Board of Adjustment Hearing

March 12, 2012


The Clarkson Valley Board of Adjustment, pursuant to notices posted, met at City Hall in the Fru-Con Building to consider one agenda item.


            Board of Adjustment members present were:

                        Darryl Brody, Chairperson

                        Walter DeGrendele

                        Jack Hauser

                        Paul Mercurio

                        Phyllis Newmark


The City Attorney, Mr. Patrick Butler attended and the City Clerk, Michele McMahon recorded the Minutes.  The Chairman, Darryl Brody, asked if all Board Members had a chance to view the property, to which they responded affirmatively.  Mr. Brody read the agenda item.


The Chairperson asked if the petitioner had objections to any of the Members of the Board of Adjustment comprising the quorum?  To which she responded she did not. 


            After the meeting was called to order and protocol established, both Dr. Cleveland and the architect of the project, Lauren Strutman were sworn in. 


Jeanne Cleveland introduced herself and Lauren Strutman.  Mrs. Strutman thanked everyone for entertaining the Cleveland's request this evening.  She stated that in November 2008, the Cleveland's came before this Board with a similar request which was not granted at the time.  She said they are present tonight with all the required data. 


They submitted a revised plan from that of the previous hearing to show plantings.  She explained it would be hard to see the garage from the street - especially given the dip in grade at this proposed location.  She went on to explain the different avenues they pursued when contemplating the location of the additional garage saying it was not possible to place it to the front because it would extend beyond the front building line.  They could not place it to the rear because it would destroy the sight line from the kitchen.  They could not place it with a side entrance because in order to do that it would require destruction of a large grove of mature trees and it would require the construction a huge retaining wall. 


Board Member Jack Hauser asked what the proposed use would be for the Cleveland's underneath the garage to which the response was that it would be used to store pool equipment for now and at a later time, a bathroom and a small office would be built within. 


Paul Mercurio asked if the Board could mandate plantings as a way to buffer the front-facing garage from neighbors if they were to approve the project to which the City Attorney said it could place a condition along with its approval.  Mr. Mercurio stated he would like the Cleveland's to attach a landscape plan to their building permit application subject to the Building Commissioner's approval indicating a 5' high, year-round evergreen buffer along that portion of the road as seen from view #1 and view #2 - attached and that the hedge be perpetually maintained.  The Board Members agreed that the request has now been changed to include the above-mentioned plantings.


            A call for proponents and/or opponents was made, to which there were none. 


The City Attorney, Patrick Butler explained to the Board Members the intent of the zoning code and read the merits and conclusion portion contained therein. 


The Chairperson, Darryl Brody, asked the Members for their factual determination of the first proposal to which: question (1) three are, two are not, (2) five will, (3) four will; one will not, (4) five will not, (5) five will not, (6) five will.


A roll call vote was then taken to allow/not allow the proposed front-facing garage along with the stipulation for a landscape plan.  Yeas: Brody, DeGrendele, Hauser, Mercurio and Newmark.  There were no Nays.  The Chairperson declared the petition as having passed and stated the petitioner is required to build the garage exactly as presented at this evening's meeting.  Any changes would require another variance request.


            The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,




                                                            Michele McMahon

                                                            City Clerk

                                                            City of Clarkson Valley