Beach house approved on Hillside Avenue in Milford

The Planning and Zoning Board recently approved with conditions a special permit and Coastal Area Management Site Plan, allowing construction of a single-family residence bordering the Long Island Sound at 127 Hillside Ave. The property in the R-5 zone will include a swimming pool within 25 feet of high tide.

Architect James McElroy filed the petition on behalf of property owner Donna Nayden of Weston, who bought the 0.1-acre property for $280,000 in July 2013. McElroy told the board that Hurricane Sandy heavily damaged the house formerly on the property in 2012. The house has since been demolished.

McElroy said the new house would be a four bedroom Nantucket style colonial that will be elevated 19 feet above sea level, six feet higher than the required height for the zone. The property will have three parking spaces under the house and three in the driveway.

In response to a board question regarding the elevation, McElroy replied, “She [Nayden] wanted to go as far above the flood zone as possible and still stay within the 35 foot height limit.”

Board member John Grant said that by his calculations, the house exceeds the height limit by one foot. Grant said McElroy measured the height from the proposed concrete slab under the house, instead of measuring from the ground level.

Grant also asked questions regarding construction standards for the house, saying that the plans called for it to meet the requirements of the VE flood zone, but the standards require meeting requirements for an AE flood zone. He also stated that the architectural drawings did not have any elevations listed, and said the rear deck does not meet setback requirements.

In response, City Planner David B. Sulkis said that steps, decks and alcoves can project into a yard by a distance of four feet or not more than 20% of the required yard depth. Sulkis had previously read from a report written by Stephen Harris, zoning enforcement officer, who had reviewed the plans and said they met zoning requirements.

Joseph D. Griffith, director of permitting and land use, stepped to the podium and told the board that his office has adopted procedures to make sure that Sulkis and Harris are focused on zoning questions in their review, saying that questions of code compliance are reviewed by the building department when it issues a building permit.

In making the motion for approval, board member Jim Quish included the condition that approval is based on compliance with all zoning regulations, which will be addressed when the permits are issued by the building department.

Prior to making the motion, Quish said, “I still think it’s somewhat unclear if the questions put to the applicant have been adequately answered.”

In response, Sulkis reiterated what Griffith had said, by saying, “Whatever technical issues may be there will be caught at the building permit level.”