Council hears hopes, concerns for Snyder basements
Rob Leventhal has a problem.Every friend or family member who crashes on the couch in his Snyder affordable housing unit has to walk through his bedroom to use the abode’s single toilet.He has a nice basement space that he would love to furbish into another room in which a half-bath and other amenities could serve his guests.”I just want to be able to have my friends and family be able to come here, spend money and be comfortable,” he told City Council.Council members Tuesday night discussed whether eight units that have 750-square-foot unfurnished basements could be made a little more cozy. Some Snyder homeowners are seeking to use the subterranean space for more than storage, though turning it into another bedroom doesn’t seem likely.Council members, who postponed making a decision on basement-space uses until they receive more information, said adding another bedroom to the one-bedroom units could lead to a host of issues.Among them: parking problems on Midland Avenue, illegal renting and possibly setting a precedent for other developments.A few Snyder homeowners and a neighbor of the development weighed in with their thoughts. The neighbor, Norman Foote, said parking on the street is already a problem.But representatives of the Snyder homeowners association said residents, construction workers and others who live nearby use Midland. And the street has little parking enforcement, they contended.Snyder resident Dan Glick said he wanted to furbish his downstairs should he decide to start a family.”It’s very frustrating not to be able to do anything with 750 square feet,” he said. “It’s half my square footage. It’s ludicrous.”Glick told council that none of the homeowners intends on renting out the basements. But Councilman J.E. DeVilbiss wondered if there was any way to prevent people from renting the basements out.He and Councilwoman Rachel Richards wanted to see the minute notes from council meetings when the project was approved in 1998 to ascertain whether that council had any thoughts on the basements.The basement spaces were a surprise. The Snyder complex was not originally supposed to have them. But when construction crews were working on crawl spaces for the infrastructure, the dirt they encountered was of poor quality. So basements were built.Now the question is, What can be done with them?Council will take up the issue again on Nov. 28.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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