Block Island Times

Zoning weighs views versus variances

Judith Rose appeared before the Zoning Board of Review at its March meeting, seeking a variance for front and rear setbacks for the construction of a home on Sunset Hill Lane off High Street. The zoning ordinances call for a setback of 25 feet on the front, and 40 feet on the back. The problem is that the lot’s depth only averages about 72 feet, which only leaves a narrow strip of 7 feet or so to build in, if the setbacks are observed. As attorney Joe Priestley put it, “it’s not possible to build without a front and rear setback variance.”
Rose’s proposal is for a two-story house of 1,798 square feet, and with the porches included, will require setback relief of 13.8 feet on the front, and 19.9 feet on the back. The original proposal had the house off-center in the lot, which would have required relief from the side setback requirements on the western side, but at the request of the Zoning Board, the proposed site was moved eastward to fall within the side setbacks of 20 feet.Board Member Steven Filippi asked the surveyor, James Caldarone, to describe how the house would fit in with

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