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Zoning violation matter back in front of select board

 November 22, 2006

By Lisa Loomis

The issue of how and whether to see that the town's zoning is enforced in the matter of a construction trailer that has been in Waitsfield for three years, is before the Waitsfield Select Board.

At issue is a trailer, currently being used as an office at Jakes' World Auto in Waitsfield Village. The trailer has been on the site for over three years. During part of that time, business owner Jake Cady was seeking town permits to build a permanent office at his car repair and sales business.

The select board discussed the trailer at its last meeting on November 13 and resolved to look into the history of the trailer and whether or not the town had or had not issued a notice of violation.

Waitsfield zoning administrator David Jescavage researched the issue, (which predates him and runs backwards through two other zoning administrators plus twice-interim zoning administrator Blaine Laskowski) and found a June 16, 2006 certified letter from then zoning administrator Cindy Tyminsky informing Cady that the trailer is in violation of the town's zoning.

Tyminsky, in her letter notes that based on information available to the town, Cady is in violation of the ordinance, pointing out that she discussed the matter with him prior to issuing the letter and received no response from him. The construction trailer, she wrote, was allowed based on temporary permits that were issued and allowed him two years to complete his construction and permitting.

"Additionally, you have realized a third year by retaining this trailer an additional 12 months without the benefit of a permit," she wrote.

Tyminsky went on to note that Cady had seven days from the date of the June 16 letter to 'discontinue this violation and take immediate remedial action.' Specifically she pointed out that the illegal construction trailer must be removed and added that 'if you do not accomplish the actions directed in this letter within seven days of the date of this letter, a violation will be issued. The town may be entitled to seek appropriate injunctive relief and fines of up to $100 per day for each day of your violation."

Jescavage said that the decision of how to proceed with the violation is up to the select board because for the town to move further would mean involving the town's attorney. Town administrator Valerie Capels said that before the select board takes that step, the town wanted to talk to Cady about the situation.

"We're more interested in having the ordinance enforced than in going to court," she said.

Cady's trailer was leftover from a failed attempt to build a 2,384 square foot office/showroom building adjacent to and attached to the existing garage bays at Jake's World Auto in Waitsfield Village.  The Waitsfield Zoning Board of Adjustment denied Cady's request last year in November.

Cady and his attorney David Olenick asked the zoning board of adjustment to consider the new structure to be part of the existing building's second floor. Waitsfield's zoning for the Irasville Commercial District calls for all new construction to include a second story. Cady and Olenick argued that connecting the new construction to the existing building constitutes an expansion of the second story of the existing building.

In the Cady decision, Cady was denied permission to build a showroom/office area for his auto repair and sales business. His existing building sits on .71 acre and is 3,984 square feet. Waitsfield's zoning calls for new construction in the Irasville District to have a minimum building height of two stories above grade. "The project also does not comply with the two story dimensional standard requirement for the Irasville District in Table 2.3D," the ZBA wrote in its denial.

"Specifically, the Board rejects the applicant's argument that the proposed building constitutes an addition to the second story of the existing building.  The proposed building (or building addition) is located on a separate foundation and is not configured to be located "between the surface of any floor and the surface of the next floor or ceiling above it."  The proposed building would have both the function and appearance of a single-story building and is therefore prohibited within the Irasville Village District," the board reasoned.

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