Zoning Board of Appeal members said today that they had nothing against the technical aspects of a landlord's plans to convert his two-family house with eight bedrooms into a three-family house with nine bedrooms, but rejected the proposal after neighbors objected to the sort of tenants now living there: Pot-smoking, beer-swilling, rowdy partiers they say spent much of the summer carousing late into the night.
"I can't see rewarding a landlord for that behavior," board member Mark Erlich said of the proposal for 17-19 Playstead Rd.
Building owner Thomas Magloczki's plans called for adding living space to what is now a duplex's basement and an additional front door to create three units - one with four bedrooms, one with three and one with two. His attorney, Nicholas Zozula, told the board the changes would be done within the building's existing footprint.
Board members, who have grown increasingly exasperated in recent months with what they consider inadequate proposals for basement bedrooms, said the plans themselves were fine.
The Columbia-Savin Civic Association voted to support the proposal. Zozula said the resident living right next to the house approved the proposal as well.
But the mayor's office and the offices of City Councilors Frank Baker and Michael Flaherty joined neighboring residents, such as Charles Monroe, who lives on the other side of the property, in opposing the plans.
Monroe told the board that he did oppose adding another bedroom to the building, but also the "operations" of the building as it is now. He said it had been rented out to nine young adults who held "incessant parties throughout the warm months," with tiki torches, open drinking and enough reefer smoking to leave other houses smelling like marijuana. And then there were the football matches that would extend from the porch to the yard. "It's basically a dormitory party house," he said.
"If the tenants are rowdy and not respectful of the neighborhood, then we do have an issue here," board Chairwoman Christine Araujo said.
The board voted to deny the proposal with prejudice, which means that Magloczki will have to wait at least a year to try again to win permission.