The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 12, 1999


Board of appeals grants one, denies another on non-conforming lots

Before appearing at the Carlisle zoning board of appeals, you'd better make sure you've considered all your anglesor ellipses as the case may be.

Maple Street permit denied

Carlisle resident Kieran Nunan was dismayed to find his architect had to explore other ways to shape an extension to his house at 854 Maple Street when the board denied his application for a special permit and variance. Nunan wanted to add an entry vestibule and two-car garage (with a family room above) at the side of the house but the proposed design of the latter extended eight feet into the 40-foot setback from the property line. The house, situated on a one-acre lot, does not meet the town's current two-acre zoning requirements and, therefore, any renovations require a special permit. The board members were not satisfied that the owner had considered other expansion possibilities that would have avoided the need for a variance.

"I personally feel very badly about this," said chair Midge Eliassen. "But the argument would have to be very persuasive for us to grant a variance on a non-conforming lot." Such a discussion might involve ledge or other natural barriers that barred construction on other sides of the building and made a variance necessary.

Concord Street permit granted

Theonie Mark of 328 Concord Street faced better news when granted her request for a setback variance. Mark plans to divide her seven-acre property into two pieces, sell off her existing house, and build on the remaining lot. Adhering to the demanding ellipsis formula in order to create a buildable lot and accounting for wetland setback requirements, surveyors found a way to meet all town requirements and divide the site to yield two building lots. However, if Mark wanted to keep the existing in-ground pool on her lot, she would need a setback varianceor have to fill in three feet of the pool. "I hope it doesn't come to that!" responded Mark.

Board member Phyllis Zinicola suggested doing just that to meet the setback constraints. Clerk Terry Herndon objected and stated that would represent "unfair financial hardship" to the existing property owner. Zinicola pointed out that the compensation of selling the house on its three-acre lot would more than cover pool adjustments.

Board member Hal Sauer and Eliassen concurred that the owner had shown good faith in examining all other reasonable ways to divide the lot but was limited by the site's topography. The board finally agreed on a compromise solution that allowed the variance now, but would require the owner to fill in the three feet of the pool when conducting future structural maintenance.

South Street addition

The angles of a Cape house brought Linda Carpenito of 493 South Street to the board to consider a new style for an already approved addition. The board had granted a special permit last March to expand the current house by 50 percent with the addition of a second floor. The original concept involved a Cape design, but after reviewing actual plans, the resident saw how much empty space resulted from the slanted roof with dormers. A Colonial style would result in more usable space and better meet storage requirements, she claimed. The board noted that the new plan did not change the square footage and approved the style of the addition.

Two businesses get permits

The board issued special permits to both Assurance Technology Corporation and the Carlisle Antiques Shop. Both companies had existing permits in place.

The Assurance Technology Corporation at 84 South Street received its first permit in 1979. The engineering consulting firm does aerospace work for the federal government. It currently employs 75 people. There are no plans for expansion that would require additional zoning approval. The board granted a five-year extension to the special permit for the established business.

The Carlisle Antiques Shop at 549 Bedford Road opened a year ago. It currently offers collectibles and handicrafts. Owner John Kyprianos plans to add a tea room area for clients. Last year, many concerned abutters attended the meeting, but this year there were none. This led the board to believe that the neighborhood has no objection to the shop's continued operation. The board granted a one-year special permit with the intention of reviewing the operation as the business evolves.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito