MINUTES

Board of Adjustment Hearing

July 9, 2014

 

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

 

            Board of Adjustment Members present were:

                        Darryl Brody, Chairperson

                        Jim Barry

                        Tom Berkeley

                        Jack Hauser

                        Phyllis Newmark, Alternate

 

The City Attorney, Mr. Patrick Butler attended and the City Clerk, Michele McMahon recorded the Minutes.  Board Member Paul Mercurio and Alternate Board Members, Karen Koshak and Terry Rosenstrauch were unable to attend.  Alderpersons Schiller and Setnicka also attended.

 

The City Attorney and Chairman explained to the petitioners they are present tonight to ask this Board to permit a variance from the Clarkson Valley Code 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.  There is also a proposal on tonight's agenda concerning front-facing garages from the Clarkson Valley Code 405.080.C.1. establishing that garage openings must not be visible from any spot in the street or in the front yard between the parallel lines running along each side of the main structure located on a normal or interior lot and extending across said front yard into the street. 

 

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 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 both properties to which all stated they had.  After the meeting was called to order and protocol established, the petitioners, an architect and a contractor were sworn in.  Darryl Brody read the Notice of Public Hearing for all three agenda items and announced because the second item contained multiple requests and would take more time; the positions would switch and the third item moved up on the agenda. 

 

Mr. Al Birkenmeier, President of Birkenmeier and Sons, Inc., introduced himself stating he is representing the Watkins, who are unable to attend, and will be the general contractor should this be approved tonight.  He gave the history of the Watkins home, stating it was constructed (in 1920) as this area's first schoolhouse - and because this house sits very close to the street it was probably built before Valley Road was paved.  The house was constructed before Clarkson Valley was incorporated (as a Village in 1950) and before a code for building lines was established.  Most any exterior alteration to this house requires a variance.  The Watkins are new to the States having lived in the UK all their lives, and miss having a masonry fireplace.  He concluded by saying the location the Watkins chose to place the fireplace is closest to the building line and they are requesting a 3' variance to the front building line.

 

            Discussion took place regarding the distance the Watkins' are requesting and it was determined the house is 5' from the building line, the fireplace will sit 2' off the house and the fireplace is 8'6" wide.  It was also established for the record, there is an existing deck that protrudes from the house a lot farther. 

 

The Chairman called for proponents or opponents, to which there was none.  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 read the Agenda item again and then asked the Members for their factual determination of the proposal for the 8'6" wide brick fireplace that would protrude no farther than 2' from the existing back wall, for an encroachment of 3' from the 75' front building line to which: question (1) five are, (2) three will, two 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 fireplace to extend no farther than 3' beyond the front building line with the following results:  Yeas: Barry, Berkeley, Brody, Hauser, and Newmark.  There were no nays. 

 

The Chairperson declared the Watkins request for variance as having been approved.  Darryl Brody then advised Mr. Birkenmeier 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 Mr. and Mrs. Joe Warzycki who are requesting a variance for two sections of a decorative split-rail fence for climbing rose bushes at the southeast corner of their property. 

 

            Mr. Warzycki introduced himself and his wife, Emily.  He stated he would like to reduce noise on their property as they live along Clarkson Road.  He said he always wanted a "Missouri" fence, the same way Abe Lincoln made fences and that in fact, this is not a fence - it is just a "suggestion" of a fence.  He and his wife want the fence to grow roses and eliminate noise from dogs barking, sirens and automobiles.  Mrs. Warzycki explained how they've spent a lot of time and money removing honeysuckle and now spruce trees. 

 

When the Board was unable to determine the distance the fence is from the property lines, Mrs. Warzycki volunteered to get the dimensions and return.  The agenda item was tabled until her return and the Fuschs's proposal was brought to the floor. 

 

Chairman Brody read the last agenda item:  for new construction utilizing an existing foundation to encroach 30' into the 75' front yard setback with two additional variances:  To locate a front-facing garage addition and to relocate a retaining wall that would encroach approximately 64' into the 75' setback.

