MINUTES

Board of Adjustment Hearing

May 16, 2017

 

The Clarkson Valley Board of Adjustment, pursuant to notices posted on the website met at City Hall in the Clarkson Executive Center to consider three agenda items.

 

            Board of Adjustment Members present were:

                        Darryl Brody, Chairman

                        Jim Barry

                        Tom Berkeley

                        Jack Hauser

                        Phyllis Newmark

 

The City Attorney, Mr. Patrick Butler, was absent.  The Building Commissioner, Jack Schenck attended and the City Clerk, Michele McMahon recorded the Minutes.  Board Members Paul Mercurio and Alternate Members Terry Rosenstrauch and Karen Koshak were unable to attend. 

 

The Chairman explained to the petitioners they are present tonight to ask this Board to grant a variance from the Clarkson Valley Code at Section 405.060.E.3. establishing that no building (or structure) shall intrude upon the area required for front, side and rear yards; Section 405.040 regarding attached garages; and Section 405.080 regarding garage openings by proving practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in carrying out of the provisions of the code due to topographic or other conditions. 

 

The Chairperson then asked the petitioners if they had objections to any of the Members of the Board of Adjustment, to which they responded they did not.  He then asked the Board Members if they had an opportunity to view the properties to which all stated they had.  After the meeting was called to order and protocol established, the petitioners, architects and contractors that were to speak this evening were sworn in.  Darryl Brody read the Notice of Public Hearing for the agenda items. 

 

1.  To consider the request of:

            Mark Davis of Davis Group, LLC

            16440 Walnut Rail Road

to construct an attached/detached front-facing garage that extends beyond the side building line by 11.42'; to relocate a portion of the retaining wall 15' beyond the side building line; a frame addition to the existing garage to extend 1' beyond front building line; and a frame addition to the back of the master suite extending 1.2' beyond the front building line.

 

2.  To consider the request of:

            Mr. and Mrs. Josh Mateo

            240 Whiting Lane

to construct an attached garage that extends beyond the front building line by 7.5'; a laundry room to extend 1' from the front building line; and a front porch addition to extend 6.3' beyond the front building line.

 

3.  To consider the request of:

Mr. and Mrs. Kreikemeier

119 Highgrove Lane

      to construct a garage addition with porte cochere that would encroach 5' into the side yard and a covered front porch to extend 2' beyond the front building line. 

4.  To consider the request of:

Mr. Veera Saranathan

126 Chippenham Lane

      to construct a fence in front of an existing retaining wall that would encroach 11' into the side yard and 6' into the rear yard. 

 

Mr. Mark Davis introduced himself and spoke on the project.  Board Member Jim Barry asked what was the hardship and Mr. Davis responded he would be disappointed if he could not construct the project as requested.  Mr. Davis said he bought the house with plans to remodel but did not have a plat plan and did not know where the side yard was located. 

 

The Chairman called for opponents or proponents, to which there was none.  The Building Commissioner made no comment.

 

The Chairman stated that normally the City Attorney explains to the Board Members the intent of the zoning code and reads the merits and conclusion portion contained therein but in his absence, he said the Board Members have been through numerous meetings and know this but did ask if they had any questions to which they responded they did not.

 

Darryl Brody read the Agenda item again.  He asked the Members for their factual determination of the proposal to construct an attached/detached front-facing garage that extends beyond the side building line by 11.42'; to relocate a portion of the retaining wall 15' beyond the side building line; and a frame addition to the existing garage to extend 1' beyond front building line; and a frame addition to the back of the master suite extending 1.2' beyond the front building line to which: question (1) one are, four are not, (2) five will, (3) one will, four will not, (4) five will not, (5) five will not, (6) five will.

 

The Chairperson then called for a vote of approval/disapproval to grant the desired variance to construct an attached/detached front-facing garage that extends beyond the side building line by 11.42'; to relocate a portion of the retaining wall 15' beyond the side building line; a frame addition to the existing garage to extend 1' beyond front building line and a frame addition to the master bedroom to extend 1.2' beyond the front building line with the following results:  Yeas.  Hauser and Newmark.  Nays:  Barry, Berkeley and Brody.

 

The Chairperson declared Mr. Davis' request for variance as denied.  Chairman Brody told Mr. Davis he may come back at a later date with a different proposal if he would like. 

 

Darryl Brody read the second agenda item and gave the floor to Charles Nye with Agape Construction who spoke on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Mateo.  He introduced himself and spoke of the pie-shaped lot in a cul-de-sac.  He said the Mateo's would like to add a third car garage and if they went to the back of the house, the lot slopes down to a pool.  They would create an odd circular pattern in the front yard which would not work because of the cul-de-sac.  However, they would like to expand to the front for a laundry/mud room which, architecturally, would soften the effects of the garage and make it blend. 

 

He said they investigated other locations on the property but felt this configuration worked best with the topography.  Mr. Brody asked about the 15' side yard shown on the site plan.  (The City asked the contractor on June 10th to make changes indicating it is a 25' side yard.)  Building Commissioner, Jack Schenck, said they would make that adjustment at the time of issuing a permit. 

 

Mr. Josh Mateo then introduced himself and spoke of originally trying to locate the garage project towards the back.  He said it would create quite a dynamic with the garage wall being almost completely above grade at the back.  Plus, he said, it would also interfere with the pool area. 

The Chairman called for opponents or proponents, to which there was none.  The Building Commissioner had no comment.  The Chairman asked if there were any questions from the Board Members regarding the intent of the zoning code or merits and conclusion portion contained therein to which they responded they did not.

