The city of Delaware’s planning commission unanimously approved two development plan exemptions for minor alterations at its most recent meeting.
According to the city’s zoning code, the director of planning and community development may determine that a change to an existing building or property is minor and not subject to the development plan review process. The commission members may affirm or overturn the decision. If approved, the project receives a certificate of zoning compliance. If overturned, the proposal would have to comply with the development plan review procedures.
The exemptions do not need the approval of City Council.
A building addition to the NAPA auto parts store at 455 S. Sandusky St. may be the most visible of the two exemptions. The applicant, Washington Enterprises, wishes to raze the nearby 1,600-square-foot Exact Auto Repair building and add a 3,600-square-foot addition on the east side of the store. The addition will match the look of the existing 5,500-square-foot building. An additional five parking spaces will be added to the lot for a total of 20, and a dumpster on the grounds would be enclosed by a block wall and fence.
The 0.76-acre site is zoned as community business district.
“This is what (owner Robert Washington of Sunbury) can afford to do and wants to do,” said David Efland, the city’s planning director, on May 4. “We all hoped it would have been a bigger (retail) project, and it still might be in the future.”
The other exemption allows for the construction of a gas receiver by Columbia Gas on 0.7 acres on the southeast corner of the intersection at Pittsburgh Drive and Section Line Road. The area would be surrounded by a 6-foot-high fence and an 18-foot-wide gate. There would be a new curb cut on the south side of Pittsburgh Drive and a gravel driveway for service trucks. There would be no signage or lighting, but 18 pine trees would be planted along the road as a buffer.
“It’s fairly flat farmland,” said Lance Schultz, zoning administrator, of the site. “The applicant is proposing the gas receiver to ensure the future maintenance of their pipeline network and high quality of service to the city.”
Commission members asked questions about safety, since the equipment would be near the airport, industrial park and quarry. Columbia Gas representative Diego Catano said the receiver is essentially a piece of above-ground pipe that is pressurized above ground, and the gas would be underground in the pipeline. The launcher station is in New Albany and the receiver station would be in Delaware, Catano said.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.