Milan ZBA hears request to allow construction material storage on Rt. 199

Contractor Edward Eiffert and his attorney, Karen Hagstrom, have requested that the Milan Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) vacate a stop-work order in a long-running dispute over constructing a storage building on Route 199.

According to documents submitted by the applicant for the April 25 ZBA meeting, a building permit was initially issued in October 2009 for a 30-foot by 120-foot metal and wood storage shed on the 109.52 acre property, on the north side of 199 between North Road and Wilcox Park Rd., which is owned by Eiffert’s partner, James Murphy.

But in September 2010, Code Enforcement Officer Stephen Cole issued a stop-work order because he said the proposed use of the storage shed — to store insulation, vehicles and other building materials — is not allowed in that zone.

In the 11 months before the stop-work order was issued, Eiffert claimed at the meeting, he purchased the shed at a cost of $31,850 and hammered rock for the foundation at a cost of approximately $56,000.

Eiffert said he then invited Cole out to check that the foundation would be up to code before he started assembly of the storage building.

Hagstrom said that when Cole came out, he “said, ‘Wait a minute, you can’t build that shed here because the shed is designed to hold Ed’s equipment for his insulation business’ – so it was going to hold barrels of insulation, some other – trucks, things of that nature,”

The purpose of the shed is to get the materials under one roof instead of stored around the property, she said. “There had been complaints that the property had been messy, so this was kind of win-win. It was supposed to be because it was going to be aesthetically pleasing, really hidden from view up on this hill — and it would take care of what there had been some complaints about,” she added.

Eiffert is asking the board to overrule Cole and vacate the stop-work order and allow an extension of the building permit, which was denied in October 2010, so that construction can move forward. Alternatively, Eiffert is requesting that the board grant a use variance to permit construction of the storage shed to hold construction materials and equipment.

The board, led by chair Rocco Mancini, accepted the documentation and materials for review.

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