Board of Civil Authority Meeting Minutes: 08/27/2020

Present: Gloria Cristelli, Carol Hesselbach, Steve Levine, Sandra Dadik, David Wiedaseck, property owner, representing himself, and Doris Knechtel and Frank Suponski, representing the Listers. After the first hearing, David Wiedaseck left and Melany Kahn, previous owner and Steve Rose, new owner appeared for the second hearing.

Gloria Cristelli, BCA member acting as Chair, called the 1st hearing to order at 5:02 p.m. and had those present introduce themselves.

The Chair administered the oath to the Appellant, David Wiedaseck. (The Listers took the oath on Tuesday).

The Chair explained the process for the hearing.

Frank Suponski described the property owned by David Wiedaseck, how the property was valued by the Listers, and the results of the grievance hearing. The property is bare land which is valued by a land schedule. The property was purchased by the owner for $100,000 in 2017. There is a small pond on the property, Most of the land was put into current use recently, at which time the Listers learned that there was septic and well site plan in existence which increased the value of the initial housesite acre even though there is no house there at the present time.

David was then invited to describe his position. He explained that he believed that it was incorrect to assess the first 2 acres so much higher than the remaining acres. It was explained to him that this is how the land schedule works for everyone in town and also for everyone who has property in current use. He asserted that it would be better for him then to put all the property into current use which would make him unable to construct a house there for 10 years.

The Listers and the BCA tried to explain how the valuation was done and that we could not spread the total value of the property over all the acreage. The BCA asked some questions regarding the property.

Gloria recessed the hearing to a date to be determined for the BCA deliberative session at 5:42 PM.

Gloria called the 2 nd hearing to order at 5:45. She administered the oath to Melany Kahn and Steve Rose.

Doris and Frank provided information regarding the appraisal of the property at 41 West Street owned by the Emily Kahn Trust and now by Steve Rose and the results of the grievance hearing. This is a colonial building from 1840 which they have graded a B. It has 3,478 square feet. There was a reduction at the grievance hearing because the pool had been filled in. The property had been assessed at $520,000 before the 2017 reappraisal, was reduced to $470,000 during the 2017 townwide reappraisal, and was reduced after the grievance hearing to $465,300, due to the removal of the pool.

Gloria asked why the 1/2 acre was not assessed at half the value of the neighboring 1 acre and was answered that it had to do with the well and septic.

Emily and Steve then explained their position. They believe the property is assessed too high, especially because the other houses on the street are assessed for less and seem to be in better condition to them. They had an appraisal of $390,00-$400,000. They said that while there is an “apartment” in the house, they believe that it is not rentable. It was used as part of the compensation for a caretaker. There is no separate entrance and the access is through a very short door.

There was discussion regarding the difficulty of comparing the assessments of the properties on the street. The listers have not been in any of the properties since 2017 and if interior upgrades have taken place they are unaware of them.

The hearing was recessed at 6:25 PM to a date to be determined for the BCA deliberative session

Respectfully submitted by,

Carol Hesselbach
Recording Clerk of the BCA