Shed Squeezes into Place

Scott Machos will have his new shed but not without some lengthy deliberation on the part of the Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals, which approved a variance during a March 9 public hearing.

            Machos sought a variance under Chapter 20.40, Section E2 of the Rochester Zoning Bylaws for approval of the construction of a shed less than 10 feet from the rear setback requirements at 15 County Road.

            Acting chairman Thomas Flynn, the ZBA’s vice chairman, read a lengthy abutter’s list.

            Representing himself, Machos told the board he had a falling-out with his neighbors, his shed and greenhouse previously stored on his neighbor’s property.

            Standing on a lot measuring 100 foot square, Machos said the location of the septic system dictates that the larger shed (14×10 feet) he has purchased be situated in its present location.

            Machos explained that the plan is to move the contents from the old, 9×9-foot shed and 10×12-foot greenhouse into the new shed as those units have been sold, but he needed the ZBA’s approval on the new shed’s position just 4 feet from the setback.

            Machos told the ZBA that former board administrator Patty Braz, while still at her now-former position, advised him against positioning the new shed on the septic system. The site is further complicated by a driveway, confining the available space.

            Representing two abutters, Attorney Jordan Roberts displayed photos indicating that the new shed is already in its desired position.

            An abutter complained that with the shed and vehicles present, Machos’ dog defecates in her yard and “they don’t clean up after it.”

            There was also discussion about the proximity of a fire pit that the ZBA agreed does not fall under its purview. Flynn nonetheless clarified with the abutter that the proximity of the new shed to the fire pit is the abutter’s concern.

            The board was divided as to Machos’ case in terms of establishing hardship relative to the shed’s location. Two members suggested turning the shed 90 degrees, but a tree would impede the resultant location.

            The solution was to move the shed according to a new plot plan 17 feet from the side setback and maintain the 4-foot rear setback with conditions of removal of the sold structures within 60 days. Flynn noted body language from an attending abutter, indicating satisfaction with the board’s action.

            In continued public hearing No. 1181, a petition by Eric Zak for a variance on Quaker Lane was denied.      His single-lot house does not meet the frontage requirements.

            Member Richard Cutler reported talks with the applicant’s attorney, whom he said they are looking to make an ANR application for the same property. Citing recent absences while on the agenda, Cutler recommended the ZBA deny the variance request. The board denied the request.

            Travis Andrade and Caitlin Vandal were granted a six-month variance extension at 9 Coombs Road retroactive to February 24.

            Andrea Rivas has joined the ZBA as its new administrative assistant, and Richard Cutler was publicly thanked for serving in an interim capacity.

            The next meeting of the Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals was not scheduled upon adjournment.

Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals

By Mick Colageo

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