Residence allowed on small lot in M district

Applicant claimed that lot’s small size would not allow a viable industrial use. The owner of a site located in an M1-2 zoning district sought a use variance to construct a two-story residential building. The 20 x 80 foot vacant lot, located at 328 Jackson Avenue, was formerly occupied by a residential building and has never been occupied by an industrial or manufacturing use.

The owner argued that it would suffer unnecessary hardship in developing a conforming use on the site because of the lot’s small size. Stating that the zoning district’s permitted floor area for a conforming use would allow multiple floors, the owner pointed out that a multi-floor design on the site would result in inefficient movement and delivery of materials between floors. The owner claimed that the lot’s 18-foot interior width could not accommodate an interior loading bay, further constraining its ability to serve a viable industrial or manufacturing use.

BSA granted the variance, noting that the site is one of a few small lots within the M1-2 district area and that the lot’s small floor would be impractical for an industrial or manufacturing use. BSA pointed out that the site is located contiguous to a longstanding row of two-story rowhouses that were historically used as residences. Noting that a building’s adjacency to residential uses may not always be the basis for an unnecessary hardship claim, BSA said it may add support to the claim.

BSA: 328 Jackson Avenue (139-07-BZ) (Aug. 11, 2009). CITYADMIN

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