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Planning Board OKs office proposal

December 7, 2012
LEVI PASCHER , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - The city Planning Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a proposal from an out-of-town real estate broker who wants to establish an office and two rental apartments at 138 E. Fulton St.

The board had delayed making a decision on Burhan Helou's proposal at a previous meeting, as board members were uncertain whether he would be able to provide the necessary four off-street parking spots needed.

The building already has a second-story apartment, but the first-floor real-estate office and first-floor apartment would be new uses of the building.

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/ Levi Pascher
Gloversville Building Inspector Robert Robbins, left, and Fulton County Senior Planner Sean M. Geraghty are shown at Tuesday’s city Planning Board meeting.

At the last meeting, Helou presented a monthly arrangement with Richard Chapin, the owner of 144 E. Fulton St., to lease two off-street parking spaces on his property for $50 a month. Under the agreement, Helou would be responsible for maintenance and snow-removal for those spaces.

The board then told Helou he would need to have access to the additional parking spaces year round - not just during the winter months - under city code.

The board also had concerns about the month-to-month agreement because if Chapin changed his mind, Helou's building would lack the required number of parking spaces. The Planning Board had asked Helou to adjust his agreement with Chapin so it would be a yearly agreement to ensure the property would have the expected spaces.

The board was presented a copy of the revised lease agreement Tuesday; it includes a one-year term and a 60-day notice-of-termination clause that would allow Helou enough time to find another location to provide off-street parking for his tenants.

Apartment plan rejected

In other city Planning Board business, the board rejected an application from Larry LaRowe who wanted to establish two new apartments in existing space in his Fifth Avenue home.

The city requires six parking spaces for a three-unit residence, and the revised drawing he provided was not drawn to scale, leading board members to question if enough space would be available for drivers to maneuver their vehicles when exiting the property.

The board also had concerns with the new fire escape that would be needed for the proposed apartment in the attic. The drawing didn't indicate how the fire escape would be attached to the house.

"The first drawing shows a little platform that will be added, then the second drawing looks like he is building a full deck," Senior Planner Sean Geraghty said.

"This will have a significant impact on the look of the neighborhood and building, so we will need to have a better idea of what the final results will look like when this is all said and done," board member James Anderson said.

Planning Board Chairman William Ferguson said he had a problem with the application materials because they left too many questions unanswered.

LaRowe was not at the meeting on Tuesday.

The board will allow LaRowe to resubmit an application in the future. The board could not table the process until its next meeting because that would exceed the 45-day window allowed for the public hearing on the Planning Board's final decision, Geraghty said.

Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached by email at



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