The attorney for Arthur Caras and contractor, Michael Dello Russo, presented to NEWRA’s ZLC committee on July 28th in advance of an expected vote at the full NEWRA meeting on August 13th and a Board of Appeals hearing on August 18th. The owner was not present, but has applied to the Board of Appeal to erect a two-floor addition to the rear of the commercial/residential building to expand the existing barber shop into a men’s salon. The application includes a roof deck on the new structure, second egress and handicap access at the rear.
The expanded barber shop will have 3 additional styling stations and space for tanning beds. The contractor and attorney indicated the Barber Shop currently has a long wait, especially after having received some press attention. The nail shop in the building will not be expanded.
The expansion/addition requires at least 2 zoning variances, primarily related to the expansion being closer to the neighboring property line than the 10 feet space required and the roofing violation tied to the 2nd floor roof deck. The 2nd floor deck was added to the plan to comply with the City’s requirement for 100 feet of open space for each unit, although only one unit will have direct access. The deck will be replacing the yard that currently exists.
Neighbors from 44 Prince Street were in attendance at the ZLC committee meeting. They have arranged an August 11th meeting with the owner of 113 Salem Street in an effort to work out their differences.
The question of whether the extension could impact the future development on abutting parcels was raised. There was also a discussion regarding the height of the new addition versus the wall separating 44 Prince Street from the property. ZLC committee members indicated the irony of replacing open ground space with controversial decks that owners do not want either. The in-filling of the North End density was mentioned as a defense for the zoning regulations.
The discussion was much calmer than at the recent NEWNC meeting. However, there was one participant at the meeting who spoke in favor of the plan and ended several repetitive sentences with “44 Prince Street should be ashamed.” Trustees from the condo board of the development at 44 Prince Street indicated they look forward to sitting down with the owner on August 11th. The contractor indicated that Mr. Caras is open to some modifications to the plan based on feedback from neighbors.