MINUTES OF THE BETHANY ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS REGULAR
MEETING OF MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013 Page 1 of 5
The regular meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals was called to order at 7:01 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room of the Bethany Town Hall, 40 Peck Road, Bethany, Connecticut.
The following Board Members were present:
Carol Goldberg, Member
Ruth Beardsley, Member
Lisa Gaw, Member
Walter Briggs, Member
James Seaton, Member
Thomas Magda, Alternate Member
Ryan Shea, Alternate Member
The following Board Member was absent or excused:
Margaret Foley, Alternate Member
Also present was: Isabel Kearns, Zoning Enforcement Officer
Kevin McSherry, Town Attorney
Member Goldberg stated that pursuant to Section 4 of the Zoning Board of Appeals Bylaws, the Board must elect officers for the term of July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
It was moved by Briggs and seconded by Gaw to nominate James Seaton as Chairman for the Zoning Board of Appeals for the 2013 to 2014 term. Unanimous approval.
It was moved by Seaton and seconded by Gaw to nominate Carol Goldberg as Vice-Chair for the Zoning Board of Appeals for the 2013 to 2014 term. Unanimous approval.
It was moved by Beardsley and seconded by Gaw to nominate Walter Briggs as Secretary for the Zoning Board of Appeals for the 2013 to 2014 term. Unanimous approval.
It was moved by Goldberg and seconded by Beardsley to approve the minutes of the April 8, 2013, Regular Meeting with the following correction:
• Page 2, Second Paragraph – Reads “Isabel, Zoning Enforcement Officer,” Change to “Isabel Kearns, Zoning Enforcement Officer”.
Voting for: Goldberg, Beardsley, Gaw.
Abstained were: Briggs, Seaton for they were not present for the April 8, 2013 meeting.
It was moved by Beardsley and seconded by Briggs to approve the payment of a bill for $105.00, dated July 8, 2013, from John McLeod for recording services for the public hearing (354 Downs Road).
Voting for: Seaton, Goldberg, Beardsley, Briggs, Gaw.
PUBLIC HEARING – 354 DOWNS ROAD
At 7:06 p.m., Chairman Seaton opened the public hearing in regard to the application from Peter and Anne Simon for a 30-foot variance of the side yard setback to allow a 20-foot side yard setback for the construction of a two-bay detached garage located at 354 Downs Road. Roll call was completed. Chairman Seaton read the legal notice into the hearing record for the public hearing.
Chairman Seaton noted that the Board received the following items relative to the subject application. Exhibit identification was assigned as noted:
1) Exhibit 1A – Letter from South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority, dated July 1, 2013, Re: No comment on review of application for 354 Downs Road.
2) Exhibit 1B – Submitted by the applicant, eleven pages of the Affidavit and Certificate of Mailing with attached green cards.
3) Exhibit 1C – Submitted by the applicant, copy of court case, Mildred Merlo v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Wethersfield, Caption Date: March 18, 1996.
Member Goldberg reviewed the procedure that would be followed to conduct the public hearing.
Member Beardsley mentioned she is friendly with the applicants, Anne and Peter Simon, but stated this will not interfere with her fairness and decision.
Chairman Seaton mentioned he has known the applicant for quite a few years and that this will not interfere with his fairness and decision.
Member Gaw mentioned she is a resident of Downs Road and an employee of the Regional Water Authority and that this will not interfere with her fairness and decision.
The following Board Members stated for the record that they visited the site or have a familiar background with the property: Seaton, Goldberg, Beardsley, Briggs, Gaw.
Present to speak on behalf of the application was Peter Simon and Anne Simon, applicants and owners of record and their daughter, Kate. Mr. Simon noted the following:
• Property is 1.6 acres.
• Property has surface water issues.
• Large boulder outcropping on property.
• Drainage ditch on north side of house.
• Septic system located on south side of house.
• Neighbor David Pilon of 344 Downs Road, did not pick up certified mailing of public hearing but personally spoke to Peter Simon and has no problem with proposed garage.
