ZBA To Homeowners: We’d Deny Your Application for an Outdoor Patio

Saying there’s no evidence of a hardship that would warrant a one-off exception from the New Canaan Zoning Regulations, town officials on Monday night told the owners of a Welles Lane home that they would deny an application for a variance to create a covered patio. Though the Zoning Board of Appeals did not formally vote down the application for 54 Welles Lane, the appointed body’s members told homeowners Altin Tirana and Jorida Banda that they should figure out another way to get a covered 530-square-foot patio on the 2.15-acre property. “Unfortunately, our hands tied because these are town ordinances,” Chair Laura Edmonds said during the meeting, held via videoconference. She referred to what’s required for a variance as well as what counts toward building coverage, under the Zoning Regulations. 

The homeowners’ plan for a covered patio—with an outdoor cooking and seating area—would put their home, already over coverage by nearly 500 square feet, about 1,000 square feet over what’s allowed, according to the town planner. Though an uncovered pergola in that spot would require no approval, a roofed structure such as the one the applicants proposed likely would require the homeowners to “subtract enough coverage” from the property first, Board Secretary John Mahoney said.