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Planning Board dealing with home-based trade 'curveball'

Date: 8/3/2009

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

EAST LONGMEADOW Planning Board Chair Michael Przybylowicz described the situation as a curveball, and it's one the board is focusing on diligently so they don't strike out.

Nicholas Chiusano, owner of NJC Enterprises Inc., doing business as Nick's Plumbing and Heating, handed in his application for a home-based trade special permit before the deadline last year, but discussions about his business have been ongoing since March 31. He met with the Planning Board last Monday in a continuation of a public hearing on his application.

The biggest issue Chiusano is coming up against is that of who owns the business. On his application, he listed only himself; at the meeting on July 27, he noted that his sister is a co-owner.

The reason this is an issue is because Chiusano moved from his home on John Street to a new home on Pleasant Street since filing his special permit application.

"To get a special permit, they have to own the business, live at the address and own the property as of Jan. 28," Robyn Macdonald, director of Planning, Zoning and Conservation, said of applicants. "If they can't prove that, they won't get a special permit."

"I do the plumbing, and she does the business," Chiusano told the Planning Board of his and his sister's roles. He added that his goal is to run his business from the location on John Street.

To do so, Przybylowicz and the board need to see documents that list the owners of the business, tax returns for the business, the names and phone numbers of the residents at both homes, the utility bills for both locations, proof of Chiusano's electric and plumbing licenses and proof of transference of ownership to Chiusano's sister.

"We have had some opposition to this application, and there have been some contradictions," Przybylowicz explained. "Moving his personal residence threw us a curveball. We want to sort everything out."

"It's a very difficult [case] for the board," Macdonald told Reminder Publications.

Chiusano's public hearing has been continued until Sept. 1 at 6:30 p.m. Once the hearing is officially closed, the Planning Board will have 90 days to approve or deny his special permit application.