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03-11-08 Minutes
March 11, 2008

The Board of Assessment Appeals met on Tuesday, March 11, 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.

KINGSLEY, THAYER – 35-37 Willow Street
The land is not level; it goes from the street downhill.  He gets lots of water on his property.  He showed pictures.  The cellar in the big house fills with water due to rain. He submitted a contour map.  He feels 35 Willow is high.  It is not insulated.  This is not a suburban area; he is surrounded by two and three family houses, offices and a driveway.

JANSSENS PAUL & SARAH – Wall Street Properties
They feel these lots are valued too high.  These are not building lots; in the winter the land floods with salt water so a garden can’t even be put on the property.  The only person interested in buying the property would be adjoiners and they are not interested.  There is no deep water and there are a lot of rocks.  Zoning would not allow it to be built on and it is in a flood zone.  To do anything they would have to build the elevation 11 feet.

DIGGS, JESSE – 8 School Street
He feels the main problem is in the land value.  He compared his lot with 11 School Street which is bigger.   He is not waterfront.  He does have a water view.  He compared on a per acre basis and no property in town has sold for that per acre price.  He compared the per acre value to Kellems property.  He also feels the building values are all over the map.  There are houses on the street on the market which can’t sell.  4 Omega Street has been on the market for a while.  He compared the increase percentage to the Consumer Price Index.  He feels he should not be penalized for having a view when someone could improve their property and block his view at any time.

GROSS, TIMOTHY & CORRI – 8 Shawondassee Drive
They feel the grade on the house should be below average.  The siding is in poor shape with mold on it.  The gutters need to be replaced.  The interior walls are sheetrock not paneling.  The bath is below average; the closet has no door and everything is original to the house.  They have plumbing issues; they have a leak into the basement and sometimes have a foul smell.  The garage is in poor condition.  The floor has heaved and the results are the garage door won’t close property.  The roof leaks over the garage and in the wall between the garage and rest of the house.  They submitted an estimate to fix the roof.  The deck has no rails, is moldy and not built with pressure treated wood.  They do not have a finished basement; it was torn out because it wasn’t put in correctly.  The house only has one closed with a door; the other closets have no door.  Their house has less depreciation than comparables in better shape. They compared their property to 144 Flanders Road which is a very similar house with 30% depreciation; 1 Meadowlark is larger and has 30% depreciation. They also compared to 3, 6, and 7 Shawondassee; they have higher depreciation and are in better shape.  The backyard has a depression in the middle where the septic tank was not filled in properly and the front yard can’t be used because of a utility pole and wires that block everything.  They would like the board to increase the depreciation to 30% and take out for the price to replace the roof.

They purchased the property December 2007.  The house next door sold July 2007.  The house was built in 1952 and needs repair and upgrades.  It needs a new roof ($6,000); electrical cables and the front sill leaks which is of immediate concern.  The work to fix is beginning now.  The basement is unfinished.  She showed an appraisal dated November 2007 from Buckley Appraisal with a value of $338,000.

ARIE CHELSEA BUILDING CO. – 21 Bruggeman Court
Mr. Woods submitted a comparative market analysis.  He is a builder and he built the house himself out of leftover material from other houses he built.  They are not top line materials.  The house has not been kept up.  He submitted pictures and a cost to correct problems.  He had the house appraised in 2006 for $325,000 for a loan to correct the problems.  It is a large house but made with inferior materials.

MADASCI, DAVID – 53 Roseleah Drive
There is a boat yard next door.  The marina owns the road.  In the winter the land is full of boats and they use the cul-de-sac as a work area next to his house.  It is very loud with the sound of equipment and from the boats in dry dock.  He showed pictures on his laptop.  Sometimes they use the street in front of the house to park boats.  The wind blows in from the water and blows the noise and the diesel fumes into the house.  There are no town services and no privacy.  He feels he should be given a 28% reduction.  He feels he is similar to Mershon on Jerome Avenue.  Add the waterfront lot and the house lot across the street and that is a good comparable; the same with Diane Johnson’s property.

WENTWORTH, GAYLE – 296 Greenhaven Road
She has the worse house on Greenhaven Road.  She feels the land is too high; she is surrounded by poor properties.  There are no utilities and no sewer or water.  She compared to lot values on Lindsey Lane.  She feels she is being penalized by zoning issues.  She showed pictures of the house; which is in poor condition.  The land is all rocks.  108 Greenhaven Road is almost a duplicate but with 200 square feet more.  The land is lower.  She feels the revaluation was unfair.

69 Boulder Avenue -  The Purdys were represented by Atty. Theodore Ladwig.  They feel the issue is mainly the land values.  This property has no frontage on a public street.  This is basically a rear lot with limited access.  It is the lowest property on Hill Avenue and the water pools underneath the house.  They feel the overall increase is too high.  This property had the highest increase on Hill Avenue.  No property has sold anywhere for the per acres price on this lot.

