Friday, November 11, 2005
Shorts from the Board of Appeals, November 3
• Tightening up. "We are tightening up, and things are going to be handled much differently," Chair Cindy Nock announced at the November 3 Board of Appeals (BOA) meeting. Nock spoke briefly about the BOA Workshop held on October 27 with Town Counsel, which questioned whether the BOA has been too flexible when granting application requests. "It's becoming clearer and clearer that we need an administrator for the board. We need to become more stringent in adhering to our own rules and guidelines," Nock added. Member Terry Herndon agreed, "There has to be more rigor in the administration of what we do."
• 941 Concord Street. Susan Tobler requested a special permit to put an addition on their 209-year-old home. Their home is on a non-conforming lot and their plan proposes to expand the total square footage from 2,344 square feet to 3,871 square feet, exceeding the 50% expansion rule for non-conforming lots. Tobler stated that their plan maintains the integrity of their antique home and provides extra living space for her family, including a new utility room for their heating system. Bill Cooney, a neighbor and abutter, appeared with Tobler to support her application. The board granted the request.
• 613 School Street. Robert O'Leary appeared before the board to request a special permit to put a roof on his existing deck and screen it in. His home is on a non-conforming 1.5-acre lot, but is well within the setback requirements, and his abutters have not taken issue with his request. The board granted the special permit with the condition that the porch contain no heating or plumbing.
• Special permit extensions. Larry Bearfield of Carlisle Center Ventures and Ferns Country Store appeared before the board to request an extension of his variance for signage and for construction of a farmer's porch at Ferns, at 8 Lowell Street. The variance had expired approximately two months ago.
Sid Levin of 69 Bellows Hill Road requested an extension of his special permit to build a garage with a studio loft and toilet facilities, to be used as a home office, on his non-conforming lot. The existing deck on the house would also be expanded to meet the garage loft for access.
The board granted both applicants an additional six-month extension as a "one-time thing" and urged them to begin construction immediately.
• Coventry Woods peer review consultant. The board, with the help of attorney Dan Hill, is still in the process of selecting an engineering firm to assist them in evaluating the current Coventry Woods 40B application. Discussions will continue and possibly a decision will be made at the next Board of Appeals meeting on November 21.
© 2005 The