With the possibility of a purchase agreement with Greg Erickson, the owner of 1220 Lincolnway East, Paul Oviedo presented a petition to the Plymouth Board of Zoning Appeals for a Variance of Use to allow multi-family living of 1 to 4 units. 

Oviedo and Erickson are looking for positive use of the property that has formerly been multi-family that would improve the appearance of the property and provide needed housing for the community. 

During the meeting, city planning consultant, Ralph Booker told the BZA members they approved this request in December 2020.  There were several extensions granted by the BZA but the building was never finished and brought up to code and the BZA eventually rescinded the request. Booker said he’s back to ask for the same thing and looking at the property, nothing has been done.  By Health Department standards the structure is safe.

Oviedo said Erickson will be purchasing the property and will make the necessary improvements to the building to meet city and state codes.

BZA member Mark Gidley asked when the property was vandalized, and Oviedo said about a month ago.  Windows were broken and the doors damaged.

During the public hearing, Greg Erickson attended the meeting online and said they’d like to turn the building into 4 apartments for second-phase housing for clients of David’s Courage.  His initial plan was to re-gut everything in the building and start fresh including plumbing and electrical. 

City Attorney Sean Surrisi explained that with a variance such as this, they have two years to complete the project although the BZA has the right to put any kind of deadline in they want in place, shorter or longer.   

Gidley asked if any other type of variance was needed since it was designated as the second phase housing for their clients.  If it is a transitional home where the occupants would still be clients of David’s Courage. 

Erickson said it is independent living but since he is the owner of the property, there would be rules and regulations they must agree to including attending meetings to keep their sobriety and they will be required to have and keep a job.  If the renter didn’t fulfill the terms, they would go through an eviction process.    

Chris McIntire who lives in Argos is the listing agent for the property and spoke in favor of the request.  She said Erickson’s vision it to extend a great program already in place for the community’s benefit. 

Erickson said once the men in David’s Courage complete their 12-month program they can’t find a landlord that is willing to accept them.  He said one of their guys is living in the motels and staying clean and sober, but it is not the best arrangement. This would be an independent living opportunity for them.

Ralph Booker read a letter from Carol Delaney of 1167 Pennsylvania Avenue in opposition to the request for multi-family living.  Her concerns were traffic, safety, and the huge job of bringing the structure into compliance. 

Board member Paul Wendel was supportive of the project and so was member Brandon Richie.  It’s the second phase of an already established program in the community. 

The motion was made and unanimously approved to allow the variance of use for up to 4 apartments with 2 parking spots for each apartment and only two entrances into the property with completion within 24 months.