Planning and zoning updates in Hyde Park and Clinton

Hyde Park Zoning Board of Appeals

Mobil permit determinations upheld
At its March 26 meeting, the Zoning Board of Appeals voted to uphold a determination on signage for the Chestnut Mobil Mart at 1110 Violet Avenue. The developer, CPD Energy, had appealed a decision by Zoning Administrator Kathleen Moss that denied the company sign permits.

The two questions at hand were whether a sign placed on the valance of a gas station canopy is considered part of the roof — and therefore prohibited — and whether the proposed band of solid blue paint on the valance of the gas station canopy would be considered part of the proposed sign area. Moss had found that a gas station canopy is a roof, so no signs are permitted there, and the band would be considered part of the signage, which is subject to a limit.

The ZBA affirmed Moss’s determinations and the motion carried unanimously. Public hearings for the two other decisions requested by Chestnut Mobil Mart will be continued at the meeting April 23.

Salt Point Turnpike privacy fence approved
Also on March 26, Rosa Theiss of 537 Salt Point Turnpike came before the ZBA for a variance to put up a privacy fence. Originally, the fence was proposed for 6 ft. high, but Theiss changed her request to 8 ft.

A neighbor, James Runza, spoke at the public hearing to ask whether there would be a setback for the fence because he was concerned about incursion into his yard. Board member Stanley Frangk and attorney Victoria Polidoro said if the variance passed, no setback would be required and the fence could be placed anywhere from the property line to 25 feet back. The public hearing was closed and the variances were passed unanimously by the board.

Creek Road fence variance requested
Eileen West came before the ZBA to represent Robert J. Lee of 541 Creek Road in requesting a variance for an already erected privacy fence. Lee requested a height change from 6 ft. to 7 ½ feet for one fence, where 6 ft max. is allowed, but West explained that her client had been contacted about another fence, as well, that also has an excessive height. A public hearing was set for the May 28 ZBA meeting. In the meantime, the board’s attorney, Victoria Polidoro, suggested that Lee and West get comparative information to show that the fences have no impact on the community, but in the case that an impact is proven, Polidoro added that there will be a proposed plan to mitigate the fence’s impact. Polidoro also requested that the ZBA conduct a site walk of the property.

Hyde Park Planning Board

Dollar General site plan presented
Lead developer Todd Hamula of Zaremba Group LLC and engineer John Andrews of Engel & Associates presented a site plan for their client, Dollar General, to the Planning Board at their April 2 meeting. Hamula proposed a fence, septic and stormwater for the site at 1049 Violet Avenue and discussed options such as porous pavement or catch basins for drainage. The board’s main concerns were the issue of drainage and why the company found it necessary to construct a new building rather than moving into a vacant space in the area.

Board chair Michael Dupree also pointed out that significant environmental data and traffic reports were absent from the application and would need to be included before the plan could be circulated to the fire department and prepared for a future planning board meeting.

Colonial Plaza sign approved
Zoning Administrator Kathleen Moss submitted a recommendation for a sign permit for Hyde Park Nail & Spa, a new business moving into the Colonial Plaza at 3979 Albany Post Road. The sign is similar in design to the one for Dunkin Donuts, which is in the same plaza. Board member Anne Dexter commented that she liked the sign and that it was “a good format.” The board approved the recommendation unanimously.

Town of Clinton Zoning Board of Appeals

Area variance on Stissing View Dr. approved
At its March 27 meeting, the Zoning Board of Appeals approved an area variance for Nancy Packes, represented by John Andrews, of 27–37 Stissing View Drive. The planning board’s Feb. 18 approval of Packes’ subdivision of a 26.1-acre parcel into two lots of 10.02 acres and 16.08 acres was conditional on securing this variance.

The 10.02-acre lot includes a 1,748 sq. ft. primary dwelling and a pre-existing, non-conforming caretaker’s residence of 752 sq. ft. The zoning code requires that an accessory dwelling be less than 35 percent of the habitable space of the primary dwelling or 1,000 sq. ft., whichever is smaller, so the area variance of 140 ft. brought the accessory dwelling into compliance.

One neighbor spoke at the public hearing to note the tidy appearance of Packes’ property and urge the ZBA to grant the variance. The board approved the area variance, agreeing that it was straightforward and preferable to obtaining the four variances that would have been required if Packes had proceeded with her original plan to convert an existing barn into her primary residence without subdividing her property.

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