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03-10-08 Minutes
March 10, 2008

The Board of Assessment Appeals met on Monday, March 10, 2008.  Members present were Stephen Palmer, Betty Richards and David Harma.  The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.

The following appeals were heard by David Harma.

They purchased the property May 18, 2007 for $375,000.  It was on the market for $390,000.  This is very low lying property.  The appraisal from the bank for the purchase listed the value at $373,000.  They have drainage problems.  They have the lowest point on the street.  They have no view.  They want to stress heavily that the street ends behind their property and drains into their backyard.  They compared their land value with lots similar in size; 30 Elm Street; 13 Elm Street; 24-26 Elm Street and 34 Elm Street.  They feel the whole street is over valued.  They also compared with 72, 152 and 166 Water Street.

WILCOX, GEORGE – Map 153 Block 1 Lot 3A
Mr. Wilcox stated the lot is landlocked.  He has right of way access only.  He submitted a letter from Joe Larkin stating the Town will not give a variance for lots with no frontage.  The property behind his is assessed at $15,500 and he feels his assessment should be based on the same criteria.

ZERBINI, MICHAEL – 104 Noyes Avenue
The house was approved for 1,600 square feet of living area but the assessor’s card shows 1,953.  The problem is in the second floor.  It is listed as a three quarter story.  He showed his plans and will submit a copy of the second floor plans.

WOHLMAN, SHEILA – 32 Clipper Drive
Ms. Wohlman stated the house had no cross ventilation so she put in a slider.  It’s used as a window mostly because the patio is all broken up and has uneven footing.  The house has original doors, windows and carpeting.  There are some hardwood floors but not all.  The two bedrooms have the original wallpaper and shag style rug.  There is no fireplace in the house.  She has one of the only ones in the neighborhood without one.  Her neighbor’s house is listed as average and she has been raised to good.  Neighbors have family room in basement but she does not.

SUBAK, EDWARD JR. & ANDINO, MARTA – 43 Clipper Point Rd.
Mr. Subak stated that Vision made an adjustment but not enough.  He questions the appraisal.  He couldn’t find any comparable sales.  He stated that there is consistency in assessments in his neighborhood. The only sale he felt might be fairly comparable is 8 Heron Road on Masons Island.  It sold October 19, 2007 for 1.162 million and Vision appraised it at 1.4 million.  This is in a more desirable location.  He feels his assessment is 23% too high.

CHADWELL, KRISTI & GARY – 27 East Shore Rd.
This is a seasonal property (April 15th – October 31st).  They can not expand.  The house has no insulation and no winter source of water.  There is not a full bath; the shower is behind the bathroom door.  There is no water access due to the rocks and they can not have a dock.  There have only been three sales on Latimer Point.  111 Latimer Pt. Road for $560,000 which is a year round cottage.  One Center Drive sold for $495,000 and they are adding a second floor and they have a cistern.  One Reid Road sold last month and it has a cistern.  Their house is on stilts over rocks.  They are in a flood zone.

ADCOCK, JACQUES – 133 Elm Street
This lot has limitations.  He can only build on the property that is located within the Borough.  The Borough line goes through the front of his property on the diagonal.  The very rear of the lot is not usable because of the setbacks.  He can only build a 30’ x 44’ house.  He can’t have a garage and can’t have a bulkhead for the basement because he would have to locate the air conditioner equipment in that location.  The Town portion of the lot is nonconforming.  He would not have paid the amount he did if he knew the difficulties to build on the property.

Mr. Lanzillo made a per acre comparison with the properties across the street and within his block and he has the highest per acre cost.  He has no off street parking.  He has no water view.  He also made a cost per square foot comparison on his house.  He has the highest cost per square foot but his house is no better than anyone else.  He feels his property is the most undesirable in his comparison.  He has a right of way on the property for access to lot three to get to the back of their house.  Vision decreased his assessment 3.5% as a result of his hearing.

This property has a unique location.  It is between commercial zone, Avalonia property and Stoneridge.  They submitted an appraisal dated October 1, 2007.  This is residential and it is considered a “pigeon holed” property.  The house is not above average; the house needs major work.  The shed is not worth $50.

They feel there are several reasons for a reduction.  They feel the neighborhood index is incorrect.  The neighborhood changes at their property and they feel they should be in the other neighborhood. They are located near the pump station but they do not have sewers.  They feel the key factor for the incorrect assessment is the methodology used by Vision tying in the zoning of the property.  They are in a RC120 zone.  This has removed the use of the property due to setbacks and marshland their property is unusable.  They have a right of way across the property which is the driveway for the property behind them.  The right of way is one to two feet from the kitchen window and limits their parking.  There are power lines and poles to the house behind them.  They have a limited view due to the trees.  The house is a two bedroom and they are very small.  There is only one bath.  It is not insulated, has old windows, and low functionality.  The floors are uneven.  The stairs are steep and slanted and the house has only a small galley kitchen.  The depreciation on the house is too low.  They compared their house to the house on the right of way.  Their house went down $90,000 and they have done lots of work.  They also compared their property to 111 and 159-161 River Road.

