The Swanton Planning Commission approved two variances and denied two others at its meeting Aug. 3. The denials appear to have put one potential project at risk.
Two variances for a proposed storage facility on Airport Highway, just east of the Super Wash car wash, were denied by the commission. The requests were for gravel drives instead of asphalt or concrete and for narrower drives than normally required.
Commission member Chuck Erdman and a nearby business owner voiced concerns about the gravel. Bob Black, Super Wash president, voiced his concerns in a letter.
“If this is allowed to occur the quality of my Super Wash product will be greatly impaired and quite likely cause us financial hardships,” he wrote.
Ultimately, the Planning Commission denied the variance for gravel drives by a vote of 5-0.
The other vote was closer. The Commission denied the use of 13-foot drives, instead of the required 22, by a vote of 3-2.
The reason cited for the request was so that customers could not back up into storage units, which could potentially cause damage to buildings.
“I’ve got a $10,000 deposit, and the only thing killing this deal is you want less green space and more asphalt, and that is a deal breaker,” said Steve Kauffman, owner of U-Lock Storage. “I will give no consideration to having people back up to my storage buildings.”
Also at the meeting an anticipated project on Main Street was given approval for a variance and preliminary site plan.
The variance was for fewer parking spaces than normally required. Being in the downtown area, there are several parking options within walking distance.
The building at 91 and 93 N. Main St., just north of the railroad tracks, was razed in November because it was falling down onto the Epiphany Community Services building next door. The new project will be an addition of office space and storage space to Epiphany Community Services.
Deacon Dzierzawski, of Epiphany Community Services, said they hope to break ground before winter.
The other variance approved at the meeting was for a setback on Scottdel property. The company plans to construct a 60×80 pole barn.
The approval will allow Scottdel to build it 12 feet from the property line instead of 20, where it will align with a nearby building.
The building will be used primarily for storage and not for manufacturing.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010