October 14, 2003 Draft Minutes
|Voting Board||Chairperson Neil Faiman; members Joanna Eckstrom, Carol Roberts, Bob Spear & Jim Tuttle.|
|Agenda||Grayson & Natalie Parker – 2 variances & a special exception (continued)|
Mr. Faiman called the meeting to order at 7:37 p.m. and introduced the board members. He explained that testimony was taken at the August ZBA meeting and that Mr. Parker was present this evening to present the case.
Grayson L. and Natalie C. Parker have applied for variances to sections 5.2.1 and 13.3(e) of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance, and a special exception under Section 13.2 of the Ordinance. The applications are in connection with a proposed subdivision, consolidation, and lot line adjustments of Lots J – 73, J – 74, and J – 75 and a proposed Elderly Housing Development. The special exception would permit the creation of an Elderly Housing Development on one of the resulting lots, and the variances would permit the creation of a residential lot with an area of less than 0.5 acres per dwelling unit and an Elderly Housing Development on a lot with an area of less than one acre.
Mr. Parker summarized the plan that was presented at the August meeting and said that if the board was not inclined to grant the application, he would be willing to withdraw it.
Mr. Faiman said that he was inclined to vote against the variance requests because he didn’t see the hardships and he felt that they were inappropriate variances to grant.
Mr. Spear was inclined to grant the requests and thought that perhaps an elderly housing development, with an entrance on Dale Street, might force the Town to deal with the dangerous speed on Dale Street.
Mr. Tuttle was also concerned about the speed and the blind curve on Dale Street and the general congestion in that area.
Ms. Eckstrom was very concerned about the congestion, limited sidewalks, speed and the curve on Dale Street. She said that lower Dale Street is extremely hazardous and she could not support the elderly housing project if the entrance is taken from Dale Street. She said that she could consider it if the entrance was from Forest Road.
Ms. Roberts felt that the area is already so congested that an elderly housing development in this area would be an overuse of an already dangerous spot. She was not convinced that an entrance from Forest Road would be that much better because the area would still be congested.
Mr. Faiman said that elderly housing is a worthy public purpose, but he didn’t think that the board gets to throw away the rest of the ordinance to expedite a worthy public purpose. The starting point for the proposal is a variance to reduce a non-conforming, less than 1 acre lot, which belongs to a 4-unit house, to 1/3 of an acre. The ordinance calls for a minimum of 1/2 acre per dwelling unit in that part of town. Before Mr. Parker can make room for the elderly housing, he wants to strip away 2/3 of a seriously substandard lot. He didn’t think that a worthy public objective is enough to justify a variance like that.
Mr. Spear felt that elderly housing is important enough to grant the variances and said that there are other multi-family homes in town on 1/3 of an acre.
Mr. Parker said that he would be willing to consider a Forest Road entrance and showed the board how such an entrance would work. Access would be taken from one of the driveways currently serving two units in the house. Mr. Faiman pointed out that another variance would be needed in this case because the frontage for the elderly housing development is on Dale Street and the entrance would be taken from another road.
Mr. Faiman read the elderly housing ordinance and pointed out that the ordinance calls for the ZBA to determine that the health, safety, and welfare of the occupants are met with this plan. He felt that he would have to see more than what is currently proposed to make that determination.
Ms. Eckstrom said that she would need to see a reconfigured plan taking the entrance from Forest Road before making a decision.
Mr. Faiman said that if Mr. Parker were to take out the existing house, he would then have 1 1/4 acres for the elderly housing development, lots of room for parking and a wide access to Forest Street. But trying to keep an existing four-dwelling unit house on 1/3 of an acre and put in elderly housing on 3/4 of an acre is too much.
Mr. Spear agreed that taking out the existing house would be the best way to allow for the elderly housing development. Mr. Parker said that he was unwilling to do that.
Ms. Eckstrom said that her inclination would be to allow Mr. Parker to withdraw his application without prejudice. Mr. Parker agreed and stated that he was hereby withdrawing his application.
|Motion||Ms. Eckstrom moved and Mr. Spear seconded a motion to accept Mr. Parker’s withdrawal without prejudice.|
Three corrections were made to pages 2 and 3.
|Motion||Ms. Roberts moved to approve the amended 7/8/03 minutes. Mr. Tuttle seconded and four were in favor. Mr. Faiman abstained.|
One correction was made to page 4.
|Motion||Ms. Roberts moved to approve the amended 8/12/03 minutes. Ms. Eckstrom seconded the motion and all were in favor.|
|Motion||Ms. Eckstrom moved that the clerk retain the tapes of each meeting until the minutes of that meeting have been approved. She also moved that the clerk be able to purchase enough tapes to be able to do this. Mr. Tuttle seconded the motion and all were in favor.|
|Motion||Mr. Spear moved to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Tuttle seconded the motion and all were in favor. The meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.|
Diane Nilsson, Clerk