ZBA Seeks to Increase Fees

            The cost to file an application with the Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) might soon increase slightly.

            The ZBA discussed its desire to increase fees, with Chairman David Arancio stating on May 23 that research shows Rochester’s fees are amongst some of the lowest in the area.

            The current fee to file for a variance or special permit is $55.

            Arancio said he has asked the Board of Selectmen to discuss the matter during a future meeting, since the ZBA is not authorized to set its own fees, but the board would like the selectmen to consider any suggested fee hikes from the ZBA.

            “We want to get the opportunity for the Board of Selectmen to get on board with that, Arancio said. “There’s a (financial) balance we’re trying to strike.”

            Also during the meeting, the board granted a variance to Todd Cambra, 1098 Walnut Plain Road, to construct a garage over 1,000 square feet in size.

            Cambra presented the plans for the 60’x75’ oversized garage he needs in order to store a truck that cannot be left out in the elements, especially in snow and ice. He had with him revised plans that reflect a 2’ overhang not marked on the original plan.

            Cambra runs a tree business, but does not need a special permit to run a business at his residence, since no business would be conducted there, only storage.

            “I’d like to know what the hardship is,” said ZBA member Richard Cutler.

            “The hardship is that I can’t keep that truck outdoors in the weather due to the plastic components,” said Cambra, but Cutler wanted a hardship relative to the land, not just financial in nature.

            “Why not put the proposed garage more in the middle of the lot instead of skewed to the side?” Cutler asked.

            Cambra said there were wetlands to the edge of the property, and locating the garage where it is planned now is the only way to keep it away from the 100-foot buffer zone.

            “There’s the hardship,” said Cutler.

            “No abutters complaining: no problem with me,” said ZBA associate member Donald Spirlet.

            The next meeting of the Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled for June 13 at 7:15 pm at the Rochester Town Hall.

Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals

By Jean Perry

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