Breaking news … In latest twist, ZBA reversed decision on spa variance request

By Charles Sercombe
At a special Zoning Board of Appeals meeting held Monday evening, boardmembers reversed a recent prior decision barring a spa from operating on Florian St.
A bare majority of the ZBA (Nasr Hussain, Malek Hussein and Adam Alharbi) had previously blocked a variance request for a spa to be allowed to operate in a residential area.
The city’s zoning law prohibits a spa from operating in a residential area.
The decision prompted a backlash with some of the public accusing the ZBA members who rejected the request of racism and sexism.
The owner of the spa, Tiara Boyd, is an African-American.
The meeting to reconsider was prompted by State Rep. Abraham Aiyash, said ZBA Chairman Tom Habbitz.
Habbitz said that Aiyash told him that ZBA member Malek Hussein was willing to reconsider his vote, and that he, Habbitz had called for the meeting.
Absent from Monday’s evening meeting was ZBA member Nasr Hussain.
On the City of Hamtramck’s Facebook page, where the meeting was broadcast, a commentator asked where was Nasr Hussain.
Hussain replied, saying: “Here, watching this comedy show.” He did not elaborate on where he was exactly.
Hussain has laid blame on Mayor Karen Majewski for the board’s bare-majority rejection, saying she has the power to change the ZBA law. The mayor does not appoint the ZBA members, who are appointed by the city council.
The mayor also does not have sole control of the city’s zoning laws. Any change in the zoning ordinance requires the approval of both the city council and the mayor, according to the city charter.
The meeting lasted for a little over an hour.

Edited and updated on Aug. 4, 2021

One Response to Breaking news … In latest twist, ZBA reversed decision on spa variance request

  1. Mark M. Koroi

    August 3, 2021 at 1:11 am

    Karen Majewski was present at the Zoom! meting and was asked by the clerk to give a statement during public commentary. Karen initially balked but gave in and told the panel she has nothing to do with ZBA decisions nor does she appoint the ZBA.

    Bill Meyer spoke at the Special Meeting wondering aloud how Tiara Boyd was permitted to open for business before a variance was granted. Meyer stated he will always protest racial injustice of persons of color.

    One resident was concerned over parking issues and the ZBA attempted to craft a remedy where the variance approval would be conditioned upon a commitment of Boyd to encourage her customers, who come via appointment to use the paking lot behind the building her business was in. Boyd initially had technical difficulties speaking, but eventually told the ZBA her clientele park near the front door of the business and away from homes on the residential street.

    One wonders how this became a racially-charged issue with demonstrations in front of Tekla Vintage and Karen and Nasr hurling accusations back and forth in social media. The ZBA appeared to professionally and successfully defuse legitimate citizens parking concerns and the variance was approved.

    Some suspect this brouhaha may have had something to do with the upcoming mayoral primary election.

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