Zoning considers Masiello application

Mon, 12/06/2021 - 8:30am


“I think it is in keeping with what Planning has wanted, rather than one large building, having smaller buildings and keeping with the topography,” Vice-Chair Bob Lamoureux said to the rest of the Zoning Board on November 18. The board was holding the hearing for an application to demolish an existing residence and build a
new residence on Grace’s Cove Road. The applicant needs a variance from the setback requirements.
Applicant Mark Masiello described his property as an “interesting site,” and “very beautiful,” but also said the property has some “challenges.” One of the challenges
is the shape of the lot, which is long and narrow, and breaks midway with a dogleg toward the water. Masiello’s application is seeking a variance and relief in the sideline requirements, as the lot is so narrow.
Lamoureux, who ran the hearing during Chair Kate Butcher’s recusal, said it looked as if the lot “narrows conspicuously all the way down,” noting that construction is
“constrained by the narrowness.” The lot is 200 feet wide at the top of the property on Dunn’s Cartway at the end of Grace’s Cove Road, but narrows to 82 feet when it hits the water, with the dog leg thrown in midway through.

To make things a little more complicated, Masiello is planning a lot of buildings in the small space, including the main house, guest dwelling, gym, garage, studio, and pool. Board Member Rob Closter questioned if Masiello’s use of the word “modest” in his application was warranted.
Masiello replied, “I think all together it is only 2,200 square feet, which wouldn’t be a large house.”
While a house, guest house, studio, gym, garage, and a pool sound like a big home, the relatively small size of each structure is what led Lamoureux to favorably compare the application to what the Planning Board is after.
Saying he was “inspired by the simplicity” of the existing house, Masiello described the proposed main house as a simple living room and kitchen area, with a master bedroom suite. All told, the main structure has 1,300 square feet of living space. The guest dwelling is 460 square feet, the gym is 210 square feet, the studio is 260 square feet, and the garage is 440 square feet. Masiello said he wanted to create a house that was “small, intimate, and modest in scale” and that would “nestle into the topography.” The new rooflines will be lower than the roofline on the existing house with Masiello saying he wanted to preserve his privacy by building low, saying “the goal is to not be seen from the road.”
A small house that doesn’t want to be seen from the road is different from the normal types of applications before the Zoning Board. Many applications before the Zoning Board are seeking relief from size and massing constraints in order to build a bigger house than the ordinances allow.

Several neighbors spoke in favor of the proposal on Grace’s Cove, citing Masiello’s consideration of their concerns and praising the small design and low profile
of the house and accessory structures. The board will make its final decision at its next meeting.