By Beth David, Editor
The Fairhaven Zoning Board of Appeals continued the petition by Stratford Capital Group to convert the Oxford School Building into affordable housing units. At its meeting on 3/7, the ZBA received more information from SCG, including a rendering showing the heights of the various parts of the building.
ZBA members and members of the public complained that the drawing was only made available the same day. SCG also did not have the traffic study that town officials had asked for.
The biggest problem, said Building Inspector Wayne Fostin, is that the company used data from a 2004 study.
Keith McDonald, Vice President of the Stratford Capital Group, said that the town had agreed they could use data from previous studies.
Mr. Fostin said that there was information more current than the 13-year old study.
“There’s got to be something newer than that,” he said.
The Southeast Regional Planning and Economic Development District might have newer numbers that the company can use.
The board also discussed drainage and storm mitigation plans for the site, which is already completely paved.
“Everything we do is going to be an improvement over there,” said Mr. McDonald.
The company is looking for a waiver of the town’s regulations, which are stricter than the Department of Environmental Protection.
ZBA chairperson Peter DeTerra also asked about visitor parking for the residents. He said that although the company is constructing a lot for town residents, that lot will clearly be marked for the use of Livesey Park and will have no overnight parking.
Mr. McDonald and Town Planner and Economic Development Director Bill Roth both noted that the project meets the parking required by the town’s bylaws.
Resident and North Fairhaven Improvement Association member John Medeiros voiced several concerns he had regarding access to and around the lot, parking, and the design of some of the apartments that seem as though they will be built into the hill. That design, coupled with a retaining wall made some apartments seem less than desirable.
“Like living in a cellar,” said Mr. Medeiros.
Engineer Kelly Killeen said that the wall will not extend the whole way.
Other parking issues and navigation issues around Benoit Square have “nothing to do with the project,” said Mr. Killeen. “The project can’t solve these problems.”
The petition was continued to the April 4 meeting.
In other business, the ZBA approved a petition by Michael Botelho of 6 Jameson Street, who was seeking to build a garage that is 452 square feet over the town’s maximum of 700 sf for an accessory structure.
Mr. Botelho told the board he wanted to store his boat in the garage. He has a boat tent now, he said, but wants to make a permanent structure. He said the garage would be in the same place as the tent and just a little bit bigger.
He also had a letter of support from an abutter.
Click here to download the entire 3/16/17 issue: 03-16-17 WinterStormStella