SOUTH HERO DEVELOPMENT REVIEW BOARD September 26th, 2018
Members Present: Tim Maxham (Chair); Doug Patterson (Vice Chair); Jim Brightwell (alternate); Ross Brown; Sherry Corbin; Nate Hayward; Gareth Hunt; Liza Kilcoyne
Others Present: Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator)
Members Absent: None.
Public Present: Catherine Dingle; Joseph Flynn; Daniel Troidl; Karola Troidl; Ruby Brezinski; Robert Wigness; Brereton Hall; M Blasberg; David Carter; Tristan Hobbs
Call to Order: Meeting was called to order by T. Maxham at 7:00 p.m.
Changes to Agenda: None.
Public Input: None
Hearing: 19-13-FL058 Change in Conditional Use per Section 404.A.2 – Reduction in Overall Non-Conformity Location: 56 Featherbed Lane.
Notice & Oath
- Patterson read the hearing warning. T. Maxham administered the oath to the attending members of the public.
- Maxham opened the hearing at 7:05 p.m.
Applicants: H Brereton Hall, Jr. Trustee and Nancy Blasberg, Trustee
Appearing on Behalf of the Applicants:
- Catherine Dingle, MSK Attorneys
- Joseph Flynn, Land Survey Manager at O’Leary-Burke Civil Associates, PLC
Presentation of C. Dingle:
- Dingle drew the Board’s attention to Town of South Hero Development Regulations Section 404 Section A.2. “Reducing Overall Nonconformity on the Lot” as the basis of the application. C. Dingle stated that the applicant was not applying for a variance, but rather for approval of reconstruction of a building that reduces the overall degree of nonconformity on the lot.
The applicant is appearing after the building was built rather than before, as they were under impression they were building within the setbacks, and subsequently found that the property boundary line was not where they thought it was.
When the applicants first sought to tear down two old buildings and build a garage, they met with their neighbors, the Troidls, to try to determine where the boundary lines are. The site has a height of land and then goes down to the lake. There are pins that mark the boundary lines. The applicant took a line and attached it to one of the pins and ran it up to where the garage was going to be, and it turns out in hindsight that they did not get it right – they were measuring from a line that was a mistaken line. This was found out later on when they did a survey.
The applicants applied in November 2017 for a building permit. They met with neighbors to make sure they were within the setbacks. Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator) met with them also, but it turns out they were all mistaken as to where the actual boundary line was.
Addressing the Boundary Survey Plat, C. Dingle stated that Daniel and Karola Troidl live on the adjacent property to the north, and Robert Wigness and Ruby Brezinsky live on the adjacent parcel to the south.
During construction of the new garage, which started in the winter and went all the way through the spring, Wigness/Brezinski put a tape to mark the property line, which surprised the applicants, who contacted Ms. Dingle, who advised them to call a surveyor. The survey, which was completed at the end of June or thereabouts, determined that the garage was built within the setback. Those details are on the map provided by the surveyor. Based on that mutual mistake of the parties, we are here asking for approval after the fact for tearing down two structures and replacing with a new structure that has a lesser nonconformity than the previous buildings.
Addressing an annotated Google Earth map work product created by J. Flynn showing the removed buildings and new garage, C. Dingle said there was an old shed that was not completely within the setback but extended over the property line into the Troidl property. That got torn down, as did an old garage. The depictions of the old and new buildings show that the new encroachment is less than the old. Google Earth was used since the applicant did not have measurements of the buildings that were torn down. The applicants have since received more information on the dimensions of the old buildings from the town Listers.
- Flynn stated that the Google Earth work product presented to the Board was created before he received additional information and pictures earlier today as to what the original structures looked like and was able to reconstruct more accurately the dimensions of the original buildings. With the new information, he was able to reconstruct the dimensions which match the measurements that the Listers have on one building. Consequently, the change in square footage presented this evening is now different and more accurate than was what on the Google Earth map presented.
- Dingle said that the change in square footage with the new information is a little different than what is on the application, but that the encroachment of the new building is still less than the encroachment of the two buildings that were taken down.
