Friday, August 16, 2013

So Long, Old Houses

The owner of these two houses--248 and 250 Columbia Street--was at the Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday night to submit an application for site plan approval. He intends to demolish the two houses and build on their footprint one new building that will have five one-bedroom apartments. The applicant said that Peter Wurster, code enforcement officer, had reviewed and approved the plans for the new building, but, checking the bulk requirements in the city code, Cheryl Roberts, city attorney and counsel to the Planning Commission, raised a red flag. 

The site is zoned R-4, and the minimum required size for a "dwelling unit" in R-4 is 1,500 square feet. Roberts pointed out that an apartment is a "dwelling unit," and since the total square footage of the new building being proposed is 1,700 square feet, there is no way that each of the five apartments can be 1,500 square feet. It seems like it may be time to refine the code and clarify the terminology.

1 comment:

  1. Say Good bye to"old" buildings, when they are not in a designated historic district. Just at first glance I can see the the 6 over 6 window remaining on 248 Columbia and it has a central fireplace. This puts it in the very old Hudson house category. This post will get buried quickly,but Monday I will look them up at the County Deeds. There aren't many left.
    I like to find out about who built them and when.
    Demolishing both buildings and building one apartment complex of five by
    turning 2 lots into to one also requires zoning approval.Roberts is correct on R4 . Building dept. looks like they skipped a few steps here.
    This is my neighborhood. So little character has been spared. It makes me sad.