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Zoning Board Denies Variance for Condemned Arch Street Property

The owner of 801 Arch Street was requesting reinstatement of a mixed use variance that was lost when the building was condemned in May.

According to The Times Herald, Norristown's Zoning Hearing Board denied a request to reestablish a previously-held mixed-use variance on a property at 801 Arch Street after the variance was rescinded when the property was condemned earlier this year. The variance allowed for commercial use on the first floor (which previously held a beauty saloon and ice cream shop) and an apartment on the second floor.

According to the Herald, Code Enforcement condemned the property for eight days in May for a new hot water heater that was failing to provide hot water to the second floor apartment. It was apparently condemned again in July for water in the basement and an insufficient exhaust pipe for the water heater.

Owner James Reuben reportedly filed the application to restore the variances and paid the $1200 fee, but was denied for several reason including having "abandoned" the commercial uses and failing to provide the necessary off-street parking.

Reuben reportedly argued that he had not abandoned the commercial use and had allowed a relative to use the space for hair appointments as recently as February. Neighbors, however, presented a petition against Reuben's request signed by approximately 30 neighborhood residents. Resident Eva Marie Parker claimed the salon had not been in use since the death of Reuben's mother 13 years ago.

Read more about the hearing and the history of the property here.

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