Daniel Tucsinski, who is now counsel to the Planning Board, noted that the proposed changes pertain only to R-4 districts and expressed that opinion that the changes should be done globally. He suggested that the Planning Board advise the Common Council that the Zoning Board of Appeals needs to make an interpretation. A couple of projects involving apartments smaller than 1,500 square feet are expected to come before the ZPA on Wednesday, May 21.
On Wednesday, Catalano was back with a new plan. Now, "to avoid the apartment size issue," which would send the project to the ZBA for an area variance, the entire first floor in each building is to be retail or gallery space. Catalano explained that there was some urgency is getting the conversion from residential to commercial use approved because "the client [Galvan Initiatives Foundation] has a funding application in the pipeline and needs a zoning judgment" by the end of the month.
Back in March, Gossips reported the rumor that Galvan was planning to rehab 202-204 Warren Street as some kind of low-income housing. Catalano's mention of a "funding application" gives some credibility to that rumor.
The plans for the building have yet to come before the Historic Preservation Commission, but they will have to soon. Catalano indicated that the windows are to be changed, and a man introduced as Phil Higby, the architect for the project, spoke of restoring the "covering" over the doorways. The picture below, from Lynn Davis's Warren Street Project, shows the porticoes that were on the building from the time it was built at the turn of the century until Eric Galloway bought it and removed the porticoes about ten years ago.
|Copyright 1995 Lynn Davis|
The building is currently a two family house, and the plan is to turn the basement into a third dwelling unit for three people who would live there full time. Although he called them "migrant workers," Kremer explained, "These workers get work year round."
Don Tillson, who chairs the Planning Board, puzzled about why Craig Haigh, the code enforcement officer, had referred the project to the Planning Board, because, as he put it, "it's all residential." The house is in the R-2 district, and Chapter 325-8 of the city code may provide the answer. Item B (2) defines what it seems is being proposed--"The renting of more than two but not more than four rooms in a structure containing a one- or two-family dwelling"--as a conditional use, and a conditional use is subject to the review and approval of the Planning Board. No action was taken on the application, and Tucsinski said he would speak with Haigh about the reason the project had been referred to the Planning Board.
A third project of interest involves this house at 46 North Fifth Street.
The house, located in the R-2 district, is currently a two-family house. The applicant, who is in contract to buy the house with the condition that he can get Planning Board approval, wants to turn the ground floor into an art gallery, which is a conditional use in R-1 districts and hence also in R-2. It was determined that a public hearing was required before the Planning Board could act on approving the conditional use. That hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, June 11, at 6:30 p.m.
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