GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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July 20, 2013

Second 'brick house' inching forward

ROCKPORT — After weeks of public hearings and various meetings with different officials, a second controversial brick house proposed along Granite Street is inching closer to becoming a reality.

The Planning Board was supposed to issue a final determination and recommendation on the site at a meeting last week, but some final plans and paperwork have still not made their way to board members.

Some of the issues stemmed from miscommunication with the engineer for the plans, John Judd of Gateway Consultants Inc.

Alan Battistelli, the contractor for the project as well as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, told Planning Board members that Judd preferred details of the plan in writing rather than over the phone.

“He’s really being disrespectful of the Planning Board,” Chairman Hanks Betts said.

Battistelli said the house could not move forward without the final determination.

“How do you do a final plan when you don’t have a final decision,” he said.

Other issues before the Planning Board meeting revolve around relocating trees and pushing back the house to allow for more frontage.

Because the Planning Board did not receive the last of the documents and plans needed by the meeting last week, the final determination letter was not signed off on by the Planning Board.

Board members said the determination itself is largely completed, and only one member, Edward Hand has voted against it. Hand said Friday he would not go into details about his decision to oppose the project until the final determination is issued.

Battistelli said the site plan review process, which is required for houses greater than 6,000 square feet, has been anything but short.

“It was a long process,” he said Friday. “We thought it would wrap up a lot sooner than it did, many of those meetings were four hours long.”

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