ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2019
TOWN HALL HEARING ROOM
Filed subject to approval.
Alternate Brian Matzke (7:34PM)
Applicants; Members of the public
1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
Mr. Cooke called the meeting to order at 7:30PM.
2. APPROVAL OF DECEMBER 18, 2018 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MEETING MINUTES & MOTIONS.
Ms. Cilo made a motion to approve the minutes from the December 18, 2018 meeting. Ms. Wyss seconded the motion with a correction added. Ms. Wyss said that the sentence, “Ms. Wyss agreed with Mr. Cilo and Mr. Barrett”, should be changed to, “Ms. Wyss agreed with Ms. Cilo and Mr. Barrett”. There were four yes votes (Cooke, Cilo, Wyss, and Smith) and one absent member (Matzke). The motion carried.
3. APPLICATION #19-06-01 – 38 GOODRIDGE ROAD (MAP #17 & LOT #32) – OWNER BREE DEPALO –
Request for a variance for front yard setback of 50’ feet for an accessary dwelling. Section 5.12.5(a) of the Redding Zoning Regulations requires 50’ feet setback for front yard setback. Variance requested is 50’ feet.
Mr. Matzke arrived at 7:34PM.
Ms. DePalo addressed the board. She said she purchased the property in August 2018. She stated that she received misinformation from her attorney regarding the property prior to purchase, specifically about the illegal housing unit. She filled out an application for zoning to make the unit legal but was rejected.
Mr. Cooke asked what the accessary structure is being used for currently. Ms. DePalo said the structure is currently occupied as an apartment. She said it has separate septic tank, two-car garage, and electric meter.
Mr. Cooke said there is historical evidence of previous unsuccessful attempts to make the accessory structure a legal apartment. Mr. Cooke read aloud a letter dated March 14, 2018 from the Town of Redding Zoning Officer to Barbara Diamond-Kaufman (previous owner) addressing the structure’s history and a Memorandum to File dated March 8, 1999 by the Zoning Officer stating Zoning’s conclusion that the second dwelling is considered illegal. Copies are attached hereto and incorporated into the Minutes.
Ms. DePalo said a hardship exists because she is relying on the rental income from the accessory structure to support her mortgage and that someone is currently living in the structure. She said the structure is being taxed as a residential space.
4. APPLICATION #19-06-02 – 169 BLACK ROCK TURNPIKE (MAP #23 & LOT #43) – OWNER SAINT PATRICKS CHURCH CORPORATION: AGENT DANIEL CONLON AIA, 11 GRUMMAN HILL ROAD, WILTON, CT –
Request for a variance to reduce front property line setback to 11’ feet for new open portico. Section 4.6 of the Redding Zoning Regulations requires 50’ feet setback for front. Variance requested is 39’ feet.
Mr. Conlon said the application is for a covered porch for the existing front door and porch. He said the hardships are existing non-conformity, safety, and maintenance.
Mr. Cooke asked Mr. Conlon if the front porch would be a gathering place, noting the proximity to Rte 58.. Mr. Conlon said the porch would be an additional entry point but not the main entrance. He said it would not be a gathering place.
Mr. Smith asked Mr. Conlon how many members the Church has. Mr. Conlon said there are 450 families associated with the church, and that 150 families are regular members.
5. APPLICATION #19-06-03 – 9 BROOKSIDE ROAD UNIT D (ASSESSOR’S MAP AND LOT # 46-65D) BROOKSIDE COMMONS ASSOCIATION INC. AND 9D BROOKSIDE PLACE LLC, JEFF TITUS GENERAL MANAGER: AGENT JAMES BONIS.
Request for a 50’ residential zone setback variance to install a 14’ x 30’ Pre-Fab Garage Building. Section 4.6.5 of the Redding Zoning Regulations. Variance requested is 22’ feet.
Mr. Bonis said the location of underground electrical lines prevents him from expanding his garage in the allowed space. He said that if he moved the garage to a different location he would be blocking traffic. Mr. Bonis indicated that he had already purchased the shed based on his belief that it could be placed in the proposed location.
Mr. Cooke asked if the condo association approved the garage. Mr. Bonis said they did approve this in writing. He said that the problem is not a property line but a zoning line.
Mr. Cooke asked if the garage could be put sideways instead of vertically. Mr. Bonis said this would not allow a truck to back into the garage for loading and unloading.
Ms. Cilo asked Mr. Bonis to explain the map that was provided.
Mr. Cooke asked what will happen when Mr. Bonis needs more space. Mr. Bonis said he will be gone before that happens. He said the garage is moveable.
Mr. Cooke asked Mr. Bonis what the terms of the lease are. Mr. Bonis said the lease is month-to-month but there is a verbal five-year agreement.
