The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 15, 2004


Shorts from the Board of Appeals, October 7

357 Brook St. and 455 East Riding Drive. Two lots or one?

Frederick and Eleanor Bentley have lived in town for 40 years, at 357 Brook Street and 455 East Riding Drive. They currently own two houses which exist on one legal undersized lot. In the early 60s the Bentleys moved into a new house at 357 Brook Street. Around 1973, the applicant applied for and was granted a building permit, to finish an existing building on the abutting lot, referred to as Lot 1, at 455 East Riding Drive. The building inspector at that time was Jim Baron. The issue of whether there were two lots or one was looked into by the building inspector claims the applicant, and a house permit was issued. Unfortunately, the official documentation can't be found.

From 1974 to 1982 the town sent the applicants two different tax bills, noting the different addresses, with two separate assessments, recognizing the existence of two lots. At some point, around 1982, the town, citing an error, merged the two lots into one property.

The applicant is now seeking to overturn that merger. The Bentleys told the board that they would like to move into the smaller house on Lot 1, which is currently rented, and sell the larger house on Lot 2, so that they can afford to continue to live in Carlisle.

Queried by board member Terry Hemdon, the Bentleys told the board that the properties have two separate septic systems and wells, and were also registered at the Middlesex Registry of Deeds as two separate lots.

The Bentleys were represented by attorney Judith Pickett, and bolstered their case with the belief that a statue of limitations had expired in1982, and the lots could not be merged after the town's recognition of the two distinct lots for many years.

The board decided to continue the case until November 4 and asked for more documentation.

75 Westford Street

In another application to the board of appeals, Russell and Donna Krapf asked the board for a variance to construct a garage on their property at 75 Westford Street. This is an historic house built in 1811 at the fork in Westford Street and Church Street. The applicants are planning to build a two-car garage, 16 by 32 feet, which would be located on the Church Street side on the property. Currently there is an eight-foot-high fence on the property at the proposed spot. The Krapfs wanted to place their garage with the least visible impact, but need a variance because the structure would intrude into the setback from the road. The only other location on the property to observe the setback would be in wetlands. The Historic Commission has already approved the garage plan.

The Board of Appeals granted the variance. Herndon commented that the density of structures in the town center is always a concern, and cited a number of other variances that had been granted, where it was determined that there was sufficient room. It was also noted that Church Street has become a one-way street now, and that there is no other house across from the proposed garage structure.

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito