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ZBA: Special permit approved for Hommert

JULIE LANE PHOTO |  The ZBA approved a special permit to renovate this house at 54G West Neck Road.

The ZBA approved a special permit to renovate this house at 54G West Neck Road.

As expected, the Zoning Board of Appeals Wednesday night approved a special permit for Andreas Hommert to renovate a house at 54G West Neck Road, but turned down a request to locate an air conditioning unit and generator in a lean-to attached to the back of the house.

Concerned about noise from the two units affecting neighbors, the ZBA determined that Mr. Hommert would have to place the units  to the left of the house where an outdoor shower is currently located. Mr. Hommert argued at the December 11 ZBA meeting that the house is being renovated to accommodate his mother-in-law and that the nearest neighbors are the Hommerts, who would have no problem with any noise from the generator or air conditioner. But ZBA members said they had to consider that if the Hommerts’ home and the house being renovated were to someday be sold to others, new owners might be disturbed by noise from the two units.

Plans call for Mr. Hommert to renovate more than 50 percent of the existing nonconforming structure and that’s what necessitated a special permit. Building Permits Coordinator Mary Wilson explained that her inspection of the property showed the actual renovations might be slightly below 50 percent. But given an older structure where major work is to be done, she had advised Mr. Hommert to seek the special permit rather than chance having the work stopped if it ultimately tipped over the 50 percent mark.

Mr. Hommert told the ZBA he intends to keep the same footprint for the small house, but said changes were needed to protect the upstairs of the house from moisture entering through the floors to the upstairs area. The walls also need to be insulated, windows replaced and the house needs new electrical and plumbing systems as well as a new air conditioning system and generator.

The area where Mr. Hommert wanted to place the air conditioning and generator units currently houses an oil tank that is to be removed and replaced with an underground propane tank.