On Tuesday May 14th, the Norwich Zoning Board of Appeals issued a strong pro‐business statement by granting a variance at 156 North Main Street. The Board was acting on a petition filed by Pietro Camardella who owns the property, which was formerly a Polish Club (private club) south of Greeneville. Pietro bought the property in 1999 and has only been able to use 25 percent of his building because the property has no off‐street parking spaces.
The city’s zoning regulations mandate that any change of use from a private club to a different activity be required to provide the off‐street parking. Because the property was developed decades prior to the adoption of zoning, parking was never considered in the site layout. There is no place to accommodate off‐street parking on Pietro’s property.
Because his property did not have the required parking, but the condition was created prior to the zoning regulations, it is considered legal nonconforming (“grandfathered” is the nontechnical term). Prior to zoning 100 percent of the property was able to be used, after zoning was adopted this condition was allowed to continue as long as the property remained a private club. By granting the variance, the Board recognizes that the zoning regulations created a hardship that was unique to this property and prevents 75 percent of the building to be viably marketed and used for business purposes. Kudos to the ZBA for enabling Pietro to gain additional use of this property.
Here is a copy of the report we submitted in support of the Variance application. In addition to the ZBA members, special thanks to Tianne Curtis ‐ Zoning Enforcement Officer, Linda Lee Smith‐ Zoning Administrator and Peter Davis‐ Director of Planning and Neighborhood Services for helping us help Pietro.