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Weymouth zoning board twice rejected funeral home's plans to expand. Then they voted again
Weymouth zoning board twice rejected funeral home's plans to expand. Then they voted again
Weymouth zoning board twice rejected funeral home's plans to expand. Then they voted again

Published on: 03/29/2024

Description

WEYMOUTH − After twice failing to gain approval, a Main Street funeral home's plan to expand has the board of zoning appeals' unanimous support.

The board twice voted 3-2 in favor of granting a special permit for the expansion of the McDonald Keohane Funeral Home, but four votes were needed for approval. The second vote was held after the funeral home appealed the first decision to state Land Court, leading to mediation between the funeral home and the town.

The proposal went back to Land Court after the board's second denial, leading to more mediation.

The funeral home and the town last month filed a joint motion for another zoning board hearing. According to the motion, at least one board member was confused about the addition of a new entrance at the south side of the funeral home and whether the existing entrance would remain open.

With 21 additional conditions on things like improvements to neighboring streets and construction hours, the board approved the special permit Wednesday.

The funeral home, which has been at 809 Main St. for more than six decades, plans to build a 5,500-square-foot addition, which will nearly double the size of the business. The addition will include a hall with a seating capacity of 200 people that could be used for funerals or celebrations of life.

The plan also calls for 16 exterior parking spaces, 11 of which will be in a residential zone, and four garage spaces, as well as an entrance on the south side of the property near adjacent homes.

McDonald Keohane Funeral Home sought approval from the town to combine 809 Main St. with two adjoining lots behind it on Cypress Street to make the expansion possible.

The town council has since adopted an ordinance prohibiting funeral homes from expanding into neighborhoods, but McDonald Keohane's plans were filed before the change.

Before the board's vote, Town Councilors Ken DiFazio and Gary MacDougall encouraged the board to consider the guidelines for issuing a special permit, including the impact on owners of abutting property.

"Is it detrimental to the neighborhood? I believe it is. I believe it’s incredibly invasive," MacDougall said.

Neighbors who formed the Columbian Cypress Coalition remained steadfast in their opposition to the project.

More: Weymouth's payroll: Who made the most money in 2023

Shira Levine, who owns property abutting the funeral home site, said she will have 100 to 200 people lining up directly outside her home. She said neighbors initially asked the applicant to build the addition at the front of the building, where there is plenty of space and only abuts Route 18.

"They could do the exact same project and build the 5,500 addition in front and not bother anyone," she said. "It’s so frustrating because you’re going to ruin our neighborhood when they could do the exact thing in front. It’s not fair."

Neighbors said they will consider their right to appeal the decision.

News Source : https://www.patriotledger.com/story/news/2024/03/28/weymouth-ma-funeral-home-expansion-zoning/73117192007/

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