ZBA approves insurance brokerage at 50 School Street

by Karina Coombs

The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) voted unanimously to grant a special permit for Carlisle Insurance Brokerage at 50 School Street during their September 30 meeting. The permit will be good for three years and specifies the hours of operation for the business, owned by Robert Kvietkauskas.

Kvietkauskas had previously leased office space at 14 Westford Street, but with the sale of that property in August, a new location was needed. During the public hearing, the board noted that all previous special permits for the first floor office space at 50 School Street, home most recently to Wayside Mortgage Company, had expired.

Carlisle Insurance Brokerage has two employees and has been located in the center of town for 25 years, explained Kvietkauskas, noting the impact of his business at the new location would be minimal. The property currently has nine parking spaces, with the residential portion of the property having the garage and two spaces in front.

As a residential tenant at the property, and the owner of Wayside Mortgage, Laura Chelton said she did not foresee any issues with Kvietkauskas’ tenancy. “As a resident [of the building] I think it would be nice to have a local business there [and] I support his effort.”

The board approved the special permit under bylaw section 3.2.3.1.6, with member Marty Galligan finding it “not contrary to the best interests of the town.” ZBA Secretary Peggy Wang will file the permit in 14 days and abutters have an additional 20 days to appeal the decision.

Kvietkauskas explained that he needed to move his location before the 20-day appeal period and was informed that as he goes forward, it is at his own risk. Kvietkauskas will also need to have his signage approved by the Historical Commission.

Application and fee discussion

The board also discussed making changes to its application procedure to ensure all necessary paperwork is included with application submissions. Chair Lisa Davis Lewis asked the members if they would be interested in adjusting the fee structure.

While a permit application is $100 and a list of abutters was $50, Lewis explained that mailing costs and public notices in the Mosquito often exceeded this amount and the cost was not being completely covered.

Wang explained that a resident recently canceled a permit and the town paid for the cost of the second mailing to abutters. Galligan suggested that the board consider not sending the second mailing in the future. Instead, he suggested, they should go forward with the public hearing, but once open have the permit immediately continued or dismissed without prejudice.

The board will revisit this issue and, in the interim, Wang will try to determine the average cost of mailings and the cost of public notices in both the Carlisle Mosquito and Lowell Sun. ∆