Cease and Desist Issued for 324 Front Street

Christian Loranger’s 324 Front Street condominium project was issued a Cease and Desist Order on May 10 as the building permit undergoes the appeal process with the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The Wanderer obtained a copy of the order in which Marion Building Commissioner Scott Shippey wrote that on May 4 he received additional information and documentation containing affidavits “indicating the nonexistence of a full basement under the Southwest section of the previous structure,” as well as new volume calculations by a registered professional engineer.

“Based upon this new information … I hereby order the cease and desist of all work on the property,” Shippey wrote, until the ZBA or the Court makes a decision on the project’s entitlement to the building permit.

Peter Douglas, the abutter at 326 Front Street, filed the appeal in February after Shippey denied Douglas’ request for zoning enforcement on January 25. Douglas insists that Loranger supplied inaccurate information on his building permit application and miscalculated the total volume of the project, which Douglas asserts exceeds the allowed volume that is not to exceed the total volume of the previous structure that was torn down.

The Marion Planning Board on April 19 issued the ZBA a letter supporting Douglas’ position that the bylaw should be interpreted to define “volume” as habitable space that does not include “below-grade” basement space that was not habitable in the original house.

The ZBA opened the public hearing for Douglas’ appeal of the building permit on April 19, but promptly continued the hearing until its next meeting on May 24 due to the absence of a quorum, as well as the unavailability of Shippey and town counsel that evening.

By Jean Perry

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