There are more than 300 residential properties on the city’s foreclosure registry, as of Sept. 1, including almost 100 vacant properties.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment rejected an application seeking a variance for a four-bedroom home at 530 Seminary Ave. Six of seven board members were present Monday night; four voted against the application and two were in favor.
A one-family home, estimated to be some 80 years old, was demolished about 10 years ago, leaving the property at the corner of Church Street vacant. The original home was 20 feet wide and the proposed home would be 17 feet wide and 52 feet long.
Variances for lot width and lot area were sought for the 23 x 132-foot lot. Lot width is required at 50 feet, but the proposal was less than 24 feet, and the lot area was smaller than the required 5,000 square feet. The home would have no windows on its east side because it would be slightly more than 3 feet from its neighbor.
Rejecting the application were board members Andrew Bryant, Josh Donovan, James Pellettiere and Chairman William Hering. Voting in favor were Zoning Board members Joseph Gibilisco and James Heim.
Bryant was uncomfortable “squeezing” a four-bedroom home on such a small lot, had concerns about how many children would inhabit the property, which would lack sufficient recreational space. Just 3 feet separating neighbors was one thing, said Donovan, but the application was less than 50 percent of the width required. “I have a lot of sympathy for owners who can’t do anything with their properties,” said Hering, however, he said a two-bedroom home on the site would be more acceptable on such an odd-sized lot, and likely would attract a resident with fewer children.