Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Zoning Board of Appeals, July 25, 2023

The meeting was held remotely via Zoom, in accordance with the Open Meeting Law. The board acknowledged the ancestral lands of the Massachusett tribe and emphasized the importance of maintaining decorum during the meeting.

  • Proposal for Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) at 18 Robin Hood Road
    • The board discussed the proposal to convert the second floor of a garage into an ADU. The garage, built in 2021, currently has an unfinished second floor. The board noted that ADUs can be approved by right if they are part of the house. However, if they are within an accessory structure and within six feet of the property line, they need a special permit from the zoning board of appeals. The owners confirmed that they plan to rent out the ADU, either to a long-term tenant or a family member. The board will determine whether the conversion of the upper floor into an ADU is not substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood than the use of the building as a private garage.
    • The committee discussed the need for the ADU to comply with state building codes, including fire code requirements and proper legal egress. The building inspector had approved the building permit, and it was determined that it was the responsibility of the building department to review the final application for compliance with the state building code. The committee also discussed the need for accurate documentation of the proposed ADU.
  • Proposal for Extension to a Residential Property
    • The committee discussed a proposed extension to a residential property. The proposed extension is an 18-by-17-foot addition to the existing basement, creating a recreation space, an extension to the living room, kitchen, and dining area, and a fourth bedroom and bathroom. The committee did not make a decision during the meeting, and it was suggested that they would need to review the special permit criteria and the requirements for large additions before making a decision.
  • Approval of Proposed Addition to a House
    • The committee approved a proposed addition to a house in the area. The committee acknowledged that similar additions have been made to other houses in the neighborhood over the years, and this proposed addition would be consistent with the prevailing pattern of the neighborhood. The committee accepted for the record that the existing structure is a three-story structure and that the proposed addition would be an extension of a nonconforming structure under the town’s zoning bylaws.
  • Administrative Matters and Upcoming Schedule
    • The committee approved the minutes from meetings held on April 11th, 2023, and April 25th, 2023. The committee is working towards a special event and plans to engage with the community and work on a draft decision. The committee plans to close the public hearing on August 15th. Following this, they have a 40-day period, ending approximately on September 20th, to make a decision. The committee has not yet scheduled deliberation sessions for 10 Sunnyside. However, they need to do this soon as the 40-day period ends soon. They plan to spend the next week delving into the minutiae of the case. The committee members were encouraged to review their notes and raise any issues or concerns at the next meeting.



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