The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 14, 2000


Baldwin Road addition gets okay

Only one petition came before the Carlisle Board of Appeals on July 6; that of Marie Louise and John Petrie, 39 Baldwin Road. The Petries sought permission to expand their saltbox-style home, which dates back to 1789. While the expansion fell short of Carlisle's 50-percent limit, the house had been built long before the creation of a requisite 40-foot setback from the street. Because of this nonconforming house placement its owners were required to seek board of appeals approval.

The goal of the expansion was "to get better access to the back of the house presently gained through a shed, and create a room and play area off the road." The design added two heated living spaces, a master bedroom above and playroom below. The construction is to take place outside of the 40-foot setback, 90 feet from the side lot line. The additional heated space represents 29 percent of the existing area, rising to 35 percent if an enclosed porch is included.

Chair Terry Herndon explained that this project came before the board of appeals because according to the current zoning bylaw, "the dwelling has to be 40 feet back from the property line. After a certain date, if a building was grandfathered, it has to go before board of appeals. It's just a checkpoint."

Member Midge Eliassen elaborated. "We tried to change this through Town Meeting. We see totally conforming properties, and it makes sense if the expansion is greater than 50 percent. "But the state requires us to send any work on a nonconforming house or lot before the board of appeals."

The board members looked favorably upon the proposed project, citing its limited scope, the four-acre lot size and an appropriate style "that will not be detrimental to the neighborhood."

Eliassen added, " One more finding would be that there is a safety issue, with a house with small children within 15 feet of the streetso access to the backyard is a plus."

When presented with the condition that construction has to start within a year, Marie Louise Petrie objected. "Sometimes you have to wait for contractorswith the building boom, it may be hard to find a contractor."

Associate member Hal Sauer agreed. "Why [limit permission to] one year?"

"So you don't have a hangover of 10 or 20 years," answered Herndon. "Someone may start building, but zoning laws may have changed."

Finally, the board allowed for the expansion, on the condition that building must start within two years, and that the project meet the requirements of other town boards.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito