A commercial building at 603 N. Parker St., Warsaw, will soon be used as the new Beaman Home residential and administrative facilities. Having received a positive recommendation from the city planning department, the BZA, minus absent member Derrick Haniford, supported the agency and the move with nothing but positive comments.
A standing room only crowd packed the city council chambers for the 25-minute meeting. BZA president Tom Allen, however, noted prior to the discussion that he would allow just one spokesperson to address the board on the behalf of those in attendance. That honor fell to Beaman Home Board Member and President of the Altrusa Club, Sue Creighton, who explained that the new building – which was most recently the New Hope Clubhouse and prior to that a law office – will replace the current facility which is 96 years old and only a three-bedroom house.
Only one resident addressed the BZA with concerns for the new location. Mary Miller, a homeowner with property adjacent to the property in question, said that while she fully supports the Beaman Home, she wondered about security for nearby residents who live alone. She said she was also concerned that the shelter for abuse would negatively effect property values.
Syracuse Police Chief Tony Ciriello, who is on the board of Beaman Home and oversees the security, said he pulled police records from 1993 to present. He said there were only a total of 17 calls that required an officer’s presence. Of those, he said six were related to restraining order violations and the rest were problems within the facility, such as the residents not getting along.
Ciriello said there will be security cameras, the doors will be alarmed and the outside playground will be fenced-in. Security and anonymity are top priorities, he added, noting there is at least one staff member on duty 24 hours a day 7 seven days a week.
Plans for the facility call for complete renovations inside the existing building. An older section of the current building will be torn down and a new, two-story addition that will serve as the actual living quarters will be built. Ciriello also said that the addition will actually better suit adjacent properties. The addition will include living quarters with 8 bedrooms and will triple the current capacity, according to Ciriello.
New board member Tammy Dalton made the motion to approve both the variance to use the commercial building in a residential district and the variance to allow for the construction of the addition.
The next Warsaw BZA meeting will be Monday, June 25, at 7 p.m.