ZBA denies variance, tables permit request

By Sheryl Roadcap - sroadcap@sidneydailynews.com

SIDNEY — The Sidney Zoning Board of Appeals denied a variance request Monday to allow a swimming pool in the front yard of a residence on Port Jefferson Road.

The board also tabled a conditional use permit request for a self-service storage facility on Main Avenue in the community business district.

The variance request of Jeff Baker was to seek permission to allow a permanent, above-ground swimming pool in the front yard at 1512 Port Jefferson Road. This property is in the S-1, suburban residence district, located at the intersection of Port Jefferson Road and Bon Air Drive.

Barbara Dulworth, community development director, said the zoning code requires permanent swimming pools to be in side or rear yards, with a minimum of 10 feet beyond the required building setback line from any street and at least 10 feet from a side or rear lot line. The front setback in the S-1 district is 35 feet, so in order to comply with the location requirement, she said a pool on the subject property must be placed at least 45 feet from both Bon Air Drive and Port Jefferson Road and may not be placed in the front yard.

Due to the location of the property at the intersection of two streets, and the curve of Bon Air Drive to the intersection, Dulworth said, this property has almost all front yard, as defined by the zoning code, with a very small rear yard along the south side of the property. She said a variance would be required in order for a pool to be permitted because there is no location on the property for a swimming pool that is compliant with the regulations.

Dulworth told the board the property size, shape and location of streets has been in place for 50-plus years. She also said the ability to have a private pool is not universal or guaranteed for every residential property, and a resident who wishes to have a pool must consider with due diligence prior to choosing a residence.

City staff did not recommend approval of the variance for the following reasons:

• The lot arrangements, curved streets and shallow blocks leads to multiple properties in the neighborhood with similarly situated lots that have almost all sides of the property with street frontage. The subject property is not exceptional or extraordinary for this neighborhood;

• The proposed location of the swimming pool, highly visible from the street, has the potential to be an attractive nuisance as well as a visual blight affecting nearby properties.

All board members who were present unanimously voted to deny the request. Board member Richard Sommer was absent and was excused by the board.

Also Monday, the board voted to approve Steve Meade’s request to table his conditional use permit application for a self-service storage facility at 432 N. Main Ave. The property is located in the B-2 community business district.

The conditional use permit request was to be revisited Monday after it was first tabled in February and again in March.

Dulworth shared an email sent by Mead Monday morning asking to table the item. In his email, he explained he has been unable to complete the board’s request for additional information because he is in Europe, still unable to return to the U.S. due the coronavirus. He also apologized for being late to the February meeting, due to a previous meeting running longer than expected. Mead asked for the item to be tabled until he is able to return home.

By Sheryl Roadcap


Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.