Pole Barn Approved
ZBA Grants Area Variance for Pole Barn
Story by John Thomas
Last week the Town Zoning Board of Appeals continued an action to grant an Area Variance for a new building on Kuhn Road. The resident there wants to build a pole barn 40 feet from his front property line. The front setback in the area is 60 feet. A public hearing was held in October to take public input on the variance. No members of the public had appeared to comment on the proposal. The homeowners had been unable to attend the hearing but were present at the November 2 meeting.
To consider the variance the ZBA must consider five questions: 1) Will the variance requested create an undesirable change with respect to other property owners, or will it create an undesirable change in the character of the neighborhood? 2) Can the applicant achieve similar results with other methods? 3) How substantial is the variance requested? 4) Will granting the request create an undesirable change in the environment? 5) Is the need for the variance self-created? In the discussion of the questions the board felt the advantages to the owner to build the barn outweighed any apparent damage to the property. To question one, they felt the change was consistent with the rural character of the area and would not cause any visual detriment to the spot. To question two, Town Planner Gary Palumbo asked the owner if there was a reason he could not place the pole barn 20 further feet back to comply with the setback. The homeowner responded that would push the barn into a hillside at the back of his property. He said the hillside was rather steep and cutting into the bank to create a space for the barn would ruin the aesthetic of the slope. To question three regarding a substantial change to the property, the board felt the position of the barn would be 33% closer to the road than the setback allows and would not result in a substantial impact. To the environmental question, the board found the barn would be an accessory building to the lot and not an undesirable change in the environment. As to the question of self-created, the board said the variance is self-created, but that was no reason to deny the request.
The homeowner said he had polled his neighbors and found none of them objected to his plans. He added the trees along the front property line will remain in place that will serve to partially obscure the barn from the road. The board said the variance request was a type two SEQR action and no further SEQR review was required. Mr. Palumbo noted nothing had changed on the application since it had been submitted and the board could proceed with the vote. The board passed a motion to approve the variance.