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June 19, 2007

To The Aurora Village Government and Doug Staley:

I have been questioning the legality of the structural additions to the project at 327 Main Street since November 8, 2006 when the Planning Board approved the site plans submitted on September 12, 2006. Although those plans show additions to the house, they did not follow appropriate village procedure because there was no CPP involvement and approval of these additions. 
 
In FOILing the current plans for this house I see they show substantial exterior changes, porches, decks, and an addition.   None of these have gone through the official village process, beginning with the CPP. They have significantly expanded the footprint of the house. It bears no resemblance in size to the tiny Lake House Apartments.
 
In reality, the appropriate village boards have not approved these porches, decks and the addition.    The moving of the house to that site was approved.   But, none of the construction from the foundation on up, went through the legal village process.   As CPP board member Chris McCormack said, at the February 7, 2007 CPP meeting, in regards to the Koepp/Place project "I don't know what it is going to look like".     

This illegal construction is ongoing.

Please consider this document a formal complaint regarding this matter.

Sincerely,
Laura Holland



From: Laura Holland
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2007
To: 'Tom Gunderson'
Cc: [PB, CPP and VB members]

Subject: Response to June 1, 2007 email

Tom,

Regarding the claim you made in your email to me of June 1, 2007, "Please be advised the 'addition' was part of the original plans submitted and were approved by the appropriate boards": after reviewing my files, I am certain that you are in error.

I attended every official village meeting regarding the Koepp/Place project. I feel confident that my memory serves me well and I can say that additions and alterations to the external structure of the old Holland house were never discussed or approved by the CPP.

But, more important than my memory, I am relying on the materials that were presented, discussed, and decided upon at the CPP and Planning Board meetings pertaining to the project.

April 5, 2006,

At the Joint Public Hearing of the CPP and the Planning Board I received a copy of the 8-page proposal from CJ Koepp and John Place. The proposal contains several drawings, they are all casual, hand-drawn, unprofessional, and not-to-scale. One shows how they planned to site the old house on 327 Main Street, showing only the porches that are original to the house. The proposal discusses the comparative sizes of the old house and the Lake House building, claiming that they are close in size, as proof that the house would be appropriate to the lot. But, there is no mention of additions, decks, or new porches.

There is included in the document a "drawing showing open spaces between Webb House and its nearest neighbors". This drawing shows only the porches original to the house.

The CPP minutes of that meeting only discussed the demolition of Lake House Apartments and the relocation of the old house onto 327 Main Street. There was no discussion of additions or external architectural alterations to the house, except for the possibility of an under house garage.

May 3, 2006

I have copies of digitally created “photos” generated and submitted by the applicants that were supposed to show how the old house will look on the 327 Main Street property looking west from Main Street. The pictures show only the front porch, the original south porch is not there. The pictures show nothing added to the house on the north side. There are no additions, porches, or decks.

May 31, 2006

Our lawyer for this matter, Kristopher Vurraro, spoke to the CPP and Planning Board. Included in his remarks were these words:

"To date, the Applicants have yet to submit a comprehensive site plan, containing the exact dimensions and height of Webb House and showing its relationship to the property lines and all surrounding structures. We strongly urge the Planning Board to require the submission of drawings that contain the above information, prepared and certified by a licensed architect. Not only is such a site plan required by the Village Code, but it is only with these detailed drawings that the Planning Board can accurately assess how the size, height and proposed location of Webb House will affect the neighboring properties. We are confident that such documentation will illustrate the adverse impacts to the adjacent properties render Webb House ill-suited for the Lake Houses Property."

June 5, 2006

I have copies of two drawings submitted by the applicants, dated June 5, 2006. One is a site plan drawing of the "Relocation of Webb/Holland House" it shows only the original front porch and south porch. The original north porch is not shown on this drawing. There are no new porches, decks, or additions indicated.

The second drawing is a comparison of building heights, from the south, looking north. It shows a confusingly sketched in "new deck" on the west side of the house. That is the first indication of the possibility of alterations to the house.

June 7, 2006

The CPP approved "Application #06-07 - for C.J. Koepp & John Place to demolish Lake House and replace Web House on that lot". The minutes prove there was no discussion or approval of porches, decks, or additions, or any architectural changes to the building.

September 12, 2006

The "Proposed Site Plan", of this date, for the project shows a "new first floor deck". I presented a list of questions to the Planning Board regarding these plans, including:

The proposed "new first floor deck" is a significant addition to an existing structure. Will it need to go through the permit and approval procedure? This would not be part of moving a house, it would be a major renovation.

In addition, the drawing indicates that the house will have new gabled windows on the west side. Will this renovation need to go through the permit and approval procedure?

I did not receive a response from the Planning Board to those questions.

These questions were also included in that list:
I did not receive any response to these questions either. A lot of current problems might have been avoided if those questions had been addressed at the time, instead of being ignored.

November 9, 2006 in response to my question regarding this matter, the chairman of the CPP wrote me the following:
Hi Avery,

When the CPP approved Koepp's application to move our old house to the site of the late Lake House Apartments did that approval include a new 12 foot deck on the west side of the house, and a new wrap around porch, which they now want to add to the house? And did the approval include new gabled windows on the west roof?

Or, was the approval only for the house "as is"?

Thanks,
Laura

From: aayers [mailto:aayers@wells.edu]
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2006 9:26 AM
To: Laura Holland

Hi Laura~

I'm not aware of any approval other than, as you say, "as is". Why do you ask, did someone say otherwise?

A.
I have been questioning the legality of the structural additions to this project since November 8, 2006 when the Planning Board approved the site plans submitted on September 12, 2006. Although those plans show additions to the house, they did not follow appropriate village procedure because there was no CPP involvement and approval of these additions.

In FOILing the current plans for this house I see they show substantial exterior changes, porches, decks, and an addition. None of these have gone through the official village process, beginning with the CPP. They have significantly expanded the footprint of the house. It bears no resemblance in size to the tiny Lake House Apartments.

In reality, the appropriate village boards have not approved these porches, decks and the addition. The moving of the house to that site was approved. But, none of the construction from the foundation on up, went through the legal village process. As CPP board member Chris McCormack said, at the February 7, 2007 CPP meeting, in regards to the Koepp/Place project "I don't know what it is going to look like".

This illegal construction is ongoing. Why is this being allowed?

Sincerely,

Laura Holland


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