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ZBA Minutes 08/27/2012
TOWN OF PAWLING                                                         August 27, 2012
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS                                                                                       Page 1

PRESENT: William Blessey, Chairman, Larry Cyganovich, Marie Cooney Mary Utter and Brenda Colberg.

ALSO PRESENT: Tom Corrao, Code enforcement Officer

CONTENTS: James and Heather Costa and Minutes.

There were three people in the audience.

Chairman Blessey opened the meeting at 7:00p.m. and then led the salute to the flag.

JAMES AND HEATHER COSTA                 Area                            2012-007
1568 Route 292
Holmes, N.Y. 12531
Grid Number: 134089-11-6856-06-257931

        Mr. Mathew Oscar, Architect was present representing Mr. and Mrs. James Costa.
Chairman Blessey said the property is located at 1568 Route 292 Holmes, NY in an R-1 Zoning District.   Chairman Blessey said this application is a Type II action according to SEQRA, therefore, no action is necessary by the Board.  He read the response from Dutchess County Planning & Development, which indicated this is a matter of local concern.  The Zoning Board of Appeals members performed a site inspection.  Chairman Blessey explained the recent area variance granted and properties past history.  An area variance was granted to the Costa’s on October 24, 2011.  Subsequently, the residence caught fire and completely burnt down.  The applicants cleaned up the site leaving an open lot.   The Costa’s family plan to rebuild, therefore they are seeking new variances to move the house location.    Procedurally the Zoning Board of Appeals must request the applicants rescind their area variance granted on October 24, 2011.  For the reasons the variance granted was to construct a two story addition providing a front door, new stairway to access into the basement from inside the residence and a deck off the lower level. The parking area will include a new wood retaining wall to allow for off-street parking and a stairway to access the deck.  And the maximum building coverage is 10%, the Lot is currently at 12.36%, a variance of an additional 21.64% was granted to bring the total lot coverage to 34%.  In addition, to the area variances the Board held a lengthy discussion on the well and septic system.  The variances before the Board this evening is a new application.  Chairman Blessey asked Mr. Oscar to speak with his client on rescinding the October 24, 2011 area variance.    Following the site inspection held it became clear that the septic system is a major concern.  The landowners will not be able to reconnect to the old septic system.  Chairman Blessey felt due to the topography a pump up system will be required to be installed.
Mr. Oscar responded the sharing of the septic system is a non-issue for the reason the Costa’s plan is to install a new septic system.   The Costa’s met with John Kalin P.E. to discuss new septic system technology.  These new types of systems are constructed for lake frontages on small lots, alternative systems.  Mr. Oscar presented the site plans including the architectural drawing illustrating the elevation to the Board.  He explained the property has a 30 foot drop, for that reason the Costa’s do not want to move the proposed residence further downhill.    The design of the proposed house will be a split level consisting of three floors (the main entrance is road level, and then an upper and lower level).  
        Mrs. Colberg responded the main level elevation is 18 feet high.  The proposed house will be moved directly in front of the neighbor house across the street.
        The Board and Mr. Oscar discussed side yard setback.
        Mrs. Colberg asked for the location as to where the applicants plan to install the proposed new septic system?
        Mr. Oscar responded Mr. John Kalin P.E. is working on a site plan showing the location a septic system could be installed.  In addition, a topography survey was performed illustrating neighboring well locations.  The next step is to research and determine the best location for a septic system using new technology.
        Chairman Blessey stated since the applicant’s goal is to install a new septic system they should also consider installing a well on their property.  The outcome would be to clean up the site by installing their own well and septic system to become independent of shared services with their neighbors.
        Mr. Oscar responded the houses on Whaley Lake are weekend or vacation homes.  The Costa’s residence is a weekend or vacation home.
        Chairman Blessey said years ago the entire Whaley Lake community was vacation homes.  Currently, 90% of the homes on Whaley Lake are permanent.   Since landowners have become year round residents on Whaley Lake, the Zoning Board of Appeals suggests the Costa’s install their own well and septic system.   The Whaley Lake environment has changed.
        Mr. Oscar replied he cannot speak for his client when it comes to financial expenditures.  Until the Costa’s start getting septic system estimates, no decisions can be made on installing a new septic system or well.  The current well placement is deed restricted.
        Chairman Blessey responded he understands the deed restrictions to the well and septic system.  There are two pumps located on one well.   If one fails both pumps have to be pulled.  The ZBA is merely making a suggestion to the Costa’s to install a well on their property.
        Mrs. Colberg explained how the residents across the street currently have a full view of Whaley Lake.  If the proposed residence is moved to a new location, the neighbors view across the street will be affected.  She asked if it’s possible to reduce the proposed house elevation.
        Mr. Oscar said the house is proposed at ground level entering off of Route 292.
        Mr. Corrao suggested reducing the foundation 4 feet.  The house will be less intrusive from both sides.  He suggested reversing the living arrangement levels by placing bedrooms on the lower level.  
        Mr. Oscar explained the client wishes are to construct a two story house from the road.  The bedrooms are proposed on the upper floor, and designing the main floor at road level.   The other design aspect was to minimize the house appearance looking in from the Whaley Lake side.  
        Mrs. Colberg said by the granting of an area variance the Board reviews new construction as part of the neighborhoods character.   She has concerns for the neighbors across the street losing their view of Whaley Lake.
        Mr. Corrao explained his thoughts from an owner’s point of view.  The house across the street had a view of Whaley Lake and then the house on the Lake side burnt down and was rebuilt.  If the new location of the proposed house by the Lake blocks the view from the house across the street, two items result from reconstruction, their property values decrease and it becomes offensive to lose their view based upon the fact a view had existed.
        Mrs. Colberg said if the house elevation was reduced, this would resolve any potential loss of the Whaley Lake view.  During the granting of area variance specific criteria need to be complied with, she felt the Board has to take these items into consideration.
        Chairman Blessey said the ZBA is seeking a solution for the applicant and the neighbors.  The neighbors have concerns as to the septic system failing and the building elevation aesthetics affecting the Lake view.
        Mr. Oscar said if keeping the present house location results in not granting of the variance, he will work with the applicant to reduce the house elevations.  He enjoys working to resolve architectural details to design an interesting residence.
        Chairman Blessey summarized this evening meeting.  The ZBA requests a letter stating the applicant shall rescind the October 24, 2011 variances provided the ZBA grants new variances.  In addition, an engineered plan or letter illustrating/stating the proposed septic systems and new architectural drawing adjust the house elevation.      
        Mr. Oscar said the house elevations might not be the answer, perhaps architectural options might be an opening in the center of the building.
        Chairman Blessey suggested Mr. Oscar contact the neighbor across the street to inspect their Whaley Lake view.  
        There was discussion as to whether or not the ZBA could take into consideration the character of the neighborhood in reference to the neighbors view when granting a variance.  

