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Minutes of Zoning Board of Appeals, 08/20/2013

AGENDA: Zoning Board of Appeals

RECEIVED 08/21/2013 4:35pm
Michele R. Grande – Redding Town Clerk



Michael Thompson, Chairman

Robert Morton

Henry Polio

Bruce Given, Alternate

Paul Scholl, Alternate

Absent: Beth Williams; Colleen Litof

The meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m.~The Chair designated alternate members Bruce Given and Paul Scholl to act in the place of Beth Williams and Colleen Litof, respectively.


Upon the Motion of Mr. Morton and second of Mr. Polio, the May 21, 2013 Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting Minutes were approved unanimously (5-0) by the Board.


Application 13-08-01 –28 Drummer Lane – Map 48 & Lot 14 – Owners: Richard & Doris Hall – Requesting a variance to reduce the rear yard setback to 32 feet for a deck. ~Section 4.6.5 of the Redding Zoning Regulations requires a 50 foot rear yard setback in the R-2 Zone. ~In 1989 a ZBA variance was granted for 10 feet. The variance requested is 8 feet.

Mr. Richard Hall presented the application to the Board.  Mrs. Doris Hall was also present.  Mr. Hall indicated that the location of the proposed deck is in replacement of the existing screened in porch.  The proposed deck is an additional 8 feet beyond the footprint of the screened in porch into the corner of the rear yard, as the primary intention is to create a wraparound deck so the existing side and rear deck meet. The photographs and survey of the property provided in the Hall’s application were reviewed with the Halls by the Board Members.  Mr. Hall indicated that there had been no Certificate of Occupancy previously filed for the screened in porch or existing deck but on his own inspection of the boards and joists both appeared to be of the same age of the attached residence, which suggested both were built when the house was.   Mr. Thompson asked when the residence was built and Mr. Hall said that it was built either in 1979 or 1980.  The Board members then noted that the Zoning Regulations were revised in 1986 after the house had been constructed and that the existing deck likely constituted a pre-existing nonconforming use.  Mr. Hall confirmed that the portion of the deck he would like to build would not enlarge the current nonconforming use as it relates to the rear yard setback.  It was also clear that the proposed deck did not violate the side yard setback requirements.

Correspondence from Mr. Robert Flanagan, Zoning and Conservation Enforcement Officer, relating to this application was given to the Board Members at the start of the meeting, and was entered into the record by Chairman Thompson.  The letter, a Request for Voluntary Compliance, indicated that the owners of 28 Drummer Lane were in violation of Zoning Regulation 6.2 by beginning construction of the deck without a Zoning Permit.  Mr. Hall stated that the contractor began working on the deck without the proper permitting unbeknownst to him.  He indicated that the contractor did start repair and replacement work but that no work was done inside the area for which the variance is being sought and that work had stopped completely once they were informed by Mr. Flanagan that a Zoning Permit had yet to issue.

Application 13-08-02 – 19 Great Meadow Road – Map 16 & Lot 104 – Owner: Dagny Forrester – Requesting a variance to reduce the side yard setback to 30 feet for a shed. ~Section 4.6.5 of the Redding Zoning Regulations requires a 40 foot side yard setback in the R2 Zone. The variance requested is 10 feet.

Ms. Dagny Forrester presented the application to the Board.   Ms. Forrester is requesting a 10 foot variance for placement of a 14’ x 8’ storage shed in the side yard abutting the wooded property of 23 Great Meadow Road.  The proposed location in the side yard is due to the sloping topography on the property, as there is a severe grade from the front to rear of the property.  The primary purpose of the shed is for storage of gas-powered equipment, portable generators, snow blower, gardening tools, etc.  Ms. Forrester wishes to have the storage shed at the same level as the primary residence for ease of accessing and moving the equipment, which would be difficult to do from a higher or lower level of the property.  A letter from adjoining neighbor, Jennifer Bain of 23 Great Meadow Road, was received in support of the proposed location of the storage shed.  Ms. Forrester indicated that the distance from the shed to the Bain’s’ house is approximately 184 feet with a wooded area screening the view.

The Board Members reviewed the photographs and maps with Ms. Forrester and discussed the proposed location of the shed, as well as alternate areas.  She also provided a GIS map to support the sloping topography of the property for reference.  Ms. Forrester indicated that the area between the residence and the proposed shed location is an access-way to the rear of the yard should the need arise.  In the past, tree trucks have been needed to access the rear of the yard due to downed trees from storms.  She said that moving the shed any further towards the house and away from the side yard property line would present a hardship because it would potentially block access to the back yard.  When asked about the nature of the shed, she noted that it would sit on a gravel base and would not be attached to any foundation.

Mr. Polio asked Ms. Forrester if the hardship was an issue of access to the rear of the property versus an issue with the terrain of the property.  Ms. Forrester indicated that both issues were a concern, having access to the rear yard as well as the ability to easily access the equipment from the shed.  Mr. Given asked if there would be adequate room for access around the shed on the property line side if the storage shed was placed 10 feet closer to the residence (within setback guidelines) and Ms. Forrester said she did not believe so as there are trees and a wood pile in that area.

Upon motion of Mr. Given and second of Mr. Polio, the Board entered Deliberative Session at 8:05 p.m.


Application 13-08-01 –28 Drummer Lane – Map 48 & Lot 14 – Owners: Richard & Doris Hall – Upon motion of Mr. Given and second of Mr. Polio, the Board voted 5-0 to approve the variance due to the fact that the proposed additional deck would not enlarge a pre-existing non-conforming use.  It was noted, however, that the Applicant must follow and comply with the normal zoning permitting process.

Application 13-08-02 – 19 Great Meadow Road – Map 16 & Lot 104 – Owner: Dagny Forrester – Upon motion of Mr. Given and second of Mr. Morton, the Board voted 5-0 to: (i) deny the request for variance without prejudice for lack of a demonstrated hardship and because it appears the proposed shed could be placed within the side yard setback requirements; and (ii) allow the Applicant to re-apply with additional documentation and more specific information to demonstrate a hardship.  If the Applicant does re-apply, the fee to do so will be waived.

Upon motion of Mr. Morton and second of Mr. Polio, the Board voted to exit deliberative session at 8:19 p.m.


The Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 8:19 p.m.

These minutes have not been approved by the ZBA.

Submitted by klg 8/22/2013