Zoning Board of Adjustments

Meeting date: 
Tuesday, July 2, 2019

July 2nd, 2019
Public Hearing/Meeting


Members & Staff Present:  John Giffin (Chair), William Bryk (Vice Chair), Ray Ledgerwood (Member), Bob Holmes (Member), Shelley Nelkens (Member), Diane Kendall (Alternate), Carol Ogilvie (Planning Consultant), and Ashley Brudnick-Destromp (Assistant)


Public Attendees: Aimee Mullahy (Applicant), Ronald Gutkoswki (Abutter), Patrick Lopez  (Abutter), Don Kanawah (Representing Patrick Lopez as an abutter), Rick Wood (Antrim Historical Society)

Opening of Meeting: Chair Giffin opened the meeting at 6:59 pm. He introduced the members of the Board and Alternates.

7:00 PM Public Meeting:

The Chair asked Ms. Mullahy to present her application to the Board. Ms. Mullahy explained that when she purchased the property, it had a deck and she removed it. Her family was planning on replacing the deck, when the contractor informed her that she was 5ft into her side yard setback of 20ft.

Ms. Nelkens asked the Chair if the applicant is grandfathered in because of the original porch. Ms. Mullahy said the new deck would not be the same footprint. The Chair asked Ms. Mullahy to draw on the aerial photograph of the property where the deck will go for the Board to see.

There was a conversation about the 50ft set back as well as the 20ft setback. The Chair explained that the 50ft setback applies to Prospect St., and not Maple Ave. the Chair asked about the original deck. Ms. Mullahy said it was a small deck, about 12ft long and 4ft wide. Mr. Ledgerwood asked if the contractor marked where the property line is. Ms. Mullahy said yes, but that it is not considered a professional survey. She informed the Board she trusted the contractor’s measurements, as he brought the issue to their attention. Mr. Ledgerwood said he drove by, and asked if the garden was the applicants or the abutters. Ms. Mullahy said it was their garden, and that the property line was different then what they believed when they purchased it. Mr. Ledgerwood asked about the driveway, Ms. Mullahy said that was hers as well.

The Chair asked if anyone wished to speak in favor of the applicant.

Ryan Gutkowski introduced himself as an abutter. He explained he understood the purpose of setbacks, but that every property in that area infringes on those setbacks as it is now. Mr. Gutkowski concluded he was in favor of the application.

The Assistant read abutters letters from Jon & Meagan Ingalls, as well as Ellie Geddes who were both abutters in favor of the applicant. The Chair asked the letters be added to the record. Mr. Gutkowski also presented a written letter in favor that will be added.

Don Kanawah, representing Patrick Lopez, said that they were in favor of it as long as the tree stays. Mr. Kanawah said that Mr. Lopez was the direct abutter to where the porch would be. Ms. Mullahy said the tree was not an issue.

The chair asked if there was anyone in opposition, there was no answer. He asked if anyone else wished to speak, there was no answer.

The Chair closed the public portion at 7:10pm for discussion

There was a small discussion about the request being reasonable, and that all abutters that spoke were in favor, and no opposition was given. Vice Chair Bryk said there was no reason to oppose it.

Chair Giffin asked the Board if there were any conditions they wanted in the Notice of Decision. Mr. Ledgerwood said that he wants the applicant to try and stay to the measurements discussed tonight, or as much as possible. Chair Giffin said he would like to have it added that the deck be no greater then 12ft.

Motion: Vice Chair Bryk made a motion for a roll call vote for the approval of the variance. Mr. Ledgerwood second it.

Roll Call Vote: Ms. Nelkens– “Aye.” Mr. Holmes – “Aye.” Mr. Ledgerwood- “Aye.” Chair Giffin- “Aye.” Vice Chair Bryk- “Aye.”

The application was approved unanimously. The Variance has been Granted.

Other Business:

            Ms. Nelkens mentioned the newspaper, and wanted to follow up on it now that the Chair was present. Chair Giffin said the ZBA will use the paper that the PB has chosen, as they are in the same department. Ms. Nelkens was concerned about the citizens who do not use the internet, and prefer a free paper. There was a small discussion about the topic, with most of the Board preferring to stay with the paper the Planning Board had picked to avoid confusion to residents.

The Assistant informed the Board that there will not be a public hearing next Tuesday the 9th.      

Ms. Ogilvie wanted to discuss the Rules of Procedure that was started at the last meeting now that there is a full Board. She pointed out the biggest change, and that is the consistent public voting of 3.  The Board went line by line of items that were discussed at the last meeting to review once more and make final decisions.

Ms. Kendall mentioned Section 7.6, and the mention of an executive session. Vice Chair Bryk and Ms. Ogilvie both agreed with Ms. Kendall that it should be removed, as there is no reason why it should be private at any point. Chair Giffin said in the past they have had meetings with Town Council that are non-public. Ms. Ogilvie said council is allowed under 91A consultation with your legal counsel, and does not count as a meeting or an executive session. Vice Chair Bryk explained how no decision can be made until there is a Public Meeting, but it’s a consultation with legal counsel.

Ms. Ogilvie mentioned the time frame for having minutes available. She said it is now 5 business days. Ms. Ogilvie will make the corrections, send them to the Assistant, and she will send them to the Board for final review.

Mr. Holmes brought up 7.11, all business be concluded by 10:30pm. Chair Giffin said that the items that used to take up a lot of time are now the PB, but he believes 10:30pm is fair if there are multiple applications in one night. There was a small discussion

Motion: Ms. Nelkens made a motion to end the meetings at 9:30PM, Mr. Holmes second it.

Vote: Ms. Nelkens and Mr. Holmes were both in favor. Mr. Ledgerwood, Chair Giffin, and Vice Chair Bryk said no. The Chair said that the “No’s” have it.

Ms. Ogilvie will leave that section as is.

Motion: Vice Chair Bryk moved to delete the executive session, Mr. Ledgerwood second it.

Vote: By a voice vote, all were in favor.

Minutes: The Board reviewed the drafted minutes from 6/25/19.   

Discussion: The Assistant said that she needed to correct Mr. Ledgerwoods name. There were several grammatical errors corrected.

Motion: Vice Chair Bryk made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. Mr. Holmes second it.

Vote: By a voice vote, all were in favor.

Motion: Vice Chair Bryk made a motion to adjourn the meeting, Mr. Ledgerwood second it.

Vote: By a voice vote, all were in favor.

Meeting Adjourned:  8:01 PM

Respectfully Submitted,

Ashley Brudnick-Destromp

Assistant to Land Use Boards