TOWN OF SARATOGA
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES
September 22, 2008
Chairman Stephen Bodnar called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. and led the flag salute.
Chairman Stephen Bodnar explained the Rules of the Board.
Zoning Clerk Linda McCabe called the roll: Chairman Stephen Bodnar – present, Clifford Hanehan – present, Thomas Carringi – absent, Barbara Faraone – absent, Clarence Fosdick – absent, William Moreau – present, James Burke – present,
Alternate John Deyoe – absent.
Also present: Town Zoning Officer Gil Albert, Town Attorney William Reynolds, Glen & Betty Smith, Joshua Galarneau and other interested persons. (Sign-in sheet is on file in the Clerk’s office)
Approval of Minutes: A motion was made by James Burke and seconded by William Moreau to accept the minutes of the August 25, 2008 meeting as written. Chairman Stephen Bodnar – aye, Clifford Hanehan – aye, James Burke – aye, Thomas Carringi – absent, Barbara Faraone – absent, William Moreau – aye, Clarence Fosdick – absent, Alternate John Deyoe – absent.
Carried 4 – 0
Order of Business:
Glen & Betty Smith #08-10
128 Franklin Beach Rd.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
S/B/L 193.5-1-14, 193.5-1-15 Lake Residential
Applicant proposes to remove their summer camp and build a year round house for their retirement. They have a width of 75’ with their two lots, (lots 14 & 15), on Franklin Beach Rd., which they will combine into one tax map. They are seeking an area variance of 7,200 SQ. FT. They also are seeking a 27’ front setback variance, a 4’ back variance, a two side setback variance of 26’, a side setback variance of 8’ and an 8% area variance for building coverage because they do not meet zoning regulation requirements.
Applicant Glen Smith appeared before the Board. He told the Board he is a 30 year navy veteran and retired teacher, his wife was born in Saratoga Springs and this camp has been in her family since 1941. He explained that he and his wife want to retire here and make the camp a year-round home. All 3 lots are already on one deed and they have already applied to the county to have the tax map show these lots as one since they are on one deed. He presented a drawing by their architect of the house they would like to build; the front of the house will be 2-stories and the back section will be a single story with an attached 2-car garage.
Two guest bedrooms and a bath will be upstairs and downstairs will be their living area; bedroom, kitchen/family room combination, a craft room and utility room, bath and so on. He believes their request is in line with other projects built on Franklin Beach Rd. over the past five years; he believes their project is more in compliance than the last 4-5 homes that have been built there. They tried to center it so they would have 12’-13’ on each side, which leaves about 21’- 23’ in front. Chairman Stephen Bodnar asked what the sq. ft. of the existing camp is and was told 600 sq. ft. of living space. Chairman Stephen Bodnar questioned the lot coverage of the camp and was told less than 10%. He questioned if this included the shed and the screen porch and was told the shed is 6’ x 7’, the screen porch is 11’ x 13’ which makes a total of 11% coverage. Chairman Stephen Bodnar then questioned the footprint of the proposed house and was told 2184 sq. ft. Chairman Stephen Bodnar stated they want to cover 3 times what they currently have and the Applicant said correct; it currently is a camp and they’d like to build a home. The Applicant explained the lots had been combined on one deed in May 1972, and offered the deed for anyone to read. Chairman Stephen Bodnar questioned the height of the 2-story section of the proposed house and was told a full 2-story on the front of 30’. Chairman Stephen Bodnar questioned if they know their location in the flood plain and how high they may have to raise the structure due to the flood plain. The Applicant responded the lake level there is 203.3 and their ground is 207 and the flood plain is 210. Chairman Stephen Bodnar asked if it would have a full cellar under it and was told no. Zoning Officer Gil Albert stated he has nothing negative to say on this. He questioned the roof pitch and was told 6/12 on the main structure and slightly less on the sheds. Zoning Officer Gil Albert responded the roof pitch will be closer to the 35’ threshold but should be fine. He added that the elevation starts off the ground not the flood plain so by the time you add 3’ to it for the first floor, then add 10’ roughly per floor and you have 6/12 on peak, it’ll be close. Just be careful on your prints. The Applicant responded if we have to knock it down some in order to comply, we will.
Chairman Stephen Bodnar read the letter from the Saratoga County Planning Board stating that there would be no significant county wide or intercommunity impact.
After providing Proof of Notice in The Saratogian on September 12, 2008 Chairman Stephen Bodnar opened the Public Hearing at 7:45 p.m. Chairman Stephen Bodnar asked if there were any questions. No one came forward; Chairman Stephen Bodnar closed the Public Hearing at 7:52 p.m.