67 Boulder Avenue – The front of their property is in a very public area.  The main dock is just across the street and there is lots of traffic.  This land had a 137% increase in a three year period.

The Hopkins were represented by Atty. Theodore Ladwig.  This is a summer cottage  that is not insulated.  It is a seasonal house only.  They feel the percentage increase to be too high.  Attorney Ladwig submitted a letter from the Hopkins.

The following appeals were heard by Stephen Palmer:

PEQUOT HOLDINGS – 127 Wheeler Road (95/1/1 & 95/2/6)
Robert Tobin reviewed the supporting document that was submitted with their petition. He feels the values are too high on the golf course and the depreciation percentage should be lower. There was a 49% increase in the golf course value from the last revaluation. There are 18.6 acres of wetlands on the property. Mr. Tobin submitted pictures of the golf course.

KELLY, JOANNE – Personal Property
Ms. Kelly feels her assessment is too high. She sells things on eBay but does very little business. She submitted receipts for the items she purchased to use for her business.

STEEL, JACK & KATHRYN – 68 Wilcox Road
Mr. Steel feels his land assessment is too high. There is a cell tower right behind his house and a commercial business across the street. He submitted the comps used by Vision and also comps for other properties in the area with the same acreage that were assessed less than his property. Mr. Steel also felt the topography was a factor.

SASSO JOSEPH & ALICE – 15 Heritage Drive
Mr. Sacco feels his assessment is too high. He purchased the property 2 years ago and didn’t realize there was a drainage easement that runs across the property. The rear ½ acre is not accessible. The stream that runs through his property undercut the property and it is approximately 11 ft. deep. It is dry in August. The remainder of the year it has water in it. Mr. Sacco submitted photos and other comps. He said that 6 Heritage Drive is a good comparison.

SHARR, SANDRA – 34 Boulder Avenue
Ms. Sharr feels her assessment is too high. She submitted comps of 53 Boulder Avenue. Also the two neighboring properties own the property across Beach Avenue to the water. The property between the rear of her property and the water belongs to the Lord’s Point Association. She submitted documents and comps.

CROTEAU,  ELIZABETH – 41 Broad Street
Mrs. Croteau feels her building assessment is too high. It needs a lot of updating inside. The chimney is not useable. There is a community well on her property that is no longer used. Mrs. Croteau submitted written comments and comps.

GAGNON, JAMES – Mystic Boat Works (Personal Property)
Mr. Gagnon stated he has no personal property for his business. He set up the business as part of a course at New England Technical School. He has full time employment and goes to school at night. He didn’t file the personal property form but said he will this year and if he closes the business he will notify the Assessor’s Office.

GONSALVES, FRANK – 20 Elm Street & 28 Palmer Neck Road
20 Elm Street:  Mr. Gonsalves believes the assessment is too high. There are errors on the assessor’s street card.  The attic space is unfinished. There is an 18” crawl space and there is no basement. The rear of the dwelling is built on a slab. He estimates the value at $320,000. Mr. Gonsalves will bring in pictures of the attic and the crawl space.

28 Palmer Neck Road:  Mr. Gonsalves believes the value is too high.  The property is on Wequetequock Cove. The water is very shallow along their property.  He estimated the value at $310,000.

TYLER, JOHN & MARGARET – 5 Louden Avenue
Mr. Tyler feels the assessment is too high for this vacant lot. There is a stream on the property and he believes the lot is unbuildable. The lot floods during heavy rain. Mr. Tyler submitted pictures for the record.

Betty Richards heard the following appeals:

The Carlton’s were given a reduction of property value by Vision Appraisal after a December 2007 meeting with them. They are questioning the value of the land and dwelling, which they think is still too high. Ms Carlton, a licensed real estate agent, presented their calculation of what they think the fair market value should be based upon, sales prices of comparable homes. They stated that the dwelling is being remodeled and is not finished. There is no side decking, no upstairs deck, no front entry and all the stairs need replacing. They feel the dwelling value should be lower because revaluation represents a finished dwelling; being unfinished should affect the value. There is no town water or town sewer on Cove Rd. She used a determining factor of 9.84% and is looking for a 10% reduction: estimating appraised value of property at $950,000.

BRJM LLC – 20 South Anguilla Rd (30/3/1/7)
Atty. Nick Kepple represented BRJM LLC. It is a second floor office condominium that was bought five years ago for $75,000. It sold for $95,000 January 2008. He is looking for the appraised value to be no more than $95,000, which represents an arms length transaction.

ANGUILLA LAW LLC – 20 South Anguilla Rd (30/3/1/6)
Atty. Nick Kepple represented Anguilla Law LLC. It is a first floor office condominium that has the same square footage as unit 7. The unit was bought in 2000 for $94,000. Looking for the appraised value to be between $95,000-$105,000.

Atty. Nick Kepple represented Ms. Lichtenstein. He presented a list of comparable values that he got from the Vision database. The property is a small lot with no parking and an adjustment was given at the last revaluation for that. He is looking to reduce the fair market value to $1,000,000.

