Flynn, Spirlet Take on More with ZBA

            The Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals began its September 22 meeting with membership moves.

            The board chose to promote alternate member Donald Spirlet to full member and picked Michelle Upton to become a new alternate member.

            Both recommendations must now be submitted to the Select Board for its approval. If approved by the selectmen, Spirlet will fill the seat recently vacated by retired member Kirby Gilmore.

            Upton introduced herself to the zoning panel as a native of Mattapoisett and mother of two who works as a medical social worker and lives in Rochester. She said she became interested in serving on the board after attending several meetings on a recent cellular-tower proposal.

            Board member Thomas Flynn said he supported Upton becoming an alternate member as a way to add a different female voice to the all-male panel. Member Jeffrey Costa said he was impressed by Upton’s past participation in the recent hearings on the cellular tower. “She was articulate and made good points,” Costa said.

            Next, the zoning panel reappointed David Arancio as chairman but lost Davis Sullivan as vice-chairman. Sullivan declined to be vice-chair for another team, citing his inability to attend every meeting because of his health. The board unanimously approved Flynn to become the new vice-chair.

            Under new business, member Richard Cutler urged the building commissioner to visit 15 New Bedford Road, where the car-dealer permit holder was said to be violating that permit by allowing multiple cars to be parked out front. The board unanimously motioned to do make a visit. “He may be a victim of his own success,” Flynn said.

            The board then approved meeting with Town Counsel Blair Bailey on Thursday, October 6, at 7:00 pm.

            Lastly, the board renewed the six-month-old special permit for a noncommercial hobby kennel at 116 Walnut Plain Road.

            Arancio noted the basement kennel that is licensed for up to eight dogs recently passed inspection by the building commissioner. Owner Alisha Fitzgerald said she is a professional trainer who currently owns five dogs, all of them female German Shepherds that she breeds once a year. She said she is not planning to house any more than that number of dogs for at least a few more years. Satisfied by her responses, the zoning panel renewed the permit and removed the need for her to return in another six months.

            The next meeting of the Rochester ZBA will be held on Thursday, October 13, at Rochester town hall.

Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals

By Michael J. DeCicco

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