South Main Development Moves Forward

Reading, MA — The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) voted 4-0 to amend condition one of October 2, 2019, special permit decision for a new development on South Main Street on Wednesday, July 15. The amendment will allow Stonegate Construction to build twenty-one parking spaces in the S-15 portion of their development at 259 Main Street instead of the previously approved twelve spaces. The property is formerly the location of the Smith Oil Company. 

According to Attorney Josh Latham, speaking for Stonegate, the additional spaces were needed as a result of the “rigorous process” the development had been through with the Community Planning and Development Commission (CPDC) and the Conservation Commission (ConsCom). As a result of those hearings, the proposed twenty-four unit building now has a decreased footprint from the original plan. This led to a smaller parking garage underneath the building and thus requires more outside parking to meet zoning standards. The new plan also calls for the building to have an additional story than originally proposed.

Once CPDC and ConsCom close their hearings, the development will be approved to begin. It is anticipated that the construction of the project will take between twelve and eighteen months.

34 Orange Street

ZBA also voted 4-0 to allow Jonathan and Rebecca Taubman of 34 Orange Street to raze, and rebuild a barn on their property with the same dimensions and in the same location as the present structure. The current barn, built around 1888, is structurally unsound and does not have the required side setback for a structure of this nature. The applicants also are seeking to develop the barn as habitable “creative space” in lieu of its use as a storage area. The ZBA vote granted a special permit for the change of use, as well as a variance needed for the height of the new barn to be six feet higher than is allowed. The variance was needed to allow the new barn’s height to match the height of the existing barn. ZBA member James Maughan commented, “This is not a detriment, it is a benefit to the neighborhood.”

Angelo Salamone, owner of the property at 45 Beacon Street, had his request to overturn a stop-work order on his property denied by a 4-0 vote of the board. A 40B special permit for the property was granted in 2001, which, according to ZBA member Robert Redfern, lapsed in 2010 after little to no work was completed on the project. Building commissioner Glen Redmond confirmed that no building permit has ever been issued for the property. Salamone countered that work had started and that he has vested rights to continue the project as planned. This is in opposition to an opinion issued by Town Counsel on the matter in December of 2010. ZBA chair Damase Caouette stated, “If Mr. Salamone wants to continue, he needs to start all over. We don’t have any evidence to overturn the stop-work order.”

Evelyn Sideropoulos of 21 Lincoln Street was granted a special permit by the ZBA to expand the second floor of her two-family property by a 4-0 vote. An accessory shed in the property will be removed in order to ensure that lot coverage for the site does not exceed bylaw restrictions. ZBA member Nick Pernice commented that the plans for the project area, “tasteful use of working in the setbacks you have.” Redfern continued that a rebuilt rear access stair to the second floor would likely “improve safety” as well.

ZBA also voted 4-0 to appoint Redfern as chair of the board and Pernice as vice-chair for the coming year. ZBA adjourned at 9:00 pm.

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