Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Zoning Board of Appeals, April 30, 2024

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Arlington Board of Appeals Meeting on April 30, 2024

Docket 3787: 84 Hillside Avenue

The proponents for 84 Hillside Avenue, Mai Chang and Alan Cheng, presented their case for a second driveway to the front door due to safety concerns for children walking to school and elderly family members. Their property currently has a driveway exiting out onto Florence Avenue, which is busy and poses difficulties for visibility and safety. They aim to construct a driveway leading from Hillside Avenue to the front door. The board reviewed site plans and discussed potential bylaw compliance issues regarding the creation of parking spaces in the front yard. The board also noted that the proposed driveway does not meet criteria for a second driveway according to zoning bylaws. The applicants were advised to work with the building inspector to devise an alternate plan that could meet the bylaw requirements. A motion was made to continue the hearing to May 28, 2024, to allow the applicants time to consult with the building department.

Docket 3790: 3840 Milton Street

Brendan and Sean Lyons presented their proposal to enclose an existing porch and modify a pantry and bathroom in an existing duplex. The board noted discrepancies between the site plan and architectural drawings concerning the placement of stairs and driveway dimensions. The board requested updated plans that accurately reflect the proposed changes and clearly indicate the usable open space. The hearing was continued to May 28, 2024, to allow the applicants to revise their submission.

Docket 3792: 529 Summer Street

Lara Rubenstein and her architect Jenna Ellison proposed a first-floor addition to her home to accommodate a growing family. After discussing the modest addition and its minimal impact on the neighborhood, the board deliberated on the variance request based on criteria such as soil conditions, shape of the lot, topography, hardship, impact on the public good, and adherence to the bylaw’s intent. Finding all criteria met, the board voted unanimously to approve the variance, subject to standard conditions and a requirement for a certified site plan indicating usable open space for review by inspectional services.

Docket 3793: 30 Mayflower Road

Shannon Smith and her architect Brian Poisson proposed a large addition to her home for increased living space. The property is located on a uniquely shaped lot with a significant grade change. With unanimous support from adjacent neighbors, the board considered the application’s harmony with the neighborhood and compliance with zoning bylaws. The addition was deemed essential and desirable for public welfare, not detrimental to public health, and did not exacerbate traffic congestion. The board approved the application for a special permit, subject to standard conditions and one additional condition related to the submission of a certified site plan.

Election of Officers

The board conducted its annual election of officers. Christian Klein was re-elected as Chair, and Patrick Hanlon was re-elected as Vice Chair, both by unanimous vote.

Meeting Conclusion

Noting that there are five hearings scheduled for May 14 and three continuances for May 28, the board adjourned the meeting. The chair mentioned that town meeting discussions on zoning articles are expected to start shortly and encouraged board members and the public to participate or watch the proceedings.



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