ZBA Changes its Meeting Process

During a recent meeting of the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals, the members discussed and ultimately voted to change the hearing process in an effort to move meetings along more expediently, giving those cases that needed it extra time while still adhering to the required time period.

For years, cases coming before the ZBA were given specific public hearing dates and times on the agenda. Hearings were scheduled every 15 minutes as a standard, oftentimes requiring that the disposition of a case be decided after hearing all the cases on the agenda. That process meant that cases heard early in the meeting might find applicants and interested others waiting long into the evening before learning the fate of their application. It also meant that public hearings exceeding 15 minutes, sometimes over an hour, inconvenienced other cases waiting to be heard.

On July 19 as the board members gave an applicant time to appear, Mattapoisett Building Department Administrative Assistant Robin Shufelt explained: “The new format will work better for all concerned – we tell everyone to arrive at 6:00 pm.” She said cases are scheduled on a first come first served basis and that she’ll try to schedule cases expected to require extra time placed farther down on the agenda.

Regarding applicants who are no-shows, Shufelt said, as a courtesy to the applicant missing their scheduled appearance before the ZBA, “…We [could] allow them to come to the next scheduled meeting, but we don’t have to.”

She suggested that applicants failing to appear may lose their right to have their public hearing, and a new filing required after two years.

On this night, missing his scheduled hearing was Bill Bachant, Stingray City Realty Corp, for a Special Permit to develop and construct three multi-family units on Marion Road. The board elected to allow the applicant to attend the next scheduled meeting before rescinding the application.

Also coming before the board was Carlton Veeder for property located at 39 River Road. The applicant received a Special Permit to construct a family-related apartment behind a new attached garage. Many members of the Veeder family and abutters were present to support the applicant. Veeder said this plan would allow his parents to age in place with other family members residing in the main house.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled for August 16 at 6:00 pm in the town hall conference room.

Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals

By Marilou Newell

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