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October 16, 2008


The October 16, 2008 Regular Meeting of the Board of Adjustment opened at 7:30pm. The clerk read the notice of compliance with the "Open public meetings act." Present were Board members: Mr. Wolfersberger, Mr. Palisi and Mr. Leonard Alternates: Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Ardito and Mr. Kelly

Motion by Mr. Leonard. second by Mr. Ardito to memorialize the minutes of August 21, 2008 meeting.

In favor: Wolfersberger, Leonard, Ardito and Kelly

Motion by Mr. Wolfersberger, second by Mr. Leonard to memorialize the minutes of the September 4, 2008 meeting.

In favor: Palisi, Leonard, Wolfersberger, Ardito and Kelly

Motion by Mr. Wolfersberger second by Mr. Reynolds to memorialize the minutes of the September 18, 2008 meeting.

In favor: Palisi, Wolfersberger, Reynolds, Ardito and Kelly

Memorialization of resolutions

Motion by Mr. Wolfersberger, second by Mr. Ardito to memorialize the action and vote approving - Application#2008-24 – Kathleen Ferguson, 104 Washington Avenue, Block 18.01; Lot 2 – requesting certification of pre-existing 2-family use.

In favor – Wolfersberger, Palisi, Ardito and Kelly

Motion by Mr. Wolfersberger, second by Mr. Ardito to memorialize the action and vote approving - Application# -2008-13 - Thomas/Vanessa Portesy – 315 St. Louis Avenue with conditions.

In favor: Wolfersberger, Palisi and Ardito

Motion by Mr. Ardito, second by Mr. Reynolds to memorialize the action and vote approving application #2008-18 – John/Lea Drew, 214 Niblick - Block 103; Lot 13 – with conditions.

Motion by Mr. Reynolds, second by Mr. Ardito to memorialize the action and vote approving application #2008-15 – Sophie Holbrook – 56 Harvard Avenue – Block 131; Lot 8 ; with conditions.

In favor: Palisi, Ardito, Reynolds and Kelly

Paul Struncius arrived at 7:35pm.

Application #2008-23 – Michael Percelay & Florence Abrenica – 795 Gowdy Avenue; Block 74; Lot 14 – Applicant wishes to construct a two-story single family dwelling.

Applicants sworn. Florence Abrenica stated that they need several variances for their 2-story modular. Property is an undersized lot; no way to purchase additional land. Keeping existing footprint; requesting front yard and side yard setback variances. Home is located across the street from the High school and is surrounded by residential homes. New home will be 37 feet by 25 feet; aesthetically pleasing and will not have a negative impact on the neighbors. Living area will be 1780 square feet and height of home is 32 feet. Mike Palisi questioned the Bay window encroaching on the five-foot setback. It is determined the Bay window sits 3 feet off the side property line. Mr. Wolfersberger is concerned about the landscaping. He recommends that a landscaping proposal is approved by the board prior to resolution memorialization. Front of home will be cedar vinyl impressions.

No audience comments/questions


Mr. Wolfersberger – Under normal circumstances I would not approve 33.3% building coverage; but considering the hardship of a undersized lot and the landscaping I would be in favor.

Mr. Reynolds – for the same reasons I would be in favor.

Mr. Palisi – There are some challenging properties in town and this is one of them. I commend your application; this is a very reasonable request. You have done a very nice job. I am in favor.

Mr. Struncius – The homes next to you are already two stories. You have some nice architectural features. For everything that was stated I am in favor.

Conditions –

1. The 36 inch maple tree is to be preserved.

2. Applicant is to present landscape plan to the board prior to Memorialization.

3. The applicant was cautioned that future variances for sheds and decks might not be granted.
4. The front of the home is to be sided with cedar vinyl impressions shingles.

5. The Bay window is not to encroach more than two feet into the side yard setback.

6. The applicant is to install a window on the garage along the northerly elevation.

Motion by Mr. Wolfersberger, second by Mr. Ardito to approve application #2008-23 with conditions.

