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Neighbors to get more notice of ZBA hearings

JULIE LANE PHOTO Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Doug Matz said if applicants Greg and Virginia Anderson can’t complete requirements for their already installed pool and patio by July 1, he doesn’t want to see them back before his board again.
Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Doug Matz said if applicants Greg and Virginia Anderson can’t complete requirements for their already installed pool and patio by July 1, he doesn’t want to see them back before his board again.

Residents whose neighbors are applying for area and use variances for their property will get 30 days advance notice of Zoning Board of Appeals public hearings rather than 10 days.Because so many Islanders are part-timers, many have requested more notice of such hearings so they could plan ahead to attend those sessions where they want their views to be heard by the ZBA.

There has always been the option of sending comments through email or snail mail, but many want to look at the plans filed with the town in advance of the hearings and a 10-day notice has proven insufficient for them to get to the information they need.

The Town Board was to discuss the proposal this week and it appeared headed for quick approval.

In actions at the September 26 ZBA meeting, Building Permits Examiner Lori Beard Raymond told members the town should adopt New York State standards pertaining to egress from a building in an emergency and set standards for size, placement, number of people who need to be accommodated and other limits.

ZBA member Phil DiOrio asked Building Inspector Chris Tehan to bring a specific proposal to the board for its consideration.

At the same time, Chairman Doug Matz asked Mr. Tehan to check how his department is handling applications affecting porches and patios. Specifically, Mr. Matz’s question pertained to whether the same requirements would apply for a porch or patio resting on sand or one on a paver or brick bottom.

One related matter pertained to whether a 5-foot path could be considered a patio, but Mr. Tehan said that would be a walkway since its width was so limited. A walkway is a path to a specific place while a patio would be a gathering place for people to talk and sounds to potentially carry to neighbors’ properties.

The ZBA heard a presentation from Matt Sherman of Sherman Engineering and Esra Ozcan of Esra Ozcan Architectural Design about a proposal for Douglas Branson and Elizabeth Hurtt to tear down and reconstruct the primary structure on the property at East Brander Parkway and to add an attached garage to the new house.

The plan would require an 18-foot 7-inch side yard variance for the house and an 11-foot 7-inch side yard variance for the garage.

The couple would also need a special permit for the expansion of a prior non-conforming structure that would add a second story to the house and encroach further into the side yard setback than the existing single story non-conforming structure does.

In response to a question about why the house couldn’t be moved nearer to the roadway to avoid encroaching on the neighbor’s property, Mr. Sherman said that would pose a problem of the septic system being too close to the well, a violation of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services requirement.

Mr. Sherman offered to bring pictures showing the proposed house and the effect it would have on the neighbor’s house, noting that there was already a large wall between the two properties and the neighbors have an air conditioning unit on their side of that wall.

The hearing was kept open with further information expected from Mr. Sherman. No neighbors were at the hearing and no letters had been received from anyone in the area.

The ZBA approved three pending applications, all by a 4-0 vote with one absent member.

Mary Ward won her bid for a variance to construct a new porch, garage, accessory building and pool on her property at 29A Osprey Road. The application hit a bump at a previous session when a neighbor complained that the accessory building would open onto a shared driveway, but Ms. Ward agreed not to open that side of the building.

An application from 8 Wesley LLC was approved, despite some early controversy from the Heights Property Owners Corporation and several neighbors. Construction hours for exterior work are limited to weekdays between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. with interior work allowed on Saturdays and no work allowed on Sundays.

Joel Hoffman and Joel S. Hoffman Qual Per Res Trust got an easy approval for variances to rebuild an existing garage with a workshop at 10 Bay Avenue. He also needed a special permit that was granted because the structure represents an expansion of a prior non-conforming use and the application calls for converting an existing storage garage into a heated garage/workshop with plumbing and sewer connections. At the same time, the structure is to have no shower facilities and can’t be used for sleeping quarters.

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