Mr. Carpenter feels the assessed value of the property is above the current market value of comparable properties. He questioned the inconsistency of land values compared to neighboring properties. He presented neighboring property comparisons and picture of property. He said the lot size gives little or no room to expand, is in a flood plain, is less than 70 feet to well and requires special water treatment. The main dwelling has had no updates in 30 years and questioned the very good status on home data. Compared to neighbors his dwelling is good/average at best and is small in size compared to other comparably valued homes. He is looking for the assessed value to be reduced to $560,000.

GUYOL JOHN – 55 Collins Rd
Mr. Guyol feels the appraised value of his property is in excess of the October 1, 2007 market value. The cost/market valuation has listed the dwelling built in 1985. He says the house was built 1976-1977. He feels depreciation should be an additional $28,936 giving a replacement cost less depreciation of $553,600 not $582,500. He is looking for the appraised value to be reduced to $845,000.

SEIFERT ALBERT W - ROGERS DR: (160/9/6) Vacant Land
Thomas F Collier, Esq. of O’Brien, Shafner, Stuart Kelly & Morris PC represented Mr. Seifert. He presented pictures and an A-1 Survey map showing that the property is in a tidal wetlands area. They are looking for a reduction of the assessment for the undeveloped land based on the following: the lot does not have any frontage on an existing road and it does not appear to comply with the zoning regulations which virtually render the property unsuitable and unbuildable for residential purposes. 85% of the lot is unbuildable due to tidal wetlands, inland wetlands, utility easements and existing right of way. Mr. Seifert is looking for the assessed value to be reduced to $142,500.

SEIFERT ALBERT W - ROGERS DR: (160/9/11) Vacant Lane
Thomas F Collier, Esq. of O’Brien, Shafner, Stuart Kelly & Morris PC represented Mr. Seifert. He presented pictures and an A-1 Survey map showing that the property is in a tidal wetlands area. They are looking for a reduction of the assessment for the undeveloped land based on the following: the lot does not have any frontage on an existing road and it does not appear to comply with the zoning regulations which virtually render the property unsuitable and unbuildable for residential purposes. 82% of the lot is unbuildable due to tidal wetlands, a water line right of way, proximity to the adjacent septic system and other easements.  Mr. Seifert is looking for the assessed value to be reduced to $117,500.

MASCIANA ANTONIA – 13 Greenmanville Ave
Lilla O Solodiuk represented the owner of the property on 13 Greenmanville Ave. Ms. Solodiuk presented pictures of the property and comparisons of neighboring, adjacent properties. The property is a back lot with a shared right of way as access. The house has not been updated, is very old and needs lot of maintenance; the lot is small. She feels the dwelling should have a larger depreciation value. She questioned the inconsistency of values of the surrounding area. She estimates the appraisal costs as follows: dwelling $101,400, land value $50,000.

Ms. Solodiuk is looking for a reduction in value on 4 Oak St. She presented pictures and comparisons with neighboring properties. Feels the appraisal is not in line with value of recent sale (July 2007) of adjacent property at 19 Greenmanville Ave, which sold for $281,000. Both properties have the same acreage but 4 Oak St land value is $124,300 more. The dwelling has had no improvements in forty years. She feels the improvements to Bay St properties have negatively impacted the value and should be taken into consideration. Ms. Solodiuk is looking for the appraised value to be reduced to $280,000.

The Charlands do not understand why there was such an increase in value when their home is over thirty years old and they have made no major improvements. They would like to see a reduction of value.

Mr. Steven M Poole of EXTAX represented Brookside Associates LTD. Brookside is appealing the property value and presented a report showing that the net operating income supports a lower value than the current assessment. Facts presented: Brookside is a Section 8 apartment complex, 160 units total, 18 buildings, tenants qualify for housing based on income, 1/3 of adjusted income goes toward rent, HUD reimburses taxpayer for difference between contract rent and payment received. He calculates affective capitalization rate at 8%, which does not include tax rate. If he figures the 8% plus 2% tax rate he calculates total of 10% capitalization rate. He questions Visions difference on capitalization rate. He would like to understand how they came up with their figures. He contends that the current assessment is not justified and thinks the fair market value should be $7,800,000 to $9,000,000, depending on the capitalization rate that was used.

CASTLE JOY – 11 L’hirondelle Lane
Thomas R Castle represented Joy Castle. The value of the land is being appealed. He submitted pictures of the limited view on the property. The “C” factor of 1.25 for the 1.84 acres is being questioned. He feels the “C” factor of land value for the 1.84 acres should be 1.00, which would reduce that land value to $423,780. He is looking for the total fair market value on the property to be reduced to $1,117,280.

Ferdinand Valenti, GE Capital Corp., NKW LLC, Michelle Gemma and Richard Freitas and Alex and Martha Slater did not appear for their appointments.

The minutes for the March 8, 2008 were unanimously accepted as amended.

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

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen Palmer