- Maxham asked that the applicants submit the new measurements in writing, but agreed to a continuation of testimony with the new dimensions.
- Dingle said that with the new information the smaller building taken down was 12.5’ x 12.5’ rather than the initial estimate of 15.5’ x 15.5’. With the overhangs it is 156 square feet. So 156 square feet got taken out of the setback area.
The larger shed with overhang was 768 square feet. The area of this building in the setback was 180 square feet.
The total encroachment of the old buildings into the setback was thus (156+180 =) 336 square feet. The new garage encroaches 176 square feet. If you subtract 176 from 336 you get a total reduction in encroachment of 160 square feet.
- Hayward asked if the measurements cited for the new garage were from the dripline. C. Dingle answered yes.
- Dingle introduced pictures of the old and new buildings taken by B. Hall with dates on the back.
- Corbin said that the Listers’ card showed the small building as 12’ x 12’ and asked what the basis was for the 12.5’ x 12.5’ estimate. J. Flynn said that he performed his calculation by looking at the rafters, which are usually 16’ on center, and by looking at the T1-11 siding, which gives a 10.5’ wide building, and by looking at the overhangs, which appears to be a foot – so 10.5’ plus a foot on each side yields 12.5’ square building.
- Corbin asked if J. Flynn was saying that the footprint – not including the eaves – was 10.5’. J. Flynn confirmed that the foundation was 10.5’. S. Corbin asked when the building was taken down. C. Dingle responded that the building was taken down in the winter. C. Corbin said that she would be hard pressed to say that the Listers’ measurement was that far off.
- Hunt asked if there was a foundation on the shed. C. Dingle agreed that from the pictures it looked like it was sitting on blocks. L. Kilcoyne asked about the date of May on one of the pictures; C. Dingle said that the applicants didn’t find out until beginning June or July that they had a problem.
- Maxham said that the Board has before it 5 photos – 3 of the old buildings, and 2 of new building – and requested a motion to introduce the photos into the record. R. Brown made a motion to introduce the photos into the record; L. Kilcoyne seconded. The motion passed by acclamation.
- Maxham requested a motion to introduce the Google Earth map created by J. Flynn into the record. The motion was made by D. Patterson and seconded by R. Brown, and passed by acclamation.
- Dingle said that the presentation was completed, and summarized that with conservative measurements using the evidence from the Listers’ cards and the Google Earth map, the applicant has reduced the encroachment with the reconstructed garage in accordance with the terms of Section 404 A.2 of the regulations.
- Corbin asked how high the shed was. J. Flynn said it’s hard to determine, but the larger building looks like its 16’ tall. C. Dingle said that part of the building had two stories. L. Kilcoyne estimated from the pictures that the smaller shed was 12’ to the ridge, estimating from the door height. J. Flynn agreed to the estimate of the height of the smaller shed.
- Corbin asked how high the new building is. J. Flynn said that from the ground to the eaves is 10’. M. Taylor-Varney said that the application says 28’. C. Dingle said that 28’ is the height to the top of the cupola. Tristan Hobbes, the builder, said that the building was 26’ to the ridge line.
- Corbin asked what the volume of the building was if you add the square footage of the ground and second floors. J. Flynn said that the building encroaches more as it comes down to the lake and there is no second story on that part. Rough dimensions on the main peak part of the main (old) building are 10’ x 20’, giving 200 square feet in the upper floor excluding the knee walls.
- Corbin said that it looks like neither of the old buildings had habitable space on the second floor within the setback.
- Dingle volunteered that the applicant can get the square feet of the old buildings. S. Corbin said that she was not sure we need to get into the weeds on the old buildings as the only measurements we can be sure of are for the new building.
- Maxham asked if everyone is agreed to have a site visit Saturday morning September 29th at 8:00 a.m. After general agreement, L. Kilcoyne made a motion for the site visit, seconded by G. Hunt. The motion passed by acclamation. C. Dingle said that J. Flynn would not be able to attend.
