TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS HEARING
WEDNESDAY, 3/24/2021 7:00 PM
ZBA MEMBERS PRESENT: JIM LEVESQUE ROGER VAILLANCOURT
HELEN EMICK GREG MICHALAK
WILL ORTMAN JONATHAN HENCK
Kelly Johnson, Attorney
Others Present: Dave & Sam Rinaldo Tom & Mary Mulroy Keri Belvorac
Debora Becerra, Atty. Bruce & Alice Davies Patrick Hildebrandt
Deb Levesque Brian Wahlgren John Garverick
Mr. Levesque brought the hearing to order at 7:00 PM. Ms. Johnson swore in all who expressed intent to speak regarding the applications.
Mr. Levesque motioned to adopt the minutes of the 2/24/21 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; lot size and lot coverage, 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.
Sam Rinaldo read the following statement into the record on behalf of his father David Rinaldo:
We appreciate the board hearing our request this evening. My name is David Rinaldo. In my 30-year career, I developed hundreds of building in public parks at a cost of tens of millions of dollars. I am joined by my son, Sam Rinaldo, who is a civil engineer for a national construction company. Also, I would like to introduce Debora Becerra, our attorney.
Our goal for this request is to improve our property by constructing a quality garage building. Our need is to store many items currently stored outside, including lawnmowers, ladders, kayaks, sailboats, paddle boards, lawn furniture and trailers. We believe this will be a significant upgrade to the neighborhood and bring us in line with our many neighbors who have garages.
The property is in a C-1 Commercial zoning district. As stated in the zoning code, the purpose of the district is “to promote retail and service uses for the use of residents and visitors”. Uses allowed by right include animal hospital, kennels, restaurant, supermarket, boarding home, barber shop, dry cleaning, building materials store, department store, and car wash; in addition to duplex houses and simple garages.
Therefore, it is our opinion that the proposed use is not a question, and any use modification would be an amendment to the zoning law. The garage is an “accessory use” as defined in the code.
At the request of the Town, Surveyor Dan Barry was retained to prepare an updated survey. This survey shows that the lot coverage requirement is not exceeded, as the final layout would have an 18.9% lot coverage.
The survey also shows the setbacks for the adjacent property to the west. Currently, our shed is on the property line, and the new garage will be 5 feet set back from the property line, and the shed will be removed. The main cottage setback is 5.1 feet from the west property, in line with the 5-foot setback proposed for the new garage. Setbacks for this accessory use are 10 feet according to the code. It is important to note that my neighbor to the west is in favor of the new garage.
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The adjacent property to the east currently has their building setback from our property at 1.4 feet. The closest the new garage will be to the east property is 7.9 feet. It is also important to note that that my neighbor to the east is in favor of the new garage.
Regarding layout of lakefront properties, the most important area is the lake facing area. For most properties, this is considered the “front”, and is the most valuable. Farther away from the lake, near the road, is where everyone locates garages and utility buildings. Every garage on Loomis Bay Road and Goose Creek Road is located far back from the waterfront.
The garage is professionally designed to be in harmony with the surrounding neighborhood. As most of the area buildings are one story, this too is designed to have a roof line of 13’7” in height. Storm drainage from the garage will be accomplished by wet well infiltration. This plan includes 4 off street parking spaces. The careful placement of doors and windows are important to the design, and we believe it will be an enhancement to the neighborhood. The garage will also increase the town assessment.
In summary, we have followed the Towns request in retaining an attorney and surveyor. The survey shows lot coverage under the requirement. It also shows a well thought out site plan with improved setbacks to the west, and maintains setbacks to the east. There is no question that this use is allowed in a C-1 Commercial district as established by the Town Board. And probably most important, both our adjacent neighbors are in favor of the project.
Thank you for your consideration.
Mrs. Emick asked for clarification on the shed that is included in the drawings. Mr. Rinaldo assured her that the shed will be removed. Mr. Ortman asked if there are any changes to the plan initially presented. Mr. Rinaldo said there are no changes. Ms. Becerra, Attorney for the Rinaldo’s stated that she believes the denial on 10/28/20 was due mainly to confusion over the percentage of lot coverage which was thought to be over the 20% allowed. She said after the new survey it was determined to be 18.9% and within allowed coverage. Mr. Levesque noted that with the information we previously had the board had made the correct decision and only with the new survey and dimensions of other structures on the property had that changed. He asked if anyone wished to speak regarding the application.
Mr. Levesque motioned to grant Area Variances to David & Mary Rinaldo for side and roadside setbacks and lot size, 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 as outlined in the application; in these minutes; and the minutes of the 10/28/20 hearing. Mr. Levesque stated that this is in accordance with NY CLS Town § 267-a. “Upon such rehearing the board may reverse, modify or annul its original order, decision or determination upon the unanimous vote of all members then present, provided the board finds that the rights vested in persons acting in good faith in reliance upon the reheard order, decision or determination will not be prejudiced thereby.” Mrs. Emick seconded. Yes (7): Michalak, Thomas, Levesque, Ortman, Vaillancourt, Henck, Emick. The motion was carried unanimously.
- Bruce & Alice Davie requesting Area Variances to construct a house in the C-1 District which does not meet Zoning requirements for setbacks; lot size and coverage at property located at 53 Loomis Bay Rd., specifically Section 367.15-1-23.
