Tuesday evening the Plymouth Plan Commission had some stern words for Burke Richeson who was at the meeting representing Centennial Crossings LLC and Construction Management Design and Plymouth Building Inspector Keith Hammonds.
Richeson presented a revision of the Planned Unit Development (PUD) on Plymouth Goshen Trail to remove two garage structures and expand two of the existing apartment buildings. He said they have found the demand for 2-bedroom apartments much higher and the request for 1-bedroom units less. The proposal was to convert two of the remaining structures yet to be built into 2-bedroom units and expand them out to house 18 units, so they aren’t reducing the number of total units, only changing them from 1-bedroom to 2-bedrooms. Richeson said to make the changes they needed to illuminate the two garage structures which each house 8 garages. He noted that the garages are not included in the rent and require an additional monthly payment. Removing the garages will open 16-free parking spaces in the development.
Plan Commission member Mark Gidley drove through the development and noticed that the foundations were already in place and questioned the issuance of a building permit prior to the approval from the Plan Commission. Richeson said they applied for the building permit and were granted them with the proposed changes.
Plymouth Building Inspector Keith Hammonds said the foundations are in, but the carpenters are working on the construction of single-family homes instead of the apartments. He also admitted to issuing the building permits.
Commission member Fred Webster asked Richeson when they decided to make the change to the PUD and he said 8 to 10 weeks ago. He then asked how long ago the building permit was issued and Hammonds estimated 4 weeks ago.
During the Public Hearing, two neighbors although their comments had nothing to do with the proposed changes to the PUD.
Commission member Beth Pinkerton said, “The process was not followed in this instance, and I think that you did it a little backward because you wanted to keep going and keep going fast. So, we are approving this although you’re already doing it.”
Member Mark Gidley said, “I don’t like it, but our hands are going to be tied if we don’t have another unanimous vote again and I don’t like the process. I don’t like that we issued a building permit, and we have construction started already.”
The City Building Inspector said, “They had a PUD for the number of buildings, and they’ve got that number of buildings. Don’t tell me the process wasn’t followed.”
Gidley then asked how it wound up in this order and Hammonds said, “They came to get a permit for those buildings they already had addresses for, and I issued a permit for them.”
City Attorney Sean Surrisi told the Plan Commission, “The mayor’s administration is supportive of this. This project was a Redevelopment project and is serving a great need for housing in the community.” He said Richeson and Al Collins had a meeting with the mayor, city attorney and utility superintendent to look at it primarily from the stormwater issues and sent them down the path of working with their engineer.”
Commission member Fred Webster said he wasn’t fond of the timeline on the project but “it is what it is and realistically, when it went through the TRC (technical review committee) it never got involved and we never got into the timeline. There were no issues with the department heads that were at the TRC meeting.
The motion was made to approve the request to amend the Centennial Crossing’s PUD by Fred Webster and seconded by Bill Walters with 6 of the 12-member board present.