As liaison to our Planning Board I often get frustrated when they cast their votes without really thinking through the impacts to the neighbors, community and other factors. However I was encouraged by a decision they made to deny the renewal for a special permit to operate a boarding house along the Broadway corridor in Midtown. The applicant has repeatedly failed to make an appearance in front of the Planning Board to review the permit, not to mention postponing the safety inspections that are also required. In the past, these property owners could go for months at a time without consequence while continuing to operate often with code violations taking place. If you are not familiar with the process, the Planning Board is responsible for the approval and renewals of special use permits when zoning calls for it. The property owners are required to come in front of the Board to renew their permits. They are also required to schedule an inspection with the Building & Safety Division to be sure there are no code violations. There are some property owners who repeatedly fail to adhere to these rules so finally, tonight the point was made to deny the permit as opposed to putting it off again. It is essential that our City’s Codes are enforced as these special permits were put in place to insure the quality of life for others.
One can only hope this is a step forward and we begin to draw a line in the sand to property owners who have been given a free pass while contributing to the blight that has found a home in our once beautiful City.