P&Z okays Beachland Avenue home elevation

The Planning & Zoning Board unanimously approved a special permit and coastal management site plan review to elevate a single-family house at 117 Beachland Avenue.

Attorney Kevin Curseaden told the board at its Dec. 16 meeting that the house was damaged in a storm, abandoned by its former owner, and acquired by its current owner, Platinum Homes LLC of New Haven, with David Candelora as managing partner. Curseaden said a survey determined a portion of the house was on the city street, so as part of the elevation, the house will be rotated to place it on the private property.

Since the garage cannot be used as a garage when elevated, it will be converted into a utility room for the furnace and hot water heater, Candelora told the board. Curseaden said the driveway apron will be included, but there is too little room for sidewalks.

At the December meeting, the board also unanimously approved boundary error corrections to the city's zoning maps. At its Dec. 2 meeting, Meghan McGaffin, the city's MIS analyst, told the board the 15-town South Central Regional Council of Governments plans to create an interactive website with regional Geographic Information System (GIS) maps that will include zoning maps and parcels.

In reviewing the maps prior to submitting them, officials found some minor inconsistencies between lot lines and zoning lines that they corrected.

The board also reviewed proposed revisions to the city's zoning regulations, as recommended by the board's Regulations Subcommittee. Board member John L. Grant, subcommittee chairman, said the largest change involves how the city measures the height of houses.

The board has a number of regulations describing and defining height, stories and attics, some of which are not in agreement with the definitions in the building code, said Grant. The subcommittee proposes deleting almost all those definitions, and simply stating that the maximum building height within a one-family residential district is 35 feet.

The other change would be to correct text errors in two other sections of the regulations. One change would include outdoor seating areas in the parking calculations for restaurants. The final change is a simple correction of a typographical error in section 5.8.5.

Grant said city departments and local agencies have reviewed the proposed changes and have indicated their support for them. The only remaining review needs to be submitted by the city attorney's office. Once that review has been sent to the board, it can conduct public hearings on the proposed changes.