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Minutes posted at this web site have not been checked for consistency with the printed minutes that are available in the Wilton Town Offices. If you need the definitive minutes of a ZBA meeting, please obtain the printed minutes from the town offices.

April 12, 2011

Board MembersChairman Neil Faiman; members, Carol Roberts, Andy Hoar, Joe Poisson, and Bill Carnduff.
Agenda
  • Election of Officers
  • Minutes of January 11, 2011
  • 4/12/11 - 1 John and Robin Jowders
  • 4/12/11 - 2 MAK Investments for Household of Faith

Chairman Faiman opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m.

Election of Officers

A MOTION was made by Ms. Roberts and SECONDED by Mr. Carnduff to nominate Neil Faiman as Chairman of the Zoning Board.

Voting: 4 ayes; motion carried with Mr. Faiman abstaining.

A MOTION was made by Ms. Roberts and SECONDED by Mr. Carnduff to nominate Mr. Hoar as Co-Vice Chair of the Zoning Board and a MOTION was made by Mr. Hoar and SECONDED by Mr. Carnduff to nominate Ms. Roberts as Co-Vice Chair of the Zoning Board.

Voting: 5 ayes; both motions carried unanimously.

Minutes of January 11, 2011

A MOTION was made by Ms. Roberts and SECONDED by Mr. Hoar to accept the minutes or January 11, 2011 as written.

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Case #4/12/11–1 — John and Robin Jowders

John and Robin Jowders appeared before the Board and submitted a plot plan and copy of the tax map for their lot M-12-06. Mr. Jowders explained that when the subdivision was first made the lot line was moved so that the house would be 15' from the setback. He explained that he is proposing installing an in ground swimming pool, however due to the topography of the lot the only location to place the pool will be within the front set back. He stated that this lot is in the Residential District and section 5.2.3 of the ordinance calls for a 35' set back from the front lot line. He stated that the proposed placement of the pool will place it 20' from the bound marker at the turn around and 29' from bound marker on Spaulding Drive. He also showed the Board where he would like to put the pool and where the setbacks would require the pool to be placed. Mr. Jowders explained that the pool is not against the public interest as Spaulding Drive is a dead end road with a maximum of four homes on it. He stated that the pool will not affect the neighborhood, use town resources, or affect traffic and placing it according to the ordinance will diminish the visual effect and property value. He also noted that following the ordinance would put the pool only 8' from the driveway.

In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mr. Jowders stated that if the Board does not approve the variance then he will probably not put a pool in as a pool needs to have sun and in order to place it in the backyard it would require the removal of many trees which would affect his abutters in the back.

In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mrs. Jowders stated that the neighbors have said that they are okay with the proposal.

In response to a question from Ms. Roberts, Mr. Jowders explained that he will be placing a privacy fence in front of the pool on the property line, a chain link fence around the back or the pool, and a 4' apron around the pool. He noted that the apron and fence are allowed in the setback.

In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mr. Jowders stated that he has already taken down eight to ten trees in the area which will be used as lawn if he does not put the pool in.

Ms. Jowders stated that after the fencing is in it will be aesthetically pleasing and the fencing will match the house.

In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mr. Jowders explained that the privacy fencing will be 5' to 6' high and the chain link fence will be 4' high.

In response to a question from Ms. Roberts, Mr. Jowders stated that at this point he has no plans for a shed.

In response to a question from Mr. Poisson, Mr. Jowders stated that there are only two driveways past the pool.

In response to a question from Mr. Hoar, Mr. Jowders stated that the site is on town sewer.

In response to a question from Mr. Poisson, Mr. Jowders explained that the town plows snow to the other side of the road but he uses the area where the pool would have to go without the variance to store snow.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Hoar and SECONDED by Ms. Roberts to close public hearing for Board deliberations.

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Poisson stated that he is not concerned about the visual impact as he thinks there will be very few people seeing the pool.

Ms. Roberts questioned whether the proposed will diminish the surrounding property values.

Mr. Faiman stated that some front setbacks are important because of the road and sight lines but he does not believe that that will be an issue with this property.

Ms. Roberts noted that the abutters do not think the proposal is an issue.

Ms. Roberts suggested that the hardship is the size, shape, and topography of the lot.

A MOTION was made by Ms. Roberts and SECONDED by Mr. Carnduff to reopen the public portion of the hearing.

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

In response to a question from Ms. Roberts, Mr. Jowders stated that he has not done any work, such as a soil survey, because he is waiting to see if the variance would be granted. He further noted that if they find the ledge or anything that significantly drives up the cost he will not put in the pool.