- Kilcoyne requested that the setback line be marked off for the site visit. S. Corbin asked that the site of the old buildings also be marked. T. Maxham said that the site visit would be for the purposes of observation only, and that testimony would not be taken. The hearing will be continued after the site visit on another date.
- Dingle said that in summary, by their estimation, the nonconformity has been reduced by 160 square feet. C. Dingle confirmed that she would put the new measurements into writing to the Board.
- Corbin asked if the map submitted was incorrect based on the new information, and requested a new map. C. Dingle confirmed that the applicant will provide an updated map.
- Maxham opened the meeting for input from the audience.
Presentation of Daniel and Karola Troidl (Delivered by Karola Troidl)
The Troidls introduced themselves as abutters of the Hall/Blasberg property. Karola Troidl said that the setback between the properties was the issue this evening, and that the Town rules are created so that neighbors can be good neighbors and if followed, conflicts could be avoided. Conflict was not avoided because the town regulations were not followed by Hall and Blasberg. If regulations are not enforced, others will not follow them.
The Troidls are opposing the application because
- It is not timely. The application should have been made before construction, not 9 and 1/2 months afterwards.
- There’s no compelling reason to build in the setback area.
- The location of prior structures cannot be confirmed.
The permit application is based upon speculative numbers. They are speculative because the applicants tore down the original structures 9 and 1/2 months before applying for the permit.
The first permit was applied for in November 2017 by Hall/Blasberg. It was timely. No construction was started and prior structures were standing. The application showed that all structures would be 16’ from the property line and not encroach into the setback. At that time, the Troidls were assured by Blasberg/Hall that they were not building in the setback area. The permit sought now should have been made before any construction started and buildings demolished so that all parties could agree on their size and location. If Hall/Blasberg had made the application to include encroaching in the setback, it would be up to the Board’s discretion to provide approval. The new garage is 29’ deep by 55’ wide. Hall/Blasberg had the space to build a less deep but reasonably deep garage without encroaching. There is no way to know if there was prior encroachment due to the demolition of the prior structures. The Troidls said they made it clear from the beginning that they wanted their land respected and the setback rules followed.
Karola Troidl continued: In late October or early November 2017 Dan noticed a stake that had been placed at great distance onto our property behind Hall’s old garage structure. When Dan approached Hall, his response was that he was measuring the setback distance from the lake. Why place it on our land? Hall moved the stake, but it was still on our side of the trees. Shortly thereafter, we decided to take a string and place it as best we could from one boundary pipe to the other in an effort to show Hall how far off he was, not to be surveyors. At that point Hall came out to see what we were doing. We could not visually determine the exact property line. Dan, Hall, and I agreed that due to the obstructions none of us could accurately see the property line. That’s when Dan offered to share the cost of a survey. That’s how important it was to us for him to be at least 15’ from our property line. Hall refused to our face, saying it was too expensive. Hall said his new building would not encroach on our setback area. So now we are here spending our time and money due to Hall’s choice. Hall also refused to shoot a line as suggested by the Zoning Administrator. This is not a simple mistake, this is intentional ignorance. Hall seems to think no one will make him change his building if he just says “sorry.” In fact, on July 4th, Hall told us he will go to the Board, say “mea culpa” and just say “sorry.” We do not understand how that can be acceptable.
After refusing to get a survey and refusing to shoot a line, on May 16th 2018 they (Hall/Blasberg) finally had a survey done. On May 16th, they could have confirmed with the surveyor where the property line was. They did nothing. This picture was taken on May 13th, 2018. As you can see, the siding was not on, the green paper is just the house wrap, the roof was not on, the soffits not installed, etc. This is different from what was told to you a few minutes ago. The construction was not 90% done as their lawyer claims. Instead, they continued construction.
