(BEDFORD) - The Bedford Board of Zoning Appeals gave their approval for a downtown housing project aimed at low income people age 55 and older.
Stonecuters Place will be built at the southeast corner of 16th and K Street by Milestone Ventures Inc., action on behalf of Hoosier Uplands.
The group plans to purchase the property at 1028 and 1030 16th Street and 1618 K Street. Construction is to be done in two phases. The first will include as many as six one-room apartments.
The second phase would create approximately 25 units of one- and two-bedroom apartments by renovating the former Carriage House Furniture building and the adjacent Brock and Sears building.
Applicants for the apartments could make up to $22,500 with monthly rent from about $220 to $550, depending upon the person's income. Average rent would be $482 a month.
The board's questions focused on financing and parking.
Stonecutters Place is part of Bedford's application for the state's Stellar Community Award. Chuck Heintzelman, representing Milestone, says that receiving the Stellar grant would make it easier to obtain financing. But added, they will attempt to go ahead with the project if the city does not receive the grant.
Heintzelman says of the $8,670,000 the city is required to leverage if it receives the multi-million dollar Stellar grant, more than $5.5 million is earmarked for Stonecutter Place.
Bedford Planning Director Dan Kirk was concerned about having enough parking spaces for the complex. To meet code, they will need two parking spaces per unit, and the current plans fall short of that. The board could waive that requirement, he added and it also can be adjusted as architect finalizes the number of units to be created.
In the end, board members Bill McFadden, Steve Kimbley and Byron Buker voted to allow the exception. Doug Kellams voted against the project because of the parking problem.
In other business the board rejected Summer Corbin's request for a variance to operate a cupcake-making business at 206 17th St. The area is zoned for residences.
Corbin's parents had been granted a variance in September 2007 to operate a dog-grooming business there, but that business has been closed for some time. The board ruled against the new request, saying it would amount to "spot zoning" or carving out an area for business use in a residential area.
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