 

Dick Busch introduced himself and Mr. and Mrs. Fuchs and said he is the architect of the project.  He explained that half the Fuchs's lot is located in the lake.  The remaining 30% to 40% is a very steep slope.  They would like to build exactly where the house is currently situated.  The existing pool and retaining walls in the back prohibit them from moving the house back any farther.  They would also like, if possible, to keep the waterfall structure.  Mrs. Fusch said the existing house has many levels and she has a son with cerebral palsy and they need the house to be one level.  She also mentioned there were five drivers in the family and another garage would be useful and to keep parking off the street.  Board Member, Jack Hauser, interjected that street parking would be dangerous at that location. 

 

Chairman Brody asked Mr. Busch if the front entry garage were denied, could the house they are proposing still be constructed, to which Mr. Busch replied, it could.

 

            Mr. Busch went on to discuss the proposal for widening the driveway.  In order to accomplish that, they would have to move an existing retaining wall.  Through discussion, it was determined the wall is currently 25' to 33' long and 5' tall at the highest point.  The new wall would be approximately 50' long no closer than 11' from the property line (and no farther than 33') and no taller than 7' at the highest point.  In conclusion, Mr. and Mrs. Fuchs requested that the Board considers voting on each of the three proposals separately.

 

A call for proponents and opponents was made, to which there was 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 variance to encroach no farther than 30' consistent with the plans submitted, to which: question (1) four are, one are not, (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 new construction to encroach 30’ beyond the 75' front building with the following results:  Yeas: Barry, Berkeley, Brody, Hauser, and Newmark.  There were no nays. 

 

Mr. Brody then asked the Members for their factual determination for the variance for a front-facing garage, to which: question (1) five are, (2) four will not, one will, (3) four will, one 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 front-facing garage with the following results:  Yeas: Barry, Berkeley, Brody, Hauser, and Newmark.  There were no nays. 

 

Mr. Brody then asked the Members for their factual determination for the variance for a retaining wall to encroach no farther than 64' from the front building line and no taller than 7' at its highest point with the proviso a sealed site plan will be submitted at the time the Fuchs's apply for a building permit, 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 wall 64' beyond the 75' front building line with the following results:  Yeas: Barry, Berkeley, Brody, Hauser, and Newmark.  There were no nays. 

 

The Chairperson declared the Fuchs’s request for the three variances for new construction that will encroach no farther than 30' from the front building line; for a front-facing garage; and for the retaining wall to encroach no farther than 64' beyond the 75' front building line as having been approved.  Darryl Brody then advised Mr. and Mrs. Fusch that the variances granted by the Board are based upon what took place tonight.  That a new site plan indicating the location of the retaining wall will be submitted at the time they apply for a building permit.  Any deviation will negate the variance that was granted at this meeting. 

 

Mrs. Warzycki by this time arrived back at the meeting and took the floor.  She reported the fence as being located 24' from the property line on Clarkson Road and is 125" long.  The fence portion running parallel with the church property is 21' from the property line and is 123" long. 

 

A call for proponents and opponents was made, to which there was 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 variance to encroach no farther than 51' from the 75' side yard building line abutting Clarkson Road; and no farther than 29' from the 50' rear yard abutting the church property to which: question (1) five are not, (2) three will, two will not, (3) four will, one will not, (4) four will not, one will, (5) one will, four will not, (6) four will, one will not.

 

The Chairperson then called for a vote of approval/disapproval to grant the desired variance to encroach no farther than 51' from the 75' side yard building line abutting Clarkson Road; and no farther than 29' from the 50' rear yard abutting the church property with the following results:  Yeas: Barry, Berkeley, Brody, and Hauser.  Nays:  Newmark.

 

            The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

 

 

 

                                                            Michele McMahon

                                                            City Clerk

                                                            City of Clarkson Valley