Plain City is one step closer to seeing the completion of a planned apartment complex in the village — but not without some concern from residents.
In a 4-1 vote, the Board of Zoning Appeals passed a variance Thursday that would change the percentage of lot coverage in the village code from 50 to 60 percent.
Champion Homes asked for the variance as the initial proposed plans were changed at the village’s request.
“[Champion] came in with a three-story elevation and the ask from the village was they’d rather see a two-story product,” said Tom Warner of Advanced Civil Design, a company working with Champion Homes.
The company had originally planned for fewer structures which included the three-story building and more open space. This change in design, however, would require Champion to build more structures and, therefore, cover more land.
The public hearing was held as a way to gauge residents’ opinions on the changing of the code.
“A lot of people have expressed concerns about the future of Plain City and maybe one of the things that has kept it the way it is is some of those rules,” said Chavvah Laudon, an attendee of the meeting. “If we change them every time someone asks, that’s going to change a lot of things.”
BZA member, Tom Jaskiewicz, responded to the concern with a suggestion of compromise.
“I would say that there’s a little bit of give and take with everything we do,” Jaskiewicz said. “If that piece of property remains a B-2, a business district, it could be 80 percent or more coverage.” He added that with the inevitability of change coming to the village, Plain City has to be ready to assess that change on a case-by-case basis.
Much of the concern from the residents came more in the form of changes to traffic patterns and with what will be done to create a buffer between existing residences on Perry Pike and the new development.
Board members said they appreciated the residents’ comments but added they would be better directed at the Planning and Zoning Commission and that the evening’s event was solely to decide on the variance.
The Planning and Zoning Commission meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. and the public is always welcome to attend. Board members encouraged residents to always be part of community decision-making by attending meetings.
The passing of the variance is also not the final step in the process. Since it has been passed by the BZA, it will then go to village council for a vote. After that, it will go back to Planning and Zoning at which point the architectural designs will be finalized.
Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.
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