A MOTION was made by Ms. Roberts and SECONDED by Mr. Hoar to close the public portion of the hearing for Board deliberations.

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Carnduff and SECONDED by Mr. Hoar to permit the construction of an in ground pool, in the location as shown in green on the application, and not to be placed any closer than 20' to the property marking at the southern corner of the hammerhead and 29' feet from Spaulding Drive.

Voting: 4 ayes; motion carried with Mr. Faiman abstaining.

Mr. Faiman reviewed the appeals process for the applicant.

Case #4/12/11–2 — MAK Investments for Household of Faith

Mr. Faiman noted that MAK Investments is not the owner as stated on the application; rather Household of Faith is still the current owner.

Brian Colsia, owner of MAK investments, appeared before the Board, and per Mr. Faiman's request, submitted a letter of authorization to speak for the owner.

Mr. Colsia, explained that he is looking to buy the property but because of the current real estate market he is asking to be able to put a fifth unit to be created where the pool currently is. He explained that the church originally wanted seven units, but they were only approved for four, and after they completed two of the units they realized that the cost of doing so was out of their realm.

In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mr. Colsia state that this unit is not visible from the street as it extends to the rear of the building.

Mr. Carnduff stated that he does not see that the current real estate market is a reason to get a variance because he thinks that the current market is a good opportunity to get a low priced house.

Mr. Colsia stated that he thinks that recovery of the market is still years away.

In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mr. Colsia stated that there are four authorized units, two of which are finished and purchased and two of which are standing empty and are still unfinished.

Mr. Faiman noted that the Board cannot visit the same issues over and over and noted that Household of Faith has already been before the Board for approval of this unit. He questioned if there is something different about this application than Household of Faith's application.

Anna Lee Mullen, owner of Unit 4, stated that she has lived there for 2.5 years and nothing has been be finished and the pool area is raw. She stated that that area will never be finished if the current owner keeps the property and currently it is an eyesore. She explained that here there is an opportunity to make the area look nice.

Mr. Faiman stated that five years ago there was a discussion as to whether this was economically viable and he would say that the last five years of history since then show that it has not been economically viable.

Mr. Carnduff stated that he feels that the Board should hear the application because of the economic situation.

Mr. Poisson questioned what the time frame for completion would be.

Ms. Roberts read Fisher v Dover with regard to hearing issues which the Board has already decided on.

In response to a question from Mr. Carnduff, Mr. Colsia stated that the economic situation has changed substantially since 2006 and the fifth unit would make this project viable. He also stated that he would like to have the project done in months as he cannot afford for the units to sit around with as it will cost at least $185,000 to finish the units.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Carnduff and SECONDED by Mr. Poisson to close the public portion of the hearing for Board deliberation.

Voting: 6 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Faiman feels that the past five years of history qualifies as new evidence.

Mr. Carnduff stated that he thinks that the good of this proposal outweighs the bad.

Ms. Roberts does not feel that the Board should reconsider this issue.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Carnduff, and SECONDED by Mr. Poisson that the Board find that the application is significantly different enough from the previous application to hear the case.

Voting: 4 ayes; with Ms. Roberts against.

Mr. Colsia stated that the new unit will have two egresses and he can work with whatever requirements are made.

Ms. Mullens stated that she is in favor of the units being finished as her home will become more valuable and if the units were completed she would consider staying, but as the building is currently the neighborhood is not nice and she is considering leaving when her son finishes school.

Sharon Kemp, owner of the other finished unit, agrees with Ms. Mullens. She stated that when they bought their units they were not finished and she enjoyed picking out the finishes but most people do not enjoy that and the units need to be finished in order to be sold.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Carnduff and SECONDED by Mr. Hoar to close the public portion of the hearing for Board deliberation.

Voting: 5 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

In response to a question from Mr. Hoar, Mr. Faiman stated that originally this site was brought to them as a seven unit building and the Board felt that as proposed it would create an apartment building atmosphere which was not in the spirit of the ordinance.

Mr. Faiman reviewed the applicant's arguments.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Carnduff and SECONDED by Mr. Poisson to approve the variance to permit five dwelling units in the structure.

Voting: 4 ayes; motion carried with Ms. Roberts against.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Hoar and SECONDED by Mr. Poisson to adjourn the meeting.

Voting: 4 ayes; motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Faiman declared the meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,
Heather Loewy Nichols
Page 3 of 3
Wilton ZBA
4/12/11
Final Draft Approved 6/14/11