WOBURN – While the backyard facility is unlikely to be operational this season, the city council recently approved an application by a homeowner on Pleasant Street to install a shallow pool outside a duplex-style condominium on the corner of Beacon Street.
During a meeting at City Hall earlier this week, aldermen unanimously voted for a special permit allowing 96 Pleasant Street resident Joseph Prizio to build the pool in a groundwater conservation area on Horn Pond.
Given that Beacon Street MP Amy Taranto has raised a number of concerns about the proposal, Ward 1 Alderman Joanne Campbell convinced her colleagues to make approval for this week subject to a single condition requiring the contractor to ensure that every runoff from the pool or garden falls away from the neighboring property.
“My problem is that my country is falling to his country,” Taranto said during the public hearing this week.
Prizio applied to the city council back in April for permission to install the pool, which will have a maximum depth of only 5.5 feet due to the high water level in the area.
However, after filing this application, there was some confusion as to whether the petitioner needed a second special permit to allow the excavation and disposal of the debris that would be displaced by the excavation of his backyard.
The resident’s attorney, Andover attorney Trudie Hale, said the city’s planning department recently made it clear that the earthworks can be carried out without extraordinary city permits.
“The last time we were here, we asked that we wait [a decision until we could apply for] another special permit for excavation. The planning department has determined that this is not necessary, ”Hale told the council this week.
As was the case this spring, several city councilors this week pointed out that Prizio is incredibly careful to ensure that its neighbors are not affected by the backyard investment.
For example, as highlighted by Ward 2 Alderman Richard Gately and Ward 5 Alderman Darlene Mercer-Bruen, not only is the homeowner installing a French drainage system around the perimeter of the in-ground pool, he has also made plans to install drainage tanks for larger rainwater drains to control.
“It looks like you’re going to beat it all,” said Mercer-Bruen. “I have a pool and no French drain [around it]. I don’t know anyone who does that. “
“They want the water to flow back into the earth. I don’t want anyone in the neighborhood to say I’m flooding them, ”Prizio replied.
At the most recent council meeting there was some discussion about whether or not more stringent construction time restrictions should be imposed than required by local regulations.
According to Campbell, after meeting Taranto recently to hear her concerns about the project, she felt it appropriate to add a condition limiting construction to 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on weekdays.
According to the city ordinance, construction work is generally permitted from Monday to Saturday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The Pleasant Street resident predicted it would only take a matter of days for major digs and made no objection to this special permit reservation.
However, the construction times proposed by Campbell met with surprising resistance from Mercer-Bruen.
Station 5 city council, like Campbell, seeking significant feedback from voters before responding to special permit requests, told her colleague in Station 1 that she understood why the time restrictions were being proposed.
However, Ward 5 City Council argued that the condition could make it nearly impossible for Prizio to find a contractor to do the job.
“I appreciate where you work to protect the outskirts. We’re both from the same school [in that regard]”Said Mercer-Bruen. “But in this case, I know how busy the pool guys are. It’s crazy out there because everyone is investing in pools. That is my concern. “
Campbell later agreed to lift the proposed restrictions after determining that the pool installation is unlikely to happen until November at the earliest.