20190423 Zoning Board of Adjustment minutes



Meeting Minutes

April 23, 2019


The regular public meeting of the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the Village of Ridgewood was called to order at 7:42 p.m.


Present:       Sergio Alegre, Greg Brown, Gary Negrycz, Alyssa Matthews, Ines Bunza, Jonathan Papietro, and Matthew Bandelt. Also present were Bruce Whitaker, Esq., Board Attorney (8:10 p.m.) and Jane Wondergem, Board Secretary.

Absent:        Diana Ruhl, Isaac Lebow

Non-agenda items:

        Board member comments: There were no comments at this time.

        Members of the public comments: There were no comments at this time.

Discussion: 657 Ridgewood LLC, 657 Franklin Turnpike, requested to revise the clearance sign for the Dunkin’ drive-thru. The Board discussed the revision and it was decided that it was a minor change and they would not need to come back to the Board.

Public hearings

New Business:


MATTHEW DEVINS – An application to permit the construction of a two story addition which will result in a front yard setback of 23 feet, where 40 feet is required; side yard setback of 16.9 feet, where 22.4 feet is required and a height of 33.46 feet, where 30 feet is permitted at 79 Park Slope, Block 2110, Lot 1, in an R-1 Zone. (Carried from April 9, 2019 without further notice) Matthew Devins, homeowner, was sworn. Robert Adamo was sworn and his credentials as a licensed architect accepted. Mr. Adamo testified regarding the existing conditions on the property, what is being proposed as per his drawings and the variances being requested. Mr. Adamo stated that they went before the Historic Preservation Commission and they recommended approval.

Board members questioned the hardship. Mr. Adamo said that the location of the existing house has preexisting nonconformities. Board members were concerned with the size of the addition and the height variance. 

There were no questions or comments from the public.

Mr. Whitaker arrived at the meeting at 8:10 p.m.

There was discussion regarding bifurcating the application, which was not an option. The application was carried to May 14, 2019 without further notice.


Old Business:


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 March 12, 2019) Steven Ross, Esq., was present on behalf of the applicant and Richard Brovarone, Esq., was present on behalf of the opposing neighbor, Marcia Ringel.

Terence Robinson, homeowner, was previously sworn and testified as to the history of the home and the use of the apartment above the garage. A tax card, Sanborn maps from 1924 and 1930 and photos were marked in as exhibits. Mr. Robinson described changes made to the property in response to comments and complaints from Ms. Ringel.

Board members had questions regarding the proof that the use was not abandoned and what it would be used for if approved.

Mr. Brovarone asked Mr. Robinson regarding the photos, and what was existing in the garage when they bought the property. Mr. Brovarone had questions regarding the a/c condenser.

Edward B. Wallace III, 59 E. Center St., Midland Park, was sworn and testified as to having lived in the carriage house from 2006 to 2011.

Frank Hall, architect, was previously sworn and testified as to what is proposed as per his drawings. Mr. Hall described the existing floor plan and the proposed floor plan. Mr. Hall testified that it was evident that the construction of the garage and the apartment was completed in the same general time period. Mr. Hall stated that the nonconformity is being extended but not exacerbated. Mr. Hall testified that if the application were denied, the upstairs could be renovated, but the stairs could not be fixed.  

Board members asked if just the structure of the building was from the same time period, or of the apartment itself. Mr. Hall said that it appeared it was all built in the same time period.

Mr. Brovarone asked how what is proposed is beneficial to the neighbor. Mr. Hall stated that it is a more consistent shape from an aesthetic standpoint and eliminates the possibility of anyone being on the flat roof. Mr. Whitaker said that if flat roof were used as a deck it would still be an expansion of a nonconforming use and required permits.

Mr. Whitaker said that nonconformity has not yet been established.

Brett Lowy, 303 Ferris Place, was sworn and testified that he lives across the street from the applicant and his house looks out on the garage and he supports the application as it is a positive change. There were no questions from the Board or Mr. Brovarone.

The application was carried to June 25, 2019 without further notice.

Discussion:   The Site Plan Committee reviewed the planting plan for Gomez-Dueso/Gelnaw, 85 Pershing Avenue, and were satisfied that the conditions of the resolution were met.

Resolution memorialization:      The following resolution was memorialized - Lai, 643 Wall Street.


Meeting was adjourned at 10:50 p.m.

Minutes submitted by:  Jane Wondergem, Board Secretary

Date Approved:       June 25, 2019

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