Letter from John E. Donegan to the Pine Orchard Association membership

The Pine Orchard Association

180 Pine Orchard Road

Branford, CT

December, 2012

 Dear Pine Orchard Association Member:

             At the Annual Meeting of The Pine Orchard Association (Association) this summer, the Board and I reported that we carefully considered the Association’s fiscal condition when adopting the budget for the fiscal year for July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013.  As you may recall, the budget adopted by the Board contained a deficit as a result of the anticipated expenses associated with repairs to the seawall at Island View Avenue and the anticipated legal expenses associated with our involvement and participation in one of the Crescent Bluff litigation matters.  When the budget was adopted, the Association did have some funds in reserve that we anticipated would be able to cover the expected shortfall.

             We also reported to you at the Annual Meeting that the Board would keep you apprised of our fiscal situation going forward.  The expenses incurred for the Island View seawall repair and the work required to re-grade and repair the access way itself resulted in additional expenses not anticipated by the Board.  The Board has also received statements for legal services in connection in our involvement in the Crescent Bluff litigation matter that have been paid to date  but the Board has already substantially expended most of the budget allocated for legal fees for the entire fiscal year.

             The Board anticipates that it will be required, in the near future, to decide how to proceed in order to keep our fiscal house in order.  The options available to us include the reduction or reallocation of expenses budgeted, further withdrawals from our reserves, considering the nature of our involvement in the Crescent Bluff litigation, and, finally, taxes or assessments addressed to our membership to offset these additional expenses.

            The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board is Monday, January 7, 2013, at 7:30 P.M. at the Association building, 180 Pine Orchard Road, Branford. The Board plans to fully discuss our current financial condition at this meeting and would welcome comments from Association members at this meeting. I would encourage you to attend this meeting if you are able to or submit any thoughts or comments in writing to the Board or by email to president@pineorchardassociation.com. One of the Board’s objectives is to improve our communication with Association members. We regularly update our website at www.pineorchardassociation.com as one way of keeping our members informed.  From this site you may communicate by email with the Executive Board members. If you have not already provided us with your email address, I ask that you do so by contacting us at treasurer@pineorchardassociation.com.

 The Board will continue to keep the membership aware of our fiscal condition.

 Very truly yours,

 John E. Donegan



Laura Magaraci is now Pine Orchard’s Zoning Enforcement Officer (ZEO)

Laura Magaraci (203-671-9833) has accepted the position as the Pine Orchard Association’s (POA) part time Zoning Enforcement Officer (ZEO). Bud Beccia, now our immediate past ZEO, had requested earlier in the Fall that we replace him by year’s end. The Executive Board appointed a committee (Joe Canavan, Charlie Shelton and Peter Hugret) upon receipt of Bud’s request. The committee was also tasked to look at the present zoning process.

Laura has (and continues to be) the Town of Branford’s ZEO. In this capacity she is well aware of the many POA building projects as all such projects go through the Town’s appropriate departments once the POA ZEO has signed off on an application.

The process of obtaining a permit within the Pine Orchard Association’s boundary typically begins with a phone conversation with the ZEO. The next step is completing in triplicate an Application for Verification of Zoning Ordinance Conformity ($250.-usually will require an A-2 survey). Assuming conformity the ZEO signs off on the application, returning two copies to the applicant. The third copy is filed at the POA office. The applicant then applies for a Branford building permit on the 2nd floor of the Branford Town Hall (the Town will keep a copy of the POA approved application for their records).

An Application for a  Special Permit ($300.-will require an A-2 survey) is required whenever there are non-conforming issues. The ZEO will present this to the POA Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for their consideration and approval/denial. The Special is then presented to the POA Executive Board for acceptance/denial after which the ZEO signs off on the application.

Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) upcoming vacancy being posted

The Executive Board has requested the expiring term (presently held by Kathleen Greenalch) on the Zoning Board of Appeals be posted such that those POA members who may also wish to be considered have an opportunity to be heard.  The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) has 5 appointed members (by the Executive Board) and and 3 alternates. The term is five (5) years (Section 8 of our Zoning Ordinances). If you have an interest please email John Donegan at president@pineorchardassociation.com expressing such interest and any appropriate skills you feel would be of benefit to the ZBA.