Friday, May 11, 2007
Water issues resurface on Zoning Board of Appeals agenda
Returning to regular zoning appeals matters after issuing a decision on the Coventry Woods permit, the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on May 3 heard testimony from builder Matt Oinonen, who appeared on behalf of his client and homeowner Gary Kaepke of 31 Aaron Way, regarding a request for a special permit to build an addition onto an existing garage. The 26-foot x 25-foot garage is non-conforming because it sits 14.5-foot from the property setback. The bylaws require that buildings contain a 40-foot setback. The garage would be enlarged by 17% to 140 square feet, well below the 50% increase limit for non-conforming properties.
The ZBA granted the special permit to Kaepke, but with specific conditions designed to protect the health and safety of abutters and the town, and especially not to further exacerbate the ongoing issue abutter Joseph Sacco has with Kaepke and other neighbors over drainage: Sacco claimed that large amounts of water flow over the common driveway from the Kaepke property and flood his basement. "I'm trying to avoid suing anybody," Sacco stated.
"I have no objections to Gary building anything. I just want him to keep the water on his property."
Sacco believes that by augmenting the buildings on his property, Kaepke is reducing the amount of absorbable surface, which is contributing to the flooding problems his property is experiencing. "[The ZBA has] the ability to sign a condition that requires [Kaepke] to contain the water on his property. I'm just looking for a neutral third party to find resolution. I'm not shy about going to court; I just think it's stupid."
The board initially discussed the water issue as being outside of their jurisdiction, concurring with Carlisle Building Inspector Bob Koning and with Assistant Building Inspector John Minty, who went on site to investigate, that Sacco's water problem was not the town's issue. "You're asking us to deal with something that you need to work out with your neighbor, as difficult as it may be," Steve Hinton, ZBA members stated. Member Cindy Nock offered a different perspective: "Technically, we shouldn't be issuing any permits until these types of things are taken care of." Ultimately, the board members agreed and specified the following conditions for the special permit: 1) The new edition must be outfitted with gutters to collect all roof runoff; 2) There must be a 55-gallon rain barrel established to collect rainwater from aforementioned gutters. The overflow from the rain barrel should go into a dry well, 4-foot x 4-foot excavated, five feet deep (barring encountering any ledge — no blasting), filled with 1.5-3 inches of stone.
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