Decision on apartment complex postponed
By Ashley Luthern
Residents concerned about a new apartment complex on Brandon Avenue will have to wait to learn if the project will move forward.
The township board of zoning appeals postponed its decision Tuesday at the request of developer Rick Clayton, who owns the property where the apartments are slated to be built.
About 200 people, mostly residents who live on or near Brandon Avenue, crowded into the township hall meeting room.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” said resident John Smrek of the postponement. “We’re worried about safety issues, the look of the neighborhood and wondering what clientele are we going to get in there.”
Dougherty Construction wants to build eight six-plex apartment buildings at the end of Brandon Avenue, which is off Sheridan Road. At the hearing, the zoning appeals board questioned the proposed method to provide water access for fire departments and the road plans, which then led to Clayton seeking the postponement.
Clayton said a 7-foot-deep pond will be dug on the property to serve as a detention pond and water source for firefighters, providing 1,500 gallons-per-minute water pressure for more than the two hours required by state law. The pond will connect to two fire hydrants.
Atty. John Shultz, who served as zoning appeals board chairman during the hearing, questioned what would happen should there be a drought or freezing conditions.
Road Superintendent Larry Wilson also said that Brandon at Lemoyne Avenue is about 20 feet wide and then tapers to about 15 feet at its current dead end. The proposed Brandon Court, a private drive to the apartments, is estimated at 24 feet wide.
Wilson said his department is requesting that developers widen that tapering section of Brandon to accommodate the increased traffic.
Shultz also described the immediate neighborhood as single-family homes and suggested the apartments would be uncharacteristic of the area.
Clayton disagreed and said he tried to develop the land before for single-family homes or condominiums, but no one showed interest. He said as the oil and gas industry picks up, he expects demands for apartments to increase.
The proposed apartments are “more for transient people,” he said.