Broad Street commercial building gets OK for apartments

The Planning & Zoning Board recently approved a change of use for a house at 284 Broad Street from commercial to mixed use to create an office and three apartments.

Eric Ponelli, son of Karen and Ken Ponelli, said the family runs the Summit Financial Group, which is an insurance agency on the adjacent property at 288 Broad Street. The property is owned in the name of 288 Broad St. LLC, which lists Karen Ponelli as manager. Ponelli said his father has owned it for 17 years.

In a Sept. 21 email, Ponelli indicated the family purchased the property and building at 284 Broad Street on April 24, 2016 from Dr. Timothy Sharpe in the name of 288 Broad St. LLC.

Ponelli said the conversion at 284 Broad Street would involve some renovations to the building to create an efficiency apartment and a one-bedroom apartment on the second floor. There will also be an addition to the rear of the building to create a one-bedroom apartment on the third floor.

Part of the plan would be to rework the shape of the building to improve its appearance, Ponelli said, including using a mansard roof to keep the house in character with the adjoining properties.

Ponelli said the rear stairs are “not up to code” and would be removed and then replaced with two balconies. As part of the approval, a 1.5 foot line lot adjustment was required in one corner to allow the building to be squared off, otherwise the building would extend over the line by that distance, said Ponelli.

Ponelli said the rear yard would remain as green space for tenants to enjoy. He said 20 years of debris has been removed from the back of the building. Additional trees and shrubs will be planted on the property. He said the property requires nine parking spaces and has 11 spaces.

Commenting on the proposal, board member Jim Quish said, “It was built as residential and to have that as mixed use is consistent with our Plan of Conservation and Development.”