor is across the street.
Mr. Swedrock discussed his email from the Ota’s as well as pictures of his house and the distance between his house and the road. Chair Williams read the letter. Mr. Swedrock demonstrated that his house is already nonconforming with his photo.
Ms. Cilo asked Mr. Swedrock how big the porch would be. Mr. Swedrock wants to build a 10’ wide by 6’ long porch, with stairs adding an additional 2-3’.
Mr. Swedrock explained how all of this would require a 10’ variance.
Chair Williams asked if the porch could be built between the garage and the house. Mr. Swedrock explained that he wanted the aesthetic of a front porch and a place for his children to put their shoes.
Mr. Barrett asked what is across the road from Mr. Swedrock’s house. Mr. Swedrock stated that there is a house for sale obscured by trees.
Chair Williams opened the floor for public comment. There was no public comment.
Mr. Smith made a motion to enter the deliberative session. Mr. Barrett seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion passed.
5. Possible Discussion/Administrative Matters
Mr. Smith believed Mr. Rogell was cooperative, neighborly, and misinformed. Mr. Smith stated that the shed is a huge violation of the regulations and there is no demonstrated hardship.
Mr. Smith moved to deny Application #18-08-01 for lack of demonstrated hardship. Ms. Cilo Seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion passed.
Mr. Smith stated that three things were in favor of granting variance: the porch is a minor change, the lot is a preexisting nonconforming lot, and the river is close. Mr. Smith said he was comfortable granting variance.
Chair Williams asked Mr. Smith what in the lot made it a preexisting nonconforming lot. Mr. Smith stated the stairs on the house already make the lot nonconforming.
Chair Williams suggested a side-stair entrance to the porch to reduce the variance.
Mr. Smith made a motion to grant application 18-08-02 based on the proximity to the river and the minor change the porch would make to the house. Ms. Cilo seconded the motion. There were four yes votes (Cilo, Wyss, Barrett, and Smith) and one no vote (Williams). The motion passed.
Ms. Cilo made a motion to move out of deliberative session. Ms. Wyss seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion passed.
Mr. Smith made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Wyss seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion passed.
Submitted by Zachary Smith