Storm-damaged Hillside house to be replaced

A storm-damaged beachfront house at 189 Hillside Avenue is slated to be demolished and replaced by a new, elevated structure, following unanimous, but conditional Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) approval at its March 1 meeting.

Suzanna Daggs owns the 0.17-acre property, which has a 972 square foot beach cottage constructed in 1915. The cottage sadly did not reach its 100th anniversary intact, as it was severely damaged by Hurricane Irene on Aug. 28, 2011, and further damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Architect Rafael Amaya, who made the presentation on behalf of Daggs, said the storm damage left the home an “eyesore.”

Amaya said the existing home would be demolished and replaced with a 1,993 square foot two-story house that will be elevated to 19.48 feet, which is above the 500-year flood zone with a maximum height of 34.8 feet.

The three-bedroom house will have a two-bedroom accessory apartment. Amaya said Daggs will live in the apartment, and her relatives will live in the main part of the house.

He said the 3,700 square foot lot is smaller than the 5,000 square foot lot required in the R-5 zone, and two lots have been consolidated into one. Amaya said the project meets all setback requirements.

The board made the Coastal Area Management (CAM) site plan approval contingent on the city engineer approving changes to the site plans, which include the stipulation that the house have one set of electric and natural gas meters, instead of the two sets indicated on the original plans. Amaya will also have to submit a Mylar copy of final site plan to the City Clerk for the land records.

In other business, the board unanimously approved a set of changes to the zoning regulations related to the question of building heights, and definitions of basements and attics in sections 3.1 to 3.22 of the Milford Zoning Regulations and the Section 11 definition of attic.

In the summary of the proposed regulation change, the stated reason for the change was to lessen confusion between the zoning regulations and the building code as to what is an attic and when it is considered a story.

The proposal received three favorable comments from the public with no one opposed to the changes.

The previous zoning regulations described the maximum height of a building in residential zones and the Residential Office zone as three stories, or 35 feet. With the revised regulations, the maximum building height is simply 35 feet. In a boating district, a maximum height is still 50 feet, but the limit of two stories was removed.

In the Corridor Design District-2 (Devon Center-Naugatuck Avenue), Corridor Design District-4 (New Haven Avenue), the maximum height is simply 40 feet with the reference to a maximum of three stories removed. The regulations for the Corridor Design District-3 (Bridgeport Avenue) did not need updating as they did not specify a story limit, only a height limit of 40 feet.

In the Corridor Design District-5 (Regional Business Design Corridor District), the height limit is 60 feet with no further reference to five stories. In the Interchange Commercial District, the height requirement remains at 120 feet with no further reference to a maximum of 10 stories.

Finally, the board deleted Section 11 of the zoning regulations which had a paragraph long definition of an attic.