Library Size on the Site
The library is not too large for the site. The zoning is for a residential district. Approximately 22 feet away, on the other side of 1 School St., there is a different residential zoning district. In this district lot coverage maximum is 40%. If the district were extended 1 lot over, the library would be 8 percentage points less than what would be allowed.
The Select Board wanted the library to remain at 11 N. Main St. At this location the building would have covered approximately 90% of the lot and there would be no parking. The zoning violations would have been far more egregious on all fronts at this location.
The library does not have any precedent setting variance requests. Lot coverage is not larger than allowed by zoning in other districts, setbacks are also not larger than what is allowed in other districts. The special permit required is also not precedent setting as these are often given since nearly ½ the town is in the ground water protection district, and another ¼ of the town is in the surface water protection district.
Bottom line: The zoning relief required is not contrary to any regulations that exist in Sharon. 1 School St is a far better and larger site than 11 N. Main St. and these are the only two properties which were available to the library. The ZBA has ignored State law and attempted to apply their own ideas of how large and which spaces should be in a library and what the law should be. This has resulted in a halt to the library project. The longer the ZBA and Select Board delays and refuses to file a decision, the more likely it is that the town will lose the grant and therefore the new library.