A judge has encouraged Danbury and the Dorothy Day Hospitality House to come to an agreement so he doesn't have to issue a ruling in a cease and desist case. The Zoning Board of Appeals took up a request for variances at their meeting last week. The ZBA continued the hearing to July 12th so Dorothy Day can get more information to the board. Variances are being sought so a site plan, with special exceptions, can be filed with the Planning Commission.
In order to bring the application to the Planning Commission, Dorothy Day has to show to that the site conforms to regulations for proposed use, or has obtained variances if the property doesn't conform.
There are three buildings on the property. The largest is a brick building with a market and the Dorothy Day Hospitality House and four 1-bedroom apartments on the second floor. Another building housed the former office of catholic charities office and has two apartments. The third building is the shelter.
Setback exceptions were requested because the buildings, constructed in the 19th century, and are not in compliance today. The zone also requires a 20,000 square foot lot to apply for a special exception for a homeless shelter, but the lot is only total 13,118 square feet.
There are two driveways on the property, and there isn't room for a 24-foot wide driveway at either current location. The ZBA wants input from the fire department on driveway exceptions. One ZBA member said the lot should be regraded so a variance isn't needed on the parking lot size.