Keri Belvorac, Architect, appeared to represent the Davie’s. She said the Davie’s currently own a home which is in disrepair on Loomis Bay Road. She said they would like to build a new home there which
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would include a raised first floor above the flood elevation and in the proper position. She said the current structure is 1.4’ from the property line and they would like to construct the new building closer to the center of the property which would make the setback 5.1’ from the line. She said the right side setback would be 7.7’ from the property line. She indicated that the lot size is 6,486 sq. ft. which is non-conforming and lot coverage would be 24% which also exceeds the allowed 20%. The first floor will be 926 sq. ft., second floor will be 623 sq. feet and total square footage is 1,549 with a height of 25’. Ms. Belvorac noted the shed on the property will be removed. They are in compliance with both the front and rear setbacks at 50’. Mrs. Emick asked if there is any way that dimensions can be changed in order to comply with lot coverage. Ms. Belvorac said not on the size of the house, but maybe on the garage which would not make it very functional. Mr. Michalak noted that at the previous hearing Mr. Lawson had indicated that according to Zoning Code Sec. 508 unenclosed decks, porches, etc. are not included in the square footage of the lot coverage as living space. It was noted in that case the lot coverage would be 270 sq. ft. less. Ms. Belvorac said that would make it 19.82% which is within allowed lot coverage. Mr. Ortman asked if this will be a full time or summer residence. Mrs. Davie said it will be for summer use now, but they plan to live there full time when they retire. Mr. Ortman urged them to install a proper fire alarm system due to the closeness of the adjacent homes. Mrs. Belvorac said the Davies indicated that neighbors on both sides have no objections to the project. Mr. Levesque reviewed Zoning Code Article IX, Section 904 Use and Area Variances, C. Area Variances 2. a) no b) no c) no d) yes e) no f) yes. Mrs. Emick asked how drainage/runoff will be handled.
Ms. Belvorac said the gutters will run to a dry well. Mr. Levesque noted the project will need an aggressive runoff plan and stated that Mr. Lawson will be apprised of the boards concern in that area. Mr. Levesque asked if anyone wished to speak regarding the application.
Mr. Levesque motioned to grant Area Variances to Bruce & Alice Davie to construct a house in the C-1 District which does not meet Zoning requirements for setbacks and lot size at property located at 53 Loomis Bay Rd., specifically Section 367.15-1-23, as outlined in the application, survey and in these minutes. Mr. Michalak seconded. Yes (5): Michalak, Thomas, Levesque, Ortman, Vaillancourt. No (2): Henck, Emick. The motion was carried.
- Patrick Hildebrandt requesting Area Variances to construct a house in the R-1 District which does not meet Zoning requirements for setbacks; lot size and coverage at property located at 4908 Ashville Bay Rd., specifically Section 367.14-1-12.
Mr. John Garverick, said he had done the drawings for the project of which the board only has a partial set because they were running late. Mr. Levesque asked if they had submitted the full set of drawings required. Mr. Garverick said no. He said the Engineer was not available until just today. Mr. Thomas asked how much longer they anticipate the demolition of the existing structure to take. Mr. Garverick said maybe 2 weeks. Mr. Vaillancourt said he had spoken to Mr. Lawson and there is an issue with South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District as far as location of septic lines. There was discussion of this as far as easements. Mr. Garverick said they will have to have a survey done. There is a manhole located on the drawings but no lines. Mr. Levesque asked if it is correct that the drawings the board has are currently accurate. Mr. Garverick said no. Mr. Levesque asked if anyone wished to speak regarding the application. Mr. Mulroy a neighbor at 4906 said these properties are all grandfathered in and behind them there is a very steep cliff and at the top is Ashville Bay Rd. He said all the homes on the top portion have retaining walls which are holding the hill back, but also the road in place. He said his concern is the effect of this building process on the road. He provided photos of the front yard of the adjacent property to Hildebrandt’s and the damage done by equipment during the demolition process. He said the road is a private road which is
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maintained by residents and the construction has done significant damage. He is also concerned about the pressure the heavy equipment on the stability of the upper road. He expressed concern about the removal of the demolition debris. He said other neighbors have put the Hildebrandt’s on notice they cannot use their property to remove or bring in materials. There was lengthy discussion of the difficulty of ingress and egress on this property. He suggested the owner aught to be required to post a bond of at least $150,000 to cover the possible cost of damage to the roadway and adjacent retaining walls. Mr. Binzley, a neighbor at 4904 agreed with Mr. Mulroy and spoke about how narrow the road is there. He expressed concern that the contractors have already left some materials on his property. Mr. Hildebrandt said he had spoken to Mr. Lawson about the situation. He said he had asked for permission prior to the project start and subsequently permission was taken away. He said the Sheriff’s Department had been called by the property owner in question and she had given permission until she came down and saw it and then changed her mind. He said at that point they had stopped. He said as far as the debris on the lawn it is a Civil matter now and is in the hands of attorneys. He said they are asking him for $40,000 in lawn damages. He said he had agreed to pay a reasonable amount for the lawn damages but indicated that the road was already in poor shape prior to his use, and he did not fee he had damaged it any further. He said they wanted to be good neighbors and contribute to any general upkeep on the road. He said the Contractor has used a skid steer which weighs about as much as a car to move materials, etc. Mr. Wahlgren, General Contractor said their big concern is even if they do everything by hand, there will be an issue trying to get a pier foundation in. He said there was discussion with Mr. Lawson and Mr. Garverick about building a ramp with a staircase over it to move materials. Mr. Levesque suggested they might have an engineer look at the situation. There was further general discussion of the difficulties in accessing the property.
Mr. Levesque motioned to table the application of Patrick Hildebrandt requesting Area Variances to construct a house in the R-1 District which does not meet Zoning requirements for setbacks; lot size and coverage at property located at 4908 Ashville Bay Rd., specifically Section 367.14-1-12 for the following:
- Board needs a clear representation/plans for what the applicant intends/expects to do, in writing (which may include engineered plans for ingress/egress)
Mrs. Emick seconded and the motioned was carried unanimously.
On a motion made by Mr. Thomas, seconded by Mr. Levesque and with none being opposed, the hearing was adjourned at 8:15 PM.
Nancy M. Thomas