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ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS GRANTS FOUR VARIANCES

The Zoning Board of Appeals granted four variances Tuesday night, extending the hours of a portable food stand and approving a pet store, a sign for a car wash and conversion of one large apartment into two smaller ones.

Michele Maldonato's variance will allow her to serve food from a wagon in front of the Community Christmas building, 100 Ruggles st. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The previous hours were noon to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

She told the board the greatest traffic at her wagon is from noon to 2 p.m. and around 4 p.m.

In other action:

Tropical Paradise, the pet shop, is already open at 268 Lake Shore Drive East but now will be operating with official approval.

Owner John Mackowiak said he thought a previous variance was still in effect, but the board said the building had been empty for over a year and the variance had expired.

Rachel Heath, part-owner of the business, said "There is no other pet store in the area. This benefits people in the area."

James Ellman Jr. and Robert Ehrheart, who have a car wash service near the Ellman Garage on Doughty Street, sought a variance for a movable sign to be placed at the corner of Bucknor Street and Doughty whenever their "Squeaky Clean" car wash is open.

Ellman told the board the five-by-three-foot sign will be professionally made and will taken down each night.

Naftali De Jesus was given a variance to convert a large apartment on the third floor of 200-202 Central Ave. into two small apartments. He has converted the second floor into two apartments, he said. The first floor, a storefront, is still empty, but he is looking for a tenant, he told the board.

He will need to remove graffiti from the Second Street side of the building. The facade on Central cannot be changed because the building is in the historic district.

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