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HomeMy Public PortalAboutPB Report_18.20 Porter Street_2020_0116TOWN OF WATERTOWN Department of Community Development and Planning PLANNING BOARD Administration Building 149 Main Street Watertown, MA 02472 Phone; 617-972-6417 Fax: 617-972-6484 www.watertown-ma.gov PLANNING BOARD REPORT Board Members: Jeffrey W. Brown, Chair Janet Buck Jason Cohen Gary Shaw Payson Whitney, III On January 8, 2020 with five (5) members of the Planning Board (Board) present, case number ZBA- 2020-01, a Special Permit Finding was considered. The Board submits the following Report, as requested by the ZBA, to aid the ZBA in deciding on the application before it. CASE #: SUBJECT PROPERTY: PARCELID#: ZONING DISTRICT: OWNER/PETITIONER: ZONING RELIEF SOUGHT: SPECIAL PERMIT GRANTING AUTHORITY: DATE OF STAFF REPORT: STAFF RECOMMENDATION: PLANNING BOARD MEETING: DATE OF ZBA HEARING: ZBA-2020-01 SPF 18-20 Porter Street 1202 4 285 T (Two -Family) Zoning District Ramol Partners LLC Special Permit Finding §6.02 (j): Setback requirements, to allow an extension of the existing non -conforming driveway within the required 4 -foot buffer Zoning Board of Appeals January 3, 2020 Conditional Approval Approval (4-1) January 8, 2020 Scheduled January 22, 2020 18-20 Porter Street January 16, 2020 ZBA-2020-01 SPF Planning Board Report I. PUBLIC NOTICE (M.G.L. C. 40A, §11) A. Procedural Summary Petition ZBA-2020-01 SPF was heard by the Planning Board on January 8, 2020 and is before the Zoning Board of Appeals on January 22, 2020. As required by M.G.L. c. 40A, sec.11 and the Watertown Zoning Ordinance, notice will be given as follows: • Publish in the newspaper of record (Watertown Tab) on January 3, 2020 & January 10, 2020 • Post at the Town Administration Building on December 24, 2020 • Mail to Parties in Interest on December 20, 2020 B. Legal Notice "Olga Ban, Ramol Partners LLC, 381 Elliot St., Newton, MA 02464, herein requests the Zoning Board of Appeals grant a Special Permit Finding in accordance with Watertown Zoning Ordinance §4.06(a), alterations to Non - Conforming Driveway, to extend existing non -conforming driveway to add parking. Located in the "T" Two -Family Zoning District. ZBA-2020-01" II. DESCRIPTION A. Site Characteristics The subject property is an approximate 5,650- square foot lot, located on Porter Street containing a 2 - family, two-story residence, constructed in 1916. The site has an existing, ribbon driveway to the left of the building and is approximately 7 -feet wide and 32 -feet in length, extending to the side of the building and ranges from 3 -feet to 2 -feet from the side lot line, where the code currently requires a 4 -foot buffer/setback from the side lot line. The driveway is at the side of the existing dwelling which is 9.3 - feet from the side lot line, where 12 -feet would be required under current code. The opposing side setback to the building is 9.9 -feet, where 10 -feet would be required by current code. Pre -Renovation Existing Under Renovation B. Surrounding Land Use The property is located in the "T" -Two Family Zoning District and is surrounded by similar residential uses. Page 2 of 5 18-20 Porter Street January 16, 2020 ZBA-2020-01 SPF Planning Board Report C. Nature of the Request The Petitioner requests a Special Permit Finding from the Zoning Board of Appeals to extend the existing, non -conforming driveway further into the property to create additional parking in the Rear Yard (see Plot Plan). The project would result in an extended driveway, further increasing the non- conforming buffer from approximately 2 -feet (at its current terminus) to an approximate 1 -foot buffer from the side lot line at its proposed terminus, where 4 -feet is required for new and extended driveways, provide a 10 -foot rear buffer ("setback"), consistent with current code and would be compliant with the maximum impervious area of 85% of the lot. D. Public Comments The Department of Community Development and Planning (DCDP) has not received any comments on the project as of the date of this Staff Report. E. Relevant Permitting History The permits located in Town Records consist of the original permit for the building in 1916 and subsequent permits for reroof and interior renovations. Staff finds that none of the previous permits materially affect this request for approval. III. FINDINGS A. Plan Consistency Watertown's 2015 Comprehensive Plan discusses preservation of the Town's residential neighborhoods, which predominantly consist of one and two-family uses. The Zoning Ordinance (WZO) requires setbacks