In favor: Wolfersberger, Palisi, Reynolds, Struncius, Ardito and Kelly
Opposed: Leonard

Application approved

Application #2008-25 - Helena Giersz - 107 Forman Avenue – Block 68; Lot 4 – Applicant wishes to construct deck to existing family dwelling. Applicant previously removed the apartment use from the garage and currently utilizes it as an art studio.

Steven A. Pardes, attorney for applicant. Helena Giercz, sworn. There had previously been an apartment in the garage which has been removed and replaced with an art studio. The only issue with the garage is the air conditioner which was noticed for. Home was purchased two years ago and has since been totally renovated. Original deck was in terrible condition and she wanted to replace it. Helena Giercz had no idea that she would not be able to replace what had previously existed so she had it removed. Without the deck she has no access to the rear. Home renovation plans entered as A-3. The home was originally 38% building coverage prior to renovations. She converted the rear bath house to a shed.

Mr. Leonard recommended that maybe she should have a paver patio instead of a 200 square foot plus deck. Helena Giercz said she would like to be able to cook in the kitchen and watch her children playing on the deck. Mr. Palisi stated that there are a lot of reasons why the amount of coverage is limited in town. He said she needs to scale down what she wants. Steven A. Pardes stated that upon visiting the residence he observed her home is very much in character with the rest of the neighborhood. The neighboring home has a much larger deck. There are stockade fences on each side of the home.

Mr. Palisi is clarifying the point that she has abandoned the garage apartment use. Helena Giercz is the designer of “Dora the Explorer” and now utilizes the garage as her Art studio. Chairman Struncius suggested that in a give and take situation she might remove her shed and make room for storage in the art studio. Helena Giercz explained that it is not your normal shed; she custom ordered it to match the art studio. She is willing to have a reduced deck, but not willing to give up the shed. Helena Griercz has agreed to reduce the deck to 15.2 feet by a depth of 12 feet.


Wolfersberger – Feels it is important to bifurcate the vote for the a/c and the deck. I think the studio is a done deal and previously abandoned. Right now as proposed I am not in favor.

Chairman Struncius – I agree with a lot of what Mr. Palisi said. It is an open deck structure and you have stockade fencing. I believe it is an overall positive and you have offered for it to be smaller. I would be in favor as is.

Mr. Leonard – Since there was no deck on the plans, you knew it would be a problem. I would rather see a step down to a patio.

Mr. Palisi – You have done an incredible job on this home. It sends a strong message about the type of people we want in town. It has an open porch; they have taken away the garage apartment. I am in favor of this application as it stands today.

Mr. Reynolds – I like the fact that the deck is open. I would like to see it a little smaller. It would still compliment the home.

Mr. Ardito – When you bought the property you already had coverage of 38% and it had a deck. You were not familiar with building coverage; I would be more likely to be in favor if you bring the coverage back to the 38% when you bought it.

Mr. Kelly – Apparently you do not see a reason to remove the shed. I think the bath house should be removed if you want the deck.

Motion by Mr. Reynolds second by Mr. Wolfersberger to approve the air conditioning to the art studio portion of application #2008-25 with conditions.

1. Applicant has given up the right to rent the garage apartment which is now utilized as an art studio.
2. Applicant will not rent the art studio.

In favor: Wolfersberger, Palisi, Reynolds, Struncius, Leonard, Ardito and Kelly
Opposed: None

Motion by Mr. Reynolds second by Mr. Ardito to approve the deck portion of application #2008-25 with conditions.

In favor: Reynolds, Palisi, Struncius and Ardito
Opposed: Wolfersberger, Leonard and Kelly

Application approved


Meeting adjourned at 9:16pm

Attest – Karen L. Mills, Clerk of the Board

Published January07, 2009 | Board of Adjustment Minutes | 716

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