There is a recurring theme within this application that will be directly mentioned once: Age. The applicants have enjoyed their home for years but are now faced with the option to either relocate or renovate to accommodate this phase of their lives. They have chosen the latter as they love the location and do not wish to move.
There are shortcomings with the subject property. The front yard is a perfect trap for snow drifts making egress from the front door barely possible after heavy snows. Access from the driveway to the front door is not great and a future exterior ramp is planned. The floor plan is not optimal for first floor living.
The following modifications are proposed:
- The front entry will be upgraded to a stoop (step with roof). This will minimally remedy the wintertime entry issue.
- A garage is proposed mostly within the current driveway. This garage will be above the first floor level and will require a transition inside the house. The floor plans have only been sketched but this configuration will allow for an interior run of stairs or an interior ramp to enable better access into the house.
- An additional room is proposed at the first floor level to remedy the lost bedroom due to the plans for the ramp. This room will be constructed on piles and will have a minimal foundation under it (sono tubes or a subgrade frost wall).
- A portion of the existing deck will be removed. The patio block beneath the deck will be relocated to under the proposed room.
- The existing site features including the driveway, walkway and exterior stairs will be removed or reduced with the resultant developed area within the 0-50 NDZ to be the same as current conditions.
Most of the property is within the 0-50 NDZ. The proposed structure requires relief from the Zoning Board of Appeals. The alternatives are as follows:
- Do nothing. This would require that the applicants move which is an option that does not appeal to them.
- Attempt to push into the setback further. The setback requirements on this property are not limited to Conservation alone. There are Zoning Setbacks and Health Setbacks that have to be considered.
- Do less. As the proposed developed area matches the existing developed area, the proposal could be considered minimal. The garage is already minimally sized and is suitable for a car or for storage, not for both.
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