TRURO — The plan for the house and pool house that would replace the cottage colony at 17 Coast Guard Road was trimmed from 5,100 square feet to 4,760 square feet, but that didn’t appear to satisfy the planning board at its July 13 site plan review of the proposal. Attorney Ben Zehnder needs four votes to win approval of the plan, which requires a special permit because of the size of the house, but still has only three votes lined up.
The secretive new owner bought the six-acre property in the Cape Cod National Seashore for $5 million. Boston lawyer Rachel Kalin is the only person named on the deed as a trustee of the Outer Shore Nominee Trust. In such trusts, it is usually the beneficiary who owns the property. Massachusetts law doesn’t require beneficiaries to be publicly disclosed.
Zehnder first approached the board back in April. He returned on July 13 with a new revision of the plan featuring a smaller porch, a retaining wall and partial basement crawl space to achieve a lower profile, and a shift of a roof deck to address building height.
Chair Anne Greenbaum and members Caitlin Townsend and Ellery Althaus have said they will approve the plan. But members Paul Kiernan and Jack Riemer said that they wouldn’t vote at all without more information. Vice chair Richard Roberts criticized the project at previous hearings but has not revealed how he will vote. Member Bruce Boleyn hasn’t said a word.
“It’s been expensive for the property owner,” complained Zehnder on July 13. “If you won’t give us a commitment on how you’ll vote, we’re wasting our time and our client’s time.”
The tweaks, however, simply prompted more questions.
Kiernan asked about the composition of the retaining wall that had been added and questioned its location within 20 feet of a “paper road” shown on the plan when a 50-foot setback is required. He wanted to see a proposed garage along with its elevations included on the latest plan, the amount of fill needed, and information on the conservation commission’s review of the project.
“Without it, I’ll abstain,” he said.
Riemer asked for a more detailed vegetation plan and a better drawing showing what the revised project would look like.
Roberts didn’t ask for more information but commented that the latest version was “much the same project we’ve seen previously and I see the same problems.”
Town Planner Barbara Carboni urged the board to move forward with a list of findings and a vote, saying the applicant had made “a good faith effort to address concerns.”
Kiernan and Riemer would not be swayed.
“We work for the town,” said Kiernan. “We’re trying to do the best thing we can.”
Zehnder left with a list of the requested additional information. He asked that the hearing be continued until July 27.