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Minutes of Zoning Board of Appeals, 07/16/2019

AGENDA: Zoning Board of Appeals

RECEIVED 07/26/2019 3:26pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk

ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MEETING
TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2019
7:30PM
TOWN HALL HEARING ROOM

Filed subject to approval.

Present:
Beth Williams, Chair
Noel Cooke, Vice Chair
Scott Smith
Jennifer Wyss
Jill Cilo
Alternate Brian Matzke

Also Present:
Applicants
Members of the Public

1. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
Chair Williams called the meeting to order at 7:27PM.

Chair Williams recused herself from commenting or voting on the first application during deliberative session due to her absence at the last ZBA meeting. She will participate during questioning and public hearing

2. APPROVAL OF TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2019 ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MEETING MINUTES & MOTIONS

MOTION:

Ms. Wyss made a motion to approve the minutes and motions of the Tuesday, June 18, 2019 meeting. Mr. Smith seconded the motion. There were five yes votes (Cooke, Wyss, Smith, Cilo, and Matzke) and one abstention (Williams). The motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARING:

3. APPLICATION #19-06-03 – 9 BROOKSIDE ROAD UNIT D (ASSESSOR’S MAP AND LOT NO. 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’x30’ Pre-Fab Garage Building. Section 4.6.5 of the Redding Zoning Regulations. Variance requested is 22’ feet. Continuation from Tuesday, June 18, 2019 ZBA Meeting.

Mr. Cooke reported that he received clarification from the Zoning Enforcement Officer that the ZBA will consider the application seeking relief of the 50’ Commercial/Residential Zone setback.

Mr. Bonis said the building he currently operates in is closer to the boundary line than the structure he is proposing. Mr. Cooke said that this information doesn’t have bearing on the current application.

Mr. Cooke asked Mr. Bonis about the specific hardship he is addressing. Mr. Bonis said that he has spent money and time to complete this project and he wants to expand his business. He said he was in communication with Jean Winters, the Zoning secretary, and thought he was told that he would be approved for the Zoning Permit.

Ms. Wyss asked Mr. Bonis to discuss the electrical lines on the property. Mr. Bonis said that he cannot dig underground elsewhere on the property due to buried power lines.

Mr. Cooke asked why Mr. Bonis didn’t discuss this project with the Zoning Enforcement Officer first before moving forward. Mr. Bonis explained his process and how he thought he received permission until he did the zoning application. He said he did not talk to the Zoning Enforcement Officer, Aimee Pardee, until after the application was denied.

Mr. Cooke closed the Public Hearing for Application #19-06-03.

4. APPLICATION #19-07-01 – 96 HILL ROAD (ASSESSOR’S MAP NO. #22 AND LOT NO. 94) OWNER: TOWN OF REDDING – APPLICANT: REDDING POLICE DEPARTMENT

Request for a variance to reduce rear setback from 50’ feet to 5’ feet for Two Storage Sheds. Section 4.6.5 of the Redding Zoning Regulations requires 50’ feet rear setback. Variance requested is 45’ feet.

Captain Deluca addressed the ZBA. He said two 12’x16’ movable storage sheds are being requested for records and outdoor equipment storage. He said that the records currently stored in the building are putting unsafe weight on the attic. He said the other shed will free up garage space for police vehicles.

Mr. Cooke asked Mr. Deluca about digitization of records. Captain Deluca said that this has been considered but the cost is exorbitant.

Mr. Matzke asked about outside services that could store the records. Captain Deluca said he has not explored that option. He said the records are sensitive.

Chair Williams asked if the sheds are pre-fabricated. Captain Deluca said they are.

Chair Williams asked if the Police have considered storing the outdoor equipment at the Highway Garage and the shed for the records at the Fire Department property nearby. Captain Deluca said these had not been explored because both the fire department and town garage were not immediately available to the Police department.

Ms. Cilo asked if the PD have room in the building to store the records. Captain Deluca said that the building is currently at maximum capacity. He said that the records that would be moved are not used but are required to be maintained.

Mr. Cooke asked how tall the sheds are. Captain Deluca said he did not know the height of the sheds.

Ms. Cilo asked Captain Deluca how the garage is currently being utilized. Captain Deluca said tires and a Humvee that is not used are being stored in the garage. He also mentioned that they would have liked to store the Humvee at the Town Garage, but it leaks. He went further to state that during the week of July 22 an auditor was coming to town to check on the vehicle, and he hoped to convince him to take it back, as it not being used at all.

Cecilia Staunton, 15 Cross Highway, asked where the shed would be placed on the property. Captain Deluca demonstrated where it would be located. She said her concern is additional lighting on the property. Captain Deluca said no additional lighting is proposed for the shed.

Chair Williams concluded the presentation.

5. APPLICATION #19-07-02 – 145 REDDING ROAD (ASSESSOR’S MAP NO. 42 AND LOT NO. 181) OWNER: STEPHEN SANTA

Request to reduce front yard setback from pre-existing 22’ feet to 18’ feet for a Wood Deck. Section 4.6.5 of the Redding Zoning Regulations. Variance requested is 4’ feet.

Chair Williams said that the wording of the application is incorrect. She said the front yard setback is 50’ and the variance requested is 32’ feet. She said the ZBA can still hear the application.

Mr. Santa said the property is small. He said that the concrete slab that currently operates as the deck is deteriorating. He said he wants to build a deck to replace this for aesthetic and comfort purposes.