• Distributed copies of case from the Town of Wethersfield for a resident who needed a variance to construct a garage.
In discussion, some Board members noted:
• Large tree near proposed garage will be taken down.
• Shed (to be removed) that is located near proposed garage is less than 4 feet from the property line.
Chairman Seaton asked if there were any public members who would like to speak in favor of the application. There were no comments.
Chairman Seaton asked if there were any public members who would like to speak in opposition of the application. There were no comments.
There being no further discussion, at 7:43 p.m. Chairman Seaton closed the public hearing on the subject application.
87 OLD AMITY ROAD
• Application submitted by Robert Weidig for revision of previous location approval dated April 8, 2013, for motor vehicle dealer and repairer at 87 Old Amity Rd.
Member Goldberg noted that the Zoning Board of Appeals decision was made April 8, 2013 to grant a location approval for a motor vehicle dealer and repairer and now Mr. Weidig is asking to rescind the repairer part of the approval.
Mr. Weidig stated that in the State of Connecticut in order to tow vehicles you have to be a motor vehicle dealer or repairer.
Town Attorney Kevin McSherry was present to advise the Board how this application should be handled.
Town Attorney McSherry stated that when Mr. Weidig applied in April 8, 2013, he over applied and should of only asked for motor vehicle dealer. When he received approval for both, motor vehicle dealer and repairer, he created an issue with the Planning and Zoning Commission because he is required to apply for a Special Exception Permit under the Bethany Zoning Regulations. Attorney McSherry stated that if only received a motor vehicle dealer approval, he does not need a Special Exception Permit and therefore, Attorney McSherry recommended that Mr. Weidig withdraw his application in front of the Board and resubmit an application with just the motor vehicle dealer only.
Also, Attorney McSherry stated that the property owner needs to rescind the previous ZBA approval dated April 8, 2013, in a letter and the letter should be filed on the Land Records.
It was moved by Beardsley and seconded by Gaw to waive the application fee for Robert Weidig on the next application he will be submitting for a location approval for a motor vehicle dealer only. Unanimous approval.
Mr. Robert Weidig submitted a letter to withdraw the application in front of the Board, dated June 21, 2013, requesting to rescind the motor vehicle repairer approved of April 8, 2013.
The Board scheduled a Special Meeting/Public Hearing date of July 22, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. to hear Mr. Weidig’s new application he will be submitting for a location approval for a motor vehicle dealer only.
DELIBERATION AND DECISION MAKING SESSION
354 Downs Road
Board members further discussed the application and proceeded to deliberate.
It was moved by Goldberg and seconded by Briggs that the Zoning Board of Appeals grants the application of Ann and Peter Simon for the property located at 354 Downs Road and shown on Assessor’s Map #130, Lot #30 for a variance of Sections 3.4 and 4.1.C. of the Bethany Zoning Regulations which variance is as follows:
• A 30-foot variance of the side yard setback to allow a 20-foot side yard setback for the construction of a two-bay detached garage.
This variance is granted subject to the following conditions:
1. The variance shall not be effective until a copy of it, certified by the Chairman or the Secretary of the Board, and containing a legal description of the subject property, and specifying the nature of the variance is filed with the Bethany Town Clerk for recording on the Bethany Land Records by the applicant or owner.
Based upon the evidence presented at the public hearing and the facts revealed by the Board’s general acquaintance with the Town and with the general locality of the subject property, the Board makes the following findings:
1) Special conditions and circumstances exist which are unique to the subject property and which do not affect generally the district to which it is situated. These conditions and circumstances are topography and the location of the septic system.
2) A strict and literal interpretation of the Zoning Regulations would deprive the property owner of rights commonly enjoyed by other properties in the same district.
Vote 5 to 0.
Voting for: Seaton, Goldberg, Beardsley, Briggs, Gaw.
There being no further business to come before the Commission, it was moved by Gaw and seconded by Beardsley to adjourn the regular meeting at 8:10 p.m. Unanimous approval.
Antonia R. Marek, Clerk
For the Zoning Board of Appeals