Friday, December 10, 2010
ZBA okays two home additions
At its December 6 meeting the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) approved two variance requests concerning additions to homes not in conformity with the zoning laws.
318 Maple Street
Alison and Michael Saylor requested a variance for two small additions to their home. The ZBA had received seven letters from abutters, all in support. Rolfe questioned why two previous additions had not had special permits, and Alison Saylor said the property was grandfathered because Maple Street was moved, putting the home out of compliance with setbacks.
Rolfe did not accept this explanation, but noted, “The board’s not going to worry about what wasn’t done in the past.”
Two additions are proposed, one 8-feet x 36-feet (288 square feet) and one 6-feet by 10-feet (60 square feet) for a total 348 square feet. As the original home was 1,548 square feet, the additions would not violate the “less than 50% increase” zoning bylaw 6.3. Rolfe noted, “Your position is this is not more detrimental than the current non-conforming use,” and the Saylors agreed. Building inspector Luther said he had “no objections at all.”
The variance was awarded through a unanimous vote with Galligan recused and Associate Crespo in his place. Rolfe said that construction could start immediately although there is a 20-day appeal period once filed with the Town Clerk. Alison Saylor wondered what happens if a small change to the plan must be made for a structural reason and was assured by Rolfe that while a “substantial deviation” must come back before the board, “If John’s happy, we’re happy.”
28 Concord Street
Emily Williams requested a variance for an addition and deck for a home out of compliance because it is within the 20-foot setback from a property line. No correspondence had been received. The addition at 7-feet x 13-feet would be 91 square feet.
It was noted that a current 182-square-foot dining room was previously an open area and a permit had not been issued. Williams had bought the house in September and did not know its history. Rolfe deemed it “water under the dam,” noting the unpermitted previous and the proposed additions together at 273 square feet did not violate the bylaw limiting additions to 50% of the main house. The deck at 1,468 square feet was not considered living area and did not need a variance.
Rolfe noted this was “not creating new non-conformity because it’s outside the 20-foot setback” and called it “not more detrimental than the existing non-conformity.” The project has also been before the Conservation and Historical Commissions for review (see “ConsCom shorts, Dec. 2,” page 16).
A vote was taken and the variance was approved unanimously. ∆
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