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Neighbors Oppose Two-Family House

February 27, 2013

by Hannah Vair

Controversy visited the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Wednesday night at Albany City Hall concerning a vacant lot at 108 Sycamore St.

Nisar A. Fazlani proposed his plan to the board to build a  1,800-square-foot two family home on this property that is currently for sale. Fazlani is requesting a use variance pursuant to the City of Albany Zoning Ordinance to allow for the construction.

The property is in a single family zone and Fazlani would not intend to live in the home.

Parked cars on Sycamore Street, March 1, 2013/Hannah Vair

A city resident from nearby Hollywood Avenue, Dan Krouner, told the board members he opposed construction of the two-family home. Krouner’s backyard faces the Sycamore property, which he said is a mess.

“I go out there once a month and clean up the garbage along the fence,” Krouner said. He and his wife Arlene, who also attended the meeting, have lived in their Hollywood Avenue home since 1954 and are amazed at the number of two-family houses in the area.

These houses are typically filled with renters, many of whom use the  street to park their cars because of limited garage space.  Krouner said he was concerned that emergency vehicles are unable to get down the street, particularly after a snowstorm, because of all of the on-street parking. “When it snows a regular car can’t get through,” Krouner said.

The Krouners already have trouble as it is with the number of parked cars on the street, “we can’t even bring in our groceries,” Krouner said. As more apartments take over the area, the demand for parking on the street rises.

Empty Lot at 108 Sycamore St./Hannah Vair

Bernard Duffy another concerned citizen spoke out against the request. “I think its created pressure,” said Duffy, whose mother-in-law lives across the street from 108 Sycamore St.

He noticed that a lot of storm water gathers on this lot and the street drainage isn’t all that good. Duffy pointed out that “the zoning is there for a reason,” and Krouner agreed.

If the building proceeds, Krouner said he anticipates problems with  parking, noise, and and snow removal. “The big thing is it is a safety issue,” Krouner said. He finds it important to voice his opinion on the matter because often people will complain when it is too late.

According to board member Susie Tucker-Ross, a decision will likely be made and announced at the next meeting scheduled for March 13. “We will take the opposition and comments heard tonight into consideration,” Tucker-Ross said. -30-

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