HARVARD — Three hearings on residential applications for variances, two of which were for home additions, were conducted by the Zoning Board of Appeals. The third application was to reconfigure a driveway.
Both applications for home additions were approved.
The application from Steven and Ann Marie Rowse, of Old Littleton Road, is pending. That hearing was continued to July 12.
The Rowses want to re-align the entrance of a common driveway they now share with two other residences to create a private driveway that serves only their home.
Rowse presented detailed plans on paper and a parenthetical explanation of the zoning law that applies in this case.
Town voters approved a raft of new and adjusted zoning laws at the March town meeting, he said, but the change he is waiting for has not been validated by the attorney general’s office. Until that happens, the existing law stands. It denotes driveway widths, clearances and turning radii in specific, numeric terms.
The new rules simply state that a driveway must be built wide enough for emergency vehicle access. Once the change clears, Rowse said he won’t need a variance to carry out his plans. But that could take time, and he wants to start the work.
The two neighbors who share the common driveway object to the change. Both of them came to the hearing.
Phil Jackson said the calculated turning radius in Rowse’s construction specs cut too close to the boundary and vehicles would end up driving onto his property. He called for moving a utility pole to widen the clearance.
Rowse didn’t favor that option.
Jackson’s problem could be resolved with a condition, said ZBA member James DeZutter. The permit, if granted, can stipulate a curb between the two driveways.
The third party who shares the driveway objected because easements the town requires would mean widening the road for the proposed driveway.
The existing driveway predates the easement issue, said Chairman Christopher Tracey.
He also suggested another option. Rowse could withdraw his application and resubmit it if the anticipated zoning change does not come through.
Rowse chose not to do that. Instead, he agreed to come back with the added information the board had asked for including a cost estimate from the utility company for moving the pole.