Board of Adjustment Hearing

December 1, 2011

 The Clarkson Valley Board of Adjustment, pursuant to notices posted, met at City Hall in the Fru-Con Building to consider one agenda item.  The Chairman, Darryl Brody, stated because there was an additional person to the quorum, he would abstain from voting.

             Board of Adjustment members present were:

                        Darryl Brody, Chairperson

                        Tom Berkeley

                        Jack Hauser

                        Karen Koshak

                        Paul Mercurio

                        Phyllis Newmark

 The City Attorney, Patrick Butler attended and the City Clerk, Michele McMahon recorded the Minutes.  Board Members Walter DeGrendele and Terry Rosenstrauch were unable to attend tonight's meeting.  The Chairman stated for the record the original agenda and Building Commissioner's Memo stated a variance request of 21'.  That is incorrect.  The request we are hearing tonight is for a variance of 34'1".  There were no objections to amending the agenda.  The Chairman asked if everyone had an opportunity to view the property to which all stated they did.  The Chairperson asked Mr. and Mrs. Scott Lawson, the petitioners, if they had objections to any of the Members of the Board of Adjustment present, to which they responded they did not.  After the meeting was called to order and protocol established, Mr. and Mrs. Lawson and David Harrison with Pool Specialists were sworn in. 

Darryl Brody read the Notice of Public Hearing for the agenda item, as amended, to construct a swimming pool, deck, fence and equipment that will encroach into the rear yard by 34'1".  

            David Harrison introduced himself as the engineer for Pool Specialists and stated the petitioner's request.  He showed the unusual building lines which renders the back yard virtually unusable.  He said if they made the pool any smaller and moved it closer to the house, it could not fit the engineering demands that a pool remain 10' beyond the house for loads. 

Mr. Hauser asked the purpose of the berm in the back yard to which Mrs. Lawson responded they were not the original owners and she theorizes its purpose was to hide the neighbor's shed from view.  Mr. Hauser then asked if the proposed pool fence would be higher or lower than the berm and David Harrison responded the fence would be lower.  The next question regarded emptying the pool to which it was explained that only every ten to twenty years do you totally empty a pool, but when winterizing after de-chlorinization, Pool Specialists Company has 300' to 400' discharge hoses they would use.

Mr. Lawson stated his family moved into Dunhill in August of this year and although they were told about the property lines, they were not informed about the building lines.  Mrs. Koshak asked if there were any subdivision rules or city code that precluded someone from building a pool outside the shadow of the house?  The City responded that as long as the structures fit within the building lines, it was permissible.  There was no one present from Dunhill to respond.  Questions were then raised from the Board members to the City Attorney if they could vote on the request without hearing from either the subdivision or any of the neighbors?  The City Attorney, Patrick Butler, explained the City attempted to notify everyone with a letter, comment sheet and self-addressed, stamped envelope and that in this case, applied assumption prevails since none of the neighbors opposed the project.  Questions relating to the lack of neighbors' responses and trustee approval continued. 

A call for proponents and opponents was made and there were none. 

Mr. Butler explained to the Board Members the intent of the zoning code and read the merits and conclusion portion contained therein.   

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

The Chairperson then called for a vote of approval/disapproval to grant the desired variance item to construct a swimming pool, deck, fence and equipment that will encroach into the rear yard by 34'1" with the following results:  Yeas: Berkeley, Hauser, Koshak and Newmark.  Nays: Mercurio. 

Both the City Attorney and Chairman, Darryl Brody reiterated that the project cannot exceed 34'1" beyond the setback as shown on the site plan saved as Exhibit 1 and any variation from the plans submitted would require another hearing before the Board of Adjustment. 

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

                                                            Michele McMahon

                                                            City Clerk

                                                            City of Clarkson Valley