Chesterfield family forced to stop construction on half-built home

Hampshire County

CHESTERFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Chesterfield family has been forced to halt construction on their home, after finding out part of it is too close to their property line.

The Clark family told 22News, their porch is just three and a half feet away from the property line, and have been told it violates the town’s setback law.

“One of the most beautiful pieces of property we’ve ever seen,” said Christina Clark. “And we were so excited to become part of a small town.”

But the Clark family’s dream quickly turned into a nightmare.

Westhampton couple’s half-built home is on hold

On November 1, just three months after construction began, the Clark family found a cease and desist letter, on the front door of their home at 322 Ireland Street, ordering them to stop construction, because it violated the town’s setback law.

Similar to a Westhampton couple, that was also ordered to stop construction, after a neighbor complained their foundation was four feet shy of the fifty feet it needed to be back from the road.

Clark told 22News the home’s foundation is outside of the 50 feet setback law, but its the front porch, that extends too far by 3.5 feet.

“So we asked if we could just change our porch, to be in compliance with the law, and they said, ‘No, we’re not allowed to work on our house until we receive a variance.'” Clark told 22News. “Now that we’re about $200,000 into our build, suddenly it’s a problem, when it was permitted from the beginning.”

Town Administrator Sue Labrie told 22News, each town has their own building requirements. She said the town’s planning board sets the bylaws.

A special meeting has been scheduled for Monday, where the board will review the issue and determine if they’ll be granted a variance.

“A family member is letting us stay with them, but its not a long term solution,” Clark added.

If they don’t get their variance, their next stop is the zoning board of appeals.

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