Many cottages on Anstruther are still 'originals' to the lake, meaning that many were built 40-50 years ago. Calling them 'original' is the kind and gentle way of saying they are old. Not all have aged well so some owners have replaced the original dwelling with a newer building. Often when this happens the newer building is redesigned to conform to the 2016 lifestyle which includes a larger building in comparison to the tiny cottages of the 50's and 60's.
Today, an Anstruther Cottager went to Town Council with an application to replace their existing cottage with a new one.
The Cottager's application went forward for the first time in January and even though the Cottager made concessions requested by the Chief Building Official and reached the point where the Chief Building Official was comfortable with the overall plan, the Cottager's faced an objection. The objection was based on the replacement cottage being larger and it would require removal of some trees. Council asked that the Cottager to reconsider whether they could incorporate possible changes.
The Cottager consulted with the architect and adjustments were made. Because of the landscape, the original cottage was built many years ago and like many cottages built back then, was positioned 30' from the high water mark. The Chief Building Official advised that the only feasible location for the new cottage to go would be where they planned to put it - almost the same footprint as the original cottage.
At today's Council Meeting, Lee attended as an observer and spoke in support of the application. If rebuilding will make them happy, great. How does their cottage really impact all of us? It doesn't. Throughout the meeting, there was a reference to runoff. Any runoff issue for the new cottage would be an issue for the old one. There's already a cottage there, they are just replacing it. Size...The replacement cottage that is of issue today, is 1,600 sq ft, this is more than what the original cottage is but it is still in the range of very 'normal' for a cottage. Uhhh --- not even close to the 4,000-6,000 sq ft that can be found on other lakes.
A cottage that is 1,600 sq ft will blend in just fine with every other property on Anstruther. Pleasantly fine actually.
Another observer attended in support, I didn't catch his full name, I think he may have said "Charlie" ... he did have a remarkable resemblance to former mayor Jim Whelan.
The Cottager who had submitted the Application, attended with an architect as well as a Planner that they retained to ensure their interests were communicated. The Planner was articulate and explained the plan well.
Ambrose Moran, local real estate agent was another observer and he raised his hand when the Mayor asked if there were any objections.
Ambrose began by saying that he couldn't read the official drawings ... so Ambrose Moran made his own drawing and gave them to Council. He spoke to Council. I was only an observer, I really didn't understand what he was trying to communicate, it didn't make sense -- it sounded like he questioned whether the existing cottage was 'legal non conforming' and it also sounded like he was questioning the measurements from the high water mark on the professional legal documents.
This Application took at least FIVE times longer than the first three. The good new is...the Cottager's application was granted by Council, three in favor and two opposed.
This is good for the Cottagers who want to rebuild but also good for the rest of us on Anstruther - it will mean that we will have an 'improvement' on the lake which should help the value of all of our properties.
Ambrose Moran is not a resident of Anstruther Lake as far as we know so it's not clear how replacing an old cottage on Anstruther Lake is a concern to him. It's also not clear why a stranger to Anstruther would take so much time to make his own drawings and attend a Council meeting to object to an Anstruther Cottager replacing their cottage.
While we have zero spare time to spend at Town Council on issues that do not have a direct connection to us, we felt it was important that Council knows that there is support for improving Anstruther.
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