        Chairman Blessey opened the meeting to the Public.

        Mr. Vincent DiMarco, Whaley Lake resident spoke.  He felt this application was sensitive on several levels.  The septic system is one issue of concern.  Along with close proximity of the new house proposed location would result in reviewing fire protection standards by the Town and architect.   The Leon’s residence appears to be 8 feet apart from the newly proposed Costa’s residence.   The Costa’s house went up on fire resulting in the entire house being unsavable.  The only reason Leon’s house did not catch fire was because of 35 feet distance apart.  Now we are discussing house locations closer to the neighboring residence.  The National New York State Building Code council met in July passing new fire standard regulations.  There are updated fire codes on specific types of fire proof walls.    
        Chairman Blessey responded Mr. Corrao is kept updated on building code regulation.  Unfortunately, many properties on Whaley Lake are in close proximity to one another.  For this specific reason the ZBA cannot deny landowners use of their property.  Chairman Blessey felt residences 8 feet apart does allow for flexibility.  He agreed that for new construction exterior fire walls should be installed.
        Mr. DiMarco responded exterior walls can be constructed using exterior rated fire walls.   A rated wall means it takes a certain amount of time before flames can burn through.  In cases where residences are built in close proximity, rated fire walls should be addressed, allowing architects to submit proper designs.  By ensuring fire wall standards if a fire was to occur in close proximity loss of more than one resident could be reduced.  Sadly in the case of the Costa’s these homeowners lost their home.
        Chairman Blessey asked how close the Leon’s residence to the Costa’s residence is.
        Mr. DiMarco responded only 3 feet.
        Mrs. Susan Leon neighbor spoke.   Her main concern is the shared well and septic system.   Following the conversation this evening it is apparent the Costa’s family is seeking to install an independent septic system.   In addition to the septic system her preference is for the Costa’s to install a well on their property.  
        Chairman Blessey responded the ZBA can not force the Costa’s to install a well on their property.  Hopefully, the Costa’s realize it would be an ideal situation and beneficial to install a well on their property.

        There were no additional comments from the audience.
        Chairman Blessey closed the Public Hearing.          
        Mr. Corrao explained a landowner procedure to file for a building permit following the granting of an area variance.  Once the building application is filed, the building department sends a Sans 34 form to Dutchess County Board of Health    At that point the DCBOH will notify the Building Department if a septic system can be constructed.  The Building Department cannot issue a building permit until the Sans 34 form is returned.
        Chairman Blessey stated following the conversation held this evening a decision shall be postponed for 30 days subject to
•       The Costa’s are required to submit a letter rescinding the October 24, 2012 area variance based upon a new area variance granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
•       A letter or design drawings illustrating the location a new septic system to be installed subject to Dutchess County Board of Health approval.
•        The Board shall suggest the installation of exterior fire walls (stucco) using New York State Fire code standards.
•       Re-locating the house away from Route 292.  

Motion by Mr. Cyganovich to postpone a Zoning Board of Appeals decision for 30 days until Mr. Oscar submits updated paperwork requested, subject to;
•       The Costa’s are required to submit a letter rescinding the October 24, 2012 area variance based upon a new area variance granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
•       A letter or design drawings illustrating the location a new septic system will be installed subject to Dutchess county Board of Health approval.
•        The Board shall suggest the installation of exterior fire walls (stucco) using New York State Fire code standards.
•       Re-locating the house away from Route 292.
Second by Mrs. Colberg. Chairman Blessey asked for any discussion.

Mr. Oscar stated he could prepare the paperwork in time for the September 24, 2012 ZBA meeting
The discussion on the Costa’s application was concluded.        


Motion by Mrs. Cooney to approve the May 29, 2012 Minutes as read.
Second by Mrs. Colberg.
All were in favor and the Motion carried.


        On a Motion by Mr. Cyganovich and second by Mrs. Colberg, to adjourn the meeting at 8:20p.m the meeting was adjourned.
                                                                Respectfully submitted

                                                                JoAnne Daley
                                                                Recording secretary
non-approved minutes

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Town Hall: 160 Charles Colman Blvd., Pawling, NY 12564

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