Undersized Lot Goes Before Zoning Once Again

CHESTER – Once again a rehearing was continued on whether the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) should bend the town’s zoning ordinances to allow a home to be built on a too small lot at the intersection of Birch and Candia Roads.

Members of the ZBA have been dealing since last December with Roger C. Garrett’s request to build on a lot that was long taxed as not-buildable. The ZBA has already denied the request once. A rehearing was granted, but since then new plans have been drawn up in light of some initially bad information on wetlands on site and other considerations, and the ZBA is starting from square one.
The site plans are being presented by Eric Mitchell of Eric C. Mitchell and Associates, Inc. The lot is undersized at 1.25 acres and according to all reports is very wet. Challenges to building on it come from several fronts, including the ability to meet town rules governing setbacks for property lines and wetlands for a septic system and driveway, and the proximity between the septic and well.
Town rules require a minimum of two acres and that every lot shall be able to contain a circle with a diameter of 200 feet.
A plan to build on the lot was denied in January, ZBA members noting the overall wetness and size of the property, and members stating that they were uncomfortable approving it.
Garrett has hired attorney John Cronin to argue for him at each meeting. At the latest meeting on Sept. 17, Cronin urged the board, on behalf of his client, to make a decision that night, but members, led by chair Billie Maloney, did not entertain that wish.
Cronin said Garrett was anxious to have a decision on the property and Cronin asked that the board conditionally approve its request, subject to a satisfactory site walk.
Maloney explained that the board was looking over a new plan only recently presented, and as such it only had 30 days to review it. Though the rehearing has been continued numerous times, Maloney stated that it wasn’t the ZBA’s fault and the board would take its time and give the new plan its due diligence.
“I know this has been going on since January, but this is a new application,” said Maloney.
The board agreed to hold a site walk Sept. 24, after the Tri-Town Times went to press. The hearing was continued until Oct. 15.

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