Oviedo was granted a Variance of Use in April of 2017 to allow the existing apartment building to continue operating as is has for more than 50 years. It had been determine the building didn’t meet state code for a multi-family building.
In 2017 the Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously approved the variance to permit 4 apartments with the stipulation they be in compliance with city code along with the required permit for additional parking at the back of the building.
Oviedo told the board he wants to refurbish the building by doing a good job and not just a bandage. He said the two tenants living in the building were hard to get rid of and also COVID-19 has had a negative impact. Oviedo told the BZA his full-time job was impacted and the affected his income. He also said getting workers has been difficult and the cost of materials has tripled in cost.
Board of Zoning member, Mark Gidley said he had almost three years before COVID-19 hit and he felt like that was a good excuse. Oviedo did admit that this was his first renovation project and his first apartment building.
BZA President Art Jacobs told Oviedo that he wanted them to work together for the betterment of the community. He said he would hate to see this building sit empty and become a blighted site on the city’s east entrance.
Jacobs asked how much more time Oviedo thought it would take him to complete the renovation and he said he just wasn’t sure. Jacobs asked if 3 or 6 months would do it and Oviedo said 6 months would be a push.
The BZA also discussed the two entrances furthest to the east, one of Lincolnway East and one on Pennsylvania Avenue. It was shown on the map that those entrances are on city property and it would be up to the city to close them off.
The Plymouth Board of Zoning Appeals approved the Variance of Use for one year and told Oviedo he needed to report monthly to the Building Commissioner, Keith Hammonds who is also a neighbor to the property. Hammonds will then report how the renovations are moving forward.