Commission OKs apartment plans Print
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Thursday, 12 October 2017 15:37

Neighbors don’t like location of buildings, but developer meets all zoning requirements

The role of the Belgium Plan Commission in a controversial proposal for two apartment buildings west of Village Hall was clarified last week.
Although neighbors voiced concerns last month over the location of the buildings and that some weren’t notified of the proposal before they bought their homes, Plan Commission Chairman Vickie Boehnlein said the Commission is legally powerless to deny someone a permitted use of a property unless they don’t meet certain criteria.
“Simply because we don’t like what they’re going to do with the land is not our right (to deny),” Boehnlein said.
If the commission voted down the plan for that reason, Boehnlein said, the developer could go to the Village Zoning Board of Appeals or file a lawsuit.
Commission member Don Gotcher said land was sold to neighbors with the idea the area would be commercial space, but Boehnlein said that isn’t the village’s business.
“Yes, it is our business,” Gotcher said.
“Our decision,” Boehnlein said, “is if this plan meets our zoning.”
The zoning is for multi-use and was created years ago just for this development, Boehnlein said.
Boehnlein addressed the neighbors in attendance who said they were shown different plans.
“I understand your frustration. I cannot speak to what you were told or not told,” she said.
Ansay Holdings’s plan calls for 11 units in two buildings, with each apartment ranging in size from 1,200 to 1,700 square feet, along with garages. Plans show 46% of the land be green space, meeting the village requirement of 40%, and 10 extra parking stalls, including one handicapped spot. Rent is slated to be $1,000 to $1,200 per month.
One building is 35 feet tall on one side and slopes down to 30 on the other, meaning its average height meets the village requirement that buildings must be less than 35 feet tall, Bayland Buildings Inc. sales representative David Phillips said.
Ian McCain of Ansay Development said marketing dictated that the initial plans for a senior center with commercial buildings be changed to residential buildings. More people are needed to support commercial development, he said.
The commission approved the building plans on a 6-0 vote. Gotcher abstained.