TOWN OF PITTSFORD
ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
May 23, 2016
Zoning Board of Adjustment Members Present – Stanley Markowski – Chairman, Rick Conway – Vice Chairman, Ed Keith, Jr., Dan Adams, and Jack Orvis. ABSENT: Clarence Greeno, Sherry Reed.
Others Present – Elizabeth Frost, Robb Spensley, Evan Chadwick, Jeff Biasuzzi – Zoning Administrator, and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.
S. Markowski, Chairman, called the Zoning Board of Adjustment to order at 7:00 PM. S. Markowski introduced the members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
Motion by R. Conway and seconded by J. Orvis to adopt the agenda as presented.
S. Markowski stated that the meeting was properly warned in 3 public places, on the town website; and mailed to the abutting landowners via certified mail with return receipt.
S. Markowski swore in Jeff Biasuzzi (Zoning Administrator – Town of Pittsford); Elizabeth Frost (resident – 3248 Route 7, Pittsford – abutting neighbor); Robb Spensley ( 201 Furnace Road, Pittsford); and Evan Chadwick (111 Main Street, Brattleboro).
S. Markowski stated that the hearing was to review an application by Robb Spensley for a Conditional Use Permit for parcel 0358 at 3232 Route 7. This permit is to convert a portion of a residential structure to a law office. The property is owned by Evan Chadwick.
R. Conway stated that the table of uses in the Zoning Ordinance states that a professional office in a residence is a permitted use. Following discussion, it was determined that the subject property would require a Conditional Use permit as Mr. Spensley will not be residing at the property.
Mr. Spensley stated that the property is non-conforming as the Zoning Regulations require property to be .5 acres and this property is .32 acres. Mr. Spensley stated that the proposed changes will involve converting the current master bedroom into a law office. Mr. Chadwick stated that Mr. Spensley will be the only employee at the location and there is a possibility that a couple of employees from other offices that Mr. Chadwick owns may stop on their way through town. Mr. Spensley stated that the hall, closet and half bath would be sealed off from the remainder of the residence and the end goal would be to have the residence ready to rent in the next 1 to 2 years. Currently, there are plumbers and electricians working to bring the property up to code and making adequate repairs.
Mr. Spensley stated that the current parking situation is also non-conforming as there is a car port with 2 spots and the remaining parking is on Route 7 where there is a Right of Way. Mr. Spensley stated that he has spoken with Brian Sanderson from VTAOT regarding the parking along Route 7. Mr. Spensley stated that half of the carport has been removed and there would be more parking available in the area where a pool was once located. There is a partial concrete pad and the concrete will be expanded to 9’ X 20’. Mr. Spensley explained that there would be a sign placed where there is currently a maple tree, which will be removed. Mr. Spensley stated that the current entrance is not ADA compliant, however, the entrance will be moved to the rear of the building and the ADA entrance will be off of the parking area. Mr. Spensley stated that he has been in contact with Rick Oberkirk and Ray LaPage from the State of Vermont regarding a wastewater permit, which may not be necessary. The State of Vermont Fire Safety has stated that the windows in the upstairs area must be replaced.
D. Adams inquired if a Site Plan Review was necessary from the Planning Commission. J. Biasuzzi stated that since this was a Conditional Use review, the Zoning Board of Adjustment can elect to perform the Site Plan Review.
D. Adams inquired if the application met the standard requirements. J. Biasuzzi stated that the narrative presents a good summary and meets the standards of a Conditional Use Permit.
R. Conway stated that there are other residents in town that have used their residences for attorney and real estate offices as a Permitted Use. Mr. Spensley stated that this has been discussed at great length with the Zoning Administrator.
S. Markowski reviewed the criteria for a Conditional Use. Mr. Spensley stated that there would be no adverse effect on any town infrastructure and stated that the State has told him that there would be no additional sewer permit required. R. Conway inquired if there would be any impact to the character of the area. Mr. Chadwick stated that there would be no impact.
S. Markowski inquired if there would be any change in the architecture. Mr. Spensley stated that there would be a future need for a sign and would not affect the area.
Mr. Chadwick explained that he chose Pittsford and Mr. Spensley to operate a legal office because Mr. Spensley has been an honorable resident of Pittsford and that Mr. Chadwick operates similar legal offices in Brattleboro, White River, Jct., and Rochester. Mr. Chadwick stated that “small town” attorneys are passing or retiring and local attorneys are being sought to fill the gaps.
