Town Meeting Warrant Articles Discussed

The Marion Planning Board is looking at two possible warrant articles to put up for town vote at the Annual Town Meeting on May 21. One involves relaxing setback requirements for building an accessory use pier in Sippican harbor, and the other would permit the building of an accessory apartment of 1,000 to 1,300 square feet onto an existing house so that multiple family members can live together in the same home.

Tom Magauran, who led the discussion, said that the pier proposal fell under the town bylaw 7.4, 4.5 which involves “inhibiting factors” that restrict the possibility of building a pier based on frontage requirements.

“We’ve seen an applicant with a pork chop type lot which was lacking the frontage required yet had a sizable waterfront frontage, yet it was denied…this is one of the unintended consequences of the upzoning bylaws,” he said.

In the discussion on the accessory apartment, the board agreed that, even if passed at town meeting, the sewer and water issues would be a separate issue.

Mr. Magauran said that the passage of the 1999 upzoning bylaws have created a burden for many town residents who live on nonconforming lots.

“We’ve seen people spend $1,000 to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals to change a building on a non-conforming lot…setback issues should be discussed and brought before the town at the fall town meeting,” he added.

“We need to have all board members present when we discuss changes to the bylaws,” said Chairman Jay Ryder. Terri Santos, board secretary, included copies of the town bylaws to each member in their packet and said that the deadline for warrant article submission is March 9.

In other business, the board approved an ANR (Approval Not Required) application for Denise Allard and William Pettito for a property located at 63 Oakdale Avenue. At issue was an old outstanding ANR where the two parties were not in agreement on various issues.

With input from town counsel and the parties involved, the issues were resolved. A motion was made to accept the completed conditions of the ANR, as resolved between the two parties.

Mr. Ryder discussed two items under new business regarding comments to the Zoning Board of Appeals for two properties, one for David and Valerie Knott, 56 Allen Street and another for Elizabeth Smith of 5 Water Street.

“We’ll let the ZBA do their thing, and we do our thing,” said Mr. Ryder, who recommended that the Planning Board make no comment on the two applicants.

By Joan Hartnett-Barry

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