The property line stakes were put up by the surveyor by June 6th, 2018. The stakes immediately revealed that the construction was encroaching into the setback area. It was clear to us; it should have been obvious to them, but construction continued. Their surveyor had a survey map by early June showing the encroachment. We know this because our folks, Bob Wigness and Ruby Brezinsky, got a copy of the survey map showing the encroachment with a bill dated June 12th. On July 4th, Paul Blasberg acknowledged the encroachment and told us they would meet with the Zoning Administrator the following week about the encroachment and survey. This meeting did not happen and construction continued. Electrical work, air conditioning, heating, carpentry, grading the land, external lighting, a copper cupola, and on and on. We met with the Zoning Administrator and learned that no meeting had taken place. At this point we were forced to file a complaint on August 2nd since construction had been almost constant that prior month and it became evident that they had no intention of making this right.
As for Flynn’s new map, this is insulting, as they have waited until the last minute to come in with new figures and a whole new set of claims. Why should we believe these new figures? Flynn had access to the Listers’ information before. Why did he not do it right the first time? Instead he signed a letter with figures that he now says are wrong. Why should we accept this new version? How do we know it’s true? It’s unfair to us to have to use his estimates and guesses rather than actual measurements. It’s unfair to us since this should have been done before construction, and it’s unfair to us since there was no need to encroach even if the prior buildings were in the setback.
Everything is distorted here. You use actual measurements to do a survey. I don’t even see this one (referring to the Google Earth illustration) being certified.
The application shows 60’ from property line. The application was made before destruction of old structures. The application should have been made before the prior structures were demolished. I don’t see any methodology of how he got this.
The new building is 1.75 times that of the prior structures as measured by the Listers. This does not include the 2nd floor or the workshop deck. This is detailed in documents previously given to the Board. This is 75% larger and much higher; it towers over our property. There’s a door at the rear of the garage portion so there’s constant activity in the setback area with lawn mowing and people.
Lights were installed in the setback portions of the new building which means more light shining into our house. In addition, there is a light in the cupola that is on nightly.
This has been really difficult for us. We are not retired. Both Dan and I work full-time and do not want to be spending any more time on this.
On May 13, 2018 we found that they had left a compost pile on our property. You can see this compost pile in the photo in front of you. After the survey stakes were put up, we found barrels and debris clearly on our property. On July 5th, 2018 they had Barrett’s cut a large tree down on or property that Hall did not have permission to cut.
As for my Dad and Stepmom, who are property owners on the other side of Hall/Blasberg, they’ve had issues with debris being dumped on their property by Brett Hall, their trees cut, their fence taken down without consent, driving over their land, not to mention the damage caused to their driveway from Hall/Blasberg’s construction that has not been repaired.
Hall/Blasberg have chosen not to try to do a property line adjustment. They asked to speak with us. Since we are not lawyers and are very busy, we asked our stepmom Ruby to meet with their lawyer, Catherine Dingle. Ruby and their lawyer met on August 20th. Ruby told us that she explained the problems with the property line adjustment. Our property is one acre, the minimum lot size, so we cannot reduce our lot. The land that they need is in an area we would want to keep if we are to build a secondary dwelling in the future. Ruby explained that she was not negotiating on our behalf and that if Hall/Blasberg wanted, they could make a proposal to us. Neither Dingle nor Hall/Blasberg contacted us after that meeting with any proposal. Instead, they chose to pursue this permit; the issue of a property adjustment has not been pursued by them and therefore has no bearing on today’s proceedings.
In conclusion, we are asking the DRB to be very clear about following its regulations. We feel it’s important so that everyone in the town knows that the regulations mean something. The regulations state that permit applications are to be made before construction. This application is being made after construction is finished. It seems to us that this process is being used to get around the consequence of building in the setback. The problem has been created by their failure to properly determine the boundary line, a responsibility that falls only on Hall/Blasberg.
They have been told that they cannot get a variance since they created the hardship. This application is an attempt to shift to us the burden of proving that the prior structures that they destroyed are somewhere other than where they now claim but cannot prove.
We never had an issue with the previous owner and wanted to have a good relationship with the new neighbors. This entire experience has been very upsetting and shocking to us. If Hall/Blasberg were committed to following the regulations they would have taken the advice to shoot a line or get a survey. They would have stopped construction in May when the surveyor came, or in June when the stakes were put in. Instead, the opposite was done. There was an intense effort to finish construction before coming to this meeting. This was made clear when they did not meet with the Zoning Administrator for the entire month of July, after they told us they would during the week of July 9th. It was only when we filed the complaint that Hall/Blasberg acted.
