By Sam Wildow
TROY — The Troy Planning Commission on Wednesday approved recommending a Downtown/Riverfront Overlay (DRO) District zoning for the proposed construction for 112-118 W. Main St., along with a Historic District application for the property.
The Planning Commission’s unanimous and positive recommendation on the DRO will go to the Troy City Council for final approval.
The applicant filing for the new construction at 112-118 W. Main St. is 116 W Main LLC, or Randy Kimmel. The applicant sought to have the DRO applied to the new construction due to the height of the proposed building, which would be approximately 53 feet. The property is currently zoned for the Central Business District, which permits a height of 35 feet. If the DRO is approved for the new construction, then the height of 53 feet will be allowed.
The proposed structure is a four-story, mainly brick building to be located at 112-116 W. Main St. The property would be set up to house two retail front tenants on the first floor, and the upper floors would be unfinished open spaces expected to be converted into residential or office uses.
The contractor for the project is Bruns General Contracting. According to a letter from Bruns included in the application, the cost to construct the building would be $1.5 million within an estimated time span of 18 months if approved. The renderings of the building were produced by the Architectural Group, Inc. and TriTech Associates, Inc.
The Planning Commission held a public hearing on Wednesday in regard to the DRO portion of this Historic District application, thus limiting the discussion to the height of the proposed construction.
Ben Sutherly of the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance spoke during the public hearing, asking, “If the height of the proposed replacement building were rejected either by the Troy Planning Commission or by the Troy City Council, would the city allow the demolition of the current building to proceed anyway?”
Patrick Titterington, the director of Public Service and Safety and a member of the Planning Commission, said he did not believe if the height of the proposed building was rejected it would impact the demolition going forward, which is currently subject to a civil complaint in Miami County Common Pleas Court.
“The Troy Historic Preservation Alliance asks that the Planning Commission table this application at this time,” Sutherly said. “We believe it is inappropriate and premature for the Planning Commission to consider … the height of this replacement building at this time.”
Sutherly also stated Troy Board of Zoning Appeals “determined that the applicant’s reuse plan did not provide definite plans for reuse of the site.”
Jeremy Tomb, who occupies a neighboring structure to 112-118 W. Main St., also spoke on behalf of Cheryl Cheadle, who also owns one of the neighboring structures, and Evil Empire, a limited liability company owned by Tomb.
“I want to make it clear that we’re present. We’re objecting to any consideration of this. We don’t believe you have any authority to consider this or to make any decisions regarding it,” Tomb said. “It should be tabled or denied in its entirety.”
Mark Stemmer, a structural engineer for the proposed construction, later addressed the reuse plan for the building.
“We need to know how tall the building can be before we can finish what the building’s going to look like and get moving forward,” Stemmer said.
The Planning Commission unanimously recommended the DRO be applied to this proposed building, and then the Planning Commission also approved the Historic District application for the new construction.
Tomb stood up at the end of the meeting and objected to the Planning Commission making this “conditional approval” for the new construction as the Historic District application for the property is subject to the Miami County Common Pleas Court’s future determination on whether or not the demolition of the current structure is to proceed.
The current building located at 112-118 W. Main St. was approved for demolition by a majority vote of the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals, but a civil complaint filed in Miami County Common Pleas Court has prevented the demolition from taking place.
The plaintiffs in the civil suit include Evil Empire, Sutherly, the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance, and Cheadle.
The defendants/appellees in the civil suit include the city of Troy Board of Zoning Appeals and Randy Kimmel of 116 West Main, LLC, the owner of 112-118 W. Main St.