ZBA Approves Two Special Permits

The Zoning Board of Appeals held three hearings during its September 7 meeting. In all cases the board voted unanimously to approve the two requested special permits and chose to continue one.


An application for a detached accessory apartment on the second floor of an existing detached three-car garage at 142 Wakefield St. The structure meets all setback requirements and the plans call for an apartment that fits into the size requirements for an apartment determined by the square footage of the original structure. The board approved the special permit by a vote of 5-0.


The board opened a continuation of the request of the owners of 29 Gardner Rd. for a special permit for an existing detached accessory apartment. The apartment received a permit in 1957 that expired upon the death of the original applicant in 1961. The apartment has been in use since then and the town ruled it as grandfathered as an accessory apartment based on the length of time it has existed. The structure itself has existed since at least 1910. The owner complied with requests from the board to clean up discrepancies in the official drawings. At issue was that the apartment is 147 square feet too large based on current zoning. The board decided to approve the special permit with a finding that the additional size was grandfathered as a legal non-conforming apartment. The board voted to approve this with a note of 5-0. The special permit with the finding should clear up any future issues with the property.

The final case involved the request for a special permit to build a detached garage at the industrial site at 236 Ash Street. Also a variance was requested to allow the garage to be 27 feet high, which is 15 feet higher than is allowed according to the town zoning bylaw. Several of the abutting garages are between 20 and 27 feet high. After much discussion, it was determined that the bylaw was designed with residential properties in mind and that there should be a change in the bylaw to reflect the needs of areas that are zoned for industrial use. The hearing was continued to allow the petitioner to sit with town planning staff to craft a potential bylaw amendment for April Town Meeting.

The Board adjourned at 9:15pm.

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