Possible duplex concerns Washington residents
WASHINGTON — Zoning officials have said a home renovation is adhering to town law, despite concerns raised by neighbors.
Neighbors are worried a home being renovated on Dodge Farm Road will become a duplex. The area is zoned for single-family use, which means a duplex or other multi-family homes aren’t allowed.
But the owners, the Wrights, assured the zoning commission on Monday that the house will only be rented out to one family either has the whole house or half of the house.
The zoning commission’s attorney and the new zoning enforcement officer, Nick Tsacoyannis, also said the project as it stands is allowed under the code.
Darryl Wright said they purchased the house in 2018 with the hope of renovating it for their two sons so they can be a part of the community some day.
“In the meantime we were hoping to recoup some of the costs,” he said, adding one son is still in high school so there’s time.
The house was built in 1972. Chairman Nicholas Solley said he approved the expansion back in 1986 as a single family home and over time someone had illegally turned it into a duplex without the town’s knowledge.
The changes happened before the Wrights purchased it.
Neighbors worry that it could officially become a duplex though because that’s how it’s built now.
John Doherty, a resident on Dodge Farm Road, questioned why members of the commission hadn’t been to the site and what assurances they have the commission will investigate future complaints.
“How much confidence do we have zoning will do the right thing?” Dorey said.
Employees in the town zoning department have visited the site and Tsacoyannis said he’s working with the Wrights on how they renovate the rest of the house. He said he will be monitoring the site.
“We are watching the site, as I watch any site,” Tsacoyannis said.
There are no outstanding zoning violations on the property and the only one that has happened so far was when the gas company forgot to apply for a permit.
Commission members said they also didn’t know about any violations about the building since the expansion in the 1980s.
Other commission members reminded the audience that the zoning enforcement officer works for the town and not the zoning commission so complaints should be reported to the first selectmen, as well as subsequent complaints if they don’t feel it’s being investigated.
Solley said they were not discussing possible future uses on Monday and only addressing the site and application as it stands now to be rented out to one family.
“Regulations will be adhered to,” he said.