Zoning board OKs accounting office

Property formerly housed taxidermy business

The city Zoning Hearing Board gave permission Wednesday for a property on the 800 block of Bell Avenue to go from taxidermy to taxes.

The board granted a change of nonconforming use in that multiple-household residential zone at the request of property owner Stephen Steinbugl, whose wife recently closed her taxidermy business there, and Benjamin Irvin, an accountant who lives and works in rented space on the second floor but who wants to open an office in the taxidermy space on the first floor.

The accounting office would probably be a less-intensive use than the taxidermy studio, which in­volved bringing in dead animals and processing them, according to answers given to questions asked by board solicitor Bill Stokan.

“It actually would be a better fit,” Steinbugl said. “Accounting would be cleaner.”

Prior to the board’s ap­proving the location for a taxidermy studio many years ago, the property hosted a sign company and before that, an automotive shop, according to Stein­bugl.

Having his BTI Account­ing Services office on the first floor will enable Irvin to receive clients and ex­pand, Irvin indicated.

“I believe that my business will be able to grow with a physical presence,” he wrote in a letter to the zoning administrator.

Creating that physical pres­ence in Steinbugl’s build­ing is “affordable,” he wrote.

He hopes within six to 12 months to hire one or two employees, in which case, he wants to expand his of­fice operation into a second room on the first floor, he said.

If the business grows be­yond one or two additional employees, he’d probably have to find a new location, he told the board.

Traffic for his business would probably be lighter overall than for the taxidermy business, except maybe during tax season — but even then, it would generally come at intervals, based mainly on appointments, Irvin wrote.

There are six paved, off-street parking spaces on the property.

Irvin plans to reface the existing taxidermy sign.

His office would likely be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday during tax season, the busy time, Irvin indicated.

The board made its ap­proval contingent on the office not being open be­yond those hours at any time.

The board on Wednesday also granted a special exception to allow Mike Sanders of Juniata to construct a garage on a lot on the 200 block of North Ninth Ave­nue, across an alley from the property on which he lives in a limited residential zone.

The board made the approval contingent on his not selling the lots separately.

Permission was needed because the garage — in which Sanders wants to park his two cars — was not on a lot contiguous with the lot on which he lives.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.