S. Markowski inquired if there would be any impact on the roads. Mr. Spensley stated that Route 7 is always busy and that he was told that there would be no requirement for a traffic study with the construction of only 3 parking spaces. Mr. Chadwick stated that his other similar offices experience 3 – 5 visitors on average per week with a potential of 10 vehicles per week maximum. Mr. Spensley stated that he prefers to walk to work.
S. Markowski stated that other town ordinances would not be effected.
Mr. Chadwick stated that he has communicated with the Zoning Administrator and would like to open this office on June 1 and will delay renting the rest of the residence. Mr. Chadwick stated that an excavator will be coming and he understands the need for 4 parking spaces as they currently have 2 – 3 spaces. Mr. Chadwick stated that he is requesting a variance on the parking on a temporary basis. R. Conway stated that this was not warned as a variance. S. Markowski stated that this can be included as a condition. Mr. Spensley stated that visitors would be able to park on the right of way along Route 7. R. Conway inquired the distance from the traveled portion of the highway to the parking area. Mr. Spensley estimated 20’. J. Biasuzzi stated that the Parking Ordinance was separate from the Zoning Ordinance. R. Conway stated that the Parking Ordinance only pertained to town roads and not state highways.
D. Adams inquired the driveway access. Mr. Spensley stated that the driveway was shared with Craig Pelkey. Mr. Spensley stated that there was a dual easement right of way to the Pelkey property.
D. Adams inquired if the carport removal would make access easier to the parking area. Mr. Spensley explained the proposed parking on the map that was submitted with the application. D. Adams inquired if there was adequate space to allow 2 way traffic. Mr. Spensley explained that the Pelkey property is also accessible from Randall Road.
S. Markowski stated that the driveway width needed to be confirmed with the Zoning Administrator.
D. Adams inquired how many bedrooms would be in the residential portion of the structure. Mr. Spensley stated that there would be 3 bedrooms after removing the master bedroom.
S. Markowski inquired if there would be use of renewable energy. Mr. Chadwick stated “not yet”.
D. Adams inquired the communication with Mr. Pelkey with regard to the fence that is in the area of the parking. Mr. Spensley stated that he has spoken with J. Biasuzzi and stated that Mr. Pelkey had once indicated that he wanted to work something out, however he believes that Mr. Pelkey lost interest.
D. Adams inquired if there were any parking requirements for rental property. J. Biasuzzi stated that the minimum parking was 2 spaces for a single family dwelling. Mr. Spensley stated that to do the construction for the parking area in the rear of the structure, there would need to be fill brought in to raise the existing grade.
Ms. Frost rents the property adjacent to the subject property. Ms. Frost read a letter from her parents who were not able to attend the meeting.
Ms. Frost explained one concern was the placement of snow when the plows come by, the collection is in front of the 2 properties. D. Adams recommended that the residents speak with Brian Sanderson regarding this concern.
S. Markowski inquired the placement of a sign. Mr. Spensley stated that there is a tree in the front yard, which will be removed and a sign erected in the plants that surround the tree. Mr. Spensley stated that the sign would be no higher than 6’; 2 – 3’wide; 3 – 4’ long. The illumination is not an immediate concern. Mr. Chadwick stated that LED solar lights would illuminate the sign. J. Biasuzzi stated that the illumination can not produce a glare or interfere with the neighbor. D. Adams inquired if the sign would be single or double sided. Mr. Spensley stated that the sign would be double sided as it would be difficult to see from the north and south directions. The sign would be bent slightly for visibility.
S. Markowski read the Site Plan Review considerations. The Site Plan Review considerations were addressed in other sections of the hearing.
Motion by D. Adams and seconded by J. Orvis to enter into Deliberative Session at 8:22 PM. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment exited Deliberative Session at 8:50 PM.
S. Markowski stated that dimensions are necessary from the carport to the Pelkey property.
Motion by E. Keith and seconded by R. Conway to approve the application with the condition that the measurements be submitted to the Zoning Administrator. Motion passed unanimously 5 – 0.
Mr. Chadwick inquired if Mr. Spensley would be able to occupy the structure before the parking lot is complete. D. Adams inquired if the office would open without ADA access. Mr. Chadwick stated that there would be no meetings with clients that would require ADA accessibility. The Board agrees to allow the office to open.
Motion by E. Keith and seconded by J. Orvis to adjourn at 8:59 PM. Motion passed unanimously.
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary
Following the seven day comment & review period by ZBA Members, the Chairman is duly authorized to approve these Minutes on behalf of the Zoning Board of Adjustment;
Approved this __________ day of June 2016, by:
Stanley Markowski, Chair