Developer Redesigning Controversial Garage

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The developer of a home on the Southside of Watertown which had upset neighbors has changed directions and torn down a controversial garage.

Neighbors appealed to Town Officials in January after a two-story garage went up about five feet from the rear property line. Construction stopped and recently the developer met with residents to come up with a new plan.

Assistant Town Manager Steve Magoon said the owner of the property, Brian Connaughton, agreed to pull down the parts of the garage that had gone up and replace it with a shorter structure.

“It will still be a garage, but it won’t go nearly as high,” Magoon said. “It will be about 10 feet (tall) in the back and about 12 feet in the front.”

The former structure was just under 18 feet tall at the ridge of roof.

The project had been allowed to go ahead by Town Planning officials because it was replacing a condemned structure on the property. Three residents had appealed to the Zoning Board to have a decision on the Town’s ruling. That was withdrawn after the two sides came to an agreement.

Town Council President Mark Sideris thanked Connaughton for making the changes.

“He was able to sit at the table and come up with designs and took down what he had put up — which technically under our rules he was able to do,” Sideris said. “This is an a good outcome, where residents and the Town can work with a developer and come up with something the developer can work with and the neighborhood can work with.”

One thought on “Developer Redesigning Controversial Garage

  1. I don’t know the particulars of this project, and I’m glad the residents and developer came to an understanding. I feel, however, that residents shouldn’t have to negotiate with developers after the fact: our departments and boards are there to uphold laws and make sure the guidelines for the town are followed — among them building new projects that fit in with the neighborhood. “The project had been allowed to go ahead by Town Planning officials because it was replacing a condemned structure on the property.” I don’t follow that reasoning: Just because someone wants to replace something awful isn’t a reason to allow whatever is offered. It is an opportunity to have something constructed that works for the neighborhood and current zoning, setbacks, height limitations, etc. Happily an agreement was reached, but perhaps it would be better for all if these things could be sorted out in public before construction, and a compromise reached with input from all affected parties. Just sayin’….

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