As expected, the Zoning Board of Appeals last week broke a logjam in the process holding up the housing development on the former St. Gabriel’s land, allowing for the construction of two community buildings.
One building will serve as a boathouse on the shores of Coecles Harbor, while the other is a clubhouse to be located near tennis courts on the property.
In granting the approval at the August 24 meeting, the ZBA stipulated:
• The buildings were to be used only by those who occupied houses in the development and their guests
• There is to be no commercial use of the buildings, but it remained possible for use of the clubhouse for nonprofit groups to present fundraisers
• No sleeping quarters could be created within the clubhouse
• Use of tennis courts would be limited to daylight hours so there would be no need for lighting them
While the Waterways Management Advisory Council will make its recommendations on docks at the development, the ZBA accepted that there could be one community dock that would be larger than allowed by code and one or two other docks to serve specific properties and those should be limited to not more than 100 feet each.
Contractor Chris Fokine told the ZBA that revisions to the house owned by David and Lois Cohen at 12 Spring Garden Avenue in the Heights represents a “restoration, not a renovation.”
The Cohens need three variances to expand their nonconforming house by adding a front entry with a balcony; enclosing an existing carport; and adding a patio.
Neighbors and the Heights Property Owners Corporation have expressed no concerns with the project and the ZBA will discuss the application at the September 21 work session.
The ZBA approved applications from:
• Roberta and Paul Martin for a tennis court on their property at 48 Prospect Avenue in the Heights, after receiving plans for drywells that are to be installed prior to construction. The Martins had previously agreed to pitch the court toward their house instead of the roadway
• Carlos Payano for a variance to expand a nonconforming house at 35 North Menantic Road by extending the porch and deck and adding a second story
• Ralph and Lynn Whipple of 20 Thompson Road for reconstruction and additions to their nonconforming house that required a special permit and a variance for a side addition that would leave 16.2-feet of space from the lot line instead of the required 25 feet.