Chairman Stephen Bodnar then asked about neighbor notifications and proceeded to read a letter that had signatures of 6 neighbors approving this project and several letters written by other neighbors, along with one approving this but wanting them to be careful with the direction of the water runoff. (Letters are on file in the Clerk’s office)
Chairman Stephen Bodnar stated he has concerns about fire safety with the congestion there, but that is what it’s like at the lake. He then asked if they would consider building a smaller house, and the Applicant responded they thought about it, but realized this size is what they need to accommodate their lifestyle and family and the company they expect. The Applicant showed photos of existing homes on Franklin Beach Rd. that are larger than what they are planning and they are also on smaller lots than the Applicant’s. Chairman Stephen Bodnar questioned if they will be taking the large tree down by the well and was told yes. It is a poplar tree and it’s huge and with the winds there, they are afraid it will come down. Mrs. Smith told him that she would love to save the tree and it pains her greatly to remove it, but it is a danger. Chairman Stephen Bodnar stated he has seen the photos, he knows there is construction going on there, but it doesn’t mean he is in favor of this. He asked the Board for their thoughts. Clifford Hanehan stated there is a column for variances and they have everyone filled which doesn’t make him comfortable for sure, but he thinks everyone should be treated fairly. It is tight quarters down at the lake, and he is very aware of what the Board has done in the past so in order to remain consistent he is okay with this. William Moreau stated he agrees with Clifford Hanehan. We have to be fair; precedent was set and we need to remain consistent. James Burke stated he agrees with Clifford Hanehan and William Moreau; the Board has to be consistent and fair. Chairman Stephen Bodnar asked if there were any more suggestions or questions. James Burke noted it will be an improvement and it’ll be a really nice home for them.
Clifford Hanehan made a motion, seconded by William Moreau, to grant the area variance as presented because it is consistent with past practice of this Board concerning the Lake District. Chairman Stephen Bodnar – aye, James Burke – aye, Thomas Carringi- absent, Clarence Fosdick – absent, Barbara Faraone – absent, William Moreau – aye, Clifford Hanehan –aye.
Approved 4 – 0.
Clifford Hanehan thanked Mr. Smith for his 30 years serving our country.
Mr. Galarneau appeared before the Board unofficially concerning a project on Spring Water Dr., Rt. 9P. He brought plans for the Board to view and is looking for Board opinion on this project. He said this is very early in the process. Basically they are not sure how to determine all the setbacks, and would like the Board’s opinion on this project as a whole. This is located on a private road. The new house will be 56’ wide overall including the deck; 36’ wider than the existing house, but should be under 20% coverage. Nothing is in the right-of-way and they won’t build deck steps or anything any closer than where it currently exists. He believes they need side yard setback variances. Chairman Stephen Bodnar asked Town Attorney William Reynolds to correct him if this is wrong: all square footage on a lot is to be considered lot coverage even though it is separated by a road; so one can’t say one has 75’ of road frontage on one side and 62 on the other side and add them together to have 137’ of road frontage, and Town Attorney William Reynolds replied that is correct. Mr. Galarneau said they have road frontage of 62’ so they would need a variance for that also. Chairman Stephen Bodnar asked where the well is located. Mr. Galarneau said it is in the back. Zoning Officer Gil Albert said they don’t meet frontage but there is a pre-existing home there. Frontage is supposed to be 100’, would the Board go for that? Attorney William Reynolds stated since they are destroying one house to build another the “pre-existence” doesn’t come into play. Mr. Galarneau stated the existing house has been renovated in the past 10 years and it is a nice house but the new owners feel, for their needs, that it must be torn down and they’ll build new. James Burke stated the current house is a nice house and it would be better to just move it; Board members agreed. William Moreau questioned how close the house is to the side and was told 60’. Mr. Galarneau stated they have not had it surveyed yet and this is very preliminary. He asked how the Board considers front yard setbacks and Zoning Officer Gil Albert replied from the road. He added that Mr. Galarneau would need 50’ so he is okay with that setback. James Burke questioned what the address of the property is; 9P or Spring Water Dr. since it looks like the mailbox is on 9P and Zoning Officer Gil Albert along with William Moreau questioned where the front of the house is. Attorney William Reynolds said 9P is the front, so the frontage is on a public highway and since Spring Water Dr. is a private drive, frontage is Rt. 9P. Chairman Stephen Bodnar stated he has no objection to them building a house there, but they need a road frontage variance. Zoning Officer Gil Albert noted they need the road frontage and also total two side yard variance is required. Board discussion continued on this project and it was noted that if they move things and minimize impact, all they would need is road frontage and they can certainly build a large house there. Chairman Stephen Bodnar reiterated they meet setback with the lot, just move things so they need less variances, because the less variances needed, the better.
Old Business: None
New Business: None
Chairman Stephen Bodnar made a motion, seconded by William Moreau to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m. Chairman Stephen Bodnar – aye, Clifford Hanehan – aye, James Burke – aye, Thomas Carringi –absent, Barbara Faraone – absent, William Moreau – aye, Clarence Fosdick – absent, Alternate John Deyoe – absent.
Carried 4 – 0
Zoning Board of Appeals Clerk