Holzinger produced testimony establishing that it is a very large house, making it too expensive for most families. That leaves students, but according to owner Park, they quickly get into trouble in a 9-room house.
Park's testimony was corroborated by Craig Evans, who has lived on Montclair Avenue since 1980. Evans also serves on the Historic Conservation Commission, as well as the Alliance for Building Communities.
Evans testified that, like Bill Fitzpatrick, he is "philosophically opposed to converting." But he believes it will be a "real benefit" to the community in this instance. He noted that Park, unlike other landlords, is accessible. "There isn't a week that goes by that I don't see him. Some weeks, its tow or three times." He added that a conversion would attract professors and grad students, as opposed to a large collection of undergrads living in the same house.
After Evans, Montclair Avenue residents Pam and Bill Gontram pleaded for approval. "In a perfect world, these college students would be respectful of their neighbors at 4 AM," stated Ms. Gontram. "From Thursday on, it's crazy." Her husband, who just happens to be a licensed real estate appraiser, agreed, testifying that a conversion would have no detrimental effect.
Holzinger stated, "I don't know what more I can show than the people who have lived there for many years."
It was enough.
In other business, zoners gave Monica Cruz a special exception for a family day care at her residence at 2133 W. Broad Street. They also allowed Maria Gaspar to replace a commercial unit with a residential one at 619 Linden Street.