Friday, June 18, 2010
ZBA short and sweet, June 14
In what may have been the shortest meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) in recent history, the board enjoyed a brief respite from the seemingly endless Benfield 40B public hearings. The June 14 meeting was held to discuss all the non-40B issues that have accumulated since the beginning of the year. It turns out there weren’t any, other than one minor special permit for the addition of a garage. Without the 40B hearings to consume its attention, the ZBA was reduced to arguing over who would be honored as the next chair (all declined). The Benfield Farms 40B hearing meetings will continue on June 21 and June 24.
Application number 1001 (#1 of 2010) was a request by Charles Farrow and Kris Gines for a special permit for the addition of a garage with living space at 787 Lowell Street. The existing house was built in 1979 and sits on a 2.68 acre lot with 156 feet of frontage, the only non-conforming condition. The proposed addition conforms to all current setback and other zoning requirements, including the 50% addition cap (only 41% increase in living space). There were no objections from abutters or Building Inspector John Luther. “This is relatively straightforward,” declared Chair Ed Rolfe. Members agreed and voted 3-0 to issue the special permit.
Rather than adjourn after 15 minutes, Rolfe asked whether there were any comments from the audience and was treated to another 15 minutes of animated discourse regarding the Benfield 40B project between abutter Alan Carpenito and board member Kevin Smith. The remaining few minutes centered around choosing a ZBA chair for the coming year. Members were unanimous in that no one wanted the job and they finally agreed to postpone the selection until after the 40B hearings have concluded. ∆
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