YARMOUTH — The Planning Board has unanimously approved a plan to convert the Shepley House and Weld House townhouses on Main Street into a 12-unit condominium complex.

Matt Wogan, of Waypoint Partners LLC, purchased the townhouses from North Yarmouth Academy and plans to add four units to the rear of the property and adjoin the two homes.

The Weld House, at 149 Main St., was originally used by NYA’s headmaster and most recently housed admissions and communications, before the offices were moved to Dole House in June. It has a rear, one-story segment and attached garage, which would be removed and replaced by a new two-story addition.

The Shepley House, at 153 Main St., was originally a dormitory and has since been used for several other purposes. Most recently it provided classroom and residential space.

Redevelopment of the Shepley House into a five-unit residential townhouse will include the demolition of the rear portion of the house. Project architect Joe Waltman said part of the building must be demolished and rebuilt to bring it up to code.

The addition will be built on the existing foundation.

The redeveloped Weld House will include three units, and a new building constructed to the northeast of the existing buildings will house four units.

Other development features include three parking spaces adjacent to the Shepley House with access to Vespa Lane, along with a 17-car parking lot next to the Weld House and a central courtyard framed by the three buildings.

Because partial demolition was proposed, the board on June 27 discussed whether the Shepley House met the requirements of the town’s demolition delay, which was adopted in April. The provision prohibits demolition of a structure – if it’s 75 years old or more and partially or wholly situated in the town’s Demolition Delay Overlay Zone – until the Planning Board determines its historic significance.

The provision imposes a 60-day to 120-day period during which alternatives to demolition – such as restoration, relocation or rehabilitation – must be explored if the building is “of value.”

The board agreed that the Shepley House does involve “substantial modification” because more than 50 percent of the building will be demolished under the plans.

However, before their unanimous approval last week, the board voted 4-2 to deem the house “not of value,” in terms of the demolition provision, concluding that its location, design, setting, materials, workmanship and association have been so altered or have so deteriorated that it does not contribute to the significance of the village district.

Although the demolition does not need to be delayed 60 days, one condition of the approval is that architectural design details must be included to distinguish new development from the old.

During the meeting, Hilary McKinnon of 171 Main St. expressed concerns about the impact that a development of this size will have on Main Street in terms of traffic. A study found that the project is not anticipated to have a significant impact on traffic.

According to the application, construction is expected to begin this summer and last a year.

Jocelyn Van Saun can be contacted at 781-3661, ext. 183, or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: JocelynVanSaun

Read this story in The Forecaster.

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