The Plymouth Board of Zoning Appeals will meet on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. on the second-floor Council Chambers of City Hall.

The only agenda item is the request of Harman Restaurants, Inc. for a variance to permit structural alterations to the existing building at 101 South Michigan Street. 

The short explanation of the request is that the city’s zoning ordinance places limitations on construction in flood-hazard areas. One of the limitations is against making what is called “substantial improvement”, which is defined as improvements that total 50% or more of the market value of the property before the improvements are made. Tim Harman intends to spend more than that value on renovations of the building to make it a restaurant.  He will also need separate approval directly from the DNR for the new construction of structures in the floodway.

Brent Martin is the project architect, and he recently submitted those applications to DNR. Those items are the riverside and park-facing decks and their supporting structures, a new exit door to the ground floor of the building, and a grease trap.

The city administration is supportive of the request and notes all the flood mitigation and downtown development efforts they have made over the last 20ish years.  As The REES was undergoing its major renovations over 5 years, the idea of a restaurant in this location was thought to be a compliment to River Park Square and the REES.

City Attorney Sean Surrisi said, “Because it is an existing structure, the improvements don’t present any real risk of increased flooding to the community.”

The Plymouth Board of Zoning Appeals will consider the variance request Tuesday evening at 7:30. The meeting is open to the public and also streamed live.