At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday evening, Tom DePietro, chair of the Planning Board, entertained a motion to open the public hearing about 260 State Street, the home more than a century ago of William F. Ball and his family, and the proposal to convert it from an apartment building into a boarding house/hotel called 3rd State. A minute later, at 6:31 p.m., DePietro called for a motion to close the public hearing. No one present wished to make a comment.
The regular meeting of the Planning Board was then called to order. Planning Board member Gene Shetsky reminded DePietro that in the original application two questions on the Short Environmental Assessment Form had not been answered: 3a. Total acreage of the site of the proposed action? and 5b. Is the proposed action consistent with the adopted comprehensive plan? The property owner provided the answers: 1.22 acres and yes. DePietro then led the board through Part 2 of the SEAF, suggesting no as the appropriate answer to each of the eleven questions. When DePietro asked the board to vote on making a negative declaration, Planning Board member Glenn Martin expressed his opposition, indicating that he thought the answer to question 3--Will the proposed action impair the character or quality of the existing community?--should be yes. He said he was not convinced that renting out rooms in the house would not have a negative impact on the neighborhood and expressed his fear that the building would become a "flop house."
The applicant and owner of the building, Kiley Thompson produced TripAdvisor reviews of 3rd State, explained that he required credit cards for security deposits, and assured the board that the rooming house had been working very well with him in residence and continued to work well with his mother-in-law as caretaker.
When the vote was taken to approve the site plan, five members (DePietro, Shetsky, Laura Margolis, Rob Bujan, and Cleveland Samuels) voted in favor; only Martin voted against.
Also of lodging interest, at Thursday's meeting, the Planning Board received a letter from the Common Council requesting a recommendation on the proposed zoning amendment that would create a new zoning subcategory--Residential/Special Commercial 2--in which a hotel would be a conditionally permitted use. The proposed new local law was placed on the aldermen's desks the previous Monday. It is expected that the Planning Board's response will be discussed at their next meeting on April 14.
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Didn't I just read the other day that a r-s-c zone was created to accommodate a hotel on Cross Street on the condition that hotels would not be permitted in the Second Ward? So is this a hotel for tourists or a boarding house for low income local residents?ReplyDelete
To address your question, SlowArt, the proposed zoning amendment applies only to the R-S-C zones. There are three: one in the First Ward, one in the Second Ward, and one that straddles the Fourth and Fifth wards. The amendment will apply only to the R-S-C district in the First Ward. However, 260 State Street is not in an R-S-C district, so that amendment (which hasn't been enacted yet) doesn't apply to it. The code enforcement officer and the Planning Board have determined that it qualifies as a boarding house, which is a conditionally permitted use in the R4 district where it is located. A boarding house, incidentally, is also currently a conditionally permitted use in an R-S-C district.Delete
As long as we're changing some zoning, let's remove the option to install a conveyor system which the Common Council gifted to Holcim Inc. in 2011.ReplyDelete
With a new Council and a new property owner of South Bay, it's time to remove that unrequited gift to the previous special interest.
Does anyone know, in the strictly residential zone, could a person working out of their home like a lawyer, hatmaker, artist etc., put up a shingle or small sign for their home business or is that prohibited? I think if it's prohibited it might be good to change that as many people work out of their homes today.ReplyDelete
I don't think such signs are prohibited, but like any sign anywhere in the city, they require a permit from the code enforcement office and, if they are to be hung in a historic district, a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission.Delete