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Board rejects proposal for 582 Park Ave.

March 27, 2013

by Joshua Natoli

Members of the Board of Zoning Appeals declined a proposal made by MNR Holdings Inc. to add two new units to the apartment building located at 582 Park Ave. The proposal of a 12-unit apartment is not permitted in the given one- and two-family zoning district. The building is also a safety concern. Nearby residents are worried about various structural damage and the lack of fire safety equipment.

The building has had a history of code violations. Plumbing in the two proposed units is in violation of city code, according to some critics. But MNR spokesman Chris Maddalone said there are no violations. Maddalone also said that the building will undergo extensive renovations that will cost between $400,000 and $500,000.JOSHUA NATOLI Four or five tenants are currently renting the two apartments under review, Maddalone said.
Numerous pictures of broken glass and windows littering the floors, trash all over the outside of the building, as well as unshoveled snow in the winter months were all points of attack against MNR by the public.
A resident of 572 Park Ave., John Rodick, was attentive to what Maddalone said about the building, taking notes to use in his rebuttal. When Rodick took his place to try and persuade the Board, he brought numerous photos of current units which display poor living conditions. He spoke of a bathroom floor that was near collapse due to water damage. Rodick also mentioned various cracks on the building’s exterior which pose safety concerns.
Another Park Avenue resident, Robert Porter, spoke out against the proposal, saying that the building’s tenants alone cause him dismay. Porter told a tale of how some tenants followed him home to his garage to ask for money and cigarettes and he also described alleged drug deals occurring outside the building.
After members of the public spoke, Maddalone agreed with his critics that the renovations are much needed.
Board member Mike Apostle was glad with the decision, “We didn’t feel we wanted to give it 12 units and make the problem worse,”  said Apostle. “We aren’t fancy on converting units to a higher number.”

Members of the Board of Zoning Appeals discuss issues before meeting.

Porter was  happy with the decision, “It’s going to point management in the right direction with he building,” said Porter. “Adding apartments wouldn’t have made it any better. Without the addition they will have to make renovations and ease our concerns and tenants will be better tenants.”

Rodick was happy enough with the renovations, “I hope the building is brought up to code,” saidRodick. “There is currently no fire suppressant system, smoke alarms, or sprinkler setup. I hope by the time that is done that something doesn’t happen and nobody gets hurt. This has been a long time coming.”

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