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Zoning Board Grants Two Requests

The Zoning Board of Appeals granted two requests for relief from the town's Zoning By-Laws at its June 9 meeting. Board members also voted to raise the variance/special application fee to $250 from $200 in order to help pay for a new-part-time clerk for the board.

The board voted to grant Gina Pandozzi a special permit to rebuild a single-family house, plus a 10-foot addition, at 32 North St. – provided that the existing foundation is removed and backfilled and a new foundation leaves at least 10 feet of distance from each side property line. Zoning now requires a 15-foot side lot line setback.

Pandozzi originally requested to rebuild the house on the existing foundation, but board member David Consigli voiced concern that the old one might not structurally support the weight of a new home and could still cause moisture problems. Building a new foundation could also mean a home that is more in conformance with required side setbacks, Chairman Laura Mann added.

The board also granted Guaranteed Builders, Inc. of Douglas a variance to demolish an existing garage and build a new a 20-foot by 28-foot one and a 7-foot by 10-foot deck on an 8,000 square-foot lot at 18 Fells Avenue. The proposed garage would be built 18 inches from a side lot line and five feet from a rear lot line.

Consigli said he had a problem with the size of the proposed garage, saying it would be bigger than the house on the lot. "This is going to be one of the largest structures in the neighborhood," he said.

A Guaranteed Builders' representative said garage knee walls could be eliminated and the roof pitched lowered to drop the height of the garage by six feet. The ZBA's decision to approve the request included conditions to follow the builder's two suggestions.

In addition to its two public hearings on the two requests, the ZBA reviewed detailed building plans from Russet Rentals, LLC of Mendon to rebuild a multi-family house at 42 Pine St. The ZBA granted a special permit at its May 12 meeting for the reconstruction, but members wanted to see the plans. "Clearly, they made the best effort to replace what was there," Consigli said.

Town Counsel Gerald Moody asked the board to accept the plan – which it did – and said he would write a certificate explaining the vote which, with a copy of the plans, will become part of the formal special permit approval.

Mann noted the board has advertised for a new part-time clerk who will prepare copies of the application packages for board members. In order to pay the estimated $1,850 cost of that person, she recommended raising the board's application fee. Consigli, who surveyed area towns' application fees for the board, said fees vary from $275 to $350. Board members unanimously raised the fee from $200 to $250, a 25 percent increase.


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