P&Z supports land transfer to Saleys

A request for an 8-24 referral for abandonment of a portion of city-owned land in front of 88 Milford Point Road moves to the Board of Aldermen for review and vote at its Dec. 7 meeting.

The Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) unanimously approved the recommendation at its Dec. 1 meeting. William Saley made the request to transfer ownership of the land from the city to himself and John Saley in front of their 0.11-acre property. The land is about 45 feet wide by 20 feet on one side of the property, and narrowing to 10 feet on the other side. In an 8-24 referral, the P&Z acts in an advisory role to the Board of Aldermen.

Attorney Justin Falco said a former tenant burned down the existing home, and later pleaded guilty to reckless burning and criminal mischief. Falco said the Saleys are planning to build a new home on the site. The new house would be set back further from the street and would have a smaller footprint.

During the planning process, the Saleys discovered that the front porch was on the city of Milford’s right of way from the street. Falco said along adjoining properties and part of the Saley property, the city right of way is 30 feet wide. Near Sand Street along part of the Saley property, the right of way widens to 50 feet.

Falco said neighboring property owners received notice of the request in certified letters and can comment to the Board of Aldermen at that meeting.

“I spoke to the neighbors and found no opposition,” said Falco, adding that he is a neighbor. He presented a memo from assistant city attorney Debra Kelly saying the abandonment is “legally acceptable.”

City Attorney David B. Sulkis said city departments reviewed the request and had “no concerns.” He said the city engineer and attorney would review the deed and land record, if the board approves the proposal. Sulkis said the abandonment request would not set a precedent because “every property, every situation is different.”
House Plan Approved
With a revised site plan, the P&Z unanimously approved on a coastal area management site plan review to construct a single-family residence at 45 Cooper Avenue. Marina Mitas and Aviel Suarez are the owners. The 0.05-acre property in the AE-11 flood zone has a 1,200 square foot bungalow built in 1949.

The board had tabled the application at its Nov. 17 meeting because the site plans did not indicate the location of the required two off-street parking spaces. At the Dec. 1 meeting, project engineer Joel Vito said the house was shifted toward the back of the lot to create two parking spaces. The house would be 20.5 feet from the rear property line, which exceeds the required 20-foot setback.

At the Nov. 17 meeting, Suarez, who is also the contractor for the project, said the property is four feet above sea level at grade. The house’s two floors of living space would be constructed on piers about nine feet high.

At that meeting, board member John Grant questioned the lack of supports for a deck projecting seven feet out from the house with no external support, saying the design is not allowed by the building code. Following the Dec. 1 meeting, Grant said the deck had been scaled back in size, and that the building department would have final review of that feature.

The project received a variance on March 14, 2015 from the Zoning Board of Appeals for a side yard setback on the west side of the property. Zoning requires a 10-foot side setback and the variance is allowing for a 5-foot side setback, which is an improvement over the existing non-conforming condition.

In other business, the board voted to send back to the regulations subcommittee proposed regulation changes regarding commercial signs in Milford. Grant explained that the revised regulations need further revision from the committee to make sure they conform with state law. Other regulation changes will be presented at the board’s Dec. 15 meeting for a public hearing.