This is a self-created problem that they are trying to blame on us. Had they wanted to correct the problem in May, we were told they could have adjusted the studs and covered the portion of the foundation and complied. Instead they went ahead. Why risk so much unless they thought that no one would be wise to their errors or think that no one would enforce the town’s regulations?
There is no solution other than that they comply with the setback rules. Thank-you.
- Kilcoyne moved to include the photo of the debris pile submitted by the Troidls into the record as Exhibit #6; G. Hunt seconded. The motion was passed by acclamation.
Presentation of Ruby Brezinsky and Bob Wigness.
- Brezinsky said that they live on the south side of the Hall/Blasberg property.
- Brezsinky said that the calculations regarding the encroachment do not include the overhang. N. Hayward said that he asked the surveyor about this and he said it was included.
- Brezinsky said that the map (Google Earth image) shows the encroachment from the base. In addition, the map is extremely grainy, and the map does not show the actual buildings, only drawn lines that are not original. You don’t have an unaltered photograph. The problem with him (the surveyor) drawing lines is that it leads you to believe it must be so. I can’t see a building under his lines. He’s showing overhang all the way over to the right; there’s nothing from the Listers that shows this overhang. So you’re being asked to speculate because of actions that have been taken on an unreliable, extremely grainy photo, where you have no methodology, and no explanation of why you should rely on this.
- Brezinsky continued: It comes back to this question of them saying that you should help us since we made a mutual mistake. The Troidls had no duty or obligation as they were not building. Hall/Blasberg signed the permit application, and attested to the location in November. While the Troidls are being blamed, there is no mutual mistake.
The idea of a “mutual mistake” is kind of funny to us, because we put up an orange tape when they announced they were cutting trees on our property. We said do not cut trees on our property. We called Barrett’s and they said please mark so we know where your property is. When Hall/Blasberg did not like where we put the line, they got a survey. Hall/Blasberg did not think they were bound by our line, so the idea that the Troidls are bound by a line they drew to get Hall/Blasberg off their land – this is really simple to me. They should have gotten a survey, they were derelict.
And even if the error was innocent – I had a house in New Jersey. I had to put a fire escape in it. I had it approved by the local authorities, everything was fine. Five years later I get a notice that it was in violation because it didn’t comply with the State rules. I had to tear it out and put up a new one. All I got was an “I’m sorry.”
We don’t feel good that Hall/Blasberg have this problem. I feel even worse that Karola and Dan are going through this process. It has been exclusively over property lines. It started with debris over our property lines because there was a pin which was ignored. A fence was taken down without prior permission.
They keep saying the building was 90% done when they got the survey. It was not. We were awakened every day at 7:00-8:00 a.m. when the builder started, all through May, June and July as construction continued.
I used to work in a firm where the client had built a building 12 stories too high, relying on an outdated zoning map. They had to take it down. And here, there would be no reason had they come at a proper time to grant it.
There are issues that I have with various statements in the letters that have been submitted. The date we had the orange tape was in April, not May as the second submission says. It’s ironic that the only time they were willing to pay for a surveyor was when they thought we were wrong. When you see this place, there is nothing that wasn’t done – air conditioning, heating – the idea that they couldn’t afford to pay for it (the survey) in the beginning is beyond comprehension. And we know they’re paying for it now because of the cost of paying for lawyers and Flynn.
We join in requesting that this not be granted. There was permit, they said they would be complying; but idea of blaming everyone else is shameful. Thank-you.
- Maxham said that he understood there is conflict between the property owners. Efforts were made to try to do it right. From what he’s seen in writing, everyone kind of agreed where things were; the town issued permit based on an agreement supposedly between both parties as to where property line was. There wasn’t any question about it then. A survey was done. The fact is we’re too close to property line. Either we rectify it for the applicants by issuing a conditional use permit, or we say no, you’re too close to the property line. Either way someone will be upset and will have an appeal.