Mr. Smith asked how deep the steps are at the front currently. Mr. Santa said it is 4 feet deep with two steps down, totaling 6 feet.

Ms. Cilo asked about the orientation of the deck. Mr. Santa said instead of putting the steps on the side, they would be in front of the door. He said this looks better and doesn’t displace as many garden beds.

Ms. Cilo asked if the wooden deck could be 15’ by 4’ instead of 15’ by 8’. Mr. Santa said the extra 4’ is necessary to place furniture on the deck.

Mr. Matzke asked about the distance from the steps to the road. Mr. Santa showed the distance.

Discussion followed about the distances discussed.

Ms. Cilo asked about the primary purpose of the deck. Mr. Santa said it is primarily an aesthetic improvement.

Mr. Matzke asked if Mr. Santa considered using the current 6’ feet as the deck space. Mr. Santa said that he would prefer the 8’ feet of deck space and the two steps.

Mr. Bonis asked if the deck was a flagstone patio instead of an attached wooden deck, would it be under the same regulations. Mr. Smith said patios fall under the same regulations as a deck.

MOTION:
Mr. Cooke made a motion to leave the public hearing and enter deliberative session. Mr. Smith seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

DELIBERATIVE SESSION:

APPLICATION #19-06-03:

Mr. Smith said that the 50’ setback would have resulted in a denial of the application but was unaware about Mr. Bonis’ struggle with the town.
Mr. Cooke asked Mr. Smith if the information Mr. Bonis received had come from a third party and not the Town. Mr. Smith said this would be different.

Mr. Smith said he has not met Jean Winters but he would regret it if it were true the Town office gave bad advice to Mr. Bonis.

Mr. Cooke said he is not certain that Jean Winters is to blame. He said the structure was purchased before the permit process was finished. He said that he does not see a hardship.

Mr. Smith said there could have been a mistake in the conveyance of the information.

Mr. Matzke said the ZBA is relying on one side of the information and wondered if the board should continue the hearing for another month to speak with the Zoning Secretary and allow her to weigh in.

At that suggestion, Mr. Cooke moved to leave deliberative session and re-enter the public hearing to have a discussion that Ms. Williams could participate in. This was seconded by Ms. Wyss and carried unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING:

Ms. Williams noted that having worked with Jean for several years, it would be atypical for her to have communicated a decision, as she understands she does not have this authority. She said that Ms. Winters defers to the Zoning Enforcement Officer, Aimee Pardee.

That being said, the conversation with Mr. Bonis took place a few months ago, and she can’t be expected to remember exactly what she said in that brief encounter with Mr. Bonis. The board should take their vote and not continue this hearing again.

Motion was made by Mr. Smith to re-enter deliberative session and seconded by Ms. Wyss.

PUBLIC HEARING:

Ms. Cilo made a motion to exit the public hearing and enter deliberative session. Ms. Wyss seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

DELIBERATIVE SESSION:

APPLICATION #19-06-03:

Ms. Cilo said the property has a strange setup, Ms. Wyss said she was torn about the situation.

MOTION:
Mr. Smith made a motion to approve Application #19-06-03 on the ground that a hardship exists. Ms. Cilo seconded the motion. There were four yes votes (Wyss, Cilo, Smith, and Matzke) and one no vote (Cooke). The motion carried.

APPLICATION #19-07-01:

Chair Williams said there are other alternatives that have not been explored.

Ms. Cilo said there should be more exploration. She said that offsite storage facilities for outdoor equipment should be considered.

Mr. Smith said this application would be DOA if this wasn’t the police. Mr. Smith said that this is a structure within a structure. He asked if the variance is required. Chair Williams said the height of the structures requires a variance. Mr. Smith said if public safety was dependent on this, the decision would be different.

Mr. Matzke asked what kind of options the ZBA has. Chair Williams said this application could be denied without prejudice so that they could come back within 6 months with a new application.

Chair Williams said this property has been built up many times.

Chair Williams said if the Humvee is moved, the space in the garage could be used for storage.

Mr. Cooke said that the ZBA should avoid approving applications for the sake of convenience. He said that every other option should be explored before this is considered.

Ms. Wyss said that other options should be explored.

MOTION:
Mr. Cooke made a motion to deny Application #19-07-01 without prejudice. Mr. Smith seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

Application 19-07-02:

Ms. Cilo said she doesn’t see a hardship.

Chair Williams said that this is a unique property in that it is .29 acres in a one-acre zone nonconforming from the start and that in itself could be considered a hardshop

Mr. Smith said he wants to say yes to the application but needs a hardship.

Mr. Cooke said this is an existing nonconforming and they have to replace the porch. Mr. Cooke asked if was in the spirit of the Zoning Regulations to rule that they must replace the porch with something impractical to avoid increasing nonconformity.

MOTION:
Ms. Wyss made a motion to approve Application #19-07-02 for a variance of 32’ feet. Mr. Cooke seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

MOTION:
Mr. Cooke made a motion to leave deliberative session. Ms. Cilo seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

6. POSSIBLE DISCUSSION/ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

Chair Williams said she would contact Jean Winters about the miscommunication.

7. ADJOURNMENT

MOTION:
Ms. Cilo made a motion to adjourn. Ms. Wyss seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous, and the motion carried.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:41PM.
Submitted by,
Zachary Smith

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