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Neighbors want Latham lot to stay vacant

Latham residents expressed discontent at a Thursday, Aug. 5, Zoning Appeals Board meeting over a local contractor's proposal to build a raised ranch home on a vacant lot on 22 Arcadia Ave., where there have been numerous reported drainage issues caused by the steep incline of the property.

The issue was brought to the board after contractor Frank Poleto's proposal was originally denied by Building Department Director Mike Rosch because it did not comply with the town's minimal 12,000-square-foot lot and 30-foot front yard setback. The lot is only 8,100 square feet, on which Poleto wants to build a 1,800-square-foot home with a front yard setback of only 25 feet.

He appeared before the board to obtain a variance to build the home on the lot.

The size was not the issue at the hearing, according to Rosch, who added that only one of the residents who testified had brought up that the home would be too large.

The issue is the lot is so steep, and the neighbors are experiencing drainage issues, he said. "If the board thinks it will make the drainage issue worse, they won't issue a variance."

When it was presented to zoning board, member Jim Sheehan had some trouble with the size of the lot and the size of the house.

"It seems like it's a big package in a small box," he said. "It might fit and it may not, but it looks like a big package on a small lot."

Three different residents living on Arcadia and one from Grapevine Place, which is parallel to Arcadia, protested the building of the ranch, saying it will only make the drainage situation worse.

Steve Tallmadge, whose house is directly across from the lot and is on an incline, said that he and his fiancE, Nicole Coshawn, have worked hard to purchase their home and are not ready to let their investment be destroyed after only living in the house for a month and a half because the town went against its own law.

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