ZBA Approves Revised Waterfront House

            Stephen E. Goulston of North Easton was awarded his special permit to build a new waterfront house at 27 Nashawena Road under the condition that the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission vet the roof-runoff aspect of his site plan.

            Before the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously to grant Goulston the special permit during its February 18 Zoom meeting, revisions to the plan were discussed by board members and Building Commissioner Andy Bobola, along with representatives of the applicant and abutters to the property.

            Attorney Dan Perry and Spencer Lynds of Prime Engineering Inc. represented the applicant, and Dave Davignon of Schneider, Davignon and Leone Inc. represented multiple abutters to the property.

            A main concern, the height of the house, was revised to 34 feet, 10 inches.

            As Perry explained on Goulston’s behalf, “We agreed with the concurrence of Mr. Bobola and the state not to rely on the existing permits and conform the design to existing flood-plain standards.”

            Perry felt that the redesign that lowered grade by 1.5 feet and also lowered the building by 1.5 feet satisfied the height concern. He further stated that the new site plan moved the drainage system to the side of the property.

            “We think we have an application now that is satisfactory to the neighbors and consistent with all the requirements,” he stated, hoping to achieve a vote at the meeting.

            “It appears to me that [the height requirement] has been met,” said Davignon, who asked for clarification on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s involvement. “I’m not clear as to what the explanation was from Attorney Perry relative to why [the applicant] went to FEMA. That was very confusing to me and made me think that the plan of record I have before me has changed. I’d like a little clarification on that if I could.”

            At Perry’s request, Spencer Lynds of Prime Engineering Inc. explained that “The FEMA regulations require you not to exceed 2 feet in fill on the property, so we made grading changes to be in line with FEMA regulations, and those are reflected on the plan …”

            To further clarify, Davignon identified the site plan before him as dated January 21, 2020. Lynds confirmed that one as the plan of record.

            Turning his attention back to the board, Davignon pointed out that the pool was not part of the application. “In my opinion, the pool with its setbacks would require a special permit. Particularly, there’s a deck shown right to the rear lot line…. They did not apply for that, so I just want to make it clear to the board members that there was not a legal ad that was run that included the pool, and any approval tonight for the dwelling to be reconstructed would not include the pool as a part of that application or decision.

            “It may have been approved by [the Conservation Commission], but from a zoning perspective, it would require its own special permit and evaluation by the ZBA.”

            The subject was briefly addressed earlier in the discussion by ZBA member Mary Ann Brogan, who was reminded by Building Commissioner Andy Bobola that the ZBA is “only asked to apply a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ to the construction of a house.”

            Perry acknowledged that the pool might require separate permitting. “If the board acts tonight, it can reference that issue in its decision,” he said.

            Davignon identified a second issue, roof runoff, which is now planned to be directed to a pipe network to the rear of the building and discharged at the point of the seawall. “If we could simply request that the ZBA make it a condition of approval that this plan be vetted through the Conservation Commission, that will be the only way to assure that it’s constructed in accordance with the site plan,” said Davignon, noting that the process would require a new filing or an amendment to the original permit. “If the ZBA puts it in there, then they have no choice but to do that. We would just be concerned that there would be no policing of the pipes being installed properly as it’s not really a zoning issue.”

            Perry said the applicant would agree to submit the site plan to the Conservation Commission, anticipating that it can be handled as an informal amendment to the plan without a new filing. “If you simply reference in your decision our obligation (to file with ConCom), we’ll comply; we have no objection,” said Perry.

            The presence of a swimming pool on the revised site plan was also discussed, but Bobola repeated that, while the pool is a permitted item subject to inspections, its presence on the site plan is not in the purview of the ZBA. The decision relates to the plan for the house only, not the pool.

            Lot coverage did not change from the former plan.

            ZBA members unanimously approved the application with the agreed-upon conditions.

            The next meeting of the Mattapoisett ZBA is scheduled for Thursday, March 18, at 7:00 pm.

Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals

By Mick Colageo

Leave A Comment...