Patricia Harrington, 169 North Street, laid out all the reasons why the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals should approve her request for a special permit to construct a new home on her undeveloped abutting lot.
During the May 19 hearing, Harrington told the board that when she purchased the two side-by-side parcels in 1975, it was with an eye towards the future.
“We left it undeveloped until maybe family needed it,” she told them. Her daughter is now ready to build on the lot she said.
Continuing with her defense of the filing, she said, “It would be no detriment to the neighborhood…. It’s the same as many lots on North Street.” Harrington finished her comments by adding, “It would seamlessly fit into the neighborhood.” She described the proposed new home as being a colonial style.
The board members looked at one another. Then ZBA member and clerk Mary Ann Brogan asked, “Where are the plans?” Harrington said she didn’t want to spend the money to get plans or engineered drawings until she knew whether or not the board would view her request favorably.
Building Inspector Andy Bobola responded, “I tried to explain in-depth, but Mrs. Harrington wished to file anyway.”
ZBA member Paul Millott said, “We’re looking at a pretty big blank.”
Brogan interjected, “We are not the last stop.”
Board members then took turns explaining to Harrington that, before they could review and make a determination on a special permit, they needed specific details such as a septic plan and architectural drawings at the very least. Brogan said, “You need ConCom approval first.”
Harrington again said that she didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars without knowing if the house could be built.
“That’s the chance you take,” Brogan said. “It’s a business decision.”
Harrington fired back, saying it wasn’t a business decision because it was for her family. Harrington also said that her daughter could not get a construction loan without showing ZBA approval.
Brogan said that Harrington could sell the land to her daughter without town department approval, but the existing process protected both the town and the landowner.
“I have to spend money and cross-fingers that you would approve it,” Harrington declared with exasperation.
Bobola told Harrington she should follow the checklist provided to her by the Building Department to help her navigate through the process.
Harrington was at a standstill at that point as Bobola suggested to the board that they allow Harrington to withdraw her filing without prejudice so that she could start over.
Harrington heard that if she wished for the board to vote on her application then and there, it would be denied and she would have to wait two years before re-filing. “Please don’t do that,” Harrington pleaded as she agreed to withdraw her request.
In other business, David Vermette, 0 Harbor Road, received a special permit to build a single-family home on the undeveloped lot.
Also coming before the board was Phil Goyette, 11 Mattapoisett Neck Road, for a special permit to demolish the existing structure and construct a new single-family home. Goyette’s request was approved.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals will be posted for June 16 at 6:00 pm in the town hall meeting room if there are filings to be heard.
By Marilou Newell