Curb Cut Change Sought between Mudge Way and 13 School Avenue

By Meredith McCulloch

The owner of the property at 13 School Avenue, David Goldbaum, and his attorney Pamela Brown attended the Selectmen’s meeting on July 17to request approval of a change in a curb cut between his property and Mudge Way. It would move the curb cut and make it five feet wider. Goldbaum wants to add a garage to his historic circa 1790 home and the preferred placement of the garage would make access using the current curb cut difficult. The owner would pay for the change. The garage will house a single car with a room on the second floor.

The house is in a non-conforming lot with no frontage on Great Road or Mudge Way. It is one of several older buildings in the area, but it is not in the historic district.

Goldbaum said that his desired location would be more appropriate for the area because the garage addition would appear to belong there.He cited the two-family home at the corner of Elm Street and Maple, which he purchased and renovated, that would stand as an example of upholding the aesthetic of a home on a historic street.

Though Brown described the action as simply moving a curb cut and widening it by five feet, some Selectmen saw the change as granting an easement that would add value for the owner. Others were concerned about safety in a heavily traveled area and setting a precedent for other properties adjacent to town land.

Town Administrator Richard Reed said technically Mudge Way is not a street but a driveway.  Brown maintained that it is a street for all intents and purposes and meets subdivision standards, so the Selectmen do have every right to allow the change.

In a letter to the Selectmen, Town Counsel Brandon Moss said it is within the Selectmen’s purview to make the change, but he warned that safety and precedent should be considered.

The decision was postponed to allow time for input from other town officials including the Code Enforcement officer and the Zoning Board of Appeals. It would also allow the Selectmen time to view the site.  Chair Margot Fleischman also requested that Town Counsel draft language for a possible agreement.

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