7 October 2015 | Approved: 4 November 2015
Chairman Nagrod called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were commissioners Brenda Gumula, Dave Hix, John McClelland, Deborah Mehlferber, and Steve Werts. Others in attendance were Councilor Georgette Cole, Mayor Joli McCathran and residents Charlie Challstrom, Jeff McCrehan, Bud & Carolyn O’Connor and Jane Seegal. In addition, property owners Min & David Bent (407 5th) and Ying Chen and Jay Wang (potential buyers of 401 Brown) also attended the meeting. Resident John Hutchinson arrived at 8:10 PM.
Approval of Agenda
Steve Werts moved to approve the agenda. John McClelland seconded the motion. Approved: 5-0.
Ying Chen & Jay Wang introduced themselves to the Commission. They have put a contract on 401 Brown Street and wanted to be sure they understood the process for enlarging the house. They would like to put an addition on the rear of the home. Commissioner Werts volunteered to meet with them to discuss setbacks and other elements of the building code. The Commission recommended they go to the next HPC meeting with their ideas for the addition. They were also given HPC Chairman Bob Booher’s name and phone number. The Planning Commission thanked them for attending the meeting.
Jeff McCrehan (410 Brown St.): Jeff explained he was putting rooftop solar panels on the back of his home. Solar City sent in a building permit application on his behalf. The required two (2) signatures will be done after the meeting and the documents will be mailed to Solar City by week’s end. The check for $100.00 will be returned with the approved building permit.
Jane Seegal: Jane asked for the Town to develop a procedure for notifying neighbors when construction is going to occur. The Commission explained the pink Notice to Neighbors signs and the process already in place.
David & Min Bent: The Bent’s referred to a memo sent to them from Charlie Challstrom alleging a 2014 survey completed by Survey Associates misrepresents the proper location of the property corner for 409 5th Avenue. They asked the Commission for clarification. Charlie Challstrom stated for the record; he believes the most recent survey (2014) of 409 5th Avenue is incorrect and tied to the wrong marker. Although the Commission believes Town government should not get involved in this problem between neighbors, there was a discussion about the complexities of this issue. Items discussed are as follows:
- The Town block corner surveys project
- Surveyor’s credentials
- Town involvement in problems between neighbors
- Use of the survey in question for a 2014 fence permit for this property
- Use of the survey in question for a request for permanent easement for this property
- Filing a survey in the County land records known to be incorrect
Bud O’Connor believes nothing will change until two (2) professionals sit down and discuss the alleged error. Any further discussion would be a waste of time. Brenda Gumula suggested the Bents get a boundary survey of their property and compare the line in question. This comparison should be done by the surveyors not the PC members. The Commission, as a whole agreed, with this idea.
Approval of the Minutes
David Hix moved to approve the September minutes. Steve Werts seconded the motion. There were a few changes. Approved, as amended: 5-0.
Building Permit Applications
See Public Appearances
Block 11 Survey of Residual Town Land – Update/Status
The Commission reviewed and amended a letter from the Mayor to the residents of Block 11. The letter explains the results of the survey of an access path and residual Town land in Block 11. The letter, along with a copy of the survey, will be sent to residents at 203 2nd Avenue, #6 The Circle, #8 The Circle, 315 Grove Avenue and 319 Grove Avenue on Friday, October 9, 2015.
John McClelland brought up the recent letter about the Block 11 Survey sent by Maggie Range (#8 The Circle). He did a brief review of the 2003 building permits, constructions plans, stop work order, “bay window” extension, square footage documents and the house location survey showing the setbacks. The Commission reviewed the letter and documents from the house file. A set of steps (partially on Town land) and a portico were built without a building permit and only discovered as a result of the Block 11 survey. The aforementioned letter asks all adjoining property owners to remove landscaping features, ponds, fences, structures etc. from Town land.
The Commission discussed the issue of the “handicapped steps” mentioned in Ms. Range’s letter. These steps do not meet the legal definition and further research is needed. The Commission would like to see them moved to the owner’s property.
Block 11 Fence Height Ordinance – Draft
This proposed ordinance is a change to Article VII, thus a Zoning Text Amendment. Because of the expense in the advertising a ZTA, the Commission decided to take a look at other parts of Article VII to see if other items might need additional work. This will be discussed at the next PC meeting on November 4, 2015.
Jane Seegal asked the Commission if the roof structure that was built to protect her A/C unit needed a permit. She also reported this structure to be over the property line by 1/8” and has been asked by her neighbor to correct the situation. The Commission advised Jane to correct the encroachment and no building permit was necessary for the structure.
House Files – Status Report
Brenda Gumula reported 37 house files scanned. The group will meet again on October 26th. Brenda also reported all but two (2) of the vacant properties are finished.
Report from Town Council
John McClelland reported Forestry & Beautification members are working to address our diminishing tree canopy, the first Emergency Preparedness meeting will occur on October 8th, the permanent easement application for 409 5th Avenue is still in the Town attorney’s court and the new Vacant Properties Task Force will meet on October 19, 2015.
- Steve Werts suggested the Town engage Town Code Inspector Larry Plummer to do an early measurement/inspection at 203 2nd Avenue to check the corners. He also suggested the Town have Larry check the easement measurement as well.
- There was a brief mention of the new checklist for the 10-year Master Plan review which is sent to the State. This list should make the task easier.
- Peter Nagrod suggested the HPC review fence permits.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:07 p.m.