Becket Zoning Board of Appeals
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009
Board Members Present : Sue Schneider;Chairperson, Joshua Lombard ; Clerk , Robert Gorden, Madeleine Swindlehurst, Mark Burgwardt.
Board Members Absent: None
Members of the Public Present: Shawn Leary ( Attorney for the applicants) Ann Bruzzi; Berkshire Engineering , Craig Okerstrom.
Meeting called to order: 7:05 p.m.
Review and Acceptance of December 2nd, 2008 Meeting Minutes – Mr. Joshua Lombard makes a motion to approve minutes from Dec. 2nd. Mr. Mark Burgwardt seconds motion; Unanimous Approval.
Review and Acceptance of February 3rd, 2009 Meeting Minutes- Mr. Robert Gorden makes a motion to approve meeting minutes from February 3rd, 2009. Mr. Lombard seconds motion; Unanimous Approval.
Public Hearing: Mr. David MacWilliams, 3512 Jacobs Ladder Road, Map 202 , lot 5.
Public Hearing; Andrew and Aimee Bevacqua, 607 Yokum Pond Road, Assessor Map 203, Lot 21.
Public Hearing opens at 7:11 pm.
Ms. Madeleine Swindlehurst requests to be formally introduced and seated as an alternate. Ms. Schneider complies with request.
Ms. Schneider opens the public hearing and dispenses with the reading of the public notice. Ms. Schneider confirms with the secretary that all fees have been paid. Ms. Schneider asks is anyone has a conflict of interest and then confirms that there is not a conflict interest on the board. Ms. Schneider asks Ms. Shawn Leary; Attorney representing the Bevacquas to please approach the Board and begin with her presentation. Ms. Leary passes out an addendum to the variance application to all board members present. Ms. Leary also introduces Engineer, Ann Bruzzi; Berkshire Engineering to the board members present. Ms. Leary goes on to explain that the Bevacquas would like to build a deck with a screen house. Ms. Leary explains that this property was purchased in 2008, and that it is a pre-existing, non-conforming lot and the
house is conforming to current zoning setbacks. She continues to explain that the owners; the Bevacquas, would like to be able to make use of their recreational use to Yokum Pond. Ms. Leary advises that the proposed deck would be 296 sq. ft., the proposed screen house would be 120 sq. ft., the access through the stairs would be an additional 32 sq. ft. and that the height of the screen house will be no more than 15 ft. Ms. Leary also advises that they do have an Order of Conditions from the Conservation Commission.
Ms. Leary speaks on the four circumstances that must be met in order to grant a variance. She speaks on the circumstances relating to soil conditions, shape and topography especially affect the land and the structures in question, but not the zoning district generally. Ms. Leary goes on to advise on the literal enforcement of section 184.108.40.206 of the zoning bylaw that would outline substantial hardship to the petitioners, desirable relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good, as well as variance may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the bylaw. Ms. Leary goes on to advise and offer specifics on each of there circumstances.
Next, Ms. Leary introduces Ms. Ann Bruzzi from Berkshire Engineering. Ms. Bruzzi begins her presentation by explaining to the board members that the Conservation Commission has already given their approval. Ms. Bruzzi explains that there are no utilities, water, etc. going out to the deck, just a screen house. She advises that the rear property line is considered the ordinary high water line of Yokum Pond. Ann goes on to explain that there will be no equipment allowed in the proposed area and that all work will be done carefully by hand. Ms. Swindlehurst asks Ms. Bruzzi if they will be intruding on the flood zone of Yokum Pond. Ms. Bruzzi advises that there will be no intrusion. Ms. Swindlehurst asks how much above grade will the deck be. Ms. Bruzzi explains that it will only be about 1 (one) foot. Ms.
Bruzzi also states that colors for the screenhouse will be darker tones that will easily blend into the surroundings. She also confirms that the lot is very heavily vegetated and the deck would not be easily seen. Ms. Bruzzi explains that this is really the only place the Bevacquas could do this and also assures board members that the abutters do have docks as well. Ms. Schneider asks Ann if this is a permanent structure. Ann confirms that it is a permanent structure with a gabled roof and one door. Ann adds that there will be a birch tree in place next to the screen house. Mr. Burgwardt asks why the dock has to be so long. Ms. Bruzzi advises him that the water is so very shallow, so the dock really needs to be that long.
Ms Swindlehurst explains that she has done some research on this property and the requested variance and that she would like to share some of her findings;
(Please see attached document)
Ms. Swindelehurst reads aloud her findings to all present.
Attorney Leary takes a moment to explain that this case needs to be looked at differently because it is so unique. She advises that this would not be a common request for most applicants, however in the case of the Bevacquas property being so steep and so wet, in addition to the house being so far away from the water; it does require them to have some additional space for shade as well as some for sun. Ms. Swindlehurst suggests a smaller temporary screen house instead of the permanent proposed structure. Mr. Burgwardt states that it is his opinion that a permanent structure, done in tasteful tones would be more visually attractive than a temporary screen house may be. Atty. Leary agrees and again assures everyone that all work would be carefully done by hand. Mr. Lombard states that a temporary structure may
have aluminum poles and be bright in color and that may be more obtrusive. Mr. Lombard states that he would like to see a compromise so that the applicants may enjoy their property.
Board members present discuss the option of a deck without a screen house. Ms. Swindlehurst suggests that an umbrella may be used for shade.
Atty. Leary advises that the Bevacquas wanted to be present very much, but this was not a possibility. She also assures the board members that it would be difficult for the Bevacquas to have to put up and take down a temporary structure every year. Mr. Okerstrom states that a compromise could include dropping the roof about 2 ½ feet or so.
Ms. Bruzzi states that they could try to permit the structure through DEP/Chapter 91 waterways license.
Board members discuss continuing the hearing in order to give the applicants and their representation more time to come up with a suitable compromise. Ms. Swindlehurst advises Atty. Leary that she would have to file a waiver, stating that they would not hold the ZBA to the 100-day deadline. Atty. Leary states that she would be happy to do so and will work on some alternatives for the board to view.
Ms. Swindlehurst suggests that they could scale back the size of the deck and file an application with the planning board. Mr. Lombard suggests they should consider scaling down the size of the proposed screen house.
Chairperson, Ms. Schneider solicits for a motion to continue the hearing until Tuesday, April 14th, 2009. Atty. Leary advises that she will send via certified mail, the waiver of the 100 days (to be continued through May 31st,2009) to the chairperson of the ZBA as well as the Town Clerk.
Mr. Lombard makes a motion to continue the hearing until next month. Ms. Swindlehurst seconds the motion. Unanimous approval.
Correspondence- Read and Reviewed
Budget- Read and Reviewed
8:30 pm. Mr. Rob Gorden makes a motion to adjourn, Mr. Burgwardt seconds motion.
Schedule next meeting for Tuesday, April 14th, 2009.
(second Tuesday of the month instead of first, due to the scheduled Town caucus on April 7th, 2009)
Susan Schneider, Chairperson
Joshua Lombard, Clerk
Signed______________________________ Date ____________________
Signed _____________________________ Date_____________________