May 23 2016

Town Meeting Approves Zoning Change for Sullivan Funeral Home Parking Lot

By: Rich Hosford

Burlington Town Meeting approved a zoning change for the town’s only funeral home last week. 


Kevin Sullivan of Sullivan Funeral Home was before the legislative body to ask permission for a zoning change for a lot adjacent to the funeral home at 48 Harriet Avenue from residential to general business. Sullivan said he is planning to turn the site of a former house into a parking lot to ease congestion at the funeral home during large funerals. 


The warrant article was recommended favorably by the Planning Board with a vote of 7-0 in favor. 


Sullivan said he hopes to get 24 new parking spaces to handle spillover from the business’s main lot during large funerals. The lot would have one curb cut on Harriett Avenue but would not have one on Ardmore Street. The plans include screening between the lot and neighboring residential homes. 


Sullivan told Town Meeting that when he first proposed the zoning change and plans for the lot two abutters were concerned about making the lot general business. They said they worried that if the funeral home were to close or move that another business, a CVS for example, might move in. 


To allay those fears Sullivan said he had drafted a covenant that says the lot cannot be used for anything but residential and funeral home purposes for 25 years. 


Town Meeting member Tom Connelly, Precinct 4, asked why the covenant wasn’t permanent. 


“My only concern is that’s once it’s zoned it zoned forever,” he said. “I’m concerned that the duration of the covenant will end in 25 years and that’s when it could be turned into whatever we zone it tonight.” 


“I think 25 years is a reasonable time, a lot can happen in that time,” Sullivan replied. “Also remember the lot is not very big, it’s not big enough for most businesses.”


Sullivan showed a list of signatures of abutters in favor of the zoning change. He also had the endorsement of the Burlington Police Department because the new lot would ease roadside parking during big funerals. 


Town Meeting voted in favor of the zoning change.   


The lot in question



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