Members of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) denied Riverside Association President Elaine Hurley a variance to extend her driveway.
The matter was continued last month and has become a real tussle between Hurley and her neighbors, Andrea Arinella and Robert Corriere. The neighbors have complained that they cannot use their driveway because Hurley’s new driveway is too close. What seems to be most at issue, though, is that the work was done prior to applying for the variance. What makes it that much more in the public eye is Hurley’s controversial stands in the past against developers seeking variances in her neighborhood. The ZBA continued the matter at last month’s meeting, and in the interim a fence was put up.
Board member Robert Marra took the reins as chair of the meeting (Michael Tucker was absent) Wednesday night and immediately began questioning Hurley and her next door neighbors. The issue also brought activist Carol Sinclair back to public life after more than a year of being on the mum. Sinclair testified for Hurley’s neighbor, mostly, she said, because she believed Hurley’s actions wer illegal.
Marra questioned Hurley on who told her she could extend the driveway and remove the city’s granite curbing. Hurley held that DPW Super Don Goodwin okayed it.
Goodwin said he didn’t okay it.
The ZBA ruled against Hurley, who took it in stride, saying she was only trying to get her cars off the street and that she would consider appealing the ruling in Land Court.
Noticeably absent from the meeting and on the entire issue were any City Councillors. It seemed as though those in elected office were staying as far away as possible.
Sinclair – a long-time critic of the Council – made particular note of the absence.
“Sometimes it takes an advocate to do a councillor’s job,” she said after the meeting.