The following appeals were heard by Betty Richards:

HUBBELL INC. – 14 Lords Hill Rd
Lauren Elliott of Joseph C Sansone Co represented Hubbell Inc; an industrial property. They are looking for a reduction of appraised property value to $3,000,000. Ms. Elliot said that Hubbell Inc. is disputing the square footage listed as AOF (Office, Average) in the sub-area summary section of the property card. She said that the dimensions of AOF portion should be 102’ x 124’ not 120’ x 124’.  The warehouse and offices were built in 1960 and are outdated and there is a contamination issue. She presented documentation of light industrial comparisons and price per square foot against the income approach to value to support the request for reduction in value.

D’AMATO INVESTMENTS LLC – Taugwonk Spur Rd (84/1/3)
TAUGWONK LLC – Taugwonk Spur Rd (84/1/3A)
Lauren Elliott of Joseph C Sansone Co represented D’Amato Investments LLC and Taugwonk LLC commercial properties. They want to combine the data together since the same person owns the properties. Ms Elliott presented  a summary of capitalized income analysis value, tenant rentals and income and expense analysis.  She said there was a slight reduction in value but that it still exceeds 70% of the fair market value of the property. They are looking for a further reduction of appraised value on the combined properties to be $5,818,800 as calculated on the capitalized income analysis report.

Lauren Elliott of Joseph C Sansone Co represented Lapham-Hickey Steel Corp. a commercial property. Lapham-Hickey is looking for an appraised value of $2,217,000. Ms Elliott presented documentation of the capitalized income analysis and capitalization rate development. She said the approach to value should use a vacancy rate based on 8% and expense rate of 10-15%. She said that the 5 acres listed as expansion property is not all usable due to wetlands and grading.

Lauren Elliott of Joseph C Sansone Co represented Planeta Properties (Acme Wire).  She stated that Planeta Properties has a problem with the lot having a waterfront property adjustment when it is marshland and she questioned the land value. She presented pictures and income analysis. Questioned whether the cell tower on property should be listed as real or personal property. She estimated vacancy rate at 5% and expense ratio at 21%. They are looking for the appraised value to be $2,296,900.

Lauren Elliott of Joseph C Sansone Co represented D’Amato Investments LLC.
After reviewing the information they have no problem with the assessment and are withdrawing the petititon.

MALL INC. – Coogan Blvd #21
Lauren Elliott of Joseph C Sansone Co represented The Mall Inc Liberty Bank.
After reviewing the information they have no problem with the assessment and are withdrawing the petition.

BROWER, DOROTHY B – 63 William St
Ms Brower owns a two family residence. She is questioning the value of the lot. She states that a portion of the property, .11acres, is an easement that extends from the corner of William St and Locust St to the property next to hers on Locust. She cannot build on it or add to that side of her house because of the lack of footage where the easement begins. She questioned whether this was taken into consideration when the lot was assessed and if this would warrant a reduction. She provided a picture of the property.

Mr. Ragonese said the value of his property went up over 54%. He said that was a higher increase than his neighbors. He said his only upgrade to his property was the installation of central air-conditioning in 2006. He said his fireplace is blocked off and not used and wondered if that value would be reduced. He said he has solar panels that are used for hot water heat and maintained. He said that it is considered a renewable energy source and asked if a credit is given for that.

Mr. Furman is appealing the value of his land only. He feels that the value of his 1/3-acre lot is over inflated. He says that the price went up approximately 70% compared to the values of the acreage of his neighboring properties. He presented the property cards of properties in neighborhood as comparison: 140 River Rd, and 166 River Rd. He thinks there are inconsistencies in values. Mr. Furman thinks the assessed value of his lot should be $75,000.

73 WATER ST: Mr. Fayal presented an independent appraisal report on this residential property and is looking for a reduction of appraised value to $1,250,000.
252 NORTH WATER ST:  This is a 6 family residential apartment house. Mr. Fayal presented pictures of the structural damage of the house. He submitted his profit and loss statement to show his approach for value using the national income property index. He is looking for a reduction of appraised value to $497,000-$580,000.
HARBOR VIEW TER:  Mr. Fayal is appealing the value of the land. He presented a map and compared property value to property value at 48 Harbor View Terrace. He said his property is only about 10% usable for building due to being in tidal wetland area. He is looking for an appraised value on the land of $500,000.

