The Ocean View Board of Adjustment met last week and unanimously approved variance requests from the land use and development code.
Robert and Kathleen Wooster, whose property is in Country Estates, submitted their application for a variance after trying to sell their property and learning they were not in compliance with town code. The development had had issues in recent years, after it was discovered that 17 of the properties were in “no man’s land,” only partially in Ocean View and partially in unincorporated Sussex County, being neither in Ocean View nor in Millville.
The application requested variances that would allow for principal structures and attached accessory structures to encroach 9.3 feet into the rear lot setback of 30 feet, as well as variances for a shed and outdoor shower.
Shannon Carmean, the attorney for the Wooster family, said that when her clients went to the Town in 2002 regarding the building of their home, they were told to seek permits from the County.
“Mike McCarthy constructed the property. Mr. McCarthy approached the Town and was advised, since the majority of the property was located within the County, he should therefore approach the County for permits.”
Carmean said that the Woosters recently entered into a contract to sell their property, and when it was discovered the property was not in compliance with town code, the contract had to be broken.
They believed they were following the proper channels… Unfortunately, we’re here today,” said Carmean. “We’re here tonight to rectify the situation. This property is unique… This is very uncommon. It’s a unique situation. It’s a unique property.”
The board voted unanimously to approve the variance applications, with a vote of 4-0.
The board also unanimously approved a variance request to encroach a side lot line setback of 15 feet by 0.4 feet.
Residents Henry and Linda Alt sought the variance so they may acquire a building permit for renovations for an attached accessory structure at the rear of their home. Ocean View resident Albert O’Connor, a neighbor of the Alts, spoke in support of the application.
“I just want to express my support,” he said. “I am their next-door neighbor. I have no objections to any of the work that they are trying to get done.”
The board also unanimously approved that variance request.
Finally, the board also approved a variance to erect a detached accessory structure, exceeding the 14-foot height limit by 4 feet, at 1 and 3 Kent Avenue.
The detached pole-barn structure would be large enough for two car entrances and include a small door and a window above the garage door entrance.
Maxwell Morris, who represented the property owner, Tanya Gourley, said that the upstairs of the garage would be solely for storage and the building would not have water connected to it.
“The purpose of the code change was for one thing and, from looking at the drawings, they would not be able to get what we were trying to limit anyhow,” said Ocean View Administrative Official Charlie McMullen of the Gourley application.
Morris said the request was the minimum variance required and that the result would be in character with the neighborhood.