Pierach: so, I’ve already paid the full $2,000? I wanted to clarify that.
Moermond: yes, it is an annual fee.
Pierach: we had a delay with getting our permits pulled. I have been in touch with our
City Council person this summer. We had 3 rounds of revisions for plan review. Some
were minor, but every time we had to go back it was another 4 weeks of waiting. So a
30-day process took 3 and a half months before we could even start. We were hopeful
in March that we would be open this fall. That’s why the 90-day waiver made sense
then. We had everything to the City in early May. 3.5 months of delays. We finally got
permits after I contacted the City Council. Then another month to get utility permits. I
had to go to the office myself and deliver the check, and then follow up. The
application was lost. That was another month delay. The good news is we’ve made a lot
of progress in the last 2 months. We have utilities in, great weather to do the demo.
We’ve had good luck with contractors. Racing the clock to get everything in shape so
we don’t have to do much in the winter. Our projected opening is the end of month, with
a soft opening for a month. If you would have told me wouldn’t be open this fall I would
have said no way. We had such a hard time getting permits. I know they were short
staffed. As a small business owner trying to get this going, I’m getting penalized for
something I had no control over. Every dollar is critical right now because we’re paying
for over 2 years to get this going.
Moermond: and I would note that I’m sympathetic that I know DSI has been slammed.
I just want to note you went in the Vacant Building program in March of 2021. But you
didn’t apply for your first permits until January 2022. You’ve kind of done a
self-imposed delay of 10 months before you even started knocking on the City’s door. I
know you applied for site plan originally in February. I see you pulled an interior demo
permit in March. Alarm permits in May. Then we have plumbing and warm air in rapid
succession in June and July. Then water sewer in September. I assume that’s when
the Council office was involved. I don’t know what the Department’s hold up was or
what the contractor’s put in their application and that interaction. What I can tell you is
that I’m looking at, as of today, you being in the program for 7 out of 12 months. By
the time this goes to Council in January it will be 10 and a half months out of 12. I
would like to look at this the beginning of January, right before City Council. I can find
out more from the Department on what the delays were. Then the Council could give
some consideration for prorating it, but I will tell you that 10 and a half months rarely
would have the fee prorated. It also involves you having your Certificate of Occupancy
in hand at that point. If you were to be credited with 3 months in January, that may get
it cut in half. That’s the most I’d be looking for at this point. I’ll revisit this January 3 at
9 am we will look at this, it goes to Council Public Hearing January 11.
Pierach: that sounds great, thank you.
Laid Over to the Legislative Hearings due back on 1/3/2023
Ratifying the Appealed Special Tax Assessment for property at 984
TUSCARORA AVENUE. (File No. VB2302, Assessment No. 238801)
Layover to LH January 17, 2023 at 9 am to check on permit status for possible
proration of fee. (CPH Jan 25)
Grace De Jong, owner, appeared via phone
[Moermond gives background of appeals process]
Staff Report by Supervisor Joe Yannarelly: this is a Category 1 fire Vacant Building