This evening at the Town Board meeting they will be voting on whether or not to classify the original duplex we purchased back in March to a duplex. They have been dragging their feet for well over 5 months now.
to recap, we "purchased" a fire damaged multi use bldg that burned last Christmas. It is in a multi use zoned area and almost all the bldgs surrounding it are multi family. It sits in a wedge or triangle piece of property with access from two different streets.
At the planning board meeting they turned us down b/c some jamoke "turned it into a SFH" back in 2009 by taking out load bearing walls. The code enforcer at the time from the now dissolved village OKed it. I thought it would be a slam dunk since the bldg was originally multi use, but no.
The town and planning board are on a mission to greatly reduce if not eliminate private landlords altogether. They just approved a big new build commercial apt complex down the road from our properties probably funded almost entirely from taxpayer grants.
Members of the planning board even recall going to the dentist who set up shop on one side of this building with an apartment in the back. I had to pull out all the stops at the next board meeting with a glossy presentation, etc. and they then tabled it.
The building design is a "mock up" or exact replica on one side as the other; two staircases, two kitchens, separate metering,etc. It was even admitted that the guy who "turned it into a single" and eventually went into tax foreclosure, made it a single to escape the multi family water bill excise charge. This particular county has some of the highest water and sewer rates in the area so the temptation is high to do this. One board member did bother to tour the place to see that this was in fact always a side by side and not an SFH.
The planning board thinks that keeping everything SFH will result in some sort of panacea i.e. Mayberry RFD and owner occupants will FLOCK to this area. Fact is that most of the bldgs including owner occupied are run down, at least on the outside in an attempt to keep their tax assessment from skyrocketing (the tax assessor is extremely zealous).
I get some of the WORST, unstable, problematic applicants for SFHs in this area. The 2 bdrm/3 bdrm units not so much. Most of this area in upstate NY is economically depressed since gov't has driven out business, manufacturing and low skilled starter jobs.
One of the council members thinks it will be a 3/2 vote in favor of turning it back to it's original state of being a duplex. Hopefully it will. DH has started the gutting and siding process and when we went to get a NYSEG (utility company) meter...they have it listed as a duplex; although they won't give me anything in writing to confirm this.
We also quickly realized that the person who bought it at the tax sale and owned it for probably less than 12 months when it burned down was running a halfway/rooming house for indigents. By trade she runs a charity house/food bank and just had a huge manufacturer/appliance several story bldg who retired "sell" her his old bldg for her charity house/food bank. Us owning this building will be a vast improvement in the neighborhood as the "charity lady" is nice but has no discernment between productive and unproductive residents.