McCORDSVILLE — The request for four different variances for the multi-family Kensington Way development was approved unanimously Wednesday night by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Ryan Crum, assistant town manager and director of planning and building, said that the proposed project sits on a 8- to 9-acre parcel within the Gateway Crossing Planned Unit Development (PUD) and is just between the existing Gateway Apartments to the north and west, with the existing single-family home to the south. Crum said that the PUD was originally adopted in 2001, making it more than two decades old.

“Tonight we are not debating multi-family housing on this property,” said Crum at the meeting. “This property owns multi-family development rights. It is their right given the zoning to develop multi-family on this parcel, and it has been that way since 2001.”

Crum said he is unsure why the area sat vacant for so long and while the surrounding area developed, but that was before he began working for the town of McCordsville. The decision for the project has already been made, but the meeting Wednesday was to take into consideration four variances from the petitioner.

Tyler Bowers with The Ridge Group said the project would be 128 apartment units with 48 one-bedroom units and 80 two-bedroom units. It would include both surface and private garage parking, a clubhouse, pool, fitness center, community room, gas fire pits and grills, and a dog park.

Bowers said the first variance out of the four requests are the rear yard setbacks on the east side of the property, taking it from 50 feet to 40 feet. Bowers said this would allow them to not have to shift the site in a way that would reduce the north and south setbacks.

The next variance request would include a parking reduction. Whereas currently zoning calls for 2.5 parking per unit, they asked for it to be reduced to 2.1. Bowers said that in other properties in the area had received reductions and that it was sufficient.

The third variance was asking for some relief in requiring the first floors to be all masonry.

“We just ask for some relief in some areas. We’ve got areas that, you know, for architectural relief to have inset balconies, that those would be hardy plank or similar product,” Bowers said.

Working with the town staff, Bowers said that they also have added some more architectural detail to the main entrance, having some brick in those sections.

The last variance request would be that they remove the overlay that says any portion of a clubhouse that is facing an adjacent property has to maintain at least 50% masonry. While Bowers said they are close to the 50%, they may be slightly under, which is why they are asking for the variance.

One community member spoke during the public hearing and said while he understands the zoning, he believes this plan does not show the same respect or balance as the other plan from the original PUD. Another resident questioned the timeline of when they would receive the building permits and begin construction.

The last comment consisted of a letter of remonstrance with concerns of how close the project is to residential housing south of the project, the lack of greenery, and that the area would be better served as something for the community such as a park.

In response, Bowers said they plan to receive the building permits this month and start construction in June or July of this year. They also discussed details of landscaping that they will have to follow in the PUD.

Curm said that with conditions set for the four variances, the staff is in support of the project and the requests are appropriate. Some of those conditions include architectural requirements, mounding height minimum of four feet on the south property line and more.

Each variance was granted unanimously from the board, with the next BZA meeting held March 6.