- Dingle asked to make a rebuttal and said she would address only issues related to the permit application. C. Dingle stated that Hall/Blasberg moved here as their retirement home. They did not intend to build anything not in conformance to town regulations. The permit application for the building was made and approved, so objections to the building are now too late. If the surveyor’s conclusions are being challenged, the neighbors need to get their own surveyor as it’s inappropriate for a lay person to say that our surveyor doesn’t know how to measure lines.
- Patterson said that’s not what was said. T. Maxham said we’ve got a survey based on the two pins that everybody used to start with. You draw a straight line, and you realize that the distance is not the required 15 feet. C. Dingle said “correct.”
- Dingle said that the building was 90% complete by the time they found out that they had a problem. Building did not go on for all of July because the builder, Tristan Hobbs, was injured July 4th and was out for entire month. There may have been a few subs working but work was on hold in July. It was all interior work that was done. Hall/Blasberg understood the risk of that but they did not want to stop a project when it was almost complete.
Hall/Blasberg would never have wanted to create this problem, but we’re hoping that the Board will consider granting this permit because we did decrease the encroachment into the setback.
- Corbin requested that J. Flynn approach with his original survey and his scale. S. Corbin said that according to the permit the bldg. is 260’ back from 95.5’ lake level, and asked J. Flynn to draw a line on the survey at that point 260’ back from the 95.5 lake level. Mr. Flynn said that he didn’t shoot 95.5’. S. Corbin observed that he had a figure on the survey and asked what it referred to. Mr. Flynn said it was to the water line at the time of the survey, the fieldwork for which was done in May. S. Corbin requested that J. Flynn draw a line 260’ back from the water line as he recorded it on the survey. S. Corbin says that the other measurement (provided on the permit) is 200’ back from the rear property line.
- Corbin said that the original building permit is not correct on footages. The original building permit says the new building is 200’ back from the rear property line. According to the measurements that are in the building permit, this property is not deep enough to meet those measurements. This building also falls into Shoreland Protection. S. Corbin then asked J. Flynn what the measurement from the waterline was. J. Flynn said that it was at 230’. S. Corbin asked what the distance from the property line (rear yard) was. J. Flynn said 63’.
- Paterson said that if I’m reading your survey right you didn’t change the property lines – you found it to be correct. J. Flynn said that the existing corners represent the original intentions of the parties and of the deed, so he held the existing corners.
- Patterson said so then the line on the north did not change – the pins were there. J. Flynn confirmed that the pins were there. D. Patterson said so they could have set that line with very little difficulty. J. Flynn said that he agreed that the lines could have been set by a surveyor, but not by a lay person.
- Patterson asked if the depiction on the photo showing old buildings is an estimate or a survey. J. Flynn said that the photo is a sketch, not to be confused with a survey. J. Flynn said that the client attorney asked if he could show buildings on orthophotography. This (the Google Earth map) is a 2013 orthophotography and is orthorectified, meaning they do a lot of work to not have the tilt show. While you may perceive it, it has been removed. Which means I took the best information I had and I created a square footage. I did not research all of the information; I was asked to create something from orthophotography and that’s what I did. More accurate information came in and I revised the sketch. Are the numbers correct on the first one? Yes, based on the information I used. Are the numbers correct on the second one? Yes, based on the information I was provided.
- Maxham asked if J. Flynn was talking about the colored (Google image) map, which showed where the pre-existing buildings were. J. Flynn confirmed. J. Flynn said he sketched the buildings according to the information he had.
- Kilcoyne asked J. Flynn to confirm that he used the dimensions he obtained from the photographs. J. Flynn said yes.
- Kilcoyne said it’s a diagram. J. Flynn said yes, it’s a representative sketch, not a survey. If it was a survey and I was certifying to it, my stamp would be on it.
