No Ruling in Shore View Garage Hearing

The Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals met on the evening of Thursday, May 17, at the Town Hall for their regular meeting, with three hearings on the agenda.  Engineer Doug Schneider was on hand to speak on behalf of Christian Hicks, regarding a property at 11 Shore View Avenue.  Hicks was seeking a special permit to demolish a single-story garage and reconstruct a two-story storage building that will not meet setbacks. The new building will nearly maintain the same footprint, but will have double the storage, at 900 sq. ft.

Michael Harrington, an abutter, said that the original structure was built decades ago by his father, and was used to house boating supplies and tools.  It was built before the town of Mattapoisett issued ten-foot setback laws, and, he admitted, with little regard by his father for where the property lines were when he built the structure.  The setback laws of ten feet were decided in 1973.

“They say it’s three feet off my line, but that’s the biggest three feet I’ve ever seen. It’s right on my line,” Harrington said.

He also cited concern that the doubling of the height of the building would have a negative impact on the neighborhood.

“All the houses in this area are one-story. This structure will be a detriment in the neighborhood. There has never been a two-story building here,” he said.

He was also concerned that, should the owners decide later in time to turn the 900 sq. ft. garage into a living residence, they would need to tie into neighborhood utilities.  He asked the Board to consider a special condition that would forbid the owners from converting the building into a residence.

Acting Board Chairman Susan Akin said it was unnecessary to consider that condition because it is illegal for them to convert the future storage structure into living space.

The Zoning Board of Appeals made no ruling as two members have personal connections to individuals involved with the project.  The case will be turned over to the Town Council for a

The Board also heard from Doug Schneider on behalf of William and Kirsten Durbin, who are seeking a permit for 21 Bay Road to demolish a storage structure and erect a two-story building on the other side of the home to be used as an art studio.  The house on the land burned down last summer and a newer, larger home has been under construction since the fall.

Some abutters felt that the erection of a two-story studio next to a four-story house would make the neighborhood feel too dense and could negatively impact views of the water from neighboring properties.  The Board voted to deny the application due to new changes in the construction of the studio.  The new plans showed that it would be built up a few inches higher than what was previously approved.

In other business, the Zoning Board of Appeals also voted in favor of reissuing a permit to allow a family-related apartment within the home at 7 Gosnold Street.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals will be on Thursday, June 21, 2012, at 6:00 pm at the Town Hall.

By Eric Tripoli



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