and other dimension limitations to preserve the character of Watertown's neighborhoods. This request would reduce one of the limitations that help to protect that character. B. Special Permit Finding §4.06(a) In accordance with Section 4.06(a), pre-existing non -conforming structures or buildings may be extended or altered provided that the Board makes the finding under §4.06(a) that "such change, extension or alteration shall not be substantially more detrimental than the existing non -conforming use, structure or building to the neighborhood." Conditionally Met: The extension of the pre-existing driveway with less than 4 -feet from the side lot line and maintaining a 10 -feet rear lot line buffer, would not be substantially more detrimental with a condition that the extension maintain the existing non -conforming buffer and not further encroach into the setback/buffer area. The proposed extension would provide better use of the parking without creating impacts to surrounding neighbors and allow sufficient parking off-street to support the two residential units. IV. PLANNING BOARD STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS At the Planning Board meeting, the request was identified to allow four parking spaces in the rear yard. Janet Buck noted the loss of some open space/landscape and suggested that pervious materials for a portion would be preferable. Gary Shaw was opposed with concerns about the turn around (using the 10' rear yard buffer) and loss of the buffer. Jason Cohen noted that the tandem spaces looked like a difficult maneuver and felt the driveway might be impactful to the neighbors on the left of the site and asked about the fence and maintenance. Page 3 of 5 18-20 Porter Street ZBA-2020-01 SPF January 16, 2020 Planning Board Report The Planning Board and DCDP staff recommends a Conditional Approval of the requested extension of the existing non -conforming driveway as a Special Permit Finding under §4.06(a) as it meets the necessary criteria set forth in the Watertown Zoning Ordinance. Subsequent to the Planning Board meeting, Staff noted to the Petitioner that the submitted plan only showed representative parking spaces and that the layout should be reconsidered to allow wider than 8' spaces and more than 16' in depth. The Petitioner submitted an updated plan with 9' wide spaces to allow for some flexibility and increased the depth of each space. The new configuration shows two rows of tandem spaces for a total of 4 spaces. The proposed driveway would continue to allow stacked parking along the length of the driveway. V. CONDITIONS # Condition Timeframe for Compliance To be Verified by A Control Plans. The Control Plan shall be: A. Certified Plot Plan, entitled, "18-20 Porter Street, Watertown Massachusetts, Proposed Parking Plan," prepared by Peter Nolan & Associates LLC, dated, November 4, 2019. (TO BE UPDATED) Perpetual ZEO/ISD Plan Modifications Neither the Petitioner nor any present or future owner of any interest in the project shall change or modify either the Control Plans referenced in this decision, or the project itself, without first filing a formal request with the DCDP for an opinion as to whether or not such change or modification requires further review from the Granting Authority. Minor modifications may be considered and approved by the DCDP Director if found to be consistent with the original project. Perpetual ZEO/ISD Recordation Upon application for a Building Permit, the Petitioner shall provide evidence to the Zoning Enforcement Officer that this entire decision has been filed with the Registry of Deeds. DPW Permit ZEO Codes/Regulations Compliance The Petitioner shall comply with all other applicable local, state, and federal requirements, ordinances, and statutes. Perpetual ZEO/ISD Department of Public Works The applicant shall submit an application for, and be issued a Storm Water Permit, prior to any construction/installation of the proposed driveway. DPW Permit DPW/ ZEO Driveway Buffer The driveway shall maintain the existing non -conforming buffer at its current terminus and not further encroach into the non -conforming side yard buffer/setback. Perpetual ZEO/ISD Permit Expiration In accordance with WZO §9.13, a Special Permit granted under §9.04 shall lapse one year from the date of grant thereof if substantial use thereof has not sooner commenced except for good cause, or, in the case of a permit for construction, if the construction has not begun by such date except for good cause, or as allowed by applicable State or Federal law. 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