Zoning Board approves special permit for dental-office-turned-duplex

Jun 8, 2022

In a meeting that was at times fraught with tension, the Wareham Zoning Board of Appeals approved a special permit for a duplex development on High Street in what used to be a dental office.

Board members heard from abutters who were not happy about the project at 108 High St. The project’s applicant, Eleete Development, LLC., is headed in part by Nazih Elkallassi, himself a Zoning Board member.

Elkallassi was not present during the in-person meeting, which was also held on Zoom.

The specific development on the table for approval on Wednesday concerned a dental office that the developer plans to convert into two one-bedroom units.

The original structure falls under zoning for Wareham Village 2, said Brian Grady of G.A.F. Engineering, who was representing the project.

Nearby residents took to the board to share their concerns over both the dental-to-duplex item and other construction happening on the large lot.

Two women spoke about their worries that the new development would bring more traffic and not include enough access to the road or adequate parking. One expressed concern over a newly built duplex on the property that she said is 10 feet from her property line. The other resident said she hadn’t received her first notice as an abutter, which she realized when a reported second notice came in the mail.

Another nearby resident, who identified himself as Erik Groezinger, asserted that the applicant had violated zoning bylaws in developing the High Street property.

Groezinger criticized several aspects of the project, including the water lines and sewer plans.

Board clerk James Eacobacci said Groezinger was in front of the wrong board and that the night’s meeting was about zoning.

Groezinger and Eacobacci had a back-and-forth that became heated at moments, and the resident left the stand before returning to the microphone later in the evening to question the project further.

A few residents, including Groezinger, criticized the board for reportedly moving a previous meeting from in-person to Zoom, which they said they didn’t know about until showing up to what they thought would be an in-person meeting.

The first woman who spoke said she didn’t have a computer and thus didn’t have a voice for that meeting.

The special permit for the dental office conversion aspect of the project was eventually unanimously approved.