By Beth David, Editor
The Fairhaven Zoning Board of Appeals heard one of two hearings at its meeting on 2/5/19, citing the lack of attendance for continuing the other hearing.
ZBA chairperson Peter DeTerra told a representative for 30 Alder Street that the petition would need a unanimous vote because four votes are required for a petition to be approved, and only four members were present. The board has five full members, and four associate members.
In addition to Mr. DeTerra, Peg Cook, Darryl Manchester, and associate member Jaime deSousa were present.
Over the last year the board has struggled to get a quorum, or has often had just barely a quorum, resulting in some cancelled meetings and many continued hearings.
Online minutes are sketchy at best, so it is difficult to see who was at the meetings. The November meeting was not held due to lack of quorum, but no video is online to see who was there, and no minutes are available. There are no minutes online from 8/7/18 to 12/4/18.
At the 2/5 meeting, Mr. DeTerra told the applicant for 30 Alder Street that he had addressed the issue with the Selectboard’s office.
“It’s a volunteer board, and we’re sorry,” said Mr. DeTerra. “We don’t get paid for this, we’re appointed by the Selectmen.”
He said that the town administrator did ask him to start keeping track of who was showing up and who was not. He said when appointment times comes in a couple of months the problem will be address.
“This won’t happen again,” he said.
The petitioner for 30 Alder Street was seeking a variance for a detached garage within five feet of the boundary line, four feet over maximum height on an accessory building than the principle structure, and a variance for four feet, six inches short of the 20-foot required setback. That hearing was continued to the March 5 meeting.
Claudia Pompella, however, of 177 Ebony Street, took her chances with the four-member board. Her request was actually a re-do of variances that had already been granted, but whose time had run out, and with one change.
Ms. Pompella said that they poured the foundation, but then postponed building the garage. Now the variance has run out. There was also a problem with the foundation, which was not poured in exactly the right place.
Mr. DeTerra said it was “off a little bit,” but they approved the project.
Ms. Pompella blamed the contractor, and Mr. DeTerra agreed, saying it was out of her control, and it was only off by two feet. Ms. Pompella said she tried to correct it, but was unable to do so.
Two people were there to show support for Ms. Pompella, but no one spoke for or against the project.
It passed with all four members present voting for it.
The variances allow for five feet over maximum height for a two-story garage higher than the principle building, and short 19 feet on the south side and seven feet short on the west side. •••
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