Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Zoning Board of Appeals, January 09, 2024

212 Pleasant Street

The board considered a request to withdraw the application for 212 Pleasant Street, as the property has been sold, and the new owners are not pursuing the original permits. Since the applicant is no longer in possession of the property, the board unanimously accepted the request for withdrawal.

49 Dixon Avenue

The applicants presented their proposal to renovate and extend their Cape house at 49 Dixon Avenue. They plan to add space to the backyard and increase the height to three-stories. The architect shared plans that included a reconfiguration of the first floor, a new second floor, an upper floor with limited ceiling height, and new exterior elevations.

Board members raised concerns about the variance needed for a three-and-a-half story house, as the bylaw allows only up to two and a half stories. The applicants suggested raising the grading to resolve this. The board also discussed the proposed width increase of the driveway and compliance with landscaped area requirements. No trees are impacted by the proposal.

After deliberation, the board decided to continue the hearing to review revised documentation about the grading changes and their impact on the need for a variance. The hearing was continued to January 23, 2024, with the understanding that the applicants would provide revised documentation a week before the meeting.

95 George Street

The applicants presented their plan to build a bigger foyer and front deck at 95 George Street. The board examined the proposal and opened it for public comment. Neighbors expressed support, stating that the modifications would enhance neighborhood interactions and be a positive addition to the community.

Following the board’s standard conditions for approving such modifications, a motion was made and unanimously approved to grant the special permit.

96 Jason Street

The applicants aim to renovate the carriage house at 96 Jason Street into an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) under the town’s ADU law. The building currently violates the setback requirement by being 3ft from the property line instead of the required 6ft. The applicants seek a special permit variance and presented plans showing the restoration work of second floor living space, a spiral staircase, an exterior stairway for egress, and a small dormer addition.

The historical nature of the carriage house and its previous use as chauffeur’s quarters suggest the structure once had a residential element. The Arlington Historical Commission has approved the exterior design changes. The board determined that the creation of an ADU in this existing structure is not substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood than its current use.

After public comment and review of special permit criteria, no additional conditions were proposed, and the board unanimously approved the special permit.

The next hearing is scheduled for January 23, 2024.



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