Five Cherokee Street neighbors, including civil rights activist Esther Lee, spoke strongly against any variances. "The proper credentials were never secured," she complained. "It looks horrendous. And I suggest that it come down."
Lee also blamed the City. "I heard drilling and sawing and I don't know what else. If I could see it, I don't know why others couldn't have aborted what you were doing."
Echoing Lee's concerns, Cherokee Street resident Francis Martinez argued that a favorable decision would mean that "any contractor in the City can do anything they want, come here, and you people say 'OK, this is fine, we're going to let it go.'"
Representing Kiprizlis, Bethlehem Attorney Jim Holzinger eloquently argued, "We're trying to resolve this in a way that is not going to be too damaging to the neighbors. ... This construction went on without a permit for an extended period of time. Two wrongs don't make a right."
But in response to questions from ZHB member Kenneth Kraft, Kiprizlis acknowledged that in his 30 years as a masonry contractor, he's pulled many permits and is familiar with the process. Zoners quickly, and unanimously, rejected his application for approval of a two-family dwelling.
In other business, zoners approved an attached carport for Joan Johns at 1540 Siegried Street after hearing testimony that there are already thirty carports in the neighborhood.
They also gave the green light for Adam Hazan to construct a parking lot for a three-family dwelling at 1512 E. Sixth Street, even though the lot will be only 7', instead of the required 15', away from another home. Next door neighbor Carl Postupack complained that gas fumes already enter his home at night when he listens to "Coast to Coast" on talk radio, even when the windows are shut. He also presented a lengthy, hand-written narrative complaining that prior owners had as many as 35 people living at the property at one time.
Although zoners ruled for Hazan, member Bill Fitzpatrick suggested that appropriate buffering be placed around the parking lot to mitigate any fumes.