MINUTES

Board of Adjustment Hearing

May 20, 2013

 

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

 

            Board of Adjustment Members present were:

                        Darryl Brody, Chairperson

                        Tom Berkeley

                        Jack Hauser

                        Phyllis Newmark

                        Terry Rosenstrauch

 

The City Attorney, Mr. Patrick Butler attended and the City Clerk, Michele McMahon recorded the Minutes.  Board Members Karen Koshak, Paul Mercurio and Jim Barry were unable to attend.  Alderpersons Scott Schultz and Dan King also attended.

 

The City Attorney and Chairman explained to the three petitioners that they are present tonight to ask this Board to permit a variance from the two Clarkson Valley Codes 405.080.C.1. prohibiting front-facing garages and 405.060.E.3. establishing that no building shall intrude upon the area required for front, side and rear yards by proving practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in the carrying out of the provisions of the code due to topographic or other conditions.  A Board for these adjustment requests consists of five members and a concurring vote of four (4) members of the Board shall be necessary to effect a variation in the Zoning Ordinance. 

 

The Chairman 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, their contractors, the President of Forest Hills Club Estates Home Owners Association and two residents of the same subdivision were sworn in.

 

The Chairperson asked the petitioners if they had objections to any of the Members of the Board of Adjustment, to which they responded they did not.  Darryl Brody read the Notice of Public Hearing for all three agenda items.  There was brief discussion that it might be necessary to turn Agenda Item #1 into two separate requests; one for the front-facing garage and the second for the retaining walls.

 

Mr. Lee Allen introduced himself, his wife and the architect, Jim Edgar.  He stated he was present tonight to request variances to construct a front-facing garage addition that would encroach 9.83' into the side yard setback and retaining walls to encroach 21'0" beyond the side yard setback and approximately 14.17' beyond the rear yard setback. 

 

            He explained that he currently owns two houses in Clarkson Valley; one in the Kehrswood Subdivision in which he's lived since 2007 and plans to sell at a later time, and the second in Forest Hills Club Estates, on Herworth Drive which he purchased this past December.  He explained the existing retaining walls were constructed of railroad ties and were in extremely deteriorating condition.  He will be replacing them in the same location and identical height but using concrete masonry blocks not to exceed 4' in height.  The walls are visible from the 17th tee and this will give a much nicer appearance from the golf course, he said.

 

He explained that while attempting to enlarge the kitchen area, they found the best way to accomplish this was by extending it into the existing garage.  They conferred with a total of three architects to find the best way to do this and all agreed the existing trees should not be compromised not to mention problems with the grade, hence the design they chose.  He further explained the original side yard setback for this property was 15'.  If the side yards hadn't changed, they would be building the garage within the building lines. 

 

Board Member Jack Hauser stated his problem with the request was the proximately to neighboring properties -- even though those neighbors signed off on the proposal. 

 

A call for proponents and opponents was made and the President of Trustees for Forest Hills Club Estates, Scott Schultz, spoke saying four of the five trustees viewed the property and were in agreement they would not sign-off on the front facing garage portion of the proposal.  He stated the reason is this would be precedent setting.  He also disagreed with Mr. Lee's statement that the garage would not be visible from the street.  In closing, he mentioned that a wing wall might help block the view of the garage doors from the street. 

 

Mr. John McCarthy, who resides several houses away from the Allen's on Herworth Dr. spoke about other properties in Forest Hills Club Estates with garage doors visible from the street.  He concluded by saying he wants to continue to see home improvements being accomplished and property values increase with these improvements and asked the Board to consider a vote in favor of this request. 

 

There were no further questions.  There was no one from the City to speak on the proposal.

 

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. 

 

Darryl Brody asked Mr. and Mrs. Lee if they wanted to table the request until a later time when the Trustees and he can meet to discuss this.  He also stated this appears to be two issues and it might be better to separate the requests.  Mr. Lee stated that he would like to go forward tonight with the requests because he cannot put the Kehrswood house up for sale until this project gets further along; and yes, it would be better to separate into two requests.  Mr. Brody then asked the Members for their factual determination of the proposal for the retaining wall, 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 for the retaining walls to extend approximately 21.0' beyond the side yard building line and 14.17' beyond the rear yard building line with the following results:  Yeas: Berkeley, Brody, Hauser, Newmark and Rosenstrauch.  There were no nays. 

