Friday, October 14, 2005
Shorts from the Board of Appeals, Oct. 6
•75 Westford Street. Donna Krapf appeared before the board to request an extension on a variance granted last year to build a garage onto the property. She and her family are relocating to California and currently have a buyer for the property who wants to add the garage exactly as the Krapfs had requested last year. The board unanimously granted the six-month extension.
• 536 Curve Street. Deborah and David Toher appeared before the board to request a variance for the enclosure of their existing horse-riding ring. Avid equestrians, they want to enclose their riding ring so they can exercise their horses year round. The Tohers said that the riding ring would only be covered to protect the horses and riders from inclement weather; no heat, water, or electricity would be installed in the riding ring. The ring would also not be changed from its existing size or present location. The board granted the Tohers' request for a variance with the condition that they not improve or modify the rink within the scope of the variance — or "turn it into a house."
• 128 Heald Road. Appearing for owner John Kaufman, architect Deborah Bentley stated that she was reapplying for a variance to build an addition that would connect the garage to the house. The original variance was granted in 1999. Before executing their plans, however, the Kaufmans left the country and the variance subsequently expired. The board "regranted" the variance, stipulating that the non-conforming portion of the structure cannot be converted into living space.
• 525 East Street. Cheryl Finn-Poole appeared before the board to request a variance for the repair and rebuilding of her existing deck. Finn-Poole stated that her deck was in great need of repair. She is concerned by the safety risk it poses. Because her lot is non-conforming, having only 150 feet of frontage, Finn-Poole had to seek approval from the BOA. The BOA granted her request.
• 981 Bedford Road. Mark Flanagan from MEF Contracting appeared before the board to request a special permit to modernize and expand the antique home he recently purchased at 981 Bedford Road. In the process of planning for the renovations, which include adding a garage, family room, updated kitchen and master suite, Flanagan discovered that the property does not meet the current 40-foot setback requirement. Flanagan's plans also do not conform to the setback requirement, but they are an improvement — 29.7 feet as opposed to the current 28.7 feet. Bruce Ringwall, an engineer who appeared with Flanagan, stated that they tried to design the structure to conform to the setback requirements, but the designs did not appear aesthetically appropriate with respect to the integrity of the antique home.
Initially, the board was split on approving this special request. One member pointed out that, according to the plans presented, it did appear that the design could have been constructed such that it met the 40-foot requirement. The board deliberated on this request until members agreed to grant it unanimously on the grounds that the plan does not increase non-conformity, the design is appropriate to maintaining the integrity of the structure, and does not detract from the neighborhood or structure.
© 2005 The