Mr. Frank Prachniak represented Mr. Lema. He submitted a handwritten letter by Mr. Lema to give him permission. He is looking for a reduction in the value of the land. He thinks the appraised value of the land should be no more than $615,000. He questioned the discrepancies in land values. Gave as examples 60 Palmer Neck Rd, 238 Palmer Neck, and 260 Palmer Neck Rd. He presented comparable property values and pictures showing high algae growth in water frontage of his property. He said that Palmer Neck Rd is noisy with more traffic due to the state boat ramp at the end of the road. He said the nitrogen level is higher in water as a result of the sewer plant and it is causing more algae growth. He said all this devalues the property.

ATWOOD, SUZANNE – 25 Skiff Lane
Ms. Atwood is looking for an appraised value of $708,730 on the property. Her property is seasonal use, no water year round and the cottage is not insulated. She presented an independent appraisal report dated October 2002 that appraised her property at $535,000. She received a stipulated judgment on her property stating that fair market value as of October 1, 2006 was $644,300. The new assessment would represent a 35.25% increase in value in one year. She said that compared to her neighbors, who received only a 10% increase on their properties from the 2002 assessment, the increase on her property was too high. She questioned the disparity in property values and would like a reduction.

The following appeals were heard by Stephen Palmer:

Mr. Norman believes his commercial property was assessed too high. The assessment doubled since the 2002 revaluation. The neighboring lot (17 Hancox St.) is twice the size and the assessment was less than Mr. Norman’s property. There is public access on the north side of 25 Hancox St. The neighboring building was recently renovated. There are no wetlands on either property. Mr. Norman submitted pictures and a comparison of values for the two properties.

THOMPSON, FIAMMETTA – 40 Orchard Street
Ms. Thompson feels her assessment is too high. The property has flooded twice in the last two years. The street card lists 4 bedrooms and there are only 3 bedrooms. There is a drainage easement on the south side of the property. Ms. Thompson submitted photos to the Board.

THOMAS, DAVID – 46 Dawley Drive
Mr. Thomas feels his value is too high especially compared to 16 Dawley Drive, which is similar in size and was assessed at lower value. Mr. Thomas’ property has one acre less, fewer bedrooms and no amenities. 16 Dawley Drive was on the market for 1 year before it sold for $525,000. He submitted written comments and photos.

Donald Wesson & Chris Freeman, Trustees appeared before the Board. They believe the assessment for lot 76-1-4 is too high. The lot is unbuildable because the required setback requirements in the RC-120 zone leave an insufficient upland area for any building. The only use for the property would be as accessory land. There are no town utilities to the property.  Mr. Freeman presented a written summary.

DEAR, EDWARD – 43 Quanaduck Road
Mr. Dear feels the assessment on his residence is too high. He does not have a problem with the land value. His assessment is higher than the surrounding properties. He believes the value of his house should be reduced by $70,000.  He submitted a letter with attached documents.

Edward Dear represented the Yacht Club. The unit was purchased and built out in 2007 for $233,353. The assessor’s card shows 1 full bath.  There is no bathroom in the unit. The nearest bathroom is 100 ft. down the hall. Mr. Dear submitted documents for the Board.

CHALECKI, BERNARD & ALICE – 58, 60, 62 Riverside Drive & vacant lot
Vacant Lot – Mr. Chalecki feels the assessment on this property is too high. He said the lot has wetlands on it and there is a tidal marsh going along the property. There is also a right-of-way over the property.

60 Riverside Drive – Mr. Chalecki said this is a rental property and there are encumbrances on the property. However, Mr. Chalecki doesn’t have a lot of concerns about this property.

58 Riverside Drive – Mr. Chalecki believes the assessment on this property is too high. There is no basement and it is constructed on a concrete slab. All the living area is on the second floor. The second story has wood floors. CL&P has an easement running across the property.

62 Riverside Drive – Mr. Chalecki feels this property is over valued. The well for this property is in the front yard of 58 Riverside Drive. The dwelling has only partial heat and uses space heaters for the unheated areas. The assessment went up 94%.

PETTINI, BRIAN – 19 School Street
Mr. Pettini feels his property assessment is too high. He would estimate the value to be $200,000. The house was constructed in the 1940’s and nothing has been updated. He said that 18 School Street is the closest comparable in size, but they have done some updating. Mr. Pettini said no one has done an interior inspection and would like someone to come by.

SPAZIANI, EUGENE & ISABEL – 57 East Main Street & Personal Property
Mrs. Spaziani believes the assessment is too high. The interior is in bad shape. There is lots of damage from a leaking roof.  They have recently had a new roof put on. She submitted photos of the interior.

Personal Property – Mrs. Spaziani said she didn’t realize he husband had filed a petition for the personal property. It is strictly his business and he takes care of all the paperwork. She will be sure that this year’s declaration is filed on time.

David Hughes Jr., Walter & Lois Larkin, Cutler International and the Anderson Family Trust did not appear for their appointments

The minutes for the March 4, 2008 meeting were approved by Stephen Palmer and David Harma.  Betty Richards abstained.

The minutes for the March 6, 2008 meeting were unanimously approved as amended.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned 10:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen Palmer