A home building project in East Chop that has long been at odds with the town is set to come before the Oak Bluffs zoning board of appeals for further review next week.
Leslie Hayling, a New Jersey dentist, has been rebuilding a home and garage apartment for nearly 10 years on Dempster Park. In a sharply-worded letter to Dr. Hayling last summer, Oak Bluffs building inspector James Dunn ordered the removal of a long list of additions that were not included in a 2005 special permit.
“I have found it unconscionable that anyone would deliberately plan and execute work well beyond the specific limitations of an approved special permit issued by the zoning board of appeals,” the building inspector wrote in July.
Mr. Dunn ordered the removal of five terraces and decks and a driveway, among other things. Landscaping and screening must also be completed as previously required by the zoning board.
Dr. Hayling is appealing that order.
A public hearing is set for Thursday, Dec. 20. Dr. Hayling is represented by Robert McCarron, an Edgartown attorney.
The July letter came months after Mr. Dunn issued a stop work order for the property in January. No work has been done since the stop work order was issued, Mr. Dunn said last week.
Dr. Hayling has owned the property since 1975.
The original building permit was issued in 2003 for a bath house and garage. The board of appeals rescinded the permit in 2005 after it found the construction went beyond the scope of the special permit and included a two-car garage area on the first floor, two bedrooms upstairs, a kitchen, bathroom and outdoor second floor deck. The two bedrooms violated zoning bylaws and setback requirements.
The Haylings returned in the same year with a new special permit application which was approved with conditions. The board approved Dr. Hayling’s request to rebuild the main residence and to alter and attach the existing garage apartment as one single-family structure. An elevated passageway attaching the garage apartment to the main residence was also approved. Conditions included removing a portion of the garage that violated setback requirements or purchase abutting land to meet the requirement.
In his July letter, Mr. Dunn said the 2005 special permit was approved with the understanding that the plan could not be altered further.
“Members of the zoning board of appeals sitting at the time the special permit was issued cautioned you about returning with any additional changes and all agreed that the project was becoming too big and that any further petitions would not be accepted,” he wrote.
“Many of the changes consisting of additions to the structure, the expansion of rooms and decks, changing from windows to doors, unapproved grade elevations, maximum height restrictions and deviations to an approved landscape design were not ‘spur of the moment’ decisions,” he continued. “They were carefully thought out and planned; in some cases engineered and/or architecturally designed with what appears to me the idea that if necessary, ZBA approval would be sought at a later date.”
Mr. Dunn said in the immediate future Dr. Hayling will be required to remove the west driveway and begin required landscaping.
He said last week that Dr. Hayling, in response to the July letter, is developing “an acceptable plan to satisfy the building department before it goes to the zoning board.”