VILLAGE OF CROTON-ON-HUDSON, NEW YORK
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MEETING MINUTES OF
FEBRUARY 13, 2002.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Donald Sapir, Chairman
ALSO PRESENT: Joseph Sperber, Code Enforcement Officer
The meeting came to order at 8:00 P.M.
The Chairman of the Board announced the location of fire exists to all in attendance of the meeting.
Christina Ranjan, Warren Road. Section 67.10 Block 1 Lot 14.01. Located in a RA-40 District. Request for a total side yard variance with respect to the construction of a new one-family dwelling.
The Board was in receipt of a letter from Norman Sheer, Attorney for Christina Ranjan, dated 2/13/02, requesting adjournment.
The Board asked if anyone was present with respect to this application.
There was no reply.
For the record, it was noted that the neighbors most interested and most affected (Mr. & Mrs. Lieberman and Mrs. Corry) were notified of the request for adjournment and did not object.
Kathleen Riedy For the Estate of Gayle K. McCune, 23 Sunset Drive. Section 79.09 Bloc 3 Lot 14. Request for a side yard variance with respect to an existing two-story, one-family dwelling.
Kathleen Riedy, Attorney - I am here today on behalf of the Estate of Gayle K. McCune. We are requesting a 5.1 foot side yard variance with respect to an existing two-story, one-family dwelling. I would like to outline the basis for which we are seeking the side yard variance. Mr. Litz is the brother of Gail McCune and the administrator of the estate for Gail McCune. Mrs. Ketti and Mr. Nicholosi are husband and wife in contract to purchase. We are here in the hopes that the Board will consider this application. My client is locked in on the mortgage, which expires on Friday February 15, 2002. There were two Certificate of Occupancies issued. There is no variance of record for the second story. We need to legalize this property so the sale can take place and so it can be renovated. If you look at Exhibit A, you will see a copy of the survey. We can see the offending corners in the front. There is only 6.95 ft. and towards the rear there is only 7.48 ft. There was a back room addition that was granted a Certificate of Occupancy in 1963 and the Village issued building permits in 1976 and 1980 for a second floor addition, but there is no record of a Certificate of Occupancy or Variance and the addition was never completed. I would like to submit photos so you can visualize the property.
Sapir - Are there any neighbors present?
Reidy - Yes.
Sapir - Please show them a copy of your exhibits.
Copies were submitted to the neighbors to review.
Riedy - Photo #1, this picture and all the pictures were taken by me today. At the corner of the property on Sunset Drive, on the lower right hand corner, there is a house owned by the Hendrickson's. Page 3- photo - is the side yard. Page -2 - On the left is the McCune Home and on the right side is a sort of tank. This picture is to give you a sense as to the location of the two houses.
Photo 6 - All five photos shows an idea of the location of the properties.
Photo 7- is the side of the house. The side opposite the property.
Photo 8 - Shows the back of the property. You can see the rear room that was added to. The Kiti's hope to add on to the back of the house. That room will be a master bedroom. After completion, there will be a house with approximately 1,700 sq. ft., with three bedrooms and two baths. What we are asking tonight with respect to the variance application is to permit the existing structure and the preliminary plans, submitted by Tom Quartuccio, Architect, to stand.
Photo 10 - Shows the back of the house. To the left is the Hendrickson home with pool.
Photo 11 - Is a photo of the back of the property.
Photo - 13 - Is a photo of the side as it exists today (the side facing the Hendrickson property).
Riedy - According to my discussions with Maria Modica Snow, Attorney for the prospective purchasers and Tom Quartuccio, Architect for the prospective purchasers, the second floor window in the front of the dwelling will be eliminated.
Photo -13 - 14 shows a second window that will remain as a window for the third bedroom.
I asked Tom Quartuccio, Architect, if there was a way to eliminate the windows and he said "No". New York State Law requires you to have a second way to exit. There is a door and there must be a window. Eight percent of the surface area must be glass. The second window must stay. I asked if it were possible to install a sky-light. Mr. Quartuccio said the slant of the room would not allow a sky-light and even so, you cannot exit a bedroom by a sky-light.
Szoboszlai - Didn't you say there was an open room at this point?
