By Beth David, Editor
The Fairhaven Zoning Board of Appeals approved three petitions, continued three, and rejected two at its meeting on Tuesday, 5/2. The board also discussed an apparent problem with notifications, as several abutters from the May meeting and April’s meeting said they never received postcards in the mail, and found out about the petitions from newspaper ads or neighbors.
Steven Pinhancos was unsuccessful in his bid to retroactively get approval for a third apartment at 7 St. Mary’s Street. Mr. Pinhancos said he did not know he needed a variance for the work he did, but when he found out, he contacted the town.
Building Inspector Wayne Fostin, however, said the two-family was okay, but the third apartment was something that the board simply did not have the authority to approve.
The two family was a preexisting “non-conforming” use, but the zoning regulations do not allow expanding a non-conforming use.
Mr. Pinhancos told the board that he would open the walls and remove the work he did on the third apartment, making it part of the second floor apartment.
The third apartment was reported by the assessors after they noticed the third apartment.
In another petition, Mark Mucciarone received permission to build a 16×20 garage on 10 Palmer Street. Mr. Mucciarone told the board that he has no storage space, no cellar and no attic.
Some neighbors spoke against the petition, and also complained that they did not receive notification in the mail about the petition.
Mr. Fostin said the postcards had been mailed.
Abutter Barbara Dean said she wanted to make sure it was on the record that she and her neighbors did not receive cards.
“I’m really concerned about it,” said Ms. Dean.
Several other neighbors also said they did not receive cards.
“I have no explanation,” said Mr. Fostin, saying he sent out the cards. “It’s not happening on our end.”
The Board also approved two other petitions.
Ronald Oliveira received permission to build a house on a narrow lot at 5 Vincent Street. The lot has enough square footage, but is narrow. There was no public comment on the petition.
Francis and Amanda Grueter, 80 Fort Street, also received a special permit and a variance to build a pier. The extra length is required to reach water deep enough in the harbor.
Harbormaster Tim Cox said thre would not be a navigation hazard and there was no problem with shellfish.
“I have no issue with it,” said Mr. Cox. “I think it’s [going to] be nice.”
The board voted “no” to Christopher Bonannno’s petition to raise chickens at 218 Main Street. Mr. Bonanno did not attend the meeting, but several of his neighbors did to speakd against it.
Rich Griffiths said he was concerned about odor, saying he had personal experience with other neighbors. Not only are chicken noisy, he said, by they smell.
“It became unpleasant fast,” said Mr. Griffiths, adding that the worst of it was rats. “They did bring rats.”
Mr. Griffiths also said he did not get a notification, but saw the ad in the paper.
Other neighbors said the property in question already has issues, including two dogs and other animals.
“Who knows what else is living there,” said Stephen Borges.
The ZBA continued the Oxford School Residences to the June 6 meeting. The board had already closed the public hearing, but still needs to set conditions for final approval.
In another matter, the board continued the hearing for Jill Manzone, who is seeking a variance to build a chicken coop at 60 Washington Street.
The board also continued Ralph Wilette’s petition to build a house on Winona Avenue, on an undersized lot.
The board also continued the hearing for Michael Ristuccia, 52 Cedar Street, at the request of the petitioner.