Ms. Cilo asked what the garage will sit on. Mr. Bonis said there will be 4 inches of crushed stone it will be set on.
Ms. Cilo asked how it can be moved. Mr. Bonis said he would call the company who sold it to him.
Mr. Cooke asked if electricity or water would be used in the garage. Mr. Bonis said lighting will be placed in the garage and a hose will be brought over for water.
6. APPLICATION #19-06-04 – MARK TWAIN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION – 439 REDDING ROAD (ASSESSOR’S MAP #29 & LOT #77) –
Requesting a variance to Section 5.9.2 (g) to allow for 35 sign to be placed off premises for 4 weeks during March and April to advertise the Annual Fundraising Event and also to allow for 75 advertising and directional signs and 2 sandwich boards signs to be placed off premises for 14 days prior to the start of the annual Labor Day weekend book fair. All signs will be placed either on private property with the permission of the property owner or, if on town owned property, with the permission of the First Selectman.
Mr. Cooke asked Ms. Corr why there is a jump from 35 signs to 75 signs from the last approved variance. Ms. Corr said that there are 90 miles of roads in Redding and that 24 of the signs would be directional signs at intersections. She said that the library is trying to promote the event as much as possible.
Mr. Cooke asked Ms. Corr if the Mark Twain Library would consider trying to make this request a permanent request. Ms. Corr said they would consider this.
Ms. Wyss asked why the Annual Fundraising Event is asking for 35 signs and the Book Fair is asking for 75 signs. Ms. Corr said there are different committees that ask for the signs, resulting in the difference.
Mr. Smith asked if the Annual Fundraising Event has a smaller audience than the Book Fair. Ms. Corr said that the Annual Fundraising Event is targeted at Redding residents.
Mr. Smith made a motion to move to deliberative session. Ms. Cilo seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.
Mr. Smith said that Ms. DePalo is seeking relief from the misinformation she was given from the attorney. Mr. Smith said the ZBA cannot remedy this.
Ms. Wyss said that this doesn’t constitute a hardship. Ms. Cilo and Mr. Cooke agree.
Mr. Cooke said it is not the purview of the board to address misinformation.
Mr. Smith made a motion to deny Application #19-06-01 for lack of a demonstrated hardship. Ms. Cilo seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.
Mr. Cooke said that the Zoning Regulation 3.13, E2, setback exception, allows the ZBA to grant the variance, provided this does not increase nonconformity. He said this has been done before.
Ms. Cilo made a motion to approve Application #19-06-02 request for a variance to reduce front property line setback to 11’ feet for new open portico, as per Section 3.13, E2 of the Zoning Regulations Mr. Smith seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.
Mr. Matzke said that approving this application is a slippery slope.
Mr. Smith asked about the setbacks for the property. Mr. Cooke said the property is in the Business Center Zone. There was a question regarding which setback should apply, 25’ for BCZ or 50’ for R1. . He said that a variance must be granted no matter the setback, but that the applicant may be able to move the shed 3’ to comply with 25’ BCZ setback and avoid the need for a variance at all
Ms. Cilo asked if the ZBA needs to be concerned with permits concerning the building outside of Zoning permits. Mr. Matzke said the ZBA should only consider the setbacks.
Mr. Cooke said there is a lack of a demonstrated hardship.
The board discussed the setbacks presented in the application. Mr. Smith suggested that the applicant fix the application to not require a setback or to determine the correct setback variance.
Mr. Smith made a motion to continue the hearing for Application #19-06-03 until the next ZBA meeting so that the applicant can work with Zoning on the ZBA’s opinion that it is a variance request for relief from the 25’ foot setback. Ms. Cilo seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.
Mr. Cooke said that if this is the right number, the board should make it permanent, so the Mark Twain Library doesn’t have to reapply for another variance request.
Mr. Matzke asked if this variance allows for the MTL to put their signs on anyone’s property. Mr. Smith said this variance is like a political sign: there must be consent from the property owners.
Mr. Smith made a motion to grant MTL’s request for a variance to Section 5.9.2 (g) to allow for 35 sign to be placed off premises for 4 weeks during March and April to advertise the Annual Fundraising Event and also to allow for 75 advertising and directional signs and 2 sandwich boards signs to be placed off premises for 14 days prior to the start of the annual Labor Day weekend book fair. All signs will be placed either on private property with the permission of the property owner or, if on town owned property, with the permission of the First Selectman. This variance will carry for a period of 2 years at which time the applicant may apply to make it a permanent variance. Ms. Cilo seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.
Ms. Cilo made a motion to leave deliberative session. Mr. Smith seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.
Mr. Cooke made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Ms. Cilo seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:48PM.