Panel rejects two-family home

The Zoning Board of Adjustment denied a local property owner four variances he needed to convert a single-family home at 39 Amherst St. into a two-family dwelling.

Richard Sansone needed the variances because his property doesn’t meet city zoning requirements for lot area, lot frontage, lot width and lot depth for a two-family home, officials said.

Sansone said he has owned the property for two years and it has two kitchens and two apartments on two floors, but has never been designated as a two-family dwelling.

Two neighbors opposed the plan, saying the building is too small for two families and they’re worried about increased crime. They also said Sansone doesn’t live in the building, and they weren’t pleased with having an absentee landlord there.

The board voted unanimously to deny the requests, ruling that Sansone didn’t prove that any hardship exists on the property to warrant the variances.