Most meetings in Truro are remote. Go to truro-ma.gov and click on the meeting you want to watch. The agenda includes instructions on how to join.
Thursday, Aug. 25
- School Committee, 3 p.m., Truro Central School
- Charter Review Committee, 4:15 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 30
- Local Comprehensive Planning Committee, 9 a.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 31
- Walsh Property Planning Committee, 6 p.m.
Seeking a Variance
The real estate ad lists 4 Phats Valley Road as a “rare offering of a 3.09 acre private, water view land parcel in desirable South Truro,” overlooking Pamet Harbor and Cape Cod Bay.
The asking price is $595,000, and there is an agreement pending.
The question is: can that dream home with the water view get built?
On Aug. 22, prospective buyer Patrick Rice withdrew his application for a variance related to insufficient frontage after discussing his request with the zoning board of appeals. While no vote was taken, board members made it clear that Rice wouldn’t get the four votes needed for the variance.
Access to the lot is via a 9-foot-wide way, which would serve as frontage. According to Rice’s attorney, Ilana Quirk, the planning board had included the lot as part of an approved subdivision plan in 1991 despite the 9-foot-wide access. The current owner had purchased the lot in 1991 for $200,000 with the belief that a single-family home could be built on it, Quirk said. A decision not to allow that would eliminate the property’s value.
Quirk said Rice would be willing to limit the new house to three bedrooms and 2,500 square feet, to install a specialized septic system, and to use fire-retardant building material.
Zoning board members were unconvinced. “I don’t see any way that ‘safe’ and ‘Phats Valley Road’ should be used in the same sentence,” said Darrell Shedd.
Vice Chair Chris Lucy pointed out that utilities must now be installed underground, and the area has a high water table. “You’ll be putting electric lines in the water,” he said.
To comments that the road is sometimes flooded, Quirk said, “These are things that happen in a coastal community. That doesn’t mean development stops.”
Ultimately, the board agreed the property met the first criterion for granting a variance, were divided over the second criterion, and mostly agreed that the project didn’t meet the third.
Rice withdrew his request “without prejudice,” which allows him to resubmit later if he chooses. —Christine Legere