In response to a recent BRO commentor saltecks’ question, “So whats going on with 500 Elmwood? The City should show some cojones on that one,” (referring to this post) I decided to reach out the The Elmwood Village Association (EVA) to inquire about process and proper procedure… as well as consequence for obviously skirting the latter.
Although former EVA Executive Director Justin Azzarella has transitioned to another position at The Evergreen Association, he did reply to my email since he was privy to the questionable facade removal incident and had been in discussions with The City prior to leaving the organization. “The business owner at 500 Elmwood will not be allowed to open his business until he submits plans to and goes before Planning Board for approval,” Justin stated in the e-mail. “Which he has not yet done to date. The Association has, and will continue to take a hard stance against the illegal construction work at 500 Elmwood. It will be particularly important for the larger Elmwood Village community to attend the Planning Board Meeting (date to be announced) to voice their concerns along side of EVA. We’ll make sure to keep you and the community up-to-date as we here more about when this item will comes before Planning Board.”
In the meantime, Commissioner Comerford’s office (City Hall Permit and Inspections Services) is sending another inspector to the site to make sure that any work (beyond cosmetic work) conducted be considered in violation of the planning and permitting process, since the building owner has still not submitted any plans and will therefore will not be able to open until he complies. Currently there is a cease and desist order on the building. EVA is concerned that if interior work is allowed to continue before meeting with the Planning Board, even in a cosmetic fashion, the owner “may use this as an argument against removing the glass/facade which was installed illegally and is in violation of City code.”
If the building owner would like to see a fellow building owner conducting a facade improvement in a legit manner, then this post should be used as an example of how things are done (the right way).