Riedy - There is a second bedroom. The added bedroom will have no window overlooking the Hendrickson property. May I show the Board the preliminary plans?
I met with Mr. Hendrickson at my office on Monday and he and I looked at the first page of these plans.
Discussion followed over plans
Hendrickson - What is the size of this bedroom. The third bedroom. How long and wide will it be?
Sapir - Isn't that immaterial?
Riedy - I agree, that is immaterial.
Hendrickson - I do not think it is immaterial, it is more like a cell.
Reidy - Bedroom #1 and Bedroom #2, that is the existing second floor. The construction was never completed. What is planned is 3 bedrooms.
Riedy - (After a discussion with Mr. Litz) …Mr. Litz just reminded me that his sister lived on the first and second floor. The second floor was her bedroom. She utilized the whole house, but it was one large open room. With respect to bedroom number 3 a window will be removed and a closet installed. Bedroom #2 the existing window will be no larger and the 3rd bedroom will be the space the new owners plan to add to the house.
Sapir - How much of a variance are your requesting?
Riedy - 5.1 ft. This is an existing building. The front was built in l948 and the rear was constructed in the sixties and a Certificate of Occupancy was issued in l963. I do not need a variance with respect to the rear. Gail McCune and her husband are both deceased. There is no Certificate of Occupancy for the back room addition and there is no record of a variance. The Village Employees went through the micro-film files and could not find any evidence that a side yard variance was granted. We would like to renovate and add an attractive, nice, addition to the neighborhood.
Sapir - The second floor plan, top of the page, the variance is on the side with the windows?
Riedy - Correct and no variance for the left.
Rolnick - What is the hardship, if the variance is not granted?
Riedy - The key hardship to the estate is that the whole house would need to be demolished at a substantial cost to the estate.
Rolnick - Is thereTitle Insurance?
Reidy - A title will not be passed unless the variance is granted. The sale is contingent upon the variance. We found Certificate of Occupancies and Building Permits , but no record of a variance. I looked at the Hendrickson's home and I would like to direct the Boards attention to a September, 1994, Resolution, The Board weighed the facts in each circumstance. The Hendricksons's were about to purchase 31 Sunset Drive. On the south east side there is a side yard of 10.5 ft. and the Board required 12 ft. It is likely that the entire home will have to be demolished if a variance is not given. This house has existed in its current state since at least 1981. We have an affidavit from Esther Gensler***, Real Estate Broker. She makes reference to this house as it exists today. This dwelling has stood there since l948, at least.
Rolnick - Does this house pre-exist zoning?
Riedy - It is my understanding that Zoning was in 1931. This was an illegal structure right from the outset for the building permits.
Szoboszlai - In 1948….you have no Certificate of Occupancy for the living room area, you have no Certificate of Occupancy for the rest of the structure, but the lower footprint is covered by two Certificate of Occupancies, correct?
Riedy - Yes, correct.
Szoboszlai - There never was a Certificate of Occupancy for the second floor room that was built in 1976 and 1981?
Reidy - We have building permits in 1976 and 1980, but no Ceritificate of Occupancies
Sapir - When did the decedent take ownership of the property?
Riedy - Before the issuance of the second Certificate of Occupancy.
Waitkins - Did she purchase the house with just the first floor?
Riedy - The McCune's purchased just the first floor. There was probably last minute activity to get the Certificate of Occupancy for the first floor. Mrs. McCune and her husband added the second floor. If you look at the second floor, Exhibit B, you will see the second floor plans are showing open space, but she did use the whole second floor. There was no Certificate of Occupancy for the second floor. There was in fact a Building Permit issued in 1980.
Szoboszlai - Are there any records of the plans that were submitted to the Village?
Riedy - No. If this variance is granted and the closing takes place, there will be substantial renovations to the second floor. There will be a normal Building Permit. Application process. Mr. Litts says he saw a copy of the plans in the Village records. I did not see a copy. But, that is irrelevant. There will be new plans submitted.
Rolnick - How do you know about the variance for the chimney?
Riedy - Ms. Fuentes, ZBA Secretary, did a preliminary review of the file and advised me that there was a Legal Notice and a hearing scheduled with respect to the chimney. We looked at the minutes records that were on micro-film and found no record of a hearing taking place even though it was noticed.
Sapir - Is there anyone from the public that would like to be heard?
Mark Hendrickson - 31 Sunset I lived at this address since 19 74 - ( Mr. Hendrickson submitted photos to the board for review only. Written material was also submitted for the record).
Hendrickson - The property line begins approx l8 ft. away from our home. Nancy Kennedy said the new owners wanted to renovate and sell. I asked if a recent survey had been done on the property. I went in person to the Kennedy office in town and I spoke with Mr. Kennedy. I told him that I had been calling for weeks regarding the survey. This is close to my pool and house and it should meet all the setbacks of other homes in the area. My letter refers to Sunset Drive and the setbacks of the neighbors. Mr. Kennedy, promised to have Mrs. Kennedy call me when she got back from a business
trip. I expressed my concerns about renovations from the new customer. A couple of weeks ago I finally received a Notice regarding the hearing. The 1994 Resolution, the attorney neglects to note that the 1.5 ft. variance was minor and not nearly as significant as the 5.1 variance they are requesting today, which I feel is major. The property has always been completely wooded and overgrown and it remains overgrown to this day.
Sapir - You do not have to substantiate your variance, it was already granted. I would rather hear your objections about the variance we are hearing tonight.
Hendrickson- This request gives me less than a seven foot setback and this is the area of my pool that is used every day.
Sapir - Did you know that your house was nonconforming at the time you built the pool?
Hendrick - That was built prior to the death of the owner. If this variance is granted it will have an impact on the value of my home. I will have no privacy in area of my deck, pool and back yard.
Sapir - Do you have any other concerns other than the value of your home will be affected? Do you have any appraisals?
Hendrickson - No, but it is pretty obvious.
Sapir - Some of us may question the fact that you had the house since 1994 and you have had no complaints.
Hendrickson -This house appears to be an abandoned shanty in an overgrown lot. Most people cannot believe that someone lived in this house there is cinder and chipped paint, exposed wall studs and exposed wires. There is a footpath from the woods to the front door. The only occupant of 23 Sunset was a widow and the second floor was unfinished and unheated. We had no problem living next to it then. I firmly believe, if this house was to change hands, that it would be demolished and rebuilt.
Rolnick - What made you believe that?
Hendrickson - Because of the condition of the house and it was un-kept. Apparently it is about to be sold to a developer who wants to build a new house in place of the new home. The proposed home is six feet from my property line. People who live in lots 15. 16, and
17 are very happy to see that the developer is keeping the structure where it is. Some of these neighbors are here tonight.
Sapir - What will you lose from this variance?
Hendrickson- I understood no one would live in the second story. Nobody could live in that place. The first floor is solid cinder block with no windows.
Spoken out of turn - "That is not true there is two windows there.
Sapir - No speaking out of turn please.
Sapir - Why didn't you set your pool back further? You seem to have plenty of room back there.
Hendrickson - my property is not level.
Sapir - Can you move the pool?
Hendrickson - I am not sure if I can move it or if it would be salvageable, if I moved it.
Sapir - What would you like us to do? What conditions would you want that would satisfy you, if we were to grant a variance?
Hendrickson - I do not mind if a variance is granted as long as a compromise can be reached.
Sapir - What is that compromise?
Hendrickson - I would like a provision that I could complete a wrap around deck around my pool.
Sapir - What do you mean?
Hendrickson - I have an application for a deck around my pool
Sapir - You want a wrap around deck so you can sit around the pool?
Hendrickson - Yes.
Sapir - You are complaining that you are losing your privacy. Why would you want to build a wrap around deck? I do not understand why you want a deck between the pool and their house.
Hendrickson - Because, I will enclose it, then if I put a fence around the deck, that will be a height of 12 ft.
Rolnick - How close to the property line will the fence be?
Hendrickson - Within 15 ft. of the property line.
Rolnick - How is that part of a compromise? How does that fit in with your neighbors request.
Hendrickson - I am not sure what I need to do to get this so I can have privacy in my pool.
Stephens - We would need to impose something on the applicants property, not yours.
Hendrickson - Eliminating windows on the north side on the second story to respect my privacy. That is one window from bedroom number two.
Rolnick - What about the new second story that is being built off the addition at the rear of the house the Master bedroom
Hendrickson - That one seems to have all southern and western exposure. I am not sure if you can build into the resolution a provision that I will not be contested for the fence I am proposing.
Stephens - We are not conducting a hearing for your property.
Sapir - Not being privy to your plans, I do not know.
Hendrickson - If I need a variance will the public be allowed to come forward and protest.
Sapir - If you have a hearing any member of the public can come forward and protest. You have stated that you have no real objection to them building the additional room.
Hendrickson - No.
Sapir - It is just the use of the second story window overlooking your pool. Correct?
Hendrickson - Yes. The house has close to eighty or ninety feet on the other side. There is no need for the focus to be on my side.
Sapir - Do you realize that, if they propose to push back the addition they could put in as many windows as they like, without the need for a variance?
Paul Haufman - 19 Sunset Drive, - We live to the south of the parcel. We have lived there for 30 years. The footprint of the house has not changed, but the Hendrickson house has, by going toward the subject house. We have no objections to the variance and the improvements requested.
Sapir - Anyone else like to be heard?
Riedy - I would like t o address a comment of Mr. Hendrickson's, but more to the point of the five factors; Substantial variance, what is a substantial variance, I looked at the Hendrickson property file at 31 Sunset Drive. I have a resolution. Mr. Haufman eluded to the expansion of the home to the opposite side. This Board granted a 5.5 ft. side yard variance to allow Mr. & Mrs. Hendrickson to expand their home on the other side. The Board noted in reviewing the application for the side yard variance.."there will be no undesirable change to nearby properties and the variance granted is not substantial." The property owner most affected by their plans also stated they supported the application. This is not a substantial variance. The building has been existing for more than twenty five years. If we eliminate the window we cannot have a bedroom there.
We are talking about …in width….roughly 14.9 ft. x 7 ? ft. That is difficult to contend with. There will be no master bedroom. We simply want three bedrooms on the second floor. Windows are needed for a bedroom. Mr. Hendrickson's concerns with respect to privacy; he moved next door to a two-story house with two windows on the side. It is an Erroneous presumption that someone will not live and use both floors of their home. I respectfully request that the board accept the submission of the estate granting the petition for the variance on the grounds, that when the five factors are weighed this variance should be granted. If the renovations do not take place there will be a substantial hardship.
Sapir - Do the purchasers intend to reside in this house? How many members are there in their family?
Riedy - Just two of them. They are a couple.
Rolnick - The patio shown on the survey in the front of the structure, what is that?
Reidy - That will remain as a patio. It is now overgrown.
Rolnick - It is mentioned as a flag-stoned patio. Let me be direct. Will they be using that as living space?
Szoboszlai - We are not addressing this question, it is in the front.
Riedy - There is no living space there. See photo 2 and 3 you will see what remains of the flagstone patio, only a couple of flagstones.
Rolnick - Has you client talked to the Hendrickson's about screening or plantings?
Riedy - Give me a moment to speak to the prospective buyer.
Riedy - According to the prospective buyers they have not gotten that far as planning screening they have not yet purchased.
Sapir - Is there any way to reconfigure that window being closed off?
Riedy - I think this is a reasonable design it is approximately a 1,600 sq. ft. home in the village. The window is approximately seven feet wide and it appears the window has two foot panels. I am asking Mr. Nicholosi , one of the prospective purchasers to help me out with the plans….Mr. Nicholosi just told me that the wall is approximately 10 ft. eight inches in length.
Sapir - How long is the wall where the window is.
Riedy - 7 ft.
Szoboszlai - What is that space to the left?
Nicholosi - A staircase.
Sapir - Why is there a need to make that a separate bedroom?
Nicholosi - Because, what would exist would be small and the proposed plans will be looking over a side of the property that would be nice to look at and wake up to every morning. We would like to have a third bedroom, guest room, and office.
Riedy - And they would be able to sell a three-bedroom as opposed to a two bedroom.
Szoboszlai -Is it physically possible to shift around the plans and eliminate the window on that side? It seems to me that would be plausible.
Nicholosi - We came up with several plans and this was the best way to accommodate our needs. We were also concerned about over-looking the neighbors. We also eliminated a window. We tried several different footprints of that existing space. This was the best for us.
Szoboszlai -Were there other layouts?
Nicholosi - Yes there was other layouts that did not work.
Sapir - Asked Mr. Sperber about the State Code with respect to requirements for floor area and windows.
Sperber - It is eight percent of floor area for a window.
Riedy - Tom Quartuccio, Architect, made reference to the State Building Codes in relation to the necessity to have windows in the bedroom. (Copy of State Code submitted to the board and reference was made to " Section 712 Part 1 ). Mr. Quartuccio stated that light entering into habitable space through clear glass must not be less than eight percent of the habitable space.
Szoboszlai - This does not seem to preclude a skylight.
Riedy - The top of the page supports my representation to the Board, that there must be an un-obtrusive way to get out, one being the door, and one being the window. When I had the discussion with him the decision to include a window was based on his professional judgment and his opinion that the skylight would be consistent with the Building Code.
The Board stated that all records that were submitted will be made part of the record.
Rolnick - Made Motion to grant a side yard variance of 5.1 ft. for an existing structure with the following conditions.
1. No air conditioning units or centralized air conditioning units on the North side.
2. Apply to exposed cinder block, a material in keeping with the existing cinder
block, down and to a level of 8 inches from the ground.
3. There will be no additional windows on the north side.
4. Eliminate windows on the second floor, north side of the house.
5. The non-conformity is not to be extended horizontally or vertically beyond the existing structure.
6. The existing first floor window on the north side is to be screened with foliage or eliminated.
Szoboszlai - Second the Motion
Vote - 5-0 - In Favor - Rolnick, Szoboszlai, Sapir, Stephens, Waitkins
Variance GRANTED with conditions.
Luke Brehm, 2 Reinhardt Lane, Section 68.17 Block 1 Lot 64. Located in an RA-25 District. Request for a side yard and rear yard variance with respect to a proposed second story and deck addition to a one-family dwelling. (adj. 12/12/01).
Brehm - You have everything before you, I have nothing more to add.
Sapir - Thank you. Is there anyone else that would like to be heard?
Kathleen Reidy, Attorney for Mrs. Phillips, neighbor of Mr. Brehm's - On behalf of Mrs. Phillips, there is a concern about the loss of light …….
Sapir - That was discussed at the last hearing, is there anything new you would like to add?
Riedy - No. We have nothing new.
Reidy - Letters were submitted to the Board by Mr. Brehm in support of his application. I was not given a copy.
Copy given to Mrs. Reidy.
Stephens - Made Motion to grant the application for a side yard and rear yard variance as submitted.
Waitkins - Second the Motion
Vote: 5-0 - Nay - Variance DENIED - Stephens, Waitkins, Sapir, Rolnick, Szoboszlai
Joseph Harris, 4 Cedar Lane, Section 79.13 Block 4 Lot 55. Located in a RA-9 District. Request for a front yard variance with respect to a new addition. (adj. 12/12/01)
Gary Yates, Architect for Mr. Harris - I have nothing new to add from last month.
Waitkins - Is the carport going to be demolished.
Yates - Yes. I re-submitted a site-plan to show the addition is two feet in front of the existing carport.
Sapir - Any other questions?
Yates - No.
Rolnick - Made Motion to grant a front yard variance of 6 ? ft. according to plans submitted and with conditions:
1. With the condition there will be no toilet, shower, or cooking appliances.
Stephens - Second the Motion
Vote: 5-0 - In Favor - Variance GRANTED - Rolnick, Stephens, Sapir, Waitkins,
Catherine Riedel, 11 Lounsbury Road. Section 67.20 Block 1 Lot 22. Located in a RA-5 District. Request for a rear yard variance with respect to a proposed second story addition.
Stephen Riedel, 11 Lounsbury Road, I am the husband of Catherine Riedel. We have tried to meet with Mr. Morrison our neighbor most affected, but we have not been able to reach an agreement. But, we are close. I would like to request an adjournment to give us time to reach some sort of agreement.
The Board granted the applicant's request for adjournment
Hearing adjourned until next month.
