Monday, April 27, 2015

Properties To Be Considered by Zoning This Week

There's a Zoning Board Hearing tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 7 pm at Municipal Hall. Here's the agenda with some information I was able to find out.

1330 Powell St -- This is actually listed 2nd, but I think it's the most important one. It's Einstein's medical building, across from the Montgomery Hospital lot. They want to install 4 signs -- 2 large lit signs on the Powell and Wood sides of the building, and 2 free standing signs. The large lit signs will be 122.5 and 103.5 square feet. I don't know the exact dimensions, but a sign that is, say, 5 x 24.5 feet would equal 122.5 sq. ft. The signs would be easily in view from the senior apartments that will be built on the hospital property, definitely shining into the windows of the houses on Wood Street, and possibly disturbing residents on Locust Street as well. If they're lit all night and I were a neighbor, I wouldn't be happy. Are lighted signs necessary? Do any of the offices in that building have night hours? I think this is simply Einstein marking their territory. Bad enough that they removed the largest employer in our town and demolished a historic building, now the town will have to look at their name in lights 24 hours a day. If Einstein wants to spend money on that building, I suggest they repair the elevators. Only one works and that one doesn't inspire confidence. But Einstein proved with the hospital that building maintenance isn't a big priority.

30 E Elm - The 3 electric meters leads me to believe that this tiny house used to be a triplex. It reverted to a single occupancy but the new owners, Carlos Vega-Alvarez and Flores Lenyn Cervantes, want to make it a duplex again. Not only that, they want a variance that would let them only have 2 off-street parking spaces instead of the 4 required for a duplex. It should be noted that that block of East Elm is so narrow that parking is only allowed on one side of the street and it's the other side. My opinion is NO, the house is too small, the parking situation on the street is bad. We don't need more multiple occupancy rental properties in N-town.

324 Cherry--Deverly Johnson would like to open a barbershop in this building. The first floor was a restaurant originally, so I see no problem opening another type of shop. Better have a business there than a vacant store. Although there's no parking on the street, there is a lot next to the building that doesn't appear to be marked as private, though I could be wrong.

553 E Lafayette--EPAY, Inc. is seeking a variance to allow for a metal fabrication workshop in this building. Currently, it's a residential district, and I'd have to wonder how that would effect the neighbors. But with the Lafayette Street improvements in the next few years, I'm guessing a lot of those houses might be bought out. Still in the interim, I'd hope they wouldn't disturb the neighborhood too much, and I hope they improve the look of the property.

So that's the zoning meeting for tomorrow night. I can't make it, but I hope some of the neighbors in the 1st block of East Elm and of the Einstein building will come out and protest those requests. 

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