By Beth David, Editor
The Fairhaven Zoning Board of Appeals was forced to continue two of its four meetings on Tuesday, 3/6, due to the absence of board members. The board needs five members for a quorum, and four positive votes for a petition to pass. And although there were five members present, two had conflicts and would have been forced to recuse themselves, leaving only four members for those two petitions.
Absent from the meeting were: members Joseph Borelli, Francis J. Cox, Jr., and associate members Jaime DeSousa, and Alberto B. Silva.
Present were: Chairperson Peter DeTerra, who had a conflict with one hearing because he is a neighbor; Ruy daSilva, who had a conflict because his business is an abutter to the petitioner; Peg Cook; Daryl Manchester; Kenneth Kendall.
Another public hearing was also continued because the petitioner was not present.
The one hearing that was heard was also continued.
Richard Tavares appeared in front of the board looking for a special permit to finish off a basement to create an in-law apartment at his house at 33 Charity Stevens Lane.
Mr. Tavares had plans to finish off a basement and add a kitchen area and bath so his father-in-law can move in.
Board member Peg Cook read a letter from health agent Mary Freire-Kellogg advising against the addition. In the letter, Ms. Freire-Kellogg said that the septic system was designed for a three-bedroom residence, and the house already has three bedrooms.
Mr. Tavares said the system was not even a year old. He asked what would happen if he had more children, or if he eliminated the bathroom or the bedroom.
Mr. DeTerra explained that the law goes by bedrooms, not bathrooms or the number of people living in a house. The calculations are based on two people per bedroom, estimates of how much water is used, etc.
The addition of the in-law apartment would add a bedroom, explained Mr. DeTerra, because it adds living space.
Mr. Tavares would have to make his septic system larger.
Mr. Tavares said they were just trying to help out his father-in-law who “fell on bad times.”
They have owned the home for eight months.
In the end the board voted to continue the hearing for two months, to give Mr. Tavares time to get an engineer too look at the system and give an estimate on expanding it for the extra bedroom. The board also told Mr. Tavares that he could withdraw the petition at any time and would then be able to resubmit it at any time. If the board votes against it, he would have to wait two years to resubmit.
The hearing for Paul and Karen Goodhue, looking for a Special Permit for an in-law apartment at 1 Hidden Drive, was continued because Mr. DeTerra is a neighbor and he would have been required to recuse himself, leaving the board with only four members.
The continued hearing for Patrick J. Carr seeking an after-the-fact Special Permit for a fence higher than six feet was continued because Mr. daSilva’s business is an abutter, and he would have been required to recuse himself, leaving the board with only four members.
The board also continued a hearing for petitioner Scot Carvalho seeking to variances for an accessory building at 54 Oliver Street because no one was there to speak on the proposal.
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