VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD
BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
June 25, 2019
The regular public meeting of the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Village of Ridgewood was called to order at 7:50 p.m.
Present: Sergio Alegre, Greg Brown, Gary Negrycz, Alyssa Matthews, Jonathan Papietro and Matthew Bandelt. Also present were Bruce Whitaker, Esq., Board Attorney and Jane Wondergem, Board Secretary.
Absent: Diana Ruhl, Isaac Lebow, Ines Bunza
Approval of Minutes: The minutes from April 23, 2019 and April 30, 2019 were adopted.
Board member comments: There were no comments at this time.
Members of the public comments: There were no comments at this time.
Chairman Alegre announced that the Bartley and Cynthia O’Dwyer, 301 Hamilton Road, application was carried to July 23, 2019 without further notice and the Ed and Kristine Desciak, 33 Barrington Road, was carried to July 9, 2019 without further notice.
ANGELA SIRIAC – An application to enclose a portion of the rear deck, extend the existing deck and construct a front entryway which will result in a front yard seback of 36.8 feet, where 44.4 feet is required and coverage by above-grade structures within 140 feet of the front lot line of 26.64%, where 20% is permitted at 322 E. Glen Avenue, Block 3202, Lot 3, in the R-2 Zone. (Continued from April 30, 2019 and carried from June 11, 2019 without further notice) John Russo, Esq., entered his appearance on behalf of the applicant. Angela Siriac, homeowner, was sworn and testified as to the enclosing the deck and extending the deck. Ms. Siriac stated that she is not going to construct the front entryway, therefore the front yard setback variance is eliminated. Board members asked about the hardship. Mr. Russo commented that the lot is deep and narrow. Board members expressed concern that the existing coverage is over what was previously approved. Mr. Russo said that the applicant would consider decreasing the size of the deck. There were no questions or comments from the public. The hearing was carried to August 13, 2019 without further notice.
MARTIN PIND – An application to permit the expansion of a deck which will result in coverage by above-grade structures of 22.7%, and coverage by above-grade structures within 140 feet of the front lot line of 24.3%, where 20% is permitted at 325 Wastena Terrace, Block 1907, Lot 20, in the R-2 Zone. (Carried from June 11, 2019 without further notice) Martin Pind, homeowner, was sworn and testified as to what was proposed. Board members asked about the hardship as the lot size is compliant. There was discussion as to how the coverage was already in excess of what is permitted. There were no questions or comments from the public. Following Board deliberation, Mr. Brown made a motion to deny, Ms. Matthews seconded, and the application was denied.
TERENCE ROBINSON & WILLIAM HALL – An application to renovate and update the interior and exterior of the existing detached carriage house/garage and to renovate, update and expand the second floor guest suite of the carriage house, which will result in a use variance for an apartment over the garage and the expansion or alteration of a nonconforming structure or use at 151 West End Avenue, Block 2511, Lot 1, in the R-110 Zone. (Continued from April 23, 2019) Steven Ross, Esq., was present on behalf of the applicants. Richard Brovarone, Esq., was present on behalf of Marcia Ringel, the objector.
Joanne Reissner, 141 West End Avenue, was sworn. Ms. Reissner testified in support of the application stating that the apartment over the garage had been used as an apartment in the past. Board members asked if Ms. Reissner would support the application if it were to be rented out. Ms. Reissner said it was to be used as an extension of the living quarters, not as a rental.
Thomas Peay, III, 295 Ferris Place, was sworn and testified in support of the application stating that up until the last couple years, the apartment had been used. Mr. Brovarone asked if usage of the apartment had been continuous, and Mr. Peay said it was to his knowledge. Board members asked who would be using the apartment.
Alan Weitzman was sworn and his credentials as a professional planner accepted. Mr. Weitzman testified regarding the property and location of the carriage house. Mr. Weitzman testified that there was no zoning prior to 1941. Mr. Weitzman distributed and testified regarding a pamphlet entitled ‘Carriage Houses of Ridgewood’ which he prepared, stating that what the applicants propose is smaller than most.
Mr. Brovarone cross examined Mr. Weitzman, asking about the use variance, explaining how it is detrimental to his client, and why the Board should grant it. Mr. Brovarone asked if carriage houses or garages with apartments were addressed in the master plan review, or if this is a permitted use in the ordinance. Mr. Weitzman stated it was an existing use. Mr. Brovarone asked if the carriage house could be renovated without variances.
Mr. Ross followed up asking if the benefits outweighed the detriment. Mr. Weitzman testified that the proposed project would be an improvement to the property and the neighborhood.
Mr. Whitaker clarified that Mr. Weitzman established that the building was built prior to Ridgewood Code but not if the facilities in the living space above the garage existed at that time. Mr. Whitaker explained to the Board that the height variance being requested is for a ‘C’ variance, not a ‘D’ variance, as it is for an accessory building.
Mr. Ross presented census information and there was discussion that the document should have been presented earlier. The document was marked as Exhibit A-1 6/25/19.
Terence Robinson, the homeowner, was previously sworn and testified as to the census report, which he states shows that people were living in the carriage house in the 1930’s. Mr. Robinson testified regarding the plumbing fixtures.
Marcia Ringel, 250 Ferris Place, was sworn and testified as to the proximity of her house to the subject property. Ms. Ringel described her home and how the proposed improvements will negatively affect her quality of life. Ms. Ringel stated her home was built in 1917. Ms. Ringel stated that she is not opposed to the garage being renovated, but it did not need to be bigger.
Mr. Ross asked if Ms. Ringel made specific requests of the applicants regarding the garage. Ms. Ringel stated she did make suggestions because of the proximity to her home. Mr. Ross asked how the proposed work would impact her and if she had signed an affidavit that she would not object and that the garage had been used as an apartment. She said she had signed the affidavit and she regretted doing that.
Board members asked Ms. Ringel about her knowledge of people living in the apartment as per other witness’s testimony. Ms. Ringel said that people lived there over the years but it was intermittent, not constant. Board members asked if she objected to the use of the structure if there was no addition to it. Ms. Ringel stated she did not want someone to live there.
There were no questions or comments from the public. The hearing was closed, and the application carried to September 10, 2019 for Board deliberation and vote.
Resolution memorialization: The following resolutions were memorialized:
- Wall, 142 Elmsley Court
- Gondris, 30 S. Murray Avenue
Meeting was adjourned at 11:11 p.m.
Minutes submitted by: Jane Wondergem, Board Secretary
Date Approved: August 13, 2019