The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 17, 2010

Zoning Board of Appeals okays home expansion

Robert O’Leary of 613 School Street appeared before the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on September 13 to request a special permit to build a 200-square-foot second-floor closet atop the first floor roof of his non-conforming property. At issue was the true square footage of O’Leary’s property, which, when he purchased the home, was understood to be 2,094 square feet.

Back in 1997 after purchasing the home, O’Leary appeared before the ZBA to request a special permit to essentially renovate/tear-down the existing home to make it more suitable to his family’s needs. After three hearings, which O’Leary claimed were contentious because Carlisle boards disapproved of buying to tear down and rebuild larger homes, O’Leary was ultimately granted the permit and went forward to rebuild his home. O’Leary states that he made a good-faith effort to make his home design conform visually to the neighborhood and worked to gain approval from neighbors and other concerned parties prior to requesting a special permit.

O’Leary says he did not realize at the time that his home was larger than he had been told by the seller. After finding the home’s original plans recently, O’Leary realized – based on his background as a builder, that his home was actually 2,894 square feet. His current request to build a small additional closet on his second floor – approximately 200 square feet – would be based on his home’s corrected, original square footage amount, 2,894 square feet, putting his addition well within the legal limit of a 50% increase on non-conforming properties.

ZBA Chairman, Kevin Smith, accepted O’Leary’s new square footage calculations, based on O’Leary’s expertise as a builder, and moved to grant the special permit, which the board approved unanimously. ∆

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