Denver council to appeal zoning board variance on North Third Street building

By on January 14, 2015

If Denver borough council has its way, no one will using 119 N. Third St. as a home address in the foreseeable future.

By a 5-1 vote, council members at their Jan. 12 meeting voted to appeal the borough zoning hearing board decision of Nov. 26 that would have granted residential use of a vacant industrial property on North Third Street.

Only Councilman Mike Cohick voted in opposition.

“It’s a waste of money,” Cohick said after the vote to appeal passed.

The future of the former Weave Corp. building at 119 N. Third St. in Denver is in zoning limbo.

The future of the former Weave Corp. building at 119 N. Third St. in Denver is in zoning limbo.

Council President Blake Daub, Vice President Mike Gensemer, and members Christopher Flory, Jason South, and Matt Stover voted to appeal. Councilman Walter Fink was absent.

“If we let this variance go, then other people who request the same and don’t get it could challenge us, and they’ll win,” said South.

Resident Fred Wagaman reminded council that last April other approved uses were added for properties zoned industrial, such as offices and studios.

Co-developer Joseph Valent expressed empathy for the emotions and frustrations expressed by council members.

“I drive by that building every day,” said Valent. “The empty building is a problem and I had some ideas for use.”

The applicants, Valent and Mary Ellen Valent, proposed retail/office space on the first floor and a total of 19 one- and two-bedroom apartments on the second floor. That required the zoning variance to permit residential in the current industrial zone.

The building proposal is for 75 percent residential space and 25 percent retail space. Although the building has a freight elevator, there are no plans to have a working elevator in the building.

In other business, council:

* Discussed Denver Post Office officials’ request for a three-way stop sign at the intersection of Snyder and Monroe streets and Denver Road. Police Chief George Beever reported 11 accidents, all non-reportable (i.e. no injuries) in the last two years at that intersection. Council agreed to ask PennDot officials if something could be done to address the slippery road conditions at the intersection during inclement weather. Accident statistics most likely would not warrant PennDot pursuing a three-way stop sign.

* Appointed Mindi Stoner, Christina Stover, and John Wentz each to a three-year term on the borough recreation board.

* Reappointed Gary Read to a three-year term on the zoning hearing board.

* Appointed the following people to the planning commission: Stephen Bonner (four-year term), Fred Wagaman (three-year term), Randolph Meckley (two-year term), and Leann Williams (one-year term).

* Authorized Trinity United Methodist Church to hold a yard sale the second Friday and Saturday of every month from February 2015 through February 2016 from 8 a.m. to noon to raise funds for community outreach.

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