Weston P&Z denies cottage permit

The Planning and Zoning Commission has denied an application for an existing cottage on 306 Lyons Plain Road.

Jay Faillaice, who has a law suit pending against the Zoning Board of Appeals for construction of the same cottage, had asked P&Z to approve the cottage’s construction after it had been built.

At P&Z’s meeting on April 16, there was a sense of the commission to deny the application and on Monday, May 7, it officially voted to do so.

In its decision, P&Z reviewed the history of the property.

In 2009, a permit was obtained to renovate the main dwelling at 306 Lyons Plain Road. After substantially completing that work, a cottage on the property was demolished and rebuilt. The work on the cottage was done without a permit.

Notice of violations, stop work and removal orders followed.

The cottage’s use as a second dwelling conflicts with Weston’s zoning regulations, which allow for one single family dwelling per lot. The cottage’s placement within 50 feet of a watercourse also violated zoning regulations, but had been permitted as a pre-existing non-conforming location.

Non-conforming properties have strict guidelines and prohibitions about expanding or changing their use. The properties revert to residential use if their original non-conforming use is deemed to be “abandoned.”

The property owner then applied to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance to reduce the setback requirements from the edge of a watercourse and to allow two dwelling units on the lot.

In 2011, ZBA denied that request. An appeal from that decision is pending in superior court.

In March, 2012, the owner applied for a zoning permit to complete the construction of the cottage as a second dwelling.

However, zoning regulation 375.1 states “any building or structure which is non-conforming in use and is damaged or destroyed by any means to an extent greater than 50% of its fair market value shall be permitted to be reconstructed only if the future use of the building or structure is in conformity with these regulations.”

Because the cottage would constitute more than one dwelling on the property in violation of the zoning regulations, P&Z denied the application.

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