Friday, March 16, 2007
ATC seeks permit for more offices within existing buildings
At the March 13 Selectmen's meeting property manager Chip Orcutt of Monument Square Realty appeared on behalf of South Street Realty Trust, to discuss a request for an amendment to a special permit granted in 1979 for the property occupied by Assurance Technology Corporation (ATC) at 84 South Street. The current permit restricts usage of the land, the former site of the old Valleyhead mental hospital, by placing part under residential zoning. After hearing the details, the Selectmen decided it would not be necessary to initiate a site plan review process for the case. South Street Realty Trust will next present its request to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).
The issue has come to a head now due to several fires in the residential building called "Brick End" on the far right of the property. A fire in January caused extensive damage to the rear of building and the owners predict it will cost between $500,000 to $600,000 to restore. The company would like to use the building for office space, citing the growth of the company.
Orcutt said that if granted business zoning, the company plans to expand its number of employees from 75 to up to 100. The current parking lot can hold 100 cars. However, traffic has long been an issue of concern for abutters and as Selectman Tim Hult pointed out, "any spillover parking that goes onto that street is a problem." Orcutt used the limited size of the building as evidence that "there is a check and balance already in place," and did not anticipate that parking would be an issue.
Orcutt also suggested that changing the zoning of the eight-bedroom house from residential to business would decrease the demands being put on the 10,000 gallon septic system.
Selectman John Carpenito expressed concern over the loss of two (market rate) rental units tied to this proposed change. However, the general consensus at the meeting was friendly towards South Street Realty Trust, due in part to the fact that no additional signage was requested, nor outward changes to the site, nor increased parking.
Selectman Tim Hult praised them for being "great citizens and neighbors for 27 years." However, he hoped area residents would take advantage of the public hearing before the ZBA, "My concern is that there is at least one place where abutters can come before a town board and express their opinions on this case."
© 2007 The