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Null Remedies Violations

Four days after notice, ‘guests’ have moved out, stove removed.

Four days after receiving a letter that their property was in violation of the town zoning ordinance, Town Council member Ann Null and husband Daniel have remedied the violations.

On April 27 the Nulls received a letter from Vincent Diem, deputy zoning administrator for the town, stating their property had been found in violation of four parts of the town zoning ordinance.

The letter came after an April 26 inspection where Diem and John Orrison, building official, reviewed the family's property at 631 Oak Street.

During their inspection Diem and Orrison found an apartment occupied by residents not related to the Null family. In the space they also found a second kitchen — a violation of the town's code.

According to procedure, any resident or property owner found in violation of the town's code has 30 days to cease or appeal the alleged findings.

ANN NULL WORKED quickly to remedy the problems after learning of the violations. The residents in the apartment — originally identified as house guests — have moved out and Null removed the stove/oven in the apartment's kitchen.

Null will hire a contractor to add gypsum board to the walls, she said.

"We were told we may not use the loft in the garage for a sleeping area until we get the gypsum board up," she said.

Robin Runser, public information officer handling the case, confirmed that the violations had been corrected.

"The occupants have left the premises and there were no other items of personal property that would indicate it was being occupied," Runser said in an email.

TO use the apartment as a separate residence — which Ann Null confirmed they had done since moving into the house in 1991 — town code requires a conditional use permit.

Ann Null said she is not sure if she will file for the permit.

She previously stated that as a council member, to file for the permit would be a conflict of interest because she would be voting on herself. But she said this week the option was open to her and she was considering it.

Runser said it would be acceptable for the Nulls to use the apartment as a sleeping area but only if the "changes required under the building code were met to make it a habitable (e.g. sleeping) space."

Runser added "all zoning requirements would have to be met as well," meaning a permit would have to be granted.

Because the zoning violations have been remedied, the town considers the case to be cleared, Runser said. In addition, the Nulls are working towards compliance on additional building code violations.

Ann Null, who home schools her two sons, said she is still deciding what to do with the space.

"We may use it for arts and crafts, or for guests or for a school space," she said. "I'm not sure how we're going to use it."