WATERTOWN — The Zoning Board of Appeals, meeting Wednesday, November 17, voted to deny an application from Joseph Guerrera for a variance of 40 feet to the rear property line setback for construction of a 36x48-foot detached garage.

The garage, if allowed, would have been built 10 feet from the rear property line at 86 Old Colony Rd.

The board opened a Public Hearing on the application on Wednesday, October 27, and continued the hearing in order to allow for a site walk of the property.

Mr. Guerrera explained the location is the only place he can put the garage if he wants to maintain the space needed as a reserve for his septic system. He admitted the reserve space is no longer required for existing homes, but said putting in a new system, should his existing one fail, would be expensive.

He also pointed out that there are at least two curtain drains at the rear of the property.

Moosa Rafey, assistant administrator for Land Use/ZEO, told the board that Mr. Guerrera could potentially construct a new 24x24-foot garage on the property without a variance. He said that although a new septic system would need to be at least 75 feet from any well, the garage could be as close as 10 feet from the well.

In rejecting the appeal, board members noted that the applicant had been requested to hire an engineer to draw up plans for the reserve septic system when ZBA members conducted the site walk.

With just a rough sketch of the back yard, no requirement for a septic reserve and no indication where the curtain drains may be located, the board denied the application.

During the meeting, members had also cited the lack of any acceptable hardship. Financial considerations cannot be used as a hardship for a zoning variance.

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