 

The Chairperson declared the Allenís request for variance for the retaining walls as having been approved.  Darryl Brody then advised Mr. Lee that the variance granted by the Board is based upon what took place tonight.  Any change will negate the variance that was granted at this meeting. 

 

Mr. Brody then asked the Members for their factual determination for the second proposal for the front-facing garage that will extend beyond the side yard building line, to which: question (1) five are, (2) one will, four 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 for the front-facing garage to extend 9.83' beyond the 25' side building line with the following results:  Yeas: Berkeley, Brody, Hauser, Newmark and Rosenstrauch.  There were no nays. 

 

The Chairperson declared the Allenís request for variance for the front-facing garage beyond the side building line as having been approved.  Darryl Brody then advised Mr. Lee and the architect that the variance granted by the Board is based upon what took place tonight.  Any change will negate the variance that was granted at this meeting. 

 

Darryl Brody gave the floor to Mrs. Francine Boillat who is requesting to construct a patio and stone wall to encroach 18.3' beyond the 50' rear yard setback and to establish the existing fence sits beyond the rear yard setback by approximately 23.1' at its farthest point.

 

            Mrs. Boillat introduced herself and her contractor, Jim Graehler with Chesterfield Nursery.  She explained she was requesting this variance to halt further erosion behind the pool.  All construction would be located within the existing fence.  As a note to this case file, the pool was originally approved in 1995 and was located within the building lines.  The concrete decking and fence were constructed beyond the building lines with approval from the City without a variance. 

 

            Board Member, Terry Rosenstrauch, stated this proposal is a positive deterrent to prohibit further erosion.

 

A call for proponents and opponents was made, to which there were none. There was no one from the City to speak on behalf of the proposal.  There were no further questions. 

 

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

 

Mr. Brody then asked the Members for their factual determination for the patio and stone wall to encroach beyond the rear yard setback, 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 for the patio and stone wall to encroach 18.3' beyond the 50' rear building line with the following results:  Yeas: Berkeley, Brody, Hauser, Newmark and Rosenstrauch.  There were no nays. 

 

The Chairperson declared the Boillattís request for variance for the patio and stone wall beyond the rear building line as having been approved.  Darryl Brody then advised Mrs. Boillat and the contractor that the variance granted by the Board is based upon what took place tonight.  Any change will negate the variance that was granted at this meeting. 

 

Mr. Brody gave the floor to the third petitioner of the evening, William and Susan Holthaus of 16 Seven Oaks in Forest Hills Club Estates.  Mrs. Holthaus stated they lived in the house since 1984.  The house was originally built on a 50' front yard setback opposed to the 75' and the lot is smaller than most (.83 acres).  The kitchen is small compared to the rest of the house and they would like to build a separate kitchen to the loggia and a separate patio.  The covered patio will not be closed-in which will make it appear 35.88' from the rear property line rather than the 20' that is being sought. She spoke of the joint venture for the landscaping she shared with the back, side neighbor Bob Dienstbach

 

A call for proponents and opponents was made and the President of Trustees for Forest Hills Club Estates, Scott Schultz, spoke saying he viewed the property and the subdivision approved the proposal.

 

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

 

Mr. Brody then asked the Members for their factual determination for the breakfast room, loggia and covered lanai to encroach approximately 20' beyond the 50' rear yard setback, to which: question (1) two are, three are not, (2) one will not, four 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 for the breakfast room, loggia and lanai beyond the 50' rear building line with the following results:  Yeas: Berkeley, Brody, Hauser, Newmark and Rosenstrauch.  There were no nays. 

 

The Chairperson declared the Holthausís request for variance for the breakfast room, loggia and lanai beyond the rear building line as having been approved.  Darryl Brody then advised Mr. and Mrs. Holthaus the variance granted by the Board is based upon what took place tonight.  Any change will negate the variance that was granted at this meeting. 

 

            The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

 

 

 

                                                            Michele McMahon

                                                            City Clerk

                                                            City of Clarkson Valley