Zoning Board of Appeals - May 12th, 2020

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Docket 3620, 84 Oxford Street. The applicants are Jean and Tom Teabagy. Mr. Teabagy's mother owns the property and has lived there since 1960. She'd like to live the rest of her days in the house; her kids will live in one unit of the two-family home in order to provide care. The proposed dormer is to allow a new master suite on the third floor. The dormer would be constructed on the driveway side of the house.

The creation of additional gross floor area normally comes with a requirement for additional usable open space. This property is pre-existing conforming, and has no usable open space (no area of the yard satisfies the 25' horizontal dimension requirement).

The board members have no questions. Steve Revilak rode by the property earlier in the day; the says the two-family home is similar to other houses on the street, several of which have dormers like the one proposed.

48% of the third floor will have clearance of 7' or above. This satisfies the requirements for a half-story. The third story is currently finished.

Christian Klein reminds the applicants that the definition of half-story requires a slope of at least 2:12.

The dormer meets the ridge line of the roof, and will not increase the height of the building.

Mr. Klein opens the hearing to public comment.

(Chris Loretti, 56 Adams Street) Mr. Loretti asks a question about roof pitch, and suggests making this a condition of the special permit. He was the one who raised procedural questions about the hearing, and asks that in the future, hearings be re-advertised in the newspaper. He also believes that section 8.1.3(C) doesn't apply in this case.

Rick Valarelli states that section 8.1.3(B) applies, in addition to 8.1.3.(C). Going forward, he'll cite both sections for special permits of this sort.

Mr. Loretti asks if there will be a change to the building footprint, and whether the porches will remain open. There will be no change to the building footprint. The first-story porch will remain open. The second-story porch is an enclosed three-season porch, and will remain that way. Mr. Loretti suggests amending the ZBL, to specify what happens when a property has no usable open space.

Proposed conditions: a signed statement to specify pitch, and no deviation from the plans without ZBA approval.

Permit approved, 5--0.

Approval of Minutes from April 14th. Minutes approved, 5--0.

Decision for Docket 3617, 41 Westminster Ave. The decision language was revised to clarify the findings and conditions. Decision approved, 4--0.

Comprehensive Permits. The Comprehensive permit hearing for Thorndike place was continued to June 9th. There's concern that it will be difficult to conduct this hearing via zoom. However, the applicant prefers to move forward with the June 9th date.

The town has hired John Witten to act as special counsel for these hearings. Board members are asked to send written questions to the Chair, who will forward them to counsel. Roger DuPont and Shawn O'Rourke are interested in speaking with special counsel directly.

Mr. O'Rourke asks if we'll have leeway to move the hearing date. Mr. Klein said the applicant would need to agree, but they're interested in pursuing the current hearing date.

Kevin Mills would like to see the hearing held in person, and wonders if we'll be able to follow a process like the one proposed for town meeting.

There's a question about whether a completeness review has been done. We'll have to check with town counsel.

The town has selected the Beta Group to act as a peer review firm.

Postponed Hearings. We have two postponed hearings: 40 Park Ave, and 339 Mass Ave. There's a question about advertising hearings vs advertising continuances because the original hearing date was canceled (due to COVID-19). Rick will confer with town counsel. June 9th will be our earlier date to hear new cases, with June 23rd as the next possible option.