MINUTES

Board of Adjustment Hearing

July 21, 2015

 

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, Chairman

                        Jim Barry

                        Jack Hauser

                        Phyllis Newmark, Alternate

                        Terry Rosenstrauch, Alternate

 

The City Attorney, Mr. Patrick Butler, and Building commissioner, Jack Schenck attended and the City Clerk, Michele McMahon recorded the Minutes.  Board Members Tom Berkeley and Paul Mercurio, and Alternate Member, Karen Koshak were unable to attend. 

 

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 (or structure) shall intrude upon the area required for front, side and rear yards by proving practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in 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 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, friends and neighbors and two landscape designers were sworn in.  Darryl Brody read the Notice of Public Hearing for both agenda items. 

 

1.  To consider the request of:

Breck and Ruth Ann Washam

16512 Kingspointe Lake Lane

      to replace an existing tie wall with Versa-Lok that encroaches 17’ into the (east) side yard.

 

2.  To consider the request of:

            Bernie and Carla Squitieri

            2156 Kehrs Mill Road

to construct a fence to encroach 25’ into the west side yard, 15’ into the east side yard and 30’ into the 50’ rear yard setback.

 

Mr. Robert Graehler introduced himself stating the Washam’s were unable to attend as they were out of town.  He said he is employed by Baxter Gardens and was hired to replace an existing tie wall that has deteriorated and would be replaced by a Versa-Lock segment wall. 

 

A question from Member Jim Barry asked why there were no comment sheets from adjoining neighbors, to which Mr. Graehler responded he left a comment sheet at their door and the City Clerk emailed and left a message on their home recorder.  Mr. Barry asked also, if trustee approval was necessary for the project to which Mr. Graehler stated it was not.  It would not be required until approval is received for the variance.

 

The Chairman asked if any of the proponents cared to speak at which time Jim and Francis Babb both spoke in support of the proposal.   

 

The Chairman called for opponents, to which there were none. 

 

Patrick Butler mentioned the plans call for +- 6” and asked if Mr. Graehler would like to amend his request to which he stated it would be better if he increased that amount by 1’.  The existing wall is 17’ beyond the building line, he said.  After discussion and because the wall will curve at the end, it was determined the request should be amended to read, “not to exceed 18’ in length” and the height of the wall should be amended from 3’6” “not to exceed 4’ in height”. 

 

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. 

 

Chairman Darryl Brody read the amended Agenda item and then asked the Members for their factual determination of the proposal to replace an existing tie wall with Versa-Lok that will not exceed 18’ beyond the building line into the (east) side yard and not to exceed 4’ in height 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 Chairman then called for a vote of approval/disapproval to grant the desired variance to replace an existing tie wall with Versa-Lok that will not exceed 18’ beyond the building line into the (east) side yard and not to exceed 4’ in height with the following results:  Yeas:  Brody, Berry, Hauser, Newmark and Rosenstrauch.  There were no Nays.

 

The Chairman declared the Washam’s request for variance as having been approved.  Darryl Brody then advised Mr. Graehler 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 second agenda item to construct a fence to encroach 25’ into the west side yard, 15’ into the east side yard and 30’ into the 50’ rear yard setback and gave the floor to the petitioner’s attorney, Stephen Jefferey.  Mr. Jefferey introduced exhibits and stated he would be calling three witnesses; Mr. Bernie Squitieri; Mr. Squitieri’s landscape contractor, Bill Weishaar of Baxter Gardens; and Mr. Squitieri’s immediate neighbor to the west, Mr. Kamran Tajkarimi.  He then gave a deposition-style interview with Mr. Squitieri, explaining each exhibit.  The hardship being the main theme, triangular lot, shaped like a slice of pizza. 

 

The landscaper discussed the potential hazard of children climbing the existing tree if the fence were to be placed on the building line and the necessity of moving the fence by 4’.  He spoke of the costs involved in removing existing mature landscaping (healthy white pine, river birch and magnolia) which would be approximately $20,000.  Mr. Tajkarimi stated he would prefer the fence where Mr. Squitieri is proposing opposed to losing all the mature landscaping. 

 

Mention was made this was the fourth time this proposal was before the Board of Adjustment when asked by Member Rosenstrauch how we got to this point?  The building commissioner clarified that the pool was originally approved with the fence located inside the building lines. 

 

The Chairman called for proponents and three of the more than a dozen people spoke in support of the project; Jim and Francis Babb and Tom Keeney.

 

The Chairman called for opponents, to which there were none. 

 

The City Attorney, Patrick Butler asked the Board Members, since they heard earlier with regard to their duties under the law, would they care for him to restate those or are they familiar enough with them to move on to the factual determination to which they responded they are ready.

 

Darryl Brody read the Agenda item again and then asked the Members for their factual determination of the proposal to construct a fence to encroach 25’ into the west side yard, 15’ into the east side yard and 30’ into the 50’ rear yard setback 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 to construct a fence to encroach 25’ into the west side yard, 15’ into the east side yard and 30’ into the 50’ rear yard setback with the following results:  Yeas:  Barry, Brody, Hauser, Newmark and Rosenstrauch.  There were no Nays.

 

The Chairperson declared the Squitieri’s request for variance as having been approved.  Darryl Brody then advised Mr. and Mrs. Squitieri 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. 

 

The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

 

           

 

                                                            Michele McMahon

                                                            City Clerk

                                                            City of Clarkson Valley