Zoning Board Appeals Approves Requests for Small-Scale Projects

In addition to taking up the two requests for large-scale apartment buildings at its meeting last week, the Zoning Board of Appeals also approved a number of smaller projects:

— Gregory B. Olson and Jane E. Black, 175 Rice Avenue, at the Point of Pines, requested a special permit in accordance with Revised Revere Ordinances (RRO) Section 17.40.040 to enable them to alter and extend the pre-existing nonconforming single-family structure at 175 Rice Avenue.

Atty. Nancy O’Neill represented the applicants. She said the modified structure “will not be substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood,” pointing out that the square footage of her clients’ home will be the same as most of the other homes on Rice Ave. She also said that the views of neighbors will not be affected and there will be no shadows cast upon nearby residences.

“This project will not impact anyone,” said O’Neill, noting that the addition will include an elevator to accommodate the health needs of the applicants.

Atty. Gerry D’Ambrosio spoke in favor of the proposal. “These are older individuals who are retrofitting their house in order to live here permanently,” said D’Ambrosio, noting that Mr. Olson is a professor at MIT.

Among those opposed was Chris Clarke of 32 Wadsworth Ave., a direct abutter in the rear. “Our house has been in the family for 60 years and this addition directly will affect our home. The previous owners asked for the same thing and were denied. What has changed?” Clarke said. “The new addition will block the sun for our solar panels and will decrease our privacy. They already have a beautiful and spacious porch facing the ocean and there is no need for another porch.”

Clarke also suggested that the addition will contribute to the drainage issues that his property already faces. “This renovation is unnecessary,” he concluded.

Carolyn Hill of 35 Wadsworth Ave. also spoke against the proposal.

“This house is big enough for everybody,” she said. “A chair lift will be sufficient to meet their needs.”

Elaine Sinclair Fowler of 171 Rice Ave., the next door neighbor, told the board, “They are wonderful neighbors,” she said, noting that her home has been in her family since the 1920s.”My question is that the neighbors are concerned for the future and whether this new addition could be used as a two-family home or as a bed and breakfast?” 

O’Neill stipulated that the house would remain as a single-family home and also noted that the owner still has to go before the Conservation Commission, a process that will consider the issue of potential drainage and flooding issues.

Ward 5 Councillor John Powers sent an email expressing his support for the project.

The board unanimously approved the special permit application, but with the stipulation that the property only can be used as a single-family home and prohibiting its use for an accessory dwelling unit and for a short term rental.

— Anna Amaya, 31 Bay Road, requested a special permit to modify and extend an existing non-conforming single-family dwelling by constructing a 10’ x 34.4’ addition at 31 Bay Road.

Andrea Garcia represented the owner and stated that the addition will provide additional living space for Amaya’s large family.

Ken Gongo of 18 Lawrence Rd, a neighbor in the rear, spoke in favor of the addition.

There were no opponents and the board unanimously approved the application.

— Basilio DiFlumeri, 439 Proctor Avenue,  requested an additional six-month extension (his second) of the one-year exercise period associated with previously-granted variances to enable the construction of a two-family dwelling on Lot B at 243 Malden Street.

Atty. Nancy O’Neill presented the request, noting that approval from the Land Court still is pending. Ward 6 Councillor Ricahrd Serino sent in a note expressing his support for the extension The board approved the extension request, but with the stipulation that there will be no further extensions.

— Hamel Management Group, Inc., 10 Lookout Terrace, Lynnfield, requested a six-month extension of the one-year exercise period to enable the razing of the existing structure at 470 Broadway in order to construct an addition to the adjacent Fernwood Professional Building at 454 Broadway.

Atty. O’Neill presented this request as well. “The owner has been facing delays relating to utilities,” she said. The board approved the extension request, but with the stipulation that there will be no further extensions.

— Cavallo Corporation, 70 Victoria Street, Somerville,  also requested a six-month extension of the one-year exercise period for its project to construct a two-family duplex dwelling on Lot 17 True Street. Atty. Lawrence Simeone represented the applicant. The board approved the request.

— Stephen Siuda, 213 Grover Street, requested a variance of RRO Section 17.24..010 (minimum side yard setback of 10 feet within the Residential Business (RB) District) to enable him  to construct a 749 sq. ft. addition and convert his present single-family dwelling into a two-family dwelling at 213 Grover Street.

Mr. Siuda presented the application on his own behalf. Ward 6 Councillor Serino spoke in favor of the application. “I wholeheartedly believe this is the sort of application that this board should be supporting,” said Serino, noting that the city has become increasingly unaffordable for young first-time home-buyers. “They are seeking to add onto their house in order to provide an apartment for their parents. This project will only enhance the neighborhood.”

The board unanimously approved the variance.

The board adjourned until its next meeting on September 27.

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