A facade replacement for a forthcoming Aldi grocery store in Sturgis was part of the remodeling project approved Tuesday by Sturgis City Planning Commission.
The owner of the property at 811 S. Centerville Road, Regency Sturgis LLC, requested a Class A nonconforming status for the existing structure. The request was to match the height of the existing front facade and allow for a remodel of the former Kroger building.
Chris Grzenkowicz, representing Regency Sturgis LLC and Desine Inc., also made a remodeling request to repurpose the existing center space of the building.
The front facade is 32 feet, but the zoning ordinance allows only a maximum height of 30 feet. The applicant asked nonconforming structure designation for the 32-foot-high front facade to allow for Aldi's proposed facade to be at 32 feet high, to match the existing height.
Part of the brick facade will be removed to allow for the modern Aldi storefront to be integrated seamlessly.
Grzenkowicz said a construction timeline is dependent on contractor and material availability. Ultimately, once things start, contractors need a four-month window to do the construction
"We are hoping to start yet this fall," Grzenkowicz said.
The store is expected to have 10 to 15 employees, with about three employees per shift.
The Aldi project was sent to the state for permit consideration in mid-May.
John Mikulenas told Grzenkowicz there is "a lot of excitement about the project" and welcomed Aldi to the community.
Also on Tuesday, a special land use request for a massage therapy business was approved by the planning board. The owner of the property at 800 E. Chicago Road, Seth Winnicki, asked for a special land use for a home occupation, an in-home massage therapy business staffed solely his wife, Katelyn.
Massage therapy is not listed as a permitted or prohibited home occupation and required the special land use approval per city zoning ordinance.
A special land use request from Jake’s Fireworks for an outside sales area at 707 S. Centerville Road, formerly the site of the Kroger fuel station, was approved in a 3-2 vote. Jakes Fireworks has received permission from the owners of the Sturgis Plaza for the outside sales use.
However, Mikulenas said, the city has had previous difficulties with the company, and asked for conflict resolution. He said noticed the tent structure for the fireworks was put up Tuesday, without approval from the city.
"I don't mean to throw you under the bus, but historically, we've had problems with your company," he said to the representative at the meeting. Mikulenas said there have been a number of issues over the years, from poor cooperation on the part of the onsite employees to disposing of waste in surrounding tenants' garbage receptacles.
Additionally, he said, the city requires a 20-foot barrier around the tent, such as buckets and caution tape or sawhorses with tape.
"In the past, we've seen just a few buckets blowing around to nothing," Mikulenas said. "There needs to be a better, legit barrier."
The request, although approved, received voting opposition from Gabe Alvez and Mikulenas.
In a separate matter, a special land use request for Bo Felt from Glass Traditions LLC was approved unanimously by the planning commission.
Glass Traditions LLC asked for a special land use for light industrial at 313 Susan Court, the former Michiana Snax building. Felt said he plans to restore historic stained glass for churches and universities on site.
Light industrial businesses are permitted in the Business Office Service (B-OS) zoning district; however, it requires a special land use.
Public notice was given to the surrounding property owners within 300 feet by mail June 4. A neighboring property owner contacted the city to voice concerns over traffic the business may bring to the neighborhood. Those owners attended the meeting Tuesday to have their questions and concerns addressed.
A Class A nonconforming designation for the property was also approved, as the existing building does not meet current setback requirements.
The planning commission also reviewed suggestions for regulations regarding wood-burning appliances in the city. The current ordinance is outdated, officials said. City officials propose amending the language to regulate new and existing units, with the idea of optimizing community safety and keeping potential nusances at a minimum.
Commissioners Pete Stage, Michael Caywood, Jim Liston and Michael Brothers were absent from Tuesday's meeting.
This article originally appeared on Sturgis Journal: Aldi facade request approved by Sturgis city planners