TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
WEDNESDAY, 2/24/2021, 7:00 PM
ZBA MEMBERS PRESENT: JIM LEVESQUE ROGER VAILLANCOURT
DAN THOMAS HELEN EMICK
GREG MICHALAK JONATHAN HENCK
Brad Lawson, Zoning C.E.O.
Dale Robbins & Kelly Johnson, Attorney’s
OTHERS PRESENT: James Clark James Bukowski, MJJ Brandon Van Curen
Ed Chambers James Kinsler Jim Sherry
John Carpenter Robert Yates
Mr. Robbins swore in all who expressed intent to speak at the hearing.
Mr. Levesque motioned to adopt the minutes of the 1/27/21 Zoning Board of Appeals Hearing as presented by the Town Clerk. Mr. Thomas seconded, and the motion was carried unanimously.
- David & Mary Rinaldo requesting a re-hear (ref. ZBA Minutes 10/28/20) for Area Variances for side and roadside setbacks to construct a 21.4’ x 26’ garage in the C-1 District at property located at 54 Loomis Bay Rd., specifically Section 367.15-1-22.
Mr. Levesque said the applicant has requested a 30-day extension as they do not have their survey completed at this time.
- James A. Clark requesting Area Variances for lot size; lot coverage; and all setbacks at property located in the C-1 District at 89 Timber Creek Ashville, NY, specifically Sec. 367.15-1-36.
Mr. Clark said his lot is very small and he would like to demolish the 16’x23’ existing cottage which has flooded numerous times and build a new two-story home 22’x 34’ with an 8’ deck in the rear facing Goose Creek. He gave setbacks as: roadside 8’; left side 6’; right side 8-12’; and creek side 14-17’. Side setbacks in the C1 district are 25’.
Mr. Kinsler, a neighbor in Busti, spoke in favor of Mr. Clark’s plan and said it would be an upgrade to the neighborhood. Mr. Levesque expressed concern that with the requested lot coverage there will be no green space for drainage. Mr. Clark said he intends to construct a water garden for gutter drainage. Mr. Lawson noted that the street edge is a private road/driveway so that the setback rule of 50’ does not apply. He said Mr. Clark will have to contend with the S&CCLSD distances to the sewer lines. He said the setback on the creek edge is 50’ from the high-water mark and that will have to be discussed. There was discussion among the board and neighbors regarding the distances from their properties to lot lines and amount of space between neighboring homes which appears to be as little as 9’. Mr. Levesque asked if anyone wished to speak regarding the application. Mr. Carpenter said it would be nice to have the old run-down building removed and something nicer replacing it. Mr. Lawson said he has not done lot coverage measurements, but it is obvious that it is more than what is allowed. Mr. Clark said the building plans that he had chosen are the smallest in coverage he could get. Mr. Henck said county mapping indicates the lot is 2,980 sq. ft. and the house (without the deck) is 748 sq. ft. (924 sq. ft. with deck). Lot coverage would be 37.7% based on these figures. Mr. Carpenter said the highwater level is at the road or 1312’ and every property there has had to be jacked up higher than the road. There was lengthy discussion of grade and floodplain in relation to the home. Mr. Thomas said any improvements in that area are something that the board would generally support, but variances for lot coverage and all setbacks are a difficult choice. Mr. Lawson noted that by Zoning the minimum size house allowed is 600 sq. ft. on the first floor. There was discussion if there was some modification the owner could make to the plans to decrease the size/lot coverage. It was noted by an attendee that the town had agreed to allow building in the footprint of existing structures when Mr. Loomis had started selling the lots there. He said that every new build in the area exceeds the code and they had been required to seek a hearing before the ZBA in either Busti or North Harmony. Mr. Vaillancourt said if Mr. Clark uses a 20’x30’ footprint, he will reduce the coverage and still be within code. Mr. Ortman expressed concern about the 6’ side setback on the left side as the neighboring home is only 3-5’ from the line which makes the structures very close. Mr. Levesque reviewed Zoning Code Article IX, Section 904 Use and Area Variances, C. Area Variances 2. a) no b) no c) yes d) yes e) yes.
Mr. Levesque motioned to grant Area Variances to James A. Clark for lot size; lot coverage; and all setbacks at property located in the C-1 District at 89 Timber Creek Ashville, NY, specifically Sec. 367.15-1-36. Mr. Vaillancourt seconded. Yes: (3) Levesque; Ortman; Michalak. No (4): Emick; Thomas; Vaillancourt; Henck. The motion was denied.
- Brandon VanCuren requesting a Height Variance to construct a pole barn/garage 22’ tall (16’ is allowed) in the R3 District at property located at 3638 Rt. 394, specifically Sec. 332.00-2-1.
Mr. VanCuren said he had purchased his home and they do not have a garage. He said they would like to build a garage 22’ in height at peak with a second floor and that is higher than the allowed of 16’ for accessory use. He said the second floor will be initially used for open storage but later his wife would like to perhaps use it for an art studio. Mr. Levesque asked if it might be used for a home business. Mr. VanCuren said they really did not have any set plan for its use at this point other than storage space. He said they have no intent to create livable space and there would be no bathroom or water lines installed. Jim Sherry, a neighbor said Mr. VanCuren has put a lot of work into the home and he is in support of his request. Mr. Levesque asked if anyone else wished to speak regarding the application.
Mr. Levesque motioned to grant a Height Variance to Brandon VanCuren to construct a pole barn/garage 22’ tall (16’ is allowed) in the R3 District at property located at 3638 Rt. 394, specifically Sec. 332.00-2-1. Mr. Ortman seconded. Yes (7): Levesque; Ortman; Emick; Thomas; Michalak; Vaillancourt; Henck. No (0). The motion was carried unanimously.
- MJJ Equipment requesting an Area Variance for side setback to replace an existing deck in the R5 District at property located at 5396 Bootey Bay Rd., specifically Sec. 332.11-1-17.2.
James Bukowski appeared to represent MJJ Equipment. He said the project is at the old Bootey Cottage and they are trying to redo the deck area which is in very poor condition. He said the replacement deck will be larger and one corner will be 18.8’ from the property line (20’ is required). He said the cottage is at approximately 1330’ elevation and the deck will be one step down (8”) so they are well above the highwater mark or 13.6 feet from the edge of the deck to the highwater mark (50’ is required). Mr. Levesque asked if anyone wished to speak regarding the application. Mr. Yates commented that the break wall and stonework done there on the lakefront is admirable. Mr. Levesque reviewed Zoning Code Article IX, Section 904 Use and Area Variances, C. Area Variances 2. a) no b) no c) yes d) no e) yes.
Mr. Levesque motioned to grant Area Variances to MJJ Equipment for side and lakeside setbacks to replace an existing deck in the R5 District at property located at 5396 Bootey Bay Rd., specifically Sec. 332.11-1-17.2 as stated in the application and these minutes. Mr. Ortman seconded. Yes (7): Levesque; Ortman; Emick; Thomas; Michalak; Vaillancourt; Henck. No (0). The motion was carried unanimously.
On a motion made by Mr. Levesque, seconded by Mr. Michalak and none being opposed the hearing was adjourned at 8:30 PM.
Members of the ZBA remained for a training session with Attorney Dale Robbins and were subsequently verified for 1 hour of training toward their NYS 4-hour training requirement.
Nancy M. Thomas