Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Zoning Board of Appeals, May 14, 2024

Administrative Items

These items relate to the operation of the board and include a discussion of the Zoning Board of Appeals’ continued commitment to providing remote access to their meetings. The board acknowledged the importance of remote participation for public bodies, with no new information on prior hearings or the introduction of any new matters. The board also gave a land acknowledgment, recognizing the historical significance of the land on which Arlington stands.

Decision for 529 Summer Street

The board approved the written decision for 529 Summer Street as written by Mr. Hanlon, with no additional comments from the members. The vote was carried out by roll call with all members in favor, and the decision was thus approved.

Decision for 30 Mayflower Road

The written decision for 30 Mayflower Road, written by Mr. Hanlon, was approved by the board following a roll call vote. Mr. Riccardelli noted a misspelling of his name on the front sheet, which was agreed to be corrected administratively before signing the decision.

Docket 3788: 70 Robbins Road

The applicants, Andrew and Janet Sparks, presented their request to expand their living room into the existing front porch space. The board discussed the implications of enclosing the front porch and its aesthetic alignment with the neighborhood’s character. The applicant and the architect shared drawings and clarified the extent of the proposed enclosures. Mr. Hanlon voiced concerns about preserving the integrity of yard setbacks and the potential conflict with prior permissions granted for porches. The applicant highlighted the challenges faced due to noise and traffic conditions. After a public comment period with no participation from attendees, the board ultimately approved the request with additional conditions, including maintaining design elements to preserve a more porch-like appearance.

Docket 3781: 165 Franklin Street

The board reviewed a revised proposal for an addition at 165 Franklin Street. The new design showed a significant reduction in total area and a tapered massing towards the rear of the property. The board had previous concerns about the mass and length of the addition, and the revised proposal aimed to address these by reconfiguring the building and eliminating the garage. After discussions and a public comment period, the board agreed that the latest changes brought the building’s height and mass more in harmony with the adjacent properties. The board approved the proposal with four conditions, including the removal of the single-story rear addition and the addition of a farmer’s porch and two doghouse dormers.

Docket 3794: 57 Beacon Street

Applicant Karen Kelleher sought approval for a proposed addition to a single-family residence, which would enhance the living space to include a primary bathroom, guest room, library, and home office area. Conservation Commission had approved a related request concerning the addition’s proximity to Spy Pond. After briefly opening the hearing to public comment, where neighbors expressed their support, the board unanimously approved the special permit, finding it consistent with the neighborhood’s character and an orderly expansion of property value.

Docket 3795: 36 Peabody Road

Ian Jess and Eliza Hatch presented their plans to construct an addition to their home on 36 Peabody Road. They aim to create a primary bathroom, a guest bedroom, a library or study, and an office with a half bath. The Conservation Commission had granted approval concerning the 100-foot boundary around Spy Pond. After hearing supporting comments from their neighbors, the board approved the special permit, agreeing that the alteration is in harmony with other structures and uses in the vicinity.

Docket 3796: 49 Valentine Road

Brian and Elizabeth Crowley’s request for a second driveway on their property at 49 Valentine Road was discussed. They proposed a 10-foot-wide, 25-foot-long driveway on the opposite side of their front yard. However, the board identified that the proposed driveway does not lead to a legal parking space as required by the zoning bylaw. Consequently, the board could not approve the request. The Crowley’s considered alternatives with the building inspector and decided to continue the hearing to explore permissible options.



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