Land Use Hearings This Week: Zoning Board Of Appeals And Design Review Board


The Zoning Board of Appeals met on Thursday, May 27, with Members Dillon Maxfield, Tammy Parks, and Steve Judge (Chair), and Associate Members  Peter Berek and Craig Meadows.

 A renewal of the Special Permit for a flag lot off South East Street owned by the Sofield family was approved with conditions similar to those existing since their original application in 1974. As this was a former apple orchard, conditions must address run-off from the site that might contain arsenic or other materials applied to the trees, as well as height restrictions to protect the abutter’s viewshed and possible shade over his solar panels.

A Special Permit with conditions was approved for Andrew and Sheilah Jones at 279 Amity Street to allow the pre-existing, non-confirming one-family detached dwelling to be structurally altered and expanded into the required side yard setback by 13-feet, adding about 237.9 square feet in the proposed addition. The Board determined that allowing a “great room” addition to the house 2.6 feet from the side yard property line was no more detrimental to the neighborhood than the existing patio in the same location.

You-Pan Tzeng, DBA College Street 195, LLC, and his property manager, Alan St. Hillaire, who represented him, and landscape architect, Michael Liu from Berkshire Design Group, applied for a Special Permit in order to allow change of use from a one-family detached dwelling to a non-owner occupied duplex dwelling; extension and alteration of the lot coverage and building area on a pre-existing, non-confirming lot; modification of the required additional lot area/family under Dimensional Regulations Footnote “A,” Sections 3.211, 9.22, and 10.38 of the Zoning Bylaw, on property located at 187 College Street, General Residence (RG) Zoning District. The existing house has four bedrooms, as will the addition to the rear.

This case is similar to the one at 275 East Pleasant Street in that the parcel is non-conforming as to side -yard setback, lot coverage, building area, and lot size. The issues are also  similar to the request to convert a garage to a second dwelling unit at 275 East Pleasant Street, which was withdrawn without prejudice. The College Street neighborhood is mostly rental housing abutting two commercial enterprises (Fort River Autobody and Leader Lumberyard) and no abutters wrote or spoke for or against the project. 

As it is the prerogative of the Planning Board to review ZBA applications, it asked for an opportunity to review this one and possibly provide advice. The Zoning Board also looked at the lot size and number of units at abutting properties to see if allowing the reduction of lot size for a two-family home from 14,500 square feet to 12,260 square feet is normative. They also want to confirm with the Fire Department that they can access the front door in emergencies if the front walk is removed to comply with the lot coverage requirement. Similarly, without a sidewalk how will the mail carrier get to the mailboxes on the front porch, especially in winter weather? For these reasons, the hearing was continued to July 8 at 6 p.m.

Design Review Board
The Design Review Board (DRB) met twice this week. On May 26, the  Archipelago proposal for 11 East Pleasant Street was continued to June 3 at 5 the request of developers  Kyle Wilson and David Williams. This will be  after they meet with the Planning Board. Information requested by the DRB is:

1. Detailed rendered drawings that address the east building façade, as well as the fence, trees, and slope along the easterly property line, which abuts West Cemetery;

2. Rendered drawings of the proposed development from the Triangle Street roundabout andfrom Pray Street, at eye level;

3. Photometric Plan;

4. Construction details for proposed site furniture for the site exterior;

5. Construction details for proposed signage; and

6. Updated renderings showing maximum screening of the roof equipment.

The DRB met the next day, May 27, with Antonio Marquez Diaz to review the proposed change in site (proposed signage) to the existing structure and changes in site design at 17 Kellogg Avenue (proposed outdoor dining area with site furnishing and landscaping), which will affect the exterior architectural appearance of a building or site (Section 3.20 of the Zoning Bylaw) . The Board approved the signage and outdoor furnishing in the colors of the Mexican flag as well as fencing and appropriate plantings for their Mexicalito Taco Bar.

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1 thought on “Land Use Hearings This Week: Zoning Board Of Appeals And Design Review Board

  1. Old apple orchards should be off the list of areas to be built on or near. Soil has been soaked in Lead Arsenide and is extremely toxic especially too children. Local Soil readings indicate it is as deadly as radioactive soil and 50% of the children living on such soil will be reduced in their metal capacity. Minuscule amount that would be hard too see would kill most any healthy adult. Dust one breathes in after Mud is tracked into the house or just kicked up is deadly. Health considerations by the Town are severely lacking. Flag lot permit for the sofield family should not have been issued. We have all the children behind my house playing around old apple orchard trees. Developer decided what was illegal would be considered a business risk. Tell that too the people living their. Invite low income people here only to poison them and their children.

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