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June 7, 2012

Minutes

The June 7, 2012 Special meeting of the Board of Adjustment opened at 7:30pm. The clerk read the notice of compliance with the "Open public meetings act." Present were Board members: Wolfersberger, Spader, Kelly, Reilly, Struncius, Ardito and Renner
Absent – Reynolds and Loder
Motion by Mr. Spader, second by Mr. Reilly to memorialize the action and vote approving application #2012-04 of Joseph and Arlene Gaccione with conditions
In favor_ Spader, Kelly Reilly, Ardito and Renner
Opposed - None


Application - #2012-09 – Roman Barsky (RB Homes)– 622 Trenton Avenue (Antique Emporium) – Block 72; Lot 13 – Applicant wishes to renovate existing three story commercial building to a mixed use containing two commercial units and five dwelling units on the first floor; eight dwelling units on the second floor and five units on the third floor. Carried without notice
Steve Pardes, attorney for applicant gave his summation and thanked the Board for holding this special meeting. He stated that the one thing everyone agrees on is that this building should be preserved. He reviewed the positive aspects of the application and explained why the applicant is staying with the twelve (12) units.
Dennis Galvin reviewed what the Board should be considering in their deliberations.
Deliberations
Wolfersberger – Right now is torn; obviously one of the benefits is upgrading the building, maintaining the uniqueness of the building that has been there a long time. Parking is a concern; does not like the landscaping being removed in front for parking spaces. Density is a concern; also concerned of the privacy of the neighbors on Forman Avenue. The architect lacked creativity with the utilization of the interior. Believes some of the first floor could have been utilized for recreation and feels that the garbage was a joke to the architect. Is sitting on the fence at the moment and leaning towards the negative unless convinced otherwise. (It has been clarified that the landscaping will remain in the front)
Spader – Likes the project; believes it will enhance the downtown area. Would have liked to have seen ten (10) units and seen some recreation/common area. Feels that the smaller problems would have been eliminated with fewer units and attracted a more upscale tenant with a recreation area. Struggling at this time /not thinking positive.
Reilly – I had been looking at this project negatively but with the changes the applicant has made I have a different outlook. Likes the idea that this project will be maintaining/improving a historic building; does not see another option on the horizon. Likes that the applicant dealt with the residents parking concerns; dealt effectively with the sound. Believes that the number of units will not affect the parking since occupancy is based on square footage. Would like to see a condition that there will not be a restaurant. Still bothered by some things; would like to see the recreation space and garbage addressed. Does not believe it will affect the neighbors negatively…Will be in favor.
Kelly – Has said that he does not micromanage projects like this. Thought the architect would have taken care of the Board’s suggestion; this is a very dense area. Believe parking is a problem in this area and that this will intensify the problem. Concerned over this project turning into condos; worried about the access in case of fire. Did not like the vagueness of the architect’s answers in reference to garbage.
Ardito – Thanked the applicant for addressing the Board’s concerns. Believes that the neighbor’s were not against the project just that they wanted to be sure that it would not negatively impact the area. Believes that the parking is adequate. The noise issue was addressed with the testimony of the noise expert. Does not have a problem with the twelve units since occupancy is based on square footage. Positives are an historic unique structure is getting rehabbed and upgraded so it is a safer structure. This project is located in the downtown area which gives the residents things to do (shop, eat and exercise) which will provide the recreation needed. Believes this supports the Master Plan’s idea of mixed use. Based on what I have heard from the residents and applicant I would look favorably on this application.
Renner – Agrees with a lot that has been said. Applicant has done a nice job modifying the plans to address concerns. Still worried about the garbage but that can be addressed on site plan approval. Concerned about annual rentals and would like to see a condition limiting the ability to do seasonal rentals. Still on the fence.
Struncius – Chairman Struncius clarified that the removal of landscaping and parking in the front had been pulled off the table. This has been a fence sitter. There will be site approval and there will be a chance to discuss the concerns the Board has at length. Positive criteria – looking at the suitability and the GC Zone allows for residential. This will be an apartment house but it is a big building and the zone allows for residential. The residents can utilize the services the downtown provides. The fact is the building is being brought up to code with the current condition of the building (termite damage, safety) this is a positive. Positive side of this application is a no brainer. Negative side is the density – is that really a detrimental thing – Does not believe that is the case. Understands the conversation about the common areas but the renters will determine if they need that. Positive criteria highly outweighs the negative. This will help that area of town.

Conditions
1. The building is not to contain a restaurant.
2. No unit/apartment shall be rented for less than 90 days.

Motion by Mr. Reilly, second by Mr. Ardito to approve application #2012-09 of Roman Barsky with conditions.
In favor: Wolfersberger, Spader, Reilly, Struncius, Ardito and Renner
Opposed – Kelly
Meeting adjourned at 8:55pm

Application approved with conditions
Attest: Karen L. Mills, Clerk of the Board


Published July10, 2012 | Board of Adjustment Minutes | 1411


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