Neighbors argue property has been abandoned and can’t be considered an ongoing use of site
The Salem News | By Dustin Luca
October 19, 2016
SALEM — Neighbors are fighting a new development proposal on the former Ward 2 Social Club site, saying the property is abandoned and the project can’t be considered as proposed.
Local developer Michael Meyer went before the Zoning Board of Appeals Wednesday night to discuss his plan to build eight residential units at the end of East Collins Street, previously the home of the social club. The issue was continued to a future meeting.
As was the case with an earlier project proposed by the Beverly resident, neighbors came out in force to fight this plan as well. All but one public speaker was opposed.
Opposition focused on the method for which Meyer is looking to get the project approved — transitioning from one non-conforming use on the site to another. Neighbors say the property is abandoned, which negates that avenue for approval.
The club, now slowly being taken over by vegetation, was built in 1948 as “an everlasting brotherhood.” It had more than 400 members when it celebrated its diamond anniversary in 2008.
But by 2011, the club was in financial trouble and closed a handful of years later. Meyer bought the site in June 2015 prior to the property going up for a foreclosure auction.