The pair who hope to return Capasso Farms to its former glory went before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a second time late last month. Board members remained mixed on whether they would grant the necessary variances.
While a farm stand has operated at the former Capasso Farms site on Framingham Road for decades, the site has been vacant for two years now, long enough for the grandfathered zoning that allowed the business in a residential-zoned area to lapse.
ZBA Chairman Matthew Hurley said regardless of the fact that they missed a deadline to extend the grandfathered zoning, the Capasso family, which still owns the property, should be granted some leniency. “We need to do what we think is right and what is in the best interest of the town,” he said.
But other board members said the Capasso family has not made a convincing argument that they meet the state’s hardship requirements which are the basis for granting a variance.
“They just can’t come in and say it’s good for the town of Southborough and expect us to approve it,” ZBA member Leo Bartolini said. “This board legally can’t approve it because they haven’t proved hardship.”
Member Ed Estella argued the Capasso family should be required to go before the Planning Board for a site plan review before any variances are granted.
The board asked the Capasso family and would-be tenants Paul Mckunes of Holliston and Agnaldo Santos of Hudson to come back later this month with a more detailed description of what they want to do with the property. They also asked for more arguments about the hardship issue.
A vote on the variances would require approval of four out of the five board members in order to pass.
For more of the back-and-forth at last month’s hearing, read this article by the Metrowest Daily News.