Vassalboro planners deny resident permit to expand year-round home

by Mary Grow

By their Aug. 1 meeting, Vassalboro Planning Board members had much more information on the application they postponed at their July meeting, from town records and from the applicant.

Peter Tomasz applied for an addition to his year-round home on Three Mile Pond. After discussion, board members unanimously denied his application, because they found the project failed to meet two requirements of the town’s shoreland zoning ordinance.

The house is about 20 feet from the high-water mark, within the current 25-foot setback. Such a non-conforming building is “grandfathered” and can continue to be used, but with limits. One is that it cannot be expanded more than 30 percent from its footprint in 1989; another is that no additions are allowed less than 25 feet from the high-water mark.

Board member and former codes officer Paul Mitnik had found a 1983 tax card (specific 1989 information is not always readily available, he commented). After discussion of when additions had already been made and much calculation of percentages, board members determined that the addition Tomasz designed would add more than 30 percent and therefore is not allowed.

They also found that part of the addition would be inside the 25-foot water setback; that, too, is not allowed.

Tomasz said a smaller addition was a lesser problem than moving farther from the water, which would make connecting the addition to the existing house difficult. When he left the meeting, he intended to see if he could develop a revised plan and submit a new application.

Board members had no other business. Their next regular meeting night is Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Mitnik said Vassalboro codes officer Robert Geaghan has submitted his resignation, effective in October. Geaghan was on vacation Aug. 1; Mitnik expects he will be at the September and October planning board meetings.


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