Friday, October 22, 2004
BOA amends controversial decision
The Board of Appeals (BOA) has modified a controversial decision to permit building a large house on a non-conforming 1.3-acre lot on Westford Street. On advice of Town Counsel, the BOA has modified its original decision by adding conditions on the project, limiting the total area of the proposed new house to no more than 50% greater than the total floor area of the existing structure, in accordance with town bylaws. The new document states, "The purpose of this modification is to correct the Board of Appeal's inadvertent omission of these conditions so that the record reflects the board's true intention."
In September, the Board of Appeals struggled with an application by Albert Ira Gould asking for a variance to the bylaw which states that a house on a nonconforming lot (less than two acres) may not be expanded by more than 50% of its original square footage. After considerable debate, they granted a special permit to tear down the existing small house and replace it with a new house and garage, within a 65 by 65-foot footprint, no more than two stories high. (Mosquito, September 24, 2004.)
The Planning Board was very unhappy with this decision and asked the Board of Selectmen to take action. Initially, town officials thought that the decision would have to be appealed to the court. However, at a meeting of the BOA, Selectmen, Planning Board and Town Counsel Richard Hucksam on October 7, the original decision was simply "clarified" by placing conditions on the project.
BOA Chair Cindy Nock said that she informed Gould of the conditions and the 20-day appeal period. Reached by phone on October 19, Gould said, "I don't believe the board acted properly." He said he was still waiting to receive a copy of the amended decision.
© 2004 The