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ZBA September 9, 2003

                                          Rhoda Stephens
                                          Ruth Waitkins
                                          Witt Barlow

MEMBERS ABSENT:    Paul Rolnick

ALSO PRESENT:           Joseph Sperber


Meeting came to order at 8:00

The Chairman of the Board made announcement of the location of Fire exits.      


Cabrera – 14 Melrose Ave. Section 67.20 Block 2 Lot 35.  Located in a RA_5 District.  Request for a front yard variance with respect to a proposed unenclosed porch.   

Mr. Cabrera – The original legal notice indicated that the proposed construction was for an “enclosed” porch; it was corrected and re-noticed for an unenclosed porch.  We recently constructed a second story, which included four bedrooms. Now we would like to construct a porch in front of my house.  We have a lot of space outside the house.  We have three children and my mother-in-law lives with us.  We feel that esthetically it will contribute to the new addition and to the house.  My neighbors have told me that a front porch would make my house more esthetically pleasing.  The proposed porch will be the width of the existing house.  It will be 8 ft. from the front.

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Sapir – Is your request for a variance more for esthetics or to have a place to sit outside and enjoy your property? Is there any reason why you cannot construct the porch in the back?

Cabrera - My kids like to ride bikes and we like to be out there to watch them. Presently, we only have a stoop and there is no place to sit.

Sapir –The front yard variance that you are seeking is 2 ft 11 in.?

Cabrera – Correct.

Sperber – If the applicant had proposed a smaller porch that would not go beyond the setback requirement he would not need a variance.  However, he is proposing to construct a larger porch that is why he is asking for a variance.

Sapir – Asked the applicant why he can’t make the porch smaller in order to comply with zoning.

Cabrera -If that is what the board decides, that is fine.  We just wanted a larger porch to allow for more seating arrangements.

Discussion followed over plans.

Stephens – How much of a grassy area will it leave?

Cabrera - 12.1 ft. of grass from end of porch to sidewalk.

Sapir – Do you have elevation plans?

Cabrera – I have a sketch of my new addition, which was not included in the application..

Discussion followed over plans

Sapir - Is this the way the house looks now?

Cabrera – Yes, it shows the lower level where the front vestibule is on my home and in front of my house where there is the stoop.

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Sapir – Do you have elevations plans of what it will look like with the porch?

Cabrera – The porch will be 4 ft. from the ground.  The roof will be 12 ft. from the porch

Stephens – So you are adding a roof?  We have no elevation plans that show what it will look like.

Barlow – I think it would be helpful to have elevation plans.

Sapir – We normally want elevations that show what it will look like after it is added.

The Board agreed to adjourn the hearing to allow the applicant sufficient time to provide elevation plans.

Hearing adjourned

Amy Cotton, 111 Grand Street, Section 67.20 Block 3 Lot 26.  Located in a C-1 District.  Request for a Determination/Variance with respect to a proposed awning.

Sapir – You stated at the last meeting that you were before the Planning Board.

Cotton - They were to make a comment and I got permission to go ahead with my plans.

Sapir – At the last meeting you asked for a determination or variance with respect to an awning.  You have since revised the plans and you are now adding side panels?

Cotton – Yes.  They will be the same material as the awning. It will just be side panels that hang on the sides.   The first contractor did not include that.  The new contractor I have now is going to mount it a lot lower than the first person.  My new contractor is more interested in providing shade for me, because of my health reasons for needing the awning. I have stapled a sample color to my application.

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Sapir – What will the measurements be?

Cotton - 7 ft. above the sidewalk.

Sapir – I want to discuss the panels.  I am of the belief that you do not need a variance for the awning, but the side panels raise a new issue.

Cotton – The awning is mounted nine feet above the sidewalk and then it slants down at an angle.

Sapir – The awning or side panels?  

Cotton - The side panels will be horizontal.

Sapir – How far out from the building do the side panels come?

Discussion followed over drawings

Cotton – It is just a panel of material.

Sapir – The reason I do not feel you need a variance is because in a C-1 district the front yard setback is zero.

Cotton - I do not understand what that means.

Sapir – That means you can come out up to your property line and you do not need a variance.  If you go beyond that we (ZBA) do not have the jurisdiction to allow you to encroach on village property.  After discussing this with the Code Enforcement Officer, Joseph Sperber, I have been informed that there is a specific permit you would need to apply for, if you were to encroach on village property.

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Sperber – Section 197-Article 2 of the Village Code, states that such a permit is to be issued by the Village Engineer when there is a request for an improvement in a village right-of-way. Ms. Cotton’s shortest distance is 2.2ft., as shown on the survey.  If she goes beyond that 2.2 ft. she will have to apply for a Building Permit.  All she will need to do is apply to the Village Engineer for a Building Permit, which is required because, it is considered to be of a structural nature.  That is why this does not need a variance.   There is a lot of cross-referencing in the Village Code and subsequently there are a lot of things that are contradictory.   The Village Engineer pointed out this Section of the Code to me today. So, Ms. Cotton will need an application for a building permit and an application to make improvements in a street right-of-way, if she extends beyond the 2.2 ft.   As far as the height for an overhang you have to have 6-? ft., which we think is too low and we will be asking the Village Board to go higher.  Ms. Cotton is requesting to go 7 ft. and that is the measurement to the bottom of the valance. But, the 5 ft. pedestrian passage way still has to be maintained.

Stephens – This awning will only be used during business hours?

Cotton – Yes, but not all the time.

Sapir – I think no variance is required as long as it meets the village regulations.  With respect to her requesting to go beyond the village line, I do not know if we have jurisdiction to grant that.

Sapir - Any other questions?

Hearing closed.

Sapir – Made Motion that according to Section 230-35 of the Village Zoning Ordinance, which states that a zero foot front yard setback is allowed in a C-1 District and according to Section 197-2 of the Village Code with respect to awnings, it is hereby determined that a variance is not required.

Stephens – Second the Motion

Vote:  4-0 - In Favor – Sapir, Stephens, Waitkins, Barlow

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Antonia Murphy for Rose Larsen, 70 Old Post Road. South., Section 79.05 Block 4 Lot 15.  Request for a side yard and total side yard variance with respect to an existing deck/ramp.

The applicant/owner was absent from the meeting.

The Board agreed to adjourn the hearing until next month unless the applicant decides to withdraw the application.

Hearing adjourned until October 8, 2003.

Respectfully submitted,

Janice Fuentes
ZBA Secretary


Amy Cotton – 111 Grand Street has applied to the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, requesting a Determination/Variance with respect to a proposed awning.

The property, at 111 Grand Street  is located in a  C-1 District and is designated on the Tax Maps of the Village as Section 67.20 Block 3 Lot 26.

A public hearing having been held after due notice, this Board from the application and after viewing the premises and neighborhood concerned, finds:

That a variance is not required

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board hereby makes the following determination:

Sapir – Made Motion that according to Section 230-35 of the Village Zoning Ordinance, which states that a zero foot front yard setback is allowed in a C-1 District and according to Section 197-2 of the village Code with respect to Awnings, it is hereby determined that a variance is not required.

Stephens – Second the Motion

Vote – 4-0 – In Favor – Sapir – Stephens, Waitkins, Barlow

Stephens – Second the Motion

Vote – 4-0 – all in Favor – Waitkins, Stephens, Sapir, Barlow.


According to Section 230-76 (D), “Unless work is commenced and diligently prosecuted within one (1) year of the date of the granting of a variance or special permit, such variance or special permit shall become null and void.”