 

Darryl Brody read the Agenda item to construct an attached garage that extends beyond the front building line by 7.5'; a laundry room to extend 1' from the front building line; and a front porch addition to extend 6.3' beyond the front building line with clarification the porch is 32' long; 6'3" wide; which: question (1) five are, (2) two will, three will not, (3) five will, (4) five will not, (5) five will not, (6) five will.

 

The Chairperson then called for a vote of approval/disapproval to grant the desired variance to construct an attached garage that extends beyond the front building line by 7.5'; a laundry room to extend 1' from the front building line; and a front porch addition to extend 6.3' beyond the front building line with clarification the porch is 32' long; 6'3" wide with the following results:  Yeas:  Barry, Berkeley, Brody, Hauser and Newmark.  There were no Nays.

 

The Chairperson declared the Mateo's request for variance for the garage, laundry room and front porch addition as having been approved.  Darryl Brody then advised Mr. and Mrs. Mateo and General Contractor, Charles Nye, the variance granted by the Board is based upon what took place tonight.  Any change making the variance greater than what was presented will negate the variance that was granted at this meeting. 

 

Darryl Brody read the third agenda item.  Laurie Smith with Agape Construction introduced herself saying she is representing the Kreikemeier's.  They have a lot of children, she said, and apologized they could not be here tonight due to soccer; lacrosse and a school presentation.  The Chairman asked Mrs. Smith if she wanted the Board to consider voting as two separate proposals; once for the front porch and once for the garage to which she agreed. 

 

She said the Kreikemeier's did a front porch addition several years ago but aesthetically, would like to do more to pull it together.  Plus with all the children, they would like an extra garage.  The Board asked why the Kreikemeier's did not put the garage right up against the house.  Mrs. Smith said that due to the slight slope toward the neighbors' property which would impact the neighbors more because the driveway would go all the way to their property line.  She mentioned that the neighbors agreed with the project and signed consent.  She said that by constructing the arch connecting the house with the garage, it would not have the impact that a regular 3-car garage might and that it would be constructed in all brick with stone pieces to match the remainder of the front of the house.  The hardship for the front porch is the aesthetics plus the garage with porte cochere would have the least impact on the land to the west.  To which one Board Member stated he did not think the project appeared balanced.  Another Board Member asked if the porte cochere served a practical function?  Mrs. Smith said it could be accomplished in other ways.

 

The Chairman called for opponents or proponents, to which there was none.  The Building Commissioner had no comment.  The Chairman asked if there were any questions from the Board Members regarding the intent of the zoning code or merits and conclusion portion contained therein to which they responded they did not.

 

Darryl Brody read the second portion of Agenda Item 3 to construct a covered front porch to extend 2' beyond the front building line.  He asked the Members for their factual determination of the proposal to which: question (1) five are not, (2) four will, one will not, (3) five will not, (4) five will not, (5) five will not, (6) five will.

The Chairperson then called for a vote of approval/disapproval to grant the desired variance for construction of a covered front porch to extend 2' beyond the front building line with the following results:  Yeas.  Brody, Berkeley, Hauser and Newmark.  Nays:  Barry.

 

The Chairperson declared the Kreikemeier's request for variance for covered front porch as having been approved.  Darryl Brody then advised Mrs. Smith, the General Contractor for this project, the variance granted by the Board is based upon what took place tonight.  Any change making the variance greater than what was presented will negate the variance that was granted at this meeting. 

 

Darryl Brody read the first portion of the Agenda item to construct a garage addition with porte cochere that would encroach 5' into the side yard.  He asked the Members for their factual determination of the proposal to which: question (1) one are, four are not, (2) five will, (3) five will, (4) five will not, (5) five will not, (6) five will.

 

The Chairperson then called for a vote of approval/disapproval to grant the desired variance to construct a garage addition with porte cochere that would encroach 5' into the side yard with the following results:  Yeas.  Berkeley.  Nays.  Barry, Brody, Hauser and Newmark.

 

The Chairperson declared the garage portion of the Kreikemeier's request for variance as having been denied.

 

Darryl Brody read the fourth agenda item and gave the floor to Mr. Veera Saranathan.  Mr. Saranathan stated the fence would be installed in front of an existing approved retaining wall; the hardship being the height of the retaining wall  which is 6' on one side and 11' on the other.  His intent is a 4'-5' tall fence placed in front of the wall merely for safety sake for humans and animals - stating it is a huge liability.  The building commissioner was asked if this retaining wall required a fence to which he responded it did not because there was no walkway within 3'.  Mr. Saranathan stated that no one has fallen off the wall but he would like to prevent it from happening. 

 

The Chairman called for opponents or proponents, to which there was none.  The Building Commissioner had no further comment.  The Chairman asked if there were any questions from the Board Members regarding the intent of the zoning code or merits and conclusion portion contained therein to which they responded they did not.

 

Darryl Brody read Agenda Item 4 - to construct a fence in front of an existing retaining wall that would encroach 11' into the side yard and 6' into the rear yard.  He asked the Members for their factual determination of the proposal to which: question (1) five are, (2) five will not, (3) five will, (4) five will not, (5) five will not, (6) five will.

 

The Chairperson then called for a vote of approval/disapproval to grant the desired variance to construct a fence in front of an existing retaining wall that would encroach 11' into the side yard and 6' into the rear yard - with further clarification the wall was not to exceed 5' in height with the following results:  Yeas.  Barry, Brody, Berkeley, Hauser and Newmark.  There were no Nays.

 

The meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

 

                                                            Michele McMahon

                                                            City Clerk

                                                            City of Clarkson Valley