ZBA Hears Several Cases

Four different public hearings were held by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) at their August 1 meeting. The first was a continuance regarding a proposed addition to the home at 41 Lewis Street. The applicant is seeking a special permit to construct an addition to an already non-conforming dwelling. The applicant had previously appeared before the board seeking a variance that would allow an addition exceeding the typically-allowed twenty-five percent lot coverage. The board had suggested at that time that if the applicant could get the lot coverage under twenty-five percent, then only a special permit would be required. Due to a calculation error, the lot coverage is still three-tenths of a percent above what is allowed. The submitted plot plans were also deemed to be incomplete by ZBA member Robert Redfern. The case was continued to August 15 at 7:00 pm so that the applicant could finalize plans for approval.

At the second hearing, applicant Michael Welch was seeking a special permit to demolish the existing non-conforming dwelling at 65 Longfellow Road and build a new one-family house on the property. Welch, who acquired the property through a foreclosure sale, seeks to increase the lot coverage for the new dwelling which Redfern pointed out would then require multiple variances, including ones for setbacks and frontage as well as the one for lot coverage. Concerns about water and sewer easements for the property were also expressed. The current structure has been vacant for several years and has fallen into disrepair according to abutter Dan Ensminger. It also has at least two additions which have existed for many years but were not correctly permitted when they were built. ZBA Chair John Jarema suggested to the applicant that if he were to design a structure that fits on the existing footprint, then there likely would be no problem with a special permit. Welch asked for and was granted a continuance to the board’s August 15 meeting.

The final two hearings were for 15 Longfellow Road. The applicant, Michael Crocker, submitted two plans. The first was a plan to replace a 10×26 garage with a 12×26 addition, and the second plan was to replace the garage with a 10×26 addition. The first plan needed a variance as the proposal would reduce the already non-conforming side-yard setback from six feet to four feet. The second would only require a special permit, as it did not change the non-conformity of the structure. “I cannot determine any magnitude of hardship for two extra feet (of dwelling),” commented ZBA member Damase Caouette. After some discussion, the applicant chose to withdraw the first proposal without prejudice and the ZBA voted 4-0 to grant the special permit for the second proposal.

The ZBA adjourned at 8:55 pm.


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