Wayne H. Spector/Kieran Murray, Mt. Airy Road. Section 68.17 Block 1 Lot 49. Request the Zoning Board of Appeals to accept a withdrawal of the Kieran Murray application requesting an interpretation from the Board regarding 'Existing Small Lots" and to request the Zoning Board of Appeals to rescind their decision of 10/10/01 that was filed on 10/19/01.
Bill Hixon - 9 Hale Hollow Road. I own property adjacent to the Franzoso property. I would like to know what is being taken off the table here.
Sapir - With respect to the lot owned by Mr. Murray, we the Board determined that the lot was not owned individually and separately since 1961. We have now been asked to rescind that decision. We have also been asked by the Court to make any conditions we see fit to help mitigate any impact on the community or property owners. That is our next order of business.
Anyone else like to be heard?
There was no reply
Szoboszlai - Made Motion to vacate the Zoning Board of Appeals decision dated 10/10/01 and filed on 10/19/01.
Rolnick - Second the Motion
Vote: 4-1 - In Favor - 3- In Favor - Szoboszlai, Rolnick, Sapir
1 - Opposed - Stephens
Mt. Airy Road/Article 78 Supreme Court Decision with respect to screening.
Owner of "Elmer Suds" property, 171-175 Grand Street., said my concern is what is going to be done about the drainage problem. My building sits approximate 3 ft. below this property and now they have added 4 ft. or 4 ? ft. of fill. I had a water problem during the
Father's Day storm, but I had no problem during "Hurricane Floyd". This was obviously due to the fact that the changing of the land, due to construction, created that problem. So, maybe the water can be alleviated from coming into my building.
Sapir - Any suggestions on what could be done?
Owner of Elmer Suds Property - I was told no fill would be put on property. They raised the entrance so they could get in the front doors. They raised the level to get around and get to the garage space. They put fill in the front and all the up to our property on the right side. I spoke to Kary Ioannou, Village Engineer, and he said this was an issue and that he would stay on top of it.
Sapir - To Joseph Sperber, are you aware of the water problem?
Sperber - (To the owner OF "Elmer Suds") Have you talked to Kary Ioannou?
Owner of Elmer Suds property - Yes. I understand the property has changed ownership. I assumed this would be taken care of.
Szoboszlai - What will the Engineering Dept. do about this?
Sperber - Whatever remediation takes place we will look at it.
Szoboszlai - As part of any Certificate of Occupancy, would you be requiring anything else be done?
Sperber - If Kary Ioannou, Village Engineer, feels it would be necessary to require anything, there is a variety of different ways we could go about it.
Sapir - I would like to note for the record that Peter Franzsoso was informed of the hearing, but chose not to attend this evening.
Motion was made with respect to conditions:
Sapir - Made Motion to require:
1. Remediation of water drainage problems as they impact adjoining properties.
Remediation must be to the satisfaction of the Village Engineer.
2. Screening by evergreens on the front and north side of the property on which
the variance is granted and screening must be maintained to the satisfaction of
the Village Engineer.
3. There shall be no air-conditioning units on the North side of the house on
which the variance was granted.
4. There shall be no outdoor lights illuminating the North side of the house on
which the variance was granted.
Rolnick - Second the Motion
Vote - 5-0 In Favor - Sapir, Rolnick, Stephens, Waitkins,
Luke Brehm, has applied to the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, to request a side yard and rear yard variance with respect to a proposed second story and deck addition to a one family dwelling.
The property, at 2 Reinhardt Lane, is located in a RA-25 District and is designated on the Tax Maps of the Village as Section 68.17 Block 1 Lot 64.
A public hearing having been held after due notice, this Board from the application and after viewing the premises and neighborhood concerned, finds:
There will be an undesirable change to the character of the neighborhood or detriment to nearby properties.
The proposed variance will have an adverse effect or impact on the physical or environmental conditions in the neighborhood or district.
The requested area variance is substantial.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the application is hereby DENIED as follows:
Stephens - Made Motion to Grant the application for a side yard variance of 3.1 ft.
and a rear yard variance of 4.61 ft.
Waitkins - Second the Motion
Vote: 5-0 - Nay - Variance DENIED - Stephens, Waitkins, Sapir, Rolnick,