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