TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
WEDNESDAY, 4/27/2022, 7:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: JIM LEVESQUE GREG MICHALAK
HELEN EMICK ROGER VAILLANCOURT
DAN THOMAS WILL ORTMAN
Brad Lawson, Zoning CEO
Kelly Johnson, Attorney
Others Present: Dale Griffis (Company E, LLC) Cindy Barker
Prior to the hearing the Board Members received ½ hour of training with Attorney Johnson.
Mr. Levesque opened the hearing at 7:00 PM. Attorney Johnson swore in all who expressed intent to speak regarding the cases before the board.
Mr. Levesque motioned to adopt the minutes of the 3/23/22 ZBA Hearing as presented by the Clerk. Mr. Thomas seconded. YES (6): Levesque, Michalak, Emick, Vaillancourt, Ortman, Thomas. NO (0). The motion was carried.
- Dale Griffis requesting an Area Variance to construct a root cellar closer to the side setback than allowed in Zoning Code Sec. 403 at property located in the R-1 District at 4860 Ashville Bay Rd., specifically Sec. 367.14-2-13.
Mr. Griffis said he owns 250’ of lake frontage with 2 cabins. He said he has filed a Parcel Merge Form with the Assessor’s office to combine 2 of his parcels: 367.14-2-14 & 367.14-2.13 (copy of Merge Form placed in application file). He said once those two properties are merged the setback from the side will be 35’ (20’ is required), but until that merger is complete his root cellar will be approximately 3’ from his own property line. There was general discussion of the project which is a root cellar that will look like a Hobbit House. Mr. Lawson noted that the side setback for accessory use is 20’ in the R-1 District. Mr. Levesque read into the record Zoning Ordinance Section 904 – Use and Area Variances; C. Area Variances – questions a. through e. with the following responses by the board a.) no b.) no c.) yes d.) no e.) yes. Mr. Griffis testified that he is the sole owner of Company E, LLC. Mr. Levesque asked if anyone had any questions regarding the application.
Mr. Levesque motioned to grant an Area Variance to Dale Griffis (Company E, LLC) to construct a root cellar closer to the side setback than allowed in Zoning Code Sec. 403 at property located in the R-1 District at 4860 Ashville Bay Rd., specifically Sec. 367.14-2-13 as outlined in his application and these minutes with the following condition:
- Proof of Parcel Merge completion for SBL #’s 367.14-2-14 & 367.14-2.13 be provided to the Zoning CEO.
Mr. Ortman seconded. YES (6): Levesque, Michalak, Emick, Vaillancourt, Ortman, Thomas. NO (0). The motion was carried.
- Brad & Cindy Barker requesting Area Variances for side, roadside, and rear setbacks closer than allowed in Zoning Code Sec. 403 to construct a garage storage building at property located in the C-1 District at 48 Loomis Bay Rd., specifically 367.15-1-26.
4/27/22 (Pg. 2)
Mrs. Barker said they had previously applied for a variance to build a stick built garage with an apartment above on the property. She said currently they have built a new home on the lakeside and would like to build a pole barn style garage with storage space above. She said it will be sided like their home and have a small half bath on the first floor for cleaning fish, gardening, and washing up after being in the lake. Mr. Levesque asked if there was any intent to create habitable space. Mrs. Barker said absolutely not. She said the building will be hooked to public sewer and water. It was noted that the following are variances requested at the closest point from property lines: roadside 16.9’ (req. 50’); rear 5’ (req. 50’); left side 6’; right side 6.4’ (req. 20’); height 25’ (req. 18’). Mr. Lawson said the lot coverage is approximately 35.88% (35% required for non-residential use). Mrs. Emick noted that there had been no written height variance request. It is made a part of the record that the height requested is 25’ (18’ is allowed).
The Board reviewed a letter from neighbor Patricia Herschkowitz in which she expressed concern about how drainage would be handled. Mr. Lawson said the drainage will go to a ditch at the rear of the structure. She also asked how the driveway would be finished. Mrs. Barker said they planned a small concrete pad, but the rest would remain tar and chip. Ms. Herschkowitz also asked about protection to her property during the construction. Mrs. Barker said none of her tree roots were cut and the builder had leveled and re-seeded her property. She said she would be glad to discuss their drainage plans with Ms. Herschkowitz. (A copy of the letter is appended to these minutes).
Mr. Levesque asked what the upstairs will be used for. Mrs. Barker said for storing recreational equipment and other items.
Russ Margaglio said he is here to represent Ms. Herschkowitz. He said he had seen the water pooling at the bottom as indicated in the letter, but the contractor had drained it out and put in a French drain. He said Ms. Herschkowitz had put a lot of time and money into her property which has been in the family for over 70 years. He said she has no issue with the project, she just wants to make sure that her property is protected against water and other damage and that the drainage is done properly as she stated in her letter.
Mr. Lawson said he had met with the Barker’s and their contractor at the site and the drainage will go into the existing ditch directly behind the garage and eventually into the creek. He said there are many of these type pole barns/garages in this neighborhood and the drainage is consistent with the Barker’s plan. There was discussion about the Loomis Bay area and the unusual nature of the properties. Mr. Lawson said the presence of a bathroom does not necessarily define “habitable space”. He said there is nothing in our code that says you can’t have a bathroom in a garage; it is the use of the space that defines “habitable” and that is why we include it in the conditions of granting a variance. Mr. Levesque read into the record Zoning Ordinance Section 904 – Use and Area Variances; C. Area Variances – questions a. through e. with the following responses by the board a.) no b.) no c.) yes d.) no e.) yes. Mr. Levesque asked if anyone else wished to speak regarding the application.
Mr. Levesque motioned to grant Area and Height Variances to Brad & Cindy Barker as outlined in their application and these minutes to construct a garage storage building at property located in the C-1 District at 48 Loomis Bay Rd., specifically 367.15-1-26 with the following condition:
- No habitable space shall be created.
Mr. Vaillancourt seconded. YES (5): Levesque, Michalak, Vaillancourt, Ortman, Thomas. NO (1) Emick. The motion was carried.
On a motion made by Mrs. Emick, seconded by Mr. Vaillancourt and with none being opposed,
the hearing was adjourned at 8:05 PM.