Avesta Housing Receives Setback Variances from Zoning Board of Appeals; To Planning Board Early November

The Former Marada Adams School on the Hill

By Carol McCracken (Post # 584)

Last night the city’s zoning board of appeals unanimously granted Avesta Housing its request for variances in the redevelopment of the former Adams School on the Hill. Avesta is proposing to build sixteen affordable housing condominiums at the site. The applicant, represented by Ethan Boxer-Macomber, requested setbacks on both sides from the required ten foot side setback to four feet and twenty feet to five feet on the rear setback.

Gary Marsisco, nearby property owner, said he objected to the “process” used herein; the idea has been scaled back from 40 condominiums originally to the current 16 units, for example. The proposed development “is just a concept now.” Erna Koch, a nearby resident, said it’s like “looking at a solid wall.”

The city received four emails from Hill residents supporting the granting of the variances. They were from: Markos Miller, Jake McNally, Elaine Mullin and Justin Alfond, who sits on the Avesta Board.

Avesta still needs to go before the planning board, perhaps in early November. It hopes to break ground late next spring.