Apartment conversion project OK’d by city zoning board
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By: The Reading Eagle
The conversion of the former Gilbert Associates building into 68 apartments can proceed with the blessing of the Reading Zoning Hearing Board.
The board granted a special exception to developer Greg Sarangoulis for an adaptive reuse at 510 and 525 Lancaster Ave. and 30 Noble St.
Also, the board granted a variance to permit more than three unrelated persons to live in one apartment.
Sarangoulis testified last month that he plans to market the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments to college students.
The zoners heard from several residents of the Hampden Heights area who asked the board to deny separate zoning applications for student housing and a child care facility.
In the first, Richard Tobias wants a variance for a fourbedroom house at 1619 N. 15th St. to rent to students from Albright College.
Patricia Hatt objected, citing the history of student housing in the area.
“We have had issues of housing for the past six or seven years and they always cause tremendous problems,” Hatt said. “They can destroy what was once a very residential community.”
The property is in the R-1 residential district, the most restrictive designation for residential neighborhoods.
Tobias would have to convince the board of a hardship to get the variance.
In the second, Shadae N. Casiano requested a special exception to operate a home day care for up to six children at 1406 Hampden Blvd.
Many of the same residents objected to the day care.
Geraldine Readinger said she lives next door.
“I have concerns that I would be liable if the children would go into my yard,” she said. “I don’t want to be responsible for other people’s children. This will also reduce my property value. Who will want to buy a house next door to a day care?”
Decisions will be given June 8.
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