Who Goes First, ZBA or ConCom?

            Just before adjourning the May 20 Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, Director of Inspectional Services Andy Bobola asked the ZBA to confirm the process that establishes an applicant’s need to secure Conservation Commission permissions for a construction project before seeking permits that might be required from the ZBA.

            Bobola said that he was seeking the support of the ZBA because increasingly he receives plans needing modifications required by the Conservation Commission, including restrictions and any wetlands-related jurisdictional controls. Such changes, he explained, then put a project in conflict with any permits previously granted by the ZBA such as special permits and variances. Bobola said it creates needless delays in the construction process. He said it makes more sense for the commission to render its conditions and acceptance of a project after thorough conservation oversight. Once secured, the applicant can then seek whatever approvals might be needed from the ZBA, and the ZBA will be better informed as to the site plan.

            There resulted a bit of confusion when Attorney Jamy Madeja, representing 0 Starboard Way, LLC, said that currently the Conservation Commission requires the ZBA to adjudicate first. She stressed that the case she represented before the ZBA that night might be sent back if the commission saw fit to not hear it before the ZBA did. Bobola disagreed with that assertion.

            In the end, the ZBA unanimously affirmed the requirement that applicants needing ZBA approvals would first go through the Conservation Commission process, thus clearing the way for any ZBA involvement.

            Madeja’s representation of 0 Starboard Way also saw some hiccups when abutters represented by Attorney Mike Kehoe questioned whether or not the two undeveloped lots being reviewed had in fact been merged, thus creating one lot, not two.

            Madeja countered that the applicants had been paying two tax bills and that each lot had a sewer stub; therefore, they were, in fact, two lots. Bobola confirmed that proposed lot coverage and height of proposed single-family dwellings were within the scope of bylaws.

            Brian Grady of G.A.F. Engineering, also representing 0 Starboard Way, LLC, said that lot coverage was planned at 14 percent and that the height of the buildings would be under 35 feet. Grady also pointed out early in his presentation that the properties in question had previously been granted Special Permits in 2012, but that at that time no work had taken place and the permits had lapsed.

            Chairperson Susan Akin said a least two letters had been received in objection to the development of the lots, primarily due to intermittent flooding, an issue that had also troubled the chair. This point, she said, was why the project needed to go through the Conservation Commission first.

            Madeja, on behalf of her client and at the behest of the ZBA, asked to withdraw the application without prejudice. Permission was granted.

            In other business, a Special Permit was approved for 56 Ocean Drive, owned by Conrad and Janice Roy, for the demolition of their fire-damaged home and the construction of a new single-family home on the 37,000 square-foot lot. The original home had been constructed in 1952.

            The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals will be scheduled for Thursday, June 17, at 6:00 pm if there are cases to be heard.

Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals

By Marilou Newell

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