By Beth David, Editor
In a matter that has been kicking around in one form or another for months, the Fairhaven Zoning Board of Appeals continued a hearing at its 9/5 meeting for Robert and Judith Tubbs who are seeking to sell their property at 294 Huttleston Avenue (Route 6) so eight rental units can be built. The property is the former site of Dan Good Auto Sales, which burned down in 2006. The property was rezoned to apartment/ multifamily at the last town meeting.
The neighbors again showed up in force to oppose the measure.
The proposal was originally listed as being 70 feet short of the 200 feet of frontage required, 72,233 square feet short of the 100,000 sf required, 42,233 sf short of 70,000 sf required contiguous upland, 5 feet short of the required 50-foot rear setback, and 19% over the maximum lot coverage of 50%.
At the 9/5 meeting, Town Planner and Economic Development Director Bill Roth told the board he disagreed with some of the conclusions of building inspector Wayne Fostin, who is also the enforcement officer.
Mr. Roth said he believed the project was not in violation of the rear setback. He also said the parking plan was more than sufficient for the intended use, and that the lot coverage percentage could be brought into compliance by eliminating some asphalt.
He told the board that they would have to decide if a total of eight units was too much for the site and the neighborhood.
He said the plan was “far more appropriate” than some other uses proposed for the site.
Mr. Roth also said, however, that the plan was not detailed enough for the Planning Board, which would also have to approve the project. He said it looked like the developer simply recycled a plan for a fuel company that wanted to buy the site.
Board members discussed the matter, bouncing around among the issues of parking, setbacks, and density.
In the end, the board continued the hearing to send their questions to Town Counsel, mainly, if the 100,000 minimum lot size applies to the pre-existing lot. Mr. Roth said he believed that the lot should be exempt from the requirement and that the 100,000 minimum applies only to new developments.
The continuance also gives Ms. Tubbs time to get more detailed plans created.
The board voted, almost unanimously, to send the matter to TC. ZBA member Kenneth Kendall voted “no,” stating: “I’m against the whole thing.”
The neighbors clapped.
Ms. Tubbs has threatened to file a 40B project if her proposal is rejected. Chapter 40B allows developers to bypass zoning regulations if a certain percentage of units is reserved for low income residents.
In another matter, the board voted “no” on a petition by David Tomasia, 15 Grinnell Street, who was seeking to build a 24×36-foot, two-story garage. The project required two variances, one for being 1,028 square feet over the 700 sf maximum for an accessory structure, and one for the height of the building being five feet over the 20-foot maximum allowed for an accessory building.
Mr. Tomasia did not attend, but some of his neighbors did.
Beth Oliver told the board she was concerned about the height of the building and its affect on her privacy.
The board voted against both variances.
In a matter not on the agenda, Barbara Dean asked the board if they had fixed their problem with notifications to abutters not going out on time. She said there was a petition in her neighborhood in May. During that ZBA meeting on May 2 (see Neighb News issue, 5/18/17), abutters from two separate hearings said they never received notices, or received them late.
Mr. Fostin said, at that meeting, that the notices had gone out and the problem must have been with the post office.
At the 9/5 meeting Ms. Dean said she planned on following up on the matter.
“I would like to know that something has been done, or something is being done in the future,” said Ms. Dean. “I just feel it’s really wrong.”
ZBA Chairperson Peter DeTerra said that he believed Mr. Fostin was “working on it” with the post office.
“I will follow up on it again,” promised Ms. Dean, after the meeting.
Click here to download the entire 9/14/17 issue: 09-14-17 FtPhoenixRace
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