- Brown asked if there was one pin above bank one below bank. J. Flynn said yes. T. Maxham asked if there were any trees in the sightline of the two pins. J. Flynn said no. R. Brown suggested that a layperson could have taken a pole with a level and stuck it on a pin and got the string up over the bank. J. Flynn responded that this was debatable because of a huge cedar tree, and a cedar tree hedgerow. J. Flynn said that he had used two setups to shoot that line.
- Kilcoyne asked J. Flynn if he would have built this building without shooting a line. J. Flynn said that he would not offer an opinion.
- Dingle asked S. Corbin what the measurement was she had asked about. S. Corbin said that on the permit the applicant said the setback from the rear of the building to the property line was 200 feet, and the distance from the shoreline to 95.5 feet (water line) is 260 feet. B. Hall clarified that sixty feet was to get from the mean lake level to the first pin.
- Corbin said that when you live on lake, the shore is the front. The front yard to the edge of the right-of-way is 55’. B. Hall clarified that he had the back yard as 55’ (on the application). S. Corbin asked J. Flynn if the 260’ measurement to the shoreline is off. J. Flynn said that he had 220’ but that was from 2015 orthophotography (he did not shoot the lake level).
- Maxham asked S. Corbin what her concern was. S. Corbin replied that the new building was in the Shoreline Protection Zone.
- Maxham said that so we question some of the figures, but we’re still down to the issue that we’re too close to the property line – that’s the only issue we need to look at. S. Corbin said that she was just clarifying what was correct and not correct on the permit.
- Maxham said that we don’t have to be exact, but if we agree that you’ve reduced the nonconformity, we can weigh that vs the issue of being too close to the property line.
- Troidl said that according to the handouts that she provided, the reduction in non-conformity is not what C. Dingle is claiming. T. Maxham said he would not quibble over the numbers since we do not have something to look at, but if we agree with the representation that the applicant has reduced the non-conformity, we can take a look at it under conditional use, or we can say no, it’s too close to the property line. No matter what we do, somebody will probably be dissatisfied and we’ll have an appeal.
- Brezinsky asked if the Board had accepted that the applicant had met the burden of proving that they have reduced the nonconformity. R. Brown said that we have not gotten there as a Board, that what T. Maxham was saying was that the only issue we have here is that the building was built too close to the property line. How it got there and the argument of nonconformity, I personally am not buying that one, because that’s something that you would have typically come to the Board for and asked for a variance, which based on the size of the lot you would have not gotten that. C. Dingle said that you can’t get a variance if you caused the issue.
- Dingle said we would have come to you before if we had known this was going to be an issue, because there is no other place to put the garage that allows you to come into driveway and turn around. T. Maxham said that if the property line was established, you would have known. C. Dingle said “exactly” but we’re here with hat in hand.
- Maxham said that the Board understands that. You’ve put us in a very difficult position. We’re not going to debate back and forth, we’re here to get the facts as they’ve been presented, whether we believe them or not. We will have a site visit Saturday morning. The hearing will be recessed until after the site visit.
- Brown made a motion to recess until October 24th; S. Corbin seconded. The motion passed by acclamation. This will be the second hearing on the agenda on that date.
Review of Minutes
- Brown moved to accept the minutes of September 12th, N. Hayward seconded. The motion passed by acclamation.
The Administrator’s Report was delivered by Martha Taylor-Varney (Zoning Administrator)
The next meeting is on October 10th. There are two hearings:
- Wright family partnership West Shore road 3 lot subdivision,
- Variance to build detached garage on 76 Martin Road. This application is the subject of the 2nd site visit scheduled for Saturday.
On October 24th there are now two hearings:
- Continuation of Grannie Attic site plan,
- Continuation of tonight’s hearing for 56 Featherbed Lane.
For the October 17th Fall planning and zoning seminar Sandy, Ross, and Martha are going
- Patterson moved to adjourn the business meeting and move to deliberative; the motion was seconded by N. Hayward and carried by acclamation at 8:55 p.m.
James G. Brightwell
Clerk for S. Hero Development Review Board
Signed: ____________________________________________ Date: __________________
For the Development Review Board
These minutes are unofficial until approved at the next regularly-scheduled meeting. All motions were unanimous unless otherwise indicated.