Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Zoning Board of Appeals, February 27, 2024

Docket 3784 – 71 Egerton Road

Large Addition Special Permit Request

The Arlington Zoning Board of Appeals deliberated on a request for a large addition special permit at 71 Egerton Road. The appellant, Jeremy Gavin from Winwin Properties, aims to add living space into the basement and attic for the two existing units in a two-family house while enclosing the rear porch.

The addition internal to the existing footprint is permissible under the bylaw, requiring board consideration of any nonconformity with regard to usable open space, as the property is already noncompliant. A new external egress stair will also be added, with some discussion from the board regarding whether this should be counted toward usable open space.

Following board questions about the existing porch enclosure, the gross square footage, and compliance with usable open space, the board agreed that the proposed changes would not be significantly more detrimental to the neighborhood. No public comments opposed the addition.

The board granted the special permit under five conditions, including compliance with the final plans submitted, monitoring and enforcement by the building inspector, and the zoning board’s continuing jurisdiction over the special permit granted.

Docket 3785 – 51 Birch Street

Two Driveway Special Permit Request

James Ristling presented on behalf of LR Designs for a two-driveway special permit at 51 Birch Street. The applicant seeks to create two curb cuts for driveways, enabling the construction of two equal duplex units. A significant ash tree’s preservation is cited for the benefit of this plan.

There’s no plan to subdivide the rear yard, and permeable concrete pavers for the driveways are to facilitate stormwater management. However, there’s a potential rear yard nonconformity, as the rear of the new building might not meet the minimum 20-foot usable open space requirement. The building inspector will need to confirm compliance.

After ensuring the driveways wouldn’t result in undue concentration or traffic congestion and would preserve land value, including the need for a vegetative buffer, the board approved the special permit under three conditions to ensure compliance with the proposed plans and the town’s bylaws.

Docket 3786 – 19 Chatham Road

Large Addition Special Permit Request

Homeowners Michael and Molly Hargrove, represented by their architect Katie Flynn, sought a special permit to add 877 square feet to their existing single-family home, as the increase exceeds the by-right allowance. The proposed rear addition falls within all conformity criteria of the zoning bylaw, preserving existing nonconformities and ensuring a family-friendly backyard.

The board reviewed letters from neighbors in support of the Hargrove’s application. With the proposed addition in harmony with other structures, maintaining relative setback dimensions, and bolstering the neighborhood’s character, the board granted the special permit under standard conditions and additional considerations for window fenestration changes and tree protection compliance.

Throughout the meeting, the board consistently followed the open meeting law provisions, acknowledged the land’s historical significance, sought to adhere to zoning bylaws, and maintained respect for public participation. The decisions were made to promote orderly community development and property improvement in Arlington, Massachusetts.



Inside Arlington was created by two Arlingtonians who are deeply concerned by the decline in local news and its impact on civic life. Our mission is to provide accessible information to Arlington residents to foster an informed and engaged citizenry. And we want to do it in an economically sustainable way. More…


Receive Inside Arlington by email: